Running a Website is Weird Josh Hinke January 6, 2017 Features 1 A little confession: I never finished my first application to write at Indie Haven. I started writing an email in response to one of the calls for writers, got about halfway done, and stopped. I didn’t know if I could write about indie game exclusively. I sometimes feel like I barely know enough about the big name publishers and laundry list of blockbuster “must-plays” that I’m already overwhelmed, let alone playing through the vast library of indie games that exist. So I never sent my application, but what was meant to be was meant to be, and a handful of months later a good friend of mine, Nathan Ortega, asked me to join the site. One of my favorite things in writing about video games is the strange relationships and friendships that you build without ever meeting people face-to-face. I’ve known our writer Matt McKeown since 2011, working with him at various sites, though we’ve never physically met. I’ve traveled to Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, and Boston to hang out with people who I met when writing about games. That’s one of the great things about writing for sites like Indie Haven, you make new friends, people who are driven by the same passion and love of games. And when you run a website, you become responsible for that community. You nurture it and bring people into it, you watch them grow as people and see the community evolve. It’s a weird business, but I wouldn’t have traded the last year and change at Indie Haven for anything. I learned a lot about myself and my abilities as a writer/editor/person-in-charge-of-stuff – most of it was good. I’m proud of the work myself and a dozen-or-so writers did over the last year. I played amazing games, met amazing people, and read some fantastic work, but now it’s time for me to move on. Running a website is like owning a farm. My father used to tell me that during his farming days there were no days off, a website is the same way. There’s no vacation from a website, there’s no days where you don’t edit, no days where you don’t write. Even when you’re not working on your site, you find yourself thinking about it and brainstorming new ways to improve it. Perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned while running Indie Haven is how difficult the job is and I’ve gained so much respect for anyone else doing the same job. While I’ve had amazing experiences, I’ve had to leave a lot of my personal projects on the side, and it’s time I got back to them. People often think of a website as a singular entity, something that lives and dies with those who created it, but that’s not true. A website like Indie Haven is an ongoing game of telephone, something greater than any singular person’s whisper. It lives to be handed down from writer to writer, team to team, community to community. My time at Indie Haven, at least running the show, is at an end – and George Johnson’s is just beginning. And I love it. In the last couple days, George has fired up our team of writers and brought new life to the site. He’s already hired his first contributor and I’m sure he’s brainstorming his own ideas of what the future of Indie Haven should be. It makes me happy to know the site is in good hands. So I’ll end with a “thank you”. Thanks to Nathan Ortega, who convinced me that Indie Haven could be a place for me to write. Thanks to Joe Parlock and Jose San Mateo who ran a tight ship and taught me a ton. Thanks to Erin Hyles who thought it might be a good idea for me to run this show. Thanks to the many writers who published work while I was here, you guys are incredible. Thanks to Laura Kate Dale, and all the Indie Haven founders. Lastly, thanks to all the readers who read my work, it makes spirits soar when you see people care about what you wrote. Much love to everyone who helped make Indie Haven what is today. I’m excited to see what it becomes tomorrow! Stormbringer There’s no need to stay “on top of it all.” That’s what makes every site have the same coverage. If every site was just random stories, there’d be much better coverage overall. It’s silly to think one site can cover it all. And when they try, their front page becomes an intimidating deluge that is impossible to mull over. Destructoid was a site like that. I just couldn’t read it because every day there was so many pieces… You have to publish at most only a few pieces each day. When you do that you have to pay attention to the quality of those pieces.