First off, I need to say that I know I’ve let a lot of you down (if not all). I know I’ve not met your expectations of an admin or a leader. I have no excuses as even I feel this way about myself. I won’t make attempts for empathy, I will only acknowledge the truth, and it is such.
Life is full of surprises. You can be rich one minute and living out of your car the next. You can be healthy one year and a regular in the doctor’s office the following. You can have life figured out only to discover you know nothing in the end. The only constant in life is change.
My life is not the same it was when I first met @Atko and started working on Voat. I have much less time, I have a bit less fight in me (getting old does this), I have a bit more struggle in life. These life changes have forced me to put Voat on the back burner (which hurts me).
Let’s get real
When it comes to “Free Speech” sites, I once believed that people cared enough about the value of free speech to make “clone” sites like Voat (or gab) successful. I’ve come to realize, and have said before, that this single factor isn’t enough. People simply do not value this right enough to make a “clone” successful.
You can see this with Voat. A majority of Voat users still use Reddit. People use Reddit for posting and interacting when it comes to PC topics (4 wheel drive subs, movie subs, book subs, etc.). They use Voat to post the things they can’t post on Reddit. This creates an imbalance where Voat becomes increasingly un-PC, while Reddit gets the neutral content (I know even the most hardened ideologue has a level of civility). The end result is this imbalance drives people away as people wear out when confronted by content like this over the long run.
I don’t know the solution to this, and I am not attempting to pass blame, I am simply stating a truth that has to considered.
What makes a clone not a clone?
Why I mention this in the first place is that I know a “clone” site will not become sustainable based on Freedom of Speech so I’ve tried to revolutionize the “community” aspect of Voat by providing a way the community itself can “vote” on policy (rules, mods, anything actually). It's the future capability of this feature-set that is appealing. A community can become self-sustaining and self-manageable through this new technology. After all, the draw of sites like Voat or Reddit is that it is community-oriented vs. self-oriented.
And I’m going to finish it. I’m going to finish it for me. I’m going to finish it for you. I’m going to finish it for Voat. I’m going to finish it for Freedom of Speech (because I still believe in this ideal).
I’m going to finish it because a “clone” site with no differentiation but policy will never succeed.
So Voat, please forgive me for my shortcomings if you can, and expect my work to continue on making Voat a truly unique website.
P.S. Downtime today was because of a full disk (Thanks @derram for letting me know). We had an issue from about a year ago that inflated some files to crazy sizes and I took the time today to deal with this. So the next downtime should be something completely different! Yay!