I think it’s time that not only do I inform new readers but remind long time visitors that this site is my home and you’re just a guest. The WPTavern.com about page does a decent job of explaining how this site came to be and what its purpose is. WPTavern is still a project but let me explain a few things. For starters, I am not a journalist. I’ve never taken a journalist class and my role is not to be the journalist of WordPress. WPTavern is an enthusiast community about WordPress. It’s comprised of fans of the software, one of them being me. So whatever standards of journalistic quality you’d like to hold me to, get rid of them, they mean nothing.
What I do here is routinely take a look at the WordPress horizon and write about what I see. Things that are interesting to me or that I have a comment/opinion on end up as forum or blog posts. I am not officially endorsed by WordPress.org or Automattic although I do receive monetary support through display advertising by Automattic. Am I a fan boy of WordPress? My answer to that is no and my track record which is available through the WPTavern.com post archive will illustrate this. I am a person that can be swayed from one side to the other. One day, I think something is a great idea and after further discussion, I might think it’s the worst idea ever. That’s just who I am. A fan boy in my opinion is someone who tows the line and only thinks unilaterally in favor of the platform or key figure. That’s not me.
I have to admit, I think I had more fun with this hobby of writing about WordPress and what people were doing with it when I didn’t know anyone personally. For the past 2 years, I’ve worked pretty hard not to burn any bridges and directly go after anyone. In the past two weeks, I’ve been pretty grumpy and those bridges have ignited into flames. It’s hard to stay neutral and not burn those bridges when you look out at the horizon and see a bunch of asshats in the community you love to be a part of. But I can’t publicly call them asshats or describe what their doing to be asshattery because of this notion of taking the high road. While great in practice, it’s good to take a detour every once in a while. These past two weeks have been a detour for me and it feels pretty good to sling some mud where I feel it necessary. The WordPress community is made up of millions of people and only a fraction of those people are assholes, thank god for that. However, I think for now, my mudslinging is over with, at least in the public space.
So you may have heard from someone that I’m the voice of WordPress, a voice of reason, or some other title. The truth is, I didn’t ask for any of those titles and I don’t try to live up to any of them. My interviews, the way I write and the things I do regarding WordPress all stem from my own curiosity.
Over time, my goal and direction for WPTavern has changed. The past two months have been a financial break down. I’ve been working to turn WPTavern into a full-time job, a great source of income for me. It’s not working. There are numerous times in which I’ve looked at the amount of time and work I’ve put into this site, the podcast, etc and wondered if I should continue, at least at trying to make a full-time gig out of it. The choice is becoming increasingly clear in that the answer is no. So I’m currently thinking about revamping my mindset and using WPTavern as my second part-time job that brings in extra money versus having it be my primary source of income. Basically, turn the site and podcast back into a hobby that occasionally pays money. At least this way, the stress of trying to please others first rather than myself will decrease and I don’t need to worry so much about page views or artificial limitations that people have placed on me. I have thought about selling the site or disbanding it but I’m still a distant way from pulling the trigger. After all, the forum is doing very well, the site is still a good resource for many people, and I still enjoy writing about the software.
So while the drinks are still on the house, any liquid that does not make it from the cup to the mouth will be considered alcohol abuse and you’ll be charged a hefty fine.
I know how you feel. My experience while running Wpdesigner.com was quite similar to yours. Take the high road and burn no bridges, I don’t know how many times my readers and peers in WordPress development circle have said those words. Anytime you achieve some sort of success or gain a following in WordPress, people assume you owe it to the community to take neutral grounds. And, if you don’t, they treat you like an immature anomaly who doesn’t get their herd mentality.
Luckily, for me, those advices haven’t sunk in. I hope they don’t get you down either. I don’t see any good reason in following business or even life unwritten rules for the sake of following them. If you do it just because everyone else does it, you’re a robot or… a sheep.
As you grow older in life, you learn to be nicer to everyone and avoid the douchebags, but that’s not possible online because you always see what the douchebags are up to and some things have to be said.
You gotta say what’s on your mind. I look at it as contributing to karma. People on the opposite end of your opinions deserve what they got coming to them. And if you’re wrong, hey, karma works both ways.