For the last nine years. HSB&R (http://www.hsbr.net) was a fan site for the game Hollywood Stock Exchange (http://www.hsx.com/). I wrote articles for that site, got recruited to do some professional writing as a result of my work on that site, and did a few other things to add content to that site.
That was what people saw up front. What only a few people know (or care about) is that behind the scenes all web sites are hosted on servers. That is, when you execute a command on the web site (the client), that command is sent to another computer (the server) where the command actually does something – then sends the response back to the client – and you see what it is that you asked for (hopefully).
HSB&R was hosted on computers in the home of two folks on the East Coast. They spent their own money on parts, software, and internet access – and a LOT OF TIME. They kept it up and running, and we enjoyed tremendous success as the premiere fan site for HSX. An awful lot of H$ got made as a result of our site, which only kept running because of these two folks.
Something else that very few people knew about was that, behind the scenes, they operated a mailing list for staff members, both active and retired. Over the years, the list transformed from a staff mailing list devoted to discussions of the finer points of the HSX game into a daily must check activity for list members located, literally, around the globe. We shared three marriages, a death that shook us all, births to the families of multiple members (including their two), college degrees, and job successes. Diverse people straddling a wide swath of the socio-economic strata, spanning the political spectrum, speaking mutiple languages and embracing sometimes conflicting worldviews. But, we’ve all been friends.
Last year, the site suffered a crash that corrupted many of the tools on the site. In order to fix it, an awful lot of work would have been required, and it just didn’t happen. We all knew that things were pretty much done. Things end. That’s what is perfect about life. Things start. Things end.
Very shortly, HSB&R (and I will always use the ampersand! ) will cease to exist on the Web. There are plans to migrate a lot of the content to another format, but the site and the domain will be retired. And, after all these years, these two folks have decided to get out of the hosting business and focus on their own needs. Sometime selfishness IS a good thing. 🙂 We’ll still have the mailing list, and that’s enough.
James and Amy, I want to thank you for everything you did over the years for the site and each of its members. Your work will always be appreciated.
Which brings me to why this blog has moved. One of the services they provided to list members was a blog that they hosted. Part of getting out of the hosting business means moving the blogs. Based on their advice, I have decided to continue using the WordPress blogging software, and I have now migrated the old blog to the new site. In fact, Amy helped me get that done. I decided that, if I was going to move the blog, I’d change the site theme, too. After a couple of years of the old theme, a little change is not a bad thing.
So, bookmark this new site and come back. I’ll be here. I hope you will be, too.