2015 thoughts, 2016 plans
2016 thoughts, 2017 plans
I've carried forward plans and highlighted in blue the ones we've actually achieved in 2016, and in red the ones we've done in 2017.
- Expand the Main site with more static content, guest blog posts, and great forum member content.
- Establish some kind of trust or charity which will allow ownership of this forum and its content to remain with the community.
- Write more software and develop the site to make it even better.
- To host challenge bots, or other community requested enhancements
- To market and grow our audience and forum membership
- Look at possibly adding other language-specific boards.
- Update rules and policies where required.
- Add a code of conduct.
- Investigate expanding the hosting facilities for more speed and backups.
- New language packs and extensions
So with the addition of the Spanish only forum and the migration over to Amazon Web Services we've completed everything except for the creation of a charity for the forum. This is a long an difficult process, but the moderation team will be looking at this more in depth in 2018, since we need to get more funding and remove the costs from individuals.
Some of the other noteworthy things which happened?
- The movement of all the code base for the forum to github, along with the opensourcing of the Super Challenge software and it's upload to github for further development.
- We've moved the static site off the old wordpress system and over to a more collaborative tool also on github.
- We've had spammer attacks, and ongoing hassles with capthas.
- Even a blanket banning of all members! Which had to be fixed from a telephone in Bratislava.
- Had a battering from search bots because we're so popular. We had to put restrictions on search engines.
- Installed SSL encryption and we've got HTTPS working.
When I did my original post on this new forum, we'd just managed to get to 550 members. Now we have well over 7000 members. We have visitors, lurkers, and active participants along with a lot of hold hands who travelled with us from the old forum. We had 16,000 posts back in 2015, now we've gotten almost 90,000. From the initial wild growth we seemed to have moved in to a phase of mature solid growth. In 2017 the growth was causing problems with the hosting, and caused a massive migration over to the new AWS system we have today. EMK was instrumental in the movement to this new and improved high-tech hosting system.
Also this year was a couple of real-life meetings between forum members both in Europe and in the USA. So it would appear that not only are we growing as an online community, but also as an offline, real-life community. There has been some happy events and sad events in the life of all our members, but I like to think back about the outpouring of support for two members who were struggling with issues and although people couldn't be physical present for them, there were many messages of support from a community.
Now that we've basically wrapped up the goals created oh so long ago. The first official post on the board was 14th of May 2015 and the forum is 2 years, 7 months, 10 days as I write this. We've done a lot, and there have been vast improvements, and horrible problems but, we've gotten through it all the rough and the smooth.
I would like to close by saying that this forum depends on its members, and the great advice, questions and answers, as well as the sharing of information, resources and stories of your own personal language learning journeys. While we appear to have accomplished all that the moderation team wanted to do, I'm not sure we've done everything we could do as a community. I would love to hear your evaluation of the forum over the last 2 years and seven months, and hear about the things you'd like to see in the future.
I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Happy Holidays.