March 19, 2013

The One Where We All Have To Move On

So I guess I really have to move on, huh?

To the wonderful Tabulas community:
On Saturday (March 16th), Tabulas turned 10 years old. If Tabulas was a person, he'd be a little 5th grader right now. Incredible. Tabulas is older than Facebook or Twitter - an aging dinosaur in the tech world. Over its 10 year period, about 200,000 of y'all shared over two million posts with one another. I continue to be astounded that somebody other than me used Tabulas. 
On Sunday evening, I got an email from the current owner of Tabulas notifying me he was shutting down the server within 24 hours. He had been losing interest in running his web properties, and had decided to pull the plug two months ago. When he originally told me this, I took some cautionary steps, including doing a database backup to my internal servers, and ensuring media files were saved. 
Sunday night, I went into the server to do a final snapshot and found it unresponsive. It looked as if the shutdown took effect much faster than expected. Originally, I assumed I could rely on the automated snapshots to bring the site back, but due to a miscommunication between me and my sysadmin, there was never scheduled backups set-up. That means that last snapshot I have is from December 12th, 2012. 
Simply put, this sucks. Three months worth of your stories, your pictures, your connections are lost. 
I take full responsibility for the loss of your content - I had many steps along the way I could have done something, and I didn't. 
I will be working to restore the December snapshot of the site and fixing the export tools so you can get your content out. This may take a week or two, but rest assured that everything before December is still available. I'm still working on getting your current content back, but it's a long shot. 
But the bigger question remains: what will happen to Tabulas? To be honest, I'm not sure. It was a product of pure love - I can't even count the number of long nights I spent in front of a computer. But it was all worth it when I would get a random "thank you" email or a story. That would brighten up my day in such a huge way. 
On the other hand, part of me wants to move on and let go. I've always felt an immense guilt about watching other products do exactly what I wanted to do with Tabulas - I do feel like I've let a lot of you down. Sometimes cutting the cord seems like the right decision. 
I'll be taking the next two weeks to figure out what will happen to Tabulas, but I would love to hear your thoughts on what I should do. Please share on the Tabulas Facebook page. If you need to vent about my idiocy, feel free to do it there. 
In the interim, I'll be posting updates to the FB page so you can recover your data. Sorry again, but this was always a one-man show and that has its drawbacks. 
With much love from sunny San Diego,

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