Oasis celebrates its 15th year!

Wow, it started as a monthly "magazine" style site, is now a community site, and at some point in 2011 should morph into a full-blown social network, but on December 1, Oasis turns 15 years old.

I launched the site in 1995 and am amazed by what it has become, as the site has always been driven, created, and supported by the people who share their lives here.

Some of our biggest assets were accidents that I now take credit for, such as not creating a girls forum and a boys forum, which has led to people realizing the problems are universal and the support is welcome from everyone willing to help. This is also useful more recently as our trans membership increases, saving my inbox from messages about reinforcing gender binaries, etc., etc.

I've been a bit absent lately as I've been at a the tail end of one job that was sort of spiraling out of control, and instead of the unemployment I expected, I actually have a 3-day weekend right into a new job with an even longer commute. The upside is that I will be earning enough now to hire a developer and get this site (and my vegan social network) developed in parallel.

So, thanks to everyone who comes here to share their lives, welcome others, and let people who need compassion and concern feel virtually what they might not feel in their offline lives.

I may have created this thing, but everyone reading this is the reason it has become such a special place online.

Comments

625539's picture

Thank you, jeff, for having created this space for us all.
A safe haven from negative exterior forces, a place for sharing experiences with sympathetic, understanding members. It would never be possible without you.

I love this place, this second home for my soul, beyond words. A true resting place.

And I love our small Oasis community, our family of strangers. Thank you for kind words, for being inspiring, for sharing and recording your lives. Because you've changed mine.

I would have turned out completely different if I hadn't begun posting almost a year ago.

I love you all, even if it doesn't always seem like it. <3

as small as a wish in a well.

hellonwheels's picture

congrats/thanks jeff y adrian...

for creating a really cool space for kids to post stuff up and talk/ discuss things

Mental wounds not healing, driving me insane, i'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train- the ozzman

Super Duck's picture

Happy birthday Oasis!

Thank you Jeff!!

funnyflyby's picture

Yes.

I know I've only been on for around a month, but I love Oasis. Thank you so much!
And... what, exactly, is going to happen with this social-network-2011 idea? Can you elaborate?
It's kinda strange to think Oasis has been around since before I was born. Happy Birthday, though!

625539's picture

I'm curious about the social

I'm curious about the social network aspect of it also!

as small as a wish in a well.

Kayye's picture

We Are All Grateful

And I'm sure I speak for every one when I say that. Thank you, truly Jeff. Although I've only been a member for a little over a year, I'm so thankful that I have a place, I can be myself, and say what I think and how I feel, and know that I will not be judged. You've created a safehaven, a sanctuary if you will, for many of us.

Thanks!

niks121997's picture

As always...

Thank you Jeff!! And Adrian too though he isn't around as much now. And happy birthday Oasis!

Indie's picture

The same birthday with

The same birthday with Romanian's National Day :P.

Happy Birthday , everyone!

jeff's picture

Social network...

This stuff is nothing new, in fact we would have been very "in the moment" had these things been rolled out when they were first conceived, so now it is more like we're playing catch-up.

It is sort of adding social networking functionality to give people more comfort and freedom in posting on Oasis. So, the obvious thing is "friending" or "buddy list" or whatever we end up calling it. The site by default will be what you see now, the rolling wall of journals, everyone seeing everything everyone posts, etc.

By making it more of a social network, the idea is to preserve the vibe that exists, but make it seem more like you have a profile or area of your own on here. We won't become Facebook, but maybe you can have a handful of photos posted, and you can also restrict some posts to being only for the people on your friends list, or even private, if you want to put something down, but not necessarily share it publicly.

It is how to preserve anonymity to the larger world who come to the site and don't participate, and more personal connection among the people you know here. So, non-members may see some cartoon image you like as an icon, but a registered member may see your face pic. Or, non-member AND registered members see the carton, and only the people you really know on here get to see the face pic.

There will also be more restrictions on people who join the site. So, some functionality may need to be earned, to neutralize spambots and people who want to see pics of half-naked teens. To that point, there will also be features to make sure the site doesn't become a total hookup site where "only people on my public list can see this photo" doesn't become "only people on my public list can see me naked." I trust you're all smart enough to figure out how to handle such things off of my site, if you're so inclined.

There will also be more ways for you to make the site interesting and updated. So, there will be a way to input a URL to a story you find interesting and on topic for LGBT youth, so paste that in, post a quick comment, and that will populate a news crawl or somesuch.

The missing feature will probably be chat. I can't convince myself that immediate connection to whoever happens to be on will surpass the benefit of posting your thoughts and then getting feedback from people who might keep different hours than you, as well as the benefit of documenting your life.

---
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

ShowMeLove's picture

Congrats Jeff and Oasis!

It was over 4 years ago that I found and became a member of Oasis. I know that through the years Oasis definitely made an impact on my life and I'm so glad that I found it when I did.

And I'm interested to see how Oasis changes in the next year. Also, I'm happy that you're including the ability to make posts private because sometimes I want to write things down that I don't want everybody to see, but that I don't want to write down on paper for family to stumble upon either.

No one's heard a single word I've said
They don't sound as good outside my head

Uncertain's picture

Thanks Jeff! Five years

Thanks Jeff! Five years since I found this site... from reading the Time Magazine! haha yes I read time at 13 I'm a massive nerd :P

Interested in how the social networking thing will turn out :) definitely looking forward to the private post function too

hellonwheels's picture

haha

sounds like max and i read the same article and were both nerds @ A young age. lol

Mental wounds not healing, driving me insane, i'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train- the ozzman

DDRobert's picture

double member

funny O.A.S.O.S. is the name of the Boulder Gay Youth Group

lonewolf678's picture

I present,

the long overdue thank you. Thank you very much Jeff, i deeply appreciate this site! I can't wait to see Oasis turn 20!