Just to clarify things for people, we're not trying to rock any boats or create any competitions here. This has been the intended course for NG since back when we started on the Audio Portal, which launched in 2003. It's just that things never quite work out the way they are supposed to. When we started the site redesign in 2005, it was intended to launch with both the Art and Lit Portal. As the redesign entailed rebuilding most of the site from scratch to accomodate the "global features" like shared voting and review system, those ideas got pushed back to post-redesign, intended to go into production right after the redesign launch.
The redesign ended up not launching until July 2007. Then we had the whole debacle with the NG store, which was meant to be a side project by another programmer but ended up falling in Ross's lap and distracting him from moving to the Art Portal after launch. Then Ross left for Yahoo and Rob came onboard and started the store over from scratch. The store set us back almost a year when it was never meant to set anyone back for a day.
The reason we launched the Art Forum in 2006 was because we realized the Art Portal was gonna be a while. The Art Forum was a place to build the community that was going to become the Art Portal community, so that the Art Portal could have an exciting launch when it finally happened. I just regret that we hit so many bumps and that it took this long. It's embarassing. When we take too long on features, the community naturally forms its own solutions.