A Site Announcement

For the remainder of this week, I’ll be doing very light blogging. I have to find some time during the year to get a break from this bullshit, and late August is usually pretty slow as far as political news goes. So, if I’m blogging like crazy on Thursday and Friday, you can be pretty sure that something has gone wrong and also that CabinGirl is contemplating murder.

When I get back to the normal routine, I am going to have to make some difficult decisions about what to do with Booman Tribune. The site was designed in 2004-5 and it is hopelessly obsolete. It had about a three year run as an actual revenue generator before a variety of factors caused most blogs to go completely broke. Since that time, the site barely pays for itself. I’ve kept it going out of love and a bit of stubbornness, not because it pays the bills.  Over the years, many generous donors/readers have helped me sustain Booman Tribune, and for that I am incredibly grateful.

We now have thirteen and a half years of material, both from the front-pagers and from the diaries.  Unfortunately, all of it is at risk. The server is old and the management company keeps warning me that if anything breaks they cannot guarantee that they’ll have the parts to fix it. That means I have to migrate the site again and that is always an expensive proposition.  I’m not really interested in laying out the money to do it because I won’t recoup it, but I also don’t want to lose everything we’ve created together.

Maybe what is called for is a complete site redesign. I’m thinking of something that will preserve the archives but be modern and fresh and fun.  I had a false start on doing something like this back in 2014 with Progress Pond, but I lost my programmer, ran out of money, landed a different job, and basically sidelined that project.

Another factor that has been troubling me is the increase in malicious attacks on the site which caused me to have to hire at a significant monthly expense an outside company to protect us from denial of service and other hacking attempts.  You may have noticed that the front-page went down this summer for about a week.  Of course I don’t know who is responsible for these things but dealing with it isn’t free.  I think I spent about $600 bucks solving that problem and there’s a limit to how often I can put up with that kind of unanticipated expense and aggravation.

Anyway, there’s a lot for me to think about, and of course you might influence my decision making.  I guess the most important thing is that I have to figure out is how to secure what we already have produced, both the posts and the comments. That alone will be a project. But I don’t see the point of investing that time and money and then coming out the other side with nothing but what we have now, which is an old site that badly needs updating and that doesn’t generate almost anything in the way of revenue.

I’m going to leave up the donation button this week, and if you’d like to help support the effort to preserve the site, maybe you can make a contribution. Your thoughts and comments will also be welcome. I think I can steal some time to read them without too much risk of CabinGirl’s wrath.  

Thanks, and I’ll be back one way or the other at full swing next Monday.

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