Since this blog first began, in the fall of 2012, one regular request from readers has been a forum so the community that has grown around Bilingual Monkeys can interact more directly, more personally.
Of course, I’ve always thought this was a good idea, but at the same time, I’ve had two concerns:
1. Is this something I can afford to do? A solid platform for running a quality forum isn’t free. There are monthly fees and these fees can grow over time as the size of the forum membership grows.
2. Would I really have time to develop it and then maintain it? Creating and sustaining a quality forum is time-consuming, and I still have my blog and all of my “real-world life” to consider.
But encouragement from readers kept coming. And then, when I offered my first eBook in the spring—and pledged to put 100% of the funds toward this forum, and other projects, to expand my work—the generosity I received from this audience enabled me to finally move forward. I located a great platform to host the forum and I began the process of developing it.
I’m now happy to announce that the forum for our community—called “The Bilingual Zoo”—will officially open in July. (As early in July as I can manage!)
Like this blog, the forum and all the benefits it can bring—kinship, support, ideas, inspiration, and more—will be completely free. It’s my small way of giving something back to the world, helping others gain even greater success (and more enjoyment, too) on their bilingual or multilingual journey.
At the same time, if you do decide to become a member of the forum, I humbly ask that you make a small annual contribution to help the Bilingual Zoo survive and thrive. Without this voluntary support from members, this sense of ownership for the community, the new forum won’t succeed to the degree I hope. Your support is needed and appreciated.
As I mentioned, I’ll open the gates to the Bilingual Zoo in July—and I’ll provide another announcement here, with the link, when it’s open to the public.
In the meantime, if you’d like an early invitation before it officially opens—to “test drive” the forum and tell me what you think—I’d be grateful for your feedback. Just email me at the address below, and I’ll send you the link.
Thanks! See you soon at the Bilingual Zoo!