2018 thoughts

Discuss the LLORG's and HTLAL forum's past and its future here.
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2018 thoughts

Postby rdearman » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:20 pm

Each year of the 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

Each year I've carried forward the plans we made way back in 2015 and highlighted in blue the ones we've actually achieved.

  1. Expand the Main site with more static content, guest blog posts, and great forum member content.
  2. Establish some kind of trust or charity which will allow ownership of this forum and its content to remain with the community.
  3. Write more software and develop the site to make it even better.
  4. To host challenge bots, or other community requested enhancements
  5. To market and grow our audience and forum membership
  6. Look at possibly adding other language-specific boards.
  7. Update rules and policies where required.
  8. Add a code of conduct.
  9. Investigate expanding the hosting facilities for more speed and backups.
  10. New language packs and extensions

So we've completed everything except for the creation of a charity for the forum. This is a long an difficult process, and we did apply for a charitable status but it was rejected because we needed to add more information to the application. So it is back to the drawing board for our proposal and we'll try again in 2019 to finally get the charity established.

Some of the other noteworthy things which happened?

  • After we've moved the sourcecode to github, we've had some developments done by Zenmonkey which finally allowed links to the Wiki and the static site from the forum.
  • Member fcoulter has taken the initiative and done a lot of work with the Wiki with other members also contributing.
  • We continue to get spammers, but normally members shouldn't see any of them. Because of our quality information and very high ranking on search engines the spammers see this as "the place to be", but the moderation team works hard to make sure they never get a look in!
  • Due to an increase in usage, EMK has put on multiple site copies to cope with the load as well as the AWS load balancing service.

When I did my original post on this new forum, we'd just managed to get to 550 members. Now we are approaching 10,000 members. 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 gotten well over 110,000. From the initial wild growth we seemed to have moved in to a phase of mature solid growth.
In 2018 as was the case in 2017 the slow growth caused problems with the hosting, and caused us to further enhance and improve our server base and a big shout-out to EMK who is instrumental in the use of this new and improved high-tech hosting system. Back in 2015 we we hosted a single forum service on a multiple site shared hosting service, very cheap, very cheerful, but not very good. Now we've got a state-of-the-art hosting platform with multiple forum copies running to deal with the load from users, search engines and web-crawler bots.

This year again there were 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. Many people have joined this year, and a number of regulars have moved off on new adventures, but we seem to continue to maintain a great interactive community and a huge store house of information for language learners.

The first official post on the board was 14th of May 2015. Which means on the 1st of January 2019 the forum will be 1329 days old, or 190 weeks, or 3 years, 7 months and 19 days. It has been an amazing time 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. I'm planning to go to the Gathering in 2019 and look forward to meeting even more of you then.

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 you're suggestions and comments are always welcome. Please continue to assist and support us in making this a great place to visit and to learn.

I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Happy Holidays. I hope that 2019 is the best year ever for you!

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Re: 2018 thoughts

Postby Carmody » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:33 pm

There was no mention re exploring of options for people to contribute money to ease the hardship on emk, however, I imagine that omission was on purpose. The important thing is for you folks to be able to run it the way you wish and we just don't want you to incur financial hardship.

Thanks for your ongoing efforts and have a happy holiday. ;)
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