(I hope that we have not almost doubled again, before I take the time to do my next newsletter )
New Year's resolution: write at least 4 newsletters in 2011.
Here's the first, 1 year and 8 days since I wrote the last one on New Year's Eve 2009.
Back then we had 708 members: now we are almost double that. at 1507.
Back then we were receiving 7800 visits a month and now it's over 18000.
There have been few technical developments on the site in the last year.
On our return from the Northland trip I had 2 forum software updates to do, which thankfully went without a hitch.
Another upgrade is now available, but I've decided to wait until our return from down south before attempting it (it's always a stressful thing to attempt - with the possibility of ending up with a broken forum and dozens of forum members unable to get their daily "fix" )
The Chatroom continues to be visited by a few people calling "Hello, anybody there?" to be greeted by a deathly silence. It used up too much of my time getting it installed and working for me to give it away without a fight so I think we'll try specifying a fixed day and time every week where Chatters can gather to shoot the breeze.
Let's see if we can't get a regular sched. going.
ChatNight is 8.30pm every Tuesday
The intransigence of the NZMCA Board in refusing to allow us to let their members know of the forum's existence through the Motor Caravanner had caused me quite a lot of angst in the past. Now that our membership has sailed past 1000 and now 1500 I no longer have any worries about the forum's viability and consequently no longer care about that (honestly) and I'm confidant that we are now too big to fail.
As our numbers have grown, the job of selling advertising space has become a little easier and I can report we are unlikely to fall over through lack of finances (although I still intensely dislike the job of selling). Please recognise and support our advertisers: the forum would fold without their support of us.
Recently we were contacted by BudgetGadgets offering us 50 free LED Keyrings to give away. As a result of that we now have a continuing supply of these neat wee things to give away, one each week, to someone who has posted to the forum during the past week (drawn randomly under polite supervision ).
Over the last year the forum has provided an effective "forum" (is the only word I can think of) for rallying support for Freedom Camping issues. We first had our National Clean-up Day, which achieved coverage in several local daily papers as well as a couple of national magazines and was reported on a Caravanner website in Oz. It was also accompanied by several letters to local bodies which appeared to be well received. The evnts were a lot of fun for those who attended and provided an opportunity to meet other forumites. Sadly a follow-up event died through a general lack of support (and probably energy, on my part). But since then a few email salvos (both critical and supportive) have been fired at sleepervan rental companies and enlightened councils, respectively.
Smillie initiated the hugely popular "Where is this?" thread, with over 27000 views to date and with some of you revealing great photography skills. Keep it up
After initially banning Travelogue-type posts, we opened the forum up to these during the year on a trial basis and it has proved to be a big success, with some very entertaining writing and some useful tips on good places to stay emerging.
I continue to be amazed at the expertise that you people have and gratified at the time that you are prepared to devote to sharing that expertise through well considered and constructed replies to forum questions. You are the success of this forum. Thank you.
I also must thank The Crew who help keep an eye on things and who offer me the benefit of their collective judgment and wisdom whenever I feel inadequate. You make the job much easier. Bruce, John, Neil, Ray and Smillie - thank you all (in alphabetical order, so I don't have to sort out a scuffle )