I’m pleased to announce the opening of the AVL 4.0 community where all users are able to communicate with each other on an individual or group basis.

As of today, you can access the community directory by selecting “Members Directory” from the newly created “Community” menu. There, you can make friendships, send messages, and otherwise stay in touch. I’ll be working hard to add extra functionality as we go, but I wanted to announce the core functionality now.

I came up with the idea for AVL 4.0’s central focus – community – after seeing how our commenters interact with each other. With friendship and community central tents of the existence of Aston Villa Life, the inclusion of a community function seemed the most logical step forwards for the site.

The member directory only shows around 70 people in it because these are the most recent users who comment on the site even though we have over 300 registered accounts. As we grow the site – and I have plans to do so – new members will appear here, and you will be able to interact with them directly, meaning that newly created friends can message each other, and otherwise stay in contact directly. Of course, people can use regular blog comments as always to further the conversation.

Please note – you will need to be logged in to access functionality such as adding friends, or other community features.

I’m keen to direct the site in the ways that the community deem most appropriate. Back in March 2011 when I started this site on a whim one night, I could never have envisaged that it would be the success that is has been, continues to be, and will continue to be. The essence of what makes this site remarkable – the community – is what I must strive to build upon for the benefit of every individual as well as the community overall.

As ever, I am receptive to feedback and you can get in contact with me via the contact option on the site. If you feel you want extra functionality included, whatever that may be, let me know and I will see what I can do.

Till then, I leave you to the community – the next step of Aston Villa Life’s progression is here.