Happy 1 year anniversary of HepBCommunity (23rd Sept)

Dear all,

Things have been so busy that I forgot to stop and celebrate the 1 year anniversary of HepBCommunity.org (formerly HepBConnect.com). I want to thank you all for your contributions to this community, from the people who have been here from the very start to those who have just joined us. Everyone helps shape the culture here and I’m proud of what we’ve all been able to achieve. Here’s a short list of what we’ve been able to acheive since starting:

  • We’ve added 550 members from all over the world to the forum
  • We’ve recorded more than 185,000 page views of the almost 2,000 posts on the site.
  • Great experts in the field (including super-star contributors @MarkDouglas, @Joan_Block, @Pietro_Lampertico/@PLampertico, @simone.strasser, and @john.tavis) have volunteered their time and expertise to the site, answering questions (generally within 24 hours).
  • A welcoming, supportive, and positive environment for everyone to share their experiences with each other.

So what does the next year bring? Our leadership group (myself, @chari.cohen, @Joan_Block, @Suwang88, @jessicah) has been hard at work planning and guiding the site to bigger and better things. Here’s a short list of what we’re planning:

  • The most important part is to grow the site to support more people. We’ll be doing this with a combination of promoting awareness in the media (as we have done almost constantly since starting if you look in the Hep B Media category), as well as digital and in-person awareness. This includes handing out business cards with our name on it and pinning up posters (both already designed and starting to be distributed in clinics in the US and Australia - Please contact me if you would like some for your area!). We will also be trying a bit more digital marketing (Facebook and Google ads), though these cost a fair amount.

  • As we expand and stabilise, we will be able to do a lot more to support our users and the culture. This includes sub-forums for different languages/with google translate functions, promoting more users to moderator and leadership positions (to really guide the site from the bottom up), start forming patient-led groups to make significant change in the field, holding more events (lectures, meet-ups, etc.) to support the group.

  • Getting some funding. We have been lucky enough to be supported by a huge number of partners to establish ourselves. We’ve also had thousands of dollars in generous donations (see the forum golden rules for more information about doing this) to support us for these features, to help us with server costs, and hopefully to hire some staff to do the admin needed to maintain/expand the site. I’m constantly writing grant applications for HepBCommunity and we may have some good news soon, so watch this space.

But I think what is most important is that you (as the community) let us know what you want to see in this space and this world. In the end, I want to serve the affected community as effectively as I can and to do that, I need your input.

I hope you can all agree that we’ve made huge strides in the last year and hope that we will maintain (or even exceed) the momentum we’ve started here.

Thank you all,
Thomas

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Hi Thomas,

Happy Anniversary! What a year it has been. I am so impressed by you and what you have been able to accomplish with hepbcommunity. I am happy to have been a member since the beginning of hepbconnect to hepbcommunity and experience its evolution from hblist. I want to thank the founders and all those involved with hblist for all the work they did that precluded hepbcommunity. That was a great foundation for the evolution of this community to become what it is today.

Thank you Thomas for your unrelenting passion. The MEGA hours of work, effort and care you put towards this forum on top of your career, research, projects, directing organizations, family and personal life. Again, I am so impressed by you and you are an inspiration to us all.

Thank you to all of the @HealthExperts for your volunteered time and your compassion and concern for this community. I know it takes me a long time to do a post (especially since they are usually long), so I know you all have to take a good chunk of time out of your own busy professional and personal lives.

Thank you to all of the members of this community that contribute and try to help others with information, sharing of experiences and asking questions and also the comradery and helping each other feel a part of the CHB family.

My only input I can think of right now is that I am hoping that the virtual meetups become a major part of this community. I believe that being able to converse in real time in a relaxed setting with all the wonderful people on here is so dynamic. It adds a different perspective and offers a more personal touch than just reading and typing. I hope more and more people will be able to participate in these meetups and that we will be able to accommodate for growth if it happens.

Congratulations Thomas and hepbcommunity.org!

-Paul

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Thank you for your kind words, Paul, and I should mention that you have been a great example of a forum user/moderator. We all appreciate your efforts and work on these forums too.

TT

P.S. A few houses do Halloween here in Australia, but it’s not the norm around my area.

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Thank you guys for putting this forum together! Until this forum, I was living with my hepatitis b alone

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I want to deliver a HUGE shout out for @ThomasTu! HepBCommunity is his idea and the product of his passion for helping the HBV community. Way to go Thomas!!!

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Amazing achievements Thomas and team!! I am very proud to see the Hepatitis B community together like this and once again thank you for letting me be a part of it :slight_smile:

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I agree with everything that has been said about the hepbcommunity.org forum. Thank you Paul for recognizing the one year Anniversary. What a milestone. And yes, Thank you to Thomas for putting this together and persevering to ensure that there is an online community to no one to live with hep b alone!! Always, Joan

P.S. And let’s all be sure to thank Thomas’s wife who is probably getting a little bit less attention since he’s responding to all of our posts!!!

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