Although we didn’t say much about it at the time, this new version of the SF website was launched to more-or-less coincide with our fifth birthday. Over that not-inconsiderable period the majority of our efforts have been aimed at improving our species database to include information, and indeed species, that don’t tend to be covered in depth elsewhere on the web.
While we think we’ve done a decent job so far, particularly in terms of fishes from Asian waters, there’s something we feel is missing.
You see, SF was set up as a fish-keeping website first-and-foremost, but in these last 5 years locked away in a darkened cellar writing species profiles we’ve become older and less cool, and now we’re feeling lonely.
The upshot is that we’d like to re-engage our existing community and make the site more accessible for everyone, experienced hobbyist or otherwise.
So what are you going to do about it?
Well, we want the site to become a useful and friendly resource and community for all levels of hobbyist, and in order to achieve that a few changes are in order. Never kept a fish? No problem – some of our content going forward will definitely be of interest, while we’ll continue to feature plenty of stuff for more experienced aquarists as well.
Over the coming weeks and months there’ll be more blogs, articles, and news posts about keeping fish in aquaria, many of which will be written by experts in the field including contributors to ‘Practical Fishkeeping’ and ‘Tropical Fish Hobbyist’ magazines, plus other well-known authors. More on this shortly, but submissions from site members will also be welcomed.
We’re also going to be showcasing new aquarium products and maybe even giving a few away if people are nice to us (hint – we like cake).
The uptake on our new Q&A section has been slower than expected so we’d like to develop a ‘New Aquarium/Beginners’ area that everyone’s happy with. We’re still a bit stumped about what people might prefer, though. Should we rebrand the existing Q&A and run it in conjunction with a forum, or just omit the former section entirely?
Over the next few days we’ll be merging and renaming a few forums too which will hopefully encourage growth and an improved ‘community’ feel.
Why those &%$# new adverts?
The reason is very simple; the site costs money to host and run meaning we’ve invested a significant amount of our own cash to date without ever making a penny in return. The point has been reached where we feel unable to continue with this unsustainable approach, and we apologise to our former ‘sponsors’ that free advertising space is no longer available. We also hope the presence of these ads won’t detract from the site as a whole.
The new ads are administrated by Google and the links are therefore secure. We have limited control over the categories on display, however, so if you find something offensive, please let us know and we’ll remove it immediately. If you don’t want to see them at all we recommend installing a browser extension such as AdBlock.
That said, by clicking the ads you’re making an essential donation to our hosting costs so even if not interested in the content please try to do so occasionally since this will help keep SF free and open access for everyone.
The SF Team