Brett_Tabke - 3:14 pm on Oct 19, 2012 (gmt 0)
Thank you for all the support, well wishes, and congratulations. It has been pretty overwhelming this week talking with people.
I apologize if I have not gotten back to you in email yet. I had several hundred to go through, but I do intend to get through all of them.
The one thing Jim has said over and over, is that he wants to listen to the community and respect it's wishes over the coming years. He can't be involved in every thread about the site, and he is going to lean heavily on the moderators to help filter, digest, and iterate what the community wants.
I think we all agree, that a bunch of big changes right now, would not be the type of transition the community needs at this juncture. This site wasn't built over night and the long time members have come to trust and respect that it is going to be the same this year as it was five years ago. I have always believed that the focus of the site are members comments, questions, our policies, and contributions back to the community. Everything on the page should reflect that.
People have often asked what made webmasterworld so different and successful? It is that fact that we put members comments first. Everything else on the page is visual noise and required usability garbage. My litmus test over the years for adding new features and design has been simple: if it didn't directly support member comments in some way, then it should be put on the page. Over time, I think we all have been come a bit bored with what that looks like in real life, and I have respected the requests to add a few more things here-and-there; however, by-n-large we always have tried to keep the focus of the page directly on member comments.
There are dozens of forums/bbs software packages out there. Many of the latest variety are really leading CMS packages. However, all of the top 5 packages have one thing in common: they are designed to satisfy the needs of the site owner first, and the community second. They're primary focus is for site owner monetization first, and community development second. If you look at one of the top forum packages on the web, their latest beta offering, has about 100 new features on it - about 90 of those features are only for site admins and never seen by the real community members. Quality forum communities are not about the look-n-feel or functions-n-features - they are about getting the hell out of the users way and letting them communicate in a respectful manner.
I can't speak for Jim and what changes will be coming, but I do know:
- He was adamant about retaining the current software (We licensed it to IMN).
- He is focused only on changes that the greater community wants.
- Expressed several times publicly, that ads would not be part of the foreseeable equation.
- He is a big believer in Karma and thinks that ultimately the association alone will create long term business.
All-in-all, I know this is a good thing for the community. Jim brings resources to bear on WebmasterWorld that we can't. He has such a huge affinity for the community, that he is going to respect it's wishes.