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03-22-2012, 03:51 AM
Excel, SugarSync, Photoshop
Thank you so much for your post. I love reading member's opinions when they are constructive, honest and, more often than not, optimistic.
You've somehow managed to touch on a few subjects that I have thinking about a lot lately. The full-time involvement factor (mine, personally), the visual changes, the participation. I have had thoughts about either partnering up with an able person who can help lead the site forward, or even selling the site to someone else who can try to revive it. But every time I get there in my head, I realize that the potential success of TF does not depend on change in ownership, rather on change in attitude, as well as consistency with the overall strategy (the big picture).
You made an excellent point on that many folks, when they don't see the changes, move on to something else. I do agree on that. However, I'd like to think that I do have a plan regarding this issue (and I actually do have ideas), which we will put into action once we can show something new. But here is the question to you. I've mentioned earlier that some of the community changes and implementations can take place already. However, in order to execute on those, we need to upgrade the forum to the latest version. Following this chain of thought, upgrading the software means we'll have to run the forum in default or temporary basic theme until the one we are working on is ready. We have naturally been waiting for the new theme to be glued together and tested and releasing the whole package as one. However, running this forum in default vBulletin skin for a period of time might prove to be even more annoying to some. So, would you prefer that we just upgrade the forum already, before the new theme is available, in order for us to install a few things, or would you rather wait for the new release and have it after? The staff voted to wait, but if the community says they can handle the whatever look of the site for some time, then most likely we'll do it earlier. Unfortunately, I can't nor do I want to predict when the new theme is going to be done. As you've read in this thread and another one, we've hit some problems and delays in design/coding (this has always happened to me in any project I've worked on!) and I've been working this past week with my team and other candidates on creating an action list of things that need to be done and finished in order to push it forward.
Truth is, I knew that TF have been in really bad shape when I was passionately bidding and convincing the last owners to sell the site to me. But I was looking at the facts of time involvement required, the dedication it takes and the consistency it needs sticking to the game plan, that anyone else taking over the site might give up on it after a while, when they do not see the results. It means that the site would have most likely ended up left behind on all counts. I do have the time (after all, most work that needs done is contracted), the energy and the funds to put up a good fight and give this iconic community a chance to stand up again. I have a game plan that I'm sticking to and I can only hope it works for everyone's benefit. The traffic is definitely still there, which means the interest is still high enough (I know it is because this is still an excellent community compared to other freelance/webmaster forums out there). As we release major updates, we will start the marketing campaigns and we'll see where it takes us.
I'll throw another question out on the table that I've raised before. If anyone has great ideas on how to promote or stimulate the posting of good material in the marketplace, please do tell - I will back up any great ideas!
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