As some of you may noticed in the recent days our site’s grow doesn’t have only advantages – some issues are related to it as well. We’ve experienced few site downtimes this week. Fortunately they lasted only few minutes.. and some minor problems (not full site downtime) few hours. Our hosting company (www.rimuhosting.com) is providing us excellent service so far but they had to upgrade their servers this week which resulted in less than hour downtime on Monday – but they managed to fix everything promptly. Other problems were caused by some coding errors on my side. I’m sure we will spot more of similar problems as the activity here grows. Just be sure that I’m notified about any problem by email and if I’m not sleeping I’m working on fixing it ;) And don’‘t hesitate to contact me through my profile or directly by email email@example.com if you spot anything suspicious going on here.
As Ethan said in one of his today’s post it’d be wise to not spread the scope of the site too much – too fast. I’m pretty happy with the current core features – projects, blogs, forums. These features in itself ensure that our LumberJocks site is unique and worth visiting. Hope you agree with me ;) So in the coming weeks I’m planning to focus more on tuning and improving these core features to make them even better and more enjoyable for you. This work will include things like:
- finish the Awards voting process ;)
- private messages – LumberJocks Mail – this has been the most requested upgrade in the recent weeks. Expect this to be released soon
- having the ability to mark the forum topics as closed or resolved – this will help our Trade & Swap Forum
- preparing the short guide about including the pictures in your comments, blog entries etc.
- put more emphasis on the tags. Tags should serve as the natural categorization mechanism on this site as the number of projects grow.
- improve the code to ensure better stability
In addition to these I will need to finally implement some monetization ideas. As you can see this site is costing me more money as well as more time as we grow. We have Awards sponsored by yours truly, I have hosting bills to pay each month – and these will increase dramatically down the road. So even the pure maintenance costs are higher and higher, not to mention that I’d like this site to grow and reveal its true potential. It is still unbelievable to me how fast the number of LumberJocks is growing without any big advertising money – just a pure word of mouth.. Thank you all for that! But no worries, it is not my plan to mess up our LumberJocks site with huge amount of ads. I want to implement unobtrusive monetization techniques which can even benefit you, e.g.
- some ads served by Google Adsense with some kind of revenue sharing model which will reward those of you who loves writing
- our own line of cool T-Shirt designs ( You know you’re a lumberjock, if/when…... ;)
- affiliate stores – you will be able to buy tools, hardware, accessories, books, magazines through LJ
- sponsorship of some site sections
So this sounds like a plan for the coming weeks. I wanted to share this with you. Feel free to discuss anything mentioned in this post.
Oh and don’t forget that time is ticking away and there are only some 20 days before the entry deadline in our Winter Awards. I’m sure we can manage to have much more than 20 entries in each category ;)