Happy 9th Birthday LISNews!!

LISNews started on this day in 1999. LISNews has been through 4 web servers, and 4 different content management systems. LISNews remains an interesting place to read and discuss issues thanks to all the many people who work to keep the site going.

Every year I do my best to thank everyone who works hard to make LISNews. People Like Stephen Michael Kellat who does the podcast. Everyone who has submitted stories over the years, Lee Hadden, Bob Cox, Charles Davis, Gary Price, Steven Fessenamiar.

All the LISNews authors who’ve come and gone like Steven M. Cohen, Rochelle Hartman, Ieleene and many others. The current authors like Birdie, Bibliofuture, Great Western Dragon and everyone else who posts stories I’d never find. More authors make this site better. More collaboration, more cooperation, and more involvement from more people can only help make LISNews stronger. They bring diversity, breadth, and depth. There must be a nice slogan there somewhere.

There are three people who really made this all possible. Without their help, LISNews would not exist as it does today. Joe Frazee for his Linux skills, Nabeal Ahmed for teaching me how to program, and Steve Galbraith for posting stories with me in the early days.

There are far too many people involved with LISNews for me to be able to thank everyone, and that’s the beauty of it all. I’ve always strived to make LISNews an open site that allows as many people to participate as possible. I think collaboration is the key to success in most ventures, and LISNews is no exception. I’ve never really thought of LISNews as “my site,” because it’s truly a group effort, I just keep the thing running. At this point I’ve either been proven right on that idea, or the site is empty. Everyone who has had special “author powers” deserves a big pat on the back for the time and effort they put in to post stories. The authors are really the most important part of the site, since they are the people who post the stories that keep us all coming back. Someday, I hope, I’ll be able to pay them for their hard work.

LISNews started as a small, hand made, static HTML site with a few pages, and just a few stories. I simply wanted to see if I could make a web site, any web site. I eventually figured out how to get PHPSlash installed and running, and that code kept us going for a few years. Several years ago back I said farewell to that dear old friend, and untold hours of development, and moved to the “real” Slashcode. Slashcode allowed more interaction and participation. With journals, moderation, the zoo, and many other features. Slashcode was nice, but it was also a huge PITA, so a couples years back I moved to Drupal, and never regretted it for a second. LISNews now provides what seems like a never ending array of goodies to help kill some time at work, or home, or wherever you happen to be.

So that’s where we’ve been, where we are now, what about where we’re going?
Honestly, I don’t know. The future of LISNews is still not clear to me at this point, and it’s not from lack of ideas, but rather, too many ideas, and no time to move on them. That’s not to say the long term future has ever been clear to me, but it may actually be less clear now than ever before. Lately I’ve had even more ideas, and even less time. I just don’t know what direction to move in now. At this point I can’t imagine life with out it, but I’m not entirely sure what to do with it, what to change, or what to leave unchanged.

I’ve really enjoyed watching the site grow over the years, watching the hits increase, and the comments and participation come alive has been wonderful. It’s been fun watching the journals. The journals are being used much more than I had thought/hoped they would have been, and a few have actually generated some discussion, so I know they’re being read. It’s been even more fun watching the moderation

I just hope the site will remain interesting for people. I don’t want LISNews to stagnate, but at the same time I don’t want to move too quickly and try things that are not of any interest to people. The site continues to be interesting to me, and I hope we can continue to make it interesting to others as well. New features will, I hope, add to our usefulness.

With a growing family and LISHost I have less time to devote to LISNews, so many ideas, so little time, this is why I am always looking for more authors. Many days it’s all me, and I don’t like that. I don’t think of this is my site, and you all shouldn’t be stuck reading just what I post. The variety, depth and breadth of stories we get from having more people participate really makes things more interesting.

Please consider helping out if you have time. Share a story, write a story, volunteer as an author, moderate or simply leave a comment. Aloha, and always, I value your feedback.