i don't want to run stp anymore (1 Viewer)

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Matt Derrick

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edit: just to let folks know, all is well now and i feel much better about where i am in terms of this website. thank you to all who replied and sent their support. i'm keeping this here for historical reference, but i no longer feel down about this so don't panic and remember to check the date when reading this thread :D

I don't know if anyone noticed, but I've been pretty quiet on the StP forums lately. If I didn't respond to your PM's I'm sorry, I just haven't had the energy. Also, I might end up rambling quite a bit in this post, since there's a shit ton of feelings I'm trying to work through, and explaining where I'm coming from in writing isn't the easiest thing to do.

The majority of my life revolves around working on StP with everything from editing posts, moving threads, squashing spam, to researching and testing new plugins that i think will add neat features to the website. For years now I've done this happily, since it constantly fed my nerdy need to play with computers and feed my wander lust at the same time.

This was fine up until a few years ago, when I wanted to branch out in a more creative way (photography, video, travel blogging etc). For a long time I ended up trying to incorporate StP into this, by putting a blog on the front page and the message boards on the back end, and that was neat for a while, and even earned me some fame (lots of tv people wanting to do projects with me), but ultimately i felt like it was hurting the community since the message board wasn't at the forefront, so I eventually went back to the way you see the forums now.

I also gave up on doing the blog for various reasons that I now kind of regret, since looking back on it now, making videos, doing photography, and travel blogging really made more more happy than doing anything else (including running these forums).

Over the past few years, I've struggled with adapting the StP website to both the needs of the community and myself, and in that time I've slowly discovered that the two just aren't compatible. The StP community wants and needs things that are a lot different that my own needs, and I've had this war going on in my head of how to make the two compatible for quite a few years now, and I've finally come to the conclusion that I just need to give up on the idea.

Another dream I've always had for StP is for it to be run as an "anarchist collective". Meaning, a group of people with a similar interest (creating, running, expanding the community) working together to make things happen in this online community and in real life.

Unfortunately, the reality is that travelers ('punk' travelers especially) are an incredibly irresponsible lot. We're more often ready to take than we are to give. You might think that statement is unfair, but it's the truth whether we want to acknowledge it or not. In all the years that StP has been a message board, about 90% of the 'moderators' here have either done nothing at all, or so little I haven't noticed (on a side note, this isn't a slam against the current mods, only past ones, since i've fired all the ones that aren't doing anything).

Also, when I trusted a few folks enough to make some of them mods, and even a few as admins, they betrayed me (this was in 2010), deleted my account on StP, and locked me out, claiming to be "taking over" StP from a "dictator" (me) for the betterment of the community. For those that weren't there, this was the result of one bad apple named 'widerstand' who's main agenda was convincing the rest of the staff I was a bad person for widening the horizons of StP from being just discussions of trains to discussions of all aspects of the punk/underground lifestyle. Widerstand's main gripe was a bizarrely right-wing fervor (that bordered on religious) about how we shouldn't have a "sex and relationships" section. Which to him, justified his actions, posting on StP the 'truth' about me (that i had NEVER ridden trains and was a liar) despite there being ridiculous amounts of evidence to the contrary, and claiming i was using StP to prey on underage girls (although he provided no evidence at all of that) and calling me on my cell to taunt me and brag about what a creative and awesome person he was and how this is what happens to people "that get in his way".

A quick phone call to my web hosting company and about 2 hours later, and I had control of my website back. It was quite the "revolution".

Years later, I would trust another person to be an admin, this time @katbastard , who seemed to be a decent person in real life, until I found out he was both a liar and a child molester. I won't go into that whole story since the thread in the link kinda speaks for itself.

So, instead of having an awesome collective of people wanting to create and foster an amazing community, I've been kind of left with some serious trust issues.

Going back to the matter at hand, my point is that (with the exception of a few mods) I've run StP almost entirely single handedly, for almost FIFTEEN YEARS. I've done it with a decent amount of moral support, but very, very, little input or suggestions on what people like/want (except to complain when i don't get it right), and after all this time I'm FUCKING TIRED, and I want to go do something else.

Now on one hand, I don't want to see StP go away. But on the other, my passion for taking care of all the maintenance here is pretty much non-existent. Third, due to bad admins/mods i've had in the past, it makes it REALLY hard to trust anyone enough to pass on the torch to them.

And frankly, i don't have much faith that this community will step up to the task of running itself. So at this point i'm really not sure what to do. I need to take some time away from StP for a while. I want to move on to other more serious travel projects and that means staying clear of all of it, including paying StP's bills. I just need some time away where I don't have all of this website's problems sitting in the back of my head.

If that means shutting down StP, then that's what I'll do, but I'd really like to avoid that at all costs. But it's not going to happen magically, it's going to require that this community step up for itself instead of me doing all the work for everyone. So what i'm looking for right now is suggestions on how we can all make this work. If you still care about the StP community, step up and help us out, otherwise, don't be surprised if the website disappears one of these days.
 
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wizehop

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Damn dude, I don't know what I'd do with my time if there where no STP. I Know where your coming from though, and its a common issue when it comes to running anything that requires people. I don't really have time to respond in depth at the moment, but I'm willing to contribute in a few ways if need be. Ill get back to you in a bit.
 

tobepxt

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dude... I don't know what to say.....
i feel like squat the planet is possibly the greatest resource ever for anyone doing what we do. a virtual forefront for the counter-culture movement which we all create. This place has provided helpful suggestions for many travelers and surely changed lives of anyone who regularly uses the forums.

If you are getting burnt out then I want to assure you that I'll be here to help come up with some solution.
 

EphemeralStick

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There have been a lot of bad apples it seems. I came about a few months after the widerstand fiasco, was around for more of the aftermath I suppose and I remember StP being a different kind of forum then, more akin to the Dirty Kid Couchsurfing Coalition on Facebook. In 2011 katbastard was the one who made me a mod and I got to see first hand how intolerant and unreliable our community can be. A year or two ago I dipped out of being a mod to dedicate my time towards pursuing a dream that end up going up in smoke so I understand the feeling of needing to move on as well as having trust issues in the world of business. However StP is not the site that it was once ago.

There have been so many users come and go over the years. A few of us stayed longer than others and had the unique perspective of seeing how the site evolved from a shwilly kids watering hole (so to speak) to an actual resource. I KNOW there are reliable members on here, ones that want to see the community we've established for ourselves flouish and stay strong. I guess it's just a matter of said reliable members rising up to the challenge to take some of the pressure of you. You don't have to run the site alone.

Maybe it's time for StP evolve in a new way. Something we haven't seen before, what way that is I'm not sure. Maybe retiring the site, meaning no more updates beside regular maintenance. Maybe it means a new type of staff system, a more business oriented system. Or perhaps appealing to a different type of audience.

These are all just suggestions of course, but just so you know I'm ready to do whatever I can to keep this ship afloat.
 
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Matt Derrick

Matt Derrick

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thank you guys, your words do make me a feel a lot better about it. i just want you all to know that i'm not threatening the state of the site (like help me out or ILL BURN IT DOWN!), but rather I've just been getting more and more exhausted; mostly in the past 2-3 years and i've just recently admitted to myself that i need to take a break and do something different.

i just feel a lot of responsibility/weight on my shoulders to make sure StP just doesn't 'go away', which is making it hard for me to move on to the next thing i want to do in life. i'm definitely not saying i want to cease my involvement in StP entirely (i love posting and participating here), but i'd definitely like to reduce myself to a mod with less responsibilities once things are in good hands.

i forgot to mention in my first post that for the time being, i'm halting all my previous plans for StP, and just letting things lie as they are (no new plugins/features; just kinda sticking to the standard message board format). this has already lifted about 70% of the pressure off myself, which feels pretty good, since i don't have to worry so much about broken shit or fixing bugs.

i know i keep alluding to 'future projects' so i feel like i should clarify a bit. like i mentioned before, one of the highlights of StP was having the blog up and writing material, taking photos, and working on videos for the traveler community. it was really one of the first times that i felt like i was doing the 'right thing' for myself in quite a while. but over the past few years i've never quite managed to make the stp website 'mesh' with the kind of travel blog i'd like to run.

i know it probably sounds silly, since there's a lot i'm leaving out (and would take pages to explain) but trying to run a travel blog within the StP community is just too limiting, and that's why I've decided to make it a separate project. without the predefined 'niche' of StP and the expectations and limits that come along with that, it just makes more sense to me to work under a different name so I'm free to do whatever I want or explore whatever ideas I want without the preconceptions of what the StP audience expects. I also want this new travel blog to be a way to finance my future travels which may involve some kind of advertising or other methods of making money which would conflict with StP's free spirited nature.

I apologize if that sounds rather vague, but i've literally been mulling it over in my head for years now, and that seems to be the best way for me to move forward with my passions (writing, travel, photography, cinematography). Basically I want travel blogging to be my new career (and start traveling outside the USA semi-permanently). Hopefully that makes some sense to everyone.
 

tobepxt

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I have been thinking you should definitely keep your focus on the blog/photo/writing/video/etc sort of thing if that's what you really enjoy doing.
I've had a thought for a while now about how these two projects (the travel blog concept & community forums) could be considered equally important overall. that said it would be impossible to put one above the other on this site. Separating into two separate projects seems like a great way to have both the forums for whoever wants them, the blog for the readers, and for those who want both.... they get both! This is basically what you typed above, So i guess I'm just adding some support for that idea!
Do take a step back from development on the forums though if it seems to be helping you to think about things. Lets just keep this vessel floating on as long as possible...
 
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Kim Chee

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Multifaceted problem needs multifaceted approach.

Start a problem-solving think tank?
 

autumn

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What about coding a plugin for an administration section where all the users can collectively vote on and propose things, like banning users. There could be a small banner at the top displaying the most recent administration votes. Obviously voting couldn't be done by consensus. It could be majority rules. What if, below a post, something like 'x/x votes to delete this post' was displayed?

All you'd really have to do to prevent any casual tampering is have a post minimum for voting.

Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but I believe this community can step up and run itself if needed. The majority of us are supposed to be anarchists, right? Why don't we show that we can be responsibly self-administrative in a community.
 
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Dameon

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Voting over administrative stufff? Y'all crazy? I can't even begin to explain the problems...the ease of creating 100 robot accounts to ban whoever you want...the ability to "campaign" against somebody you don't like to get them banned...

I'd say focus less on bells and whistles, Matt. That chat room on the front page almost nobody ever uses concurrently? What's up with that? New media section? That's what Facebook and a million other sites that hold media are for.

Oh, and that's what the whole Widerstand takeover was about. Took me all these years to find out. What a tool.
 

wombatt

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I totally understand what you are saying about dirty kids not being reliable "I'm an anarchist and I think everyone in the community should help eachother out but hell no I'm not doing the dishes" is a terrible attitude and is probebly my second or third least favourite thing about the culture I've been involved in for the past few years. although stp is an invaluable rescource and would be sorely missed you shouldnt feel obligated to maintain it and you deserve to do what you want and not feel so burnt out.
(sorry I dont really have any helpful answers but just wanted to give support)
 

Tude

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Dood - I've been meaning to ask you go put me on as admin. I can do it - I'm on all day. Put me on. I sent you a PM about bf IT help as well. And there are other people here as well who voice there reasonable and most logiclal well learned knowledge as well. Matt you are in good hands.

Go study hard and get your certs and stuff!

This site is awesome and is referenced by soooo many traverlers - needs to be a stay. <HUGE HUGS>
 
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Odin

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I think Tude' would be an amazing admin...::drinkingbuddy::
She already has the almighty bejeweled mop of justice.
I would like to find a way to volunteer my efforts also.::cigar::
 

MolotovMocktail

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I think StP is a great resource and would be sad to see it go but understand that it's easy to start feeling burnt out when you've been almost single-handedly running the site for so long. I hope for everyone's sake that we can find a way to keep the site going and take some (or all if that's what he wants) of the burden off Matt. If worst comes to worst and it proves futile, I at least hope that we can find a way to keep the information up even if we can't keep posting.
 

Tude

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"bejeweled mop of justice" ROFL you are awesome. hehe
 

Tude

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Matt - we are her for you - this site is awsome and is referenced and used by so many travelers. Let us help. :)
 

autumn

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Voting over administrative stufff? Y'all crazy? I can't even begin to explain the problems...the ease of creating 100 robot accounts to ban whoever you want...the ability to "campaign" against somebody you don't like to get them banned...

I'd say focus less on bells and whistles, Matt. That chat room on the front page almost nobody ever uses concurrently? What's up with that? New media section? That's what Facebook and a million other sites that hold media are for.

Oh, and that's what the whole Widerstand takeover was about. Took me all these years to find out. What a tool.
We still have moderators and people who perform administrative functions. As I said, a minimum post count requirement and disallowing multiple account creation from a single IP address is more than enough to combat casual douchebaggery. I can't imagine anyone going through the trouble of coding a program to create accounts (there is a captcha, and captcha solving APIs are not cheap to use, nor easy to make) just to ban someone... who would be unbanned by matt a day later.

Either way, I think Tude is the strongest candidate for admin. I know her personally and can say the site would be in good hands.
 
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Dood - I've been meaning to ask you go put me on as admin. I can do it - I'm on all day. Put me on. I sent you a PM about bf IT help as well. And there are other people here as well who voice there reasonable and most logiclal well learned knowledge as well. Matt you are in good hands.

Go study hard and get your certs and stuff!

This site is awesome and is referenced by soooo many traverlers - needs to be a stay. <HUGE HUGS>
"
"rock on Tude"
 
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thank you guys, your words do make me a feel a lot better about it. i just want you all to know that i'm not threatening the state of the site (like help me out or ILL BURN IT DOWN!), but rather I've just been getting more and more exhausted; mostly in the past 2-3 years and i've just recently admitted to myself that i need to take a break and do something different.

i just feel a lot of responsibility/weight on my shoulders to make sure StP just doesn't 'go away', which is making it hard for me to move on to the next thing i want to do in life. i'm definitely not saying i want to cease my involvement in StP entirely (i love posting and participating here), but i'd definitely like to reduce myself to a mod with less responsibilities once things are in good hands.

i forgot to mention in my first post that for the time being, i'm halting all my previous plans for StP, and just letting things lie as they are (no new plugins/features; just kinda sticking to the standard message board format). this has already lifted about 70% of the pressure off myself, which feels pretty good, since i don't have to worry so much about broken shit or fixing bugs.

i know i keep alluding to 'future projects' so i feel like i should clarify a bit. like i mentioned before, one of the highlights of StP was having the blog up and writing material, taking photos, and working on videos for the traveler community. it was really one of the first times that i felt like i was doing the 'right thing' for myself in quite a while. but over the past few years i've never quite managed to make the stp website 'mesh' with the kind of travel blog i'd like to run.
pretty understandable. It sounds good your looking onto other pursuits, and yes keep stp going ,I mean what a great network. Bravo

i know it probably sounds silly, since there's a lot i'm leaving out (and would take pages to explain) but trying to run a travel blog within the StP community is just too limiting, and that's why I've decided to make it a separate project. without the predefined 'niche' of StP and the expectations and limits that come along with that, it just makes more sense to me to work under a different name so I'm free to do whatever I want or explore whatever ideas I want without the preconceptions of what the StP audience expects. I also want this new travel blog to be a way to finance my future travels which may involve some kind of advertising or other methods of making money which would conflict with StP's free spirited nature.

I apologize if that sounds rather vague, but i've literally been mulling it over in my head for years now, and that seems to be the best way for me to move forward with my passions (writing, travel, photography, cinematography). Basically I want travel blogging to be my new career (and start traveling outside the USA semi-permanently). Hopefully that makes some sense to everyone.
thank you guys, your words do make me a feel a lot better about it. i just want you all to know that i'm not threatening the state of the site (like help me out or ILL BURN IT DOWN!), but rather I've just been getting more and more exhausted; mostly in the past 2-3 years and i've just recently admitted to myself that i need to take a break and do something different.

i just feel a lot of responsibility/weight on my shoulders to make sure StP just doesn't 'go away', which is making it hard for me to move on to the next thing i want to do in life. i'm definitely not saying i want to cease my involvement in StP entirely (i love posting and participating here), but i'd definitely like to reduce myself to a mod with less responsibilities once things are in good hands.

i forgot to mention in my first post that for the time being, i'm halting all my previous plans for StP, and just letting things lie as they are (no new plugins/features; just kinda sticking to the standard message board format). this has already lifted about 70% of the pressure off myself, which feels pretty good, since i don't have to worry so much about broken shit or fixing bugs.

i know i keep alluding to 'future projects' so i feel like i should clarify a bit. like i mentioned before, one of the highlights of StP was having the blog up and writing material, taking photos, and working on videos for the traveler community. it was really one of the first times that i felt like i was doing the 'right thing' for myself in quite a while. but over the past few years i've never quite managed to make the stp website 'mesh' with the kind of travel blog i'd like to run.

i know it probably sounds silly, since there's a lot i'm leaving out (and would take pages to explain) but trying to run a travel blog within the StP community is just too limiting, and that's why I've decided to make it a separate project. without the predefined 'niche' of StP and the expectations and limits that come along with that, it just makes more sense to me to work under a different name so I'm free to do whatever I want or explore whatever ideas I want without the preconceptions of what the StP audience expects. I also want this new travel blog to be a way to finance my future travels which may involve some kind of advertising or other methods of making money which would conflict with StP's free spirited nature.

I apologize if that sounds rather vague, but i've literally been mulling it over in my head for years now, and that seems to be the best way for me to move forward with my passions (writing, travel, photography, cinematography). Basically I want travel blogging to be my new career (and start traveling outside the USA semi-permanently). Hopefully that makes some sense to everyone.
 

Anagor

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Just wanna say StP changed my life. I read a lot of blogs, other forums and subreddits about traveling in the last months. But StP is unique. Matt, you did a really great job by creating and maintaining this site. I can understand how you feel after those many years. I only hope we can get enough work off your shoulders, so that StP stays online.

I don't know if I can help, since I'm a greenhorn when it comes to traveling and stuff, but will help if I can.
 

dawgrunner

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Matt
Small suggestion, I founded the Bicycle Messenger Emergency Fund 501c3 back in 2000 after a few years of trying to spread the word an donations the people of the world noticed. It's still thriving, an because of handing the torch over to those who love doing it. Yeah it's a trust thing over a baby that has grown into a thriving adult.
Think about the torch passing, if it survives it will become thriving an self monitoring . My ten cents. Ref: http://www.bicyclemessenger.org I'm still listed there as the founder
 
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