How can Mathowie tell Derek Powazek the following –
Also remember that once you get the site going, stopping it is almost out of the question. A very successful community creates a special place in a lot of people's hearts. People are what make a community great, not necessarily the administrator or moderators, so when someone on top says they might bring the whole thing down, people have something of theirs that they're in danger of losing. I remember the outcry that came when a few sites I frequented in the past closed. Members didn't want to lose the community, and at the very least, they wanted to be able to extract an archive of their postings.
yet tell us, his loyal subjects, the following?
The thing I find weird when stuff like this comes up... is that people seem to have a strange sense of entitlement with regards to free web content. When it’s a company that offers free services that goes out of business, everyone mourns, but it’s fine in the end. But if it’s a personal project, somehow everyone feels cheated and treated unfairly, and somehow they think they “own” part of the work since they’ve read it and enjoyed it, and it’s the “duty” of the site owner to keep it all online. k10k and dreamless don’t owe anyone anything, and it’s good that they will be taking breaks when they feel they need to.
K10K and Dreamless were community sites (not as freewheeling as MetaFilter, but all are cut from the same cloth), so it's not as though Mathowie was talking about community sites in the former case and personal single-voice Weblogs in the latter.
Also, it's gratifying to finally see some recognition that person X may set up a community discussion forum but everyone who uses it are the actual owners. But wait – doesn't Mathowie contradict himself in the latter citation, complaining that we think we “own” part of the work? Well, we do, don't we, or why would we be concerned about retrieving our postings (first citation)?
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