We are discontinuing Blog Overflow as a service on this network. Not only does this mean that no new blogs will be created, but it will also mean that all extant blogs are becoming functionally shut down.
The reasoning is three-fold in basic:
The vast majority of blogs aren't really active. This is what led to the original decision three years ago to stop creating new blogs, and that lack of activity has only since increased - at the time this evaluation was started, only the SciFi blog was remotely active. Again, this has a lot more to do with us having created a platform and providing no proper support for people to use it.
WordPress is meaty to sustain self-hosted, and there are only 3 things that were actively hosted on it: the company blog (long since moved off of that instance though), the moderator newsletter (we're looking at something that can be directly a part of the Stack Exchange system for this), and the site blogs make up the majority of it. Given the lack of activity as mentioned, it's since become infeasible for maintaining the WordPress instance for what isn't all that much activity.
Blogs can work with us while being external to us. We tried an internal solution because of the idea of integration with our rep and userbase seemed useful, but we never pursued that beyond a nominal minimum and improving the system has never gotten to fit on our road map. Meanwhile, Worldbuilding built a blog of their own on Medium, which has been very productive. And so we've come to realize that this kind of approach, with us supporting the endeavor rather than hosting it, was going to put the hands of control to those who actually were working on the system.
As such, we have opted to discontinue blogs. That thus led the question of what to do with the extant blogs. We reached out to the communities of all the sites that had blogs, and asked them what they wanted to do. We came up with 3 general solutions.
The blog contains posts that wish to be retained, but no further contributions will be made. Instead of hosting these on a separate WordPress instance, these posts will instead be moved to a series of static pages directly on our network. There will be some modifications to things like the "About" pages, explaining that these are functionally archives as opposed to ongoing blogs. The process for setting these into static will be beginning shortly after this announcement is posted on Meta. The following sites partook in this option:
- Ask Different
- Cross Validated
- English Language & Usage
- Seasoned Advice
- Software Engineering
- Super User
- Theoretical Computer Science
The blog wishes to be continued, at which point we will coordinate with the community in the creation of an off-site blog. The community would create and run this blog, similar to Worldbuilding's Universe Factory. We in turn would provide the contents of the old articles from the original blog, and provide a means to redirect traffic to the old articles to instead correspond to the articles on the new community-run blogs. The following sites elected to go this route:
The blog is empty or the community does not wish to preserve the content, at which point the blog will be simply obliterated off the face of the Internet, or would be if such a thing were possible. These sites have opted for this path.
- Physical Fitness
- Web Applications
Blogs were an interesting experiment. The idea was one we wanted to work, but it was not one that we put in the effort we needed to make it work. Good has come out of this project though. We've had many nice articles written across many sites in this process, and we'll be happy to continue hosting these articles for readers in the future. I'd like to thank all of the users who had partaken in the blog process in one fashion or another. This isn't the end we were expecting six years ago when we started. And though this journey has officially come to a close, it was a journey that had a lot of good times during it – a journey worth travelling.