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New Beginnings

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New Beginnings. 

Castle Roland (The Castle) has a unique and complex history. Its origins start with the merger of two separate sites and concepts. Saber Peak Ranch and The Revolutions Universe sites were both experiencing some management and technological issues and an overall decline in readership. Both sites may have been lost completely at that time if it were not for the efforts of David Roland. Roland gathered a few key people to form a committee to attempt to save both sites. The end result was The Castle absorbed both sites and started afresh. A few months later Ken Barber’s very small site Readers Ranch was also absorbed into the merger.

The merger process was long and at times tempers flared. Everyone involved was (and still is) very passionate about making sure the authors stories were treated fairly and lawfully. Everyone involved in this merger are volunteers and no one gets paid. Yet they put in countless hours of agonizing phone calls, Skype chats and web conferencing to make sure the process went as smoothly as possible. The biggest obstacle to overcome was the website itself. Rilbur with very little notice and completely volunteering his time, designed and programmed the first edition of the site. Without his help the dream of the Castle would never have even come close to realization. The originally designed site was intended to be a temporary bridge between the immediate need and the end result. Because of Rilbur’s skill and knowledge the original design lasted way longer than any of us ever imagined. 

The one thing that was decided early was The Castle’s mission: to provide a warm and welcome place for a diverse group of authors; to share their talents with readers from all over the world. To incorporate stories that take place in various settings and time periods, and span many genres. So no matter what they are looking for all visitors will find it on The Castle

During all the merger negotiations no one ever expected the kind of support and growth we would see. The Castle never intended to become arguably the third largest online gay fiction hosting site. Yet here we are today, with over 70 hosted authors, over 440 individual stories and thousands and thousands of individual chapters. On our forums we have 540 members, 1,600 discussions topics and over 17,000 individual posts According to our conservative estimates our readership will grow to over 3 million total views by this year's end.

At the end of 2014, The Castle had just over 45,000 individual people visit the site. That's more than the population of Wala Wala, Washington, USA. We hit just short of 1 million total views. At the end of the 2014 The Administrators celebrated those numbers as they knew they were onto something. They began to think about ways to grow and develop the site even more. Recruiting requests for volunteers were posted, contests were planned, forum membership drives were organized, special events began.

The work paid off. At the end of 2015 The Castle opened it doors to 76,801 individual visitors which is equivalent to all of the employees of the entire coal mining industry in the United States and over 1.7 million total views. This was an 80% increase over the previous year. Since The Castle launched in April of 2014 this was the first full year in operation and once again all the volunteers celebrated and plans began to expand some programs, add new programs, and cut some programs.

(Please feel free to comment, make suggestions or ask questions. The next section will be posted later this week)

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Glad you like the idea. The entire series is completely written out but we didn’t want to post it all at once for fear it would be too long and peeps would just not read it. This way it’s a little more digestible. I hope every finds some little tid-bits of fun information and maybe some wow moments. 

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