I’m in A Mental Conundrum

It’s 2021 and it’s finally starting to look like there’s light at the end of the tunnel as far as Covid-19 is concerned. Last year was a doozy, not only for being in a pandemic but for my personal health as well. Anxiety attacks, trying to kick alcohol to the curb, loss of weight, gaining of weight, it was a bit crazy.

Last year at this time, I was gearing up for the launch of WP Mainline before the proverbial shit hit the fan. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about WP Mainline and I’ve fallen into a mental conundrum. I keep coming up with reasons as to why WP Mainline shouldn’t be a thing or how it wouldn’t fit into the WordPress space. There’s already WP Tavern and there’s already PostStatus, what can I offer and can I make a living doing it? Can I reinvent the glory days of the Tavern elsewhere on the web?

I guess what I’m seeking is a bit of positive reinforcement of the idea of WP Mainline and some encouragement. The goal of WP Mainline is to be a hub to discuss what’s going on in the WordPress scene and to make it a large, helpful, friendly community of folks. Normally I wouldn’t ask for this kind of help but I think it would do me some good and help get the train rolling again.

7 thoughts on “I’m in A Mental Conundrum

  1. What you had with the Tavern before the purchase was the magic. It went away when it pivoted to a journalism site. As of right now, I don’t know of anything like what the Tavern was, and I can’t think of anyone who could bring it back better than you.

  2. I think there’s always room for another voice. WP Mainline will be different from Post Status and WP Tavern because it’s your vision. You had eyeballs on your work before and you will again.

    You’re not quite starting from scratch, but not at the top of the heap either. Not a bad position to be in. Dig in and do it. Enthusiasm is contagious. You’ll find your audience again.

  3. There is always room for you to do your thing that you have always done. Go back to your roots of how YOU made the tavern great and WP Mainline will be great as well. You have a HUGE group of supporters who are there for you. Go for it and we will all be there to help you raise back up. You already have it in you. You proved it with the tavern, so do it again.

  4. There’s still room for you to build something special and worthwhile there. Yes, there is more competition than when you built the Tavern, but the potential audience size is much much bigger now. There’s definitely room for more options.

    You’ll get a lot of people come along just because they’ll want to support you (you underestimate how much support you have), but then if you build something worthwhile (which I believe you will), then you’ll get more of the wider audience too.

    So, I think it’s definitely possible for you to be successul with WP Mainline – but I think you probably need to give it a go regardless, or you’ll always wonder “What if I’d tried”… Good luck! 🙂

  5. Think about the number of successful forms plugins in the WordPress space. Think about all the people who said, “Oh, no, not another WordPress forms plugin. The market is saturated.”

    The thing is that WordPress is still growing. New users come to the platform every day. Others are looking for new ideas or fresh takes on old ideas.

    Honestly, we do not have nearly enough voices. In part, that’s because the community hasn’t really funded independent journalism, so it’s hard to get something like that going financially. This could be an opportunity to make that happen. But, if you’re truly passionate about it, build it. There’s tons of us out here who support you, even if we will be required to become frenemies. :)

  6. Hang in there man! No matter what you do, clearly some comfort can be taken in the fact that so many people are here to support you.

    Situations like this are a bit tricky. The easy thing for all of us to say is “go for it!”. Even if you proposed an idea which was clearly a poor fit, most of your comments would still be encouraging. Everyone wants to be supportive and no one wants to be discouraging so we all chime in with positive remarks.

    That’s not to say I disagree with the other commenters. Just that if you’re trying to make a big life decision, a few “you can do this buddy!” comments in response to your questions probably shouldn’t be a deciding factor.

    Have you thought about sharing more details about your strategy for WP Mainline? Maybe sharing more specific questions could help you glean valuable insights and better define a direction. Try writing a series of posts describing different aspects of what the site could offer and some examples. You’ll be able to get substantive feedback and hone your plan.

    Another thought: Could you narrow the focus even more?

    Consider the fact that there are currently dozens of sub-communities within WordPress which are significantly larger than all of WordPress was during the heyday of the Tavern you reminisce about. There are a couple dozen plugins now running on more sites than WordPress itself was powering pre-2010.

    I definitely don’t think that general WordPress journalism is saturated. But I think there is a ton of room for more narrowly focused content. I also think niche content is easier to monetize.

    Whatever you do, I’ll be tuning in. Best wishes Jeff!

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