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« Tungsten E Update: Month Two | Main | Reflection Journal Update »

Thoughts on Shaun McGill's "PDAs are ruining my life" post

PDA ThoughtsToday at lunchbreak I popped over to check out Shaun McGill's PDA 24/7 and happened to check out his editorial/blog section called PDA Thoughts. I was bummed a bit (to say the least) to hear that Shaun's health is apparently being effected by his PDA website.

Normally I'd reply to Shaun privately (and I will after I post this), but since I see his comments as having a significant impact on the Palm community as a whole, I wanted to make a bit more notice of his comments and my thoughts on my weblog.

First, here is Shaun's key sentence regarding his realization that the site and the time it consumes from his life is effecting his health:

"Yesterday I had a medical with my doctor and basically got a good verbal kicking for the way I am running my life. My blood pressure is slightly high, my pulse rate is too fast when resting (close to 100) and my asthma is not under control at the moment. We got into a conversation about stress and he asked me what I do for relaxation. To my surprise I had to think for a while and could not come up with an answer. The fact is I NEVER relax!"

This is definitely NOT good. Shaun goes on further to reveal he's spending somewhere around 4 hours per night on PDA 24/7, which is half a day's work -- on top of 11 hours per day at his day job! Yikes!! I honestly had no idea that the site was consuming that much time from Shaun's life.

This all comes back to a post I made regarding Shaun and his daughter Alice who is on the way to being born very soon. ClieSource's Patrick Robbe and I are both concerned that Shaun's second child would severely impact his ability to maintain PDA 24/7. It seems that Shaun's doctor visit may have clarified this for him. The remainder of Shaun's posting indicates he's been thinking through the impact of running his site and has spoken to his lovely wife about it (which is a good thing).

His conclusion was this:

"I have two options open to me- one is to slow down and update the site occasionally which would obviously put it on a par with a lot of other sites or go for it big time and try to make it the biggest out there."

As I've mentioned in my previous post, I think there is actually a great 3rd option available to Shaun -- to let the PDA 24/7 Associates take over most of the daily burden of the site... you know, posting items and so forth. Shaun would remain as the "Director" or "Editor in Chief" and could make changes or posts as he sees fit, but with only a portion of the burden in time compared to his current situation.

I do know this goes strongly against Shaun's perfectionist tendencies (which I can completely understand) but I think this third option is great for many reasons:

1) Shaun can get relaxation time away from the site, computers and PDAs to spend time with his family, knowing that his crack crew is handling things expertly.

2) Associates at PDA 24/7 will have a chance to shine and bring different perspectives to the site which I think will enrich the content.

3) Postings at the site could actually increase and see more updates, since Associates are likely working in multiple time zones.

4) Nobody has to put in those 4 hours per night -- with enough Associates and Shaun checking in how and then, each person could do maybe 15-30 minutes per day and have quite an impact on good content.

One needs only to look at Palm Addict and the way Sammy is running the show there -- he has several associates keeping the site updated frequently and he can post quite a bit, or nothing at all, depending on his available time.

Another reason why I have decided to make my comments public is to get others who care about Shaun and his PDA 24/7 site to send in encouraging emails and promote my Associates idea to him, if you agree. I think with enough encouragement to try this third option, maybe Shaun will have a change of heart and give it a go before he burns out.

I want to see PDA 24/7 continue because I think it excels at providing news, comments and information for Palm users in a way that's not being offered anywhere else. I also really like my buddy Shaun and want to see him both successful and healthy.

So, If you feel the same as I do, I strongly encourage you to drop Shaun and a line and let him know how you feel. :-)

Reader Comments (1)

Shaun, sorry to hear that. I'd hoped multi-posters might be a solution for you, but as you are the PDA 24/7 guy, you would know better than I. I do hope you can find a workable solution, whatever the case.
December 18, 2003 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde

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