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#85406 - 10/06/04 10:46 AM On The Coop
Admin @ The Coop Offline
Bantam

Registered: 07/11/02
Posts: 71
Loc: United States
Hi Everyone.

I started The Coop in 1995 at a time before the World Wide Web was rally main stream. It started out as a project to learn HTML – I needed a subject, raised poultry and there were really no other “small flock” poultry sites out there. The Coop was born. And we were amazed that over a 100 people had seen it. In August of 2004 the visitors to The Coop averaged 1,900 per day, Just shy of 60,000 for the month. Visitors viewed an average of 9,150 pages per day or 283,000 pages in the month. At that rate it is about 3.5 million pages viewed each year during ¾ of a million visitor sessions. With this growth has come a host of new management challenges.

The Classroom at The Coop now has more registered members than there ere people in the town where I grew up. Even in a small town you had to deal with a few bullies and crackpots amongst the good citizens. Ol’ man Jenkins hit the Jack Daniels last night and turned the Smith’s mailbox into Swiss Cheese with his 22., or the PTA ripped apart by a civil war over the theme for upcoming School Carnival. We get the same sorts of things in this virtual community and try to keep the impact to a minimum.

Probably the biggest issue that seems to be rearing up lately is how to answer the needs of large number of folks new to poultry while also providing the more serious and in depth forum for experienced poultry people.

In my Poultry life, I’ve found that most of my knowledge comes from more experienced poultry people who have taken me under their wing and provided guidance and insight into successfully raising birds. This took me from being a city slicker (if you can call a town of 3000 a city) to placing Rocks, Dutch and Embden Geese on Champion Row in some fairly significant shows. I could never have done it nor attained the joy I have had with poultry if these generous “old timers” hadn’t had the patience to share with me. Available books and resources would never substitute. Even today, I find myself entering areas that are new to me and value the input of those who have already explored it. My goal for The Coop is to provide a way for poultry enthusiasts, regardless of their level of expertise to find the resources and fellowship they need.

Achieving that goal and managing the day to day issues is a challenge. I have several wonderful moderators that serve the community out of the goodness of their hearts. In a moderator roll we have to address issues, provide education, confront folks that are not acting in the best interest of the community and figure out how to keep the whole thing running smoothly. It takes time and dedication. Without the folks that serve in a moderator function, I couldn’t keep the board open. I have limited resources of time and dollars to manage the board. I work full time plus at my own business, plus have the Birds and other time commitments. Yesterday I took about five hours out of my work day and dropped $100 to upgrade the board. I don’t mind, but I want people to realize that this is not manna from heaven, it comes about by work and investment of resources. We aren’t Time Warner and The Coop operates on a shoestring and the graces of some wonderful volunteers. This is not only the official moderators but all the experienced hands who step up to the plate and help out users with a need. Whether it is providing help with a poultry problem, pointing them towards a resource, answering questions about how to be an effective part of the community or explaining how to use the features of the board, it is all essential and all appreciated..

I am currently exploring ways to make the board more efficient and to always strive to meet my goals for the community. Things I am currently considering:
• Compiling some of the Frequently Asked Questions into a series of FAQ pages.
• Creating a glossary for new users.
• Changing mechanisms for managing the links list and finding a moderator for that function.

I welcome input and insights and will probably post questions on this new forum over time to solicit ideas on how best to move the Coop forward.


Thanks for all of your help, patience and input. This site wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for all the folks that make it possible.

Loren
The Coop

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#85407 - 04/11/07 05:26 PM Re: On The Coop
Moderator2 Online   content
Administrator
Flock Leader

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 330
Loc: Eastern USA
Hello all:

I would like to add that Lorens post was made over two years ago and the numbers he quoted then have increased considerably. We have more members, many more page hits, more posts and more moderators putting in more hours. The purpose of the board remains the same though. I would like to thank our moderator staff and our helpful members for making the Classroom a success. To keep things orderly we have asked a few favors of our members and I thank those who have co-operated.
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M2

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Moderator:  Admin @ The Coop, Moderator2