November 13, 2007
Announcing the next phase of Betterhumans
[Cross-posted from my blog at BH]
We’ve made some changes at Betterhumans.
Some have already happened, while others are still in the works. More importantly, despite our varied and (at times) inconsistent past, it’s fair to say that the best is yet to come; we are about to embark on an exciting next phase for Betterhumans. And this time, we have the resources to bring some of our wildest ideas to life.
To this end, I have taken on the role of editor-in-chief of Betterhumans. Many of you know me from previous contributions, and from my work with the World Transhumanist Association, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, and Sentient Developments blog. I am now also responsible for the day-to-day management of Betterhumans, working to ensure that we produce quality content that reflects its mission.
As for Simon Smith, Betterhumans' former editor-in-chief, he has moved into the role of publisher. Here, he's working to grow the site, set direction, build partnerships and sponsorships, and generally ensure that we create and achieve long-term goals.
These changes were made possible by the advent of Commune Media, of which Betterhumans is now a wholly owned publication. Commune is a communications agency that helps companies use science and technology for positive change. Simon is the company's principal and I manage its operations. We decided recently that it made sense to bring Betterhumans under Commune, as this would provide greater resources for Betterhumans while in turn helping promote Commune's expertise. And now we have some big plans for Betterhumans over the coming months.
But before I get into the future of Betterhumans, let’s take a quick look at its past.
Simon founded Betterhumans in 2001 and I joined him less than a year later as deputy editor. We quickly developed the site and attracted a loyal following. Regular content featured editorials from key movers and shakers in the various futurist and progressive movements. We regularly published book reviews, interviews, encyclopedic articles and the latest news in human biotechnology and progress.
It was a thing of beauty, but given our volunteer workforce, it couldn't last.
This model, while very effective, proved difficult to manage given limited resources. Consequently, our next focus was on creating a community centered site to which members could contribute a good share of the content, namely through the development of user forums and member blogs. This strategy had its pluses and minuses, and we eventually recalibrated and re-worked the site such that it combined more traditional editorial practices with community driven material.
Which is where we find Betterhumans today. Admittedly, it's less than ideal. We recognize that the site is lacking in dynamic, exciting and cutting-edge content and services. But that's going to change soon in a very big way.
We're proud to announce that we are already working on the next phase of Betterhumans, which we hope to launch in January 2008.
While we’re not ready to give away too many details just quite yet, I can say that the changes aren’t going to be subtle. We’re re-inventing Betterhumans once again. And this time, we have the resources to make and sustain changes that honestly make us howl with excitement.
Stay tuned for more information over the coming weeks.