Decisions Decisions…

Anyone who follows me on social media, this site, or RefuGeeks will probably know that back in August, I was lucky enough to start writing for the tech blog Goliath, MakeUseOf. Over the last few months, things have been going really well for me over at MUO, but now I have a decision to make…

When I first started writing for MUO, I was one a one month probationary period, things went well, and I am now lucky enough to be one of their staff writers. Well, it seems things are going better than I thought they were, as I’ve just received an email from one of the editors at MakeUseOf, asking me if I would be interested in increasing my commitment to MUO from 1 article a week, to 2.

This may not sound like much, but with the research that has to go into many articles, not to mention all my other work with RefuGeeks, and of course my full-time job at HP, it makes things difficult to juggle. So what can I do?

Option 1 – decline the offer

This is obviously the easiest option. I could decline the generous offer from the guys at MUO, and continue as I am. The problem with this option, is that MUO is a huge opportunity for me; they have an amazing team of extremely talented writers, editors, and developers that I am already learning a lot from. So upping my commitment to MUO will only go to improve my writing skills, plus the money ain’t to shabby either (although, that’s way down the list of my motivators for writing).

Option 2 – close down RefuGeeks

I’ll be honest, this is the first time I’ve said this publicly, but I have been considering closing RefuGeeks for quite some time now. RefuGeeks is a project that I absolutely love, it’s the accumulation of 2 years of blood, sweat and tears. But it’s also a hell of a lot of work to maintain. Not only do I have to keep churning out high quality articles, but I also have to edit other writers articles, maintain the two servers that RefuGeeks run on top of, develop the site, and manage all the back-end stuff like backups, email, enquiries, and relationships with vendors like advertisers etc.

As you can see, a lot goes in to running a web site, and as RefuGeeks has grown, it’s become a lot harder for me to manage, which ultimately is taking away the enjoyment I get from writing. If I did pull down RefuGeeks, then I think I would probably re-design this site to be a little more blog-centric, so that I can still have the freedom to write whatever I want on a regular basis (a lot more regularly than I do now).

I may even look to port all the articles from RefuGeeks to here, possibly with a 301 re-direct on the RefuGeeks domain to ensure URL’s still work – but I’d need to look into how disastrous that would be for me in terms of SEO. If any one knows the answer to this, then I’m all ears! :-)

Option 3 – do it all

This is the least likely of the three options I have, but it’s an option nonetheless, so it’s worth including. I could up my commitment to MUO, and continue on with RefuGeeks, as well as my full-time job. If I did go down this route, then there’s a chance that something will eventually have to give, and I could end up with nothing. Not to mention the stress it will put me under having to manage all of this.

I’ve got broad shoulders, I can handle a lot of stress (being a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan will do that too you), but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in life, it’s that you can’t over stretch yourself. My beautiful girlfriend and I are looking to start a family soon, so I also need to consider those commitments when thinking about this. Like I said, I really don’t think I can do it all, but it’s an option nonetheless.

Conclusion

So what can I do? This is a plea to the people who read this site, follow me regularly, or are just passing by. If you were in my situation, which way would you go? If I had to pick right now, I’ll be honest, option two is looking quite good for me at the moment. But I’m really interested in any feedback any one can offer.

One thing is for sure though – I’m not going anywhere any time soon. What I have to say will still be available online, whether that be here, RefuGeeks, MUO, or a combination of the three. So don’t worry (not that you would anyway) I’ll still be around for some time yet!

Thanks guys.

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