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Hurdle 21: Moving on...

So far my hurdles posts have been written based on some problem i've overcome. This one is different, because i am not sure if i am going to be able to clear this hurdle. If i've learned one thing about blogging, its that the blogosphere are pretty supportive, so maybe you lot can give me some advice.

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I'm almost certain that none of you will remember version 1 of Diet Justice. It was called No Such Word As Kan't...a clever play on words that got cleverer each time i read it. Having realised that people were enjoying my musings i decided to up sticks and start version 2; Diet Justice. It was a good decision, and i'm glad i did it.

In the last month or so i have felt that same urge to upgrade Diet Justice for a second time. The problem is, i am scared that making a move to another platform will cause me to lose readers. Its that annoying attitude you see on programs like Kitchen Nightmares; i'm not making 'money' but i am too scared to make big changes for fear of losing those few customers i have. I think i know what i need to do, overcome the fear and hope for the best.

Diet Justice 3.0, as it will be called, will be both a blog and a community. If i was to be moving from blog to blog, i wouldn't be too worried...its the community aspect that concerns me.

I cant rely on a 'build it and they will come' attitude because that is simply not the case. Although i have 5 or 6 really loyal readers, they don't owe me anything. To get them, and anyone else, to join the community i have to offer them a number of things;

  • High quality content
  • Content relevant to their interests
  • Regular content additions
  • Original content
  • A platform that is easy to use
  • Likeable authors
I have achieved all that through the current blog. Now i want to add some other features, including;
  • Discussion forum
  • Download archive
  • Link database
  • Documentary index
  • Networking opportunities
My biggest challenge is finding a way to maintain all of the factors from list one, while offering the new features from list two. This needs to be done without allowing the new features to distract readers from the core blog content.

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I am confident that i can achieve that, but the thing i am battling with the most is appearance.  Although the current blog is a little cluttered, it is simple and easy to use. I am working hard to ensure that DJ 3.0 has the same simplicity as the current blog, while intuitively adding the new features.

Having created an intuitive layout and maintained the factors from list one the real challenge starts. I have some great chats on twitter, and i've met some amazing people. The problem with twitter is that it is the fastest and easiest method of communication and requires little attention. Why would anyone want to spend time using a discussion forum? With twitter as competition, can i ever really build a successful online community?

This is the question i just cant answer. I must take the plunge, do my best, and hope that i can offer something that twitter doesn't...whatever that may be.

Want to see DJ 3.0? Feel free to preview it, register an account, and give me feedback using the support tickets, http://www.dietjustice.net