So I had this written before the news that Macworld was firing a bunch of their writers so theres a coincidence.
Let’s cut right to the chase. I’ve decided to stop writing about technology. At least for a while. My goal was always to try and make a living doing this and whilst the site does decent enough traffic (50,000 hits at its peak and an average of 20,000 per month) but it’s too volatile to sustain forever. Maybe if I kept plugging away I’d eventually get hired by someone but every day that passes is another where less people are being hired to write.
If we’re honest, I’m not very good at it. Sure, a lot of people seem to be interested and visit the site but I think that’s because I just say what I’m thinking. My writing isn’t technically good. If it was being marked for an English exam I’d no doubt fail. I’ve always thought that if people were able to understand what I was saying then what does it matter if I used an apostrophe in the wrong place?
Mainly though I’ve just gotten tired of the whole thing. I’ve written about that in the past and if you scroll down you’ll find it. Too many imaginary rules, too many opinions and too many people constantly judging you by some arbitrary measure of success. None of it matters. I’ve tried being the hard worker, I’ve tried being the one who writes in depth reviews, the guy who makes jokes, the guy who’s a dick to everybody. None of them work. I just want to be me.
I think podcasting is perhaps a better area for me but alas I’m not doing that anymore. Podcasting allows for more nuance and more discussion but if I’m brutally honest (and why shouldn’t I be? I’ve never written about this before) Constellation was a shambles from start to finish. Promises weren’t kept about partnerships and payments, the direction wasn’t clear (a name change at the peak of popularity? Yikes!) but mostly as a podcast network it just didn’t work. Nothing shipped on time, the process for getting a show out was terribly long winded and nobody knew their arse from their elbow. I recorded 25 episodes of Cultivate and 5 of Premiere but only 18 and 2 episodes of each were ever released. I felt like I was wasting my time. I’ve just had a look and of the shows currently on the network the last was released on the 17th of August and some have gone since May without an episode. I’ll let you be the judge.
Maybe I’ll do another podcast again? I’m always open to guesting too. Who knows. What I do know is that this site will cease to exist in a couple of weeks. I’ve got other projects in different areas that will keep me occupied but for now tech isn’t one of them.
As a little farewell I'll be answering any questions brutally and honestly either via email or on Twitter (@TheJamieRyan). Got something you've always wanted to ask me? Now's your chance
I want to thank a few people before I go, if you’ll indulge me.
I’d like to thank Charles Arthur for giving me advice and for linking to this site several times from the Guardian, that really means a lot.
I’d like to thank Ashley Esqueda for her advice too, she’s genuinely one of the nicest people in tech and has never been too busy to help out.
Matt Brian has been a friend during all of this, he was kind enough to be the first guest on Cultivate as well which could have ended up being a disaster but thanks to him it wasn’t (well not that episode) so thanks Matt.
Fellow Scottish Bloke Sid O’Neill definitely deserves a thank you, he’s been honest with me the whole time I’ve known him and that’s helped a lot.
John Chidgey has taught me that being a nice bloke does actually get you places. He’s a calm (Australian) voice in a sea of nutters. Thanks John.
I’d also like to thank countless people on Twitter who have taught me exactly what not to do or how to act to be a success in this industry. To the ones who told me how Apple works internally when I worked there and I didn’t. To the ones who told me my info was made up and then were notably absent when it turned out to be spot on. Thank you too, to the people who hated me purely because I used to work at Samsung and therefore assumed that I must me a morally corrupt tosser.
Apple has an iPad event coming up soon and if that keyboard case does launch, I want you to have a little chuckle on me that there were over 500 people who emailed me and tweeted me telling me I was talking shit. Of those 500 people only 3 had the balls to reply when I showed them the patent filing for that very keyboard a few months later.
I’m going to leave you now but if you’re reading this you might just be one of the last people to see this piece of text before the lights go out at the end of the month and you’re the people that deserve the most thanks. Because for every idiot in my readership there are 10 of you who were nice enough to come back and read time after time. Thank you. Hopefully we’ll meet again someday, somewhere.