Sunsetting the Prototype Social Blogging Network
Funding runs out today for the hosting on the prototype social blogging network I built a couple of years ago. It ran under the name “We The Users” for a while, and then “PluggedOut”. It took the essential features from the popular social blogging platforms, and rolled them into one lump, along with one feature in particular that seemed to be missing from everywhere except LiveJournal - the ability to publish a particular post “friends only” if you wanted.
During it’s early development a few popular Tumblrs shouted about it’s existence, and then one day Tumblr went down - and 15,000 people flooded in over one weekend. As soon as Tumblr re-appeared, they too vanished.
It taught me a lesson about the internet in general - that people will put up with an unbelievable amount of crap before shifting platforms - as evidenced by the various changes Facebook has made over the years. We’ll forget that Google+ has been MUCH better than Facebook since the day it launched, because pretty much everybody else did.
So. My little social network that could will vanish beneath the waves of the internet at some point today. I’ll download the site, and store it away somewhere, and take it out from time to time, to remind myself that one person can change very little on the social internet. A small group of people with a ridiculous marketing budget can distract for a few weeks (remember the Facebook alternative that hit the mass media six months ago? No? Nobody else does either).
Anyway. Kind of a sad day.