If you can’t build a better community, why not buy it?
Since the inception of TheGreenButton.com five years ago, the forum has served as the foundation of the Windows Media Center Community. TGB has also evolved into a more direct communication channel between us and the team at Microsoft, proving to be mutually beneficial both to us and to the Windows Media Center product itself.
It became apparent a while back that as far as we've come with TGB, there's a lot of untapped potential here, and much we can do with the right resources and attention. After looking at a variety of options, Microsoft continued to pop up as the only potential partner who shared the same views and saw the importance of maintaining this vibrant community. They were also the only one that was truly interested in keeping what we have intact.
That's why I'm pleased to share with all of you that we've signed a deal with the Windows Media Center team at Microsoft to own and manage the TGB web site, which will help take our community to the next level.
Let me assure you that this decision wasn't made lightly, nor without considerable due diligence. Plus, I will continue to be involved with the forum on a regular basis and be closely involved with the transition. Most importantly, there will be no changes to editorial policy and the Windows Media Center team has no intention of changing the community nor restricting the open communication as it exists today. They stated clearly that they benefit from the candid forums — it helps them make their product better. As many of you know, their own employees are active members here and appreciate the free flow of ideas, criticism and praise. So we're looking at this as an opportunity to build on the foundation that's already here. That's OUR commitment to you.
What changes will we see?
* First, the site will physically move to the Microsoft data center later in the summer, and TGB will become a fully supported Microsoft web site. This is great for us — it includes hosting the site on newer, more scalable hardware.
* You'll also start to notice some minor cosmetic changes, including bringing back the actual "Green Button" as the logo for the site.
* And you'll probably see less of an emphasis on ads – in fact they'll all be removed initially. They were a necessary evil we had to pursue to keep the site running, and while they may not all go away indefinitely, any ads you do see will be a lot more relevant and less obtrusive.
What will not change is that the site will continue to be about connecting members of the community. We and the other moderators will work with Microsoft to ensure this. Over time benefits will include an enhanced community feedback infrastructure and innovative socialization features — lots of exciting stuff. But we'll share more about those possibilities in the very near future, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, please let me and the other moderators know what you're thinking. All ideas are welcome. You may use the following thread in the Member's Lounge to discuss: http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/271641/ShowThread.aspx#271641
Administrator, The Green Button