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,