Over the span of four years, Sharky wrote 620 articles and 59 tutorials. When Sharky handed over FileShareFreak.com to us, it was just a domain name. Sharky had simply let the hosting run out and it was eventually deleted. No Wordpress, no database, no website. We were given nothing but the domain name.
As planned, we initiated the transfer from his registrar to ours (one that has publicly condemned SOPA of course), and began thinking about what to do with it.
Sharky alerted us to a clone of the site that some unknown person had set up. Maybe we could get some of the content back from there.
It turns out we were able to copy the whole website via a little program called HTTrack. But this gave us just static HTML files. Each one embedded with the old advertising and broken links.
To get the content out of those files we used Nokogiri and wrote some Ruby scripts to parse the HTML and pull out just the sections we needed. This took a few days to get right, but eventually we were able to pull the content into Markdown files that we could use in blogging software called Octopress. (I highly recommend it, its been great so far.)
As soon as we got the site up, we were a bit suprised by it’s popularity. It’s no TorrentFreak, but its doing rather well for a dead website. Since going live last week, it has has been getting around 5000 unique visitors per day. I think it’s cool that most of the readers on FSF are smart enough to have graduated to a real web browser with Chrome being the most popular. These are browser stats from yesterday:
There is still a lot of work to do. Some of the links within Sharky’s articles are still incorrect. A lot of the content is outdated and now inaccurate, but at least it is in a state that we can work with.
You can help by leaving a comment on anything outdated or inaccurate. We can see each comment as it is posted and I’ll fix the page in question.
So, now that we have the all of Sharky’s writing restored, we can begin working on what is next. With Sharky gone it won’t be the same thing, but there are many other great things we can do with it. A wiki for instance, to collaboratively aggregate tutorials, or maybe a Reddit style news submission system that people can vote up or down. We could also do a StackOverflow style question and answer site for all things filesharing. Email us with your thoughts on this.
Whatever we end up doing, we promise not to do any advertising - we want this to be a fun and free service to the community.