Bye Bye Max?

Max Fisch appears to have dropped off the net. It’s been flaky for years, but one has to wonder if this is the final goodbye.

For those that don’t know what I’m talking about- Max Fisch is (was?) one of the longest running Femdom forum sites and Domina directories. It first showed up back in the 1990’s and for years was  one of the primary sites for pro-domme information and discussion. Sadly, like a lot of these sites, social media sucked away a lot of the potential users and the admins and moderators lost interest in maintaining it.

The loss of internet forum culture to a few huge social media companies is a great shame in my view. It’s not that the quality of the debate was particularly great on the forums – online people are the same all over. But the forum’s were more focused, the conversations longer and the posts were both durable and searchable. You could post a review of a session and another user would be able to find it years later. Good luck doing that on Twitter. You also didn’t have to deal with all the algorithmically driven rage-bait garbage the social media sites throw out you.

Of course there’s nothing technically stopping someone running a femdom forum today. The problem is getting to critical mass when so many of the casual users gravitate to social media.  It’s hard for simple web base forums to compete with thousand of social engineers doing whatever they can to drive more swipes on a media feed.

If you’re like me and find the history of femdom and internet culture fascinating, using the wayback machine to browse old domme site can be a great way to kill a lot of time. For example, looking at the very first capture of Max’s domme listing from 1999, I spotted a link to the famous Ilsa Strix. That in turn led me to her archived site and old interviews with her. You can even still find her original contact protocol.

Author: paltego

See the 'about' page if you really want to know about me.

8 thoughts on “Bye Bye Max?”

  1. Awww, dang! I spent many happy hours surfing Max Fisch late at night with my dial-up modem and AOHell account.

    I guess I’ll go have to join the conversations on Yahoo Groups again.

    1. It’s a long time ago now, but I think my first real exposure to professional domination was similarly via a dial up modem and browsing Max Fisch. Sometime in the late 90’s, before I moved to the US. If only I knew then what I know now.

      Oh, and I’ve some bad news on the yahoo groups thing….

      -paltego

      1. “Oh, and I’ve some bad news on the yahoo groups thing….”

        Well, huh. I can’t seem to log into my Yahoo groups right now. I guess I’ll browse Friendster for a bit and see if there’s anything happening in the Adult Lounge.

  2. A very good post eulogizing Max Fisch but also explaining the internet and social media shifts that caused its downfall to happen. Reddit notwithstanding, old-school message boards do seem a thing of the past, and it’s hard to imagine another one reaching the same level of activity as Max used to have. (Domina.ms has always seemed a pale shadow.) Max Fisch was also, I think, really tied to the house culture of NYC, which, again, is just not the same.

    A few weeks ago, before Max went dark, I went down a bit of a memory hole, clicking user names of posters I remember writing good posts, and then reading lots of old threads going back to the early days There were some incredible conversations there of a depth you just can’t do on a Twitter thread. The subforum created after 9/11 was meaningful. And, yes, there was so much info about specific dommes — much if not most of it very useful and honest before the trolls took over.

    As a long-time poster, I can think of a few posts that were really impactful to me personally. Nonetheless, I’m not totally sad it seems to be gone. I spent probably too much time there over the years, and its time has clearly passed. But, yeah, let’s raise a glass.

    1. It’s always interesting to take a trip down memory lane. I was never a big Max user, posted occasionally and lurked there a fair bit in many years past, but I’m sad to see another bit of internet history vanish. The internet archive does a surprisingly good job of capturing old pages, but it’s not the same as a proper archive of posts. Particularly sad to lose posts from all the dommes who are no longer around.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing thoughts. I’ll join you in raising a glass to it, for all its flaws.

      -paltego

  3. I followed your link to the 1999 edition of Maxfisch.
    I wasn’t active yet, but after I got to half a dozen discussions about Dommes I have seen and realized they’re all retired but I’m still going strong I decided to quit.

    It’s impressive how well I could navigate the old version of the website on the Internet Archive.

    1. I’m always impressed by the Internet Archive. It’s by no means perfect, but it generally works better than you’d expect it to. I lost a fair amount of time browsing old versions of Max and the domme listings.

      I don’t really mind remembering domme’s I played with that have now retired. It’s the ones I never got to see that make me sad 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

      -paltego

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