Today, at 4:47 PM EST it was official. My mouth has been shut for weeks since I couldn’t talk to anyone outside of my family about the deal with YS. But it is now done and I couldn’t be happier. YMX partnering with YS is, in my opinion, the perfect place for YMX to fit into the youth ministry landscape. As Marko said, it’s only natural.
We’ve truly enjoyed being the independent source of youth ministry stuff. And we hope to continue on with that flavor.
There are a hundred reasons I am excited about this deal. The most obvious thing to be excited about is that I get to run YMX as part of my new job with YS. How cool is that? I’m also jazzed about the massive door of opportunity that was just swung open to us from the YS/Zondervan family. There are too many cool things to talk about with this. For now…
Here’s the press release
And here are the FAQs we posted in the forums about “what happens next” for YMX/YS.
How will this effect the way I use YMX?
One of the coolest parts of this is that the YMX community will mostly stay the same. The same people will be running it and Youth Specialties is taking a very hands off approach to YMX. YMX will benefit mostly from access to tons of resources to grow the site in a way that helps fulfill the community’s long-term vision.
Will this effect the way the forums operate currently?
Yes. Eventually, the forums will shift from a subscription based forum to a free forum. In other words, there will no longer be “premium level” areas of the site which require payment to utilize. The terms of service, the community accountability, the emphasis on self-moderation, will all continue.
Will the forum community be under a new and/or revised terms of service?
Not right now. If the terms of service ever change we will contact you to let you know.
What about the privacy issues? I thought the forums were secure and now they will be open to anyone?
We share your concerns. Starting in January 2008, YMX changed the method of registering new members so that new members have to provide personal information that is verified before we allow new members to access the forums. We will continue to utilize this option as a way to prevent trolling and keep the community safe. This meets the same need in protecting your privacy on the forums fulfilled.
Will the forums be indexed on search engines?
No. Since the forums require a registration to see anything, the search bots are prevented from searching forum content. This is not changing.
Will the forums be managed by different people and/or different moderators?
YMX, including the forums, will continue to operate as we always have.
I am a charter/premium subscriber, what does that mean for me?
Most of our premium/charter subscribers have been with us a long time. You guys are awesome and we thank you for your support. We will soon contact you to offer you a store credit with Youth Specialties. If that doesn’t work for you, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will the Oasis still be available?
Absolutely. The private Oasis area of the forums will still be available upon request, with a team of caring, youth ministry-understanding people to listen, pray, and confidentially walk with youth workers through tough or tricky situations. In fact, we hope to bring even more hope and help through the people being part of YS makes available to us all.
Does this mean that you won’t be accepting and publishing user-generated content?
Not at all! Actually the opposite. As a property of Youth Specialties we will be increasing the frequency of content for the community. While you may see some new authors on the site, we’d love to continue to work with new and emerging authors.
How much money were Patti and Adam given to make this happen?
We can’t answer that at this time. Adam and Patti are currently on the Youth Specialties jet on their way to FerrariWorld in Roma, ciao! http://www.ferrariworld.com/
Will YMX still be appearing at the conventions to promote the community?
Yes. Look for us at all the National Youth Workers Conventions this fall.
What about Raising Lazarus and the community’s desire to help hurting youth workers?
Raising Lazarus has always been a separate entity of Youth Ministry Exchange, LLC. YMX will continue its partnership with Raising Lazarus to offer practical support for those who need help. In addition, with more time dedicated to running YMX, Adam and Patti will be more available to help.
Will the site continue to place ads?
Yes. The site will largely operate as it has.
Does this mean that YMX will only promote resources that are Youth Specialties products?
No. The site will largely operate as it has. If we review a resource or report on a news item, we will include a disclosure stating that our our parent company is Youth Specialties when it is relevant. This is similar to the way you see reporting on mainstream media.
Doesn’t YMX own other sites? Are those part of this deal as well?
Yes, YMX will continue to operate the blog ad network, Youth Ministry Tips, Youth Ministry Pro, and just like we are today.