Hello dear Magic enthusiasts.
I want to talk a bit about our situation at Draw3Cards, what we’ve been doing for the last year, and where we’re headed. It’s been one heck of a year!
First, D3C launched little over a year ago. I enlisted the aid of every Magic player I knew, posted lots of questions & answers myself, and even opened an alias in order to make the site look a bit more lively. Bootstrapping is hard – but it worked!
The site now is self-sufficient. Its traffic has been steadily rising over the last year, and I believe it is now a great place to find answers to all kinds of Magic questions, from cool albeit obscure rules questions, through drafting strategy, to our famous new set spoiler discussions (which I admit aren’t really questions).
We (mostly Avish, Shushoto and myself) did some improvements to the infrastructure of Draw3Cards. Starting from the important ability to include images in questions, mana symbols, adding and maintaining set tags, a “random posts” link (top right), and generally making sure Draw3Cards is running smoothly. The biggest challenge we’re facing right now is the fact our hosting provider, Stack Exchange, will stop hosting the site as it stands today in three months. We have a few major options to respond to this:
Option #1 – we migrate to OSQA, an open source alternative to Stack Exchange. The plan is to purchase hosting from Amazon EC2, and setup our instance of Draw3Cards (with a meta site).
Option #2 – we migrate to Stack Exchange 2.0. The implications is that we lose control of the site, and the move is permanent (D3C will be owned by Stack Exchange). It will get the new & improvement software that’s running the impressive Stack Exchange 2.0 network, and that’s a big plus. On the other hand, we won’t be able to do any further customization to the code ourselves, and will play by SE rules (I’m still not entirely sure what this entails, I’m in discussions with Stack Exchange to find out if there are any implications).
While option #2 is possible, because of its irreversibly I would like to pursue Option # 1 to the fullest before going that route. However, I find that I don’t currently have the necessary time needed to setup a good, stable, fast instance of OSQA that will be a good replacement for D3C. I have started to experiment with setting up a meta site, and the experiment wasn’t that bad, but it has shown me that to complete it fully and migrate the main Draw3Card, I’ll need to invest more hours than I currently have to spend.
What do you think we should do with Draw3Cards? The main motivation for starting Draw3Cards was always about building a successful site, make that the number one site for questions & answers about Magic. Both options are viable directions, but to continue with OSQA at this point, it seems I would need help. If you have an opinion, please share it on this post and/or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – if you want to become a Draw3Cards admin and help us migrate the site to OSQA, doubly so!
I hope you all have a great year, and that we’ll all play many enjoyable games of Magic, and always have the answers we need at our fingertips.