An open letter to the community

I want to pick up on a few points people have made concerning my last post concerning certain changes being made on Neowin. I am not going to directly quote anyone because in all fairness I believe Neowin has already done a lot to express itself to the community we serve.

ConcernedDad was correct and has every right to feel betrayed in that Neowin failed to deliver on the promise of "Tech news for all". We have done our up most to keep Neowin clean and fun for everyone, but without the experience of handling such a major site like Neowin it was inevitable we were going to make mistakes.

Our host always supported us and let us makes our own decisions and we tried to give the community everything we could possibly give. We created a number of forums based on user request and feedback, one of these became the "Babes" forum that is now closed and deleted from the server.

We have seen a massive increase in the user base at Neowin, one that I never expected to see, it was also beyond my wildest dreams to be as big as or bigger than some sites that have been around for a few years. This told me that we were obviously doing something right. To keep Neowin fresh we have taken on many news reporters and enlisted a lot of forum moderators who really do a good job of removing potential warez or pornographic material. I believe that many people including the admin at Neowin have had a difficult time accepting that Neowin is no longer the tight-knit community it was, we attract people from all walks of life now, even ones that want to destroy us by simply disagreeing with everything we do or just plain spam the forums with useless information.

Although Neowin is not a source of income for anybody here (except spammers maybe) we have tried to deliver quality for over a year at the expense of strains on my personal life, at the expense of Hosttyme who have had the worst deal trying to keep us online through our "adolescence year"

I can apologize for allowing the babes forum to ever reach Neowin forums I can also apologize for allowing IRC (something we backed down from 4 times before we eventually did it) but at the end of the day we were just answering the requests of the community. The babe's forum cost us a lot of time and energy to moderate, because it WAS moderated. I felt at the time that it was contained. Again I was wrong about this.

We started out as a tech site and plan to stay that way for as long as the community wants us here. We won't be backing down from our decision to remove "questionable" content and all of the forum moderators are now aware of our stance on what can and cannot be allowed onto the forums.

The main reasons for such drastic changes are (among others) advice from more experienced people and also to accommodate a more realistic hosting solution. We tried to do more than we could, for that I am truly sorry. I guess we will have learned from this like other mistakes we have made in the past.

I would like to close this open letter by announcing a vacation away from the site, on top of moving house this month I hope to be able to re-kindle what is left of my relationship to my girlfriend who has had less attention than this site has got these past months.

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