Last Friday we announced that due to financial trouble Metblogs would be going offline at the end of the month. During the course of the following days we recieved many many many emails from concerned readers and authors. It was an unbelievable outpouring of emotion and support that quite frankly took us by complete and utter surprise. We posted a page to take donations from people who wanted to help us out and oh boy, help out they did. At the time of this writing we have raised $3405 and donations are still coming in.
The generosity of our readers and authors has enabled us to pay off the most pressing of our bills and has given Metblogs a new lease on life. We had a close call and we’re not completely out of the woods yet so we’re leaving the donation page up for a while so if you want to help us keep local blogging alive you can.
We know that there are daunting obstacles we have yet to overcome and have plans for an overhaul of the network so we can focus on what we’re good at and are never in this situation again. We’re immediately going to put a halt to our expansion and start shutting down cities that we haven’t been able to keep going for whatever reason as well as our Ning site. This will allow us to take the cities that currently have vibrant communities and do everything we can to support them and help them grow. With that in mind we’re also going to be changing platforms to allow better local customizations from look and feel to features. The entire network currently is run off of a single WordPress MU install and have found there are a lot of restrictions and obstacles that come with it. So we’re going to be splitting off cities onto their own installations of WordPress 3 when it becomes available. I mention all this because we’re going to be spinning each site out onto it’s own domain starting with our original Los Angeles site. In the coming weeks expect to see a lot of changes and new features that we’ve been itching to build for ages but were hamstrung by technical hurdles. We’re extremely excited about this and can’t wait to get it in your hands.
To everyone who’s written and offered to help and especially those who have donated, we don’t even know how to thank you. We’re so amazingly humbled by you guys that we just don’t have the words to adequately express our gratitude so we’re just going say thank you and hope you understand how much it means to us. We’re extremely excited about the next steps and without your support we wouldn’t be able to take them. So seriously, thanks again everyone.
Jason, Sean, and everyone at Metblogs.