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So Apparently I’m Not Managing Things Well February 14, 2010

Posted by ismywebsite in general.
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Fair enough. There’s a lot I haven’t done. Everyone seems to need something. And of course, it’s just your simple little 5 minute thing. But watch this little math:

Your 5 minute thing + 99 other 5 minutes things = 100 5 minute things.

Guess how long that takes? 8 hours 20 minutes. In other words, an entire work day.

Now, that’s support. At present, when timely answered, about 30-40 messages come in through various avenues. With the proper active thriving community I’m aiming for, this could easily rise to 100. And we have nobody to handle this who knows what they’re doing and is trained, except me and Kris, and it will take probably 15 hours up to 30 hours to properly train someone, and even then they still make many mistakes.

Next, development. Numerous projects underway. All of them can be measured in hours. The abuse system – still probably several hours from completion, so 7 hours give or take. A proper Advisor system for the support, estimated at 30 hours. I have the blueprints already drawn up. Estimated to remove 2-3 hours of support per day once it starts getting widely used, and more later on, so paid off in 15 days. And a FAQ to help with remaining questions. Will take about 10 hours to get that online. So those are my development projects, and I don’t know how to share them with a development department since they exist in the physical world, inaccessible without a scanner, and in my mind, and the technology does not yet exist to read that.Besides, development seems to be quite busy with their present projects best I know, except they occasionally ask to do things, only they don’t ask me.

The development department is apparently planning an expansion by several volunteers, and claims to have the resources to do all that. Perhaps they can, and perhaps things will fail. Is it really worth the few hours to investigate? I have no idea how much time it might take to clean up the worst case scenario, but I know there are 99 ways to do things the wrong way, and only a few ways to do things right. I completely trust the intentions of the development department at least. I just hope they’ll be very careful and I like what the end result is.

Now, welcoming. Here’s something interesting. Do new clients actually feel welcome, or do they feel ‘tested’? Do they feel that they’re not really trusted, that somehow the only purpose of descriptions or applications or signing up is 100% to keep the servers secure. Well, my intuition tells me this is the case. My intuition says clients aren’t being encouraged to build their site. They feel that, at the other end, is not some smiling, welcoming, team of people who want to help them, but some unhappy security guard watching their every move. It’s funny how similar the two are, with only attitude as a separator.

And Abuse. Several hours to build the system, and a few more to get the documentation done. And then… Abuse can start! Hooray! The reports of abuse can pile up. People can be suspended and made unhappy and tormented. We can force those infidels who don’t understand that we have operating costs to cover, to place their advertising just a little higher on the page (as the rules state), then wonder why they no longer feel creatively free.

The fact is, abuse is mishandled by nearly everyone. Nobody looks at the true cause of the problems. Nobody helps find alternatives. All they do is ban, suspend, punish, terminate, block, jail, kill, institutionalize. Nobody in jail ever thinks ‘Oh I see I was wrong. Thanks for helping me to see the truth and now I’m going to be a perfect little angel.’ I can’t imagine it’s much different with suspension. All they do is join the competition, build another abusive site, continue what they did, and the sole problem is never fixed. Or worse, they just create a second account.

And why do they do this? Because the fact is, nobody ever does anything wrong. They always make mistakes, or act too quickly, or loose their cool, or fail to think, or support their family, or defend themselves, or maximize their income, or share information, or etc… The point – it’s only human nature to justify what one does as – well – justified. A big part of why Abuse is not yet launched – how on Earth do I expect anyone to really understand this in a world like ours – on Earth? And do I really have the time to clean up if someone decides to lash back at us for something Abuse does?

Success is doing just great with their limited tools as well. The upgrade system is probably a 5 hour simple mechanism, but undoubtedly there will be problems (unforeseen) since that’s what WHM loves to create. So I guess only 5 hours have to be fit somewhere.

And marketing, not even going there. Do I really want to bring any more people into this giant messy failure?

Not mentioned here:

All the inactive accounts that are clogging up our system. I’d set things to expire, but someone is always upset. I could check for content, but people always love to hide it in subdirectories where it can’t be seen. So I have to check for what’s on the page, and storage, and bandwidth. Not to worry. I have scripts to do that. Just, I need to verify them, just in case they fail, as that would be fatal. Oh, and did I mention, every node is slightly different so they need to be adjusted/tweaked for each, then test separately, to be usable. And of course, this all takes time. Most of the current nodes need this kind of cleanup – fairly badly.

Inactive clients. There’s only two reasons not to use our hosting. The first is that you don’t need hosting. The second is that you find a better service. And since we can top every service, supposedly, then everyone who’s inactive mustn’t need hosting. But why are they signing up for a hosting site then? And so I want to know, so I ask them. Sometimes I get good feedback, but sometimes I end up with this: sldkn wen skdme skdannr w fras fask sd emdefm s. And now, I have Google Translator, but what language is that? Does it mean unhappy with the service? Does it mean you need something we don’t have?

Oh wait! I know. It means we’re taking too long. They want to be up and running in 15 seconds. I see. Well, why didn’t you just say so? I’m sure it’s a very reasonable expectation. What’s this? You can’t find any decent web hosting? All the hosts you tried are plagued with abuse or lack features? That’s odd. Whyever would they have more abuse than us, or need to offer less features?

Yeah, and then there’s those interesting people, like the one I got a few days ago. Apparently, our hosting is ‘gay’. Odd. How does a hosting site have a sexual orientation? Oh right. It’s the new ‘gay’. Just like ‘lame’ doesn’t mean disabled anymore. Both these words just mean ‘sucky’. I guess it’s better than swearing, and oh so helpful. We’ve completely isolated the problem. Just make the hosting less ‘gay’ and we’re all set. Everyone knows what to do, right?

And now, Node 6, giant corporate top 500 HostDime with a nicely furnished office bought up Nixism, so now we have to deal with them. The support representative Manny is really nice, and wants to offer us a nice deal on outdated hardware, but it would mean we could offer everything – resellers, SSH, etc… Oh and the price is such that they make no money. Since I told them all about what we’re doing and how we help a lot of people get started on the internet.

Anyways, bottom line, even at that reduced price, it’s out of our budget. Why? Because people can’t bother themselves to move their ads just a few degrees north on their sites, make them just a bit bigger, or switch to AdSense. Or, you know, even follow the rules at all. Before, I asked for donations, but I feel those people have done way more than their fair share to support our hosting. I don’t know the right solution, but I’m sure the credit system is a step in the right direction.

So I’ve been researching an alternative, a very professional company MochaHost, which is due to take over – soon. Only thing is, to get the best rate, you need to sign up for 3 years at once, and I guess I can do that. Only thing is, there are a number of scenarios where that investment could turn out a bad choice.

Okay, I guess those are the big things. I’m sure there’s more, but it’s not coming to mind right now, so, I’m sorry things are in a big mess, and thanks for your patience with me to sort them out.

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Comments»

1. Bigbucks - February 14, 2010

Well said. We have the arcade finished up well, we sent out a few messages to people to beta test it. I said I would get it done, and now I did 🙂

2. Marc - February 15, 2010

I’m so sorry. I’ll switch over to Adsense right away… Oh, but your website is down… I’ll do it as soon as I can!

3. andrew - February 26, 2010

as soon as i have a bank card and enough money i’ll definately donate!


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