Logging out of Chromebooks for a while

It’s time to log out. I’ll be putting the AboutChromebooks blog on hiatus for bit. Possibly for good. I’ve already mentioned the financial challenges that led me to this decision and frankly, the month of January only continues the worsening trend.

Although it will cost me around $25 per month for hosting, I’ll leave the site up and running for a bit. There is still value there for those interested in Chromebooks and ChromeOS. However, I’ll likely shutter the comments. I don’t need reminding that the site couldn’t survive.

So what’s next?

I’ve been actively seeking a job for roughly eight months. And I’ll continue to do so. What makes it challenging is that I’m not looking to keep blogging as an occupation. And while I’ve been studying software engineering for a few years, I don’t have what employers are looking for in that space right now. I need to build up a project portfolio and gain additional experience. So that will continue.

I also recently interviewed (three times during the process) with The Verge for the Laptop Reviewer opening. I found out this week that I didn’t make it to the next round of interviews. I’m sure The Verge has picked a spectactular candidate.

And I’m OK with the situation because I think a break from writing for pay is a good thing. After 18 years of being constantly connected and following tech topics, some offline focus with my wife is sorely needed. As are more activities that have nothing to do with anything supplied by Wi-Fi or an ethernet cable.

There are bills to pay, of course, and after discussing it with my wife, I’m going to apply for some local jobs. These may or may not be tech related. In fact, one I just applied for has nothing at all to do with tech. It pays $15.00 an hour which almost an “unofficial” minimum wage where we live in Pennsylvania. The state minimum is $7.25 but many businesses do start at $15 an hour here. Being a minimalist, that salary is enough to cover the bills that my wife’s wages don’t.

A fun ride for nearly 6 years

Most people don’t know this but I actually started the AboutChromebooks sites out of boredom. Seriously. I even launched it on April Fools Day, 2018. I was already earning money from consulting but those efforts only took a few hours a week. Hence, the site’s birth. It made sense at the time since I wanted to write more. And I had just finished an 18 month stint at Google working with the Chrome Enterprise team.

Long story short, I never imagined that the site would earn enough money to help pay the bills when consulting work dried up. And it did for quite a while. Plus it was a fun topic to write about. The community was passionate and kind. All in all, it was a blast.

But this morning, I unsubscribed to the several Chromebook and ChromeOS Google Alerts emails. Later today I’ll send out the last weekly About Chromebooks newsletter to nearly 5,000 subscribers. And within 48 hours, I’ll disable the site comments.

As fun as this ride has been, I’m at peace with the decision. It’s not a happy environment when you’re checking site stats, ad revenue, Google search position rankings and more many items several times per day. At least not when in a downtrend like things have been for roughly 18 months.

I actually feel good about getting that negativity out of my daily life because I’ve let it hold me back. It’s time to move on, spend more time with my family and enjoy a more positive daily environment.

If you read or supported the site, know that I sincerely appreciate it. We may all be connected through wired and wireless connections but it’s the personal connections that mean the most.