Happy Holidays and Vive 2003 Year in Review
Date: Thursday, December 25 2003
It's holiday time again, and whatever sort of celebration you're having this year, we wish you all the best.
Site updates will officially resume on Monday, although I may stick my head in once or twice before then anyway so feel free to continue posting material.
Meanwhile I thought I'd take a minute to review the past year for Vive.
It's been a fantastic first year so far. I had this idea back in late fall of 2002 and with the help of Jesse van Herk and a few others, launched the site in January. It was good enough then, slim as the content initially was, to interest Mel Hurtig, who remains a staunch supporter (and many thanks to him).
In our first month we had about 1400 hits total. Now it's an average of 2500+ or so a day, and growing. Google news carries our content now, and roughly a thousand sites are linking to us.
We also have almost 300 site members, many of whom post information and comments to the site regularly (which is MUCH appreciated). Over time we've also grown the team to include some great columnists and board members.
We've built some new partnerships with other like-minded sites like the Canadian Democratic Movement, and we greatly appreciate those relationships. And we've had the opportunity to scoop the "real" papers on a few things by posting some excellent original articles, such as our debate on left nationalism and the very first review of what I think will be a very important book, "The American Empire and the Fourth World" by Tony Hall.
We're also very proud of the fact that we've gained national media attention for our email campaign asking the government not to give Lockheed Martin (and others) the contract for the next Canadian census (even before the Council of Canadians got on it). Considering our non-existent budget and volunteer staff, that was a major coup for us. Thousands of letters were sent but that battle is not over, and we hope to run other actions on that and related issues in the new year. And remember, the census campaign came out of reader posts and suggestions, so the shape of those actions will largely depend on your involvement.
There is still so much to be done to continue to grow and improve. We are very close to officially incorporating as a non-profit, and we'll soon be moving to a new server run by our own tech director as part of his company, Super Fast Ninja Hosting Concern. The new server will eliminate some of the occasional technical problems we've had (like a few days of downtime, and bounces in email).
And then it will be on to new and different challenges and steps forward. We will finally fix the translation tool, and hopefully find more technical volunteers so we can continue to build a team of innovators that can come up with new ways to "do" advocacy and ePolitics. I'd like to see even more participation in the site, including more governing and advisory board members and volunteers, and especially more people posting original content. We will continue to improve the site look and design. We will work on coalition building and building more bridges with other individuals and organizations. And of course we're also always looking for other ideas, so feel free to drop us a line if you have them!
All of that is meant to help us continue to fulfill our mission to provide a forum where Canadians can get educated, get together, and start to take some action to ensure that the Canada of the future will be the best that we can make it.
Hope you'll be there to help us. We couldn't do it without you, since in the end, this is your site, and you make it what it is.
All the best and once again, happy holidays.
- Susan Thompson
on behalf of the Vive board