Here's what's been happening behind-the-scenes on theMET, including an inspiring story about how big companies like Ning and StumbleUpon help little sites like ours grow.
The Background Story
Over the past two years, Eugene and I have had the unique privilege of running this vibrant and growing community. At our peak, we received over a million visitors each month and, with the help of our top tier ad networks, we were able to make this our full-time careers from day one. We've always taken the responsibility of running this site very seriously, investing our time and effort into it, making sure it's like no other place on the web. To some it's a mish-mash of a little of everything - blog, forum, social network - and to others, you simply call it your home.
We saw some explosive growth starting in January 2010 that led us to record breaking numbers in March. Then, something drastically changed. Our content stayed consistently high quality but our traffic numbers plummeted. We soon figured out that our content was removed from StumbleUpon's
rotation. You see, StumbleUpon will do this when sites frame-break their StumbleUpon web-toolbar, which prevents its users from stumbling to a new site. As the #1 source of viral traffic in the world, Stumbleupon
is one of the main reasons why sites like ours can exist. They help spread our content around the web, exposing it to their 10+ million users. In short, without them, we could not exist.
After calling StumbleUpon and figuring out this problem, we quickly moved into action. We contacted our platform, Ning
, and worked with them to resolve the issue. Like an understanding partner, Ning
has been unbelievably helpful and responsive. I cannot tell you how much we appreciate the fact that they actually listen to their network creators. Every step of the way, Ning kept us in the loop, explaining to us what they could do and how long it would take for them to do it. I cannot thank them enough.
So why am I telling you this whole story? Because we fixed the problem with the help from StumbleUpon and Ning, and we're back in business! Though we never actually considered closing down theMET, we did consider starting a whole new, separate site. After going through what we did, however, we're now we're more committed than ever to seeing theMET grow right here on the Ning platform.
On a related note, we'll be changing out our logo in the next few days. In fact, here's a sneak peek.
I truly believe it captures the essence of theMET. Smart. Sophisticated. Stylish.
Ning, thank you so much for listening, for understanding our needs and for making us feel like a company can actually care. In this day and age, that means more to us than you'll ever know.
And finally to Stumbleupon and Stumblers. Thank you for driving traffic to our site, letting us be one of the lucky ones who can actually make a living doing what we love. In our case, that's sharing amazing art, unbelievable design and inspiring stories. You are what makes the web an exciting and learning experience!
If you have your own inspiring Ning story...share it with us, too!