An Update From the Founder

Hi all, it's been a long time since I chimed in 'round these parts, so I thought I should give everyone a quick update on where things stand here at HeroMachine World Headquarters, also known as my kitchen.

Jeff in Durango

A recent photo of Jeff Hebert, HeroMachine Creator, at his home in Durango.

Before I lose too many of you, the big(ish) news first is that I'm probably going to be testing a new advertiser in the next day or so. It'll be one of those "wrapper" kinds of deals like or It shouldn't do anything to the actual application, and if you're running an ad blocker it ought to block the new stuff as well.

Why am I doing this? Basically, the main advertising revenue has dropped off a cliff for the last two months, generating a tenth of what it had before. So, I need to try and make up the difference somewhere and I hope this will help.

Money issues aside, in general life has brought a lot of changes over the last couple of years. I'm now working full time again for an old friend, which is taking up most of my energy and focus. Ben the Code Ninja rejiggered the site's guts when it was threatening to explode, dblade continues to put out amazing new items as contest prizes, and of course Kaldath and the other blog stalwarts are constantly coming up with new ideas and activities to keep us all entertained. Without them, I think the whole community would have folded a long, long time ago so please drop them a line to say thanks next time you're out and about.

I'm trying to carve out a life in SW Colorado still, and very much enjoying it. I'm going to try and do NaNoWriMo this year, which has me super nervous since I haven't written anything of substantial length since college. I still haven't felt the urge to draw very much over the last year or so, which may be just a temporary case of the blahs or one of those major life changes. I'm 45 years old now, and I suppose that kind of thing is to be expected.

I thank you for continuing to come here to express your creativity and imagination. I'm constantly humbled by your vision and your talent; thank you for sharing it with the world.

Have fun, keep creating, and fly your geek flag proudly!

25 Responses to An Update From the Founder

  1. RobM says:

    Thanks for the update, Jeff. Always good to hear from you. Here’s hoping the new ad wrapper helps.

  2. ams says:

    Salutations, Grand Pooba! Great to hear from you. I was just thinkin’ the other day on what the Supreme Overlord had on his agenda. (Yeah, I don’t get out much) Good to hear things are on the rails. Bad to hear you are not drawing. I know this site where there are all these awesome character concepts where you could draw inspiration from. I think you might even find them familiar, like you’ve drawn them before….

    Anywho, try to visit here more often when you can. We always like visits from an old friend!


  3. CKnap says:

    Nice to hear from you Jeff! Always glad to hear things are working out. Like ams said sorry to hear about the creative drawing block but hopefully itll pass, happens with me all the time. Got lots of ideas but no clue how I want them to come out. Thanks for everything, and a big thank you to Kaldath and everyone!

  4. cliff says:

    Awesome hearing from you Jeff.
    I miss you lots.
    I just mentioned that to someone, JR I think, on the board the other day

    I know what you mean about writers block. I have even had RP block lately, but been churning out a lot of HM3s 😀

    As always thanks for such a wonderful toy and art tool.

  5. Sabrina says:

    Woo hoo, NaNoWriMo! I heartily approve of this activity. 🙂

  6. JR19759 says:

    I kinda like the new side advertising, makes it seem more cosy (though maybe that’s just me).
    Anyway, me being weird aside, good to see ya still kicking’ around these parts man. And don’t worry, we’ll try and keep it tidy for you (and hopefully still in one piece).

    @Cliff- yeah, you did say to me you were wondering where Jeff had got to on my thread last week. Funny coincidence.

  7. Funkmachine7 says:

    You’r on my ad white list.

  8. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone!

  9. Tuldabar says:

    No problem, you have to make ends meet somehow. By the way, are Open Critique Days ever coming back? I found those highly useful and fun.

  10. Stulte says:

    Hey, as far as I’m concerened you can fill nine tenths of the site with ads, as long as it means the Machine is still up and running.

    Have you considered starting a patreon?

  11. Jeff Hebert says:

    I’ve looked into a couple of things like that, Stulte, but none really suit.

  12. Jeff Hebert says:

    OCDs were good, but man, do they take a LOT of time and energy. I just haven’t felt up to it, but maybe some day.

  13. FRM says:

    Hail, Bald Avenger! Hiya!

  14. Linea24 says:

    Hey Jeff, I was actually thinking that I could bring back the OCD’s as something I would do weekly.
    Also, good luck with NaNoWriMo. As a two time veteran, I can tell you: it is time-consuming, but definitely worth the effort, even if you don’t reach a 50,000 word count.

  15. Jeff Hebert says:

    Hey Jeff, I was actually thinking that I could bring back the OCD’s as something I would do weekly.

    That’d be great, Linea, go for it!

  16. DiCicatriz says:

    Good to hear from you, Jeff! Glad you’re doing well.

  17. Trekkie says:

    Always good to hear from the HeroMachine Overlord 🙂

  18. Herr D says:

    HI, FOUNDER! A tip for you for getting over artist’s block. Drop a bit of string on a piece of paper. Shade around it. Pick up the string. Look at it till you see the picture it’s part of. Draw the rest of it. (I have to be careful to avoid this sort of thing. It works too well.)

  19. WillyPete says:

    I don’t know if it’s just me, or what… But, the ads I get in the background are always split, with the right half on the right, and the other half on the left. Doesn’t work well for those of us who are used to reading left to right! Also, the animated version of the ads aren’t just a little annoying, they make it almost impossible to read the forum at all… Blinking and flashing from both sides at once? NOT a good idea!
    I know you want to increase the ad revenue, and I’m all for that…
    I just think this is NOT the way to do it!
    Oh, is there some reason why ‘comments are locked’ in the “Word Association Games” so frequently?

  20. JR19759 says:

    @WillyPete- threads in the forums can only be locked by moderators and none of us have any reason to lock the Word Association Game, so I’m not sure what’s going on there. I had a look and I couldn’t see anything there and I’ve tested the thread which seemed to be working fine, so what exactly is it that you’re seeing? Is it saying that you can’t comment when you try to post a reply or won’t it let you comment on the thread in the first place (i.e. there’s no reply box)? As I said, I can’t see anything amiss so it could just be you.

  21. Jeff Hebert says:

    Yes, adjusting the ads is going to take some doing. Apologies for the adjustment period, and you regulars can always install AdBlock Plus or some other blocking plugin to make them stop altogether.

    I think the new forums lock posts in forums that haven’t had any activity in a while, but that might not be true … I’ll take a look

  22. WillyPete says:

    I’ll take another look at the exact comment I’m getting, but I am getting a comment block, which won’t let me post, and something saying “Comments are closed”… Since I’m talking about the “Word Association Thread”, I kind of doubt that it’s lack of frequency!
    I don’t THINK it’s “just me”, as it’s been awhile since anyone posted…

    Okay, trekkie posted there a little over 3 hours ago, but I’m still getting “Comments are closed.” No idea what’s going on…

  23. WillyPete says:

    Okay, trekkie posted there a little over 3 hours ago, but I’m still getting “Comments are closed.” No idea what’s going on…

  24. JR19759 says:

    @Willy Pete- I’m getting the “Comments are closed” message too, but it’s underneath the reply box and I did a test reply on the thread before I replied to your last comment and it worked fine for me, even with that message. What do you mean by Comment Block?

    Edit: It seems it’s working for you now.

  25. WillyPete says:

    Okay, it still SAYS comments are closed, but it let me post anyways!
    When I tried it before, that comment meant I really couldn’t, so I have no idea when it changed!
    Sorry for any problems…