Shutting Down or Becoming New?


Once upon a time, long long ago, I created my first website http://gettingtomaybe.com/.  The whole idea of “Getting to Maybe” was that if, in one’s thinking, he or she can get to “maybe,” then there is hope.

GTM bannerIt was a website of essays, poetry, and book reviews by people whom I met along life’s path who felt that they had something to say, but who didn’t necessarily consider themselves writers.  People from all walks of life wrote for this site, and it generated a fair amount of readers and comments over time.
Rabbi David Rosenn wrote about the environment.
Elizabeth Holding gave us a new way of looking at illness in her essay Ways to Love, Not Fight Cancer.
Mehdi ben Aribi described marriage and divorce in Islam.
Amanda Gonzoles told us what it was like to grow up with a disabled sister.
Anonymous castigated Illinois colleges for encouraging students to get degrees in education knowing full well that there were no jobs available for them upon graduation.
Andrea Glaser Das wrote a series of excellent parenting articles.

Many more people, including a couple of children, wrote essays for Getting to Maybe. Several Christian pastors submitted sermons. It was fascinating to read and fun for me to do. My rules were only: 1) Writers needed to email the copy to me so I wouldn’t have to key it in (although I broke that rule sometimes for older people who weren’t computer literate), and 2) I edited copy only to the extent  that writers would not embarrass themselves with punctuation or grammatical errors. Otherwise it was their message in their own words. In those early days, I spent a lot of time finding or creating graphics to accompany the essays.

It was a good website, and served a purpose in that it allowed the voice of extraordinary “ordinary” people to be heard. The problem was that I was the only person handling all aspects of the site.  I recruited the writers, created the graphics, edited the material, and uploaded to the website.  When that was the only site I was doing, I could handle it, but then I also created the first website for my then-employer (an ad agency does it now), and time was getting away from me. Getting to Maybe languished.

A couple of months ago out of the blue, I got an offer to buy the web domain name.  I thought hard about whether or not I should let it go, but in the end agreed to negotiate a price.  The domain name is valued at $500, and I could use the money. The potential buyer offered $350. We settled on $400, and then I got silence from the potential buyer. He has said that he still wants to buy it, but is having some trouble coming up with the money. So I still own it, and am still thinking about whether or not I should let it go.

Getting to Maybe (http://gettingtomaybe.com/) needs a radical overhaul. It was programmed many years ago in a fixed style without using CSS, and looks small when seen on a sizable screen. If I decide to keep it, I will need to rebuild and re-purpose it. Should I do that? I have some vague ideas about how to bring it into my goal of building a platform for my current writings, but need to get my life a bit more organized so that this can be regularly kept up. It’s not easy being a person with many interests knowing that what’s required is to let some of them be sacrificed for the greater goal, which is writing, a very time-consuming task in itself.

If you are a writer and you are reading this, I would appreciate your thoughts. What would you do?

RZH

About R. Z. Halleson

Go to http://bit.ly/HallesonBio
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4 Responses to Shutting Down or Becoming New?

  1. Katherine Edwins Schumm says:

    Hummmm. I save everything for just those many reasons. Maybe I can find a new way to use it; I have had it for a long time it is sentimental; why should I give it away? Here are my new questions: will it push me to find a new way, does the old plug up the new creativity by the “I have always/often done it this way, Nietzsche said something about emptying your hands so that you can grasp newness (I have used my own words obviously). Will letting go put you on a new juicy path?

  2. I would say the only reason to keep the domain is if it would fit with something you are doing or plan to do. It is a nice and unusual name which has a sort of appeal. On the other hand if the buyer cannot find the full price why give it away. If he is going to continue it doing what it did under you labor then you might enjoy seeing it still doing good, but the new person could also spoil it and lead you to disappointment. It depends on your emotional attachment.

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