Newgon.com:Outgoing Administrators' Statement, 24 January, 2009
On the 24th of January, 2009, two Administrators, including one of the the site's founders left Newgon.com in pursuit of other interests. This document, written by the site's outgoing and present administrators acts as a report on the state of the organisation behind the website and will also serve as a statement of intentions for future development of the organisation and website, until further directives are published.
Unlike other sites closely linked by "genre", Newgon.com serves mainly a public function and not predominantly one of peer-support. The site aims to make unpopular but crucial information on adult-minor sexualities readily available to the public. Organised via a discussion forum and private emails, the level and scope of activity on Newgon.com can be compared to that of a small membership or nongovernmental organisation. The site has also helped to bring about some positive results in real life. Central to the mission of Newgon.com is its vast database of anecdotal material relating to the sexual experiences of non-emancipated youth.
Usage and costs
Over the last year, the number of visitors to and active members of Newgon.com has been increasing steadily. In just over a year, the Forum has seen 5,000 posts. The site itself is typically visited 250-550 times a day (avg ~400 for Jan, 09) and is due to break it's own record for unique visitors at well above 6000 for the month. These are respectable figures for a site that does not promote itself with colourful pictures, social networking or traditional peer support. Independent web analysis companies frequently report that the site performs on a similar level to many of the better-known support websites. Newgon.com's relative novelty, unique function and growing role as an information portal have led administrators to forecast increasing amounts of visitors and annual running costs of well above US$100 with the current host.
Newgon.com was founded on Jun 8, 2007 after a small but militant hate group successfully lobbied Google to remove a number of free websites pertaining to the sexuality of young people under the age of consent and those who are attracted to them. The site was established as a small set of files - mainly part of the Debate Guide project and a weblog managed by a team of eight or so volunteers - now a quarterly webmagazine. As the site grew and the number of participants and proposals increased, administrators sought to develop more advanced and user-friendly ways of managing the site. By the start of 2008, a forum was in place, followed by the installation of MediaWiki later in the year. The current site is home to discussion groups both public and private, multiple public advocacy projects and a growing encyclopedia of topics relating to adult-minor sexuality.
Juan Gonzalez Llort
Juan Gonzalez Llort co-founded Newgon.com with the assistance of current administrator and long-time ATC collaborator Jillium. It was Llort who had prepared most of the written material that went into building the original site and most of its revisions thereafter.
I will be leaving the administration of Newgon.com on the 24th of January, 2009, and severing all contacts forged through this website and the wider community. Whilst I would not like to disclose the reasons for this decision, it is in no way related to the limitations of this website, integrity of my pseudonymous identity or legal status IRL. I have come into contact with many interesting and constructive people via this site, and I thank them all for participating here and helping me with numerous problems that would otherwise have put a lot more stress on myself.
Strato - a Moderator and content collaborator since 2007 voluntarily leaves the administration today. He will remain visible on the site, but less so.
I maintain that Newgon is unrivaled in the community for its commitment to activism. Its status as such is largely due to Juan's hard work since the site's inception, to make it as strong as it has today become – together, of course, with the intellectual input of our ever-growing membership. I sincerely hope that others will now step up to conserve Newgon's strengths, and perhaps take it in new directions...
I've greatly enjoyed being involved with Newgon, and thank all the members for their diverse contributions, the energy and insight of which has been tremendously encouraging.
Future of Newgon.com
There are a number of simple tasks that need completing. The theme change for MediaWiki is still complete Navbar headers need to change colour - yellow is a possibility. Wiki logo needs to be developed into something simpler, narrower and easier to read. Again, a bright colour - white - is a possibility. This should be integrated into the Wiki home page. MediaWiki needs a functioning category tree extension (this was tried once, but it failed) and could benefit from Wikipedia-style predictive search results.
Need for Administrators
Newgon.com needs one or two new active administrators to take the pressure off the two who remain. Applicants should have a good reputation and at least basic administrative skills and the will to learn. If you would like to be considered, you can contact us via the forum or by e.mail.
Every 15 days, at least two administrators should be able to sign the following checklist:
- I have access to the Newgon account on nearlyfreespeech.net. I hold admin details that allow me to manage the site via FTP.
- I receive account balance warnings from the host, to a regularly checked email address. I have made sure that the account is topped up with funds from myself or available charities [please enquire].
- I have backed up the database and hold a personal copy. I have an up to date version of the site files for at least newgon.com.
Administrating the site may or may not involve communicating with the public. At the present moment, we have one admin who acts in this role. Ideally, there should be at least two. No administrator is obliged to maintain a public face on any section of the website, although participation is always appreciated.
Long - term aims
It is not vital, but preferable that the long term aims be achieved within one year of this document's publishing. These aims are statements of intention by current and outgoing administrators. They are not to be treated as hard rules, and should not be seen to overrule future administrative consensus.
- Set up a new website that uses a symbol and flag voted on by the wider community. Have at least five other websites using the symbol and linking in. For this, we have already solicited a number of proposals from various communities. It has been suggested that we could claim accountability for such a symbol if the same communities were allowed to vote on these proposals in some way. We also have links with an administrator whose community forum has hosted discussions on setting up a publicly accountable discussion group that can be contacted by members of the public. Considering the fact that we intend to use to use the symbol/flag site in linking to intellectual/cause related websites whilst being linked from sympathetic peer support communities, it would be a natural counterpart for the above mentioned project.
- Better the format of and extend the range of our promotional media by working on new issues and making pamphlets easier to download and produce (pdfs). This is an ongoing concern, but we may at any one time have all pamphlets properly converted to pdf.
- Have at least five regular editors adding content to the site via MediaWiki. Let's have more participation here. The wiki was set up to make newgon.com more flexible and help us in developing a factual community resource (central to which is an encyclopedia). We need to make clear that the restriction on editing is only because we need to moderate trolls and not those who honestly seek to improve the resource and its subprojects.
- Establish professional-class web portals: Encyclopedia, Debate Guide, Research, Testimony (achieved), Legal Information and National Profiles. Give them appealing and functional interfaces a la the homepage. Have active feedback forums pertaining to recent changes in applicable portals.
- Break 5,000 unique visitors per month or 10,000 visits per month on a regular basis.