After lots of planning, coding, head-scratching and bickering, I am extremely excited to
announce that the new Yehoodi 3.0 site is about to launch!
For the past 11 years, Yehoodi.com has been the virtual hangout for thousands of swing dance and swing jazz enthusiasts from around the world. While our web platform has served us well, it's been showing it's age with the advent of a whole bunch of new social media / social networking technologies in the past few years.
Peter Brady said it best: "When it's time to change, you've got to rearrange!"
Read on for more about what's coming next and how we are getting there.
The challenge of refreshing the Yehoodi.com website has been retaining all the stuff that has made our site so successful over more than a decade, while also ushering in new tools and channels that will help our site to keep growing and reaching new audiences. The new
Yehoodi.com will keep supporting our core functionalities: the discussion boards, swing events calendar, lindy hop news, and featured media.
The discussion boards are really the lifeblood of the site, a place to find hundreds of others interested in talking about things that lindy hoppers care about. When Yehoodi first launched in 1998, we initially wanted the boards to be mostly about swing music and swing dancing. But we soon realized that once people get to know each other, online and offline, that they wanted to talk about other more general stuff — what movies are you watching, what do you do for a living, what other dances do you like?
So we started a space called the "Kitchen Sink" — a discussion forum that has always threatened to take over the rest of the site with the sheer weight of inane and incredibly diverse simultaneous conversations going on there. I mean how many posts can you have about "gay marshmallow fairies"? Apparently hundreds and hundreds of posts.
Over the years we did a lot of other things to bring fresh content and tools to the site, some of which worked and some didn't. I remember when we had a live IM chat space that was used for about eight days and then mostly scrapped. And of course there was the failed experiment with a virtual office in Second Life. Ugh.
That said, over the years we've gotten the growing suspicion that there was much more we could be doing with the site and many more people we could be reaching if we only had the tools and the right structure. Our cobbled together phpBB and other code was starting to really show it's age in the Facebook / YouTube / Digg era. So a couple of years ago, we decided to completely scrap our entire codebase of the old site and rebuild it from the ground up.
So what you see on Yehoodi 3.0 at its face doesn't look all that different from Yehoodi 2.0. The major addition that most of our members will notice is the ability to submit all sorts of different content to the site, not just discussion topics.
But it's what's under the hood that counts: a codebase that Yehoodi totally owns, and that opens up many, many roads on the development path to integrating all sorts of badass social media tools, social networking hooks, and featured content that Yehoodi creates.
Yehoodi is already the number one social website for lindy hop in the world. We think we are on the path to being one of the best social websites … period.