I’m not sure how long BlogExplosion has been around, but I joined back in 2004, so it’s been a while. The idea is pretty simple: bloggers want people to read their sites. So, convince them to read other people’s blogs. It’s built around a system that lets you surf from member site to member site, earning credits for each visit that will bring other people to your site. There are also various games that either generate credits for you or get you to visit member’s sites.
It’s an effective way to get traffic. I’m not so sure it’s an effective way to get readers, but I’ve kept up a modest participation because it doesn’t take much effort. And who knows, maybe some of those people will stick around longer than 30 seconds.
About a year ago, the site was in trouble. There weren’t enough volunteers to approve all the new blogs being submitted (spammers love this sort of place!), and spammers took over the forums. A concerted effort by members managed to get a new admin assigned. The admin cleaned up the forum spam, fixed some site problems, granted approval access to more volunteers, and things started to improve for a while…
Well, things haven’t been that great lately. The lone admin has been gone since October. New blogs are again backlogged, and spammers are returning to the forums. The owners seem to have vanished into the ether. Meanwhile, I’ve noticed traffic from the site has been way down. Burning through credits takes a lot longer than it used to, and not only does it take three times as long to cycle through the “Blog Rocket,” but I get about half as many visits from it as I used to.
Today, I logged in to shuffle things around, and started getting PHP and database errors. Some pages would load, but without data. No blogs available to surf, none on the blog rocket, my credits and banners are gone, etc. The forums are still working, and the few people still around are lamenting the same problems.
Since there’s no administrator, and the owners are MIA, I’d guess that no one’s around to fix it. (Unless it’s purely a hosting issue, in which case they’ll be fine.)
It may be time to let go, and watch BlogExplosion drift off into that great server farm in the sky.
UPDATE (Feb 24): It looks like BlogExplosion is not dead yet. The errors are gone, site functionality seems to be mostly back to normal, and — most amazing — an admin posted on the forums. (Though from the comments, I half-suspect it’s a sysadmin from the hosting company, rather than BlogExplosion themselves.) Needless to say, I won’t be holding my breath for a resolution, but who knows? The site could pull through.