Five Year Blogiversary and Changes

On this date in 2007 — that’s five years ago! — I made the first post on this blog. 4,541 posts and 83,969 comments later, I can honestly say it’s been a very fun ride. I’ve had the chance to interact with some amazingly fun and creative people, I’ve seen some incredible artwork produced, the HeroMachine application has gotten some fantastic new features due to your direct feedback, and I’ve had some great belly laughs. You’re a pretty amazing group of folks. I want to say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who comes here and contributes their with and creativity. Thank you for being part of my life.

After taking the last week off from both writing and my regular job, however, I have decided that the mission of the blog has to change. I don’t have the energy any more with my full-time responsibilities to commit to the full weekly schedule of contests and posts. The time I spend doing all of that each day would be better spent converting over more HeroMachine items, or adding new features.

So starting today I’m instituting the following changes:

  • No more weekly scheduled posts.
  • No more weekly contests.
  • The blog will continue to exist but not as the front page of the site; it will be used for program updates, new feature announcements, feedback solicitation, and random illustration stuff. But it will be on a catch as catch can, unscheduled basis.
  • The front page will change to feature links to the various HM apps, which honestly is what the vast majority of people come here for anyway.

Of course the forums will remain open and active for anyone who wants to participate. I highly encourage you to continue the weekly contests there if you have a hankering to.

Thank you again for five great years of fun and intelligent conversation!

40 Responses to Five Year Blogiversary and Changes

  1. alphaalpharomeo

    Wait, does this mean we’re not going to do the proposed friday night fights anymore?

  2. alphaalpharomeo:
    Wait, does this mean we’re not going to do the proposed friday night fights anymore?

    That’s correct, I’m sorry.

  3. alphaalpharomeo

    Darn I was really looking forward to that

  4. im glad i won a contest before they stopped being for prizes and then didnt exist!

  5. Thats a damn bummer. I very much looked forward to caption contests and the VS. contests.

    Thanks for all the time, effort and energy that you put toward this Jeff. I’m sure I can speek for more than a few when I say we love the page and we’ve enjoyed it all these years.

    You hold down your side of life brother. LIFE happens. People say S### happens, but i think thats a pessimistic way of looking at things. Life happens. Good, bad and inbetween. You take care of you man.

    God bless and thanks again.

  6. Aw, I’ll miss this. But if it’s not fun for you anymore–or at least not fun enough to justify the time and energy you have to spend–then it’s for the best.

    I’ve never been in the forums; maybe I’ll check ‘em out later.

  7. The Atomic Punk

    Understandable, it was a lot different when HeroMachine was your full-time paying job. Glad to hear that you will continue to add more items and tweak the program itself.

    One suggestion that I would like to see in the Forums is a CGHUB-style slideshow and comments board. That way you can preview the designs rather than click through page after page to get to the newest creations or review older ones. Yeah, I’m a jerk for asking a guy to do a major overhaul after he announces semi-retirement. ;9

    I’m still open to the idea of HeroMachine merchandise myself! PapaKrok once posted some really cool shoes that had one of his designs printed on them. A conjoined twin demon, if I remember correctly. I might have some start-up capital coming my way if you want to hit me with a PM.

    I’ll definitely be around in the Forums. Major interruption, though. We’re selling my mom’s house. Which means the cat and I need to find somewhere to live. In December… rassafrack…

    Auf wiederschreiben!

  8. Jeff,
    It’s amazing you have built this site after all the twists and turns since you started the original app! Over the past years this has been a regular stop for me just to see what new funny commentary you have posted and what the community comes up with for designs. Occasionally I contributed, but it has been far more about enjoying others work.

    I am sure I am not alone when I say thank you for the hours of entertainment and for all your hard work to ensure Heromachine remained a part of all our lives. Change is inevitable, but I am glad the site will remain open and I am sure the fun will continue.

    Looking forward I can only quote my first Caption contest winner by saying (in my best Barney voice) Oboy, oboy!

    Happy Holidays!
    Rick

  9. I will have to speak with HammerKnight and see if we can come up with a way to keep the contests alive on the forum side of things, though if we do I can see a bit of a change in presentation. I am thinking they will either be, the winner of the last will select the winner of the next, or a community vote off. But again I have to speak with HK first as this would be a bit of a time sink, and we both are just volunteering our time to run the forums.

  10. Hey Jeff
    I will miss the regular blog posts but I support your decision. Plus, if it means you can spend some more time on the HeroMachine application then I can’t complain too loudly. HeroMachine really is an invaluable tool for my gaming and campaign world building, so if I had to choose between blog and application I would have to put my support behind the latter.

    For my part I am running little contests on the forum complete with prizes and feedback. In this way I can continue to support the application with new items.

  11. Man, this is disappointing. I really enjoyed the community here at the blog, and hopefully some of that can continue into the forums, but it was like the front page was why I was coming here, and the forums were what I checked out later.

    Still, having said Jeff, the first obligation you really have is to take care of yourself, and if you’re feeling burned out trying to keep weekly updates going, I can’t resent you’re decision. But I am going to miss this.

    All the best.

  12. . . . :^< We'll stay tuned. I hope someday you'll resume. I've been debating a career change. I have the type of mind to create a blog, but I have no idea how to center on fewer than fifty somewhat unrelated topics–I found it fascinating how you had such a narrow focus. If you have any advice for a possible blog beginner, please PM me.

  13. Sorry to see this happen, but thanks for everything Jeffy boy.

  14. That’s a real shame I enjoyed reading the blogs when I’d log on. But I have to agree updating the site and having new items and features is a definite plus.

    Maybe a way to keep things alive you could promote someone to doing such things as contests and posts. I know McKnight has his comic book postings and kaldath and Hk run the forums. It’s just a thought, I know a lot of us would be interested.

  15. Hey Jeff,

    While I am sad that the weekly contests and all that are now out the window, I won’t complain (or at least not too loudly). You have to look after yourself and not just the blog, and it’s not as if anyone’s dying, so there’s no point really in getting myself too upset. But I will say this: five years is a darn good run. It’s longer than most TV shows last, and you kept it up every day. Serious props for that! I’ve only been actively participating for about one year (lurking another year before that), and I’ll join the chorus in saying it’s been a blast.

    Best wishes in everything Jeff!

  16. Thanks Jeff, for all your hard work and the countless hours you’ve spent for making this such a great place on the net for us to visit. Heromachine provides me with the perfect opportunity to bring all those character to life that I envision. And you were the person responsible for that. You gave me countless hours of fun, you sparkled my imagination and you helped my characters to come to life.
    Thank you so much! I look forward and hope that the best is yet to come.
    Danke schön und alles Gute für die Zukunft!

  17. Jeff, Sad to see the blog changing. But happy to see that it is still going to be around. I use Heromachine to create random characters just for fun. I have been amazed at the talented people, who have posted on the site. I have enjoyed their talents and wit. Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of the community.

  18. Wow! Five years is a long time and good on you for keeping up with it and giving us all a place to share our creations (although the forum will still be that place I suppose). You did a lot for very little and we appreciate it immensely. I’ve been on HeroMachine since 2.5 and it’s been amazing and I have very good reason to believe it will continue to be as such. I hope you enjoy having some more time to yourself, It’s a rare commodity these days :D

  19. Jeff please don’t stop the blog until after the 30/30 challenge is over.

  20. If anyone is interested, I’m still doing reviews, albeit for another site. If you’re interested in comic reviews (and some form another perspective than my own) then come to http://www.hypergeeky.com. We also do movie reviews, comics news and interviews.

  21. Aww man, well i suppose all good and wonderful things must come to an end it was fun though thanks Jeff!!! :) :) :)

  22. Eat those rainbows and poop those butterflies, man! It’s a psychedelic world out there.

  23. Though I respect your decision Jeff, I think the bad costume segments I will miss the most. I always got a kick out of it. Maybe I may actually get work done after work, who knows!

  24. It makes me somewhat sad to see this, I come read this site’s blog for fun and amusement. I do understand the time issue, I wish you much less stress!

  25. Rick: Jeff, It’s amazing you have built this site after all the twists and turns since you started the original app! Over the past years this has been a regular stop for me just to see what new funny commentary you have posted and what the community comes up with for designs. Occasionally I contributed, but it has been far more about enjoying others work. I am sure I am not alone when I say thank you for the hours of entertainment and for all your hard work to ensure Heromachine remained a part of all our lives. Change is inevitable, but I am glad the site will remain open and I am sure the fun will continue.

    I quote this because Rick echoed my situation and pretty well said what I wanted to say.
    But I suspect much of the above lamentation is misplaced; the Machine rolls on, and this group has the wherewithal to keep the party going. I know I, like Xstacy, haven’t been to the forums as much as I might’ve, and I would (nevertheless) advocate that my fellow Machinists shift their focus over there. Who knows what juggernaut may be unleashed?

  26. Like all the folks here, I’m sad to see the blog go. It was great fun to read. But I know sometimes, when moving into new things, something old must be left behind. We are going to miss you and your great posts, Jeff! Wishing you all the best! I hope you can spare a thought, from time to time, for us who take great pleasure of playing with your amazing creation that is HeroMachine!

  27. All the best, Jeff! Like I’ve said before, thanks for letting us play in the sandbox that you have created and giving us a place to meet and share ideas. I saw this coming and hope this works and gives you more time with your family and to recharge those batteries. We still have the main program tool to create those ideas and the forums to show and tell them to everyone. It will be great to see the evolution there and hopefully you will not be a stranger and throw your 2 cents in when you see fit!

    CHEERS!

  28. Thanks for the well wishes, folks. It’s definitely a weird feeling to wake up this morning and not think about what Versus we’re going to have.

    As you can see, the changes are now live, with a different front page. The blog is still accessible via the menu at the top (as well as http://www.heromachine.com/blog) since I’ll still be updating regularly with application news and such.

    If any of you are on Facebook, I do have a personal account there, but it’s definitely personal and not HeroMachine-stuff related. Send me a friend request if you like, though (Jeff Hebert in Ignacio, CO), and tell me what your user name here is. I can’t promise I’ll accept all requests since I’ve tried hard to keep business and personal separate, but I do feel like some of you have become friends.

  29. Jeff,

    I want to echo what everyone else has said here. In particular, I will miss the caption contests (I’m proud to say I won a couple of those) and the laughs I got from the Bad Costumes and the Daily Random Panel. However, I understand your decision. If you no longer have as much time and energy to devote to HM3 as you once did, it makes sense to spend the bulk of the time you do have actually working on the app rather than maintaining the blog.

    Truth to tell, my interests have changed too, since those long ago and far away days of 2008 (!) when I first discovered HM 2.5. I’m doing other things on the web nowadays, but I still stop in occasionally to enjoy the amazing and beautiful creations made by the remarkable community of creative people that has grown up around this website. I just stop in once in a while to draw the occasional guy or gal in a cape. These folks are using HM3 to create real art, and that is something you should be proud of. We wouldn’t have had these tools unless you had given them to us Jeff, and for that we all thank you. As long as the apps themselves and the forums are up, Heromachine will go on for (world wide) webheads to discover and enjoy. Thanks again for all the fun.

  30. It was a wild ride, to be sure

    All the best in your future endeavours XD

  31. It’s a shame to see the end of the blog- it’s been a very fun experience. But, change happens and it was great while it lasted, reading the updates, laughing at bad super hero costumes and taking part in Sharing Days.

    I respect your decision, though Jeff, and I hope it works out well for you. Above all though, thanks for creating this community. :)

  32. borntobealoser

    *Sheds manly tear*

    *Sniffle* That’s twice now that Heromachine has caused me to cry with manliness, first with the end of the “You’re Going to Die” series, and now… THIS!

    I feel like a major part of me has died. This is like when somebody finishes the carton of milk, then leaves the empty carton in the refridgerator. The carton is still there, just… empty. *Shudder*

    Although I wasn’t as active in my contributions towards the end, I was still visiting this site every day. But all good things must come to an end, and a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. So do whatcha gotta, Sir Jeff.

    *Salutes*

  33. Well, shoot. I miss a couple of days because of work, and look what happens. I’ll miss the blog, but I understand what a time sink and the pressures involved. All I can do is say thank you for a fun place to spend the morning and wish you well. Da Svidaniya and godspeed.

  34. Jeff sorry to hear this, All I can say is if this is your dream and your happy don’t let it go. If you needed help we’re here, Anyway good luck.

  35. This is sad news, but it is not a good by, as Jeff said above. Real life has to come first and all of us understand that. We are not losing HM, Jeff is taking time to add to it. The forums are still here and there is a lot of things to do there. Feel free to stop by the forums, let me or Kaldath know what you would like to see in the forums.
    Kaldath and I are talking over somethings to do in the forums. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you coming over to the forum.

  36. i’m fairly new here compared to some, but i have had some good times. Jeff, it’d be completely fair for you to just say you needed the time to take care of real life (and i hope you will, when necessary), but you’re just redirecting that time to make HeroMachine even mare awesome. That’s dedication, and it is appreciated. Can’t wait to see where HeroMachine goes from here.

    So, Jeff, for five years – congratulations, and thank you.

    And to Kaldath and HammerKnight, i know whatever y’all do with these forums will be great. Thanks to you as well.

  37. Real life has steered me away from HM for quite a while now; I haven’t been active much here lately. But looking back over the time I’ve spent here, through five years, three job changes, the death of my mother, I know that HM in a very real way kept my spirits up through some tough times, and I want to thank you for that, Jeff.

    I wish you the best in life man, and thanks for the ride.

  38. The Imp:
    Real life has steered me away from HM for quite a while now; I haven’t been active much here lately.But looking back over the time I’ve spent here, through five years, three job changes, the death of my mother, I know that HM in a very real way kept my spirits up through some tough times, and I want to thank you for that, Jeff.

    I wish you the best in life man, and thanks for the ride.

    Thanks, Imp, you’re definitely one of the folks who’ve made this all worth doing. Hit me up on Facebook if you’re there!

  39. Best of luck on all your future endeavors, Jeff. HM has become almost second-nature to me now, and flexing my skills in the contests will be missed, but it’s all for the best.

    I have but one itty-bitty favor to ask….a few weeks ago I won the “Flag” pop quiz and asked for a SotD, but put it on hold indefinitely. Would it be possible if I could cash in that deal so you wouldn’t have to worry about it later? :D

  40. Jack:
    Best of luck on all your future endeavors, Jeff. HM has become almost second-nature to me now, and flexing my skills in the contests will be missed, but it’s all for the best.

    I have but one itty-bitty favor to ask….a few weeks ago I won the “Flag” pop quiz and asked for a SotD, but put it on hold indefinitely. Would it be possible if I could cash in that deal so you wouldn’t have to worry about it later?

    The Contest are returning, except that Jeff will no longer be running them. Jeff has made HammerKnight and Myself Authors on the Blog and we will be Organizing the Contests As it is I have already Posted the Pop Quiz Contest yesterday which is being Judged my community member Djuby.