Friends, film snobs, countrymen, lend me your eyes...
As many of you are aware, a year and a half ago I relinquished control of Xixax to the hands of your faithful board admins and opened up a donation system. I used my company's resources to "float" Xixax at a rate that we typically extend only to low-usage web sites.
3 months ago, my company launched a new initiative to focus more efforts toward our hosting services, and since doing so our hosting has become quite a lucrative source of income for Mad Dancer. Because of this shift, it has caused me to take a look at the usage of our resources, and to become more diligent in policing the "buddy" deals we're offering friends and family.
It occurred to me over Thanksgiving that I hadn't personally been over to Xixax in over a month, and when I dropped by, I noticed that funding for the site (even at our lowest rate) had fallen behind and nobody from the board seemed to care.
In the past when this has happened, about 80% of the time, your admin crew has shelled out the funds to keep Xixax alive. A hand full of exceptions exist (you know who you are - and thank you!), but for the most part, Xixax has been kept alive by the admins here.
The time has come for me to make some decisions about the board and its future. In a nutshell, I personally have lost the passion that caused me to start Xixax to begin with. No longer with time for film, I've lost interest in the art - for at least the time being. Since I'm no longer emotionally attached to the subject matter here, and because Xixax has never been a valid source of income for my firm, I decided to close the doors effective December 31st.
Just as I was announcing my decision to the administrators, it occurred to me that their passion for Xixax that has kept the site afloat for the past 18 months could easily fuel its future if the site were hosted at a "bargain basement" hosting company - one that's not a premium service like the one my company offers. We all have seen ads for $9.95 per month web hosting. That's not what MDM does. We cater to small and mid-sized businesses who live and die by their web sites, and the attention we pay to each customer comes with a price tag. It's like having a Lexus instead of a Ford Escort... We strive to be the Lexus of the web hosting world. The "quantity over quality" web hosting companies that can afford to offer web space for peanuts will be just fine for a site like Xixax - a site that doesn't generate revenue for its owners.
Since Xixax could stand on its own on an el-cheapo hosting platform, I decided to bounce an idea off of the Admins here - which after a little bit of discussion they have chosen to accept.
I am selling Xixax to the board's administrative team.
We deal with web sites similar to Xixax on a daily basis at Mad Dancer Media, and we see price tags from $20,000 to upwards of $50,000 per purchase for sites just like this one. Yes, businesses DO pay that for web communities like this one. Your traffic is what they want, and they are willing to pay for it. But, I'm not in the business of selling virtual real estate, and I don't have anyone banging my door down to buy the place (I did have an offer last year from someone who balked at my price, but they were only a hobbyist and not a web firm).
So, anyway, I placed a price tag on Xixax and offered it to the admins here - at 4% of what it's probably really worth.
They're buying, I'm selling, and Xixax will be moving to a new web hosting service by January 1, 2007.
I will let the admins elaborate on what this means for the future of the board. I am sure there are already some great ideas in the works. But before they do, let me encourage you that if you enjoy this board, you should think about doing your part to pitch in to keep it running. The admins are going to front the money for the sale, and they'll be turning to you for reimbursement of the purchase price, so if you love Xixax like they do, think about hitting them with a little Christmas cash!
I had a lot of fun here in the early days. Here's to your fun in the future!
- Michael Wilson