State of the BeerLeg 2016

State of the BeerLeg 2016

My fellow BeerLeggers:

BeerLegToday marks the sixth year since I launched this website. Many of you came to know it as “BeerLeg”, which was the original name I established for it. It didn’t hurt that the domain name was available at the time as well. However, I soon discovered that the name wasn’t working too well with corporate firewalls, so an alias was necessary. But I digress.

In these past 6 years, our website has changed names twice. I won’t go into the various reasons for the name changes at this time, but I may elaborate more in the future. But I can tell you this: As of this month, our website merged with RPLS Today and it has a very bright future.

RPLS Today is more than “just” a forum. I have spent a massive number of hours transforming the forum into the RPLS Today Community, which included all of the branding updates, website design changes, software integrations, member support issues, and much more than I can explain here in this single address. But it goes further than that.

Along with the most obvious updates to the community area (forum), I’ve added a new home page with current news articles, stories and other information about Land Surveying. One thing you may have noticed is that it’s not just me doing the writing — we have 8 authors on board so far.

RPLS Today was a project I had started in late 2015 and it ran in parallel with BeerLeg since that time. It was mainly a way for me to test the waters with a blogging platform for surveyors. Well, it took off faster than I expected, garnering nearly 4,000 likes in only a couple of months. This was phenomenal growth, in my mind, especially when considering that I was the only author at the time. Anyway,it became clear to me that it was a good idea to continue the RPLS Today platform. So I needed to make a decision.

At about the same time and for reasons I will not divulge at this time, this website needed to be re-branded and moved to a new domain name. And so here we are at RPLS Today.

While I was working on the re-branding and move to a new domain name, I came to realize there were other improvements that could be made simultaneously that would benefit the overall website and our community. Not only did we move to the domain name, but I also purchased and installed an SSL certificate, which is activated throughout the entire website. This is evidenced by the “https://” at the beginning of all URLs as you browse the site.

Since the advertising management system installed on the forum would only work within the forum, I also had to find a new way to manage advertisements. This prompted me to also update the ad zones and how they work. With some help and advice from some friends, I revamped how ads are displayed, lowered the prices significantly, and made the purchasing process much easier. The great thing is that the ads remain unobtrusive to our regular members and visitors, yet still very visible and viable for the benefit of our advertisers.

I’d also like to move away from the process of begging for donations to keep this website online. My efforts here are an attempt to allowthe website take a life of its own and become self-supportive, at least in financial terms. It wouldn’t hurt for it to become a profitable venture, so I could get paid a reasonable sum for ongoing maintenance and expenses. But even beyond that, I’d like RPLS Today to have reserves in the bank to keep things going for at least six months. I believe we can get there, especially with the most recent updates and other plans I have in store.

Lastly, but not least, I’d just like to say “thank you” to all of you who support this venture, whether it be financially, emotionally, or just by visiting (especially if you have us whitelisted in your adblocker, haha!). I appreciate where we’ve been, what we’re doing and where we’re going with RPLS Today — none of it is possible without our awesome members.

Thank you and happy surveying!

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