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Michigan furs roam social networks after Midwest Furries closes its doors

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Midwest Furries logo Michigan furs have lost a central online community with the closure of the Midwest Furries forum (previously known as Michigan Furs).

Webmaster Gir Tygrin decided to close the forum after evaluating competition from more general social websites and consulting with members. A server failure halving site capacity triggered the decision:

Thanks to a failure of the server's motherboard I've determined it to be a total loss. At the current time (thanks to having to buy a new car in October) I cannot afford to replace the system. […] In the past I would have fought tooth and nail to keep the site going but with the prevalence of other websites that support the furry community I feel that this forum may be getting to the end if it's usefulness anyway. […] I'm frankly stunned that the servers lasted this long. We've been running the same hardware since the Forum's 2nd year. When I bought them I invested just over $3,000 on the hardware. I'd say it was a pretty good return. […] Based on the feedback that I've received so far it seems like people are pretty content to use Facebook, FA, and other resources.

Activity has coalesced around Michigan Furs, Michigan Furries, Michican Fur meets and Furry Michigan on Facebook, and West Michigan, Lansing and Yoopers groups on Fur Affinity.

Forum member Platero summed up the situation facing such websites:

This is sad to hear, but it's inevitable. Look at the forum statistics and you'll see the number of posts in 2013 is half of what it was in 2012, and the 2012 number is half of 2011's. People posted this year at less than 8% the rate of MiFur's heyday in 2008! :( Forums have lost their popularity, not just in this state or this fandom, but everywhere.

Up north, the UPFurry forum was how we all found each other and planned meets for about 4 years. When we decided to close the forum in 2011 because it was too expensive to upgrade and almost nobody posted (sound familiar?), we switched to Facebook as the primary means of communication. For those that don't use Facebook or don't want furry things on it, meet announcements are also posted to an FA group and a Twitter account.

And you know what? Nothing really changed. The little community is still stable, and one way or another, new people keep finding the groups and joining them. Furmeets aren't any smaller or less frequent than before. I suspect the same thing will happen here.

A dissenting view was provided by Barkley:

This is the only major website I know of dedicated to Michigan furs. If this site shuts down, we would have to rely on facebook groups to organize furmeets etc. That would make it harder for new furs to find us in my opinion.

The site closed on January 6, with Gir expressing burnout, in part due to criticism; one person suggesed mining bitcoins to fund hosting.

Comments

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They should do what I did with NJFurs.org.. Google+ Community, free, tons of media options, and family friendly. it costs me the domain, which is about $11 a year

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Don't forget the hidden cost: your soul! Oh, and you'd better have a real name on that community owner account…

It's a great solution for some, but there's still good reasons to run your own site. (A VPS would have been fine, though.)

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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a software developer and Norn from London, UK, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.