"Well, it's about time..."
No, I'm not dead. Although I can understand why some people believe that.
As much as I dearly love this site, and all the interesting people that have sprung up from nowhere to contribute their experiences, their ideas and their passions, life has thrown me a curveball or two.
Back when this site began, I was living in Newfoundland, Canada. I was doing contractual work (web development, training and marketing/communications consulting), and owing to the scarcity of such jobs in that locale, was blessed with plenty of spare time. I could afford to spend a thousand hours (yes, that many) working on hundreds of forms. I had just had a child, was surrounded by supportive family members, and life was relatively easy.
Today is different. I live in beautiful Yellowknife, Northwest Territories --yes, that's near the Arctic Circle-- where I have a job that requires me to perform my focused best at all hours of the day. (I am an executive at a marketing/communications company, to be precise.) We have had another child, now five, who is severely autistic, pre-communicative though seemingly happy, but who requires constant attention and plenty of patience. I have also had a hernia for the past year, and have recently had back surgery for a ruptured disc, and that's taking a toll on every little physical action I perform, including sitting down.
In short, live is no longer easy, and it's truly difficult to find time for my old passions. Not that I care any less for them, but the energy and time to pursue them is often lacking.
It's rare that I speak of things that are very personal, but I figured I owed you folks an explanation.
So, where are we now?
There have been rumours that I am selling the site. I tend to get an offer or two every month, it's true. But I can't put a dollar figure on this community, knowing that these buyers would only take advantage of the terrific content here to plug every hole with a dozen ads to monetize the resulting mess. No, thank you.
We've had to turn off new user registration because we were being spammed to death. If you would like a user created, for now you can contact me directly at douglasjohnston on gmail.com. State two preferred user names, in case the first is taken. Please be patient and give me a day or two to set you up.
Partly related to our spam issues, I'm afraid the CMS that powers this site, Drupal, is a couple generations old. Upgrading the site two versions is way out of my comfort zone, especially with custom content like the template directories. If you are a Drupal wizard who would like to volunteer to help me take that on, I would very much welcome your help. Once we upgrade, we can build a lot of improvements into the site, including social media, better galleries, better editing/admin tools, quicker moderation, faster response time, and all kinds of wonderful as-yet-thought-of goodness.
Innowen, Steve and the initial DiyP troop have gone on to more regular gigs, and I wish them all the best. They are truly wonderful people, and I love and respect them all. They've contributed so much over the years, and looking back I can't believe the depth and breadth of their hundreds of articles. Most would have run out of ideas after a few weeks, but they kept going, offering us fresh, informative and entertaining posts for years. Astonishing.
Speaking of writers, is there an opportunity for a "next generation" here? By all means! I can't do much by myself. If there is anyone reading this who would like to become a regular writer on this site, please contact me. The only catch is that I don't have the hours of time for editing that I used to. But if you're a talented writer, and would like to live in a stationery store, have a hankering for tinkering with your productivity system, push your creativity far beyond your limits, or love reviewing your cool new pens and notebooks to the utter bewilderment of your friends, you could be a fine fit here. Drop me a line and let's take it from there.
Last but not least, we have ygor. ygor, the amazing. ygor, the dedicated. ygor, the coding guru. ygor, the productivity maven. (ygor, the ill-captitalized.) ygor, the reason why this site still exists. I can't thank him enough, and I don't think any regular visitor to this site could, either. Thanks again, ygor, for keeping the ball rolling and instilling a strong sense of belonging and professionalism throughout this little community. You've been incredible, and there for us all.
So, I'm turning the mic over to you folks here. What would you like to see happen on this site? Any ideas for new features? Perhaps you're a designer and would like to take a crack at a new theme? Any products you'd like to see reviewed? Any stories to share? Tips for analog systems? Odes to your favourite fountain pen?
Let's sweep out the cobwebs, each grab a hammer or paintbrush, and start reconstructing this site into something great again. The foundation is there, reinforced by some tremendous dedication and talent and passion. But I want us to build it together.