the tanner ba'

The End: An Explanation

Cornell-Woolrich-Typewriter11

As with most things, the easiest way is to start at the beginning.

When it became clear that Avoiding the Drop was coming to an end in late 2011 I had a revelation.  That revelation was that, while the site had run its course, I was still interested in continuing on writing about soccer (and whatever else).  From the very instant of deciding to start my own website the reasons for doing were crystal clear to me- and of equal importance.

First, I enjoy writing and always have.  I also like to believe that, on my day, I’m pretty good at it.  I’m sure everyone who starts a site feels that they “bring something to the table,” and I was no different.  Writing about soccer (and a few other things I love) was something that I wanted to hold on to if I could, and given the nature of the internet all I really had to do was to take the first step.

Second, and again I stress that this was equally important, I didn’t want to lose the “community” that had been created around Avoiding the Drop (and, indeed, before that, at DUAN).  I knew going in that not everyone would make the jump to the new site with me, and that was fine.  A small cadre of like-minded individuals was all I felt I needed, and maybe all that I wanted.

These two things were very much the impetus behind the site, and as a result I’ve followed a few self-imposed “rules” since the beginning.  First, this was never about fame or fortune- obviously.  There were never going to be any ads and there were never going to be any “clickbait” style posts.  Second, I was going to keep the scope of my writing limited.  I knew that this would limit my audience, but if I was going to be doing all of the work myself I wasn’t going to write about things I didn’t know much about or didn’t find interesting.  Third, I promised myself I was never going to write when I didn’t want to.  Some times that probably meant I kept people waiting a day or two extra for my “take” on a topic, or that I just outright ignored something I probably should have written about.  Both of those things probably weren’t good for the site, but I’d probably make the same decisions if I had a chance to do it again.  Finally, within these self-imposed parameters, I also wanted the site to be responsive to interests of those who visited it.  When it became clear that people were losing interest in a topic or a recurring feature I moved on and tried to find different things to bring to the site.

So, where did it all go wrong?

I guess the problems began about a year and a half ago when I realized that it just wasn’t as much fun anymore.  People were still visiting the site (while the page views had plateaued they hadn’t meaningfully declined), but nobody was interacting with the site/me anymore.  I had grown accustomed to the multiple “behind the scenes” email exchanges I had with people on a weekly basis. to getting multiple comments on posts, and to enthusiastic participation is “special posts” (“Prime Minister’s Question Time,” “The Stadium Project,” “WeeFuse’s Virtual Turntable,” etc.) and when that engagement went away it led to me putting less effort into the site- something I’m not at all proud of- which I am sure exacerbated the situation.  The reality of it was that, after a long day at work, the thought of coming home and writing something that nobody was going to read (or, more correctly, not interact with) was not a pleasant one.

There you have it.  As base a reason as it may be, there just wasn’t any validation for me any more and I was kind of surprised just how much I needed that as motivation to continue.  I’ve always written for my own pleasure/therapy and I’m sure I will continue to do that, but none of that was ever meant for public consumption.  What I’ve learned from this experience- and I’m not sure I like what it says about me as a person- is that when I’m writing for myself and others it really does matter that there are “others.”  If it sounds like I’m pushing the blame onto you, the readers, that is not my intention.  I’m trying to be completely open and honest about why I made my decision even if it doesn’t reflect well on me- and I don’t think it does.  In the end this site was always a “bonus” in my life and I can hardly blame anyone who had to step away in order to deal with the real world and for whatever reason- or no specific reason- never found their way back.  We all have to do our taxes, get an oil change, make dinner, or just fall asleep on the couch playing Candy Crush Soda Saga after a really long day working for a supervisor who is worse at their job than they are even though the laundry needs to be done and the litter box needs to be emptied…  I get it.  I had a good run, it was mostly good times, and I thank you for all of those.

So, this is the end.

Probably.

I “own” the site through October, so who knows, maybe a tweet will pop up and there will be reason to come visit again.

Oh, right, see you in Vegas, Kevin!!

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5 comments on “The End: An Explanation

  1. Sculptor?!?
    April 5, 2016

    Said it before, and I’ll say it again. I “get it”, but I’ll miss this. I hope I’m privy to the next ‘venture’. ❤

  2. Ok, I’m going to try this again, since the last time it wiped it out.

    As someone who migrated over from The Pub and ATD, I’ve always enjoyed your takes on things Scottish Football and other areas. I totally understand as a writer and online gamer myself, your need for “audience” or feedback, or just to know that someone(s) out there participating. If not, just write it all in a personal journal and keep it in your sock drawer. In a strange way I feel the same about the current situation in gaming.

    Having played MMO’s from 2000-2013, it’s not just about running around doing things, but the interaction with others that make it worth logging on to play. I could just hang out and play spades against the computer or Arkham Asylum against….myself, otherwise. Writing a blog that has little interaction with readers must feel much the same way, even if you know you have readers. We are social creatures so interaction is something we are always looking for, as opposed to seeking validation for what you write, it’s merely a way to start a conversation. Eventually as a one man show, sometimes you just want to sit back and go “Come on, someone else write something today.” I ran a large and popular guild for several years in a game, and when people started to leave the game and it began breaking up, I could either just let it go, or try and “recruit” people to join. After 5 years, ya know, I was just done. I totally feel like you’re in the same position right now. There’s some TV to catch up on, books to read and just get some sleep.

    I’ll be sad to see you stop. Since ATD and UPF went ghost, finding a good general soccer blog is really hard, and Baby Jesus knows that the sports sites have crap articles most of the time.

    Lastly, as a fellow fan of semi-obscure popular bands like The Alarm, I applaud your play of Candy Soda Crush, which is a far superior game to Candy Crush. Sort of in that way that Raiders of the Lost Ark is superior to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

    Stay safe, and good luck!

    Martin(ovich)

  3. Oh sweet hell. Three times now it’s erased my post after I hit Post. Grrrrrr.

    It’s not validation you’re looking for, so much as interaction. We are social creatures. It’s totally natural to want to see if there is interest in what you write to spark conversation. I write, and have found that the feedback I’m looking for is similar to that when I talk about shared books or movies I see with my friends. Validation would be more wanting them to say “Well done lad! Totally agree with you!” When you’d be fine with a spirited argument I’m willing to wager.

    I have found a similar situation in the area of my main hobby for years, MMO gaming. As all the major games have aged, the amount of players has dwindled quite a bit. Playing the game is fun, but it’s the social interaction with others playing and in your guild (basically, your team) which pushes most people to log in and play. Otherwise Arkham Asylum is waiting for you, or maybe a boatload of teens and bro’s if you dip into the HALO/Call of Duty pool. Eventually, no matter how much you’ve enjoyed what you’ve done, you just get tired of banging your head against the wall when you aren’t getting the “reward” you’re looking for. In your case, writing with little to no interaction, in mine, playing a huge game and feeling shocked when you actually run into another player. “I’m not looking for approval, I just want to talk some Rev’s soccer.”

    Having migrated over here after the Pub and ATD ghosted, I’ve enjoyed your stuff, and the interaction that did occur with the other folk. I have to say, I too wondered where other people went on occasion, as there were a couple times I felt like it was a 2 man conversation on things I expected more folk (who had previously been around) to chime in about. It’s going to be a shame to see you go, as general soccer blogs have become rare that are of any quality. Big sites pretty much suck, and everything else seems to be of the “This is the AWESOME ______ FC BLOG! We rule, and you suck!”

    Lastly, as a fellow lover of popular but still obscure bands like The Alarm, I applaud your Candy Soda Crush choice, as it’s a superior game to Candy Crush. Superior in the same way Raiders is to Crystal Skull.

    Be well, and good luck.

    Martin(ovich)

    “We just put Sir Isaac Newton in the driver’s seat.”

    • weefuse
      April 7, 2016

      “It’s not validation you’re looking for, so much as interaction.”

      That’s it, right there.

      I can’t believe there are people who still play regular Candy Crush…so sad.

      • Sculptor?!?
        April 7, 2016

        Hey, I have to have something to do while I’m waiting for my lives in Soda to refill. 😉

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This entry was posted on April 5, 2016 by in Off Topic, Prime Minister's Question Time, Random, Site Business, Statistics.
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