As you might have figured, I’ve been spending lots of time importing legacy content from ‘AROnline Classic’ to the new system during the past few weeks, and it’s been a fascinating trip down memory lane. Especially when it came to doing the site blogs, which I’ve date stamped and you can find by trawling the AROnline archive (to your right and down).
I’ve always been a passionate believer that the best way to running a successful website is to get the reader involved, and it’s really interesting to see how that’s evolved over the years. First we had a Yahoo mailing list, which was extremely lively between 2002 and 2006. Then the forum was rolled out, and since then went through a massive period of growth, before quietening down…
In the meantime, I started adding reader’s comments directly to the website (hard-coding them on to the pages), before adding a JS-Kit commenting widget back in 2007. This was a bit clunky, but once again proved popular with people adding their opinions to the bottom of each story…
Now in 2011, things are different – WordPress has its own commenting system built-in (and like its Java based JS-kit predecessor, has proved unerringly popular). As for the forum, that would appear to have run its course now. That’s not to say it will be disappearing – it won’t – but it’s interesting to see how users have moved over the years, and we’re there to move with them. So where have all the forum people gone, I hear you ask?
Take a look at AROnline‘s Facebook page. We have well over 1000 members, and it’s proving just as lively as the forum (and mailing list before it) ever were. This shows just how users/readers/enthusiasts have migrated over the years, and it’s pleasing also to see that we’re going to be there offering a safe haven in whatever medium you like to use. It also makes a fascinating counterpoint to the ‘Facebook: what’s the point?‘ blog I penned in March 2008. Oh, how times have changed.
And yes, the Yahoo mailing list is still there… Wow!