Another Swypefile Update

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.

10 Replies to “Another Swypefile Update”

  1. Hi Scott, the amount of income lost wasn’t much. I think I’d made $9 on the site in the 7 days it was live. It’s more the lack of notification that irks me, when the site was clearly working for its members.

  2. Hi Jay,
    I was surprised about it too. There were a couple of us who posted about it last night. I checked the whois on swypefile.com and they’ve only registered their domain for 1 year…seems a little fishy to take on a project with that much potential and only register it for a year.

  3. [quote post=”432″]Check out Vic’s latest post over at bu.bulicio.us concerning Swypefile[/quote]

    An interesting, if not balanced, post. His point about planning for growth is a good one, and one everyone launching a service should listen to.

    But the mini-rant about everyone promoting swypefile? Seems like if everyone was promoting it, then there are facets to it that are attractive to users, and that’s something BZ should learn from.

    Granted, Swypefile may have been severely mismanaged, but that doesn’t change the usefulness of the concept.

  4. I see your point. His post was partially biased…I might be also if I created a competing site. Swypefile was an attractive idea with lots of potential but, as you commented on, too bad it was mismanaged.

  5. I was caught by surprise of this outage too. In fact I had finished a post on Swypefile updates earlier when the site went down, and that post got shelved.

    However, you mentioned in your post that you find it hard to believe that swypefile was in that position of leaking money like a sieve. Was that an assumption or you have evidence to prove this claim?

    The site was only officially launched for a week, and you think they are already in such precarious position?

    The impression they gave me was that they are overhauling the site’s concept and/or format, not unlike the temporary outage of BlogRush.

  6. [quote post=”432″]The impression they gave me was that they are overhauling the site’s concept and/or format, not unlike the temporary outage of BlogRush.[/quote]

    If that were so, I’d have expected to see some notification via email to members, some discussion amongst the community about the direction the site should go to best serve the community, etc.

    Since that didn’t happen, the impression I had was of an emergency shutdown due to some unexpected circumstances.

    [quote post=”432″]Was that an assumption or you have evidence to prove this claim?[/quote]

    Not an assumption, just one reason that a site might get shut down in an emergency manner. Other reasons include poor management, the breakup of a partnership, the death of a principal, etc.

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