Draw3Cards is shutting down

It’s been a while since I became a co-owner of this site. Back then this was a very active site with a great community behind it.

Nowadays, very few questions are asked and both Ron and I have noticed the site activity is pretty low. Since neither of us has  the time required to mantain the site and we have seen some of our users are already using the Board and Card Games StackExchange site, we feel like we should redirect our users to that site.

It has been great to work in this site and being part of this great community but, sadly, the time of shutting it down has come.

The site is going down on February 28, I hope you all understand.


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Migration succesful

Migration of the data from StackExchange to AskBot has been successful. The look of the site has changed a bit, but it’s pretty similar to the previous one.

However, there is an issue that might raise, the login with Google may not be working. If this is your case, send an email to beta@draw3cards.com and we’ll fix it.

There may be some other issues as well, if you find one of this, please post it on meta.

I hope everyone is happy with the migration, now all of us can enjoy the site for a long time and do it ourselves, without StackExchange’s help.


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Site migration planned next weekend

After a lot of discussions, we have decided to migrate the site to a new independent home. I can finally say “we”, because Draw3Cards now has a now co-owner and maintainer – welcome Ander Pérez!

Since I couldn’t find the time required to perform the migration, Ander joined me and is now leading the migration effort off Stack Exchange 1.0. We will be moving to an established, well maintained platform called AskBot (keeping all content in-tact, of course).

The site migration is planned for next weekend, on December 22. We do expect some downtime (especially due to time differences between the team at Stack Exchange that will be assisting with the migration, and our local time – Ander and me are located in Europe) – we just wanted to let you know in advance, in case you have an important match and have a big rules question planned!

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Stack Exchange doesn’t want us … so we’ll do it ourselves

StackExchange LLC has decided to close the Magic proposal as a “duplicate” of the Boards and Card Games proposal. The argument goes like this: Board and Card Games is not doing that well, and Magic is the most popular game on BaCG, so if we take Magic out into a separate site BaCG will suffer.

While I have nothing but respect for Stack Exchange LLC, and appreciate their support in these last few years in starting and operating Draw3Cards, I can’t help but disagree with their reasoning. Keeping BaCG artificially alive, all thanks to its Magic-playing members, while denying Magic players of its dedicated site, is wrong. As Draw3Cards and its users have shown in the last few years, there is a strong core group of Magic players that want a place to ask questions, annotated with set tags, images and mana symbols and get expert answers … and BaCG will never be that place.

So, we are forced to returning to our previous course of action, which is operating our own site, be it on top of OSQA, AskBot, or another Q&A platform. I’m sorry for all of D3C’s user who won’t get the latest code updates from Stack Exchange (those guys have done a great job in the last few years making their network slick), but I believe that maintaining and growing a site dedicated to Magic is more important than a few bells & whistles.

Currently, I’m still swamped with other projects, including a startup I recently joined, so I’m still looking for other technically inclined people willing to help with the management of the site, in exchange for co-ownership. If you’re a Magic fan, and you’re not afraid of a little bit of Python and Amazon EC2, drop me a line at ron.gross@gmail.com (you don’t have to be a tech guru, we’re not looking to rewrite the world here, just install, maintain and support the site … you can learn as you go).

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Well, let’s aim for Stack Exchange 2.0 after all – your (small) help is needed

TL;DR – Please support the Area51 Magic proposal and vote to migrate Draw3Cards to Stack Exchange 2.0.

Those of you who follow this blog know our road hasn’t gone in a straight line but more of a zig-zag.
First, we were a Stack Exchange 1.0 site. Then, we started on the migration path to OSQA. We got a very long delay in the shutdown of SE 1.0, so this gave us the excuse to postpone it for the last year.

Recently, I posted a call for co-founders / partners to help me build an maintain Draw3Cards. Although there was some initial enthusiastic emails from several of you, nobody actually followed through until today … and I have a guess why.

Draw3Cards is not a profitable business right now (I never claimed it were). We’re making a low sum of money from monthly ads, which just about cover server costs (for Meta Draw3Cards, and Beta Draw3Cards), and some change. We did see a very nice curve of increase in traffic over the last two years though, but so far it doesn’t look like I’m ready to quite my day job … which recently started demanding large amounts of my free time.

Stack Exchange 2.0 has shown very nice growth over this time, and a slew of new features have been added to their sites. I’ve recently asked Stack Exchange to migrate Draw3Cards to SE 2.0 format, and they kindly refused on the grounds it is too specialized. Still, there are solutions to this problem, such as the new sub-site feature.

To conclude this post – I think the community of Draw3Cards would benefit greatly if it were a fully fledged Stack Exchange 2.0 site. If you’re an active user of Draw3Cards, please commit to the Area51 Magic Proposal.

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We need your help – looking for co-founders/co-owners

We need your help.

For the last two years, Draw3Cards has been the best Q&A site I know about Magic. You made it so. We’ve had a lot of passionate users participate, ask and answer questions, and some even edited and help maintain the site’s source code. All this help was given volenterally, for the good of the Draw3Cards community (and for gaining a little bit of reputation and badges :)).

Still, the core maintenance work was done by a select few, with myself as the owner and founder carrying most of the burden.

The good folks of Stack Exchange were able to provide us with free hosting for the last two years, which is something we’re very grateful for. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and by December 31th 2011, Draw3Cards will have to migrate to a dedicated host.

My plan for executing this migrating was to move to an OSQA instance, which seemed like a solid option (and still does). One thing I over estimated was the free time I will have for doing this migration and maintenance. Career wise, I have recently joined a new startup, and will not have a lot of time to maintain Draw3Cards. Even if I managed to magically create some extra time and complete the migration, I believe the continued maintenance of D3C will take more than what I have to offer.

So, the bottom line is – we need your help, and we’re willing to pay for it. I am willing to offer compensation, either as a direct payment, or preferably as joined ownership of Draw3Cards and revenue sharing, in exchange for helping with the migration and maintenance efforts. I really think someone from the community could give Draw3Cards the boost it needs to survive and bloom. This will not be a startup that ends up being sold for millions of dollars – the revenue we’re making from ads is minimal, although growing. The real benefits will be the experience of owning a small business of your own, something you feel passionate about and want to help live and grow.

As a note, it’s worth stating that I have contacted Stack Exchange and suggested again they migrate Draw3Cards to a Stack Exchange 2.0 site, and they declined on the grounds it is too specialized. Instead, they prefer Draw3Cards remains an independent site.

If you think Draw3Cards deserves to remain the leading Magic Q&A site, know a little bit of programming/IT, and want to get a chance to own a site with 1,500 unique visitors a day (it’s been a terrific experience for me!), please contact me at ron.gross@gmail.com

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Buy cards with Bitcoin

For the past two months I’ve become more and more excited over Bitcoin – a new P2P currency that I believe will change money as we know it. If any of you already use Bitcoin, you might like to know that it’s now possible to buy Magic cards with Bitcoin.

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