Based on the response to the community shut down I want to publicly respond on behalf of Lumina Media (formerly I5 Publishing) to the shut-down of the communities.
First of all, I am so grateful that so many of the community members have reached out to Ted to create this closure for him. I was shocked to read his post at first, because I have see the difference the Dogster.com and Catster.com sites have made in people’s lives.
When Lumina acquired the STERS from SAY Media, we were so excited about a vibrant magazine and community. We immediately started looking at how we could rebuild the technology or the community and realized so much of it was broken from years of neglect. The list of broken things was a mile long.
We immediately deployed resources to try to fix the issues in order of priority and realized it was a mountain of a project. After getting through things like just allowing people to login or get a lost password (basic stuff), we realized that this was too broken to fix.
We then hired on a previous Catster developer to help us build a new version of the community that had similar functionality and failed at that.
The “amazing” functionality that Ted created is “amazing” for a reason and took years to create and perfect. When all of the members left during the SAY time, Lumina was left with only a few hundred active users.
This STERS (Catster and Dogster) are now vibrant magazines on and offline that millions of people view each month. Every day I hear stories about the difference it makes in quality of pets lives. It will continue to go on doing that.
What can’t continue is for Lumina to invest more money for a few hundred community users on a hope ticket that they will all come back over time. We have spent several hundred thousand dollars trying to fix this at a time that we are not profitable. I can no longer in good conscious ask our Chairman to do that.
We have extended the deadline to August 10th to allow users to download their content and save it. I am sorry that we have let several of you down and I wish more could be done, but it can’t.
To Ted, thank you for the difference you have made in so many millions of lives. Your passion and love for animals and the people that have them in their lives is perfectly clear and inspiring.
We will do our best to continue your work through fun and educating content and wish you all the best.
Jennifer Black-Glover — CDO Lumina Media