We've gone away!
That's right, after almost fourteen years of running the first and
only independent website dedicated to the Riverbend Community
I've pulled the plug. Today is February 14, 2014.
Why? Simply put, I've moved on. My family and I have joined the
throngs leaving Garden State to find happiness elsewhere.
I want to thank you all for your support and encouragement over the
years. Some of you have been more active with the site than others,
certainly, but the email and the logs are more than enough to tell the
story of a successful venture. With few exceptions, the website saw
healthy traffic every single day!
When the Riverbend Board announced their official website on August
26, 2010 - more than ten years after mine - I figured the days would be
numbered. That turned out not to be the case as their site floundered.
I even consulted with the Board a bit - pro bono, of course - but they
failed to take action.
In December 2013, after taking the decision to shut down, I emailed
Board President Ron Senchesak. I offered the website, in its entirety,
along with the assistance to port it to the host of their choice,
domain registration if necessary, plus administrative training
and handholding. Ron responded that he would bring the proposal to
the Board and make a decision shortly. By mid-February and I'd
heard nothing, which I interpreted as the Board's rejection of
If you disagree with the Board's apparent decision through
inaction, you may wish to bring your thoughts to their attention
through Executive Property Management, 4-08 Towne Center Drive,
North Brunswick, New Jersey 08902. Or phone
Let's take a look at some of the highlights of the site over the
- June 2000: The site comes online! It was all custom code running
as a section of one of my personal websites. I didn't know, then, how
it was destined to take off.
- December 2002: The Breaking News section, an early
attempt at making more frequent updates to the site that didn't work
out, was removed. It was replaced with a section called
Reference, a new selection of reference documents.
- April 2004: The Read and Post selection was removed April
22, 2004. After a decent start it hadn't been very successful and
more than one year had passed with no new Riverbend message traffic in
- April 2004:
stops offering new free email accounts. Existing accounts remain
- September 2004:
stopped providing free email accounts in April 2004. Existing accounts
are to remain operational until October 15, 2004, when they are
scheduled for deletion. Some Riverbend folks are affected, but they
take it in stride.
- November 2004: We successfully transitioned to a new Web hosting
environment! Amazingly, the port from Microsoft IIS/ASP to
Apache/PHP/MySQL went off without a hitch.
- December 2004: The website gets a snappier URL -
- February 2005: A Readers Write section was
- July 2007:
partners with Google. We begin to serve Ads by Google, ending
the 'no advertising' policy in place since the site’s inception.
- August 2007:
is acquired by
- January 2008:
moves to a new hosting provider, and we get pulled along for the ride.
- March 2008: The site gets a radical facelift (and function-lift)!
No longer based on custom php code, we move to a more-or-less vanilla
environment. All of the old content is successfully migrated
to the new environment. The change is expected to usher in a greater
level of community engagement while eliminating the majority of the
maintenance work. Both goals were met.
- November 2008: I ran for a Board seat. The Board has a hard
time collecting enough ballots even with repeated pleas for absentee
ballots through snailmail. My defeat is announced the following
January, with all incumbents retaining their positions.
- February 2009: Some aspects of the appearance of the site had not
kept pace with core software developments, and so it was changed to
bring it up to date. New features like Calendaring are added.
- November 2009: Once again I threw my hat in the ring as a
Candidate for a seat on the Board. There are not enough resident
attendees present for quorum, but an absentee ballot elects incumbent
- August 2010: The Riverbend Board of Trustees launches their own
official website. The Board learns that websites aren't automatically
successful without continual care and feeding, which is work. This
site continues to serve a valuable role in the community.
- December 2012: I moved away. The website runs on autopilot,
more-or-less, beause I'm busy with other things and no longer focused
on New Jersey. Traffic trails off some but remains viable.
- December 2013: The decision is taken to shut down the website. An
offer to the Riverbend Board is made with the idea that they might
want to take it over.
- February 14, 2014: There being no apparent interest from the the
Riverbend Board, the website is taken down and this page appears in
It's been an excellent run!
Thank you all for your support over the site's nearly 14 year history!