A journey that began seven years ago this month has come to an end. I was informed via email last Friday that Examiner.com, a site I've written for since July 2009, was shutting down. Effective immediately, no new content could be written, and "Examiners" (what the site called its writers) were urged to go about archiving their work.
I'm not devastated by this news. Over the last couple of years, my contributions to the site have
waned, as my interest in my chosen topic, MMORPGs, has waned a bit (the shutdown of my all-time favorite MMORPG, City of Heroes, back in 2012 undoubtedly had something to do with that). In fact, for the last little bit, I'd really only been writing articles so I could keep my account active, to keep my options open in case my MMORPG writing ever really took off.
Initially, however, I was very excited to have this "job." Getting paid to write is, of course, my ultimate dream, a dream I sabotage by not actually writing enough. Granted, Examiner.com never paid (me) a whole lot, although there were some months when I got more than I'd expected. And it did lead me to writing a few articles for MMOSite.com, which paid much better than Examiner.com's click-based pay scheme.
All in all, I'm glad for the experience. Over the years, I've learned how to write more professionally, guided by Examiner.com's somewhat inconsistent coaching. Granted, it wasn't difficult to find pretty amateurish work on the site (misspellings, bad grammar, etc), which always somehow embarrassed me, but I always tried to do a good job and I'm proud of my work.
So, over the last few days, I've been going through my Examiner.com articles and archiving them (using Evernote and its excellent Evernote Web Clipper extension). Most will never see the light of day again, but some I will probably try to do something with. Maybe I'll post them here or over on my neglected Hubpages site.
It's been interesting, reading through some of those old articles. I'd forgotten about much of them, but it's nice to see chronicles of important events in the MMORPG field (the launches of Champions Online and Star Trek Online, various World of Warcraft changes like lowered level requirements for mounts and a built-in quest tracking system that WoW players now take for granted) written in my own words.
Examiner.com never paid a lot, but that wasn't the point. It was an outlet for my writing. It opened up a couple of other opportunities for me, and it did generate some (not many, but some) comments from readers who were enthusiastic about the subjects I covered. I'm not devastated that it's shutting down, no, but I will miss it.