|Barked: Wed Jul 6, '16 11:50am PST |
|Just saw this at the all Paws Bulletin group -
Dear Dogsters & Catsters,
This is not the update I wanted to make, but today Lumina Media is announcing major changes at Dogster and Catster. While the Dogster and Catster sites will continue to exist as daily magazines serving the worldwide community of dog and cat families, the community areas of the sites are closing. This means members of the Dogster & Catster Community will no longer be able to see Pet Profiles, Forums, Groups, Answers, Local Listings, Photo Galleries, Games, Quizzes, Adoption, Dog of the Day, Diary Central, the Gift store, and the Community homepage on or after July 12, 2016.
This is certainly hard news. When I-5 Publishing, now Lumina Media, purchased the sites in the summer of 2014, we believed saving all of Dogster & Catster was possible. Our optimism was buoyed by the successful transfer of the magazine and article sections of the sites to a new platform. But as the engineers dug in and began the work necessary to rebuild the community sections of the sites, they ran into obstacle after obstacle. The pet pages and forums utilized proprietary coding, which had undergone multiple modifications by multiple engineering teams. So many of the community features had broken down that as they fixed one problem, the fix would often cause another feature to break.
In 2015 Lumina Media brought in one of the original Dogster/Catster engineers to help and after extensive, additional analysis it was determined the original community design was simply not repairable on the existing platform. Much of 2015 was spent trying to migrate the community to a new platform. Unfortunately, even those efforts were unsuccessful.
In conjunction with the of gathering of information for the Community Survey I conducted recently, I personally contacted one of the original engineers, who also served as a contractor after I-5 purchased the sites. His evaluation was that it would take a team of several engineers months to rebuild the sites and even then, the results would not have been something we recognized.
Starting a website and making adjustments as you grow is a different process than taking an existing site with hundreds of thousands of pages and trying to shoehorn them into another design. Rather than limping along with community pages which continue to deteriorate and which resist being repaired, Lumina Media has decided to close the community.
At some point, we will all have time to pause and reflect on what these past 12 years have meant to us, but in the short term we know the pain of the community closing will be in the forefront. If you have additional questions about the closing or need assistance saving your pet pages, Dogster & Catster Support is here to help: support-at-dogster-dot-com & support-at-catster-dot-com.
12 years is forever in the online world. It is still a source of professional pride that Dogster was a precursor to Facebook by almost a month. Now as the Dogster/Catster Community winds down to the end, let’s do our best to celebrate the joy which has been this community.
As with a sunset, we could lament the end of the day and fear the darkness to come, or we can stand together and bask in the glorious rays of a fading sun to relish the memory of days and years well spent. I’m going to do my best to do the latter as much as possible. It's been 12 wonfurrful years. No regrets. Just joy.
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