A Small Reboot
Thursday, 15 December 2016
Sorry it's been too long...
Indexhibit is nearly 10 years old and there is really quite alot I could say. Things I wanted to say many years ago but because of the pressure of doing a project like this I just wasn’t able to bring myself to do so.
In a nutshell, doing a free project on the net is very hard work. It’s not as simple as spending months building an app and releasing it. Afterwards you need to deal with bugs, public relations (social media and email), admin duties and support. None of which covers being paid for this work. Support, over the past 10 years, took up a little more than seventy percent of all of my time (nearly 30,000 hours). This left me very little time for development and all the other things that came my way. For eight years (until December 2014) I never had a weekend, holiday or a vacation where I was not doing something for Indexhibit.
Indexhibit isn’t a startup or a business. It tried and it failed. Indexhibit was and still is an art/design project. I never wanted to sell it directly - the original plan was that it would find organizations (like advertisers) who would “underwrite” downloads but I could not do that on my own. Building Indexhibit, supporting it, promoting it, most of the administrative duties - were mostly just myself. Even when I had a small team of people helping with support they were often referring more complex problems to me. I was often helping those people directly via email and even logging in on their sites (FTP) to check on things. So…much…work.
And that was the failure of Indexhibit - lack of funding and people. In an internet that changed alot in the past ten years, I simply could not keep up. In the past couple of years people have been writing alot about founder depression and the changing patterns of the net - I was suffering through all of this as early as 2007. It was an overwhelming amount of work for one person to manage.
I’m sorry that Indexhibit wasn’t a better project. In the early years there were fun times and I remember people telling me how amazing it was and that I was going to get rich (which I never believed). I was able to get through those years on the excitement and energy that was coming back at me. It was always a very small project though.
I’m writing this note because I needed some time to cool my brain. I’m not releasing Indexhibit 3 (it doesn’t exist, yet), but I am working on some updates and a couple new features. I plan to release these very soon (in the coming days). Again, I will be seeking experienced coders help updating and improving the current core system. I’ll have more about this when I put out the release. This is a small reboot of Indexhibit…
When I made Indexhibit I never expected it to become popular (for a time). I approached Dan in 2005 about this idea to convert the ‘left right’ concept into a complete CMS. I had a passion for helping people publish and I wanted to make tools that allowed people to do so and to modify things as best as they could. Looking around now at all the other systems who were inspired by Indexhibit, it’s clear that both the CMS and the format were successful.
Let’s hope that we can together keep Indexhibit relevant for another 10 years.