It's merely a number - yet another year, just like any other year before it. Yet, somehow the roundness and neatness of the "2020" add to the perceived significance of what we must make of this "new" year. We are not even a week in yet, but globally 2020 is already worthy of history books. Zooming in to what we do as part of the UNA community, the year 2020 is will have to become a landmark moment too - the year of opportunity.
Honeymoon is Over
UNA is a relatively new platform. The core system functionality took a while to develop, while the front-end modules and features have only had a couple of years to evolve and grow so far. In a way, this early period allowed us some freedom - we could iterate fast, add a lot with each update and sometimes get away with less-than-polished releases. After all, it was just the beginning.
Now, however, we have a robust set of modules, active community and around 1,000 live sites running on UNA. The development has to shift priority from sheer feature-development pace to focused evolution in speed, security, reliability and user experience improvements.
The honeymoon is over. Now is the time to strengthen the foundation and build on with full presence and responsibility.
The World is Changing
Any change brings about great potential. The social media industry is changing faster than ever now. We see new large players emerging, the exodus from Facebook is real, and most importantly - more and more community-leaders realise that they don't have to give up control in the process of achieving their dreams. That is the wave we must ride. It's not even a matter of choice. It's a responsibility.
We build a tool that unites people. Our mission, ultimately, is to unite people by empowering community leaders. Here is why it is so important to us.
Every human person is a unique mix of interests, personal qualities, life circumstances, achievements and social connections. Just like our differences can distance us, our similarities can help us connect, unity and amplify shared impact. Moreover, most people are inherently good, kind and well-meaning. If we recognise that there is always something we have in common, something we can collaborate on, share and enjoy together, notwithstanding any disagreements, the world can quickly change to better.
Internet is an excellent tool - a tool of unparalleled potential for social change and individual transformation. Unfortunately, most of the modern social media sharing and communication is concentrated into a handful of generic silos. Like super-markets, these giants took control and set their own generic rules of engagement for the majority of netizens. They substituted diversity with individual echo-chambers, which reflect and reinforce one's existing sentiments.
The raison d'être for UNA is not just about building a great community platform. It is about helping to unite people in diverse ways - build unique communities that drive subject-specific causes.
In 2020 we will further zoom in on this mission and will adjust our strategy accordingly. We plan to make initial deployment more accessible; offer trials and "pay-for-updates-only" modules pricing; build more for educational space and encourage original content publishing.
As for the state of the platform itself, we'd like to change gears and prioritise revisions over new features. 2020 will be a year faster, more stable, more streamlined and user-friendly UNA.