About SurvivalistsSite.com - How a simple idea grew and took on a life of its own.
I hope you like SurvivalistsSite.com because it is my creation. I'd been toying with the idea of an emergency preparedness/survival website for a while when I suggested to Leslie, the owner of the PreparedSurvivalistsUnite2 Yahoo! group, that I could host a small website for her as an extension of the group. She had spent a lot of time building up PSU2 to what I considered a very good survival group and had almost 800 members. To my mind it was a good partnership, I had the ability and skill to host a website and she had a good group with lots of members.
Originally SurvivalistsSite.com, Leslie's domain name, would consist of a message forum, a simple main web page and a chat server. I came up with a color scheme of black, white and grey which was transferred to the message forums and the chat. I worked on the site for a couple of months here and there getting things to look the way I wanted and then the site went live November 1, 2005.
Once it had gone live I started thinking about showcasing different areas of the site through small banners. This led me to look at some way to rotate the banners, which in turn pointed me towards an adserver as the easiest way to do what I wanted. I installed and tested the adserver and created a bunch of ads showcasing different areas and aspects of the site. Since we were running our own adserver I decided to offer to sell advertising just in case anyone was interested, with any luck we will have an advertiser or two in the future.
A bit more time went by and I thought about special content that could be longer than posts in the message forums. I'd been reading a few blogs and thought that a blog system would be great. I wanted multiple blogs without having to install complete versions of the software and I wanted to be able to customize the look and feel of the blogs so that they fit in with the overall look and feel of SurvivalistsSite.com that I had come up with. I looked at and played around with about a dozen different blog systems before finding one that I liked and could customize the way I wanted. I started a basic blog to test things then renamed it as the default blog and decided that it would be used to announce new bloggers, etc. I found someone who was willing to write a blog and we were up to two blogs. After a while I started my own blog for my rants and to show that not everything had to be 100% survival related.
I approached a few other people about blogs but received either no reply or a reply that they were too busy to do one blog article a month. The last person I approached was too busy initially until I explained that I only expected one article a month at which point he realized that he could do it. Because of his needs I created a webuser account so that he could store files that would be used in his blog. From that came the idea of the Community Pages.
Community Pages are webuser accounts with SurvivalistsSite.com that allow you most of the features of a full hosting account except that they are free. They are available to Bloggers, active members of the Message Forums, and anyone else that wants to have a small emergency preparedness, survival or homesteading related site. Because they are free we do ask that the main page of all Community Pages have the "hosted by" table on the bottom of the main page. If people wish to put the "hosted by" table on additional pages they may do so. Community Pages allow people to post more about themselves than they can in their Message Forums or Blog profiles, they can store files referenced in their blogs, etc. This is our way of giving back to the survival community, and letting those active in the survival community let others know more about them.
With the birth of her son, Leslie is having to take time away from her online activities, which is natural, so I get to play an even more active role in SurvivalistsSite.com. Originally I had planned on being the host and doing the backend stuff. Things haven't quite gone the way I had planned, but then life never does. This fits in with my leadership style, I've always been more of a team player or NCO type than a lead from the front type. I like to be in the background getting my hands dirty instead of out there in the public eye. But we all do what we have to do. As of the writing of this, 01/23/2006, SurvivalistsSite.com has almost 100 users in the message forums and almost 10,000,000... yes, TEN MILLION ... page views for the message forums! I think that shows great promise for the site.
I would like to think that the work I put into SurvivalistsSite.com and all the options available position it to become a great emergency preparedness and survival site. I see it as a community hub where people can have their own areas through the Blogs and Community Pages and give back a little something.
I can't predict the future any more than you can, but I can talk about my thoughts and hopes. I think that SurvivalistsSite.com has a good design and layout, it is neither too plain nor too complex. Each area shares a similar look and feel, a simple one to be sure, but a sameness none the less. With the Blogs and Community Pages we go beyond most sites in that we offer a way for average people to put their thoughts and ideas on the web, and we do this for free. This creates more of a community where everyone can be as active as they want and feel sure that they belong and that they are a valued part of SurvivalistsSite.com as a whole.
This community aspect will hopefully allow SurvivalistsSite.com to become popular with those in the emergency preparedness, survival and homesteading communities. As SurvivalistsSite.com becomes more popular we will attract more members, more Blogs and more Community Pages. This will increase traffic to the site and enable us to approach companies that provide products or services of use to our members for ad revenue. With ad revenue we will be able to improve SurvivalistsSite.com and offer our members more, whatever that happens to be.
SurvivalistsSite.com views itself as part of the greater survival community. Because of this we don't view other survival sites as rivals or competition, but as fellow members of the community. There are many people in the greater survival community, more than enough for all the sites out there. Those sites that are serious about offering something back to the greater survival community will succeed, those sites that only hope to rake in a few dollars while the climate is right will fail.
If you are interested in having your own emergency preparedness, survival or homesteading related Blog or Community Pages hosted for FREE by SurvivalistsSite.com click here for more information.
SurvivalistsSite.com Links: Main Web Page Message Forums Blogs Chat Message Forums & Blogs RSS Info Community