In the few months since the new, updated version of our website, studybuddhism.com, has been online, we have already seen signs of success. The average number of articles read by our users and length of time of their sessions have both increased. Usage of the site through mobile devices has increased now to over 50%, with significant growth in third-world countries. Having expanded the information architecture of the site with additional sections, we are currently in the process of migrating the rest of the English material from the archive section to the main section, to be followed by the same procedure for the current five foreign language sections.
In addition, we have:
prepared a new active homepage in order to keep users’ interest and increase retention
produced 28 question and answer videos with various Buddhist teachers in order to start our media campaign
prepared six interviews with these Buddhist teachers in order to attract new audiences
established connections with external websites in Brazil and Russia in order to increase the website’s search visibility
began the process of adding our next four language sections: French, Italian, Turkish and Vietnamese
started to design our first online educational course
specified further features for development, such as the glossary.
On September 16, during an informal meeting with the Dalai Lama in Strasbourg, France, I informed him of the progress of the project. The Dalai Lama replied that we are making a great contribution and offered further advice concerning future development.
With your continuing support, we will be able to implement his suggestions and thus make the ageless wisdom of Tibet available to all.
With the initial version of our new, updated website, http://studybuddhism.com, now online, we are busy expanding the project even further. This requires sustaining the salaries of our five-member core team, maintaining our office and servers, and commissioning new articles and translations. To produce more multimedia content so we can keep our material up to date and expand our user base, we need to travel for filming interviews with prominent Buddhist teachers. To help meet these growing expenses, we have therefore raised our cumulative fundraising goal here on Global Giving to $300,000.
If you would like to see how we have been spending the donations that we have been receiving from you, as well as from other kind supporters directly via our website and from several foundation grants, please take a look at our detailed budget report for the first half of 2016. As you can see, our total income for the six-months was $340,777 and our expenditures were $276,729. As our projected expenses for the second half of 2016 are $282,480, we hope that you will continue to support our efforts to “Make the Ageless Wisdom of Tibet Available to All.”
On May 13, 2016, we soft-launched the new, updated version of our website in a reworked content structure. We changed our domain name to studybuddhism.com in order to develop better Google rankings to make our materials accessible to a wider audience, while maintaining the old website, renamed studybuddhism.com/web. The renaming process included a change of DNS provider and server hosting. The website is now fully open for indexing by Google. As a start, the new website contains 630 articles and 470 audios in English and 230 articles in each of its initial five foreign language sections – Spanish, Portuguese, German, Russian and Indonesian.
In addition, we have:
Implemented a redirect strategy to move traffic and materials from the previous version of the website (berzinarchives.com) to the new website
Implemented basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) recommendations in order to pass the Google requirements to be recognized as a new domain
Developed a content strategy for multiple internet channels (Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest, Twitter) in order to deliver our content to a wider audience around the world
Developed and approved an animation video in order to attract users from Youtube and Facebook
Filmed three interviews with renowned teachers in order to fill in content gaps and develop media rich content.
This is only the beginning of this next phase of our project. With your continuing support, we will continue to adapt to the ever-changing internet landscape so as to make available to the world the wisdom of Tibet.
During the last three months, we have nearly completed the final steps needed for launching online our new updated website:
We have completed preparation of the English content for this first launch, reworking many of the articles from the old website and adding new articles
Prepared the content for the first five non-English language sections for the new website – Spanish, German, Russian, Portuguese and Indonesian
Optimized our content management system to generate and edit the pages of the non-English language sections
Finished production of a series of short educational videos for our YouTube channel
Continued production of an animated educational video
Developed and tested a strategy for search engine optimization for the new site
Defined the key performance indicators (KPI) and measurement system for evaluating the entire project.
We are presently in the midst of the final testing of the new site. Once this is completed, we will launch the site online for the public. With your continuing support, the new website will further our goal of making the wisdom of Tibetan available to all.
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