Three years ago on April 8, 2008, I set up a small blog on the advice of a friend. I just wanted a place to review books I wished to read, rather than the stories the sites I was reviewing for decided I should read and review. Since then, the success of the blog has been unprecedented for whatever reason — probably mostly luck! 😆 — and it exceeded expectations I could never have imagined. Christian Otto who became my friend shortly after I set up the blog persuaded me that I should move to a website, when the blog could not cope with the number of people who were trying to log on, and he became my Webmaster.
We were both astonished as the numbers grew and grew and grew ….. But with success came an incredible workload that was unbearable as I lived and breathed the site 24/7. The behind-the-scenes work and administrivia was and still is exhausting, and staying on top of everything was impossible. Obviously this situation could not continue since it was impacting my personal life and health, so I had to decide whether to shut down the site or get a partner who would be willing to shoulder some of the load. I’m sure you know how much I love this site — I wouldn’t have invested so much of my life in it over the past 3 years if I didn’t — and the decision about what to do has probably been one of the most difficult ones for me, but it’s the right one.
In the end I could not just close the site because it had evolved into a community and was no longer my little online home away from home. This site has become a place that so many of you love to visit every day to talk about books and other topics and meet your online friends. I have been lucky to have many wonderful people here who have invested significant amounts of their time, starting with the guest reviewers, some of whom have been with me for at least 2 years. Two people I have talked about many times, who have devoted major chunks of their own personal time to keep the site running at peak performance are Christian and Aunt Lynn, a guest reviewer that you know well and more recently Christian’s go-to person on some technology, style and design issues on the site, areas where she’s an expert. I’m sure you remember Lynn’s critical role in helping Christian design the new website.
I decided to ask Lynn to be my partner on the site and and I’m really pleased that she has accepted. :bravo: Lynn is a wonderful and fun person for whom I have a huge amount of respect and regard as a friend and she will improve the site I’m sure over time. She will gradually take over some of the responsibilities that I have been neglecting and, as well, develop new strategies for the site as we move forward, to make it even more responsive to your needs and what you would like to see. The site will always be a work in progress because it is my strong feeling that the minute we think something is perfect and rest on our laurels that’s when it’s in danger of becoming dated and passé , so the more changes the better. I asked Lynn to prepare a short bio and here it is, although it doesn’t do her justice. BTW Lynn’s email is email@example.com.
“As most of you know from my For love of Books interview, I live in Berkeley, CA (go Cal!), am a librarian by education, a web developer by choice, a reader and reviewer by night, and spend a lot of time thinking about and involved in disaster prep so when the Big One comes and in case I survive, I’ll be ready. I’m a big animal lover; not only do I love animals a lot, I go for huge, hairy ones — my partner and I share our home with a Bernese Mountain Dog and two Maine Coon cats (and their cast-off fur!). The other love in my life is food, and if I weren’t devoting my life to saving people from their website problems, would love to open a B&B where guests get great grub (not that nasty continental breakfast crap you get at some) as well as a comfy place to lay their head. I even have the perfect place picked out, but until I hit the lottery or someone wants to back the venture, I’m stuck in weblandia. 🙂
Anyway, I am thrilled to be able to change my role and give Wave a much needed hand. Yes, I’ll still be reviewing, but it will be less as I take on more behind-the-scenes stuff as well as several things Wave does now on the public side. Look for good things to come!”
Our main task now is going to be focused on finding excellent reviewers whose skills will match our current wonderful guest reviewers. :drinkin: