"Somebody made a death threat on Bush," says Joel Scheingross, founder of Sandiegopunk.com. "It was either the FBI or Secret Service who contacted the person who was running the [website message] board at the time. He gave them full access to IP addresses.... I got rid of the message board in 2004. There were way too many racy things I did not want to be associated with. What bugged me most about hosting the message board was deciding what threads to delete. I believe in free speech. I had to decide to take away free speech."
Scheingross, a 20-year-old junior at UC Berkeley, was a freshman at Helix High when he started the site six years ago. Concert listings, CD critiques, and show reviews are regular features.
"It's not a great money-maker, but it's been profitable since 2002. Last year we averaged 1200 hits a day." Scheingross says the Vagrant and Side One Dummy record labels were advertisers for many years.
"They definitely kept the site going for a long time, but they don't advertise anymore. Off the Record and M Theory [record stores] are now big advertisers. Google has an ad program that pays you based on how many people click through to them. I get about $60 a month from an ad that would normally cost $100 or $120."
What local bands got a boost from sandiegopunk.com?
"Underminded signed to Kung Fu Records in 2004. They would have made it on their own, but I think they got some good publicity out of sandiegopunk.com."
How did a recent performance listing of five skinhead bands get on the site?
"It was my mistake. It won't happen again. I post a lot of shows. I'm pretty embarrassed."