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Announcing The New Website

user profile picture Chris Martenson Apr 04, 2023
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As you may know, the amazing Peak Prosperity team and I have been studiously rebuilding the website behind the scenes.

Before I get to the many new features, let’s begin with the reason why.

Why?

All of our support systems are crumbling and millions of people are about to wake up to that reality.

I want to help as many of them as I can.

Bluntly, the core concepts of the Crash Course are now coming true.  Exponential growth in a finite planet has run its course.   We’re entering the next disruptive (and possibly dangerous) stage of development in the story.

Between here and 2030 many powerful events are going to take place.  Family fortunes will be lost, others made.  By the time the dust settles, a massive wealth transfer will have taken place.  By definition, most will be caught unawares, and lose much, if not everything.  The old story is breaking down, the new story has not yet been written.  We are in the interregnum – the ‘in between’ period where all sorts of mischiefs lay in wait.

Over the next few years, energy issues will dictate the narratives as the world’s geopolitical powers jockey for position in the energy-dregs sweepstakes.  As things are currently positioned the East will win and the West will lose.  That may change, but that’s how it’s currently shaping up.  So the people in the West, particularly, need to adjust their expectations and plans accordingly

Covid woke many people up to the idea that we are not just led by fools, but by a sort of predatory class of narcissists who care not about helping others, or worrying about such details as whether their actions will leave behind a better world.  At the time we most need elegant and sophisticated leadership, we’ve got the exact opposite.

Together we can make Peak Prosperity the #1 online resilience community. We can help people.  And we do it because we can.

How?

We’ve gotten it into our heads that our job is to create a smooth, speedy, and intuitive online experience that helps you find both the people and content you need to find when you need to find it.  We’re going to use the virtual world’s incredible ability to connect with each other as a means to make positive connections and contributions in the real world.  We find each other here so we can locate each other there.

Since its inception in 2008, the Peak Prosperity community has proven itself over and over again to be tough, brave, resilient, caring, and passionately open-minded.

Unlike many, we use calm, reasoned facts to provoke change by insight (as opposed to change by pain) and we lead by example.  We walk the talk.

The people who have assembled – you – are the beating heart of Peak Prosperity.  It’s time to reach more people and truly leverage the breadth and wisdom of this community to help these new people adjust as quickly as possible.

My personal motivation comes from my gut; as sure as I was that the Crash Course needed to be made in 2008, I am certain that people will need to find each other here in the virtual world so they can find each other (and form real communities) in the real world.  I am burning with the desire to foster real-world connections.

Therefore we’ve placed a lot of emphasis on improving the forums and finally offering groups as a means of people finding each other here at Peak Prosperity.  As we learn and grow, we’ll help people find each other in the real world.

The New Website

With the astonishingly skilled help of Pete Mo, our hired user interface/user experience (“IU/UX”) professional, we’ve done everything from mapping out every possible crevice of the user experience to mapping 15 years of data and comments, to even redoing the logo.

You can still use the old golden apple tree if you like, or get the new logo on your next coffee cup.  The new logo conforms to current best practices and stands out better on a website than the golden tree. We also wanted a logo that better embodies the concept of not just connecting dots, but of connecting each other in order to lay the roots of a better world.

Beyond the logo, the website has an entirely different look and feel, and will ‘drive differently’ than in the past.

Here’s a sneak peek:

That’s just the front page.  Every single page has been similarly redesigned and streamlined.  The entire site and 15 years’ worth of content have been mapped and sorted to make it easier to find and more useful.

To the right of the home page you’ll see the Community boxes all prominently displayed allowing people to more readily see where the conversations are happening and which ones are getting the most attention.  Again, a main goal of ours is to facilitate community and connections.

But wait!  There’s more!

We’ve also migrated 15 years of forums into a new forum software called “Discourse” which we’ve taken the time to customize as much as possible.  To set expectations this software is both (1) a HUGE improvement over what we had before, and (2) something that we will be improving and/or replacing over time if called for.

Here’s what the forums look like with a few significant features called out.

In yellow we see that there are now things called “categories” which are basically topics that are collected into a category bucket.  So when you click on “Health” all the topics that are tagged as being about health will then be displayed.

The purple bar indicates “Channels” which are chats for many people at once.  They could be organized around a group, say “Las Vegas” as is seen on the image above as the first item in the Channels list, or they could be around any other gathering or assembly.

The best part of this first iteration is that you will not only be able to chat with the whole tribe in The Bonfire (highlighted in green), any group you join will have its own dedicated forum and group chat that links to all the members in your respective group.

Right below that, in the red highlighting, is Personal Chat which is exactly like it sounds.  It’s a way for you to text chat with someone else on the site.  They could be active on the site so you can chat in real-time, or they may be away in which case they’ll see your chat when they get back to the site.

There will be lots to learn, especially around how to configure your notifications preferences, and to help you we’ve got Dane making tons and tons of short introductory and training videos.

Next, we have groups finally!   A group will allow people to fire up a group and assemble around either a location (we call these ‘vertical’ groups as they pertain to a specific location like “Atlanta” or “Leeds, England”) or around a specific interest which we call a ‘horizontal’ as these groups can span across many individual vertical.  “Chickens” is an example of a horizontal group as is “personal protection.”

The vertical groups can be found on a map, which will greatly facilitate our main goal of helping you find your tribe both virtually and in real life.

Here’s a quick orientation/training video on groups by Dane Larsen.

YouTube video

New Features

In addition to how things look, there are many new features to get used to. The one’s that I am most excited about are:

  • Drag and drop picture loading in the Community area (forums, private messaging, and chatting). Yay!  Simply copy and paste from a source (say, Google images) or drag from your desktop into the Discourse Reply or Topic box and it loads and displays right away.
  • Drag and drop video loading to the Community area.
  • Vastly improved Private Messaging.  Private messaging is now fast, easy to find, and easy to use.
  • Notifications!  Lots and lots of ways to be notified when new content is loaded, when someone has replied to you, or when a forum topic you are tracking has activity.
  • Bookmarks. Bookmark posts from inside the forums so you can easily find your way back to the best content.
  • Chatting in a chat box with your PP tribe! Either one-to-one or within a group chat.  Your choice.
  • Search that works! The search function works beautifully now.  I found brilliant older content that I hadn’t seen in many years.  What a relief!
  • Vastly improved speed and performance. We’ve invested heavily in banging on the site and hunting down everything that was slowing it down, making it sometimes creaky.
  • A help bot. Say hello and welcome to “Ivor Mectin” our friendly chat bot.  Dane’s goal in creating this bot was to make it the first bot you don’t hate!  It’s getting trained up to help answer all of the most common questions as rapidly and as easily as possible.  No more waiting to hear back on simple matters like lost passwords, or needing some help with your account, or in finding something.  All of which escalates to a real human if you don’t the help you needed.
  • Improved ALERTS that now exist on their own page (with email ALERT notifications, a mobile app and text alerts are coming up next)

This is a short list of an extensive list of new features, all of which you can learn about from our training videos, if you so desire.

In addition, all sorts of new content is coming.

  • Online courses (coming very soon!), such as The Crash Course and many other PP topics, with members also able to build and monetize their own courses.
  • New content from our very own Peak Prosperity contributors (who will be owning key content areas such as “material capital” or “emotional resilience”)
  • A daily feed from my desk to your screen.
  • A renewed focus on financial content and related interviews.

Okay, so how are we going to pull all of that off?  Easy.  With the best team ever.  We’ll be introducing the team shortly.

For now, please enjoy the new website and pitch in and help us make it better by giving us your feedback.

When?

/gulps nervously/

Well, you see putting down times runs the risk of disappointing people…AND…we’ve got a lot of talent on the project, so here’s what we are planning.

The new site will go live the weekend of April 8-9, 2023

The only thing that will prevent that at this point is if for some mysterious reason(s) the new site simply doesn’t work after we migrate over all the content and run it on our production servers.  At that point, we’ll take it back down, reload the current website, and work to fix the issue.

While that’s always a possibility, we are currently confident that it won’t happen (knock on wood).

So, Saturday or Sunday of that weekend, when you come to Peak Prosperity it will look and operate in a whole new way.

Next Steps

First, enjoy the new website!

Second, please tell us about anything at all that isn’t working right, is confusing, or can be improved.  There are four ways to get a message to us.  (1) just leave a comment down below, we’ll see it.  (2) Go over the forums area where we have a standing thread titled “Feedback & Fixes”.  (3) Go to the very bottom of any page into the footer and use the “Contact Us” link.  (4) Use the “Ivor Mectin” bot down in the lower right corner of any page and click the feedback button and then leave us a message.

Third, we’re here to help you get oriented and used to all the new features and navigation paths.  Dane Larsen has created a bevy of short training videos to help.

Finally, we’re going to be changing and iterating throughout the rest of the year.  I run a constant improvement model, which mirrors my core life philosophy.   So please feel 100% welcome and empowered to tell us what you think and what you’d like that we don’t already have.  We will get to them if we can!

Did I mention how great the team was?

Finally, a huge shout-out of appreciation to the many Peak Prosperity members who stepped up to help us beta-test and debug the site, and to the many members who financially support my work and this site and its community.  You all have my deep gratitude and respect.

Onward!