I shouldn't have done that last super cheer, or the 3 ice creams.
It has been 5 years since The Robot Co-op got its start, and like some of us who work here, we have to admit we’ve gotten a bit out of shape over those years. We were trim and fit back when we first asked “What do you want to do with your life?” but we have put on a few extra pounds. It is a bit overdue that we consider going on a feature diet.
The goal of this diet is a sleeker and swifter Robot Co-op, with faster and more responsive web sites. And the extra calories we need to cut are site features (and whole sites) that are weighing us down. The team has trimmed down and we’ve cut out an “empty calorie” here and there but it’s time to get more radical in our efforts to make the sites fast and stable.
What should we give up on our new diet? Well the first thought we had was “Should do this”.
It was a great idea: a suggestion box for the internet. But it didn’t proceed as we had planned, and ultimately we realized it had an ethical conundrum at the heart of its business model. Is it fair to host a suggestion forum for a company that didn’t ask to participate? It’s an interesting debate
. One we never had to really consider because traffic to the site was never very meaningful. So why kill it? Saying goodbye frees up space in our brains. We have one less site to think about and more attention to put toward sites that people care about. We learned a lot from should do this, and don’t regret taking it on. But given what we learned, we decided to take it down last week. Whew, I’m feeling a bit more trim just typing that!
Next we thought, what feature did we build that users just never use? Maybe even a feature a lot of users actually hate! Well no feature was added to 43 Things that ever met with more hate and loathing than our one time pride and joy: SuperCheers.
We had big hopes. If someone would buy a teddy bear for a facebook friend, why not a SuperCheer to encourage a fellow 43Thingster? Well you all told us why, in about 400 angry emails denouncing SuperCheers and the wicked minds that concocted such a feature. OK good riddance.
In removing the feature we give up some revenue that supports the site but we get less hassle for not having to deal with it. We don’t have to maintain a secure server or deal with our credit card processor anymore and it simplifies things. We know about 3 of you out there actually like this feature and will miss it, and we appreciate you supporting the site. Sorry it is going away, but your sacrifice will help us slim down. The feature should be down later tonight.
You probably know it is hard to lose weight, so we could use your support. The goal is a site that is faster and more responsive, and Robots with more attention available toward what matters most. If you have suggestions for cuts you think we ought to make, let us know. We’ll give you an update next week on what else we are doing to get fit (sit ups, new servers, etc). See you at the gym.