This is a very difficult post for me to write - just as difficult as the “realizations” I’ve had to face recently.
For more than 3.5 years, in my forum moderation duties for the Mxx Family of sites, I have rarely gotten behind to the point that the “New/Updated Topics” list showed even two pages. Recently, it got up to five pages - and, even now, I’m finding it difficult to keep it at only two pages. That’s not just posts - that’s updated topics, some of which have dozens of posts I have not yet read.
The reason for my inability to keep up with the community is, of course, an increase in my real-life responsibilities of late. And it won’t be getting better any time soon - in fact, there are things on the horizon that will make even greater demands on my time.
It’s not just the forum that is suffering from a lack of attention. The database for MRR is way behind. I’ve barely been able to keep up with upgrade data for all the new cars that come with each update - and then only because Gio stepped in and helped do many of the recent (and not-so-recent) cars. The data for Series/Tiers/Events is so out-of-date, I don’t think I would ever be able to catch up - and new Series are added every six weeks.
I’ve also let several members down in a big way, by not being able to follow through on promises for new features added to the site(s)… Marcel and AudiR8cer, to name only two. My apologies for that.
Bottom line is… I’m just not able to maintain the sites to the extent that I would like - not able to live up to the standards I’ve set for myself - which leaves two options…
- Shut down the Mxx Family. If I had to do this, I’d feel that I am letting a lot of people down - taking away access to a community of members who have come to know and rely on each other over the past few months and years.
- Turn the sites into more of a community effort. This is really the only way I can see to keep the sites online. With help from the community, we could keep the database more up-to-date, and continue to have the forums as a place to socialize and help each other as we always have.
Of course, Option 2 would also require me handing moderating duties over to some other members. I have attempted to do this in the past - first for the RR3 group, and later for those who were still playing RR2 (before OMP got shut down for good) - but it didn’t always work out so well. I don’t know if it goes along with the age old “power corrupts” syndrome or what, but, well, I just haven’t had good luck in that arena. If this does come to pass, and if any of you volunteer for mod duties but end up not being selected, please don't take it as an insult. There are several factors to be considered when selecting moderators - not only personal character traits (patience, unbiased handling of issues, etc.) but also by their location in the world and what times/days they would be able to be online, so that the sites might be covered on more of a 24/7 basis.
Also, as for keeping the database up-to-date, I’ve allowed members to contribute to the data input process in the past, on a limited basis, but opening the site up for anyone and everyone to be able to post data is actually a scary prospect for me. I have exacting standards about the way the data is entered into the site(s) - about how names of Cars, Series, Tiers, etc. are worded - even as to how words are capitalized and hyphenated. Not only that, but all car upgrade data that currently exists in MRR has been gathered by doing upgrades in a certain order - all Engine stages first, followed by all Drivetrain, and so on. I would want any future cars to be done the same way, but I really wouldn’t be able to have any checks and balances on that process.
In any case, I’m willing to give it a try - considering the unpleasant alternative of just calling it quits. But I’m hoping for feedback from you all - your thoughts, suggestions, worries… everything.
And no matter how this turns out, thank you all for being a part of this fine community.