As many of you may be aware, the burningman.com web site got a major overhaul and relaunched as burningman.org in November of last year. Since its launch the site has continued to evolve and expand to better serve both the event and the community, and it's organizational structure has started to take shape. Specifically, that structure has taken the shape of The Event, The Culture, The Network, and Stuff & Things.
We wanted to line ePlaya up with that structure, but also play to our strengths. The biggest of which is our preparation boards - we've been a maker community longer than makers have been a thing! So, to that end, instead of just a board for "The Event" we have Event Preparation and The 2016 Event as major categories. Also, earlier this year we revised our terms of service and had opened the door a bit more on commerce posting, so we wanted to move forward with the Show Your Support board. With that in mind, here's how we're organized moving forward.
- Greeter's Station - we've been doing this online for more than a decade. Now it's no longer a nest of boards, but right there at the top of the site. If you haven't said hello and introduced yourself, we welcome you to go there, start a new thread, and tell us a bit about yourself.
- Event Preparation - our long-running Preparation boards. This is Burning Man's living brain trust, with over a hundred thousand posts on thousands of topics related to projects and planning for the event. We changed the name of Shelter & Camping to Building Camps & Villages, and we've added boards for Building Art Installations and Building Mutant Vehicles for artists and makers to discuss topics relevant to those types of projects.
- The 2016 Event - our boards that are specific to the 2016 event. Discuss the art theme and ticketing, announce or talk about plans for Art & Performance or Theme Camps & Villages. We've renamed Share Resources to be Rideshares & Resource Sharing because we think that name is a bit more clear about what the board is for.
- The Culture - think of this as a re-branding of our All About Burning Man category. Within that category, Politics & Philosophy has been re-branded as Philosophical Center, our Years Past have been moved in as the Historical Archives, and the Stories/Experiences at Burning Man boards have been merged as a single Stories board.
- The Network - think of this as a re-branding of our Year Round Connections category. Where we used to have a board for Regionals & Events, we now have a Regional Network board dedicated to official regional group news and events, and Connect With Burners for all the unofficial gatherings, meetups, and events. Get Involved lives here now, and continues to serve as a place to talk about getting involved with various projects.
- Show Your Support - this is unchanged, and will continue to serve the community as a place for fundraiser and limited commerce posting.
- Stuff & Things - on the main site this is a catch-all category for things that don't fit in the above space... and we use it in a similar fashion. First and foremost is our Open Discussion board, where burners talk about all things outside of Burning Man. From there, we take care of a bit of housekeeping. The Overview of the ePlaya has been renamed to ePlaya Overview, and it's followed by ePlaya Announcements, and then ePlaya Feedback. We think it's a better fit to place these ePlaya-centric sections here, rather than trying to steal the focus from the Greeter's Station at the top of the board.
You'll also notice that the 2015 Lost & Found boards are in the category hierarchy. We do that on a seasonal basis - the Lost & Found boards get moved to the top level from the time of the event until the end of the calendar year. Once we reach the end of the year, they'll be moved into the Historical Archives for the 2015 event.
Over the next few days and weeks, the mod team and I will be working to get any posts and threads that need to move... moved into the right place for them. Let's face it, though, ePlaya is a mighty big place. We've got over 50,000 topics and over a million posts. If you see something that looks out of place, please do us a huge favor and flag it for review. You can do that easily by clicking on the triangular icon with an exclamation point in it. That puts it on our radar, so we can review it and make sure it gets to the right spot.
Thanks for your patience, and we hope you're as excited about 2016 and beyond as we are!