GeekOut UK Is Closing In 2020
Hi everyone, Tim here. I’ve run this website for over six years and today’s the article I never wanted to post. Unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end at some point, so I have to thank each and every one of you who’ve made this journey so enjoyable. I didn’t want to just suddenly disappear with no reasons for it, like many a website does. No, I feel that everyone deserves to hear the reasons why we’re disbanding the group and the mission, especially after all this time. I’ll also talk briefly about future ventures and the likes. So yeah, let’s get this sombre post done.
Notice I didn’t call myself Timlah? Hah. Yeah. Feels a bit hollow calling myself that on a post like this. Don’t worry, this is just a change that’ll be for the best in the long run.
Six Years Of Fun
The truth is, running GeekOut UK from start to finish has been incredibly fun. I’ve experienced some of my highest highs during the running of GeekOut UK. From getting to meet some incredible bloggers, to going to events as press. We’ve held some entertaining events, where we’ve met amazing people. We’ve met people from all walks of life, doing all sorts of interesting and fascinating things for their own local communities. From LARPers who also make costumes for others, to novelists and even animators and video game developers. We’ve met a lot of intriguing individuals and we have to thank you all for bringing us into your lives, even if it was only a fleeting glance into the real you.
From every convention we’ve been to, through to meeting people who would end up being our friends for life, thank you for the years of fun. But I have my reasons for closing everything we’ve done and I hope you can all find it in your hearts to forgive me for this.
I’m gonna be blunt. Running GeekOut has been hard on my health. Physical and mental. Don’t worry, I’m not in any real state where I can’t articulate my thoughts or share this with you, but I’ve had a bit of a low. The past number of months, I’ve been feeling it more and more and there was only one thing my mind kept saying. It was to draw a conclusion to GeekOut, which meant the website and the meetup.
There’s a lot of reasons for the low. In some cases, I’ll be honest, it’s been hard managing the meetups. There have been people who have been aggressive towards me, because they didn’t like the result of a competition, or because they thought us running a geek event meant we needed to “grow up, kid”. Joel will back me up on that one. The vast majority of people have been good to us, but there’ve been times where that just isn’t the case. That’s simply the nature of social events. Peoples priorities and interests are way different and we can’t please everyone. Sorry if you ever felt cheated during one of our competitions; we are not a professional organisation, although we tried really hard to make it look like we were professional (and many of you responded saying that you liked that we took it seriously). We always did things voluntarily.
From a physical standpoint, I’ve never mentioned this properly before… I struggle a lot with my weight. You can make the argument that is something that can’t be attributed to GeekOut, but I typically work a 37.5 hour week, then come home and effectively do the same on top to manage and maintain all GeekOut activities. I’m being very genuine with you all here, it’s so much work that I don’t end up with a lot of time for myself, which means I skip leg day, to all you gym bros out there.
I also skip chest days and have a lot of cheat days.
No one’s fault but my own. I’ve put too much pressure on myself.
Freeing up time means I get to finally treat myself the way I should.
I’m also spending thousands on running GeekOut.
No, seriously, each month is approximately £100. This attributes to the advertisements on Facebook, the fee for Meetup (for two events, part of the same package but still). Then there’s website fees and we’re already coming up towards about £50-£60. Then the prizes are at least £30, sometimes as high as £60. I’ve not even discussed how expensive the nights at the pubs are, but the point is, that’s a lot of cash running away.
I also have been clear about not wanting money given to me, perhaps foolishly so. I never wanted you, the reader, the attendee, the friend to be stumping up. It was my decision to run GeekOut, so for you all to bare the brunt of the costs is disingenuous. So we put ads on the site and you know what, they were some of the worst times I’ve had on the site. They were a nightmare to manage, they looked gross, they were just the worst.
Then, to make it worse, WordPress never really paid well. WordAds, I’m afraid to say, is not great. In the approximate year and a half we had WordAds running, we didn’t even earn enough for a payout.
So What’s In The Future?
I’m stepping away from it all. I want to be able to get healthy. I want to be able to be much better off, physically and mentally.
And I think that means I can’t run GeekOut again.
… And there’s a selfish, greedy part of me that says “And I don’t want anyone to have GeekOut”. Because of the hours upon hours upon freaking hours I put into this site. This may sound like an ego trip, but trust me, you have no idea how much I’ve put in. Some nights I’d not get to bed until 3-4am because I’m up writing, or I’m up working on a graphic, or a poster. I’d then get up around 7am for the day job; exhausted, drained, but I’d do it anyway. Unfortunately, I never knew when to stop.
So now, I will stop. I will take it easy and I will work on getting better.
And then who knows? I’m thinking I’ll run a personal blog, if anyone wants to follow. I don’t know yet. All I know is, I want to get healthier and then think about what future projects to do. I have so much that I want to do, so… I have no doubt something will crop up. I have no doubt that my writing adventure is not nearly done yet. I mean for crying out loud, I have an update for NaNoWriMo to deliver soon (Trust me, it’s going really well).
That’s it. The Old Market Tavern, by the time this article goes up, will have been made aware of the situation, so they’ll know we’re not going to be coming back in the new year.
This has been a rollercoaster of a ride and trust me, a rollercoaster of an article to write.
Thanks everyone. Keep being good to one another…
… But we’re not done just yet! We’re sticking it out until the end of the year. I’ll also probably do something to preserve the website to some capacity, but not too sure what that’ll look like yet. Give it time. I’m still a bit of a wreck over this.
Please do show your support if you can find it in you, or if you can get to our events, or just post and spam this website for all I care (please don’t actually spam, you’ll end up in a junk filter and we’ll never see your beautiful posts). We’ve still got a GeekOut Shrewsbury Meet at the end of the month, on the 28th. We’ve then got not one, but TWO GeekOut Bristol Meets in December.
You’ve heard it here folks, we’re doing a GeekOut Bristol Meet on Saturday 7th December, which is the last official monthly GeekOut Bristol Meet. Then, on December 31st, we’ll celebrate the new year in one last time when we say goodbye to GeekOut and hello to 2020.
So uh, yeah go nuts in the comments or on social media or something. Thanks and always remember to…
Geek Proud, GeekOut
Much love all.