Hey guys! Welcome back!
I know, I know - At this point you're rolling your eyes and saying to yourself "this dude keeps changing shit and breaking everything all the time". I'm well aware of the pattern that's been repeating (as is my wife ), and now that I've had time away to move my family across the country, it's given me time to think about what I really want from this place.
When I bought Time Travel Institute back in late 2014, I had big ideas for the site. We were going to build big databases of information, post content like madmen and turn it into the ultimate location for discussing all things time travel. As things progressed, though, I had trouble finding the right combination of software and strategy that satisfied my vision. We switched software a few times, tried various other ideas, but nothing ever felt right.
After a while, I decided I didn't have the patience to continue hitting dead ends and breaking things, so I sold the site to a guy who put us on Discourse forums for a while. Unfortunately, something happened in his personal life and he had to back out. I took the reigns back and we eventually ended up back on the xenForo software.
When I took the site back, I decided that maybe the problem stemmed from the focus being too narrow - There's a lot more than time travel to talk about, so we expanded our topics into what you've seen for the last several months. Adding fresh meat like that perked things up for a bit, I made grand plans before I moved my family, but after we got settled at our new home, I just couldn't find the motivation to follow through.
It's taken me a few months, but I've reached the following conclusions:
- In order to turn this site into the vision I have in my head, I need to spend massive amounts of time and energy adding relevant content to the site
- Doing so would prevent me from engaging in the other things I enjoy doing
- While I love the fringe topics we discuss, I don't love them enough to want to make it my second job
"But Cosmo," you're probably thinking, "why can't you just leave things as is and go do something else?"
My answer to that is this:
- This website isn't free to run. It costs me and my family real money, and I also have to spend time keeping things up to date and secure.
- Simply ignoring the site and moving on to something else wouldn't be much different than putting a bullet through its head... Just a lot slower.
- My day job is web design and development. It goes against my nature to not achieve satisfaction with my projects.
- I think the changes I'm making overlap the interests of many of our current members enough to the point that nothing is going to fall by the wayside.If anything, the more generalized approach will probably lower the intimidation barrier and get some fresh faces in here.
That said, here's what's new:
New Forum Software
Yes, we're back on Discourse. xenForo is beginning to show it's age, and it's not a software I enjoy using anymore. I'm aware they're working on a new version, but I've seen the developer previews and there's not much that excites me about it.
Discourse is something I've always loved using. It's a from-scratch reboot, and I feel like it reimagines what a modern Internet discussion platform should be today, in a world of ubiquitous smartphones, tablets, Facebook, and Twitter.
I think in the past, some of you didn't like it because it was difficult to read using the default "light" theme. Well, we now have a "dark" theme option which you can enable in your account settings page:
Let's face it, there's only so much that can be said about some of these topics before a) nobody post anything new, b) you're scraping the bottom of the barrel and using Weekly World News as a source, or c) the lack of quality posts allow the weirdos to get to the top with nonsense garbage that nobody understands.
Time travel and paranormal categories are still there (and will stay there), but I'm placing a larger emphasis on subjects I know I can contribute to far more often. These categories (which you can see on the categories page) are things I do every day, I have related side-projects I'm working on, or otherwise things I enjoy, know about and can help people out with or contribute to. This means you'll see more new stuff more often, and that new stuff will be original content, not something I copy/pasted from reddit in order to pretend the site wasn't dead..
No More Blog
The blog is done. ff we're going to do a blog, it should be done the right way with regularly scheduled posts and original content. This just wasn't sustainable for our lifestyle, and I want the things I share to be done so organically because I have something real to say; not because it's Tuesday and oh god I better get this thing up before dinner but I have nothing interesting to say.
There's also nothing about a blog post that doesn't also work just as well as a forum thread.
The main site will just be a landing page for the time being. As my projects progress and I have something worth sharing, I'll create a dedicated pages for those projects and give them an easy way to find them. From now on, pretty much everything is going to live here at the forums.
So, that's about it. I understand these changes might upset some, and I get it. Your home is where your stuff is, and I've tampered with what what attracted you there in the first place. In the end, though, I'm just one guy trying to keep a promise to Mop, myself and you guys to keep this all online
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them here (or you can send me a private message). I hope you enjoy it here!