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A Right Jolly Old Elf

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One Thousand

Michael Rielly

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This week we reached a major milestone on ClausNet.com. On October 21, 2010 we welcomed our 1,000th member to our community. Now you may not think this is such a big deal, but consider the fact that unlike other online communities, I personally approve each and every request to become a registered member.

When I launched ClausNet.com, I had just returned from my first time attending theCharles W. Howard Santa Claus School, in Midland Michigan. As a first time student to the school, I was struck be the comrade and the overwhelming feeling of being part of this community. I so much enjoyed my time at the school, that I felt I needed to give something back. So as a Christmas gift to the Dean and his wife, I created a new website that year for the school.

But just building a new website for the school didn't seem quite enough for some reason. I wanted to give back even more. So I started researching how I could build an virtual community online, that would replicate in some way the fellowship that had I felt at while the school. At the time there were a few Yahoo and MSN group "Santa" sites where fellow Kringles could exchange emails. These sites were essentially bulk email mailing lists and I realized early on that threaded mass emails with attachments was not the way to go.

A big part of the CWH school is meeting others and learning from them; exchanging ideas, and improving your Santa Claus persona. I knew early on that ClausNet would have to be much more than these group sites. It had to be a "destination"; a place that you wanted to check in often; a place where you could "meet" and discuss ideas. It had to be a community.

In my career as a marketeer, I have created and managed several customer focused user groups, online forums, company blogs, and social media sites. All of these things have something in common -- people with a common interest -- and THAT is what ClausNet is -- a community of men and women dedicated to the faithful the portrayal of the legend of Santa Claus and who devote their time to bringing joy to children of all ages.

Thank you all for being part of this experience!



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Felix Estridge


Thanks for taking that first step. Its made a huge impact on a lot of people in this world. Let me know if I can do more to help.

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I have to thank everyone for this experience. It truely an awesome experience here, I am so glad to be a part of it.

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Kevin Haislip


Michael, Thank you for this grand effort. It is not only a fun place, but the relationships I have met through this has been a huge blessing to me. Like yourself, and Nicholas, I too look for ways to give back.

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In your quest to "give back" what you did, by creating Clausnet, not only was your way of giving something back but also offer everyone in the Santa Community an opportunity to become directly involved in our quest to be the best we can be in this wonderful Industry. There are many that offer services to others to help them improve their image; be it wardrobe accessories, New Suits,

tips on personal hygeine and how to effectively and comfortably wear the Red Suit on a hot day, keep your hair and beard in tip top shape, et al.

Clausnet has become "THE' Place to find those 'hard to find' products but best of all, it has become the biggest Social gathering place of them all for us to interact, discuss, and yes, even disagree sometimes, but each and every time we share our comments, someone is learning something.

You have created something really special here and I don't know of anyone else that could have done such a spectacular job in doing so. CONGRATULATIONS to you with my heartfelt THANK YOU attached~


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Elf Gary


Mike, it is from small seeds that mighty trees grow, Your small seed of an Idea grew into a massive redwood that stands alone.

I have been here for a long time but i still tell people wherever i go that this is my favorite online hang out, it is not trying to be exciting - it is a comfortable lounge where you can pull up a seat and meet newcommers, clown around with fellow "Old Timers" and advise others as nessary.

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