Wednesday, March 9 marked the actual one year anniversary of the birth of Elk Grove Laguna Forums, aka The Eagle. As I recall it was about mid morning after day of heated debate and back and forth over the ridiculous issue of karma on the other site that myself, Doclaguna and Superior got booted. Having already grown tired of the whole issue of not being able to offer an opinion without various groups of people trying to stop it, I already looked into starting my own website a few weeks earlier. I had already signed up for a name, but never did anything with it. I think I had told Joy and Divotmaker about it, but I never did anything else about it and didn’t make it public or post anything. So when mid morning came and we were deleted, I logged into the new website and sent out an email to all the people I knew who were on the other site. The original intention was to just have a place for us to go and talk and not worry about any of the other stuff and offending people. Within a few hours we had about 30 members. Within 3 days I think we had close to 40 members. It was just going to be a hobby.
Then Divotmaker and I talked more about it and we could see it was going to be something that could be more than just a few friends hanging out and we could have a real discussion forum website. Then we realized the original site was not going to be good enough. It was a free website, but very limited. So Divot suggested this particular format. Being the tech guy, he set it up and I think 5 days after we started we flipped the switch on this website and the rest is history.
Since then we have evolved and made some changes and we continue to tinker here and there with the site to improve it. I had two goals back then and they pretty much are still the same now.
1) Provide a place for people to engage each other in discussions, be open and honest, act like adults and not fear reprisals for their opinions. I think we all know how to act like adults and we don’t need babysitters. Sometimes things get heated, but as you can see even after all that we can still be friends or at least get along. We have had to do very little editing here.
2) Provide a place for businesses to be able to promote themselves in an inexpensive manner. Many businesses simply can’t afford to advertise or afford a website. For $5 a month, they can have their own webpage. This website is not about making money. We do have bills and we do have to spend money to promote ourselves. It’s not a lot of work running it to be honest. It kind of runs itself and Divot and I just guide it along.
After one year, here are some numbers:
Not bad for one year. That’s about 7 new threads and 91 posts a day. The strength of our website is the people and the content. It’s not quantity, it’s quality. We have a very intelligent group of people here.
The critics said we wouldn’t last. That we couldn’t get past being a part of EGO. I think we have proven now that we can and we have. Of course it took awhile and there are sometimes still random comments, but for the most part that is history and we have moved on. I’ve chosen to be a proactive owner. I’m not a mystery man, behind the curtain. If you ask me something I will answer it and I don’t ignore people. I have strong opinions and that’s who I am. I am sure I have offended some people and scared some off, but I think in order for this place to succeed it’s necessary for me to be a part of the discussions, not just sit back. I think some people thought I would need to back off and be more of manager, not a participant, but that’s not me.
I would like to thank all of you that are here and participating. None of this is possible without your support and participation. I am humbled that so many of you left the other site to come here. I know many of you are members of both sites and that is cool too. There’s no reason not to be. We have lots of lurkers out there. I am sure many maybe somewhat intimidated to participate because they are not as opinionated. That’s your choice. We don’t bite, we really don’t. Also if there is anything you want to talk about that is not controversial, you can do that too. Not every subject has to be a heated debate. Many are just fun back and forth discussions. Like what kind of weird thing do you with your food? How about that Charlie Sheen? Light topics do well too.
The key to the success of this site is the content. That’s where I need your help. I can only look for so many stories. I think we all do a really good job of initiating new discussions. Some work and some fall flat. Never know which ones will take off. Another thing is you are the eyes and ears in the community. If you see something or hear something, and want to let us know, please do. The people who participate the better the site is.
Here’s a challenge to all the members on here. Look through your email address book. We all know lots of people here locally. Send them an email with a link to our site. Tell them how much you like it and they should check it out.
Thanks again for the support and participation. It has been a fun year.