KPress website may close at the end of January until new solutions can be found
- Category: News
- Published: Thursday, 04 January 2018 08:57
- Written by Bill Jaynes
- Hits: 1415
By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
December 20, 2017
FSM—After 10 years the website for The Kaselehlie Press will be going offline at least for a time.
For over 10 years, Bernd Riebe has hosted and maintained the website of The Kaselehlie Press on a pro bono basis on his server in Germany. For all of those years, Riebe has copied all of the images from the PDF version of the newspaper that we send to subscriber, resized, named and uploaded them. He has copied and converted the PDF text into plain text, pasted and organized the articles on the system, selected featured stories, archived older articles, updated the CMS system and all of the plugins, and many more tasks simply because he felt that by helping The Kaselehlie Press he was helping the people of the FSM.
And that he was. The website has attracted an average of 25,000 unique users per month. The vast majority of those users have been in the United States though there have been users from all over the world who have taken advantage of the news provided on the website.
The Kaselehlie Press is working toward a potential alternative arrangement with another supporter but until those details can be pinned down the site will disappear from the Internet until the end of January.
The relationship between Bernd Riebe and The Kaselehlie Press began in 2007 after his wife, Xenia Marita Riebe who is an artist and novelist contacted the newspaper for support on an art project she was working on at the time. Xenia contacted newspapers in each of the countries with membership in the United Nations for what she called the “citizens of the world”. Newspapers from all over the world sent her printed copies of their newspapers which she turned into approximately 10 inch tall papier mache figures. She put magnets into the “feet” of each of the figures for mounting on a flat stainless steel map of the world, each figure in the country of origin of the newspaper used to make the figure.
We decide that an article on the project would be great to read about and so began continuing correspondence with Xenia. She told her husband about the FSM’s newspaper and after thinking about it for a while he offered his services at no charge.
“Providing this service for the FSM people throughout the world…has always been a pleasure for me,” he wrote in an email. “I know it's sad, but you will understand that at some point at my age I have to reduce my activities.”
Riebe has been a college level science teacher for many years, specializing in chemistry, climatology, and computer science. He did some climate change research in Antartica and published several articles on the subject. Throughout the history of the www.kpress.info website that he maintained Riebe has added many articles on the subject of climate that were particularly applicable to the people of the FSM.
He says that since the very beginning of the Internet he has been building websites, training teachers to use information technology in schools. In the 1990’s, he and his wife founded the first internet art platform in Germany to sell art online to clients throughout the world. He says that though the site had some modicum of success, it was a bit early, and people were not yet prepared to use the Internet.
“Having retired now, there are no lazy days at all,” he wrote. “I am still running websites in Europe and Africa, still teaching students privately, supporting our ‘African son’ Eazy in Tanzania with his Guest House "Eazy's Place" which is a private initiative of Xenia and me in order to support young people in Tanzania to build their own businesses and is another approach to help people to help themselves.”
Riebe is also a videographer mainly producing documentaries some of which can be viewed on Youtube. He said that in 2005 he had some success with his videos from Antarctica, some of which he was able to sell to TV stations all over the world.
Though, starting in February Riebe will need the space on his server that he has previously used to store the material for the KPress website for another project that he will be starting with a colleague in his retirement, the material will not go away. He will store it in a database for the possibility of the “re-birth” of a new KPress website and said that he will help provide information on methods of porting the information over to a new system elsewhere.
One person in the US has already expressed interest in helping in that way also on a pro bono basis.
Those people who don’t want to lose contact with the FSM news provided by The Kaselehlie Press can purchase a PDF subscription that is delivered by email on the day of publication every two weeks. For 11 years the annual price for those subscriptions has been $30 per year but we have decided to reduce the price to $25 per year, one dollar less than the newsstand price, from this point forward.
Meanwhile, The Kaselehlie Press will do all in its power and capabilities to minimize the period during which the website will be down.
The service that Bernd Riebe has provided has been invaluable to the FSM for a decade and we cannot thank him enough.