It has been nearly three years since this site was created and a lot has happened in that time. It was always my original intention to get the site up-and-running quickly and, sometime later, concentrate on what worked and to eliminate things that got in the way. The one constant in life is that everything changes; priorities change and people's needs also change. The intention, however, is the same: the site should exist where like-minded people could meet, with the idea of cultivating a multinational mix of thinkers and "'bloggers"; a bit of something for everyone with uncluttered, searchable and easy-to-navigate message boards, help for first-timers to old-timers, and where opinions could be shared and and real discussions would take place.
In the past few years we've witnessed a social revolution as a consequence of the emergence of web-based successes like Facebook, Twitter ... as well as disasters like My Spaces and Google Plus. It's become established fact that these things are now interwoven into the very fabric of everyday life. But, even though Facebook may have become the agent of change that affects how millions of people, businesses and organisations around the world today operate with one another it does not fulfill the need for people to express themselves in more rich, meaningful or relevant ways.
What does this say about The Quoroom and the role it might be able to play in how people, separated by time and distance, can interact with one another? For me - and in some ways it's my dissatisfaction with Facebook because I don't find it comes close to a fair description of "deep and meaningful" - I need something else. As I wrote earlier, with the passing of time, our needs change and evolve.
But, even though I spend hours at the computer, pondering questions about "life, the universe, everything", or keeping my technical skills up-to-date through my web-related hobbies, I have the same basic human need as everyone else. My skills and hobbies notwithstanding, I seek to find ways of reaching out and interacting with the community without the constraints of technology, age group or mind set. It's with this objective that I have some hopes to achieve some measure of success with The Quoroom an interactive and interacting community.
What has changed at The Quoroom?
The Quoroom was one of my first internet websites. It had a simple design and borrowed many of its original features as a legacy from MSN Groups. I discovered that, over time, a lot of those "features" were were unnecessary to the main focus of the site. That main focus was our discussion forum and that's primarily what The Quoroom is about. Other features (such as online chat, picture galleries, even some web-based games) were either clumsy to use, too costly to maintain, underutilised or did not cultivate the community in efficient or effective ways.
Therefore, I felt that it was about time we made a break from the past and took this leap of faith into an uncertain future. This site has been in need of a long-overdue, total makeover. And even though the future of The Quoroom may be uncertain, I don't think that should be a deterrent from making any changes at all.
For those of you who have visited this site over the past three years you will see that this site now looks totally different. I hope that people will conclude that, if it looks different that it also means that it is different. The difference isn't just in terms of looks; I hope that there will be changes in the way that it's used, too.
This is a long-term view. Change doesn't happen overnight. I accept full responsibility for the fact that, over the past three years, my involvement with the community has been sorely lacking. It's because of my lack of involvement that the community has become non-existent. It's also because of the rise in popularity of social media giants, like Facebook and Twitter, that people have moved to those other services in order to meet their particular needs. I don't intend to compete with social networking titans such as the ones I've mentioned. I'm a realist; I have no megalomaniac delusions! I would, however, with your help, like to rejuvenate an idea I began many years ago and build anew a site that contains things of interest to our community.
I haven't been idle over the last three years, either. I have spent thousands of hours working with the development team that built the discussion forum software that is such an important part of this website. I'm very pleased that the Kunena forum software has been a worldwide success (it's used on over half-a-million websites) and I don't think I'm being immodest by saying that I've played an important role in that project. The benefits from that involvement are for all to see in the way that this site uses the Kunena forum component.
The makeover that I've given to the site is only one aspect of the changes that I have in mind. I welcome everyone who visits this small pocket of the internet and who's taken the time to read what I've written. If you are interested in what you now see, I would greatly appreciate your feedback, ideas, comments and suggestions. If you do nothing else, please add a few words to our Daily sign-in thread just to say that you've visited.