2007 is going to be a great year on Oasis and Adrian and I have a lot of stuff in the works.
Since we've been alluding to "changes" coming up, it seems like the start of the new year might be a good time to tip our hat a little bit as to what we're planning.
In the very near future, Oasis will become two sites.
www.oasismag.com will be the site you're on now, with interviews with openly gay people and reviews of theater, TV shows, DVDs, and movies.
www.oasisjournals.com will launch soon and house the community aspect of the site, which is all of your journal content, poems, stories, and forums. Unlike the site as it has existed for a while, we want to give you more of a sense of ownership of your content, the first step of which will be giving users their own sites, so my site on there will be jeff.oasisjournals.com. You will get the opportunity to pick the URL of your journal on Oasis, as well.
As we anticipate the site to expand, we are also preparing for that by letting you link to your friends within the Oasis Journals site. This feature will also let you share some posts with everyone and others with only your Oasis "buddies."
The sites will share one user database and forum, so technically you will be able to post, get your private messages and everything across both sites exactly the same as you do now. oasismag.com will have links to recent journals on oasisjournals.com, and oasisjournals.com will have recent stuff posted to the magazine site.
The breakdown, as I see it, is that my role moving forward will largely be on oasismag.com and that a lot of that content is geared to attract new members, retain current members, and to engage and help build the Oasis community. Adrian's role will primarily be rolling out new features to the journals side, to get us to a point where we have our own version of a LiveJournal/MySpace.
The biggest task ahead of us for 2007 requires all of your help. I think Oasis is a special place, and nothing makes me happier and more joyful than seeing people use the site to find solace and take positive steps in their life, while getting support from one another. The challenge is to grow the site and preserve what makes Oasis special.
From this point on, Oasis will not have any major redesigns and updates and then sit static for long periods of time. Adrian and I are both committed to making Oasis a priority. It will mean regularly updated content from me, and regular feature rollouts from Adrian. And once we get rolling, there will be more contests and opportunities to participate on both sides of the site.
So, consider this your site. If you think a feature needs to be implemented differently, tell us. If you think I'm overlooking someone to profile, tell me. But, most of all, we need to work together to maintain the integrity of the site. There is no risk of us becoming a boring and bland corporate site, because I trust all of you to keep us in line.
The rules of the site are simple: treat everyone as you want to be treated, learn to resolve your differences, and trust that everyone here has your best interest at heart. If we all follow these rules, this little experiment in utopia might just work.
Thank you for your support of Oasis. I can't wait to get the new momentum going, which will really kick in when I am back in San Francisco from the holidays on January 10. We'll do a bunch of contests in January, so don't forget to come to the site every so often. I've got a stack of nice stuff back home in my apartment just waiting for you to win it!
Happy New Year!