Wow! It’s hard to believe that is has been one year since the creation of the Navy General Board website, time sure does fly when you are having fun! We did a lot over the past year and we have even more planned for the coming years. To give our readers an outline of what we have planned, I have prepared the Inaugural State of the Website Address for the NGB website!
We have come a long way since the creation of the website on January 15, 2017. Following our very first article on the Iowa class battleships, we have added another 75 articles. This is in no small part due to our growing team.
So first and foremost we should thank our new crewmembers who joined us on the good ship NGB:
- Matthew Wright
- Andy South
- Travis Tomaszkiewicz
Not to mention others who help us with proofreader, sharing photos, and turning us onto new leads.
Thanks to this help, we have had 50,000 different people read our articles this past year. Our work has been shared on over 50 different websites across the globe and has been followed by people in over 160 countries. It is a source of immense pride that our work is enjoyed by a Navy Veteran in the United States to a naval news site in France. From a casual reader in China to a defense forum in Spain. From the writer in New Zealand to a naval history group in the United Kingdom.
Probably the biggest driving force behind our rapid growth is our presence on various social media platforms:
Of course, we are also looking into further advances on new platforms. I am looking into starting up Naval General Board accounts on Instagram and Pinterest.
In addition, I am in talks on Facebook to expand the NGB Facebook Groups. I am looking into bringing other Facebook groups focused on naval history under the NGB umbrella. Not only will this expand our readers, but it will let me sort groups based on specific historic niches (WW1, WW2, Modern, Age of Sail, Etc).
A Professional Design
Our ad program is starting to produce results. We are steadily collecting money that will be used to fund a professionally designed NGB website. I can do many things, but as far as creating website layouts go, I am a novice at best. A professionally designed website will be faster, easier to navigate, and better looking compared to anything I could produce.
Once we collect the needed funds to develop the new website and host it, I plan on removing the ad program. For the time being, its a necessary evil, but I dislike their presence. I have ideas to continue further expanding the website, but I will collect the funds to do so through other means which I will explain below.
Bringing Back the Forum
The other big change for this year is the reintroduction of the forum. As the number of our readers continue to soar, a forum would allow for a place where debates and discussions can be had more easily compared to the various social media platforms we currently use. A dedicated forum will allow authors and researchers to engage with readers. It should allow us to bring all of our readers together, improving the website environment for everyone.
A Few More Ideas being Kicked Around
I have been thinking about ways to reward the community that is responsible for helping us grow during the past year.
One of my favorite ideas is creating a challenge coin. Suggested by a community member on Facebook, a challenge coin is a small medallion and has been a part of history since ancient Rome. They were passed out as rewards for achievement and marked the holder as belonging to a specific society or group. I think they would be a good way to reward members for helping advance the website or as a reward for community contests.
We also had another member suggest producing shirts or some other merchandise to help fund the website. I do like this idea as well. It might be an ideal way eventually replace the advertisements. I will look into this idea further as time goes on. Either way, I would definitely think a Navy General Board shirt will make an appearance in due time.
Right not the biggest goal of the year is the redesign for the website. However, that does not mean that we are not looking at what comes after that. It was mentioned before, but we are still investigating the opening of sister websites that focus on ground and air forces. We have had a few groups approach us with this idea. However, I want every website to be run to the same standards that NGB follows. In that regard, I believe that starting something brand new would be preferential to simply taking over another website. Our readers deserve the best and I intend to give it to them.
One of my biggest goals is to use this website to help preserve history. There is a lot of naval history out there that is at the mercy of various threats. I would like to use this website to help lead a crusade for saving that history. Following the website rebuild, I intend to begin working towards this far grander goal. There are a lot of ships and other historic artifacts out there that need help.
Lastly, we still adhere to our guiding principle of sharing history for everyone. To bring history back to the forefront and make it easily accessible for all. We still have dreams of creating the greatest collection of naval history to be found anywhere. To pursue that dream we will continue improving our website. We will continue making it bigger and grander with every passing year. It’s hard to say when or if we will ever finally stop. Until then though, we have plenty of cool things to strive for, including 80,000 tons of history to potentially build….
Thank you for all of your support during our first year of operation. Here’s to an even greater second year!
Have some ideas, thoughts, or suggestions of your own? Feel free to leave a comment below.