Welcome to the first post of the blog for this site. This is where I plan to cover everything about the site from the first time it was thought up, and then later covering updates to the site and the direction it is going as well as letting people know why we chose to do what we’re doing, with the occasional interesting expat related story thrown in every so often.
The initial idea for this site came in late 2016 when I was dating a woman who seemed to know everything there was to do in Moscow. I had a number of coworkers, several who spoke Russian as well as a tour company which provided a lot of information on events in the city who had no idea about the things this woman was suggesting that we do. I did a search at the time and didn’t see anything good for expat communities. I found some that did some things well, but really none that did a lot of things well.
I thought that it would be great if we had a place for each city to pool what we know about events or exhibitions or festivals that were happening so that everyone could benefit from the entire community. Even when you know the local language it can be difficult to keep track of everything that is happening, and if you don’t know the local language then you will miss out on so many things that the city you live in has to offer. I hope with this site that we can grow local expat communities world wide, so that we can raise our quality of life by being aware of everything that there is to do where we are, just as if it was the town we grew up in.
At the site launch we’ll be missing many of these features. It came down to, how long do we develop for before we launch the website? I could spend another year having this site built up before launching to get things where I want it to be, or we can launch now and build it up together. I’m opting to go for now. So at the site launch due to technical reasons the forum which we had set up and ready to go doesn’t currently work. A company that we bought software from failed to upgrade their software and without patching it it would expose anyone’s data to hackers. I value privacy, so unfortunately we have not yet found an acceptable replacement for it, so the forum is put on hold until we can get something to replace it. It is just waiting on us finding a comparable replacement, so once we find it, it can go live almost immediately.
The other thing currently in development is a calendar system where we can show all the events, festivals, exhibitions or anything else happening in the city you live in. This is currently just being started to be developed so it likely wont be ready for a few months, possibly in 2020. What we’ll be able to do is take user submissions of events and then add them to the calendar so that you can pull up month by month and see what is happening around you. Ideally the way it will work is once we are aware of something we’ll be able to input the information and only have to do this once and the calendar should keep current on all events from a particular place like a cinema or theater.
So what do we have live by the time that you read this? Well we have a podcast live with a few episodes live and more being recorded as I can find guests to appear with great stories or information to share. We just finalized our listings templates so that we can create listings for various businesses. This should really make it much easier to find expat friendly businesses, and also to shine light on fantastic places or businesses which might otherwise not be known about to someone not native to the country.
In future posts I’ll update you on how things are coming and a lot of the things that got us to where we are with development and all the ideas that were put into the site, and even some that for different reasons were taken out. Hopefully people will enjoy these blog posts enough to come back and see how things all got started and follow us on the adventure we’re just starting.