Since announcing that I am forced to close the EquineConnection.org network I have received some very kind offers. Mostly these have been invitations to host the site, and I am truly grateful for the heartwarming gesture in the proposals. What isn’t obvious to the average user is how much work takes place on the back-end of a dynamic site. A web page is one thing, a group hosted blog another, but a full-on, high functioning network is a thing altogether different again.
A network is a behemoth of a server hog. And the more use it gets the more server it demands. What casual users don’t know (why would they!?) is that a network is a web site that composes it’s apparent pages from a whole bunch of separate scripts. This takes bandwidth and server power to run smoothly.
The more popular a website becomes the more it gets attacked by spammers, phishers and hackers. Keeping it clean and safe takes time and effort.
Then there’s the updates and script snafus between native and non-native protocols that the developer puts together to enhance the functionality of the network. Oh mercy those are brain drainers. You can waste an entire day getting a what-you-thought-was simple function to load predictably. Hey there’s a reason businesses have entire departments devoted to New Media maintenance! For EquineConnection.org it was just me. Me and whoever I could afford to hire to help me with the stuff that was too way off into code-monkey land. I’m good – but I ain’t no code hack.
And finally once the thing is well-housed, has wonderful features and is fairly safe and stable then you get to go out and find users! This is why you would get all those tweets, news items and other updates from Merry Horses. She was trying to entice you to come to the network, sign up or sign in and interact! But you know what? Most of you prefer Facebook. So what did we do? We added Facebook functionality – but since I was being pulled in so many directions by then and simply unable to go out and find sponsors I got in way over my head. Remember – it was just me.
It shouldn’t have been just me. I never wanted it to be. It should have been every last one of us who care about equine advocacy – but you’re all too busy to add another network and more connecting into your already busy lives. SO why couldn’t a well heeled non-rescue advocate step up? I just never connected with them. I tried to. I sent out business proposals, Non-profit plans and sponsorship deals….on deaf ears. I was working all types of wonderful new-media ideas with outside organizations and start ups completely behind the scenes. None panned out. Looks like I’m not the only struggling, lol.
The Low Down Needs
So, I do appreciate the offers to host the site - but it needs to be thought of as an entity that needs to live on at least a $25,000 budget commitment a year to keep running and growing the way it should. And that’s bare bones. To me it seemed totally do-able! That’s such a drop in the water bucket for so many of the high-end equine folks – plus think of the level of good will their organization or business would garner from such a sponsorship! But no one stepped up.
No one except these several kind souls who have offered to host what they don’t realize is a Big Fat Server Chomping goodwill of all goodwill happy-dragon!