What’s next? That’s a question I seem to be always asking myself. I love working on TheSixthAxis. I love working with committed, smart and talented people who do a truly exceptional job of getting interesting and entertaining content on the website at an astounding rate. But I’m always looking for something else.
Often, I can satisfy that urge towards new things right here on TheSixthAxis. I write a new feature or suggest some new changes to the site which give me the temporary buzz of feeling like I’m doing something new and exciting again. The podcast feels different every time we record it and I loved making the video content when I had time for that.
Sometimes I look slightly further afield and force a hole in my schedule to write something for ScreenDemon or HalftoneHero. When I’m incredibly lucky I manage to find a few hours to make some music or write something completely unrelated. I recently wrote a scene for a screenplay I’ve been thinking about, for instance.
A while ago, I had an idea for something that I thought would be really fantastic. I fleshed the idea out a bit. I gave up a weekend and a few really late nights to write a design document and make concept art. I pitched the idea to friends and got great feedback. It was going to be brilliant. But then, as we were struggling to find time to actually work on the idea, someone else launched something almost identical. Don’t misunderstand me, there was no wrongdoing involved. It was just a good idea that seemingly occurred twice to two separate people. We were beaten to it. I was crushed.
TheSixthAxis saved me from sinking into a fit of depression. I could focus on what needed to be done, instead of wallowing in self pity for the missed opportunity. I could spend a Thursday evening making bad jokes with Kris and Lewis for the podcast. I could spend some time listening to members and reorganising the forums. There’s enough here to keep me occupied and my mind off the disappointment.
But I’m always asking myself what’s next. I always want something more than the routine necessary to keep the website running. I need to be thinking about something different or I start to lose interest all together.
TheSixthAxis consumes my life completely at the moment. Things generally quieten for me at the weekends (primarily because I force myself away from it for spells) but most weekdays I am always doing something with the site. From 9AM to 2AM, or later, I’m constantly working on or thinking about or responding to something related to TSA. I’m not complaining, I wouldn’t have it any other way and I know that there are other people who work just as hard in between their jobs and families. But it’s a gruelling routine and I often need something new to keep my mind active.
So, what is next? Well, I want TSA to be seen and known by more people. We’ve got the team here to be successful and we’ve got the readership figures. Now we just need people to notice us. We’re working on that but in the meantime, we keep on going. We keep doing the things we’ve done that have gotten us to this point. We keep strengthening the team with talent and we keep trying to reward the loyalty and commitment of the existing staff members who make TSA possible every day.
How do we intend to achieve those aims? Well, the most important thing is to keep the site ticking over, the news output steady and the features and opinion pieces landing every day. Without the staff here, that would be impossible. On top of that, I think we have to look to new avenues for the future.
There’s still a slim possibility we could do something with the idea I mentioned earlier. That could build the public profile of the site in a big way if we got it right. It’s tricky now that we’ve been beaten to the punch but there might be scope to adjust slightly and still do something exciting.
We could move to other avenues of getting our content out there. I’ve always had ambitions to run a magazine and with the advent of digital publishing, particularly on iOS devices, this is becoming an affordable possibility. I think that we have some of the best writing talent on the internet here at TSA and I’d like to see them given the opportunity to branch out.
We could bring back the video content we’ve done in the past and do new things with that medium. There are a one or two extra staff members here now who are more than capable with video.
I’ve got concepts and ideas which I plan to work with when I have some more time. I need that diversion to keep things interesting for me. But I’d love to hear what you would like to see next from TheSixthAxis (or ScreenDemon and HalftoneHero). After all, if we know it’s something you want then we can be reasonably sure we’re heading in the right direction.
So, what’s next? Well, what do you want?