Breaking up Is Hard to Do (or, Shutting down a Forum I’ve Run for 15 Years)

I know these titles may be annoying because they never say exactly what the post is about. Forgive me, it’s an old habit.😊

I ran a forum dedicated to the work of an American author for 14 or 15 years, and last year I decided to shut it down. A lot was going on in my life, and babysitting a site every day of the year for a decade and a half eventually wears you down.

As I was in the process of closing it I offered it to anyone who had the resources and the interest to take it over. Everyone wept and moaned and gnashed their teeth and tore their clothing when I said I was closing, but no one raised their hand to take it over. All I heard were crickets when it came to that.

But now a year after closing (the forum is still up, it just hasn’t accepted new posts in a year), here comes someone who would be perfect to take over. A miracle.

So why do I have second thoughts now?

It’s like someone sent me an email saying, “I’ll take that arm of yours now, thank you.” I suppose it’s the years I spent maintaining it and moderating it and growing it from nothing that is making me think twice.

That, and I don’t think many of the original participants would come back after a year away. So who would the new users be? I have no idea.

Traffic to the forum has only dropped off slightly since I closed it. It still sees about 1500 sessions a day. That’s because there are many years of knowledge, research, and information there. So I’m sure it would attract new users. But really, it’s just as useful to most visitors in its read-only state.

Maybe that’s my hesitation. That the new owner will let all of that go to dust in a few years. That information and research. He certainly doesn’t sound like the type to do that, but you never know.


One comment

  1. Wow impressive forum site there. I totally understand the hesitation about handing something like this over to someone else. I always assume the worst in situations like this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *