On June 19th 2000, we moved over here from Search Engine World. There was two days of testing where both the old software and the new software was online at the same time.
Thank you to every one who has been part of the creation and growth of this site. When I started on this domain a year ago, I had a set of goals in mind to reach within one year. All of those goals were filled at the end of Novemeber last year.
We went from averaging 10-15 posts a day, to now averaging 70 active threads and over 500 messages per day. We went from around 400 total posts, to now more than 10000 public and private with over 50k messages total. In February, we passed one million hits a month and haven't looked back.
We are now read by many major net entities - we have won some prestigious awards - been mentioned in numerous publications from The Register to ZDnet, and are the clear leader in discussion for the SEO industry.
I think probably the best two compliments the site has received over the last year was from a competing forum manager who said when he wanted to know what was really going on, he read here. The other was from a search engine administrator who said they knew their index had been updated when they read it first on WebmasterWorld.
Combine all that, and there is little doubt we have far exceeded the goals I set last year at this time. I must admit, at times it has been overwhelming.
My philosophy and strategic vision for the site was simple : give people a place to discuss things openly, respect their posts as though it was on their own site, and support them when and where you can. I laid out those guidelines because I felt so many sites on the net simply don't respect their own members. I knew as long as we pushed to keep the post quality high and engaged in quality discussions, that we could have something special here.
I would like to thank each and everyone of the moderators for their contributions over the last year. We wouldn't be here today without you. I only hope you are seeing rewards for your effort. Members should take a few minutes and wander through some of the moderators profiles and visit their sites. There is an amazing diversity among them and a real education into site design. At one point early this spring, we figured that between the moderators, we controlled the strings to over two thousand domains.
I also like to take a minute to thank a few people who've supported both the forum site and searchengineworld for quite a few years. RC (Bob) Jordan has at times put more time and effort into WebmasterWorld than many of us combined. Last fall when we were struggling to get going, I could always count on RC for a couple posts a day - that went so far in getting us started and keeping the place interesting. (hey, next week is Foo forum week - no rest for the weary!)
Littleman, NFFC, DaveAtIFG, Air, Oil, Stcrim, OldTimer, Engine, Seth, James "this is money" R, Fantomaster, and the others that were with us a year ago - thank you. Special thanks to NFFC for all the double checking and time he's spent here over the last year and little for the scripting and SEO help. I wish I could name everyone and point out their contributions. It is quite a team that I am honored and proud to be part of - the diversity from ages to backgrounds to geographic locations is something to see (we really are WebmasterWORLD).
And thank you to the silent partner for the support for the last year. She's put up with more than I care to remember.
If you've read in this sub-board lately, you know we been having some discussions about the future of the site. Let me reassure several concerned members that nothing has been decided yet. Nothing is set in stone. I brought up several different ideas to generate more ideas and get member feedback to them and to involve you in the process.
My management style is that of a consensus builder. I like to have everyone onboard and in agreement when the train leaves the station. All of the ideas and possibilities are being given due consideration one-by-one. I have not predecided which one it is going to be - or any of them at all. We are still looking for more options. Don't be surprised if we do some testing over the next few weeks.
I think everyone realizes that we have just about got the SEO end of things down pat. The real potential for more growth lies in expanding our horizons more toward site development and broadbased side administration topics. That doesn't mean we will abandon SEO in any way at all. Seo is what built the site and what continues to sustain it. We will just be broadening our outlook a bit more and promoting some of the general forums more aggressively.
Raise glass, here's to another great year!