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Giving it all up (sort of)

 |  Interwebs, Updates

I have spent the past week or so away from the computer for the most part, and in doing so have had time to contemplate where I’m going in life and what my various online dedications mean to me. As a result of this, I have made some decisions to cut back on a huge chunk of responsibilities. Obviously this is, in part, due to pending sprog. However, it’s no secret that I’ve been spreading myself thinner and thinner and I’m beginning to lose the balance between being online and retaining my sanity.

Firstly, I will be getting rid of my fanlistings (contact me if you’re interested in ‘adopting’). It’s cute and fun to maintain these little cliques, but TFL’s annoying “you must update even if nobody joins” rule makes it more and more of a pressure. Of course, one can argue that I could run the fanlistings independently, but it becomes redundant when someone else is running exactly the same site with ‘tfl approved’ slapped all over it. I will still be involved in fanlistings for the sake of BellaBuffs, though.

I’ve dropped out of my position at CSSbake although have offered my continuing support as a guest/part time contributor because it’s a project I feel really strongly about and definitely see continued success in its future.

I’ve already implemented huge changes at the q*bee in terms of responsibility shifts and so on, and want to keep doing this. Not only does it allow other members to become involved in their club and shape it into something they want, but it increases ‘points of failure’… i.e. when I disappear for a few days on the spur of the moment (or because I’m in labour), nothing is going to fall over because people can carry on without me.

I will be contacting those who volunteered an interest in moderating with regards to taking up those positions, but thankfully the site is pretty much independent (although could quite honestly do with me rolling out upgrades to jumpstart interest again). I’d be interested in teaming up with another PHP developer who is genuinely interested in helping to improve, so if you’re looking to contribute to a project let me know.

tutorialtastic is… in limbo. Changes were planned but haven’t gone anywhere as of yet and I’m concerned that this is a valuable resource being wasted. Only I can deal with that, though. Need to cut my losses or get off my arse and get on with things. Gah.

Most importantly — and the point of this long and rambly entry — is this site. Jemjabella is my online identity. It is my metaphorical ‘baby’ and I really don’t want it to be usurped by, well… a real baby. That said, the site is too big for me to feasibly update on a frequent basis in its current form, and it shows in some of my old articles and reviews. I keep starting X cool new feature, only to give it up because of the stress of other drains on my time. In an attempt to make things easier for me to keep up with, I’m going to totally pull the site down and restructure from scratch. Anything that can be converted to a blog entry (reviews, articles, etc) will be, I will finally finish the blog (search, proper categories, using tags to their full effect, etc) and I will get rid of anything that either a) doesn’t get any hits or b) isn’t of any actual use.

My various scripts will be moved to a separate site where they can be properly maintained, supported, tracked, updated etc. Exactly where is to be confirmed, although the general consensus seems to be that they should go on (currently forwarding here) in an attempt to build my professional reputation.

It’s a huge deal for me to relinquish control over a growing ’empire’ (for lack of a better word) and I’ve had debates in my head that’d rival even the best Pants Award drama. Nonetheless, I think this is the best for all sites, and all users involved.

Jem Turner +44(0)7521056376

26 comments so far

  1. Macca said:

    Tell me about it, the internet is tiring. Good luck with everything.

    That TFL rule pisses me off too. I lost a Fanlisting after being warned twice for not updating even though nobody joined, and I always updated immediately after anyone did join. What can I say; binary obviously isn't very popular. :P

  2. Clem said:

    I don't blame you at all. I admire the fact that you've been able to maintain 27408723 online projects for this long! The changes you're making are going to be good, I think – it's not like you're completely getting rid of anything (except the fanlistings).

    As for Tutorialtastic, maybe you could turn those tutorials into blog posts? I guess it depends on if you think you're ever going to go back to it. If you're not, it would be nice to still have the tutorials around, so you could always just make them a part of your blog. :)

    (Also, @Macca: I TOTALLY would have joined that fanlisting if I'd known about it! :P)

  3. Vera said:

    Oh yeah… real life, can be a real bummer.
    I'd offer my help with but my knowledge as far as security goes is rather shoddy so… not too sure how much of a help I would be, but still :P

  4. Kaylee said:

    I always thought you must be superwoman to maintain all those sites/projects. Obviously the internet isn't your full time job, so it makes sense to change things around. I just hope the restructuring itself doesn't take too much of your time/energy :P

  5. Mat said:

    Good decisions,
    it's quite a new fork in the road in many ways for you so it's only fitting that you'd re-look your current responsibilities.

    If you need help with I can possibly lend a hand…Likewise with anything else, of course; you knew that already.

    Take care.

  6. Louise said:

    I'm actually glad to see this. Honestly, when I saw you start up I thought, "What!? This mad woman is running another massive website!?" XD But yeah, I'm glad you're taking steps towards making things easier. I hope all this re-structuring and everything works out for the best. I would love to do more for the Q*bee, but I'm still iffy with life things at the moment.

    Buuut… If no one claims it after a while, could I grab your Rollercoaster Tycoon FL before you dump it? I've recently become re-addicted to it. XD

  7. Anthony said:

    You're having a baby, that trumps over any other responsibility that you may have. Who cares if you come online less and less? The real thing you should be worrying about is your unborn child. I can only imagine the amount of stress you're going through at the moment.

    I hope you find a way to fix everything. Can't wait for the new changes.

  8. Meggan said:

    I will admit that I had no earthly idea how you managed to manage all those sites simultaneously for so long, so this isn't a huge surprise. I think you'll be really, really glad you downsized once the baby is here. (Or perhaps you will be glad tomorrow. Less responsibility! Woo!)

    (Also, I am so excited about your impending baby. Whee!)

  9. Hev said:

    Jem, I am glad that you are letting go of these. I was hoping you would do this. But didn't feel that it was my place to say anything. I think you will be happier without all the sites & "jobs" weighing you down. Even if you were not expecting a bundle of joy, I think you would be happier.

    Oh, yeah I have changed my email, so that is the problem.

  10. Chans said:

    I can totally understand your choices and I probably would have done the same. You're having a baby, starting a family and that really takes time and effort. With that hard work you don't need extra work put on your shoulders with online stuff and things that you feel obligated to do online.

  11. Mumblies said:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Vasili here, once baby arrives you will have so little time at first so it does make perfect sense to whittle down your workload as much as you can. Anything I can do to help you know where I am ;) (not that I have the smarts to do even a tiny bit of what you do but I'm more than willing)

  12. Latrina said:

    Very smart decision you have made. I'm surprised you were able to manage all those side projects for this long. With a baby on the way… it will be impossible to maintain all your normal projects. So starting now, rather than later, is a good choice.

    I wish you well! I think you'll be so busy and happy with the addition to your family that you won't even miss your old projects. :P As for website.. I do hope you keep it around! Can not wait to see what you do with it.

  13. Nick said:

    I recently gave up pretty much all responsibility as lead coder of my GMod community project, and wow does it feel good to not have the responsibility :0 Good luck!

  14. Arwen said:

    When it comes down to it, real life is more important than online life, as much as some of us would like to think otherwise. It's admirable that you're able to make that choice and cut out the things that aren't quite as important. Good luck with everything, Jem!

  15. Shola said:

    I wouldn't feel down by it because you know you are gonna have a baby and they're pretty cool so I've heard. I mean after the crying and when they aren't asleep they are really fun to be around.

    Online Super-Woman Jem shall be Offline Super-Mom Jem.

  16. Yvonne said:

    I'm really glad to see q*bee still up, its been so many years. I used to be in it, but for some reason I was delisted and was too lazy to get be into it. I still have my pixel train around somewhere but I know that wasn't a project of yours (because it's gone now lol).

    As for fanlistings, I gave up on all of mine. It seems that the hype over it has died and like you said, that update rules got my FLs delisted a few times even when no one joined. =/

  17. Carly said:

    I hope everything goes well for you Jem. I've had a massive re-think about my online identity (and lack of) and after being a serial domain buyer, I've finally decided to drop all my domains and keep the 'supercarly' one – which I am setting up my blog on – which'll have a bit more professional feel and talk about the stuff I want to write about.

  18. Dom said:


    Just yesterday I was thinking the same thing, although more towards the quitting-my-9-to-5-and-running-off-with-a-thai-bride kinda way, rather than giving up on the net altogether.

    Having spent a month in the US with nay a PC to speak of, I found it quite mint, and realised that I don't wanna be stuck in front of a computer for the next 30 years.

    So I'm totally with you! Good luck with everything, and I hope you'll still pop into the .net forums every now and then.

    Right, back to the pit…

  19. Rebecca said:

    To be honest, I was wondering when this entry was going to come. It *is* a wonder you've maintained all your projects and ten thousand sites during your pregnancy.

    I totally agree with the TFL warning thing… I keep getting for them for my obscure fanlistings no one joins. I really don't see why we need to update… The fact that the page isn't a 404 is a good enough reason for me that the fanlisting is still alive :P

    Hope you're doing well! :)

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