Friday, September 04, 2020

Ipswich Gigs changes... again!

Ipswich Gigs

The Ipswich Gigs website has been run by me, and only me, since about 2003. Mostly. When Facebook came along it made Ipswich Gigs redundant for a few years. Then the reach of events on Facebook dropped through the floor so I started the website up again. It's a not inconsiderable amount of work to keep the site up to date, but (at first) all the local promoters and bands used to let me know what was going on.

By 2019 the mailing list had dwindled from over 3,000 to just 500, and less than 10% of email recipients were actually reading the gig listing emails I sent out every week. To be fair, some local promoters got really good at promoting their events, not just on Facebook but on other social platforms and *gasp* by actually putting up posters and handing out flyers at gigs! Some venues (like The Smokehouse in Ipswich) also got really good at promoting themselves. Fantastic!

By 2020 running the site was becoming a losing battle. In an attempt to revitalise Ipswich Gigs I started covering events in nearby towns, which brought in the lively scene in Bury St.Edmunds and amazing venues like The John Peel Centre in Stowmarket and Colchester Arts Centre. But the visits to the site, the size of the mailing list and the number of promoters I could get gig details from dwindled to a trickle. Then with the COVID-19 Pandemic in March 2020 the trickle stopped, er, 'trickling' and ceased entirely.

COVID meant I had six months off running the Ipswich Gigs. It was only when (for the worst reasons) I had a break from running the site that I realised just how much work it was. I work for myself and have reached the point where I just can't justify the time or expense of running a website that it appears very few people either need or use. It's not just resource-drag on my time maintaining the gig listings and trying to promote the site, it's also the hassle of maintaining a website that is constantly under attack from hackers. Not just a few, but thousands a week. It's nothing personal on the part of the hackers; the site runs on Wordpress and has been a going concern since 2003, so it's a 'legitimate target' as far as ner-do-wells are concerned.

So that's it. I've had enough. It has been 17 years of running this site by myself and something needs to change. I've reached this point before and asked for help, but nobody came forward.

I'm not mincing off by shutting the site, I've just tried everything within my power to make it work and I have to face the reality that it's just not needed any more. In fact even to me the concept of going to a website that serves a single purpose these days just seems a bit, well, antiquated.

On a more positive note, I will continue to update the Ipswich Gigs Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit profiles. So feel free to follow whichever of those suits you.


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