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Title    The Future
Date    Monday May 22 2023, @04:27PM
Author    janrinok
from the dept.

This is a post that I have suspected that I was going to have to write since late December last year.

You will now know that is closing down on 30 June but things have not been standing still behind the scenes since we first became aware of NCommander's decision at the end of last week. In fact, it has been a very busy weekend.

A small group of existing staff are looking at alternative possibilities for a 'replacement' site to keep the flow of stories going and allowing discussions to continue. This is a big task, especially in the 38 days remaining in which to try to achieve it. There are several possibilities which spring to mind, Pipedot for example. I have reached out to Bryan but have not yet received a response. However, things as not as straightforward as they seem. The pipecode is written in Php-5 which some of you will realise is no longer supported. We do not want to become dependant on old software which cannot be maintained into the future; that lesson has been taken aboard and reinforced by NCommander's explanation regarding his decision announced today. There are other options but at the moment it is still a search for what is available out there today which also appears maintainable into the future.

But the first thing we need to know is "Is there still sufficient interest in having a discussion site such as ours?" Do you, the community, still want to have your daily dose of stories and the ability to exchange views with many others on this site? Are there any community members who would be willing to join us in trying to establish such a site? Your views are crucial to everything that we do over the coming days and weeks. So please let us know what you think about whether a site is still required with all the alternative technology available today that simply didn't exist 9 years ago. What form should a new site take? What changes to how we operate are essential for you to continue to remain interested in the future site?

Of course, it cannot be a mirror image of what we have today - which many will see as a good thing! But I hope that we would be able to transfer existing accounts, usernames and passwords directly to any new site that we create. We would also have to start with a relatively simple site and build on that over time.

At the end of the day we would have to restart the voluntary subscriptions but not immediately. We can raise some funds to see us get established without the requirement of a financial commitment from the community. Subscriptions were always sufficient in the past and I don't see why that would not be the case in the future too. The fact that we currently have enough to keep this site going until next year bears witness to that. We have also found that we can significantly reduce our running costs based on our current community rather than being ready for a major stream of new members which never materialises. I have no grandiose ideas of becoming a huge site employing our own journalists but just a community that enjoys the discussions as we have been doing for several years. Nevertheless, we would also be trying to build on our existing community which is beginning to happen on this site now that things have settled down.

So don't hold back - let us know what you think.

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printed from SoylentNews, The Future on 2024-07-15 18:10:36