I Have A Decision To Make

I’ve been thinking about something the past few days and I’m not sure if I am going to pull the trigger or not. I make a decent amount of income by producing content for others but it’s generally confined to writing about Blogging. Writing about Blogging and watching the space from a distance is fun at times but doing it all the time is not. My passion does not revolve around blogging, it revolves around WordPress. I can write about WordPress and related projects all day long, something I can’t do with other topics. The problem though is that, I can’t write purely about WordPress and make a decent level of income and it’s not fair if I write specifically about WordPress but across multiple sites.

There happens to be a pretty cool domain name that is available in WPTavern.com. I love the sound of that domain name. Taverns in the U.S. provide a somewhat social atmosphere and in this case, social about WordPress. I envision a forum being attached to the site as I write countless numbers of articles throughout the week on the domain. I seem to have a knack for reporting on WordPress and related items so I’m wondering, do I have what it takes to do things on my own. WPTavern would be my project, my chance to foster a community, and would allow me to pursue my passion in writing about WordPress all day long.

While it all sounds good to me on paper, I have to wonder if doing something like this would be smart for me to do at this current time. If I drop other sites I write for to put all of my concentration and effort into WPTavern, will I be able to develop a loyal fanbase/following in less than one year to the point where the site makes as much money as writing for others. Other things I have to consider is the existence of WPCandy, WPHacks, of course WeblogToolsCollection.com, would I be able to produce content that is on par with those and other WordPress centric sites? I have a competitive nature inside of me but one thing I have learned while writing for Performancing is to not view sites in the same niche as enemies but rather, collaborators. It’s better to link and build relationships with those who are in the same niche as you rather than burning bridges.

I also have to consider that I cut myself down from work to do weekends only as that provides more time for me to do freelancing. I figure that if I were to cut out 3 of my paid writing gigs, that would slice a good chunk of pay from my monthly income.

I have 7 days to make a decision on whether or not I will purchase the domain and go through with the project. I’m just sitting here wondering if I’ve made a deep enough impact to where I can do things on my own, if I have developed any sort of loyal following which would serve as a great base to start from, if I have what it takes to rise above the noise, if I can provide any points of difference regarding coverage of WordPress and related projects, or if I should just continue doing what I’m doing and let Lorelle handle everything as she is the GO TO person as it relates to anything WordPress.org or WordPress.com.

Hmm, and the clock starts ticking!

Why Am I So Passionate About A Piece Of Software

heartwpI’ve been sitting back in the chair today thinking about the events that have taken place within the past 48 hours. I really bit my tongue before I decided to go through with publishing the post regarding the removal of themes. I checked out the developers IRC channel, I checked out the forum, I looked high and low for an explanation as to what happened and I couldn’t find any. While Thord of the BlogHerald was successful in contacting Matt, I assumed sending an email asking for an explanation was fruitless because I assumed his inbox is swamped with mail, why bother. After confirming that the removal of themes did happen, the only thing I had to go on was Justin Tadlock’s post and David Coveney’s post. That isn’t a lot to go by but because I didn’t see an announcement published on the developers blog, I went with the story as factual after witnessing a number of others reporting that the theme removals did happen.

I don’t want to dwell on the event because it is now a wait and see game with a detailed post by Matt being the only thing that will straighten out this mess. However, I am beginning to wonder if I over reacted? It sounds corny, but I seemingly have a passion for WordPress. The software, the people, the community. Plugin authors, theme authors, those who create patches for bugs, core developers, everything that makes the entire system tick. I want to see everyone that is part of the equation win without any unfair treatment. Make no bones about it, I support Matt and the rest of the team to the fullest extent but if I come across something I disagree with, I’ll make it known.

I feel odd that I’ve entrenched myself in this situation. I believe emotions got the better part of me last night when I wrote the post. I’m not a theme author nor am I a plugin developer yet, I still find a way to get involved with the issues surrounding each topic. I try not to be the one to always bitch and moan. Instead, I try to lend constructive criticism when I can. I’ve always described myself as no expert but simply an end user.

The basis of this post was to try and get my thoughts down on paper to figure out why something that happened with a piece of software ignited an emotional trigger. I wonder if I am too involved with the project, with the people. Do I need to back away? Can one be too passionate about something that it causes one to act and think irrationally? What the hell is wrong with me?

What Happened This Weekend

I decided that I would do a reformat of my WordPress installation and as part of that reformat, I would install WordPress 2.7 beta 2. I also plan on doing a redesign of the site to make everything much more simpler than before. However, things didn’t go as planned thanks to my webhosting provider, AnHosting a.k.a. MidPhase. Starting on 11/07/2008 4:37 PM I sent in a trouble ticket to MidPhase letting them know that I was experiencing timeout error messages when browsing to my domain. Cpanel, email, anything dealing with my account was loading slower than molasses. I became increasingly upset as I updated the ticket on 11/08/2008 2:20 AM. Ten hours went by without anyone responding to my trouble ticket. This is the first time I’ve had an experience like this with MidPhase and it was pretty frustrating.

Once two more hours went by with no update to my ticket or the situation, I called the support line for MidPhase and because it was so early in the morning, I didn’t have to deal with a queue. After talking with the gentleman and having him confirm the issues I was experiencing, he told me that a support rep has been assigned to my ticket and he would look into it. The rep responded to my ticket on 11/08/2008 4:36: AM.

By the way, I should point out that the entire problem was based around the CPU load on the shared server being to high, not allowing other things to process. It was increasingly frustrating to me because I wouldn’t think zapping whatever processes were hogging up the CPU would be that hard to shut down. What made things worst is that I had deleted my WordPress files along with the database and because I couldn’t access PHPMyAdmin or various other parts of Cpanel let alone getting my site to load, my domain was stuck on a WordPress installation error.

stupidcpu

The last time I updated the ticket was on 11/08/2008 5:26 AM. I basically had enough at this point and just hoped that things would be better after I woke up. Thankfully, things did get back to normal. Then, because my shared server was one of the ones that was recently migrated into a new data center, the file upload limit in the php.ini file was set to 2mb which means I couldn’t upload and import my WordPress WXR file. After going back and forth a few times with support, they managed to get that changed enabling me to have a successful import. The support for this particular issue was much better than the previous one.

So, that is where I stand now. I am currently configuring the plugins I know I am going to use. After that, I plan on working on the theme to get things simplified and straightened out. Special thanks to everyone who contacted me asking me what happened. Obviously, visiting a site that all of a sudden has a hello world post on it with the default Kubrick theme is a cause for concern. I appreciate those who sent me a message expressing their willingness to help if need be. Thank you.

Nothing malicious happened to the site, I just happened to go through with my WordPress reformat which I sometimes do but it turned out to be a series of badly timed events. Hopefully, things are all better now.

What A Busy Week

I am pretty excited to know that I am almost finished with my 32 hour work weeks at the grocery store. At least, for the time being and everything continues to go well with freelancing. The grocery store will serve as a crutch in case things in the freelancing world cave in. This past week, I published an interview on BloggerTalks.com with Steve Hodson, published a great post that was welcomely received by the Performancing community called 7 Tips On Building Relationships Through Blogging, produced a fun open mic edition of Perfcast and to top it all off, produced an hour and a half WordPress Weekly with Jane Wells were we covered a ton of ground related to WordPress 2.7.

WordPress 2.7 Beta 1 is out and ready for the publics consumption. November 10th looks like the date for a release candidate while the end of November is aimed for the actual release of 2.7. I am going to bite the bullet and work on getting my content from my Jeffc.me domain and the content on Jeffro2pt0 back into one file and then import that into a new installation of WordPress, that being 2.7 beta 1. Then, I’m going to work on slimming down the theme and installing one plugin at a time and get back to the basics.

One of the subtle changes I am going to make is to remove the FeedBurner graphic. I was having a discussion with Andrew Rickmann on the WordPress Weekly after show and I was talking to him about going back to the basics and how I am getting to the point of doing things my way instead of the popular (what the rest of the blogosphere is doing) way.  So, I’ll remove the graphic because I don’t care to see it everyday. I’ll check in from time to time but it is not a priority for me anymore. My priority is to clean this place up, highlight my freelancing work and then publish content on a regular basis by treating this blog as if it was my Tumblr account. That means, publishing links to articles that interest me, sometimes I’ll write a long form article, opinionated pieces, bits of my personal life, random thoughts, etc.

I just feel that it is time for me to reclaim this blog as my own and no one else’s. While I enjoy writing content for people, I always enjoy writing content for myself and getting my thoughts from my head, out into the open. I want to get back to the point in time of where I can freely express myself without thinking about the boundaries I have placed on this blog by writing for others.

Will I still talk about WordPress and Web 2.0 and all that other stuff? Of course I will, as I see fit, but don’t expect this site to be an authoritative figure in any subject. I want to converse with people and discuss things, concepts, ideas, whatever. So, that will be the focus of the site after I have reformatted it. Along with the reformat, I plan on doing a redesign but it will not be anything drastic. I’m tired of spending 17 hours each time I redesign the site. I’ve always been a fan of forests and so, that is the theme I am going to head towards with the redesign.

For those that will continue to ride the train of life and blogging with me, its time to move on to the next stop. For everyone else, you can get off here. But don’t forget to send me a postcard :)

WordPress 2.7 Is Cause For A Reformat

This is just a heads up that when WordPress 2.7 is released, I will be reformatting my WordPress installation to get rid of the fluff that may be stored in the database and start off from scratch. I’ll once again audit my use of plugins and only install the ones that I think are necessary. Also, if you haven’t noticed already, I’ve changed the design of the blog a little bit because for starters, adding one more step to the post publishing process in the form of filling out custom fields is a drag. Secondly, I think the reformat as well as the simplified theme will finally help this site load quickly than it has before. Not sure what is causing the slow page loads but I am determined to figure it out.

I’ll also be modifying the theme to take advantage of threaded/paginated comments. I’m pretty stoked about 2.7 as I think many WordPress users out their will be blown away by it.