Folks, it looks like it's that time. It is killing me that there are some significant parts of the site that are not working correctly. Killing me! It looks like some major moves are the solution. Instability is the antithesis of a website...I know this, but I just don't see any other way at this point!
To that end, I'm going to take down the non-discussion portion of the website for a bit...maybe a much as a few days (perish the thought!) effective this morning...
For those that care, here's the deal. The site, under the hood, is very complicated. There are lots of interdependencies happening that are persnickety, to say the least. You fix one thing, and it breaks another. Somehow, the package that runs the Facebook-like part of the site has gone badly wrong. Currently I can't create new members, and various other things don't appear to be working correctly. For some time now (since before I stepped in as the site host), whole sections of the site have not been working (e.g., clubs, teachers, etc). This is all an attempt to restore these very important data areas but I'm going to have to apply a tenderly-applied sledgehammer.
I'm going to give this technology another shot for now. Maybe I can make it all work. While I have your attention, let me tell you what my current thinking is for the future of ED.
I don't get the luxury of maintaining EverythingDulcimer.com as a full time job. It's very, very part-time. I have a business to run, and we all know that business owners have the luxury of picking which 18 hours of the day they want to work. So, to keep ED as ED, there is a strong pull to make things more containable and manageable. I know that means different things to different people, but here's what I'm thinking.
NOTE: I won't make major changes without plenty of forewarning, so don't worry about that!
What that might look like in the future is (not anytime soon!):
- Keep a fantastic discussion going
- Do a really good job at keeping and sharing repositories of important dulcimer-related info (teachers, clubs, events, tab, etc.)
- Doing fun things like having a contest, interacting with you (chat, video, etc)
- Removing the hard-to-maintain parts like the Facebook-like elements. There are other outlets for that information! Let social media be social media and let us be...well, EverythingDulcimer!
In short, I'd rather do what we can really well, and let what we aren't situated to do fall to those that do it really well.
Anyway, I welcome your thoughts on all of this!