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RIP Offbeat Bride Tribe: 2007 – 2015 (+ bonus musings on running leaner)

Fall of 2007, after dozens of requests from blog readers, I decided to set up an Offbeat Bride community on Ning.com.

"It's an experiment!" I said.

"We'll see how it goes!" I said.

"If it doesn't feel like a good fit, I'll shut it down!" I said.

That was eight years, two platforms, two community managers, dozens of volunteer moderators, and over 45,000 members ago. November 2015, the Offbeat Bride Tribe quietly shut down.

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Forums are dying

For the last four years, the Offbeat Bride Tribe's traffic has been in decline.
Across the web, forums are dying as we all increasingly default to social media like Facebook. What does this mean for the future of the Tribe?

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Flickr, Pinterest, and Instagram: my strong feels, as both a user and a publisher

I have some strong feels about photo hosting online, my friends. Over the last decade, I've watched the landscape of photo hosting websites shift, from a time when there was nothing decent, to a time when there was something amazingly awesome (Flickr!), to a time when there were tons of options, to time when there are a few front-runners (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram) none of which work as well as the tools we used back when I got married in 2004.

This post is long. This post is probably overly emotional considering we're talking about web apps and photo hosting. But man… photos are my memories, and as a publisher, photos are part of my business model. So let's get out our hankies and our rallying fists in the air and talk this shit over.

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Clicks don't lie: people gravitate toward drama (and who am I to deny them?)

I wrote yesterday about the process of realizing that a community management tool I'd established in 2008 for the Offbeat Bride Tribe was no longer relevant to my community's current needs. In a nutshell: my current community doesn't need high-drama posts filtered. But more importantly, they don't WANT them filtered out.

You know why? Because on a certain level, we all gravitate toward difficult emotions. As one Offbeat Bride Tribe member said…