6 a.m. and I should be in bed. I haven’t been to sleep yet, although I tried. Truth be told my brain feels like it is overflowing with conflicting thoughts and ideas to the point I had to look in the mirror to make sure my head hadn’t become malformed like Ken Griffrey Jr.’s in that one episode of The Simpsons.
Anyway, the reason I haven’t been to bed is because yesterday I destroyed my greatest creation, JasonRivera.com in favor of the site you see before you now. I assure you it wasn’t an easy decision at all to throw 13 years in the Recycle Bin. I didn’t literally do that, by the way – I made a backup of everything on the previous site, but to answer the question many of you have “it is in all likelihood retired for good.” I decided that’s what’s “best for business” and I am sticking to it right now. I won’t always do a “Life without JasonRivera.com” blog because they’re a little bit more serious, and less witty, but I figured I paid with money I barely have to make this site a reality so I’ll say what I want for the people that want to hear it. I’ll pull back the giant curtain a little and tell you a bit about what’s going through my head.
I drove some people close to me crazy this weekend stressing about this. It’s just not something I take lightly because of what JasonRivera.com symbolized. I created the site in a time where the Internet was still in its infancy and not something that was on every cellphone in the streets available to the mainstream constantly every minute of every day.
The Internet was where the rejects became the respected, the outcasts, became the in-crowd, and every opinion you had to repress was able to be turned into an idea. There weren’t any limits, and JasonRivera.com represented that. I said anything, I did everything. I fought crazy cultists, psychotic female stalkers, creepy weirdoes, managed to piss off just about everyone. I made enemies out of friends and friends out of enemies. I write this because most of my audience are in their early to mid-20s. Well… I’m in my 30s and I’ve been doing this “Internet Superstar” thing since 1997. JasonRivera.com was more than just a site – back then there was no Twitter, no Facebook, not even MySpace. We had forums, a dying breed of social interaction. People who liked what you were doing came to these forums like moths to the flame and that is how you networked online, and network I did. People like Steve Jeffery, Chris Layman, and Matt Oakes (who co-founded the very show that likely led you here) are all people who had major impact on my life through friendships and associations I formed thanks to my site. People wrote me hand-written letters about how the writing I did on JasonRivera.com got them through dark times. People donated money by the hundreds in some cases when I needed to keep the site going. Those were connections you can’t get today on the Internet because every Tom, Dick, and Harry now has it and the face of the Internet has changed to be as messed up as the face of the reality people once were escaping from using the Internet. The Internet got really weak once EVERYBODY had it. All the unwashed masses scaled the walls of the World Wide Web like those zombies in that World War Z movie.
I wouldn’t call this an evolution for the Internet. I’d actually call it about “6 steps backwards” as people who can’t handle opinions entered a world that had been dominated for years by people that weren’t afraid to say anything that came to mind due to the lack of restrictions on free thought the Internet once had. We’re losing the ability to say and think how we want a little more every day online but that’s another story for another day. Back to my point though: when times change you have to change with them. Example, that’s why nobody uses MySpace.
Likewise you don’t use an abacus when you have a calculator at your disposal, you don’t ride a horse when you can drive a car, and you don’t take a dump in a bucket when you can use a toilet bowl. Social Networking aspects, ease of access via cellular devices, interaction, integration… Sometimes things just progress and you have two choices: adapt or fade away like Michael J. Fox in the Back to the Future Movies:
I loved JasonRivera.com. I still am thankful for everything it represented. I wouldn’t be where I am as part of this podcast or have associated with many, many of the people I associate with (Johnny included) had it not been for JasonRivera.com. But facing the facts, there was nowhere else for JasonRivera.com to go. It was an eyesore that wasn’t being updated consistently because frankly I didn’t want to do it anymore and that had to do with the fact that I could not change it with the times at all. I could not adapt it because the people responsible for helping me create it had pretty much walked away. The world had moved on. I did the site for years and relied on donations to keep it going that weren’t coming in anymore. Attempting to rebuild a community on the forums was all but a joke. It was a ghost town thanks to the unstoppable juggernaut that was social networking via Facebook and Twitter. I didn’t have any other contributors and no other ways to go with the site but down. I was even told by some friends who decided they just didn’t care about the site that I should just cut my losses and sell out to Cracked.com. That was insulting. I may not have been as successful as that site, but that site is seriously not even that funny. I mean how many “TOP (NUMBER)” list articles can one site have? They are to the Internet what Zach Galifianakis Quote pages are to Twitter.
Anyway I’d rather die on my own terms than live as a drone and that’s what happened to JasonRivera.com. That’s why it’s gone and that’s why from its ashes something better is going to rise. Let me tell you something: I could, with some work and hassle port over articles from JasonRivera.com to post here on the new website. I could. But I feel like those articles limited me. As much as people may have laughed initially at Joanie Laurer’s failed adult career, it also managed to get my site flagged as pornographic content which caused the site to be unavailable in most workplaces and college campuses all over the world (although knowing my style of writing and my controversial opinions I will probably get flagged as SOMETHING eventually ANYWAY). As amusing as the Gay Diary of Jeff Hardy was in 2001, it’s 2013 and articles like that are terribly dated (Jeff Hardy still looks pretty damn gay though). I could bring back all that nostalgic content but the problem with nostalgia is that the more time you spend looking back the less time you spend looking forward. Then life throws the brick wall in your path while you’re not looking and you walk right into it and probably make an ass of yourself. There is a saying that “only when you have lost everything are you free to do anything,” and that is how I feel about JasonRivera.com. I feel like without the burden of the past, I can now look forward to bigger and better things. I’m still going to write. In fact I’m going to try to write a little something every day or every other day if possible. But I’m no longer over-encumbered. I feel like there are more ideas now in my mind than I’ve had in the past several years. And so if you’re one of those people that are mourning the loss of JasonRivera.com, first of all, you’re probably one of the people that barely ever visited it when I was trying my best to keep it going, and secondly, don’t mourn the loss of some articles making fun of Dave Coulier from Full House. Celebrate the fact that bigger and better things are coming. And while you are at it, go to the “Donate” section of this site and help me pay for these changes that I made, not just for me but for all of you reading as well. Help me pay the bills so we can spend less time working and more time bringing you an A+ website. Thank you for supporting the site whether it’s JasonRivera.com or ListenToThisShow.com in this transitional period we’re all going through. Hopefully you will all continue to enjoy what I bring to the table and if you don't that's too bad because I own the table, the lunchroom, the building, and the very ground you walk on.