This has been one heck of an interesting week.Â Between all the new features, podcasts, and the site going down on Friday, Iâ€™ve come to realize it isnâ€™t the big picture, but the little things that add up to something great.
Just when you least expect it, you decide to launch a website
When Major Spoilers launched on July 3, 2006, I had hopes that the site would reach epic proportions within two years.Â While it hasnâ€™t made it there yet, the small jumps weâ€™ve experienced are due in part to two things; 1) you the dedicated Major Spoilerites who have spread the word, and 2) a bunch of chance encounters that add value to the site that get you to return and be part of the complete Major Spoilers Experience.Â Matthew stumbled back into my life after 10 years by pure chance. Stacy B. stepped up to the plate to deliver the goods, and Victoria brings a different perspective to this whole thing we call pop culture.Â Iâ€™m always blown away when someone new contacts me offering to write for the site. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnâ€™t, but when it clicks, it clicks really well.Â Which reminds me, if you think you want to play in our playground, you know how to contact me.
Just when you least expect it, you get positive feedback
When I look at the logs and see the countries and cities everyone is coming from, and when we receive letters from readers around the world, it really encourages us to do our best.Â Â Â I know there are some weeks when life gets in the way (I could tell you some stories of our crew and the troubles weâ€™ve seen), and the content you are expecting to be there isnâ€™t, but these words of encouragement always spark us to do better.
Just when you least expect it, you get promoted
Six months ago I was promoted at work – my real job. The promotion has me working longer on reports that are written and turned in, then a week later Iâ€™m writing another report that asks for the exact same information but in a different format.Â Itâ€™s maddening, really. For someone that has been working with database driven websites for right on 9 years now, these reports could be generated any number of ways, if only the content was entered into a database.Â Since Iâ€™ve been working with database driven websites (or CMS as the hipsters are all calling it these days) for so long, Iâ€™m still a little surprised when people donâ€™t understand the joy of databases.Â Itâ€™s the slow exposure and buildup to content management systems that makes Major Spoilers work so well. Over the years, Iâ€™ve added new features to the site, because I understand how information can be accessed in a number or way, and served up in a way most users want.Â I hope that you, Dear Reader, are finding it easier to access the information you are seeking.
Just when you least expect it, Critical Hit becomes a hit
If you donâ€™t know the story by now, Critical HIt: A Dungeons and Dragons podcast came about through a series of random discussions as Rodrigo tempted me into the world of Dungeons and Dragons.Â When we launched the first arc, none of us really expected the show to be successful, and yet the show has become the most popular show that we produce (and I produce six of them weekly). I think that goes for a lot of things in life.Â When you really want something to happen and you dwell and focus on it all the time, youâ€™ll never get the results you want, yet when you forget about it and let things happen naturally, itâ€™s a nice surprise when things go your way.Â Iâ€™ve seen this happen with site traffic, weight loss goals, income, and more.Â I think if more people would just let things go and not dwell on that which does not matter, weâ€™d all be a little less uptight.
Just when you least expect it, you realize you need an ad sales manager
As much as we want to control everything in our sphere of influence, there are times when we all need to realize that we can either focus on controlling everything and do an okay job with everything, or we can seek assistance from those that are experts in their areas, thus allowing you to focus on what you are good at.
Just when you least expect it, some free time opens up
I donâ€™t want to be the guy that talks about his five jobs, but I work five different jobs (administrator, instructor, author, executive producer/creator of Major Spoilers, and tech reporter).Â It means I have a lot of balls up in the air at any one time, but just when I least expect it I find that I have a few hours of free time.Â The unfortunate thing Iâ€™ve come to realize is that free time means Iâ€™m forgetting something important, and it causes me no end of frustration as I scramble to catch up.Â I think Iâ€™m getting better in realizing that if I have time to lean, then I have time to work on generating more content for Major Spoilers.Â And even though Iâ€™m up well past my bedtime, i think the changes are going to be something you like.
Just when you least expect it, the site goes down
I hate it when the site goes down.Â Sometimes it is the fault of the person who runs the site (me), but more often than not itâ€™s some weird bug in a new feature Iâ€™m implementing on the site to improve performance.Â Isnâ€™t it ironic, donâ€™t you think?Â These downtimes most often occur when I have stepped away from computer to spend time with the family, or take a break to rest the eyes.Â Yes, when I least expect it.
The good news is, we have really good support, and when the error is discovered our support team gets crackinâ€™ and usually has things resolved within the hour.
Just when you least expect it, you decide to learn to play the ukulele
I havenâ€™t mentioned it in a couple of months, but I am nearing the completion of self-teaching myself to play the ukulele. (Is that a sixth job?) Why with all the other things I have going on would I want to pick up an instrument Iâ€™ve never played before and want to spend hoursÂ a week strumming away?Â While spending time with family and friends is wonderful, I find playing the uke very relaxing.Â As I learn the chords, the strums, and the songs, it has a way of changing the way I look at the world.
Music has a lot of emotion to it, and when I really get into playing a song (wait â€˜til you hear my rendition of Row-Row-Your-Boat), negative emotions pour out, leaving room for positive energy and thoughts. Itâ€™s refreshing really, and Iâ€™ve found that practicing at 1:00 AM cleans away the woes of the day, and gets me jazzed.Â Following a regular round of practice I find my energies redirected to more positive things, and wanting to create content for the site.Â When the site is down, or when one of the Major Spoilersâ€™ podcasts are uploading, I spend a few minutes strumming the four string, and I find my anger directed at the universe dissipates.Â The uke is the fourth musical instrument Iâ€™ve learned to play over the years.Â I think Iâ€™ll take up clarinet next.
Just when you least expect it, everything gets better
So what do all of these ramblings have to do with anything?Â While Iâ€™m using this space to burn off some energy and rid the mind of thoughts, Iâ€™ve also come to realize that little by little all of these things have had a positive effect on Major Spoilers.Â Major Spoilers isnâ€™t the result of one big event, but all the little things, the events, the random occurrences in time, the self reflection, and minor adjustments that add up over time.Â Today, weâ€™re doing more than ever before, and with a great support group, in both the team and you the reader, weâ€™re poised to do even more great things in the coming months.
Iâ€™ll leave it there. Iâ€™ve used up way more space than I wanted to, and if you made it this far, then thank you.Â Iâ€™ll be back next month with more random thoughts.Â Next week, itâ€™s Matthewâ€™s turn to throw out his ideas.