“Things do not change; we change.” ~Henry David Thoreau
As you may or may not know I have decided to sell Go Gaming Giant and step down from my role as owner and site administrator. I have passed the site onto Mike who formerly ran the website GameOnn. From this point on, Mike will be taking over my role and anything that I used to do will now be Mike’s job. Mike will be the new boss of Go Gaming Giant.
I started Go Gaming Giant in December 2008 with two other people. Around February they left and I was put in the role of owner and site administrator. I learnt a ton while running Go Gaming Giant. Not only did I learn all the technical aspects of running a site but I also learnt a lot about what it was like to run a business since Go Gaming Giant essentially functioned as a business and I faced a lot of situations that one would encounter if running a business. The things I learnt from running the site I feel have benefited me a lot and will help me in the long run.
I always enjoyed running the site. It was always a goal of mine to have my own gaming site. I only started playing video games in 2006 with the XBOX 360, but I got into the community aspect right away. I would surf sites like Gamertag Radio, Sarcastic Gamer, Joystiq, IGN etc all day. I always hoped that one day I could have a site like that. I broke into the community website scene with writing for sites like Xcast Online, Uncle Gamer (before the merge) and the XBOX Solution. I enjoyed writing but I wanted something more. I wanted to be in charge. In the summer of 2008 I stumbled upon a podcast called the Xbox 360 Fanboy Fancast Defence Force Podcast.
It started up as kind of a joke between what was then known as XBOX 360 Fanboy and Joystiq. The podcast was essentially a podcast to defend Xbox 360 Fanboy against Joystiq. It was all just a joke between the two sites but nevertheless I hopped on the podcast and after an episode or two we cut out the whole “defending X3F” thing and we turned it into a legit gaming podcast. We ran the podcast through a WordPress blog and I had an administrative role. This was my first real taste of running a site/podcast. It was small and it never really took off, we ended it after a month or two.
About a month or two after we ended it I was asked to guest host on the Joystiq Podcast Appreciation Group Podcast, another podcast that had started from this feud between X3F and Joystiq. While guest hosting I met another guest host named Dalibor and together with him and his friend Yaniv we started Go Gaming Giant.
We were all equals and we all ran the site but for the most part Dalibor was in charge and I was kind of second in command. I did learn a lot from him about running a site but he still took care of most of the administrative areas. When him and Yaniv left they left me with the site and I had to figure out how to run it. There was so much I didn’t know but with some self-teaching and some help from some friends I soon learnt how to run the site.
Most people think running a site is as easy as starting it up, getting some writers and posting some content. I suppose if you just run a blog it’s like that but I didn’t want Go Gaming Giant to just be a blog. I wanted it to be a legitmate gaming site that could compete with any other site. I always had high hopes for the site and I always dreamed big.
It’s funny when I look back on it, the site is only 10 months old and I remember at the start when our traffic was terrible and when our Alexa rank was in the millions people told us we’d be gone in a few months. I look back on it and compare it to now, 10 months later, and look at where we are at.
I took the site from a small gaming blog and built it up into a full out gaming website with respectable traffic, an Alexa rank under 50k, a forum with almost 400 members, a well liked podcast, established connections with almost every major developer/publisher etc. All in just 10 months.
When I look back on it, I’m proud of what I’ve built up. Sure there have been critics along the way and sure I may have done some things wrong, but when I look at what I turned the site into I’d say I did a fairly good job, considering when I started the site in December 2008 I could barely knew how to add pictures into a post on WordPress.
So why am I leaving the site then? Well honestly, the site kind of made me lose my interest in gaming. Due to me running the site I rarely had time to actually play games. I also always used to surf the web reading all the latest news and previews but now that I had my own site I didn’t have time for that either. I literally only had time to ensure that the site was running ok and to take care of the various areas of the site that needed attending to.
At first I was posting a lot of the content but as the site grew and we got more staff I kind of took a step back from the writer role and let the writers take care of all the content that went up. In the times of Dalibor and Yaniv I basically did all the posting because they were always busy. I also started planting seeds right from the start to ensure the site would grow. I started establishing PR connections, making friends with other site admins etc. When they left I realized I couldn’t do it all on my own anymore so I hired some writers. Over the months these writers have changed. People have come and gone but we’ve always had a steady team of writers that took care of the majority of the content which meant I didn’t have to post as much.
I assumed more of an editor in chief role at that point. I would edit and manage and schedule all the content. Along with that role I was still handling every other area of the site (PR, site development, social networking, promotion, site and forums maintenance, community manager, finances, podcast management etc) and each of these had tons of jobs associated with them. So like I said I really didn’t have much time to be playing games or keep up with the news. Because of this my interest in gaming started to slide.
As the site grew it started to become too much. I tried to find other people to help me out in running the site from an administrative side but it never worked out. At the end of the day I was always the only one who could do it. The fact is that I just never really trusted anyone else to do it, I didn’t think they would be able to. I had spent so much time on the site and I knew it so well that I was the only one for the job.
I poured an unprecedented amount of time into the site, constantly working on it, always trying to improve it. I always felt like at the end of the day I was responsible for it. If we didn’t get enough traffic that day it’d be my fault, if we didn’t get a review up on time it’d be my fault, if the latest podcast episode didn’t get enough downloads it’d be my fault, etc. I didn’t want all this responsibility anymore, I started to resent it. I knew I wasn’t accountable to anyone, I didn’t work for anyone, but I was accountable to myself. I put all this time into the site so I wanted it to be the best site it could possibly be or I would have been wasting my time.
Like I said I started to hate all the responsibilities, I didn’t want to be the one accountable for everything. I started to lose interest. I stopped putting as much time into the site, I let things slide, I wasn’t giving it my full effort. I actually started to stop enjoying running the site. I always thought that that was what I wanted, to run my own gaming site. But as the site grew and grew and the responsibility became bigger and bigger it started to become more of a burden than something that I enjoyed. I always had to worry about something, nothing was ever perfect. So in essence, running a large gaming site drove me away not only from gaming but from the whole site admin thing. I started to lose interest in both areas.
It was around that time that I decided I needed to step down totally, just make a clean break. Go Gaming Giant had potential, it was going to go to the next level, it just wouldn’t be me who would take it there. It was at that point I found Mike and he decided to take it over. So effective today I no longer have any association with the site.
Quite frankly, I just want a break from the entire video game scene, I really don’t want any part of it anymore. It was my life for almost a year and it was just too overwhelming.
My time here has come and gone, I accomplished my goal of running a legitimate gaming site and becoming a well known name in the community/industry. Once I accomplished my goal though I realized I didn’t really want it anymore, I had no interest, it wasn’t what I wanted.
Although I’ll be gone I hope I’m not forgotten. I know some people will be happy to see me go but I think more people will be upset. I’ve tried to please everyone during my time here at Go Gaming Giant but it’s not always that easy. In the end I hope people can see like I see, the massive jump that the site has made in under a year and I hope people see how I brought it from a no name gaming blog to a full fledged site that is fairly established.
As Mike takes over there will be a transition period and he will have to learn a few things but in the long run I think things are going to be better and I hope Go Gaming Giant will continue to grow and prosper.
Will I miss it? Yeah, I probably will for a bit. I’ll still probably read the site everyday and follow the Alexa ranks and read the forums etc, but after a while I’m sure I’ll get over it. Will I regret it? No, I don’t think so. Like I said, I accomplished what I set out to do and I realized it just wasn’t really for me, I stopped enjoying what I was doing, it became a burden/hassle rather than something I liked.
I won’t totally vanish though, you can always send me a message on XBOX Live (Gamertag: Matt Jo) or follow me on Twitter (MattJG3) or send me a PM on the forums (Matt Jo). I will be gone from the site though and like I said before, I have no obligation to the site, no association with the site and no duty to the site anymore. Anything that happens from here on out falls on the shoulders of the staff that still work at Go Gaming Giant.
Lastly I’d just like to thank everyone.
I’d like to thank every visitor the site has ever had. Whether you’ve spent 1 minute or 1 hour on the site, I want to thank you. Without the readers none of this would have been possible.
I’d also like to thank everyone who has ever contributed to the site. Whether you were a forum member making a post, a staff member doing a review or you just helped me out with a simple HTML coding fix at one point I want to thank you. Without you guys none of this would have been possible.
I’d also like to thank everyone in the industry who has supported us. Whether you are another site admin, a game developer, a game publisher, a PR person etc, I want to thank you for your support. Without the industry support, none of this would have been possible
Finally I want to thank everyone who has ever supported the site in any way. Whether it was by following our Twitter, re-tweeting our Tweets, commenting on articles, donating to the site etc. Without your support none of this would have been possible.
I guess this just about wraps up everything. I think I’ve said everything I can. It was a good run and I had some good times, and for a while I truly did love the site and truly did love running it. That time is gone though and I have to move on. All I ask if that although I’ll be gone I hope I’m not forgotten.
“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.” – Dolly Parton