LongeCity Newsletter 
January  2015  

2014 in review & outlook to 2015  

We start 2015 as we did last year: with a call to Members to participate shaping strategies and presenting suggestions for the rest of the year to come.  
Last year, based on feedback that high quality content at LongeCity is not consolidated but spread around various forum threads and intermingled with lower quality material we tried a few initiatives to built on LongeCity's underlying fundament as a forum with extra features: 

Firstly, we sought to make users aware of the various ‘other aspects’ at LongeCity: to this end we tried a monthly ‘reminder’ about certain forum features, and re-designed the menu. We also listed all features in one place at the newly designed portal page and elsewhere, and presented them in a new menu. 

To give exposure to authoritative information about certain concepts or substances discussed in the forums we introduced a powerful ‘keywords’ feature which offers Members the option to collaborate on writing brief summaries on any topic. This article is then linked to wherever that word appears in the forum. 

The new ‘regimens’ (stacks) feature was aimed specifically at the large segment of the community interested in the optimal combination of supplements. It is a powerful tool to discuss specific combinations and to research individual compounds.

To address the concern that it can be difficult to separate the higher quality contributions from others, the new ask an Expert sub-forum was designed specifically to draw out the highest quality contributions and the new ‘nuanced feedback’ function enables users to rate contribution not just on a like/dislike model, but in more specific ways.  

While the last function is very much ‘in your face’ uptake of the others has been very slow. Could we do more to promote these features? How can we encourage different ways of engaging with the site rather than just via the forum? 

This brings us to a wider challenge: LongeCity is designed to not just incorporate member-contributed content and also to respond to member-driven initiatives. This year we invested greater efforts than ever into attracting new project ideas and leaders: 

We started of with a ‘Guest Editor’ scheme where someone with a short project in mind is invited to implement it over a month or so. 

This was later complemented by the ‘adopt a forum’ (Mayor) scheme where someone (or a team) interested in improving the content around a specific theme or sub-forum would be empowered to do so. 

We also sought encourage local events this year in conjunction with a specific ‘Longevity Day’ and other local initiatives. As events go, the HEALES Eurosymposium in Brussels, and the activities of the Canadian Lifespan Society of British Columbia stand out. But as our Treasurer Mind has demonstrated, even a single person can make a difference in their local community. 

Otherwise, take-up has been rather muted, as has the response to our open calls for paid articles and small grants. This is a concern in particular, because we were hoping to use these schemes to draw in fresh blood into LongeCity and its leadership.

In this area, this year has shown that bringing in new people into officer positions is not easy and this could ultimately lead to a governance impasse at LongeCity. To tackle this, we have renewed the call for new leadership and started a new conversation regarding constitutional reform. 

Another way of making an impact is by connecting LongeCity to other efforts led by life extension champions. In this context we developed a new fundraising ‘certification scheme’ again in the spirit of favoring  community empowerment over 'top down' prescriptions. We were thrilled to link this new scheme with the fundraisers by Kelsey Moody on C60 supplementation and Reason’s fundraiser for SENS, both were great successes a raising an unprecedented amount for LongeCity-affiliated fundraising. Our aim is to expand the list of ‘fundable’ options such as the Cryonics Hardship Fund.  

And, thankfully, it looks like we will have the funds to continue such efforts in 2015. While a full account of the budget will be taken in March, revenue through advertising (which we tried to streamline and automate in 2014) and donations has been strong as ever in 2014. The challenge remains that we need the ideas, the skills, the enthusiasm, the vision, the commitment and diligence of new volunteers. And this closes the circle to the beginning, and our call for new ideas and idealists.                  


LONGECITY -Advocacy and Research for Unlimited Lifespans

The LongeCity newsletter is usually send out on the 8th or 18th day of each month to registered users.
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