Julia Tran

Moving On From NextBillion Staff

Old NB screenshotI’m sad to say it’s time for me to sign off as a member of the NextBillion staff. I remember joining World Resources Institute and the NextBillion staff in June 2005. NextBillion had just been up and running for two months. Take a look at this old screenshot and you’ll notice the site had three navigation bars, 19 navigation links, and six color blocks. We agonized over the dearth of comment submissions and had regular staff meetings about how to improve site design, increase traffic, and encourage community participation.

Over the last two and a half years, NextBillion has undergone many site make-overs, but more importantly, the quality of its information and readership have improved exponentially. We now have over 250,000 unique visitors coming to NextBillion on a monthly basis, many of whom enrich the discussion through commenting on blogs and giving suggestions for site posts and improvements. Some gratifying third-party confirmations of the site’s effectiveness include its nomination for a Webby Award in 2006, and “Best of the Web” mentions in BusinessWeek and New York Times.It is exciting to think of NextBillion’s steadily growing visitor count and media recognition as a reflection of growing interest in private sector solutions to poverty, and to think that NextBillion has had some role in nurturing this trend. It’s been a honor to work with Rob Katz and the site’s numerous blog contributors over these years. I’m eager to follow the site’s continuing evolution as the “Base of the Pyramid” field matures and the ideas discussed on NextBillion become reality.