TBC's Seventh, and Biggest, Anniversary!
Today, The Basilisk Cafe celebrates the seventh anniversary of it's founding, which - as a few of us will remember - began as a small, dedicated gathering of Tom Riddle fans at the erstwhile Gryffindor Tower's forums, back in the summer of 2002. Since then, we've grown from a single thread to an LJ Community, to our own forums and eventually to our own domain, and watched as the series that brought us all together has come to an end. An end that's now two years in the past, and ever since then the activity levels in the HP fandom have slowed to a trickle. So, in a fitting parallel with our favourite school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, it seems that after seven years, now would be a good time to bring this phase of our lives to an end, and to look to a new beginning.
After long discussions between the members of the TBC Crew, we've decided that over the course of the coming weeks, The Basilisk Cafe will cease operating as a dedicated Harry Potter fansite - and for anyone having flashbacks to our 2008 April Fools' joke, we are serious this time. Our plan is to become a more wide-reaching, multi-fandom site, while still focussing on those dark and brooding characters on the fringes of the fandom. In many ways, this seems to be a natural evolution of the site's original goals, as we will remain a place for fans with a taste for characters with a darker side to them - we'll just be adding characters like Heroes' Sylar or Star Wars' Anakin Skywalker, alongside the Slytherin ranks we've represented for so long.
As the first part of this new expansion, we've expanded the ranks of the TBC Crew with two new Moderators, so please give your congratulations to long-time members blackfaerie11 and Scheherazade - we may look to enlarge the Crew further as the process goes on. We've also upgraded our forum software, as the old forums were starting to creak slightly with age, and started the process of updating our site's content to reflect our new multi-fandom status, and will be rolling out modified versions of many site areas over the coming weeks while the forums and fanwork archives are reorganised. As you'd expect, we'll also be having one of our contests shortly after the transition to our new multi-fandom incarnation is complete, to celebrate our re-opening.
Now, for the part where we'd like your input - while we'll be opening our doors to all fandoms great and small, we're planning to select a few fandoms to examine in detail, rather than just throwing everything into a melting pot together. Obviously, Harry Potter will remain a focus for us, and we've already re-opened the 'Bookshelves & Broomsticks' forum as first of these 'featured fandoms' - you'll notice that all book and movie discussions are now held in the one forum, with a separate subforum, 'The House of Gaunt', for discussions of Tom Riddle and his Slytherin allies. We'll also be looking to have a similar setup for 3-4 other key fandoms when the relaunch is complete, each of which will have a dedicated forum and fanwork category of their own. There's also a general fandom category already in place, 'The Melting Pot', where discussions for any other fandoms will be kept.
You've probably already guessed what's coming next - we'd like to get the input of our members before we make a decision on which fandoms to select as our initial offering. Please make any suggestions - anything at all, no matter how out-of-the-box - either at the LJ Community, on this post's twin over on the forums, or even by dropping the Crew an email. We'll be looking at everyone's suggestions, and selecting a few of the most popular to be our first main fandoms. If your favourite isn't selected as one of the initial few, don't be disheartened, as these 'featured' fandoms are not, and will never be, fixed - we'll add additional forums as time goes on for fandoms who generate enough discussion to warrant one of their own, so there's always a chance for new fandoms to come to prominence.
Any thoughts, reactions, or (hopefully) excited squealing regarding today's announcement can also be sent in the same way, and we'd love to hear what you think about the change in general, as well as your opinions on the fandoms you'd like to see selected. So, GTDEs one and all, it's over to you...