24/02/2004. Contributed by Jessica Martin
Wooden Rocket Award-winning web site The Alien Online to focus just on news and reviews.
Ariel, the Editor of the fab British-based 'The Alien Online', has just made a bittersweet announcement on his online zine that probably reflects how many webmasters feel about their science fiction and fantasy site when it becomes just a little too popular and a little too time-hungry for its own good.
Basically, TAO are not going to run any more features and columns, because for the personal reasons (all too understandable to us at the 'Nest, I'm afraid), that Ariel (a) also has to make a living elsewhere (b) would like to spend some R&R every now and then with his wife and family.
As Ariel says on his site:
"... to be frank, I really saw no viable alternative. When it comes right down to the bottom-line, there just aren't enough hours in the day for me to hold down a full-time job, and edit the bulk the bulk of the TAO site (even with the help of the utterly fantastic Sandy Auden on the news section), and manage fifteen author / publisher / artist websites, and keep the wife and cat company from time to time. In short, I was spreading myself too thinly, and I was beginning to suffer for it."
He ends on an optimistic note, hoping that the time that's going to be saved can be spent on book news and reviews for The Alien Online.
As the Nest's own reader survey recently revealed, these two areas seem to be the common and most popular ground between all the users, so it makes sense to focus on this when you've got a limited amount of time.
Nobody who hasn't been involved with the running of a popular site could ever appreciate how it quickly develops into a whining 600-pound baby, demanding attention, money and intensive care on a 24x7 basis.
It's kind of like running a daily newspaper, but - unless you're in the porn or gambling end of things - without the consolation of any meaningful ad or subs money to help pay for your running costs.
Best of luck to Ariel and his crew from everyone here at the 'Nest; we're sure your new tack will keep the wind in your sails.
You can read about TAO's new format over here and here.
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