Swapfig was officially launched on 01 May 2013, and last Wednesday marked the beginning of its sixth year in action.
Once again, we're proud to have lasted this long, and to have come this far from our humble beginnings.
But, as you might have seen, our sixth birthday wouldn't have been our sixth birthday without issues.
Our most recent update took an unprecedented 60 hours. This was primarily due to the incredibly slow process, but we also had to diagnose a mysterious issue that prevented the site going back up.
In addition, this is the second time we've had to prepare this sixth birthday post. Our first draft had disappeared into the ether, no thanks to overzealous, nagging antivirus software.
Getting up to speed with items.
We won't bore you with yet another story about the challenges on our end, although 2018 had been a very challenging year. Either way, Swapfig had been neglected - especially when it came to item updates.
Not keeping the list of items up to date has discouraged many people from visiting, and indeed trading. However, maintaining items isn't as easy as it appears... especially when there's hundreds in a single theme to contend with.
To remedy this, we're currently developing a new tool for our Contributors to more easily manage items. This tool will be the very first part of Swapfig version 4, where the site will essentially be turned into one of those fancy "app" things.
In the meantime, we will very shortly be adding the newest Collectible Minifigures theme to the site, which is Disney series 2.
No ads or donations throughout May.
For our fifth birthday we took the entire site down: in remembrance of the challenges we faced when launching Swapfig for the very first time.
This year we're dedicating our birthday month to a small demographic we call the "special" people. You might have heard us mention them before.
The "special" people might or might not be Swapfig users, but they are those who have a problem with the site generating any revenue whatsoever.
Most often, they complain about the adverts shown throughout the site - and especially have issues with the banners that appear when adverts are blocked. They also have a problem with our Donate page, and donations being asked for.
You might not know they also dislike Swapfig gaining any recognition at all, with some even engaging in badmouthing.
This year, to give these "special" people a reason to be happy for a change: we've decided to temporarily remove all the ad banners from the site. Taking their place is a link to a brand new LEGO project, which we hope you'll check out.
In addition, we've also disabled our Donate page for the month, and we're not accepting any donations. We won't earn a single penny through Swapfig for the entire month, whether or not we've earned it.
Hopefully these temporary changes will appease the "special" people, at least for a little while. Let's see.
Swapfig ain't going nowhere.
At this point last year, we were also seriously considering the future of the site. Our original plan was to keep the site going for five years, as mentioned in our original crowdfunding campaign.
We're pleased to announce that Swapfig is here to stay, as long as there's a demand for trading/swapping LEGO items.
Our original mission was to [re]introduce trading/swapping as a means of exchange. Even with the numerous hiccups, we've averaged over 900 completed trades per year since we started. That sounds like we've somewhat succeeded, and we don't see much sense in throwing it all away.
Although maintenance of the site will remain at hobby level, we're looking forward to getting started on version 4. Expect new and exciting features, along with greater reliability... and faster site updates!
As always... Thank you.
Whether you've actively supported the site or not, we'd like to thank you for being part of what we call "minifigure trading action". We're hoping this year is going to be the best ever.
Photo: Let's Talk Mommy (https://www.letstalkmommy.com/2017/08/sixth-lego-birthday-party-for-my-boy/).