I want to welcome you to our new website, neighborhoods.org!
Some of you probably already guessed that this was the new website, since I had to effectively put the website up live a few weeks ago. There are still some technical issues that I’m dealing with behind the scenes. Plus, the site design and layout is not completely finished, so you may see some changes over the next few months. I’d appreciate your feedback on the new look.
The old domain, walkableneighborhoods.com, is still in the process of transferring to my new web host. This transfer should be completed next week. Within a few weeks, hopefully all of the old pages will redirect to the new pages at neighborhoods.org.
Those of you that subscribe to the feed (including those by e-mail) probably noticed some glitches and old articles posting over the last few weeks. I apologize for those—I was working out some of the kinks with the feed. I believe all of the kinks have been ironed out (for those that are interested: the Feedburner feed address has not changed, it has been updated with the new website feed). And—I think we finally have author names in the e-mail subscriptions!
Why the Change?
You may be curious why I decided to make the change. After getting some feedback from web experts and the public in general, I felt that the old domain name was too long. I was graciously given the opportunity to purchase neighborhoods.org at a reasonable price, and after some long consideration, decided to purchase. I felt that the neighborhoods.org name is much easier to remember, and can be used as a better branding identity. I can just simply say “I run the website neighborhoods.org”. Much easier than explaining the whole Walkable Neighborhoods thing.
We will not be moving away from the topic of walkable neighborhoods—this will still be the site’s main focus.
In fact, I have started working on a project that I’m hoping will shape the face of walkable neighborhoods in the United States. It’s going to be a terribly challenging project to implement, but it’s something I feel compelled to do. In order to effectively do this project, I also felt I needed to switch to a web host that could handle the type of processes and the potential traffic load I expect this site to someday reach. I have big expectations, but can’t really reveal anything more at this point. So stay tuned.
If you ever visited the photo gallery at the old site, you saw that I had several thousand photos from all over the world related to walkability. I used Coppermine software and hosted all of the photos on my host’s server. While I certainly liked many aspects of running my own gallery, I had many problems with it: A security hole in the software once led to me being threatened with a letter from an attorney at a major company, comment SPAM was hard to combat, and photo tagging and categorization was cumbersome. Plus, I was running out of space to store my 10,000+ photos.
So, I’ve decided to switch to Flickr as my host. I now have unlimited photo hosting and robust tagging and categorization capabilities. I am in the process of uploading all of the photos. I have not released many to the public yet, but you can view the ones I have uploaded here. I plan to allow for free downloading and usage of the photos (under a Creative Commons license). I know there are other walkable-related galleries out there, but most place many restrictions on photos. I really just want people to have an arsenal of photos at their fingertips to use in presentations and reports so that we can keep preaching the good word on smart growth and walkability. As time permits me to do so, I will be tagging my photos with as many categories as possible so that you can easily find an example of any type of walking, biking, or smart land use related facility.
Other Things to Watch For
I plan to get back to more article writing once these technical issues are addressed. I really got away from frequently posting for a while. I was extremely busy and traveling a lot toward the end of last year. I also moved five blocks to Midtown Sacramento. Plus, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with these websites, and so I took a bit of a break. Now I’m fairly certain where I want to go with this new site.
I will also be adding links to other useful websites and resources to the new site.
I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! I really appreciate all of the readers that have stuck with us through this transition. Hopefully this will be a great new year for us and those of you involved in the fight against global warming, obesity, air pollution, and oil consumption.