Why I Resigned From the SitePoint.com Forums

Over five years and 24,000 posts later I finally reached a point where I feel it is time for me to resign my position at the SitePoint.com Community Forums.

The primary reason I resigned is I’ve reached that point in my online life where I don’t want to be online so much anymore. Between work and play I spent anywhere from 60% to 90% of any given day in front of computer. Heck, when I resigned I was the all time post leader. I enjoyed it most of the time but it really was only a matter of time before I grew tired of my computer and surfing online and wanted to do other things like be outside and see my friends more. Resigning my position and greatly reducing my participation in the forums was just part of a larger step back as I rarely visit any forums anymore. If my RSS reader alerts me to an interesting discussion somewhere I’ll put my two cents in but otherwise I no longer actively participate in any community.

There are minor reasons affecting my decision but they really aren’t reasons so much as factors affecting how I feel in general. After over five years of participation I got tired of answering the same questions over and over again. It gets annoying knowing that people are too lazy to search the Internet or at least search the forums. Or worse, not read the FAQs we have stickied at the top of the forum which answer their question quite well. You know it’s bad when you have cut and paste answers and they comprise the majority of your responses.

Although it is to be expected, it still drove me crazy seeing countless responses from members who never bothered to read the entire thread. Not only do their responses contradict the excellent discussion already contained in the thread but rarely does it ever contain anything of substance to back it up. I know newbies are part of the Internet but being inundated by them constantly will wear on anybody. Especially from people who are just flat out wrong.

I’m also a bit fried from moderating. I averaged about 600 moderator actions per month. That’s insane. I should point out that I didn’t mind moderating. I was happy to do my part. I even had it streamlined thanks to some Firefox extensions. But I was a victim of a character flaw which made me moderate everything I saw. I just didn’t have it in me to leave it for someone else. Moderating easily doubled the amount of time I spent in the forums.

In general I will miss being around. After all, It was a big part of my online life for over five years. I remember when I was named Member of the Month, offered the position of Mentor, Advisor, and Team Leader. It was an honor to be voted SEO Guru and Ecommerce Guru of the Year two years in a row. The SEO FAQ and Google FAQ that I wrote are amongst the most popular threads in the entire forum. There’s quite a few things behind the scenes, and a bunch of little things in the forums, that I am responsible for that affected how the community worked and interacted in some way. I’m happy to have contributed.

Although I am resigning my position and plan on being around a lot less, in the end it really isn’t a big deal. The forums thrived long before I stumbled upon it. It will thrive long after I stop visiting. There have been many members who have had an equal influence, if not greater influence in the community then I had, who left and things kept on rolling. The current staff is outstanding and there’s an excellent crop of future staff waiting to get their chance. The SEO forum, of which I feel very protective of, has a handful of members who I feel will do an outstanding job of carrying the torch (of no nonsense and misinformation).

I’ll still be coming around from time-to-time. It just won’t be with the same frequency as before.

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5 thoughts on “Why I Resigned From the SitePoint.com Forums

  1. I got tired of the backchannel drama (not staff stuff, just the crap that goes along with having a title on a website) and feeling guilty when I’d spend time online and not on the site. I don’t need that kind of stress in my life from an internet forum I’m volunteering at and have no other stake in.

    I honestly haven’t been that much more productive since I left last year, but I am a lot mellower. It’s just the internet.

  2. Sorry to hear that you are leaving John, you have been a great mod, advisor and TL. I will have to find someone else to forward the SPAM Pm’s I get to now.

  3. Hi John,

    I was only was a small part of your long term commitment to SitePoint and whilst shocked, appeciated your honesty in your reasons for leaving.

    You’ll take a piece of SitePoint with you when you leave, but I think it’s safe to say that your contribution to SitePoint will be long lasting. Your detailed responses to a number of topical threads will be linked to again and again and the big impression you had on your team and fellow staff members will be talked about for years to come.

    Being a volunteer, the commitment you’ve given over such a long term is to be commended and something you should be very proud off.

    I do wish you all the best,

    Shayne

  4. John, you did a great job while you were there!

    I have to agree with the complaint about those too lazy to check Google or read the FAQ. I never understood that — why sit around for a few hours waiting for someone to come along and answer you when most questions can be answered in under 2 minutes with Google, or that FAQ in the case of SitePoint.

    Congrats on the good run, and give yourself a break.

  5. I’m going to claim a win for me on this one; I’m a trendsetter, you know. When I do (or leave) something, everyone follows. Well, maybe like, three years later, but that should still count.

    SitePoint’s been generally better for me with the random lurking approach anyway; don’t feel a need to compulsively check threads, and I can help a few people out when I have the time. There’ll always be someone else to pick up the slack.

    I’m also terribly depressed that you failed to mention in your post the most valued community award that you co-won.

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