If you have a job, there is a reason why you do it. For most of us, the reason is money. Some are lucky enough to love their job and that is the main reason why they do it. There are probably a few who just need something to do everyday. When asked why I do what I do, I list money, the people I work with, and the work I do (even though it can be insanely stressful at times) in that order. Then it is pointed out that I as being asked about the Blog rather than my daytime job. This is a little harder to explain but I will attempt.
My ‘real’ job is computer based, with pretty much 8 hours a day sat at a keyboard and monitors. This isn’t an issue as I have been using, playing, breaking computers since I was around 12 years old when I got a Sinclair ZX81. I met my wife online, back in 1998 before dating sites, and based upon 2 dates (a three week date in the UK and a two week date in Canada) I moved to St. Thomas and married this amazing woman.
Talking of this amazing woman, the St. Thomas Blog was my wife’s brain wave. My wife has some very good ideas! While Julie (who I am related to by marriage) started the website, I found that I was doing more and more with it. Because of my experience with computers and websites I came up with a vision for what the Blog could and should be. Admittedly that vision has changed more often than Katy Perry‘s hair colour but the result is that the website is more stable, has a wider reach and is starting to mature. During this time, Julie allowed me to take over the day-to-day running of the Blog, although we often have discussions on various aspects of the site.
To give you an idea of what it takes to run a website such as the Blog let me explain a little bit about it. The site is run on the WordPress platform which is a very popular blogging and website system. After using and customizing several different themes for the look of the site, I wrote my first ever wordpress theme, one that was tailored specifically for the wants and needs of the Blog. It has allowed me a lot more freedom to arrange items and adjust settings very quickly. The theme took several weeks to develop.
The website uses various plugins to do everything from the weather at the top of the page, to the scrolling police reports. When a new idea for presenting something on the Blog pops up, I have to find a way of doing it, sometimes with a simple line of code, and sometimes spending several days looking for and into plugins that will do the job for us.
There are numerous websites that I have to monitor and be aware of. All of this takes a lot of time and effort on a daily basis and there are some days when it would be easier to stay in bed.
The cost of running the Blog is not huge but noticeable. Having two growing boys, spending time with them is most important but once they are engrossed in a video game, movie, or running around trying to hit each other with sticks, I get a little time to work on the ever growing list of updates, improvement and bugs. Late nights are the norm, and as I need to wake up at 5:30 most mornings, working past 11PM each night takes it’s toll. Financially, while we do have Google Ads on the website, they only work if someone clicks on them, which gives us a couple of cents if that. We are lucky if we make enough money to cover the web hosting each year. It will never cover the money spent on plugins, research, time and mental fatigue but we never thought it would.
So back to the original question, “Why do you do what you do?”.
I do what I do because if I didn’t I would still be sat at a computer, doing something else, something probably not as productive, useful or important. I do it because I love St. Thomas and while in the few years I have lived here, the city has taken multiple hits, I truly believe that St. Thomas is a wonderful place to live, populated by amazing people who deserve to get the chance to shine. There are an unbelievable number of events that happen each year in and around St. Thomas. There are so many small and home businesses that offer something different to the standard fare available from Walmart.
What is great is that I am not the only one, there are lots of people who want to help, improve and make St. Thomas a better place. People want to get involved and help out. St. Thomas rocks and don’t let anyone tell you anything different!