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Killing a Web Site...

TrollHammer

Youd think that something that never lived couldnt die, that never had blood flowing could not have a heartbeat, and so on... But I have seen website after website die due to strange things, some inexplecible, some blatant, some replaced by others. What have you seen as a key thing that incites the deqth of a website?



For example, there was once a social site around the turn of the millenium at www.bolt.com that was quite popular. there wasnt any particular theme, yet there was plenty to do and see. Your profile had a blank space for a web page that could be anything you wanted (mine had the only webcam image of me that has ever been online unmodified), a tagbook like a wall sapce, a diary that you could set permissions for, a survey/questions page, and a few others I cant remeber off hand.



What killed that site was the loss of these features. Things that people had worked hard on, had lots of replies and whatnot, and they started disappearing without warning. Suddenly the web page that was there yesterday is completely wiped out, not even a tab for it. A week later the survey page is wiped out but is still there, but you have to rebuild it, and no one wants to reanswer the questions. a month later, its wiped again... Tabs changed, deleted, censored, code changed, and so on... There was juat no point in doing anything there and people left.



The site went from 7000+ users actively logged in all day long for a year or two in 2000 to a few hundred in just a few months. I left shortly after. The web domain died at some point around 2001-2002.



Your experiences?

Embala

There's only one website I've experiance with ...

Elwing

Yes, I've seen forums and websites have life cycles. Commercial sites can quickly be destroyed by a few poor marketing decisions.
But when it comes to a fan forum, there are a few factors at work. Firstly, these sites rely on a small core of enthusiastic volunteers who offer time and money to keep it all working. And along with that a small hard core of users, who keep on posting even when times are bad.
There are a number of things that can kill a fan forum. Commercial spam when unchecked is absolutely deadly. Trolls can be a problem, and it takes courage on behalf of the moderators to deal with the more skillful ones. And finally, proper users who don't see eye to eye are one of the hardest things to deal with for a moderator, because this can involve choosing sides in a conflict and banning otherwise productive users.

And finally, I have seen forums where the fear of trolls and spammers and scammers is so great that all new users are automatically suspect, and there are so many hoops to jump trough to become a member that it hardly seems worth the trouble. These are often old forums that have experienced problems in the past and as a result are left with a lot of arbitrary rules and a negative attitude towards new users. Scaring away new users is a reliable way to kill an old forum.

There's one forum I sometimes meddle in where one, in order to become a user:
-has to be invited by an existing user.
-go trough a registration process that involves a hard to use CAPTCHA, a security question, and also a field in which you have to explain why you belong there.
-two pages of baffling rules, many of which seem to be designed as a knee-jerk reaction on some event that may have happened in the far past, or as a way to silence a one particular abusive user.
-an introductory post is compulsory, and has to provide a lot of specific information as stipulated in the rules.
-and then you can only post in a small section of the forum. You will only become a full member with full posting rights after 40 posts.


So, I had a go at this, but eventually said "F*** this shit". Oh, and what is this hyper exclusive forum for? It's for doll collectors. Seriously.

RedheadEmber

Wasn't there, once upon a time, something called MySpace?

Elwing

yes, had an Elfquest fan art page on that somewhere in the previous century. That didn't end well...

*edit* wait, no, I stand corrected! It was on Geocities. Remember Geocities?

Vaeri

i definitely remember Geocities, and Myspace...and Angelfire! who remembers Angelfire? i think i tended to hate the Angelfire websites a bit more.

Elwing

Oh yes, Angelfire! Oh they were all the same, full of flashing animated gifs, terrible backgrounds and unreadable text. And loud background MIDI music! Good times... \m/
I'll just leave this fine example here for the people too young to have experienced this.
Also, this. Just to set the right mood.

RichardPini

Elwing said: I'll just leave this fine example here for the people too young to have experienced this.
Also, this. Just to set the right mood.


My eyes and ears are bleeding now.

Vaeri

XD i don't really blame Elfpop! yes, the internet has gone through quite some changes!

i remember back when you could find chatsites, as far as the eye could see! and yahoo groups dominated the web. AOL was the new and upcoming instant messenger(gee that was fairly shortlived!)

i can even remember back to my childhood when you couldn't really do a blasted thing. XD windows 95! i always fiddled with the Paint, which was so primitive...and the landmine game! i actually rather love this game on newgrounds that allows you to relive the old days of computers, Windows 98...i'd post a link, but it does have some rather mature language and themes, and i dun wanna get in trouble.

instead to counteract Elwing's ear splitting memory enducer, here's a video showing the cool things the ooold sounds could be used for. quite catchy!

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/163139

Elwing

I like that ear splitting sound! I really do. It takes me back to that lonely girl with unusual interests sitting in a room in The Hague while the 14k4 modem tried to make contact with the newfangled thing called "internet". It was a phone line, paid per minute, and it was very hit and miss. But when it worked, I was suddenly in contact with the planet. It was a revelation, and a liberation, and it has made such a huge difference in my life. I'm now able to meet like minded spirits all over the world. I have not been truly alone since the day that modem started singing its false and grating song to me. It held untold promise. And it delivered!

Davrille

@Vaeri: Yahoogroups? Piffle! I remember OneList. (I think it was OneList. Or maybe it was OneGroups?). And when Hotmail was an "adult" email service.