You might have heard about Swapfig – my other LEGO-related web site – having its relaunch recently. I’d spent the last year and a half working on the brand new version 1.0, which was a complete rewrite using different frameworks.
I’d been aiming for a May 1st relaunch, to coincide with the site’s second birthday, but it was postponed until July 1st because of falling behind. I almost desperately wanted to avoid another May 2013, where I’d spent almost a week solidly in front of my computer, trying to fix the problems that only occurred when the site went live.
It was much worse this time around.
I had a YouTube relaunch event on July 1st as intended, but it wouldn’t be until the 9th before the site became usable. A combination of server differences, problems with converting data from the old version of the site, and not enough time spent testing, meant I had to relive the nightmare all over again – this time for almost two weeks.
I’ve literally spent as much waking time in front of my laptop as possible, dealing with “exception” emails and resolving issues as quickly as I could. Just this morning, as soon as I opened my eyes, I got back on the computer to check on those emails. Working on the site has meant missing out on paid work, other projects and even a LEGO meetup.
Most upsetting is having gotten nothing but complaints and snarky comments (you saw that coming!) – all from people who haven’t contributed a thing to Swapfig, and I’m not just talking about money or donations. Yet, when things start to work again, nobody says a word. It’s been hard enough to build this site from scratch, considering I’ve been doing it all by myself, without getting attacked and badmouthed in the process.
I greatly appreciate the few people who’ve been supportive over the last couple of weeks, even when it was clear I messed up. Though you’ll see me trying to keep things upbeat on the Facebook page and (these days) on Twitter, those supportive people and their comments are really the only reason I haven’t given up on Swapfig completely. I seriously considered throwing in the towel just a couple of hours ago.
Swapfig has done a great job of exposing the “crabs in a bucket” mentality of people in the online LEGO community. Some people clearly have an issue with Swapfig having adverts; some have an issue with me making any money at all from Swapfig; some clearly have an issue with me, and/or the fact I built and run the site. I’d rather these people didn’t use the site at all, and if any of them do, they’re invited to delete their account.
There’s still a lot to do on Swapfig, both with the stability of the site, the overall design and adding new features – assuming I still have any interest in continuing. Right now I’m tired, exhausted and fed up of the BS.