This has been beyond my expectations as a response to my call for help to keep Feed2JS going. I actually had never looked much to see where it was being used (D’Arcy would claim its mostly spam), since the site does not track anything (working on a log to count the number of feed cached each day, estimated at 15,000) but Google reports 190,000 results for a search string that indicate usage from the main server alone.
Then there were the messages people shared when donating to help with the server costs. I’ve been collecting the advice, suggestions, offers etc, and after a really helpful discussion yesterday with Scott Leslie, can outline a few plans for the future. They are ones in which I am asking for some help, especially in advancing the code development.
But first as an update. Aaron Axelsen again has been my server hero. The rackspace could server we set up first has not keeping up well with the demand, and the usage costs were increasing. He suggested going for a dedicated server at softlayer, and migrated it quickly for me, and it seems to be much more responsive and lest prone to crashes. And the cost is lower, fixed at $180/month.
While I first expressed an interest in handing over the project to some other party, I have decided this is my baby, and I would like a role in seeing it go forward. But I lack the code skills to take it much farther, and would like to see some others step in who can carry out this end of it.
That said, the response so far has been incredible, with over $1000 raised, meaning enough for now to go about 5 months (including paying for the first month at rackspace). Some options going forward include:
- Keeping it going on donation basis. At least one person has promosed to pitch in every month.
- Getting a major sponsor to support it. I’m in conversation with one company that has offered this as a possible solution, but it is not confirmed. Most like this would mean some prominent banner or credit on the main site (not in the feeds) however there would now always likely be a link on the output like “powered by Feed2JS” with a link back here.
- Some sort of subscription service, e.g. for a small fee, you could have that credit link removed. Or some other perk.
- I have also added a flattr widget to the site for people who play there– see http://flattr.com/thing/411163/feed2js
But what I really need the assistance with is some people to volunteer to help in the code development/improvement. I’ve gone about as far as my PHP skills will carry me and there are a bunch of things the site could use. It could also stand a design refresh, so I am eager to find some help there.
Ideally, the main site would be the hub, but I’d like to have a list of reliable mirror sites that we could refer people to go for access to the same service.
I’ve outlined a few suggestion areas in a Google Doc I set up to collect ideas as well as contacts for people who’d like to be part of a crew to keep Feed2JS going.
I’m really excited that this little thing I started as an experiment in 2003 has gotten such wide use, this might be the biggest thing I’ve worked on. And I want to see it keep going strong.
Won’t you help? PLease?