When we started this blog almost four years ago we didn’t know what to expect. Did we have an audience at all? I can’t remember. Certainly, there will have been weeks where our entire audience was measured in double figures on a weekly basis. Now it gets around 800 per day, and it’s closing in on a total of 500,000 page views. Half a million! We still can’t get over the idea of half a million people clicking in to read what we’ve written, or have such an interest in SL naturism. The blog’s pretty successful in its own way, we hope, and it seems like an appropriate place for us to stop.
Hugh has declared his intention to leave SLN’s ’employ’ soon in order to concentrate on other projects of his own within SL. Harry is unlikely to come back to SLN or SL, and we’ve seen writers come and go when they realise how much work is required to deliver a blog. Sometimes that work takes place at the expense of being in Second Life, sometimes even at the expense of being connected to real life.
I saw this happen when I first started blogging for Emmanuelle’s blog. Once bloggers start chopping and changing, a blog loses momentum. I was more an ‘occasional’ blogger then, but in one way or another I’ve devoted parts of my life to blogging for five years now. 2015 has also seen occasions where what I felt was my firm grip on the editorial reins had slipped. Firstly there was ‘Orgy-gate’, wherein a RL naturist blog got antsy about what they thought was being offered as an unwholesome, unrealistic version of naturism (correct…although with that blog taking a blithe approach to adultery within naturism, it was all a bit pot calling the kettle black). The occasional appearance apart, the whole episode appeared to kill off Diane’s enthusiasm for blogging/photographing. We were doing this for fun, and now others were determining to make it not fun, or to imagine they’d a right to dictate our editorial policy. It left a sour taste.
Then the expression of political views, views expressed because they could theoretically impact on naturism (as well as impacting on real family life), lost us the support of one of our staunchest supporters over the years. So yes, the ‘mistakes’ were slipping in. Once you lose the connection or confidence of an audience, it’s a slippery slope.
It’s time to call it a day.
I’ve given Howie notice of my intention to quit blogging on the last day of my next naturist holiday, September 14th, initially to give him time to install a new editor, but when Pookes declined that position Howie suggested that maybe the time has come for the entire blog to end then too. This seems like a plan, bearing in mind the way Emmanuelle’s blog shuddered and juddered to a messy close. Best to make a clean break of it!
I suppose we could close it now, but it seemed fitting for it to close with a RL naturist holiday ongoing. The blog has always taken its cue from RL naturism, so let’s go out that way…from the warmth of a Spanish naturist beach. It seems appropriate.
We should be around and about the 500,000 views by September 14th. As the blog will remain online we’ll almost certainly go past that mark shortly thereafter anyway. We’ll also be around 1500 blog posts at that point. They, too, were points we considered as to an ‘end date’.
Howie’s original plan was that SLN was just part of various SL-related blogs, and his intention is to launch some new SL Arts related blogging venture in the autumn/winter, probably in the sphere of music (which was the plan for this blog until naturism distracted him).
Pookes was offered (and declined) the Editor’s job, and for the blog to continue as before. ‘Lack of time’ is the reason here, although she says it remains her intention to simply return to SL as it was before SLN, socialising on naturist sims, so you may well see her if you frequent them.
Barbara’s input on the older avatar’s perspective has always been welcome and interesting, but in ‘Neverland’ the older avatar is a rarity, so Barbara has always been something of an occasional blogger.
As for me, I’ll probably be leaving SL entirely, as far as I’m aware at the moment. A growing family & RL commitments, some health-related, mean I’m increasingly pressed for ‘relaxation’ time, and in dire need of ‘relaxation’ time, and what little I have now goes into the blog. I feel it’s time to spend my relaxation time with nothing more computer complex than a Kindle for a while! 🙂 It’s time to leave the computer switched off at night.
I’m not certain I’ll give up on SL completely, but if I do decide to play occasionally what time I do have will be spent in similar fashion to Pookes, just logging in and socialising now and again. I’ve missed that aspect of SL. In a sense, that ‘losing connection’ to the audience partly comes from the fact that I am disconnected from the audience, blogging about them rather than living amongst them. But as of now, I would imagine my years of playing SL will probably come to an end in September too. Life will present new challenges and interests.
Canary Beck has written about niche blogging recently, and what I would say is that if there’s anyone out there who wants to write a blog with some sort of ready-made audience (SL avatars do love naturism in their Second Lives!) and wishes to establish their own naturist lifestyle blog for SL, go for it! Howie & I are agreed that, in those circumstances, our very last post should be to direct our audience to your SL naturism page. 🙂 Go to it! You’ve got about six weeks to get this together, and I know I’d support anyone wishing to write about a very vibrant SL lifestyle and assist in ensuring that SL naturism maintains a presence in the SL blogosphere.
Skin manufacturers, for example, are falling over themselves to have our support in blogging their wares. Being British, brought up on an advertisement-free BBC, we’ve always thought advertising ran counter to our values, so we’ve routinely turned down all offers of links to skin manufacturers, or being at the behest of manufacturers, ploughing our own furrow. But trust me…they want our (your?) support.
So…countdown is commencing! 🙂
I’ll not get into a long list of tearful thanks for now…let’s leave that until I’m wearing a hankie, and not much else, when I make the final posts for the blog.
Tomorrow, it’s back to SLN as you & I know it, but with a knowledge that we’re running down the clock. In a way, it is with a sense of relief that I can say that the clock’s ticking.