This is a common theme when I write announcements, but I'll say it again anyway: it's a pretty exciting time for Bulbagarden right now. We just concluded another year of holiday contests that gave nearly two dozen Bulbagarden users a preorder of Black or White. Bulbapedia continues readying itself for the Black and White release, and has already fully updated all available information from the Japanese games. The Black and White section of the forums is among its most active. I'm sure activity on all levels of the site is going to continue to grow as the English-language release of Generation V draws closer.
To build on this excitement and drive Bulbagarden forward into 2011 and Generation V, we are launching the second Project Overgrow. Broader in scope than the first, we have a laundry list of goals both big and small that need accomplished. Some of the bigger ones are the most exciting and will provide a major enhancement to the way you see and use Bulbagarden.
We will continue work on Bulbapedia to make it more user-friendly. A number of changes have been implemented over the past few months to that effect, such as the removal of Pokémon disambiguations, and the trend of simplifying the user experience will continue. We look forward to introducing portals that will serve as an ideal interface for navigating the big topics of the fandom—the games, the anime, the TCG, the manga, and others. New editors will also see a change in their experience; we hope to provide more guidance and clearer policies to them as they get started on Bulbapedia.
We are going to be upgrading the forums to vBulletin 4, which is more secure than the current software, provides a more expansive set of add-ons, and comes with a Content management System (CMS) which will give our content generators a place to display their work that's far superior to anything we have to offer today. Other improvements include an enhanced tournament system, software that is more effective at blocking spambots, and a revamp to the Buy & Sell section.
Other areas of the site will see improvements, as well. We are exploring collaborative drawing software, a revival of Bulbacast and National Bulbagraphic, and other exciting initiatives that we can't even talk about yet. There is, as you can see, a lot on our plate.
To coordinate Overgrow II and direct the continued growth and development of Bulbagarden, I am stepping down as the head of BMGf effective immediately and stepping up into the role of Bulbagarden's Chief of Staff, where I will direct the growth and development of the site. Replacing me as the Head Administrator is someone most of you know quite well, and someone I consider a good friend--$aturn¥oshi. He will be in charge of day-to-day operations on the forum; I hope you welcome him to this new position and don't give him too much trouble as he gets used to his new digs.
Finally, and on a personal note, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made my work on the forums—originally in the gaming sections, back in 2002-2005, and later as head of the forums, such an enjoyable experience. While listing everyone would lead to a really long list, I would like to especially thank the staff, moderators, and admins who show up every day on this site and work hard with few thanks and fewer paychecks to make sure the experience is great for everyone. I'd also like to thank all the users—many of whom I've spoken with but even more who I've only seen in passing, and more still who I have not seen at all—who make this forum, in my opinion, the best place on the internet. I say that without irony or sarcasm. I've loved working on the forum and I've loved my time at Bulbagarden, and I'm excited and privileged to continue to work in a new and different role.
So, now I'm going to roll up my sleeves and get to work. Overgrow II is about to get going. If you have questions, comments, or requests of things you'd like to see, we're all ears.