Here in the lovely month of November, I welcome you to “TBL at Ten”‘s third installment! As the title tells, this is September’s column…more below.
At the end of the last column, I promised that we’d talk about some interesting aspects of TBL’s growth including The TBL Newsletter, some of the more well-known names who have been associated with the TBL Opinions area, how the opinions area brought me extra credibility online, where my first “inside” contact came from, and where/when/how I started generating money from TBL. We’re going to have to put that agenda on hold until the “October” column, which should be coming out in a few days!
I’ve decided to put that agenda on hold due to the insertion of some historical reality into my history lesson. As those of you who were following the first two columns in this series may have realized, I’m a busy guy. Well, each September for the last 20 something years of my life has brought the same meaning to my life: school’s in again! From grade school through college and now into my last year of Graduate School, each September has been much like the September before in that I go from having a great deal of free time to not even having enough time to read a book!
Once again, the reality of September reared its time-consuming head to bring my “TBL at Ten” series to a grinding halt. Believe me, it bothered the hell out of me! As September began, my professors were already talking about mid-terms and from mid-terms they went and spoke about all of the papers and research projects that would be due in the coming weeks. Honestly, this September was a little more crazy for me than any that have come before because not only am I taking four graduate classes (you should usually take three classes at maximum in graduate school), but I’ve also got two jobs that are each pressing extreme deadlines on me. Oh, and those of you who know me know that I pretty much volunteer all of my free time to my fraternity in an advisory role, so that’s been taxing as well.
All of this is relevant to this series because the main destabilizing force at The Balrog’s Lair over the last ten years has not been the rollover of the employees or the growth, maturation, and eventual leaving of many of my former workers at the site, but rather my inability to devote consistent time and effort to the site.
It’s a rough road, growing up, maturing, doing whatever it is that you feel you must do with your life – and trying to run a full-time hobby site on the side. The roughest part of this road, though, is growing attached to a website and making a lot of new friends and acquaintances that you feel obligated to keep in touch with! That’s a good thing, though!
The other thing that I want this column to accomplish is to state quite clearly that one of the major reasons this site has been able to stay afloat over the last decade is because once school time came around each fall, I was lucky enough to have a large collection of employees to handle the load of running TBL. We’ve had some great folks work at TBL over the years and now, for the first time in a while, I believe that we may have more former TBL Webmasters affiliated with TBL than ever before.
Anyway, the main gist of this column is just to explain that with each fall came a few things. First, football. How great is football? LOL!!! Alright, getting back to topic, the first thing that the fall season brought to TBL was the removal of myself from a full-time (or even a part-time) role in the operations of the lair. Second, we usually experience a drop in viewership each fall which I’ve been quick to blame on the school year starting for kids at all levels. The third thing that the fall season brings to TBL, and the wrestling world as a whole, is a set of new storylines for us to enjoy until WWE hits their “Road to Wrestlemania” track towards the end of the year. This is a wrestling site, right?
Before I turn it in for this weird little edition of “TBL at Ten,” I feel it necessary to explain a few other points during the year where it is hard to find the time to devote a great deal of free time to the website. The obvious of these time periods are the holidays and you guys know my philosophy – wrestling websites should be done as a hobby, which puts the holidays first. Summer has always been a weird season for this site. On the one hand, the hits go through the rough (thanks, no doubt, to the fact that a lot of wrestling fans aren’t spending all of their time in school). On the other hand, though, summertime brings gorgeous weather and I know that I’m located on the Jersey Shore…which means I’m down the street from the beach…yeah, you can see how summertime takes away some free time from the website!
Keep tight and keep on reading TBL – be on the lookout for “TBL at Ten: The October Column” in the coming days where all of the previous questions from the second column will be addressed!