This is our 2nd out of 3 donation drives for 2016 (we do these in February, June and October). So it’s time to donate.
The donation page hasn’t moved – http://www.writeups.org/donate/. I’ve added a link to a Patreon page, as a convenience for those beautiful people who are already active on Patreon.
Our current situation :
1/ We are the lowest ebb ever in terms of manpower. We currently have but a small handful of people willing and able to contribute articles. The site will keep calm and carry on, but in terms of community that’s a bother.
2/ Yahoo! hasn’t exploded yet, so that’s good for us since that’s where we live .
3/ The new version of writeups.org was rolled out on the 30th of April, with several new articles. A lot of May was spent stabilizing technical thingamabobs, but some more content was rolled out. Right now we only have one internal issue left (an orphaned XML request in a plugin).
On the other hand our search server has been dying on us since the middle of May. Once we can replace the server we can resume bulletproofing the search engine. No ETA on the replacement yet, which is bad.
4/ In terms of work on the site, there are 4 big sets left :
4.1./ Finish various bits that are part of the 2016 upgrades. Thumbnail pictures in the search engine, variant pictures of the WORG Guy mascot for articles without an illustration, template changes for the news posts, autoposts to G+, Twitter and Facebook [done on the 5thof May, as it happens], adding non-intrusive social networks sharing, etc.
4.2./ A big sweep through the entire site for small-but-neat upgrades to the profiles (Context sections, hyperlinks within the text, cleft sentences and paragraphs when these are too long, adding videos to some articles, hand-placing AdSense ads, rewrites for style and brevity… housekeeping and reader comfort duties, essentially).
At the current pace this is expected to take, mmm, 3 years.
4.3./ A focus on redoing our oldest entries about major characters, starting with Iron Man (Tony Stark) and Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew). The reasoning is that profiles for major characters are a common point of first contact with the site, and thus should be good.
This too is going to take forever, due to the “scorched earth” ethos of not putting a book back in storage until almost everything in it has been written up. These profiles will mostly use the “emergent history” methodology.
4.4./ Later on there are various projects, which are mostly about adding functionalities to the site (clickable affiliations, tags, clickable authors, much improved “related articles” box…), completing some big but unfinished writeups arcs so we can move on, more video games characters and monsters, redoing old but minor entries… We’re probably talking 2017 and beyond here, though.
5/ You may have noticed in 4.2 that I mentioned placing the AdSense adverts as part of a multi-years process. This means that the bulk of pages on the site will go without these adverts for many months, since texts and pictures always have priority over ads.
However this means that we’re rolling with a drastically diminished adverts load. As in, 95+% of the pages right now do not have any AdSense ads. And these small things (between 0 and 3 per page, hand-placed not to disrupt reading) do pay for our hosting costs.
So if people could pitch in for a bit while I slave away on the upgrades discussed in 4.2 and thus put back the little ads, that’d be much appreciated. Otherwise, it means I shouldn’t have gone for quality but for volume, which is the default situation on Internet.
In summary – http://www.writeups.org/donate/ . 🙂