RHDN turns four! What a fourth year its been! RHDN and its members have definitely proven we're tough and have some serious staying power this year. After being embroiled by a dramatic Internet hacking caper in June from a HyperVM exploit, our VPS server fell to complete data loss along with thousands of others. We were down, but far from out! We suffered a few weeks of downtime, rebuilt from backup, and restored remaining information with the help of our strong user base. Fast forward a few months later and we're back to near record traffic and visits once again! If that can hardly leave a dent on RHDN and its members, I don't know what can! It was a proud moment to see everybody work together, rebuild, and move forward to become better than ever!
This year saw several big improvements to the site. With RHDN 2.2 we saw: full site UTF-8 support to better serve our global community, a new font section was introduced, and navigation and functional improvements were made. We also revitalized and reworked our IRC channel #romhacking.net to better tie in with the site and be the extension to RHDN it was meant to be. Joining together our two staffs, we kicked off the improved channel with a two day meet and greet IRC event. It was great to expose new people to IRC and have them come out to the channel for a fun online event. We will also definitely be considering the possibilities of what can be done for future events. Some ideas considered would be a Q&A session, mentoring session, or even a small ROM hacking class.
The largest global force of ROM hackers ever assembled is still in full force and propelling RHDN one year closer to being the longest lasting ROM hacking focused site of its kind! What challenges does RHDN face for year five? We've got to continue to encourage, promote, and facilitate user contribution. Our contribution base is strong, but there's still room for more of us to join the band and bring RHDN to the next level! Our user contribution is what makes RHDN what it is. We will continue to look for more ways to give additional site editing power to the users, display your contributions, and hopefully encourage new people to jump on the contribution bandwagon! We will certainly continue to evaluate site navigation and functionality to improve the user experience and make it easier than ever for you to contribute!
The overwhelming majority of our new users today come from Google searches on a variety of topics from gaming to emulation. Sometimes, the search terms may be unrelated (such as game titles) to what we do here. We have to continue to improve our accessibility to outsiders and gracefully deal with people who do not know what our community is all about, and other 'growing pains' so to speak. RHDN has grown beyond its niche roots and we have to look at ways to continue to adapt to our large site status.
So, what's in store for 2010? I've already mentioned a few things throughout that we will be trying to achieve. Surely, we'll see an RHDN 2.3 release covering several of those items. Though no official development plan has been made yet, I'd expect you may see: an improved site and forum layout, improved submission form interface and options, fun additions to your profiles and community database pages, enhanced database relationships, and possibly a new section or two!
If you've got some good ideas or ways to improve the site, we'd love to hear them in the Site Talk section of our forums! Its only with a combined effort that we can continue to be the unwavering global force that we are today and keep RHDN a valuable resource for years to come! We can make year five the best year yet!Relevant Link: