And this, my friends, is my decision: I’m shutting down the Surf Report, and moving my base of operations here. I know this might seem like a hasty decision, but it’s not. I’ve been thinking about it for a year. The old site was flawed at its inception, and worked for a while despite the problems. I want to give it one last shot, without all the handicaps.
Just last week I heard two different people say, on the Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast, something along the lines of “I didn’t want to wake up one day, realize I’m 50, and stuck in the same dead-end situation…” I’m 51, and on a goddamn treadmill.
I’ve been working on setting up this site for a few weeks. And it fixes a lot of the old problems. It’s not really about me, it’s a celebration of folks like us. Is that too presumptuous? If so, I apologize. But it’s going to be a place for people who have a few years under their belts, but still feel pretty much the same way they did when they were 18 or 25, or whatever.
We’ll tell stories, talk about beer and music, discuss the culture, bitch and complain, etc. To tell you the truth… it won’t be much different than the old site. It’ll just be framed a little better. And after the tone has been set — maybe in six months or so — I’d love to start featuring guest posts on the days my updates don’t appear.
My desire: to go back to those days when anything was possible. I’m going to focus on building a larger audience and having fun, which causes all the unexpected magic to happen. I’m excited to try to create something new, this time with some added knowledge. I’ve continued to read and learn, and by this time have tried almost everything… I know what dead-ends to avoid, and how to stay focused on the important stuff.
And I desperately need a reboot, my friends. The rut is deep. There’s no way I could continue as I was. Heck, I wish we could do something even more dramatic, and sell our house and move to North Carolina or Georgia. We’re ready. But we have to wait until the younger boy is in college for that. In the meantime, this is about as major as I can manage: pulling the plug on a website that’s been a huge part of my life since late 2000. It makes my stomach churn, if you want to know the truth. But I think it’s the right way forward.
A big part of this new start is my vow to be a better host. I’ve let you guys down, again and again. I rarely answer email, don’t participate in the comments too much, and haven’t kept up with the Smoking Fish photos. Plus, I owe some of you t-shirts. I suck, and beat myself up daily because of it, believe me. I’m very sorry.
But those days are over. I’m going to publish a longish update every Monday and Thursday, and a super-secret Surf Report-style update every Friday. Only subscribers to the mailing list will know where to find it. So, if you’re not subscribed… you should do it today. The form is in the sidebar, under the heading “Take it to the Next Level!” It’s the same list as I was using at the Surf Report, so if you were subscribed there, you’re good.
And I’m not going to disappear like I’ve been doing lately. Monday, Thursday, and Friday are sacred. There will always be an update on those days, and they won’t be shitty ol’ 45-minute specials, either.
A couple of things: Facebook won’t let me change the name of the Surf Report fan page. So, I’ve created a new one, where I’ll continue posting ridiculous crap I find on the internet. Please like it, or follow it, or whatever the hell. Eventually, in a month or two, I’m going to delete the Surf Report fan page completely. Please join me at the new place.
I haven’t had a chance yet, but I’m going to do the same with Google+. If you should give a crap, stay tuned. Nothing is changing with Twitter, things are going well there. And I don’t understand Pinterest, so let’s just forget about it at this point.
Also, if you want to create an avatar to go with your comments at this new site, you can do it here.
Finally, when I say the Surf Report was flawed, I’m only talking about behind-the-scenes stuff most of you don’t really even care about. I realize this. But I hope you understand my position. I need to shake things up, or the whole thing was going to die. You guys are great, and I continue to love a full 87% of you. I’m certainly not forgetting all the fun we’ve had. The West Virginia Surf Report is one of the best things that’s happened in my life.
And this isn’t the end. In fact, it’s the beginning. It’s exciting! Imagine the possibilities.
I’ll see you guys on Thursday.
Want more? You’re in luck! Sign up for the mailing list in the sidebar and gain access to a secret bonus update every Friday.