isixsigma.com may be closing its doors

According to a post by Larry Goldman, iSixSigma.com, the venerable online process improvement community, is probably closing its doors, due to the collapse of its parent company, Schofield Media. Launched in 2000, iSixSigma began as the hobby and passion of Mike Cyger, a MBB at GE Capital Commercial Equipment Finance. Mike constructed and nurtured a vibrant online community that captured the energy of the Lean Six Sigma movement and provided a central forum for discussion and resources.

There was a time when isixsigma.com was the dominant online presence in the Six Sigma world. Its lively forums were a place where the veterans and noobs alike came to discuss the basics as well as arcane topics. Like all Internet forums, the discussions were not always civil. (I used to post there anonymously and was amazed to discover just how little I knew and how stupid I was. At least according to the forum’s frequent fliers.) However, if one sifted through the forum responses the answer to the original forum post was usually in there somewhere.

My opinion is that the site never recovered from the hacker attack it suffered in May, 2009. The attack took the site offline for several months and afterwards the community never really came back to the site in the earlier numbers. There’s something about a “dangerous site” message appearing on your screen that makes you delete your bookmark. I also can’t say that I was impressed with management’s response to the attack. They did little or nothing to comfort their former visitors or to keep them informed of the status of repair efforts. When they came back online I saw no press announcing the fact, nor any effort to bring back visitors.

All-in-all, it’s sad to see isixsigma.com fade from the scene. I hope that it can be rescued and returned to a semblance of its former glory days. While we’re waiting for this to occur, why not join sixsigmatraining.com. Better still, contact me and request that your membership on this site be upgraded to author status. Let’s keep the community going!

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Author: Thomas Pyzdek

Consultant, author, owner of The Pyzdek Institute

2 thoughts on “isixsigma.com may be closing its doors”

  1. Tom,

    I’m sorry you didn’t feel we communicated enough during and post-hack in 2009. We did the best we were able to under the circumstances, pulling the sites down as soon as we understood any danger to our readers existed – and leaving them down for months to ensure they were safe before we came back. We communicated as extensively as we could when we came back – globally and individually. Obviously, you don’t feel that we did what was needed and for that, please accept my apologies.

    Although the discussion forum did not have the same level of activity as before (a visible sign of activity to the audience), our readership was going strong. I thought that my reply to Larry’s post might also be of interest to you and to your readers:

    Larry,

    Although I am no longer leading iSixSigma/CTQ Media the way I was before Monday morning, I would like to respond to a couple of points you made:

    * “…But the sponsors, visitors and forum traffic continued to drop. The community appeared to have faltered…” and “The declining fortunes of iSixSigma may also have been due to a shift in how we find and consume content.” –
    *** Actually, we were growing on a regular basis! New partners were joining our website, the magazine and our events. And former customers were also returning.
    *** Magazine readership was up significantly, and our website traffic continued to enjoy 500,000+ unique visitors/month. (As you know, we went through a lengthy
    validation process last year to verify those numbers.)
    * “…A radical Web site makeover (with a regrettable lack of VOC)” – The site redesign (assuming you are speaking of the main iSixSigma.com website here) was undertaken with a painstakingly thorough VOC analysis – surveys, data reviews, and a full content restructuring based on trend analysis. The new site had its critics to be sure, but it continued to serve this long-standing community of Lean Six Sigma professionals.
    *** We also redid the Live!, Magazine, Job Shop and Marketplace websites in the past year. And we’ve been excited about offering a mobile version of iSixSigma Magazine in 2012!
    * And last, but certainly not least: “The staff at iSixSigma were dedicated, hard- working professionals…” – Thank you. I’m so honored to have worked with this team of
    outstanding professionals. In particular, let me note Heather Redinius-Tollefson, Jessica Harper, Linda Cadigan, Kirsten Terry, Randy Woods and Liviu Siteanu whose
    dedication to continuously improving the content we offered (whether online, in print or in-person) was unparalleled. New to the team, but just as dedicated – Chris Grove
    and Paul V. Arnold.

    With best wishes,
    Katie

    Katie Barry
    Former Publisher, iSixSigma/CTQ Media

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  2. Katie, let me be clear that I thought you communicated well enough with me. However, I had to make the initial contact and I also had to initiate follow-up communication. My gripe is that there was no place on the web where one could find the status of isixsigma.com as the problems were worked out. I did my best to fill the gap with my blog, but I suspect that many of your regular visitors didn’t know of this and they probably also needed more and better information than I was providing secondhand.

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