There has been quite a lot of “deaths” in the Flash resources the last year. Its especially noticeable for me, since I edit for some humanly indexed catalogs of internet sites. One of the flash sites and discussion forums that disappeared in 2002 was were-here.com – a domain that is about to expire, and I can only wonder who will snap it up.
Other causalities are “zombies”, that is – sites there are still around in a way, but are only corpses of the sites they used to be, abandoned like ghost ships sailing on the big sea of the net. I am not going to go into which sites that would be, and I am fairly sure that my own blog would have made it into such a list if someone else would have taken the time to make it.
What I wonder is how much of it comes from the general economical situation of net companies and related industries, and how much is to blame on other factors.
I have seen it being explained by the nature of product cycles. New sites popping up whenever a new product is released, to then die again when the “daily routine” returns.
I have no problem believing that it can explain some of the resource sites disappearing, but I can’t help but think that it also can be explained by poor support from the “mothership”. That discussion was up earlier, and we were asked what could be done to make it easier for the resource sites. One suggestion I had was that Macromedia could make available an affiliation program for the resource sites. If the resource sites would be allowed to sell the Macromedia products – then I actually think we would get better and more stable resource sites for Flash.
The question is, does it matter to Macromedia? And do they care if the resource sites starve to death? After all, the “mothership” has become one (if not THE one) of the biggest resource sites for Flash itself, with regular articles by the top Flash developers and designers, and skilled internal writers. They also host forums and other resources, so maybe – in the eyes of the “mothership”, there is no need for the resource sites?
Old related writing:
Gonzo marketing related to the Flash community
Follow up II: Gonzo marketing related to the Flash community
Follow up III: Gonzo marketing related to the Flash community
The embarrassing part is, I feel that I am also one that has had less time to work on my blogging, and the amount of projects I am focusing on is getting in the way of writing.
Additionally, regretful in my opinion is FlashBlog and the FlashGuru seemingly have both been busy, and not posting as much as they once did, so I guess I cannot feel too bad.
It is becoming more obvious, I guess as it is with many blogs, that attention must migrate from site to site as needed.
The loss of were-here, is an incredible loss in my book. Sad to see it go as yes, that was one of my major resources. Perhaps it is time to look again at our resources as developers and see what we can do if for noone else but ourselves. MM’s angle on this is of course silent, but I am sure they do what they can to get as much info out as possible. This would certainly require the community effort of something as large as the Mozilla project to keep in touch with all Flash Resources here lately.
There are two sides to this issue. First, running a resource site, or any site for that matter, is a pretty time consuming task. If you are going to do it, it takes a lot of effort to do it well. I’ve been running Flazoom.com for nearly three years, and there have been times that I wished I never started. There have been other times, and far more frequently, that publishing Flazoom.com has opened doors for me and got me kudos. These days the reason that I do it is because I think that Flash’s potential is under realized by most Flash developers. I see an opportuinity to help others and I take it.
The second issue, dealing with Macromedia’s support of Flash Resources, is becomeing less of an issue. Macromedia has brought out a number of Flash related blogs this year and the DesDev center is fantastic. I really don’t see any business reason from their perspective to handle this in any other way. Macromedia is not responsible if a Flash resource site owner decides to drop off the face of the planet. But with their employee blogs we know that at least some resources are pretty certain to stick around.
I’d like to add a bit more to that last comment. I’m not saying that Flash resource site owners who stop publishing are in some way irresponsible, it’s just that life happens. They might be busy or they might be exploring other interests. That’s what happens. There’s no fault in that.
This past year I saw the retirement of a number of bloggers I’ve been reading for years. Some others switched the focus of their blogs. Either way I’ve always been happy to find new blogs take their place, and new interests shift mine to new blogs also.
To the Flash resource sites that I enjoyed in the past I wish the best of luck to their publishers. I know how hard it is to pull away from a site but in the end you’ve got to do what’s best for you.
I notice also that Macromedia has pushed hard for the idea of selling components (I mentioned this back when the DRK came out), and now I see a lot of people unwilling to share their code, and even fewer people who have made it rich off of selling components. The communities thrive off of people being willing to share their knowledge – for the most part, Macromedia’s blogs and DesDev are a one-to-many communication method. Even blogs with comments fields are directed conversation – most other things are directed to the ephemeral “wishlist”.
However (not to gloat), but Flashkit is still up and active and running strong with their funding from Internet.com, and the influx of members who have come from Were-Here have been welcome with open arms (those who didn’t already have dual-membership :D).
Added just a couple of minutes ago a short comment at http://weblog.bergersen.net/archives/000521.html about flash and its usage from the point of view of users and search engines…
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