TL;DR good news at the bottom.
Quick recap of the last seven or eight years. Pre 2011 Jenn K Lee starts many successful blogs (Pocketables, GoodAndEvo, several I don’t know the name of.) Paul starts with G&E in 2011. Jenn gets bought out by a company called Crowdgather and works for them for about a year.
Crowdgather at the time was a business dedicated to easy forum setup and giving people a place to talk online. I believe it paid for itself with advertising dollars. They were yuuuuge. I’m not sure what their angle on the Pocketables purchase was but we were a hot commodity back then with over two million uniques a month. They probably just wanted Jenn’s employment and IP so there was no competition.
This traffic mostly had to do with being the one place for good HTC EVO 4G coverage, and having someone who did SEO extremely well before Penguin and Panda knocked that down.
Cut to 2013 – Jenn’s gone at this point, there’re a load of other authors. Crowdgather’s got this very impressive set of sites but nobody’s making deals and it’s sort of lost direction. We’re one of 10,000 sites CG owns, we’re set up differently, getting any work done to the site requires ticketing and waiting months. No, really, five authors at the site could have fixed it in 20 minutes with a password.
2014/2015 the domain name for 80% of the traffic GoodAndEVO is either lost or sold. Never got an answer. We lose the population of a small state visiting in a month. We lose funding. We lose authors. We lose contacts that could get things done with the site.
2015 our one contact with an admin leaves/laid off/gone. CG merges/buys a video gaming company.
2015-2017 we were down a total of a month and a half that I logged, usually right before any sort of deal that could make us money.
Our forum software starts negatively impacting the SEO because it’s a hackable POS, I can’t get the IT people to do anything. I write down the instructions for disabling it, upgrading it, etc and they refuse to do it.
Pocketables in 2017 was in a death spiral. I wouldn’t commit too much time to a site that I could wake up and find had been sold to a vibrator company, I couldn’t make any deals that relied on Pocketables being up and reachable (you’d be surprised how uninterested some auto manufacturers are in loaning you an Android Auto enabled vehicle when your site is unreachable,) I couldn’t generate an income because Crowdgather literally never did a single thing with any advertiser I sent them.
Really, I count 113 I sent in the past 15 months. See any advertising other than the Disqus (forced) and Google Adsense?
Half of the people who currently write for Pocketables could manage and run it on their phone. We’ve just been completely hamstrung by literally years of delays because we were not the business Crowdgather wanted.
I talked to the owner a year ago, was told they’d be making a decision at the board meeting in June or July (I forget) and have been pinging since then attempting to get an answer. Do I keep working here or is Pocketables going to be a handgun carry permit spam site tomorrow?
I also liked occasionally helping people with minor annoyances, and the rare occasion someone clicks on a $10 headphone link and then buys several thousand dollars worth of cups and supplies I’m guessing for their office and I get a referral commission at least pays for some of my expenses. No, CES at my no-tell motel was not covered by all of 2017’s income.
I will publish a transparency report later for the site as a note.
Scroll here for the news
So we come to today. They’re eliminating us as part of CG, price set and agreed on. Something I’ve offered to do the last 4 or so years and been turned down over and over again because the name had value. Had unfortunately has became the keyword.
So yeah, um… maybe rename it to Paulkitables, beg for money to cover my expenses, and see if I can convince some of the burned people of yesterday to drop in once in a while.
Or turn around and sell the domain name to a vibrator company.
Sink or swim, in a couple of weeks we won’t have CG to blame. I don’t think there was ever any negative intent, we were just gobbled up and they didn’t have a place for us.
That said, until the DNS is in my control, the VM transfered to my host, and a scrub a dub of the existing install done to verify the years of neglect didn’t leave giant backdoors, not too much is going to happen for the next few weeks.