Note from author: ironically I started writing this well over a year ago. Given the amount of attention given to this web site for the past year+ it seems to be a good point to finish and release the post.
I read a great article a few years back that – at least to me – had come up with a great term to describe dead web pages. Any page – blog, board, or otherwise – that had not been updated in quite some time was called a “cobweb”. I found it funny.
Tonight I was browsing my way around the blogosphere and happened upon a blog that I have not visited in over a year. Guess what? No updates, not one, in that entire time. But it gets better… in this particular bloggers blogroll (a list of blogs that this blogger, at least in theory, has some interest in) not a single one of them had been updated in over a year.
I currently maintain five blogs. This one has been running for several years. My first blog is just for family members and has been running since December of 2004. I have a blog related to my professional work which has been very active and in fact has been quoted in industry magazines. I have a photography blog that seems to be last on the list for updates, and I have a “manly” blog which is where all of the “cool gadget” posts have moved to rather than being posted here. Do I update all of them all of the time? No, unfortunately I don’t have the time. But I do try to update those that seem to have an audience (as made evident by the fact that there are comments on posts).
Why is this important? A blog, like a discussion board or any web community, needs to have a pulse. The pulse can be slow as long as it’s regular. A blog that does not have regular updates, or a discussion board without community involvement will soon die.
Not long ago I was chastised for not logging in to the phpBB2 Refugees site for quite some time. As a member of the community it should not be important that any single person logs in every day. At least that’s my opinion. However, as the administrator / owner of the community, it was a problem. There were a number of spam posts that had built up and I had not taken the proper steps to select a team of moderators. That, certainly, was a problem. I felt like the board activity was low enough that I didn’t have to check in every day. Every day became every other day, which became once a week, which became one a month, which became… well, not much. I had created a contact form, but the contact form went into the moderator private forum on the board and to an email address that I forgot to set up when I moved to a new server. So that didn’t do much good.
Long story short, there were (quite understandably) some upset members on the board. I get that. As such, I have taken the following steps. First, I promoted a regular member of the board (who I have known via this blog and the phpbb.com community for a long time) to a moderator. Second, I set it up so the email notification of spam works again. Third, (actually I did this first) I logged in and cleaned up all of the spam using the Spammer Hammer. And fourth, I have logged in more regularly on that board and have tried to start writing on this blog once again. We’ll see if it lasts, or if it’s a momentary disturbance in a cobweb.