2020 Year End Message

Discuss the LLORG's and HTLAL forum's past and its future here.
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2020 Year End Message

Postby rdearman » Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:57 pm

Each year of the (not so new) forum so far I've tried to do a look back and a look forward about our little forum and community.

2015 thoughts, 2016 plans
2016 thoughts, 2017 plans
2017 thoughts, 2018 plans
2018 thoughts
2019 thoughts

Each year I've carried forward the plans we made way back in 2015 and highlighted in blue the ones we've actually achieved. This year I've only carried forward the one we're not going to achieve.

  1. Establish some kind of trust or charity which will allow ownership of this forum and its content to remain with the community.
We did try to get recognition as a charity, but we didn't fit the criterial in the categories we applied for. So the financial burden remains with us, and in 2020 the burden shifted to EMK who has steadfastly paid for the site from his own pocket. So I want to give a huge personal thank you to EMK, who has been too busy to visit often, but is still showing his generous kind-hearted nature.

Not a lot of noteworthy things this year as far as the administration of the system goes. The platform is stable, and other than constantly removing spammers there isn't a lot to be done. We have a couple of ongoing issues with the Captha system, and the email system not working. These fixes will require a full system upgrade, and possibly changes to the backend servers. Hopefully, when things calm down a little for EMK, we'll be able to take a weekend out to bring up a new system with the newer software. Hopefully this wouldn't cause more than a few minutes downtime for users.

On the issue of spammers let me give you some statistics. Spammers typically only post one spam message per spam account, which the moderators quickly remove before it ever sees the light of day. The problem is of course that we are averaging 1500-2000 accounts per week! Some of you may have wondered why the member count at the bottom of the home page seems to jump up and down. That is the reason why. The moderators remove the spam messages before they are ever seen, then I remove the accounts periodically from the database. So even with all the Captha protection, automated blacklisting lookups and all the other systems we've installed to stop them, they still manage to create 1500 accounts per week.

When I did my original post on this new forum, we'd just managed to get to 550 members. Now we have 13,861 members and that is even after I culled all the users who hadn't posted in 3 years, spam accounts, etc! We have visitors, lurkers, and active participants along with a lot of old hands who travelled with us from the old forum. We had 16,000 posts back in 2015, now we've got well over 166,980. From the initial wild growth we seemed to have moved in to a phase of mature solid growth.

The first official post on the board was 14th of May 2015. It has been fun for me personally, and I've enjoyed being the administrator. I'm managed to meet a number of you in person and shared a few adult beverages with some of you as well. The Gathering in 2020 was a washout thanks to Covid, but hopefully we'll be back on track soon and can meet people in person again.

I would like to say on behalf of the moderation team that all the members here are wonderful people with a huge wealth of knowledge to share. You've all been helpful, polite, and engaging. You've also been the other member of the moderation team, spotting errors, pointing out issues and reporting problems. You're all doing a great job! Please keep up the good work.

I would like to close by saying that this forum depends on its members and your suggestions and comments are always welcome. Please continue to assist and support us in making this a great place to visit and to learn. Please recommend the forum to friends and colleagues who might be thinking about learning a new language, and to old hands at language learning. We all do better when we work together.

I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Happy Holidays.

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Re: 2020 Year End Message

Postby David1917 » Thu Dec 31, 2020 4:24 am

Regarding funding, I wouldn't be opposed to giving a few bucks a month to a Patreon account or something. There shouldn't be any perks to donating, it's just an easy way to set up recurring monthly donations without having to give out your Paypal information. I know this isn't being asked for - but I'm sure EMK would not object to having the financial burden lessened. If the support ends up extending beyond the cost of the forum there could be quarterly giveaways or something; Patrons could also vote on how the extra money is spent.

My only other comment is that I cannot wait to graduate in May and get back to more language-learning (AKA more forum time talking about language-learning instead of actually learning languages :lol: ).
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Re: 2020 Year End Message

Postby Raconteur » Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:43 pm

I have been visiting these forums for well over a decade – first as a lurker, and much later as a rather unprolific member of both HTLAL and now this here forum. You likely do not know me, but I feel like I know many of you very well. I have learned so much from your contributions. Sometimes I read for inspiration, and sometimes just to pass the time and see what other language learners are up to.

To everyone keeping this site going and to all of the longtime contributors – a heartfelt thank you! I am certain that beyond the "visible" members of the community, there are likely thousands of people like me, whose lives you are making better each and every day without even knowing it.
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