Randomville started off back in 2004 as
Actually, I had to scrap my first draft about this article. This is my “Farewell as the owner of Randomville.com” article. I think for the most part, people aren’t interested in how I became involved with Randomville. I’ve been the actual owner and editor in chief since November of 2007 though. I’ve been the one approving story ideas, editing most of the articles, in charge of the redesign(s) of the site, fixing technical issues, recruiting and teaching new writers, handling the bills, getting advertisers, and even writing stories myself.
It’s hard work running a website like this. Nobody else has had my experience of the stress that comes along with your website crashing because the webhost made a mistake. Nobody else has had my experience of hitchhiking to a show and eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at SXSW 2008 because I was on such a tight budget. Nobody else has had my experience of having to let amazing writers and editors go over the years because I couldn’t pay them.
On the flip side, nobody else has had my experiences of getting emails from charities that are so thankful we’ve done things to help support them. Nobody else has had my experience of getting to interview Bud Gaugh from Sublime and Johnny Walker of The Soledad Brothers who are musicians from two of my favorite bands of all time. Nobody else has had some of the backstage experiences I’ve had with celebrities thanks to Randomville.com.
And we’ve had a good run to. The site started off as a blog just for fun and when I jumped into the driver seat, I created an LLC to turn Randomville into an official business, with bank and credit card accounts and everything! In 2008, I spent a coin redesigning the website to make it more user-friendly, which is something it certainly was not in the past. I found writers all over the country and we started gaining cred quickly, getting press passes at all kinds of shows, including festivals like Coachella, CMJ Music Festival, Bumbershoot, and even The Seattle International Film Festival. In 2009, ClickitTicket.com named Randomville among the Top 20 Music Review Blogs on the internet (#7). Additionally, we’ve raised thousands of dollars for charities over the years. We became friends with Jack White and Nirvana’s record labels, partnering on monthly projects annually.
So why would I step down as the owner? When I took over from the previous owner, Scott Wherle, in 2007, I distinctly remember him saying that “It’s a lot of work and harder than it seems.” Although I listened to this, I kind of blew it off because I know hard work brings great rewards. Over the years, I discovered that what Mr. Wherle told me was exactly true.
Has this website been a failure? It depends on how you look at it. Financially, if you consider all of the money that went from my wallet to the website and the financial return that it brought, then yes, it would be considered a failure. Especially considering the amount of hours I have poured into this site over the years, staying up until the middle of the night to get projects done, etc.
But some of the accomplishments that I listed above are just a drop in the hat; there are too many achievements to list. Plus, Wherle had told me back in 2007 that if I didn’t take over, the site would likely have come to a halt. If you want to go back through the past five years of archives, you will see that we would have missed out on MANY golden opportunities.
Truth is, I’ve been slowly losing the passion to run a website like this for a while now. In the beginning, I envisioned myself to be doing this full-time for a living within five years. That hasn’t happened, nor is it anywhere close in the current state that Randomville is in. I’ve been on a real kick over the past year or so to really stay true to myself and only do work if my heart is in it 100%. For a long time, that number was easily 100%. Now it’s more like 70%
It’s also very time consuming to run a website like this and as many who know me personally understand, I stay pretty busy so every free minute I have is very valuable. One of the projects I’m working on is as the booking agent for Ayron Jones and the Way and I’m committing a lot of my time to this. My heart is in it 100%. And perhaps I have Randomville to thank for bringing me to Ayron Jones and the Way. They played our Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute/benefit concert in 2010 and I had not known about them before that event. Now we have organically grown into a friendship and business partnership.
I guess the bottom line is that I feel like the timing is right for me to step down around here. My passion to write and edit is not what it once was and really, do the staff or audience of Randomville deserve to have someone running the show that’s not all in? I don’t think so.
The new owner of Randomville is going to be Matt D who owns Broad Ripple Tickets. Through interviewing and research about his endeavors, I’m confident he has the resources and vision to help make Randomville even bigger and more respectable than it currently is. During the next few weeks, I’ll work closely with Matt to make this transition happen, and I’ll be available for a while to offer advice and help out where I can. I’ll probably even do some writing down the line for Randomville too.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Scott Wherle for giving me this opportunity that has turned out to be one of the best of my life so far. I’d like to thank every staff member, which includes writers, editors, web designers, troubleshooters and all around friends for all of the help and dedication they gave me over the years. Without them, we wouldn’t have made it this far. And thank you to the audience for showing up, commenting and building out website traffic over the years.
I hope what I did helped to make at least a minor positive difference in each of your lives.