2007, a year of dreams and growth.
2007 has been a year of dreams and ideas that came together more and more, leading to the present state of the site. My aim was to have this site become less forum centered and create a 1 + 1 = 3 effect by adding supplementary functionality of wiki, blog, social networking, design and more. A thorough study f the internet and the feedback of staff indicated where we should go.
VincentVan once told me that this site is always in motion. As soon as one gets used to what has changed, things are changed again.
During the year, I had many features & functions ready, but kept them unreleased only to roll them out all at once.
Several members have secretly been writing top notch articles for Drugs-Wiki, while the software was being coded. Benga and Paracelsus showed so much dedication and knowledge that they made it to moderator.
I worked closely together with several software developers that enhanced their products to fit our needs. Besides managing this site, it also means research and activity at other sites and off course a lot of programming.
Not everything came together, as two people have each started on a new forum skin, but none came through. Sit and I scorned design related sites to solicit for a competent designer, but to no avail.
We also had a fair deal of fruitcakes, coming around our lush area of the internet. Hackers, suicidal people, serious trolls and a combination of these. What doesn´t kill you makes you stronger in this case.
The present, reaching maturity
As a plethora of new features and function was released, members and readers count steeply drives upwards, more and more structure organizes the site, post quality increases and more intelligent and knowledgeable members join the continues influx of contributors, I am sensing some kind of maturing of the site. Even more than before we are going somewhere. Even more than before there is a chance that our site will carry enough weight to impact and influence. You can read between the lines here and extrapolate. Don't ask.
With drugs-Wiki we kicked off an article repository, that hopefully will surpass most other drug information sites, because of the knowledge of the members we have on board.
The wiki will also prove mighty handy as a FAQ system. The old FAQ was way to simple and defunct of many details, tutorials, tips and tricks. Now all that is needed is people who want to review the 'forum use' forum and compose FAQ articles. And people that will post suggestions that can be added to the FAQ.
Blog still has to be discovered on Drugs-Community. Discovered as a place where you can post something that deserves more spotlight than your average post. A place to stick thoughts that will not be buried in a forgotten thread. A place where your thoughts are the center of attention, instead of a component of a discussion. A way to let others know what is up with your life.
It is real nice to see that members are starting to play around with profiles and customize them to fit their personality and liking.
Groups have gently kicked off, which is good considering that the functionality is still basic.
I really like the desktop chat client, that allows you to access the chat while doing other things than visiting the forum.
The site is getting busier and busier. Most of the time, we have around 1.200 concurrent users. This is a great step forward. We are getting over 150.000 unique visitors per month.
Several new staff members have joined the team in the form of Co-Moderators.
The future, actualising potential.
I hope to be able to expand this site beyond the internet and integrate it with several means of communication. If enough competent coders allow me to get more functionality then we will expand a lot more than we have thusfar.
Exactly what functionality and changes I have planned, will remain a secret until released. Some things I can say though is that it would be nice to improve and change software for image gallery, chat and search engine.
With the ever increasing influx of people, I realize that we will probably run into trouble around the time that we have 3.000 concurrent members online. It has become clear that donations are simply not going to provide for enough financial basis to pay the bills, let alone pay for expansions. For me this makes me appreciate the people who do send donations even more.
P.S. was meant to be published earlier this year, but forgot about it.
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.