Having done GDA for 12 years now, it's amazing to think of how different, and similar, things are. GDA feels like a juggernaut compared to other fan sites. We just recently passed 100k followers on Twitter, 226k followers on Facebook. In the past 6 months we've had 1.2 million visits (2.4 million page views).
While things are still pretty good, I can't help but look and wonder how different things could be.
Back in 2004 when I started, before sites like Facebook and Twitter, there were a bunch of small fansites. It was fun competing with each other sites like greenday.net, geekstinkbreath, billiejoe.org, greendayvideos.net, GDUK, to name just a few. It was a race to see who could get news up faster. Who would grow the most, who could offer something new and better to fans. I loved it. I spent nearly all my free time working on GDA. Chatting with people on AIM, then the GDA Chat Room. It felt like a real community.
It's different now that most sites have fallen off, and GDA and GDC have grown so much. I mean, we have more traffic than the official forum (a point that someone on Green Day's team highlighted recently - "we know you guys have the community we wish we did"). The main problem now is that there aren't really any more fansites, so a certain type of competition is gone. There are fan pages on Facebook, fan-related Twitter accounts, fan Tumblrs and Instagrams. The main issue we have at GDA is the speed of getting content out. Even though it's not a lot of work, it's recognizably harder to write up a post and put it on GDA than it is to just copy/paste a headline and link and post on FB or Twitter. I also think there's a much lower threshold of quality that people want on social media.
Much of the last year has felt like trying to play catch-up to a harder medium. I can't help but feel like we're failing on two sides. We take longer to post stuff up AND we don't even get everything posted. Some things come and go and we never get around to it.
Both points were totally valid and we deserved the criticism. I really do appreciate honest and constructive criticism. So I took applications for GDA editors a couple months back but decided to hold off on bringing anyone new on the team. Of course, I was called out then as well for more than likely not promoting someone because I'm stubborn and like to do everything myself. Again, totally valid.
It's hard for me to trust people to do a good job and make sure they don't fuck us over. Yes, I have terrible trust issues and it's leading to GDA being way behind other Green Day related accounts. This year even the official site/social media accounts have stepped it up. It looks like they hired some more people to manage the accounts and they get stuff out first and regularly. Since GDA kind of became the primary fan site, the only real competition I knew we'd have was with the official site stepping it up. And after 10 years, they have.
So now I don't know exactly where to go. We need to do a better job, and I go through phases of being 'Super-Andres' who posts stuff, and works on code, and upgrades GDC, to pretty much disppearing for several days/weeks. I don't know how to balance that out. I get super excited about something and just go till I get burned out, then hide away for a bit till something brings me back around.
12 years in, this whole thing hasn't gotten easier. Different challenges than we had back then, but still challenges none-the-less.