It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to spot that we haven't posted a new article here apart from the FCPX update for a week. So what is wrong and why has the FCP news feed that's been active for nearly five years been put on pause?
I'm Peter Wiggins, the Editor of FCP.co and I thought it would be better to write this in the first person.
FCP.co was born from one single fact. There wasn't a website out there back in 2010 that published the articles I wanted to read.
Since its birth, the site has grown and now gets 150,000 unique visitors a month or well over a million different visitors a year. (Don't confuse this with hits.) The site was talking about FCPX before its release and stuck with it when other publications, individuals and 'celebrity editors' followed the Pied Piper of Premiere. Not too sure if that analogy completely works, but the alliteration more than makes up for it.
I've been proud to publish some amazing stories about Final Cut Pro X, take the two excellent Focus articles or the making of the Watchtower of Turkey. Just as a benchmark, the Watchtower article is now up to a pretty impressive 3.2k likes.
I hate with a passion the new trend for a form of 'Churnalism' That's the taking of an article from another site, copying a paragraph or two, adding a few simple thoughts and then republishing. Of course associated Twitter & Facebook posts will be made linking back to this 'new article' and adding an exclamation mark makes that URL even more clickable! (Sorry)
It would be easier to keep the site updated by doing this, but it is not a route I want to follow. Good to see that this year Google has started penalising websites who do this on a regular basis by demoting them in search results.
Back to originally sourced articles and I've written some myself such as the coverage of the workflow of the Tour de France, but I've been more proud to have published many articles from respected industry professionals such as Ronny Courtens and Sam Mestman to name two.
So what is the problem?
Last week I was subject to an FCP.co and personal Twitter attack. For a good hour and a half, I tried to answer a user's questions whilst he ranted regularly in under 140 characters. Not finished by the morning, he decided to spread more 'displeasure' on Facebook.
Now you might say 'Just drink a cup of concrete and TTFU' but I was genuinely shocked that somebody could have so much vitriol for a service that is provided free. Looking back over his Forum posts revealed an earlier outburst about FCP.co being offline when the site got hacked.
Anybody who has had a website hacked will tell you that their time was completely occupied by trying to get back online. As great as our hosting company is, you have to do a complete site audit before they will put your HTML public again. This takes time and money.
Running a website takes a lot of both.
I've have had great support from regular advertisers, but once you take away hosting costs and other expenses needed to keep the site going (such as subscriptions to software services and updates) there isn't much left.
The attack happened right in the middle of a website redesign that would have probably cost in the region of $5,000 when finished. To get the functionality of the site as you look at it now, 17 extra modules have been added to the CMS and they have to be tweaked to play nicely together.
That $5,000 was coming out of my pocket and after that rant, I thought 'Why do I bother? Why don't I just use it to take my kids to Disneyland?"
I can take that a so-called editing guru gets paid to stand up at a large European gathering of editors and deliver 'exclusive' FCPX information that has been scraped from my site. I can take it that other websites use FCP.co as source for their stories, some of them at least have the decency to provide a courtesy link. I can take it that there seems to be a race on Twitter between a few individuals to post any non-FCP.co link to a story that I've take a couple of days to research and write.
But when you are putting in long hours feeding the tabloid tamagotchi with your own time and money and last week's events happen, then it is time for a rethink.
So what's going to happen?
For the moment nothing, there won't be many updates until after IBC. Of course the busy Forum will continue to answer people's problems and share their experiences as normal, but as for the frontpage, things will be a little quiet.
I hope you understand.