This document is not current, and is kept only for archival purposes. Please refer to Everything2 Help for all up-do-date help documents.

Q: How come the site goes down so much? What can I do about it?
Why aren't we being given information about it?

The reason you don't get any information about what's going on at times like this is that I don't reckon anybody has any to give you. The e2gods sure don't, not as a group.

Why such poor service? E2 is a charity case, and we have to take whatever service we can get. It costs thousands of dollars to keep e2 up and running every month. Once upon a time, e2 existed purely on the out of pocket sponsorship of the guys who invented it, and their close friends. They've spent hundreds of thousands of their own dollars running e2 for our amusement. Now, we have an arrangement with the University of Michigan, located in Ann Arbor. We exist thanks to their generosity (which is motivated by their academic curiosity, I suppose). They gave us some servers and act as our ISP, free of charge, and all they ask in exchange is that we not display advertisements. Technical services have to be handled by our volunteers.

Point is, we don't have the overhead to employ armies of techies to be on-call for any service blips. The number of people who have access to the servers could be counted on one hand with fingers left over to pick our butts with while we wait for them to even discover there's a problem. Less than ten (10) have remote access to the servers when there's downtime, through the magic of the Internet; and if they can't solve whatever might be the issue of the day, there are only three (3) people who have direct physical access on the UMich campus. And all of them, like every single person involved in e2, are volunteers with many other commitments – and lives of their own, besides. It might be quite a while, it could be hours or days, before anyone who has access even discovers there's a problem and has the opportunity to do anything about it.

If you want to help make recovery time quicker, you can get in touch with nate. If the site goes down for very long, send him a quick message at e2webmaster [at] everything2 [dot] com.

If you want e2 to run more to your liking, feel free to hoof up the benjamins necessary to make a significant difference. A couple thou a month would be nice. In the meantime, I'm afraid you have to like it or lump it, just like the rest of us. Complaining about it doesn't do any good, because there's no one to whom you would complain that could do anything about it at all. We aren't in any position to change the way things are right now; we don't even have a say in deciding whether the site lives or dies tomorrow. Either you can suffer with us through this, or you can't. When I write, I write because I enjoy writing, I enjoy the audience's response, and I benefit from the practice of writing; I encourage you to approach it in the same spirit. If the writing isn't its own reward for you, then I wouldn't be surprised if the trouble weren't worth sticking around to put up with. Heck, even if the writing is its own reward, I couldn't blame you if it wasn't worth it. But either it is or it isn't, see, and if it is then it is but if it isn't then it isn't. Complaining isn't going to change that.

Expect the site to go down. It went off once for a month, you know. We got by. When e2 takes a break, take a break from e2. Do what Chiisuta does. She says:

When the site is down, I work on my own projects, pet my new kitten, think about the meaning of life, or just plain get some work done around the house.

It's not an emotional issue for me. At one time, it might have been, but as I am not paying for it, I can't call up a customer service rep and yell at them, so I put it out of my mind. There is lots to see and do in the world, and I'm happy doing that instead until e2 comes back up.

Oh, as an aside, it's easy for me to feel this way because all my wu's are backed up.

Chii is smart. She's got the right attitude about it. And she's covered her bases: All of her writing is saved on her own disk space, and she knows how to stay in touch with the community even when the site is down (like here, or here, or here, or e-mail, or post, or phone). If you take a little time while the site is UP to get ready for the time when the site will be DOWN, the stakes will not be as high for you, and you can relax a bit.

In sum:

  • The site will go down sometimes.
  • You will not know why, because nobody will.
  • You will not know when it may come up again, because nobody will.
  • There is nobody who can do anything about this.
  • You can e-mail nate at "e2webmaster [at] everything2 [dot] com" to let him know there's a problem.
  • Prepare for it:
    • by getting off-site contact info for your friends; and
    • by saving all your writeups (and your favorites written by others) to disk or printing them to hard copy.
More EXTREMELY VALUABLE ADVICE OF UTMOST SERIOUSNESS can be found here: What to do if E2 goes down.


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