We’ve let you down

We’ve dropped the ball.

Today, we have some important things we need to say. Please read carefully, and we hope you understand.

NOTE: On Twitter, this post was slated for release yesterday, but we’ve had to delay it until today so that we could review & discuss internally.

1. Recent Outage

On Wednesday/Thursday, both of our websites went down (this one and the StayHome portal), while we were completely oblivious.

At some point between 27 Apr 2020 14:08 (when our site last communicated with Google) and 30 Apr 2020 00:06 (when we noticed the problem), there was some kind of problem with our server.

We attempted to fix the problem remotely, but couldn’t establish a connection at all. We were arranging to go to the off-site location and deal with the problem, but the server had restored itself by the next morning.

We’d usually make an official statement about this type of issue, except in this case, we just can’t. We weren’t vigilant enough to see the problem when it occured, and our investigation has lead us nowhere. The server’s logs indicate that it was running, and that the software was available, the firewall was operating correctly, everything seems completely uneventful in the system logs, which leads us to believe that the off-site location’s broadband may have gone offline, except they proved to us that it didn’t. Someone at the location was on a video call for several hours that day with no issues.

So, we’re not sure what happened, or how it fixed itself, but it’s obvious that we dropped the ball there and we need to do better.

2. StayHome Portal

We created the StayHome portal with the best of intents – we created it to show people things they can do at home to cope with the lockdown, free or cheap activities to help with boredom, a platform for communication with us and each other, we intended to allow quizes, games, events and all manor of things for everyone to join in, not just our customers, but then we didn’t support it.

The StayHome portal has struggled to gain any publicity, and rather than get it out there for people to see, update it regularly, and make it worthy of people’s time and attention, we just took the low publicity as a failure and for some inexplicable reason, we stopped actively supporting it.

We’ve been so focussed on side projects like FUJI, that we neglected what matters most – our customers. We failed to upkeep our website, to maintain communications with you guys, and generally be the business that we want and strive to be.

We have an internal list of tasks that we set ourselves to do, and it’s overflowing with overdue tasks – some of which are actually really important, like our product catalogue, social media’s and advertising.

We set ourselves up to work from home, and then didn’t really work. There’s no excuses or justifications for what we’ve done, or failed to do. We just need to do better.

We’ve fallen a long way recently, COVID-19’s affects combined with our primary Social Media abandoning us and our own failures has left us in a rather difficult position, but we mustn’t allow ourselves to be disheartened.

We must focus on shifting the work we have been doing to where it’s more immediately needed, and indeed deserved by our followers and customers. We must support the decisions we make after-the-fact, rather than leaving them to fend for themselves.

We hope to learn from this experience, and we hope you understand.

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