State of the site

By Alfa · Apr 6, 2008 · ·
  1. Alfa
    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.

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  1. savingJenniB
    Thank You Alfa ~
    I am very proud to be a Donating Member of this forum ~ the very best ~ good info ~ good people ~ incredible work on your part!
  2. purplehaze
    Kool, good write up. What exactly does it mean "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."
  3. Jaden
    I have only just joined, post was a good read you will like the 2 groups i set up as you mentioned something similar for blogs, hope you will join x
  4. geezaman
    Only just stumbled across this as much of the new functionality i have not yet fully latched onto. Very interesting read, Its great to see this place evolve even in the relatively short time ive been here, nice to see also that its evolution is set to continue. Without being a big promoter of the "don't change what ain't broke" philosophy, SWIM does wonder what is wrong with the current skin? SWIM quite likes it, though can see that if he had spent as many hours staring at it as Alfa must have that a fresh lick o' paint might seem needed.
    nice to hear your thoughts
  5. Alfa
    I expect a major change in the forum software in the next 6 months. Therefore the development of a new skin will have to wait till after that. That also goes for a series of major improvements and enhancements we have been planning for.
  6. Alfa
    After much delay, that major change in forum software is here now. Well sorta. Its full of bugs, the search engine in it is completely broken and I will need to wait until those issues are fixed.
    Meanwhile the wishlist for DF functionality has been taken form into a long list and a major overhaul is planned. It will take time though.
  7. Synchronium
    Keep up the hard work!. Don't know how SWIY finds the time for recreational drugs and maintaining a web project as big as this!

    Looking forward to developments in 2010! :)
  8. Joben
    Having only joined recently, it's nice to read things like this and see how far Drugs Forum has come. It's pretty amazing seeing the number of members we have and just how much valuable information is available at a click of our mouse. It'd be awesome if you blogged another 'State of the Site' address, letting everyone know your thoughts on the present day site.

    It's an amazing thing you've accomplished here Alfa! (Without kissing your ass ;) )

    We all appreciate it! Keep up the great work!
  9. Alfa
    The extremely disappointing state of the forum software development has much slowed down the development of the site. After years of waiting for improvement we are at a cross road. The site is in dire need of development. And while there is constant software modification & development going on, there are some pretty big decisions to be made about what software platform we will move to and how that affects development of the site.

    I will consider another state of the site address.
  10. Beenthere2Hippie
    The software may still be disappointing to you, since you think beyond the average person’s understanding of what software can do, but take heart. Your struggle for excellence continues to be in an upward direction, through its momentum is probably slower than you would have hoped for.
    Due to your efforts, all of us here have benefited greatly. Obviously, this has been a monumental undertaking on your part, as well as the part of the staffs that have served. Thank you for your efforts, one and all. I hope to see this blog updated (phew!) and posted sometime soon. Maybe everyone who uses DF (hours weekly) will come to see it as the rich resource that it is—AND DONATE!
  11. geezaman
    I know the dislike of one liners but feel implored to add :
    Here here! BT2H.

    An update on Alfas thoughts there would I'm sure be interesting and valued.
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