Wow, what a year.
A year ago, we had no idea we were going open source. By summer we were releasing early versions of our re-hauled CMS. By the fall we were getting over a thousand visitors to concrete5.org a day. We were featured as Project of the Month on SourceForge and we've been the subject of dozens of positive blogs and interviews. Sites powered with c5 are springing up all across the web, and we couldn't be happier.
With v5.1 we saw concrete5 go multilingual, and now we have translations for Danish, German and French available (we'd like more!) Folks are using our (previously) secret sauce, and we're hearing so much positive feedback. With v5.2 (being released as I type) we've started adding lots of features for end site owners to love. For a complete internet n00b, it is still far easier to get started with Wordpress than it is c5 – we're trying tochange that.
The concrete5.org website was just got a complete re-hauling. We took it down for 24 hours and turned it back on with a new Marketplace, improved search and Forums, rearranged help… really too much to even mention in this post, read about it over here.
We have a several Add-Ons that will be made available for sale on the Marketplace in the coming weeks, and we're even more eager for the c5network of developers to submit their own.
2008 has been a crazy adventure, I'm confident 2009 will be even more so – and that's because of You. Thanks for your continued love and dedication to c5, it's exciting to get out of bed every day and see what's happened. Let's take over the web!
Well you may have noticed our concrete5.org site was being "renovated" for the last 24 hours. With the amount of community activity we've been having, we just couldn't find a reasonable way to stage and launch our updates any more gracefully, so thanks for bearing with us through this interruption in services. We'll do everything we can to avoid it in the future.
Here's just some of what changed:
- We completely revamped the home page and several landing pages to give the site a more friendly experience to the non-programmers out there. We also changed the footer around to be a bit more useful and friendly for everyone.
- A Marketplace now exists! You can browse Themes and Add-Ons, fill a shopping cart with them, make a real purchase with a credit card and instantly download the files.
- If you are a developer or designer selling something in the Marketplace, you now get credits in your account which you can choose to have paid out via paypal, or you can use to make other purchases around the site. You also get your own forums and ticketing system so you can provide ongoing support to your customers.
- Forums & Tickets got a bunch of small UI tweaks to make life easier. We now can easily set status of feature requests and bugs without going into edit mode. You can now drag and drop the posting window around your browser so you can see what you're replying to as you write (that one used to drive me up the wall.)
- We added member search, buffed out the profile, and introduced 23 new member "badges" that represent expertise and interest. Now you'll be able to see if that person giving you advice actually knows what they're talking about.
- We added a local user group map and search. If you want to have a physical monthly meeting of c5 folk in your area, we want to hear from you and link to you on our map.
- We put alot of work into making search more useful (i.e.: not suck so much). It's still got some ways to go, but it is way better than what we had.
- We seeded the marketplace with a bunch of free blocks we've made after listening to real world requests.
- Rearranged help and added some new screen-casts and articles.
- We added c5hosting and c5services Partner Program areas.
uhh… I'm sure lots of little things I'm completely spacing because it's all a blur at this point. Any rate, let us know if anything is off. Thanks for bearing with us while we rolled all that out.
Our hosting clients have long received preferential treatment from us. Pay me something, anything, to worry about your website every month and I'm obviously going to put a star next to your email in my in-box, whatever the subject might be.
The explosive growth of c5 this year has created a lot of new challenges for us as we look at prioritizing our already limited time. We want nothing more than to be worried about the core, promotion, and best practices around c5 – making it the most popular CMS on the planet. For that to happen, we all (c5 staff and community alike) need to consider the best ways to focus our time to help the project scale. We see several groups emerging in our young community already, and we're going to provide tools to help foster their growth.
c5network – The c5network members are simply anyone who has joined concrete5.org, or any of the local user group sites. We will connect this network of sites through openID, and by joining one you will be able to contribute and benefit from them all. Attend any meeting in the world you'd like to, get promotional discounts, early notice on exciting updates, everything you'd expect and more – for nothing.
c5services – Freelancers and webshops that are providing development services to customers using c5 are encouraged to join this affordable Partnership Program. Amongst many other benefits, a private forum ensures a timely response on any post from c5 staff.
c5hosting – Companies that host websites built with concrete5 are encouraged to join our affordable c5hosting Partner Program. Membership includes Whitepapers on how to centralize the c5 code base for a shared server, and how to setup the auto-generating demos we offer at getConcrete5.com/demo. Many other benefits are included as well as private forums with a guaranteed response by c5 staff.
Please don't take the existence of the c5services and c5hosting Partner Programs as any sign that we're less open source, free, or ‘good' than we were yesterday. We could have chosen a shareware or crippleware approach with c5, but we didn't and never will. We're not requiring you join any Partner Program to sell your goods in the new Marketplace, and we remain firmly dedicated to making the world a better place. Quite simply; we have to provide the same option for preferred support to the whole community, as we do to our hosting clients on getConcrete5.com.
More to the point, these are not private one to one retainers where big pocketbooks tie the core team up on the phone all day doing their work for them. These are more akin to Unions where you have the freedom and solidarity that comes from being surrounded by a group of your actual peers, in private. The real benefit here is instead of just getting access to us, members of these Partner Programs can openly share with one another as well.
For more information on what has changed, check out the release notes.
Additionally, updated language packs for French, German and Danish are available for download from SourceForge.
So, for a long while we just had a single shared c5 demo setup that would clean itself out every hour on the hour. Crude, but an easy way to get a demo up. We started to really understand the downsides when we were seeing 900 new users in there at a time. Seeing things randomly change to Japanese under you is disconcerting as well.
Now when you want to play around with concrete5, you can easily get your own sandbox to play in. After 15 days you can even turn it into a paid hosting account.
Grab your own demo today!
For more information on what has changed, check out the release notes.
Straight to the point:
Stop wasting your time installing c5, we'll do it for you in our super sweet hosting environment for just $15/month. No hidden fees or startup costs!
There's a very small handful of people who are paid to support this software. As I'm sure you know, the software is free, so the only revenue we get is consulting, merchandise sales, and… hosting!
I'm sure you will understand then why as CEO of c5 I have to pull the plug on having my team personally debug c5 installs on every server setup under the sun. The last few weeks we've found more and more of our time going into getting c5 running on super-budget hosts and windows boxes – neither of which we ever thought was a good idea in the first place. Deep down, we love helping people get on the web and of course we want as many people using c5 as we can get.
It is because we want to help the largest majority of people with the biggest problems that we've come to the decision that we can no longer personally pay attention to the installation forum every day. There is a good group of very smart volunteers who we dearly hope will continue to give their time helping others here. If one of those folks brings an idea or change to us around the install process we can easily implement, we'll be happy to do it. Beyond that we're simply killing ourselves debugging everyone's unique server setup by hand. I hear the frustration: "Hey I want to use your software and you won't help me?!?"… Actually, that's not true…
We're announcing we've slashed our basic hosting plan in half, and eliminated startup fees onhttp://GetConcrete5.com. For $15/month we'll gladly setup c5 for you, give you complete access, we're even going to upgrade your site with the latest stable codebase whenever it's made available. Frankly I think that's a deal you can't beat. We'll help you, the hosting revenue will help us, everyone wins.
By all means I encourage ongoing discussion around installation issues. I know there are intranets, other web hosts, any number of very valid reasons you might not want to host with us. But if you really feel like you need to find a cheaper deal some where else, please don't give us attitude for not helping you pull that off.
Thanks for your continued passion and excitement, we're gonna go back to thinking about the big picture again.
Okay, so I'm not sure that amount of sticker glue is healthy… but.. wow.. we're impressed…
Got some pics of where you put your stickers? Send em in. Want some stickers? Visit concrete5.org and let us know.
We're gonna go off topic a bit here, but it's my right to rant. This is the first day I have ever truly felt proud to be from the United States of America. When I was in high-school, forming my view of the world, we were in the first Iraq war – which I could see even then was an Oil rush, not a moral issue. If you've read much of the philosophical rants here, you know I've got no love for authority, so I really had nothing much positive to say about my country. When I saw the stars and stripes fluttering in the wind, all I really saw was hypocrisy and a new form of corporate colonial abuse around the world. Certainly the last 8 years have been beyond embarrassing.
While 9/11 was certainly a horrible event, to have the response be a declared war on a tactic and a general closing down of the communication process is inexcusable. To let it fester for a second term was beyond depressing. I find myself in Portland, Oregon frequently only surrounded by people with a similar world view – so to be part of a country that seemed to be so wholly missing the point was horrible. I wondered if our system was truly broken beyond repair. I wondered if our international reputation was broken beyond repair. I wondered if this was a place I wanted to raise my family.
Last night I became a new man. We had all heard the polls, we all had given our time and money to Barack, but still we all assumed McCain would win in some inexplicable evil way. Maybe Diebold would just hand him the vote, maybe there really were millions of closet racists as the media kept implying with the "Bradley Effect" – who knew, but the seldom voiced opinion of all of my friends was "snowball's chance in hell" that a man named Barack Hussein Obama would be our President. But.. Amazingly..
He DOMINATED.. 2:1 in the electoral college!! took ALL of the battle ground states – none of this waiting around for a week while the lawyers hash it out – we knew while still having an after dinner drink! It was a clear and total victory and I couldn't be prouder.
I feel like we just made a stronger move in the "war on terror" with that one vote than we did in the 8 years of that cowboy dicking around. I feel like if I were to be on an international tour, I'd be PROUD to have an American Flag on my backpack because we may not be perfect (my God that's clear) but we're able to do a 180 degree switch and elect a black man with the middle name of Hussein to the most powerful job in the world. "Give us your tired, your poor" because you TRULY can make something of yourself here. This country is NOT just a good-ol-boys network and we're NOT Rome falling to chaos – the best truly IS yet to come and it's going to make the WHOLE WORLD a better place.
Ya know I got truly excited about Barack almost 2 years ago now when I read a New Yorker article detailing his most enduring trait – the inherent ability to be a diplomat. Take two people with completely different views on something, accept that there is no "us and them" – no "good and evil", but rather help them find common ground and a new understanding about how we all can get along. Its about communication and I believe that through open communication we can solve everything and anything. Frankly, I wouldn't have chosen to give away c5 for nothing if I didn't deeply believe that. Freedom of expression is freedom.
I honestly believe Barack Obama IS empathy and communication incarnate. I don't think it's gonna be easy, and I'm sure he's gonna make us all work hard for it, but get ready for some actual thoughtful, deliberate, caring understanding and bridge building from your friends in the good old U, S of fuckin A.
PS: sorry about the last 8 years again.. uhh. mulligan?
PPS: I'd love to hear from our international friends as I know c5 is used as much out of the states as in em..