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2006: Analogy Two

January 5, 2006

Well, that was eventful, wasn't it?

If 2004 was a little boring at this site, 2005 was just the opposite. Huge things happened, for better and for worse. We changed our name, restructured the whole site, had our biggest event ever, launched multiple new subsites, added a LiveJournal, and had our first staffing change in two years. Lots going on... and lots to take into account in looking at the big picture.

Let's start with the numbers. This year we had 170 updates, of which 97 had fivers or other new material, 25 didn't have new stuff but were relevant to the site, 7 had previews of upcoming material, 34 were link days, and only 7 were excuse posts. 170 updates out of 365 isn't great for what's theoretically a daily site, but otherwise those numbers are pretty good. We had more fivers than last year, not to mention more events. On the other hand, we had longer dry periods; the content would run thick for a couple of months and then thin out for the next couple. (A good example of running thick was June, which featured the end of Voyager Week, the conclusion of ENT S3, 5MD's anniversary, the Doctor Who subsite launch, and the lion's share of Cliffhanger Week.) So I guess it was a mixed bag from the reader's perspective. Plenty to chew on, but not a steady food source.

And then, of course, there are the changes. FiveMinute.net has become something very different from Five-Minute Voyager. Kira and Marc were an enormous part of 5MV, and it'll be some time before things feel right without them. That was certainly my experience -- I tried to motor through it and it worked for a couple of months, but then I just burned out. The lesson is that trying to go on like nothing's changed isn't going to work. It's not the same.

And it shouldn't be.

I went on during Cliffhanger Week about all the big changes we were making. But what are big changes if stuff doesn't, you know, change? Thinking about this site differently isn't just a good idea now, it's necessary. Now that I've realized that, I have a sense of direction I've lacked in recent months.

2005 was our year of transition. 2006 will be the year FiveMinute.net comes into its own. The first step is cleaning house, especially in the About section, which is so far out of date now as to be almost useless. Another important step is finding out what you, the readers, want; I'll be posting a series of threads for that purpose in the 5M.net Talk forum. And then, as I and the staff work on the site over the coming months, we'll learn exactly what it is we've got. There's a new groove waiting for us to find it. I believe 5M.net can be everything 5MV was and more.

Okay, I'm done waxing philosophical. I've made this sound more dramatic than it really is; there's no danger that you won't recognize this place in a while, or that whatever you come here for will be gone. I'm talking big because FiveMinute.net is big to me. It's been part of my life for a ridiculously long time (2006 is the seventh calendar year with updates in it). And for all the ups and downs, I don't see that ending any time soon. So stick around -- the best, as always, is yet to come.

Previous article: The Big Goodbye (9/19/05)

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