The Struggle Continues

Last night, I deleted Satya’s Driven2Abstractions website, expecting to see a significant improvement in the overage by which we have exceeded the maximum number of files permitted under our hosting agreement. Satya’s website was on the same hosting account but we have decided that it made no sense to maintain and drive traffic to an obscure art site when Artpal does a much better job of displaying Satya’s art…and allows potential customers to purchase prints and other gear without us having to deal with taxes, shipping;…and the marketing.

That was a no-brainer but, once I had deleted it, the overage went down from 199% to 198%.  Today, I removal the sagemerlin website, which was a backup to BindleSnitch that we used to test new concepts on but that only reduced the overage to 195%. In other words, I have cut all of the fat off the bones.

So, this brings me to the philosophical segment of this discussion: What is the point of keeping hundreds of articles online if no one ever reads them? I know that some of you have mentioned that you have occasionally referred back to an older article…but do you actually drill down into the inventory of the other writers here. I know I don’t.

When I designed BindleSnitch, I deliberately set it up to be an archival resource, promising to keep articles posted in perpetuity but what is the point of perpetuity if no one ever visits the archives?  That’s why there are category pages and archive pages. Or were… because I am starting to delete them too. (This does not affect your content.)

I know that no one visits the archives because it is impossible for anyone to visit anyone else’s archives. Oh, yes, there are member pages on which all of your articles are listed, but it really sucks and I bet most of you have never used them. Not my fault. The member pages are generated by the plugin that provides most of the membership functionality.

I could design a better member page but that would require each user to add their user names to either the categories or the tags. Because the categories are limited to one category per article, using the categories function to provide sorting criteria for a new member page would require removing the restriction limiting members to one category per article. If I were to do that, the number of articles appearing under multiple categories would clog up the system which would trash the entire category system. (A category system with articles appearing under multiple categories makes categories meaningless.)

So, I am wondering if we really need the categories at all. What real need do the categories address, except to assign articles to the specific category pages for each category? Does anyone click on any of the categories to see what is happening in the world or in the United States? I don’t think so.

I think that most of us operate in a “current events” mode. News happens and we react to it, just like people do on Facebook and other social media sites. Maybe we all operate that way. No one seems much interested in the backlog of articles.

It seems that the comments are what drives reader interest. People come back to articles to read the comments, and to comment on the comments. That’s why entities like Safebet’s Amy are important. They create controversy which drives comments.  I know that when I downloaded my Open Salon contributions, I captured both the articles and the comments…but I also know that I haven’t looked at them in years now.

At present, we have 1,329 articles on BindleSnitch. We have 5,775 comments on those 1,329 articles.

I am now exploring some other options that would involve switching to a different hosting system.

Stay tuned.

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