2014 - DnE Year In Review.
So, we have to put out a couple of more posts to meet our self-set post quota, and what better post on new years eve than a 2014 year-in-review post? The scope of this is basically to check out what this year brought to the site, like, what did we do? I’ll also touch on what we’re planning on doing. What do we have in the works? What’s on the agenda? Prior to this year, we were basically focusing on finding older members for the site. We were focused on retaining and getting members that we thought would be a good fit for the community since the sites inception, and 2013 continued this effort. Near the end of 2013, we started to get a little more ambitious, we wanted to branch out and start to build something more than a small obscure internet forum. We also figured we could probably make some money. From this came the idea of the secure DnE Email host…
Which, after lots of effort and patience, was (and is) functional, although most of the security features we were planning would, eventually, require us to sell the host to a third party in a country with better privacy standards than ours, so we essentially abandoned the notion of total-security in favor of “a useful and moderately secure email host”. Our Email Host efforts extended into the beginning of 2014, and we actually launched, if I recall correctly, the functioning beta version of the host sometime in February of 2014. You can find that right here (Although registration requires us to manually enter you for now, more on future plans for this below.)
We also upgraded from our previous hosting situation to a new and better host, so our downtime has been significantly reduced. On our first host we had a lot of problems, for example a major kernel panic due to some SAN issues. If I’m not mistaken, we haven’t had any downtime since we’ve gotten on our new host, at least, none that had lasted any extended period of time. I can’t, off of the top of my head, think of any instance in which we’ve been down yet. So that’s been very good. The cost has been well worth it, as far as I’m concerned.
Aside from hosting concerns, we also launched both the DnE Blog, and the MbN “platform”. MbN has, so far, mostly just been a concept that directs user projects. It’s not an integral part of DnE and often isn’t really a “platform” at all, just an idea we use to tie projects to the site and provide projects with a way to get their projects attention. This will probably change in the future and MbN will (hopefully) become more of a platform with more useful features.
The launch of the blog has, in contrast, become a pretty integral part of DnE. I suspect it’ll continue to grow and become a staple of what DnE is. We were basically discussing how we can provide more real content to drive more traffic to the site, outside of the forums. Basically we needed a better source of incoming members than word of mouth. We talked about setting up a wiki, and we actually did, although it’s mostly just for fun: DnE Wiki
Then Wes coined the idea of just starting a blog that worked as a publishing platform for users, which is what you’re reading now. Essentially any member of DnE can submit posts for vetting on the forums or via the submission form, and we’ll give suggestions and try to make them better, then once they are post-able, we post ‘em. We’re now setting goals for how many posts we make every year / month, and trying to become a more consistent content creator. That being said, we’re also looking to up the quality and perfect the back end.
Which essentially leads me to where we’re gonna take DnE in the future. The MbN and Blog back ends are essentially just werc with some minor modifications we made. We’re going to include even more modifications to our platform to make the blog easier to work with as far as editors / writers are concerned, and that’ll also benefit MbN. MbN will, hopefully, given the development work, become more of a platform for user projects.
Aside from the blog and MbN, uselessd was also launched on DnE’s domain. We’ve gotten quite a bit of attention from that, and it’s been an interesting year on DnE partially due to the popularity of uselessd. A few more big project launches are upcoming, as well, but I’m not gonna say anything about those until we’re ready for launch… As far as the email host is concerned, we’ve got a few things planned for that as well, like automatic registration via forums and such. So look forward to more from DnE, and here’s to another year of substantial growth… Feel free to comment or discuss if I missed anything or fudged some stuff.