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A behind the scenes look into FreedomsPhoenix and the philosophy behind it,... and your part in it.

Written by Subject: Media: Internet
The 2006 Election Cycle is over
We are very near Completing the Site Development
for FreedomsPhoenix!

A behind the scenes look into FreedomsPhoenix and the philosophy behind it.

The Political Forums section for FreedomsPhoenix were separated into 4 categories until the end of the campaign for a reason,… as a test. Internal tracking showed us that this feature was one of the most visited areas on the site but it was rarely used. The Political Forum, soon to be renamed “FreedomsPhoenix Forum”, was a major part of the original design that was shared with Webmaster Tyger Gilbert back in June of 2005. When the FreedomsPhoenix was turned on in October of 2005 the Political Forum was launched with the 4 categories of Libertarian – Democrat – Republican – Independent.

Now that the 2006 election cycle is over I would like to share with you why this was done and why we waited until now for the change.

It is no secret that this site is owned and managed by libertarians. In 1994 I understood where the Internet was going to take us. The idea for FreedomsPhoenix and even the name and logo concept was selected over 12 years ago. All that was missing was the technology. With the development of MPEG, MP3 and features like YouTube and the explosion of individual empowerment with the many features available from Google and their peers, the time was now.

I’ve known Tyger for years before and knew him to be very capable at designing web sites from scratch. I needed to know only one thing about all of the features I desired for FreedomsPhoenix, can each of the features I describe be accomplished? The answer was always “Yes”. We knew that we would be at least 1 – 2 years perfecting the site and it was 5 months before we even started open testing online. To speed things up and to give us as great a chance as possible in making the site self sustaining, some very generous people saw what was being accomplished and invested in freedom by supporting FreedomsPhoenix' development on a very aggressive timeline that has the site scheduled to be completed before the end of 2006. We hope to be finished with the business plan a month early and have all of the refinements done by the end of the year.

Without promotion FreedomsPhoenix has exceeded our expectations and has passed hundreds of thousands of sites in popularity each month. Of the over 20 Billion pages searched by Google our front page is now at a weekly average of 325,000. At our current rate of growth we’ll be number ONE is less than 5 months,... well maybe not, but we are definitely heading in the right direction. I am very pleased that our tracking is as strong after the election as before and still growing. Our most dramatic growth after the election has been the number of page views per visitor.

A much needed “Site Tour” is being developed now so that the most can be gotten out of the site. There are many features that I am certain many of you are not aware of.

What has also not been shared with you has been our display advertising in Talkers Magazine. This magazine is the premier communication device used by the Talk Show Industry. My years as a Talk Show Host and as a Producer gave me the understanding of just how valuable FreedomsPhoenix is to this industry. FreedomsPhoenix competes directly with the distributed bullet points of the bad guys and is gaining ground. Last month’s issue featured a cover story of 5 nationally known radio talk show hosts meeting with President Bush in the Oval Office. Our ad was placed in the cover page article next to the Whitehouse Oval Office group photograph, making certain that industry professionals are aware of this resource. This campaign will run at least until March. Of the over 2,300 that subscribe to our daily Headline Newsletter over 15 - 20% are associated with the media.

You will notice that FreedomsPhoenix encourages the writings of those representing the entire political spectrum. FreedomsPhoenix now has dozens of editors and with the soon to be completed “Reporter” feature there will be even more variety. The Front Page is controlled by Senior Editor Powell Gammill and Publisher Ernest Hancock. Our faith in the freedom philosophy, best described as libertarianism, encourages and even requires the comparison to other philosophies in order to help us make it clear that, “Freedom’s the Answer,… What’s the Question?” I am often asked to do a daily Blog or to seed the Political Forum to encourage participation. As a political activist I am very experienced with the power of libertarian rhetoric and how quickly any email list can be dominated by libertarians. The flame wars soon follow and instead of minds being expanded they retreat into defensive mind bunkers and rarely evolve. This is why it was important that the political forum be segregated into 4 separate categories as a test and a demonstration.

Site statistics showed us the high interest in the forum feature, but to combine the forum into one FreedomsPhoenix Forum before the 2006 election would not have allowed us to claim we tried to allow each philosophy/party their own home. Within a few weeks the Forum section will be combined into one and several of us will be posting there regularly to share our short (and long) opinions about the stories we post.

Very soon you will see another major upgrade that will allow comments to news articles in addition to the original FreedomsPhoenix articles. These comments will appear in the FPF (FreedomsPhoenixForum) as a new discussion topic in addition to the original discussion topics.

Often it isn’t fully understood why we post some of the information we do and what was behind the selection of the photos. Our tracking data gives us no doubt that the FPF will be very popular. But my experience with such a feature over more than a decade has demonstrated how this feature can, and likely will be, abused. FreedomsPhoenix is a very open and inclusive site, but we will incorporate features that will allow you to strip posts and posters so that your personal “noise tolerance” isn’t violated. We already have incorporated the ability to strip “lewd or crude” posts and the limiting of other noise factors is coming. Also, I will always retain the right to unsubscribe anyone I want for any reason. Those that know me know my tolerance level is very high, but not unlimited. The “Be a Reporter” feature allows non-editors to submit an entry (like what you see on the Front Page) that will then be approved by the Senior Editor for posting.

Editors are selected based on their sincerity in their wish to communicate and not on what they wish to communicate. Editors are given full power to post articles, editorials and news. They are also given the ability to create their own “categories” and to make those categories “exclusive” or open to others adding material to them. But what is posted to the Front Page is the responsibility of the Senior Editor and me. Keep in mind that all entries are added to the categories and remain there indefinitely.

I am now encouraging you to support FreedomsPhoenix by participating in the Freedom Icon Ads. This allows us to keep the site open without subscription. Anyone will be able to purchase an Icon ad of many sizes for as little as $5 a month. This will allow you to promote any site you wish and keep FreedomsPhoenix operational. We have made the process easy and automatic.

Another feature that has been long under development is the Banner Advertising feature. This allows you to order, select various packages, schedule, place and continuously track your ad’s performance as well as your account balance. As libertarians we know that anything can be negotiated, so if you have something of value to FreedomsPhoenix then please let us know and we'll see if we can trade value for value.

The “Link to us” feature is evolving and will have added to it the planned “Banner Swap” feature that allows us to cross promote with other sites we choose much easier and automatically with a simple approval by me.

18 Months of development is nearly completed and the examination of news and commentary in search of the truth has never been more important or needed.

While 2006’s election cycle was very interesting, most of you reading this know that the next 2 years will be very crucial to the planning of the rest of our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren. FreedomsPhoenix is more than a search for the truth and an edge in the quest for surviving the coming storm, FreedomsPhoenix is a gathering of individuals supportive of truth.

You all will find FreedomsPhoenix only bias is our support of the idea that liberty and truth are always byproducts of each other.

Ernest Hancock
Publisher – FreedomsPhoenix

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