What have we learned? A lot actually. I think we confirmed a lot of what we already knew:
1. New users can be very friendly, excited about Hubski and often need some guidance.
2. Many of the old-users will help the new users out. This is awesome
3. Many of the old-users like to take a week or two long Hubski vacation until the influx subsides. Hey all, you can come back now.
4. Many of the new users will act as though Hubski was just created and will make many suggestions for improvements. Many of which already exist.
5. The users that stick around tend to be those that take the time to suss out what it is this place is all about. To use kleinbl00's phrase, they "lurk moar."
6. Trolls will troll. Use the tools. Trolls get bored. But during an influx, new tools tend to emerge.
7. Conversations about muting and free speech will occur. These conversations are tiring for old-users as we've had them many times. Your feed is your feed, your posts are your posts. You get to decide who you let in. Not much to add here.
8. The site will normalize again, ideally with some more newbies that we can all get to know and welcome in to the community. This always happens. It's the calm after the storm and some of the best "hubski-ing" occurs during this period imo.
9. The level of "askhubski" type of posts will grow substantially. Many of the questions are ones we have hashed out many times in the past. This can be annoying to older users. My advice is to filter #askhubski for a while.
10. We as a site will be tested as to how scalable we are. We will make changes as needed and be better off for it.
All of these things occurred. We are in a good place as a community. We need to examine how we can further mitigate the risk of a troll(s) effecting the experience of new users and old users alike. It's a problem that several new and old users pm'd me about. It's worth solving.
We need to figure out how we are going to pay for the site. I really appreciate all of the ideas that you all have provided. Particularly KB.
We have a LAUNDRY list of to-do's on the site that mk is going to be returning to. We couldn't have brought on rob05c at a better time. I happen to know that forwardslash is damn close to getting a new and more robust search up and running. I know that insomniasexx and I are on the same page regarding the future of the site and I look forward to sharing some of our ideas with mk upon his return. -I am personally of the opinion that the future of Hubski doesn't involve advertising dollars, but rather a fee for service model (no fee for you guys, but for content creators) that leverages Discussion Via Hubski. The more I think about it, the more this makes sense to me. I have no desire to EVER sell any user info (we don't really have any anyways) to an advertiser. But I think mirroring the discussions we have here back on the content creators site for a small fee makes sense. What do you guys think?
As I mentioned before, I like the donation model too. A site financially supported by it's users with some incremental revenue from a proprietary commenting system which leverages the most thoughtful, kickass community online.... sounds like a plan to me.
Thoughts on my rambling post?