Update on my personal situation

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#4713 (In Topic #1017)
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Chris Graham is in the usergroup ‘Administrators’
Hi to anyone interested :$,

As I've mentioned before, I got married to my American wife about 15 months ago (I'm English), and this has naturally made a big impact on my life - a very positive one.

However in our case it has also made a big impact in terms of my work schedule, because for the past 2 years I've had to go through an ungodly amount of paperwork (formal engagement visa, formal UK engagement process, 4 stages of a long/complicated/bureaucratic US immigration process, international shipping arrangements) - probably around 35 days handling all this. And a whole lot of travel planning and travelling - perhaps also 35 days just travelling across the Atlantic or to various appointments, or recovering from travelling, in a couple of years. So that's together about 10% of my time. And taking off time so I'm actually able to spend time with my wife rather than being a complete workaholic, perhaps another 10%. Realistically I probably lost about 1/5 of my time. That doesn't sound too bad, but it's all been quite mentally challenging stuff, and for someone with essentially 3 challenging jobs - doing client projects, maintaining Composr, and developing the next version of Composr, it has been pretty crippling in terms of my productivity.

Well, good news - finally next week I should be permanently immigration to the US, as I had my final successful visa interview last week.

Really that's all I wanted to say, to update you all on what's happening. I'm hoping that very soon now I can settle down and be much more productive again, and move v11 toward completion, along with our relaunched website and our relaunched project structure. I do still have to spend a lot of time on client work (as that's what pays almost all the bills), but that does often lead to some very nice improvements to Composr anyway.


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  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying Composr on fun personal projects.
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#4720
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Joey is in the usergroup ‘Honoured member’
Chris,

Good to hear that everything is fine.
I wish you and your wife all the best in the future.

Keep up your wonderful job.
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Joe
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Joe is in the usergroup ‘Honoured member’
Not that it's really my place to say, and not that I'm aware of what goes on in "the background", but judging by Compo.sr forum activity, it seems like you're one of the only couple within the Composr crew that's actually active here (I don't mean that in any sort of derogatory way).

I'm not going to throw any names out, but I remember years and years ago, other Admins were active throughout the community to help balance workload. Even though I see a select few logged in from time-to-time, they don't seem to be active as far as the forums are concerned (topics, replying to posts, etc).

All I'm saying is, in the eyes of the average user, it may seem like you're the one doing most of the work. And I really hate saying that because as I've also said previously, I don't know what goes on in the background. The others could be helping religiously, in which I will never know. I suppose I'm just curious if you're the sole operator of this whole thing, and if that's the case, it really sounds like you need assistance! :thumbs:
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Joe
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Joe is in the usergroup ‘Honoured member’
And with all my ramblings, I didn't get a chance to congratulate you on your marriage - so congratulations!

I've never been out of the US so I cannot compare to your country. But I can tell you it's a great place to live. If you can look past the politics and the average American "snobbiness", you can truly learn to appreciate Her for what She really is ('merica that is)! :)
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Joey is in the usergroup ‘Honoured member’
I agree with Joe.  

For my self, i wish that i have the knowledge to help some people here.
My website is running Compo.st for a half year now, and i dont know how it was before, but the activity is not so high.

Maybe, it is because it works :)
If you look to wordpress and phpBB, they have a lot of users, but also a lot of problems.
Compo.sr is stable, and it works as it should be. Maybe thats why ;)
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Chris Graham is in the usergroup ‘Administrators’
Hi,

A long post to try and provide some context…

Composr originated from the code of various Star Trek gaming websites that Robbie, Allen, and myself worked on:
  1. Assimsoft (origin of Comcode) - homesite for a project I was leading, we were making a new game
  2. TrekReference.net (origin of Wiki+) - originally to support the above with reference materials; this was before sites like Wikipedia took off
  3. EliteForce.com (origin of modules) - the biggest community for the games Elite Force I/II, Robbie's site

Allen mostly did design, I mostly did the coding, Robbie mostly managed things. At that time the best kind of community CMS around was something like PHP-Nuke, and it was awful.

I made the decision to move all the code into a new project, which became ocPortal. Robbie and Allen were along for the ride, but it was mainly my enterprise. As I was graduating from university, I made it a full time business, and my thinking was to make things as professional and responsible as possible while keeping the product free, as that would be the right way to maximise value for people. Robbie and Allen still had involvement, but it wasn't like the kind of situation where we were all in a VC-funded startup together - I was full time and they weren't, and we didn't live at all near each other. The objective was simply to make enough money from services to sustain software development with 1 fulltime employee. We never wanted to take investment because to give investors a good return would take away our ability to create a free project for regular people - it would force us into either making a dumbed-down project for the masses or just focus on enterprise services (which is what has happened for other CMSs).

That was all a long time ago now, and the web is totally unrecognisable. We've had to reinvent ourselves multiple times since then, and have had many different members of staff at different points. Currently ocProducts is myself, 1 full time developer/UI-designer (Salman), and 1 full time graphic designer (Manoj). It's nobodies direct responsibility to do forum support, we can't pay people to do unpaid labor. I have always put in a lot of unpaid time on top of my paid client work. Robbie actually spends a lot of time with Composr because his employer uses it.

Within the last couple of years I have realised that making things as professional as possible is what has kept the community small, for 3 reasons:
  1. Contributors don't like corporate structure, investment-driven decision making, formalities for everything, etc - it sucks the fun out for people and puts up roadblocks. People want a social-orientated model, not a capitalist-orientated model. Nobodies really told me this in so many words because it's a subconscious kind of thing to people.
  2. Most Composr users aren't thinking like business people, they're mainly doing it out of personal passion and can't afford to pay for their support, especially with what's happened with the economy. So any growth of support and addons, etc, are going to have to be done by volunteers.
  3. I've ended up as the face of Composr, which was never the intention, but it has had the unfortunate effect of most people expecting everything to flow through me.

We all get indoctrinated when we're growing up that certain ways of doing things are the 'right' way (each in different ways). Often the winners are those who were fortunate enough to have their biases line up with reality. I've made a big multi-year effort to become a lot more knowledgeable about psychology and kind of red-pilled myself out of my personal biases. However, it's also a lot of work to change the model of an organisation so established, especially with my life upside down for the last couple of years, and the need to do a lot of client work. It's happening, and things are a lot stabler for me now (I've been in the US for a few weeks so am now 90% established here). I still have to focus on client work to bring in money for a while, but you can see a lot of great functionality still comes in from that (Commits · ocproducts/composr · GitHub). Meanwhile Salman is making v11 awesome from a design point of view. And there has been progress, we have now got 2 new moderators on the forum and at least 1 other thing that isn't my privilege to pre-announce.

I've never been out of the US so I cannot compare to your country. But I can tell you it's a great place to live. If you can look past the politics and the average American "snobbiness", you can truly learn to appreciate Her for what She really is ('merica that is)! :)

Countries with power always think that power is due to some inherent superiority, e.g. American exceptionalism. Britain was just the same when we had an empire. The reality in my view is it's usually to do with demographics, where the smartest immigrants go to succeed, and who has first mover advantage on the good ideas.
I wrote a little about the differences between the UK and US on my blog :) Britain vs America: 10 fascinating differences


Become a fan of Composr on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter. Follow me on Minds (where I am most active). Support me on Patreon

Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about Composr whenever you see the opportunity or support me on Patreon.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying Composr on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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ironfeather is in the usergroup ‘Well-settled’

Hello,

Wanted to say welcome to America and congrats on your marriage.  Also, big thank you for all your hard work on the Composr CMS. 

I am a  big fan of Composr and am enjoying using and learning it. I still have a ton of things to learn.

I will try and check into the forum more often and help/ post/ share as I can.

Personally, we just had a major earthquake here and life was disrupted for many people around me. My house and life is now OK but I have friends here living on the floor of the local school gym as their houses are wrecked. sucks.

I recently finished my job, huge server migration project is now complete and I am seeking new work.

Life is good!  

Cheers from Japan

 

———–
Publisher of IronFeather Journal since 1987.  Host of KGNU Colorado Radio for 20 years. 
Currently in Japan & decided to focus on Composr as my number one CMS.
Composr site for community of Hokkaido:  Nandalow
Composr site for my freelance work: "Partners in Progress" - Future Code Japan
My Compsr edits : 
http://ironfeather.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2862

 
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Chris Graham is in the usergroup ‘Administrators’
Thanks. Yeah, I saw your posts on Facebook, scary stuff!


Become a fan of Composr on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter. Follow me on Minds (where I am most active). Support me on Patreon

Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about Composr whenever you see the opportunity or support me on Patreon.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying Composr on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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