When I first started Bible Software Review and this weblog, back in February 2004, I really had no idea whatsoever about how it was going to turn out. I honestly thought it could fill a void in the Bible software scene, and time has shown this to be the case. So I can only thank you enough for dropping by so frequently, for your encouragement, your constructive criticism, and for letting me feel and know that you appreciate what is being done here. I am very thankful both to Bible software developers and general users for the positive feedback. It is YOU who have helped make BSR what it is today. But he have only begun to scratch the surface…
I’ve learned a lot in these couple of years, and I think it’s time to add some of the features I have always had in mind, but never managed to implement. Now that there is a steady flow of well over a thousand visitors every week (and figures continue to grow), I need to make some decisions about the future. Up until now I have considered BSR more as a hobby of mine and a service to the general and academic community of Bible software users than anything else. However, as the workload has increased, so has the amount of time and money I have invested. So much so, that I cannot afford to enter into our third year of existence without making some changes.
First things first. I am committed to this project and do not contemplate the idea of quitting. However, having said that, we are facing a croosroads. Is BSR going to keep a “low profile”, taking care of only the basics, updating stuff and posting new articles and reviews as (limited) time permits? Or is it going to introduce many new features, post lots of hot information and keep up with the “latest and greatest”?
I am all for the second option, but it will only be possible if we introduce some paradigm changes. Perhaps the most obvious one would be to start accepting paid ads from Bible software vendors. This would not necessarily affect the independent style of general articles and detailed reviews, but it would certainly help pay a number of expenses (more server space, broadband, etc.). I could have done so a long time ago, but thought it would be better to have an ad-free website for as long as I could afford it.
As for short-term enhancements, I am planning a complete revamp of BSR. We’ll definitely use CSS and PHP before too long. This will mean a new UI, but also a much greater flexibility in content management. I would also like to open new sections (e.g., video tutorials and/or video
reviews), a forum, a donwload area, and many more goodies. All this, coupled with more frequent updates and reviews, would hopefully increase the usefulness of the site and the number of visitors.
But before I move on, in one direction or another, I’d like to know your opinion. Readers are welcome to leave their comments here. Software developers are invited to email me their proposals on paid adversiting and related matters. Once I gather all that information and think some more on the matter I’ll let you all know what road we’re going to follow from now on.