Members probably now know that any attempt to move RR to a new server last week failed because the existing forum software needed upgrading, along with other supporting software.
That failure, my failure, leaves me with a decision that has haunted me for some time.
I've spent most of today meeting with clients of my web hosting service, several of who I have kept online even though they fall behind in hosting fees and require extensive support to fix problems. I also went over the finances of the operation with our accountant and my real advisor -- wife Amy.
But the final decision on the future of ReaderRant, and perhaps some other of my less-than-lucrative operations, is mine and mine alone. ReaderRant, I believe, has had a long run of more than 26 years. It has had its ups and downs and has had many members and hundreds of thousands of posts and debates. It has existed on the Ultimate Bulleting Board platform for many years but ran on other forum software operations that served even far more than the 307,000 posts.
RR today receives an average of a half dozen new posts a day. Less than five posters have joined in the past year and the newest had one post and was gone. The few who remain include several longtime members, including some who help moderate, and I am eternally grateful for your work and devotion on a volunteer basis.
I keep in touch with several via email and phone. Our long-lost Scoutgal and her husband visited us here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and enjoyed our country living and food. It was good to actually meet one of our members and moderators in person. Phil Hoskins was a longtime friend I never met in person and, sadly, could not attend his memorial service. Jeffrey Hass remains a good friend. I still have contacts with Sen. Hatrack, Pondering, and others.
Some longtime members offered financial assistance. If issues were just financial, I would have gladly accepted their offer but the primary problem is me.
My directions have changed over the years. My columns that sometimes appear on Capitol Hill Blue, but more often appear in print for other outlets, are no longer driven by anger or rage. They focus on what we have lost in a time of hate and falsehoods. I remain, at heart, a newspaperman and am a contract reporter and photographer for Lee Enterprises, who owns many of the daily and weekly newspapers in Virginia and the Southeast, many purchased from Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hataway conglomerate who tried, but gave up, on community journalism. I now cover local boards of supervisors, Circuit Courts, regional music festivals, and high school athletics, which are awakening from the slumber of COVID-19 shutdowns. After 23 years working in the Nation's Capital, it is, I feel, journalism that is closer to home and people.
For these, and other reasons, I have decided to close ReaderRant, effective at midnight Sunday. The board and its comments have been archived but will shut down at the time. I do with a heavy heart but with the realization that it is time. CHB allows comments on most of its articles and that will continue, although most use social sites to discuss a lot of things.
Former moderator Jeffrey Hass recommends a moderated forum called Debate Politics
. He is active there and I have recently joined, more as an observer than a participant. It is a moderated, non-partisan board that works to promote civility in debate. I spend more time on SportsShooter, a forum dedicated to media sports photography, and am a Senior Member there.
I will make a final copy of RR on Sunday. Then I will spend some time alone mourning the loss of a site brought down by an absentee landlord.
My fault, my failure. Those here who moderate, support, and post here deserved better than me. I thank you for the run.