Well, I went to log onto swypefile this morning, and found this message:

Unfortunately, swypefile has been shut down for the time being. Things weren’t going as planned, and we are re-thinking the swypefile concept. Thanks to everyone who supported what we were trying to do!

This was without an email to members telling them anything would be happening, or any community discussion about why things weren’t going as planned. And the last email we’d received from them has said they were willing to go in whatever direction the community wanted, so what was the “plan” anyway?

This is a great example of how to alienate your members. If you start a community site, you must expect that site to be community driven, and be willing to go where the community wants it to go.

There are business realities on a site like this, of course. You must make enough money to cover your investment, your hosting costs, and your time involved in administering the site.

The only decent reason for arbitrarily shutting a site down without any community discussion is that it’s leaking money like a sieve, and you need to stop it before you go broke. I find it hard to believe that swypefile was in that position.

It’s unfortunate, because of all the blog promotion ideas that have come and gone this year, swypefile was actually working. Sure, you made some Adsense revenue, too, but you weren’t going to get rich from that. The real payoff was from the traffic your blog received, and how targeted that traffic was.

In that respect, swypefile drove more traffic, and more targeted traffic, to this blog than any of the other similar sites.

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