The end of Whatever-Dude...
posted by The W-D Staff on 2/12/04Whatever Dude: February 12, 2001 - February 12, 2004
There comes a time when you know that something you love just isn't working anymore. I realized that two weeks ago. For three years of my life, W-D has served as a constant. I've enjoyed nearly every minute of it and I've struggled to let it go. I tried to think of new ways to re-invent the site: a re-jig of the staff and a spritzy new design were just cosmetic moves, really. The site lost its heart and if you don't have the heart for something anymore, there's really no point. Then I realized, all things have to end somewhere and it's better to end when you know that you have had a good run and haven't disgraced yourself. We had a good run.
Much like a master to his dying dog, I had to do what's right. The site just wasn't looking fun anymore and, although for me personally writing will always be enjoyable and cathartic, W-D became something of a chore whenever you felt you had to write to a certain style. By and large, we weren't giving the readers the content frequency they deserved. The number of half-completed articles sitting on my hard drive are a testament to how much I began to doubt myself (or whether the article would "fit" the site). Real life began to get in the way for most of us: jobs, kids, study and other priorities. That happens.
Ultimately, we couldn't fake the sort of enthusiasm we had at the beginning. We always wanted the site to be fresh and ballsy and our first year could never be topped in that regard. Most of us have never written with such freedom and we weren't held up to any standards.
It's difficult to get people motivated when a) you're hardly motivated yourself and b) this is a hobby. But we had a good run and, I think, when a lot of our readers trawl through the archives, they'll see that most of the articles have a shelf-life. Looking back, I'll remember the site fondly. When things weren't going well in my life, I knew it would always be there and that I could write an article to appease myself. I'll never stop writing, even if no-one else likes how I write and even if I have to write just for me. It's an addiction that needs fed.
Much like my addiction to midget porn.
Thanks a lot for sticking around, supporting us and making the site so enjoyable for so long. We all appreciate it sincerely.
Love and big phony high-fives,
It's tough sitting here and trying to write a eulogy for Whatever-Dude. I mean, I know I haven't really been involved with the site on an active basis for quite some time now… but that doesn't mean I wouldn't occasionally look at it and marvel at what the staff had created over the last three years. To create something out of sheer imagination and drive is no small feat and even though the site has kind of taken a turn for the worse in recent times, it still has that sparkle to me of when it was fresh and new. It was exciting starting W-D. There was an air of optimism in every single person involved and we honestly would've been more shocked if we didn't succeed right off the bat. It was a combination of the writers involved and our readers that made W-D such a joy to work for. As we turn out the lights and end this site's three year run… from the bottom of my heart, thanks to everyone who took the time and energy to write for the site and thanks to those people who took time out of their schedule to read the articles. God bless.
”Three years?? Shit, man. Felt more like eleven.
Somehow it seems fitting that a rerun of “Behind the Music: Britney Spears” is on television as I sit down to write a few words about W-D as it closes up shop. I wasn’t with the Whatever-Duders from day one, but I think all of us involved in Whatever-Dude, past and present, have learned a lot about ourselves along the way. It’s amazing how much can happen in such a short time. And just as the tv is telling me one version of Britney’s path to stardom, it makes me reflect on my path to and through Whatever-Dude.
My journey in the world of web writing began with my own site, BigMeats. I started it in my bedroom at my parent’s house, writing about infomercials, plucking away in the late hours. It was fun and spontaneous. I made mistakes and learned and failed and loved it to death. Having that creative outlet really made my final months of living at home bearable, and helped me keep my sanity.
I moved out of my parent’s place and in with my girlfriend, and the context of everything changed. I really changed. Everything in my life grew in unexpected leaps and bounds. I found it more difficult to find the time to update BigMeats. I was growing up and didn’t have the time for all my simple pleasures. Still don’t. I joined Whatever-Dude to have the same sort of creative freedom I had with my own site, but without the pressure of having to be the only writer sailing the ship. It seemed to be a good new fit for me and my life.
But it wasn’t the posting URL that bogged things up for me. It was the time. I used to throw myself completely into a post and consume it, know the material inside and out and be able to feel it, know it. Not having the time or freedom to give a post 10 straight hours really hindered my ability to be productive. I have more half completed articles than published ones, simply because I lost my heart in it before I could see it through. It went from being spontaneous creation marathons to piecing together snippets formed in sporadic moments, trying to shape them into being juuuuuuuuuust right. Things didn’t feel like they flowed, and slowly, my productivity seized up.
At first, it really used to eat me up. I felt a pressure to produce and it became a cyclic effect. I tried different things to different degrees of success. Sometimes I got a bit of that old feeling, my own personal warmth in the piece, but it wasn’t worth the time and heartache for the infrequency I felt that joy. My labour of love became less romantic, slowly transforming to the snoring beast that nagged and nipped at my head. It went from being a fun outlet to another burden. I slipped off the scene for months and found myself happy without it.
This doesn’t mean I don’t miss it from time to time. But it’s not how I want to spend the majority of my time. Not anymore. I still do love writing, but on my time, on my terms, in my own way. The way my life stands right now, I spend my paying dayjob life teaching and fixing computers. When I do have a window of opportunity to do my own thing, I want to stay away from keyboards and websites. Before, doing my thing on my computer was my escape from my daily existence. Now, I face computers all day. I need to do other things for my outlet.
I think my time writing online has run its course. I may not be ready for what comes next in my life, but I am ready for something different. That kid whom wrote about infomercials isn’t the person behind this keyboard today. It’s been good while it lasted, and who knows, I may do a web thing again someday. But for today, having Whatever-Dude close is appropriate for where I’m at in my life.
I’m glad I’ve wrote online. It’s part of who I am today. I typed all this wearing two big novelty cow slippers, my “moo-moos”. My answering machine message is me singing “Whoooooooooooo are you…. Boop boop, boop boop.” I sang the Canadian National Anthem louder than anybody else in attendance at the last wrestling show I was at. I’m still a bit of the prankster I was when I started writing online. But this Meathead needs to play in the real world to keep his smile.
My computer just popped up a virus warning. I guess that means I’ve gone on for long enough.
Goodnight, and thanks for the memories.
-Chad / fouff
Firstly, it has been a lot of fun spending some time here at W-D. But, as C Thomas Howell or Ralph Macchio once said, “Nothing gold can stay.”
If you are wondering why it is I am looking so cool as I casually lounge around here against this cart, it is because I am wearing a Beezo shirt. The Beezo shirt company kicked in a $50 donation to help us stay on line here a couple of months ago, so I am more than happy to give them a little more publicity, in lieu of our continued existence. Beezo shirts are the best shirts you can buy online. That thing about them having itching powder in the seams is completely untrue.
If you are wondering why I am looking a little glum, the fact of the matter is I do not feel glum at all. Quite the contrary. Everything that has a beginning has an end. And that will probably do it for popular culture references from me.
Listen, can you excuse me for just a second here?
HEY NICOLE! NIC! I'M GOING TO HAVE A BIT MORE TIME ON MY HANDS FROM NOW ON AND I JUST WONDERED IF YOU WANTED TO GO GRAB A SODA OR SOMETHING SOMETIME? NIC!
Or, you know, not. That would be fine too. Whatever.
Well, that could have gone better. But I suppose not every moment in your life can be a highlight. Damn. I was hoping to get her to pose for me with MICKEY=BEST! Written in marker pen on her tits. I guess I could always photoshop it.
Anyway, it has been great to be here at W-D. Obviously I owe a particular thank you to Dave and Paul, who are both really great guys. I also enjoyed working and/or collaborating with a lot of the other writers to have passed this way. Oh shit, and Ninja was a great asset to W-D as well. In the wash-up, when it became clear that the site was going to close, another staff member here decided to declare that I was the worst writer ever to appear on the internet, which saddened me a bit, because I am actually quite fond of you, Mike, you big lug. While I am radiating cheer, I should thank our forum rats for scuttling around and being forum rats. Also a big thank you to the many readers out there who emailed me to let me know what they thought about my posts or to provide further information about topics I raised. It was great that W-D had a really intelligent, witty, appreciative and insightful audience. If you ever read a piece on W-D that made you laugh or made you think, it means the site was a success. There are plenty of sites that will never be able to claim as much. And, finally, a big call out to Heather and Scarlett, my favorite Southern belles and W-D readers.
So, OK, see you in the next adventure. Peace out.
W-D will live on through its archives. So, if you have any thoughts on our closing, send your thoughts our way. The site can be continued to be enjoyed here and through the archives. The domain will remain and all feedback is appreciated. And all the writers are now free agents, so if you want to hire anyone to work for your production company or cut your cocaine, be our guest.
Sincere thanks to everyone who helped make the site a success. Three years is quite a long time in this genre and we hope we have moved, entertained or enlightened you to some extent during that time. Your readership was very important to us and feedback, good and bad, was always viewed with love (and, in cases where the english language was mutilated, sympathy). So, thanks a lot to the readers and thanks, the writers and Ninja who was a tremendous asset to the site. Thanks also to the many sites that linked us and all the people who took the time to promote us.
It's been a blast, but now we're off to Kathmandu...
Acne-faced Nintendo Geek:)