Please bear with me in reading some important news about upcoming features here on this site.
A hundred years ago miners would take a caged canary down with them into the depths of the mine. There the canary would act as an early warning system in monitoring air quality. In those early days, miners had to worry about suffocating due to lack of sufficient oxygen. If the canary fell off its perch in the cage, it was time for the miners to get the heck out of there quick.
There have been a lot of changes on this site recently. Change can sometimes be hard to swallow. And sometimes change turns out not to be so good. So recently I emailed a dozen somewhat representative members asking them, as my early warning system, if there were any big, festering problems I didn't know about on the site.
I got a bunch of kudos and a few suggestions for improvement...which I will work hard on, and no notice of festering problems.
This site means a lot to me. I spend tons of time working on it for totally selfish reasons...because it is fun for me and because you guys are fun to be around. Please let me know if you have suggestions to make the site better.
One of my email "Canaries" said
I've noticed since the new format changes a while back that the daily posting seems to be way up compared to what it had been. Don't know if this is just me or if it's truly gone up, but I seem to see a lot more threads/posts when I log on now than before.
Member count is waaaay up and I see a lot of new guys posting and some that didn't post much before are posting now. It just doesn't get much better than that.
Well, here are some facts. We are posting almost twice as often as back in September and October.
Yesterday we had 23 new members sign up. We won't average that each day but if we did our membership would double in just over one year! Please take time to welcome the new guys over at the new Member Introductions Forum
. If any of you want to act as ambassadors, I could set you up to receive an email whenever a new thread was started there. PM me if that interests you.
Here is a graph showing the trend in new memberships.
If the site activity is what it is now, just think how it's gonna take off when the good weather hits. It's really nice to have a site that doesn't go dead in the middle of the winter. I see a lot of guys planning new guns, wanting to buy new scopes, stocks, etc.
In the last month we had nearly 100,000 site visits. We had 920,000 page views.
Another canary (this macho guy will resent being likened to a pretty little bird) said:
I like all of the new parts of the forum. I think the new things like fishing, hog hunting and turkey hunting will add interesting stories during the spring and summer. The backpacking section obviously got a lot of interest. The archery section is good and there are some really good bowhunters and once everyone settles in I think there is a lot to learn from some of them.
My goal is to keep improving this as the best long range hunting site in the known universe. But hey, you guys already have lots of other interests as evidenced by how quickly you have embraced some of these new forums. So I plan to continue broadening the offerings here. At the same time, if a new one doesn't end up making sense...I'll amputate it!
I have other plans. Video is going to be huge on outdoor sites and I hope to soon have a way to embed Youtube videos right in a post. I know that right now we can insert a link to a Youtube video, but clicking on that takes you off this site to Youtube.com where you might be forced to watch Britney Spears performing one of her latest "stupid celebrity tricks". Instead, after inserting into your post a link to your hunting video (hosted on Youtube), a video viewing window with "PLAY" button arrow and thumbnail would appear right in the post. When clicking on and watching this video, the rest of the post and thread would stay right there on the monitor's screen.
A photo gallery for still images is something I've thought a lot about, too. But I can't figure out how important it is to you guys...or how much it would actually be used??? The forums with galleries I've seen have fewer comments showing up in the gallery than the number of comments that show up when we have pictures in our posts. Any thoughts on this? Have you seen a forum with a gallery that you particularly like? Are galleries really too remote from the rest of the forum?
I am planning a "Review" section where writers would submit detailed reviews, with photos, on specific products. The quality of these reviews would be on a par with that of the Stories and Articles we now have.
And I am also thinking about adding.... Whoops, I better not talk about that yet! light bulb