I noticed recently that stylegala.com was up for sale. This is one of the sites I would check regularly and I always found it full of good info about web design issues, especially after years away from web programming (I remember the days of Netscape 1 and Lynx…….).

The opening price was $30K but at last look $40K. It started from 1 person but a community grew and grew around the site. So who would buy this site and what could they do with it? I see 2 possibilities:

  1. A corporate group buys the site. Naturally their focus will be a return on investment. Can more income be squeezed from the site without alienating its community. I would be surprised. And if the new owner doesn’t share the same passion for the site aims I believe many of the important users will drift away. Possibly 1 or more of these users will make the bold move to start a new community from scratch.
  2. A large group of users chipping in small amounts and owning it collectively. Could this ownership structure survive and prosper? I would like to hope so, but a few core users will need to take the lead with out upsetting the other owners.

Even though this site didn’t start out as a business, it has become one. Do businesses survive when the original passionate owner moves on? My guess is this one will be swallowed up, and much of its character will be lost. The upside is that someone else, somewhere else will replace it.