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Lifting up, not tearing down

In the March newsletter, I asked readers to share their expectations for this book.

The question was prompted by some comments and feedback I’ve received as news about the book spread online. Multiple people have expressed concern about what I’m going to say about them in OTR Vol. 25.

That group includes a couple former staffers.

One said something like, “if you need to use me as an example of how difficult it was to manage a group of volunteers who thought their writing was heaven-sent, I’m okay with being that example.” This former staffer reminded me that we’ve been friends “too long to let this become an issue.” 

Another expressed “great anxiety” and expressed fear that what I’m writing — or what other staffers would say — might jeopardize his/her current career.

Those comments really caught me off-guard, especially coming from people who know me well.

After collecting myself and giving their comments some thought, I explained that the book’s purpose isn’t to dwell on the bad or difficult times but to celebrate our best moments.

I’m not going to ignore the tough times. I’ll be honest and transparent about them to the best of my ability. (Remember, I left the site about 16 months before it shut down so I’m sure I missed a lot.)

But I’m not going to attack anyone — that includes my former staff, other fan site webmasters, or any readers/fans that made life difficult in any way. This isn’t gonna be a Hollywood-style exposé. You don’t have to tear others down in order to lift yourself up.

The good news? After this month’s newsletter, about 25-30 readers answered my question. These three responses to “what are you expecting?” offer a pretty good summary of all the answers:

  • an inside peek into the operations of a fan website with all the incredible personalities, stories that I’ve never been told, jokes behind the scenes, and fun
  • to learn some of the history of the site that I never really took the time to find out, to be reminded of some great times, and to hear some behind-the-scenes stories that might be fun or illuminating
  • the challenges of running a fansite with regard to its interaction (or lack thereof) with the band and their official channels

Not a single person said they expect me to air any staff dirty laundry. That’s good because I’m not going to.

Published inAbout the Book

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