Time for me to call it a night, my friends. The cold night is making me yearn for my bed. There’s nothing quite like a peaceful night’s sleep with snow-covered yarns to block out any surrounding sound. It gets more quiet this time of year than any other, and it makes for the perfect sleeping situation. I’m going to enjoy some of that right now. I hope you guys are enjoying your time as well, be that bed time, breakfast or somewhere inbetween.
I think I’ll be able to wrap up this story by the end of the week. It might bleed over into Saturday, but I’ll definitely be able to tell the full story before we start next week. With that bit of news out of the way, let’s get to part 3!
In a matter of a few weeks, I had lost two job opportunities. The first job got rid of me before I could even start working. The second opportunity collapsed at what seemed like the last minute. Now I was left with a blank canvas, which may seem like a good thing to most, but it was exactly where I didn’t want to be. I had priorities that had to be taken care of, and somehow I needed to find a way to line them up and knock them out. At least I had plenty of free time to do some soul searching and piece together a plan of attack.
As I knew before, I needed a new source of income. I could certainly take the money that I had saved up and put that towards another year at school. That would help push me in the direction of what I’d like to do for a living, and also allow me to hone a craft or two. The only thing more schooling could hurt was my wallet. On the flip-side, I could go out and get a random job at any old restaurant or store, and just put away the cash that I saved while figuring out my future from there. Of course, I could go to school and work at the same time, but doing both of those didn’t seem like they’d lead me to an outcome that I would like. I wanted to be engaged with solution for the near future, and then spend other time figuring out what my real calling was.
While all this contemplation was going on in my head, I couldn’t help but think about that missed opportunity at the website. Man, the more I thought about it the more it hurt. I didn’t realize it, but a yearning to write about Nintendo had boiled up inside of me, and not having that position to let it all out was really eating away inside. With all that pent-up Nintendo love just waiting to slip out, I figured I would start a Blogger page just for the hell of it. At the very least, it would be a good way to occupy some free time, keep my mind somewhat sharp and still get a chance to write about something I was truly passionate about.
One weekend, I decided to piece together a quick Blogger page where I could house my thoughts on Nintendo. I remember putting the page together in all of 10 minutes. At the time, I decided that a black background/red lettering was the perfect way to kick things off. I mean, who doesn’t love the Virtual Boy, right? That system went over really well due to the color scheme, so why not use the same visuals for my blog? Looking back, the decision made absolutely no sense…but that’s beside the point. I had my blog, I had a horrendous color scheme and I was ready to talk Nintendo.
As I said earlier, this blog was nothing more than a place I could go and share some thoughts when I had a free moment or to. I had always felt that there were some great Nintendo related sites out there, but nothing that could really satiate my hunger for Nintendo news. There are thousands and thousands of traditional news sites out there that cover everything going on in the world. There’s never a day where they don’t have new content to share. While I knew that the world of gaming wasn’t as busy as traditional news, I also knew that there should be plenty going on with Nintendo on a day-to-day basis to write about. Being a big Nintendo fan, I knew that I was always interested in anything going on with the company, no matter how big or small. Sure, I may not be interested in the next preschool game coming out on the GBA, but someone out there would!
This quickly became the focus of my Blogger page. No matter how big or small, I was going to cover everything I could find that was going on in the world of Nintendo. This was the best I knew to do with my new named NintendoNow.Blogspot.com. While the color choice in the beginning was my first misstep, my second was not researching the name of my blog! Little did I know that there was already a NintendoNow.com! I wouldn’t come to know that until many months later, but it just goes to show how awkward and ill-planned my first steps were.
Before I knew it, this Blogger page was eating up all my free time. I became obsessed with thinking about the next story I could post, or the next bit of information I could sniff out. I set out on a couple different missions as the blog moved along, and these two paths would highlight some of my biggest issues. First off, I was going to scour every corner of the web to find any mention of Nintendo out there. Second, I wanted to see if there was any way at all that I could spread the word on my blog without actually having to spend money on advertising.
Plans of school were fading…looking for a menial job was on the backburner. Now I was using my savings to live off of while I moved along with this Blogger project. As I started to hunt down news, I started to realize just how small my knowledge of game-related sites were. I was on various messageboards that would feature links to all sorts of sites that I had never heard of. Back in the day, my world of gaming news started/ended with IGN and Nintendo’s own forums. To learn about the tons and tons of sites that were out there already was a real eye-opener for me. I didn’t have a chance in hell at getting any attention! Thankfully I was just considering this blogger page a project for me free time.
Still, I wanted to spread the word as best I could. I remember finding some sort of service that worked with Blogger pages. It promised that it could raise awareness of your Blogger page if you just got involved with their own program. You would visit various blogger pages on a random cycle, read some of their content and then move onto the next. The more time you spent reading other blogger pages, the more tokens you would earn. These tokens could then be used to add your own Blogger page into the rotation for everyone else that was using the program. At first I didn’t know if the idea would work, but that didn’t stop me from spending hours upon hours reading all sorts of Blogger pages. I read all sorts of interesting things about an amazing number of topics. Sure, I was gaining tokens to help out my own cause, but I wasn’t really paying attention to that. To see how many people out there were part of this program, and how passionate they were about various topics…it was really something special.
Seeing all of those blogger pages also made me realize that my project was most likely going to stay very low-key. Something I would do in my spare time just for the hell of it. I was absolutely fine with that. I took pride in knowing that I was going to work hard doing something I liked, and I would leave it at that. It didn’t matter if one person read or a hundred read. I was doing this blogger page just to share my interest with the world. Having a passion and getting recognized for it may be great, but it shouldn’t be your motivation for doing it. I loved Nintendo products, and I wanted to share that with anyone that was interested.
So the months went on. I was spending more of my savings on weekly needs. When you’re living at home with your parents, there aren’t too many things you have to worry about. At that age, I was spending money on gas, going to the movies, eating out with friends, buying anime and playing video games. Ah, to have those worries once again! Nevertheless, my funds were slowly depleting, but I wasn’t really taking notice of that. I was just enjoying posting on the blog and learning more about the world of Nintendo. There was so much that I wasn’t aware of, but I was coming into more knowledge every day. This blog was becoming a really great experience…but it was also eating up even more free time.
By this time, I had forgotten all about the Blogger program I was in to get more attention. That’s why it was so surprising to see people actually coming to my page and commenting on stories. One or two comments a week, and I was absolutely blown away. People were actually finding the blog, and some were interested enough to leave a comment or two! Things were quite crazy back in those days, with plenty of Revolution rumors to talk about. It was really an interesting time for Nintendo, and Nintendo fans had plenty to say. I guess some of them felt that my humble Blogger page was the place to do it!
As the months went on, more and more people were coming by. A few more stories had comments, and it seemed like the blog was getting attention. This was when I learned my first really rough lesson. I was running a blogger page, but I had no idea how internet etiquette worked. I wasn’t sourcing articles like I should have been. I wasn’t giving proper credit. This wasn’t for a selfish reason, it was simply because this entire thing was new to me. I received a handful of angry emails from some news outlets concerning my articles. I deserved every one of those angry emails, but I was still horrified when they came in. For better or worse, I was running a blogger page that people were reading. Now I was causing trouble that I never meant to be.
The week after those emails, I set aside a huge chunk of time to read up on proper etiquette for blogging. I scoured tons of pages to see what I should do and how it should be handled. If I was going to do this thing, even if it was for fun, I was going to do it right. I pride myself on being someone that never sets out to upset someone. I’ll always try to find a nice way to handle a situation, even if it’s a messy topic. My own stupidity lead to a rather messy situation, but I was determined to make things right. I learned my lesson the hard way, but I was going to come out of it a better person.
Apologies went out, my manner of posting changed and I continued on with the page. I’ll never forget showing Mom Brain some of the comments that people had left on stories. It made me want to cry seeing that people were genuinely interested in what was going on the blog. That feeling…those times…I’ll never forget them. That attention just kept growing and growing. I reached a level where I couldn’t believe what was happening. Sites that I didn’t know about 4 months back were now sourcing me. People were sending emails to give tips and let me know how much they liked the blogger page. Where in the world did all of this come from?!
Somehow, some way, I manged to stumble onto something with this blogger page. It was eating up free time unlike any other project I had ever been involved with, but seeing the positive response was more than enough to make me happy. This wasn’t a project about money. It was about finding a community of Nintendo fans that shared the same feelings that I did. To my surprise, that community kept coming back to my blogger page for more. This was like a dream come true.
For awhile, that’s what I thought. Too bad I was blind to the other issues building up in my life. My bank account was being drained more and more every week, and I had absolutely nothing to replace it with. I hadn’t made a decision on what to do with my future. All I could see was what was right in front of me, and that was my blogger page. The attention kept coming and I couldn’t pry myself away from the computer.
While things would keep getting better for the blog, it would mean big problems for me in the future. The next few months ahead were going to be some of the most challenging I would ever face in my life. The decision for a big move would bring great success with it, but at a major price. I had absolutely no idea of the problems that were just about to attack me.