Around March 20, 2012 I wrote my last article at StateFans Nation. It was a great place to set-up and focus on creating material while not worrying about “community building” or anything form of webmastering, but it wasn’t without it’s flaws. Forums are what they are: a collective of members in a community that range from completely rationale to emotionally imbeciles to certifiable lunatics to good salt-of-the-earth people. Originally Wolfpack World wasn’t suppose to be a sports thing, but that’s what it became when it seemed it was time for me to take my leave from my parent site. A breakdown in communication, a strong sense of community and belonging, and the usual level of personality clashes created a situation where things could be misunderstood and misconstrued to mean things they didn’t. I contributed over 50 articles to that community and received great positive feedback, critique, and hours of entertainment from the conversation of some of the really great guys in insightful minds in that community.
Now I have my own site. Honestly, being the most popular site in the world or even building a community at all has never been my desire (which speaks loudly to why I never envisioned Wolfpack World as a competitor to StateFans Nation… at all). Just like at StateFans Nation, I write my articles, I correct my terrible grammatical and spelling errors, fix a couple figures and tables, and share what I have with the rest of the community. Being away from the forum scene has been nothing but good as it really started to put things into perspective. Honestly, I couldn’t care less what any one user has to say about my articles now because… well… they’re my articles. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion; I just happen to feel comfortable enough to publish mine publicly. I still pop my head over to StateFansNationForums.com from time to time and it’s hard to imagine ever actually getting sucked into a lot of those conversations. No slam against the community at large, that’s just not really my scene.
So why am I writing this? What am I trying to accomplish? I, author of Wolfpack World, need to offer a sincere thanks and apology to the owner of StateFans Nation and to their community as a whole.
First, a thanks: When StateFans Nation saw something I wrote on a site called ACCRivals.com (which has since disappeared), their owner got on the phone with me, invited me to write for him, and gave me an opportunity to blog on what is still one of the largest NC State fan sites out there. What a great opportunity! I am truly grateful for Jeff inviting me and loved every moment of blogging for him. To this day, if Jeff or anyone of those key people over there actually wanted to use anything I wrote or have me do something specifically for them, I’d help them out in a heartbeat. The visibility I got gave me the ability to launch my own site where I have a modest-yet-consistent group of 100-200 viewers reading my articles. It’s not a Leviathan of online blogs, but it’s not bad for your average State fan just trying to share his opinions on NC State, and to be completely honest, it’s more than enough to keep any rational individual content.
Second, an apology: Maybe… just maybe… I didn’t handle things as well as I should have. My intent was to set up a site parallel with StateFans Nation that dealt with non-athletics. I discussed the idea with Jeff, but got a little impatient in coordinating things so I created my own site. It’s a personality flaw, or a strength depending on your perspective: I get an idea in my head and I want to execute it. My first apology is for jumping the gun and not working with the owner at StateFans Nation to created a truly parallel site that could have expanded his reach and been a fun pet-project for me on the side. My second apology has to be to the core StateFans Nation members that consider themselves “founders”. My means of communicating what I was trying to do to them was to create a message in their forums. Long story short, this did not exactly go as I had hoped and became more about premature critiques then actually explaining something that could expand their own community to new members. The correct way to go about this would have been to first wait to create something “along side” StateFans Nation, then to work with their owner to communicate to the core members what we were trying to start-up. My bad.
Was any of this necessary? Is it just burning time before a big game or perhaps just too much Macallan’s 12 Year single malt (room temperature and neat… of course)? No, it’s just clearing the air and wanting to say I did my part. The internet is far too dramatic and imprecise of a place to take too many things seriously. Even for someone who fancies themselves not an internet junky, who has never touched any kind of addictive online game, and who walks into work every day with thick skin on, it’s surprisingly easy to get sucked into the muck of the world wide web. I got wrapped up into things and for some inexplicable reason actually took it somewhat seriously. My bad, StateFans Nation. I still think you guys have one of the finest sports blogs in the nation and the success of your forums can’t be denied.
If you ever find yourself up Richmond-ways, stop in for a Macallan. No hard feelings?