I haven’t written much about BlogExplosion in a long time. I participated a lot for a few months, then kind of left it alone for a while, until I came back to it last year when I launched Speed Force.
Sadly, in the last few months its owners seem to have abandoned the site to let it run on autopilot. Most of it is automated, but there are features that require administration: approving new blogs and banners, moderating the forums, etc. The few volunteers with the ability to approve submissions are swamped, the main page promotes features that no longer exist, and the forums are overrun with spam.
In the past two months the community has attempted to take back the forums by out-posting the spammers, and it seems to be helping, but it’s not enough. The next step is a letter-writing campaign to convince BlogExplosion’s owners to at least delegate some authority to community volunteers who are willing to put in the effort to take care of the site.
Rather than send the form letter, I decided to write my own, and sent the following this morning:
I have been a member of BlogExplosion since 2004, and it has been disappointing to watch the site fall into disrepair over the last year. I understand that LiveUniverse may not want to spend the money on dedicated support staff, but many of the issues the site faces can be handled by volunteers – and there are community members who are ready and willing to volunteer their services if LiveUniverse would only give them access.
The most critical areas that could be improved by allowing community volunteers:
- Blog and Banner Approval. There are a few volunteers who have been working through the backlog of new blogs submitted to the site, but they are months behind. Other members have expressed interest in helping, but need to be authorized to do so. No one seems to be approving banners at all.
- Forum Moderation and Administration. In the past few months, the BlogExplosion forums have become overrun with spam. Without the ability to delete posts, ban spammers’ accounts, or ban spammers’ IP addresses, the community has been attempting to out-post the spammers. Additionally, there are forum sections that refer to non-existent products that would best be removed.
- Support Tickets. Someone needs to be able to read and respond to support requests.
Additionally, the main site contains extremely outdated content. This implies an abandoned site, discouraging new members from joining. Simply removing references to services that no longer exist would go a long way toward encouraging growth of the community.
Most important, in order for BlogExplosion to thrive again, members need to be able to contact LiveUniverse and get a response in the event of an emergency.
Please consider these suggestions, and please respond to the BlogExplosion community so that we at least know that the site has not been abandoned.