When it comes to have extreme feelings, Tabulas has to best exemplifies the chasm of emotions I have towards it. The feelings mix from despair ("Tabulas sucks, why bother?") to guilt ("I should really fix it up") to hope ("I can really sense it's on the cusp of being a great site!").

The traffic logs really tell the story:

At its peak, Tabulas was handling somewhere in the vicinity of 2,000,000 pageviews per month. It's not an amazing feat, but it was something to be proud of. Since then, traffic has been slowly dying, as I've been neglecting work on the site.

I took a peek at the SVN checkin logs for Tabulas, and they are atrocious. There will be a flurry of activity once every six months (as was the case this past weekend), but then, silence.

And sadly, most of the dev work since 2006 has been around infrastructure and code cleanup. In terms of new features and the way Tabulas is positioned, it's been stuck in a quagmire since '06.

It's tough to watch sites like Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter execute on strategy that slowly bleeds the community out of a project like this. Of course, part of the problem is that people simply grow up - the core community users who led to its widespread adoption don't blog as actively as they used to, and that always hurts. Tabulas never replenished with fresh members (which is what Facebook has been very good at doing, every year or two).

While I try not to be regretful of the decisions I've made, I question my decision making when it came to abandoning projects like Audiomatch and Tabulas. Looking back, had I been a little more mature in my decision making, I would have not taken the success of Tabulas so lightly; I would have hired a team, gotten some money, and taken a real crack at succeeding in that space.

So what's next? I don't know. Like always, Tabulas sits in a purgatory - I'm too proud of it to sell it, but too time-starved to do any meaningful work on it.

I do know that I immensely enjoyed hacking on Tabulas this past weekend - it was a refreshing change of scenery from dealing with real adult-like issues from work. I've mapped out a few ideas I want to pursue for Tabulas - being able to hack out a whole user directory in ~300 lines of code and in a day gave me encouragement that the code I've written for Tabulas isn't complete crap.

I mean, the work I did this weekend looks pretty good and is pretty functional:

I know I want to finish accomplishing the "dream" of Tabulas: a site which lets you share your stories, and where you can be exposed to the stories of other people.

So even if I'm exhausted from work, or I don't feel like hacking, I think I'll force myself (for this month and August) to work on Tabulas. That will be my goal.

Out of curiosity, for those of you are still using Tabulas ... why? I mean, some of you, I know, are stuck here by personal connections ... but is that all Tabulas has left going for it? (/me is geniunely curious) I know I still use it because it still beats the pants off of WordPress & LiveJournal in terms of personal publishing, but maybe there's something new that's better? (Tumblr doesn't count)

Oliver rockin' the Tabulas t-shirt.

Currently feeling: hopeful
Posted by roy on July 6, 2009 at 01:51 AM in Ramblings, Tabulas | 27 Comments

Related Entries

Linked Entries

These are Tabulas entries which have linked to this particular entry.

Comment posted on July 26th, 2009 at 01:09 PM
Howdie from the OK state!
I'm not tech savy and so I have always appreciated the ease with which I can use tabulas. Also, obviously, I made friends on the site and enjoy keeping up with their blogs. A few years ago, everyone was talking about or wanting to get on Blogspot, then it was Myspace and already Facebook looks as if it is becoming background as Twitter is all the rage. The Internet seems very fickle. There is a whole herd of people who want to jump on the latest thing. Don't take it personally. Thank you for all you've done.
Keep us posted on the T-shirts!
Comment posted on July 11th, 2009 at 09:24 AM
simply put, its where I blog (although I fall into the category of people who don't really post much anymore). My entire blogging history is on this site.

always have loved the site, user friendly for a newb like me ;)
Comment posted on July 8th, 2009 at 10:20 PM
Tabulas will always be special to me :) It's so unique. That's why I can never leave. =]
Comment posted on July 8th, 2009 at 07:54 PM
Looks like my modeling is spurring quite a bit of demand for those t-shirts. You are so lucky to have such sexy friends.
Comment posted on July 8th, 2009 at 08:48 PM
i am indeed fortunate. i think i will get a second batch made, freshly designed.

Want to comment with Tabulas?. Please login.

Comment posted on July 8th, 2009 at 07:52 PM
I (will) stay with Tabulas because it's user friendly and the simplicity of the site rocks :)
Comment posted on July 8th, 2009 at 06:28 PM
There are a couple of reasons I still use it. One, I feel that I have a personal interest in its success, being that I consider you a friend. We've a history, HK, too. I promised I wouldn't leave Jaymee.org, same with Tabulas.

Secondly, I really do think it's incredibly robust and insanely intuitive. I also really like its colour-scheme and the UI.

But, hey, am I the only non-asian left?

Comment posted on July 8th, 2009 at 10:25 PM
I'm kind of torn on the tabulas t-shirt. On one hand, it's a cool looking t-shirt. On the other hand, owning one obligates you to posting a picture of you wearing it.
Comment posted on July 9th, 2009 at 09:46 AM
Wearing just the shirt, nothing else?
Comment posted on July 8th, 2009 at 06:06 AM
that graph looks like a simpsons character lying on his back

PM5K (guest)

Comment posted on July 7th, 2009 at 12:03 AM
I don't use Tabulas, I just read yours.....

Roebot (guest)

Comment posted on July 6th, 2009 at 11:43 PM
Wait. Tabulas tshirt? WTH? Where are mine?
Comment posted on July 6th, 2009 at 10:25 PM
i <3 tabby 'cuz i <3 roy. (2 complements in 1!)
Comment posted on July 6th, 2009 at 10:01 PM
I was the first among to beta test tabulas and am still very active. I have a domain pointing here and will keep going as long as tabulas is alive. There is nothing out there when it comes to a simple and effective interface and functionality that tabulas has to offer.
Comment posted on July 6th, 2009 at 07:54 PM
I'm still using Tabulas since 2003 (formerly under a different username) and haven't switched because your UI is by far the best, and I have tried nearly all other blog publishing platforms. I have gotten used to futzing around with the HTML and CSS in the Tabulas control panel, and have found it to be the easiest to manipulate to create new layouts. Seriously, Roy, with some work Tabulas should blow them all out of the water, I have always thought so.
Comment posted on July 6th, 2009 at 05:38 PM
I think I'll give my good friend Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo a call. That should raise the traffic stats a bitl.
Comment posted on July 6th, 2009 at 04:47 PM
I use tabulas because it's user friendly and every time I have question you are always there to answer. :p
Comment posted on July 6th, 2009 at 05:36 PM
Don't forget the fact that I'm on here and I occasionally make you cry which is a big plus.
Comment posted on July 6th, 2009 at 06:27 PM
didn't your ass get owned in the comments yesterday?
Comment posted on July 6th, 2009 at 08:29 PM
Comment posted on July 6th, 2009 at 05:39 PM
although you're being sarcastic is too disgusting, but you know what? It gives me more reason to like you. HA HA HA.
Comment posted on July 6th, 2009 at 05:46 PM
Comment posted on July 6th, 2009 at 11:52 AM
i suppose i am proud of tabulas too.
Comment posted on July 6th, 2009 at 12:30 PM
and i'm proud of YOU!
Comment posted on July 6th, 2009 at 06:58 AM
roy? you up? I just have a quick question.
Comment posted on July 6th, 2009 at 12:30 PM
fell asleep shortly after - whaddya need?
Comment posted on July 6th, 2009 at 04:45 PM
firstly, how will post videos in tabulas.I uploaded it on facebook but I never get the chance of uploading it in youtube.

secondly, where can I buy that tabulas shirt?