It is hard to believe that it has been nine months now that the website has been created and only six months since the Facebook page was launched. In that relatively short amount of time, we have seen tremendous growth. Almost 5000 people follow the website and we add another 200 people to that number every week. Articles published on the website have been shared several thousand times and been seen by almost one million people across the world. With so many readers, I feel that it is time that share I share the goal of this website. I owe it to the readers to continue improving the website, so I cannot let the website sit idle and grow stale as a result. So in addition to the goal, I will also layout the tentative groundwork for future growth. This growth will lead to great things, a flagship of the naval forces that a museum will house.
To be honest, I had at first merely intended for the NGB website to be a place where people can discuss naval history. Sure, I had/have dreams of greatness in regards to the website, but being the realist that I am, I did not get my hopes up. However, with the continuing success, I am starting to believe that greatness is much closer than I had anticipated. With more hard work and continued improvements, I believe the website can be the bridge to the grandiose plans I have in mind. What are those grandiose plans? I’ll lay them out for you.
The Ultimate Goal
For various reasons, history appears to be on a decline. It has lost the importance that it once had. I have a hunch that one major reason is that it is boring and that it has to be made interesting to reestablish interest. I believe the best way to do that is to put people in a position where they are not just learning it, but there are inside it. The best examples are preserved warships found throughout the United States. Anyone can talk about the battleship North Carolina or read about it in a history book. However, when people get to actually roam about the ship and touch it with their own hands, they learn just how incredible it is. It reinvigorates their interest.
So I want to create a museum that surpasses all others. One that lets people experience history first hand, putting them right in the middle of it. Encompassing naval, ground, and air combat from past to present. Each of these areas will house recreations of some of the most incredible fighting machines found throughout history. Simply put, I want people to be wowed beyond belief.
Some pieces will be real just like any other museum. However, for some of the biggest items, recreations will have to be made. Some will be static models, others will be fully functional pieces.
The greatest piece of this museum will be a recreation of a Montana class battleship. Not only will it be the flagship of the naval forces wing of the museum, it will be the flagship of the museum as a whole. It will be a seagoing extension of the museum, acting as an ambassador of sorts. When not moored at the museum, it will travel across the globe as a mobile showpiece. Something bigger than the drivable tanks of Bovington and more accessible to people than the flyable B-29 of the commemorative air force. Not only that, but it will also set a record of largest battleship. Can anything be cooler than the breaking of that record at a time when battleships were thought to be antiques.
Growing the Website
To go from where we are now to my ultimate goal will require several evolutions on the website. They are still subject to small tweaks, But I have the first couple steps worked out, so I will list the upcoming changes below.
- Phase I – Growth. Build up the followers on social media and subscribers on the website. (Current Phase we are in now)
- Phase II – Advertising. With daily readers reaching a high level, I will allow advertising on a small banner at the bottom of each page. Nothing to interfere with a person reading a website, but enough to make a few dollars each day.
- Phase III – Content Expansion. With the collected money, it will be completely reinvested into the website immediately. Some will be used to fund more guest written content, but the majority will go to the purchase of a new dedicated server to house the website. The result will be much faster load times for all readers.
- Phase IV – A complete rebuild of the website, this time professionally done. Even faster load times, better interface, and greater user experience.
All of these changes should be complete within the next couple of months. Past that, I am still discussing future expansion with the other writers and readers. I’d like to thank several readers for submitting some ideas to fund website growth and the battleship project.
- A fee to grant a premium membership level. This would remove the advertising permanently for that user as well as grant early access to content.
- A Website store for NGB T-shirts and other items.
I will investigate each of these ideas and several others to determine which will be the most effective. Of course, everything will run before the community first. As always, I welcome all ideas, suggestions, criticism, etc. Feel free to list them below or on Facebook.
As I said, I am pursuing a grandiose goal. However, with our growth, I feel that we have the capability of making the impossible possible. I myself will work tirelessly towards this goal and I believe others will too.
Most importantly, I’d like to thank the continued support of all of our readers up until this point. We could not have gotten to this point without your support and we cannot continue to grow without it either. So please accept my thanks. You all followed a nobody website that didn’t even exist a year ago and helped build it into something. I hope this site will continue providing you the content you deserve. Here’s to a bright future!