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January 21, 2003

I'll miss you, Futon Critic, but I can understand; all too well!

Over the weekend, Brian Sullivan decided that he'll be taking an extended break from running his site, The Futon Critic. While it is very disappointing to see such a great site go on hiatus, or worse maybe even be shut down I can understand where he is coming from.

There are days when I wonder if I should continue with BowlingFans.com. I keep having thoughts of shutting down the content sections and just leaving the community open. Then there are other days where I feel like just making a clean break and pulling the plug altogether.

It is very tough running a popular "hobby" site, even when you're lucky enough to find a great group of volunteers. The personal and financial costs can be great. Even a small or mid-size hobby site could eat up a few hours every day and cost upwards of $50 or $100 a month. The larger the site and more bandwidth it consumes the more it costs.

There have been a few months where BowlingFans.com's bandwidth has cost more than $5000, but the average month is usually around half a grand. Then there are also software licensing or leasing, server hardware, and support costs which can really make your head spin!

Costs aside, what hurts most is the rewards of running such a site are not felt. Too many users take hobby sites for granted and don't interact with or even thank their staff's. Even worse they only seem to complain when something doesn't get updated as fast as they'd like to see it.

For example this week alone I've received just about a dozen e-mails asking when Jeff would update the Fantasy Standings (A FREE pro bowling fantasy game.) A few of the messages were ruder than hell.

Is it so hard to understand Jeff is a volunteer like the rest of us and hasn't even been online the past couple weeks? If I was traveling and bowling in tournaments like he has been, I wouldn't be anxious to spend the little off lane time I had in front of a computer either.

The next time you think of firing off an email to your favorite website asking why the heck it hasn't been updated or when the next newsletter will be sent you should ask yourself first if you want to be the reason why it'll be gone entirely tomorrow. Just a thought.

Posted in BowlingFans.com , Websites & Cool Links by usrbingeek at 2003-01-21 13:58 ET (GMT-5) | 0 Comments | Permalink



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