Wow, what a wonderful and exciting year it's been! Lots of new faces, new captions, new drawings, and even a new home for stories!
The last year has brought us a few trials as well, as many are aware, I had to step away for a time last winter due to a personal crisis, trusting my Admin team to hold the fort while I dealt with other issues away from the Haven, only able to visit sporadically during that time. Sara, Crystal, Cassandra, Robyn, and bhu all deserve a hand for the extra time and effort they put in during my absence.
This July we faced possibly the end of our site when our host informed me our traffic was too high to contiune using a shared server, and our estimated annual costs more than trippled. But others saw this as a problem well worth solving, and many jumped to send what they could to help us out, but one individual decided to do as much as she could to help by creating a fundraiser so those that might not normally be able to donate for whatever reason could do something as simple as making a caption to certain criteria and have a donation made in there name. Courtney's Caption Challenge took off immediately, and is a huge reason why currently we have a comfortable amount banked to cover our future expenses! She has led three Caption Challenges thus far with the help of a few friends, and she does plan to have more! For more information on Courtney's Caption Challenges click here.
On a high note, four additional Smartgroups as well as one hundred and forty two Yahoo! Groups have been added to the Gallery's archive as part of my Save the Work Project. To find out more about the save the work project click here.
Today, Rachel's Haven expands it's features list as the doors of the Library open to the public. The interface for the Library is like no others in the genre thus far, and we like to think it's a bit more user friendly, but that's up to you to judge! To learn more about the new Library click here.
Rachel's Haven became carbon neutral! Our host company, at the behest of many account holders as well as their internal leadership committed to only buying energy from renewable resources to power everything for the company. As soon as it was official, I added a new icon to the bottom of each page, publicly declaring our Green status for all to see!
I will only make one promise today about our future developments toward the site, but in this case, I think it's what many have been finding frustration with recently. Rachel's Haven has been experiencing many slow downs in the past few months, load times have climbed faster than the space shuttle at times, and I do find it unacceptable. That is why the next big focus will be on turning this problem around, mainly through the efforts of my wonderful tech team. They already have a few theories as to what is causing it, and now they are ready to dig in and solve this for everyone! Obviously this isn't the only thing under development, but it is and will remain at the top of the list until I am satisfied with the load times, and I do like to think I have high standards!
And now, for those who just want to see the numbers, I have the statistics for Rachel's Haven as of 12:00 am PST on October 3, 2008. For those that want to compare them to our statistics from last year, click here to find them.
Total Members: 2460
Total Posts: 110557
Total Topics: 11616
Average registrations per day: 12.94
Average posts per day: 156.79
Average topics per day: 16.2
Total Boards: 261
Two years ago, I promised four things when founding this site:
Two years ago, my team helped me keep the first three promises, but today, they help me keep the fourth. As of today, October 3, 2008, Rachel's Haven now has a Library for stories of Transgender and Transformation! Any and all are welcome to post their creative works for all to see, and the only requirement to access the Gallery is to register to the site so that we know you to be of age! All comments made on posted work will be credited to your post count on the Forum, just like commenting in the Gallery.
Content standards do apply to posted works, and are similar to the content restrictions for the Gallery. To review the new Library policies, please click here to view them on the Library board in the Forum.
You can access the new Library using either the link on the main menu to the left, or it's alternate link along the top of the page. I would especially like to thank Sara, Cassandra, and Courtney for the extensive time and effort each have put into making the Library a reality!
Tonight many were given access to the Gallery in response to a brand new change to the access rules, designed to reward those individuals that choose to contribute in more significant ways, such as captions, stories, or artwork. For all those I gave access to tonight, congratulations, and enjoy the caption posting status you were all granted as well!
For everyone else, the new access policy is as follows:
Because this Community is about maintaining a positive atmosphere, there are both requirements for entry into the Gallery and rules to follow once you get there if you want to keep the privilege.
Requirements to gain access to the Gallery
1. Gallery access requires 50 Forum posts.
2. An Introduction MUST be posted.
3. Access is NOT automatic. To gain access, you MUST apply to an Administrator through a PM. Sending a link to your Introduction may speed things up.
1. Gallery access requires 10 Captions posted in either the Trading Area and/or the Showcase, or a 5000 word story posted to the Library.
2. An Introduction MUST be posted.
3. Access is NOT automatic. To gain access, you MUST apply to an Administrator through a PM. Sending a link to your Introduction may speed things up as well as your captions and/or story can help speed things up.