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So I wanted to check it today and found it closed! Reason being not enough questions!

Now I can't see my answers, can't see questions, can't do anything! It says "The site needs work" but sorry - how can you work if nothing can be done there? And how can you commit to something like that, where all your past work is gone!

I am very disappointed by the way it works! Is it really necessary to make all past articles unaccessible? How is it useful for people reading the site and for StackExchange in general?

Will that encourage me to participate more actively in more sites? The answer is sadly "no". :(

EDIT. As it stands, the complete data is available in XML format. Would anyone help to upload it somewhere to be available in user-friendlier form?

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    I agree! This site may not have been as fast moving as because the audience is smaller. It had a lot of value for those of us that signed up! We should at least have a way to view existing questions and answers! – moonstar Dec 11 '13 at 8:36
  • BTW, why is my upvote to this question not getting registered? – moonstar Dec 11 '13 at 8:39
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    Signed, The site had good insights but only ~ "5 Questions" a day. I would really look forward to see it back up running... – Johnny000 Dec 11 '13 at 9:15
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    Indeed... What now? We have to start completely new web from scratch??? – DataSmarter Dec 11 '13 at 10:02
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    Inspired by this, I've put together a working mirror here: answers-onstartups.tlvince.com – tlvince Jan 13 '14 at 14:13
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    I've been working round the clock to get the site up and running again with the help of several developers and designers on Dribbble. We are done building it today launching it on Monday. We're not going to let the community die. Will post here once it's up. – Hopstream Jan 14 '14 at 21:07
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    @moonstar2001 See the answer below. The community has been resurrected! :) @ BrightJourney.com – Hopstream Jan 24 '14 at 19:00
14

UPDATE:

We have transitioned all accounts. In order to regain access to your old Answers.Onstartups account either:

OR

===

ORIGINAL POST:

After a month of working round the clock with several developers and designers, and a sizable donation, we have got the site up and running:

http://www.BrightJourney.com

What has been implemented:

  • All data has been transitioned.

  • 80% of the functionality (all the most important features) of the old site. We removed some features to keep things simple for now (removed features will be added in based on how many people request them).

What's coming in the next 7-10 days:

  • Ability to get your old account access back (so you won't have to create a new account). I will update this answer with a link where you can regain access to your old Answers.OnStartup account on Bright Journey.

  • Badges

My promise to you:

  • The site will always exist and never be taken down. Made possible by a sizable donation by someone in the startup community.

  • We'll manually go through all old content and clean up / moderate it (fix grammatical errors, etc).

  • Features that you request will be voted on by the community and implemented.

While we get a "meta" section on BrightJourney up, feel free to email me directly at: nick AT brightjourney DOT com

The knowledge we put into this community was way too much to just let it die.

PS. If you can't wait for next week and want access to your old account back right away, shoot me an email from the address you used to create your Stackexchange account and we'll process your request. The automated tool to do this will be up before end of next week.

  • Fantastic! That's the way to go! Big thanks for your efforts!!! – Dmitri Zaitsev Jan 24 '14 at 22:19
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    Well this is interesting. I'm looking forward to being able to reclaim my old account! Nice work, Hopstream and the others that worked to make this happen! – rbwhitaker Jan 26 '14 at 21:09
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    @rbwhitaker Thanks for the kind words! The verification tool to reclaim your account will be up in about 2-3 days. – Hopstream Jan 27 '14 at 0:03
  • I am unable to recover my account using the link you provided :( – GµårÐïåñ Feb 6 '14 at 20:00
  • @GµårÐïåñ Could you send me a direct email at nick AT bright journey DOT com? The password recovery only works with the email address you initially used on Answers.OnStartups. Email me and we'll manually verify. – Hopstream Feb 7 '14 at 16:00
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    Uhm, what about the Creative Commons license (BY-SA)? On each page, there only stands: "© 2014 Bright Journey. Made possible by SE". – unor Feb 16 '14 at 21:45
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    @unor Hi Unor, I'm one of the core contributors to BrightJourney. Could you direct me as to what needs to be added for the license and I'll pass it along? – user3188544 Feb 17 '14 at 17:44
  • @user3188544: You must attribute the imported content according to CC BY-SA 3.0. So check & follow the license (which is normative), and you may also consider Stack Exchange’s blog post Attribution Required (which is probably informative, but IANAL), which is, by the way, (together with the license) linked in the footer of every page on SE. -- If you also want new content your users create to be licensed under CC BY-SA, you need to inform them about it, of course. – unor Feb 17 '14 at 20:29
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    So it looks like StackExchange, but it's not part of StackExchange. Is that correct? – ATrubka Apr 4 '14 at 22:18
10

I'm sorry that this jarred you, we posted a notice there well over a month ago letting folks know that the site would be closing. I probably should have moved a recap of that here once the site redirected, and I'm noting that for the future.

You'll soon be able to access all of the content, we'll make a data dump available that you can download from the page you were redirected to, the site's proposal page. We should have it available very shortly, I'm going to check with our developers to see if we can expedite making it available when they arrive later today.

The site was closed not because it lacked activity in general, but because the community that once started it had for the most part left, and wasn't being replaced with new people as folks found the site. People would come and ask a question, and we generally never saw them again. This left the tasks of actually caring for the site almost solely on the shoulders of the moderators, and there was no good way of fixing that.

To put it in perspective, for a long time, only one person was closing questions because the people in the community that had the ability to do this weren't there. It was also only two or three people making decisions about topic guidance, tags and taxonomy and other very important things that should be falling on a group of at least a few hundred. Quality began to really suffer, broken windows started lining the streets. Once a site reaches that point, it needs to be closed and re-focused if it's going to work.

That's why we announced the closure on the site, and told folks that they'd need to put the topic back through Area 51 to ensure that it had a sustainable community behind it before trying again.

To recap, the site had quite a few daily visitors, but very few of them actually realized that there was a broader community behind the site and participated much behind asking one question. There were plenty of high rep users, but many had not been seen in well over a year. There were lots of questions, but many of them needed closing, and only a few people that were left could close. That didn't make them very popular, to say the least.

Those that stuck around and diligently shared their knowledge by answering questions deserve a better site in which to do that, and one can quickly emerge if enough of those folks want to commit to a new proposal. The old one, as closed, was just blocking a much better and healthier site for the topic. This wasn't a decision we took lightly and we did delay it several times. Ultimately, we think it's for the best to try again.

  • Hi Tim, many thanks for taking time to answer. I fully understand you would like to make the site more active. But you have to look at it from customer perspective. Who are these people who make the site a success? Active posters, right? Not the number of votes. Now please try to get into the poster's shoe. Would you rather spend your time on high quality posts or worrying about site viability? Would you spend your costly time, sometimes hours which you can spend on highly paid work, if your contribution can disappear any time? I have this peace of mind on Quora, why can't I have it here? – Dmitri Zaitsev Dec 13 '13 at 5:45
  • @DmitriZaitsev It's not a question of active, the site wasn't lacking in activity. It was lacking in users that were vested in its quality and upkeep through what was designed to be community led moderation. A million active posters with only a small hand full editing what needs edited and closing what needs closed is a recipe for disaster when it comes to the product that we offer and have become known for. If the remaining moderators of the site had left, no one would have been steering it, and that's just not something we'd ever be comfortable with. – Tim Post Dec 13 '13 at 5:51
  • Then one needs to think how to attract moderators. Offer them value, get them interested! Is it really so hard? Now the result is the opposite - they couldn't stay even if they wanted. – Dmitri Zaitsev Dec 13 '13 at 5:55
  • I see that content is available to download but in very hard to use form. I understand that I can basically download and host it. But I don't have the time and resources. Can SE help with that? – Dmitri Zaitsev Dec 13 '13 at 5:58
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    @DmitriZaitsev It's not just 'moderators'. The site wasn't retaining much of it's traffic beyond the first interaction. Nobody was sticking around to unlock the privileges that allowed them to take part in moderation, and those that had the privileges hadn't been seen in quite some time. I see what you're getting at, but it's vastly over simplifying the problems that the site had. – Tim Post Dec 13 '13 at 5:59
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    Seems to me a FAR better approach would have been to ping high rep accounts by email with the announcement and warning that the site would likely die, as at least some might have wanted to increase their activity rather than see what is a fairly unique resource die. I don't see how remaking a new site is going to change much other than shooting everyone's earned reputation in the head. It's likely to have the same issues unless ways are sought to address those. Would it not have been better to try and start a discussion? – Matt Dec 26 '13 at 16:21
  • I was a regular contributor for quite a while, and I'd agree with @Matt, I would have much preferred an email to let me know the community's help was needed. I didn't realize the site was closing (even though I'm certain I visited in the month before hand), and now I feel (as a user of other SE communities) ripped off that all my effort on the community I cared most about has been thrown away into a .zip file. What kind of notice was posted, and where? If the consequences were as severe as closing the site, why wouldn't you send an email? – Jay Neely Jan 3 '14 at 5:01
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    @JayNeely A meta post went up with notice about a month before the site closed, which was prominently featured in the community bulletin. I should have also used the system message, an oversight on my part, for which I definitely apologize. However, notice was given. – Tim Post Jan 3 '14 at 10:47
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    @TimPost The meta section that had so little activity ("only two or three people making decisions about topic guidance, tags and taxonomy and other very important things") is where you posted the notice!? How does that make any sense? Meta gets a fraction of the attention of the site and the community bulletin is a tiny sidebar space. I don't feel you made any real effort to consult the broader community on this. Who can I address my concerns to / have a more meaningful conversation with at StackExchange outside of this comments section? – Jay Neely Jan 3 '14 at 20:29
3

It is very frustrating when you look at the stats that the site was so close to the requirements with excellent on 4 of the 5 requirements only under on number of questions (an important metric I accept) and yet was still pulled.

Regrettably, in my opinion, unless the rules and requirements change then I don't think it has a future so proposing a variation will be a waste of time - the nature of startups is such that the majority of questions will struggle to fit the rigid rules put in place for site moderation and regulation.

It is a real shame as I really got some fantastic advice both from responses to my questions but also reading other questions and answers and I will miss it.

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    I am totally with you. Startups have completely different dynamics. – Dmitri Zaitsev Dec 13 '13 at 7:10
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Now I can't see my answers, can't see questions, can't do anything!

I believe that you should be able to download all that soon. At least this blog post from 2012 says that.

Since all the data is CC-BY-SA licensed, you can then use it almost any way you want, including creating your own version of the site, based on the downloaded data.

0

Business Management and Policy

I think the wider scope will bring in more people available to help both new and big business managers. One problem Startups had was that people in startups are too busy to spend much time at the SE. But a large scope can help MNC as well as start up businessmen and women and should provide a better base of experts to help answer questions.

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