First off let me start and say that this community will ALWAYS remain free. I do plan to add some ads to help pay for hosting, domain registration
licenses and to place our own online ads to help get the word out. If you look at the other sites you will notice the ads are nicely placed and there are NO pop-ups.
upgrades will really enhance the community (the developers have come a long way since v2.3.0 which we are currently running.
I know that change is hard to adjust to sometimes but I feel really confident our community will handle it. Other changes will include a portal home page that sums up all the recent discussions on the home page so you don't have to dig into each forum to see what is being discussed. I also plan to add a links section so we can collectively build an awesome resource of the best links on the web related to cruising, sailing, manufacturers, resource sites, other forums
, etc. I also plan to add a member
map like the one on www.AirstreamForums.com
(look in the upper right corner for the map link). That site is a good example of the features I would like to add to our community.
I do plan to listen and work with the community to evolve things. We are all never going to agree 100% of the time but quite often there will be a concensus. I will need leaders to help listen, organize ideas and make recommendations to me. These leaders (administrators) will be instramental in the evolution process.
A few other things I want to do is create a text only interface for accessing the community from a slow satellite
connection & PDA. I also want to try to attract some sponsors to donate some good and then have give-a-ways so our members will benefit. Also, like the Airstream Forums, I would like to encourage us to start having get togethers (even if it is just a few people which might already be happening).
Also, I am hoping to use some things I have learned from the other boards to turn guests into members, lurkers into posters and in general help promote a healthy community (which we already are).
I know sometimes it is difficult to trust someone you just met (totally understandable). Over time I hope to earn your trust and keep pushing CrusiersForum.com to the next level. In all the niches that I manage forums, I try to keep them the best moderated, most features & friendliest in their niche.
I think competition is good because it ultimately benefits the consumer. With forums this is true too. Members make a big investment in the community they participate in and I hope that you will look back in a couple of years and be even prouder that this is a community you choose to participate in...