Last Wednesday, my fellow offshoreonly.com columnist Jason Johnson and I were informed that the popular online community was returning to its original message board format for its home page, meaning it was eliminating the weekly stream of original editorial content—more than 1,100 articles worth—we have been producing for the popular online community for the past seven-and-a-half years.
Translation? As of tomorrow, our freelance writing services will no longer be required. We were told via email that “with the ongoing pandemic and economic climate, we’re not able to continue publishing on OSO beyond next week.”
Economics we understand. We don’t presume to know the budgets of Internet Brands—the website’s parent company—or any company for that matter beyond speedonthewater.com, the daily high-performance powerboating news site we own and operate. Though disappointed, we realize that we simply have become economic casualties of the novel coronavirus. As problems in our current world go, this one is a fly speck.
We thanked our OSO editor—a gracious, hardworking guy clearly distraught at the difficult news he had to deliver—for the years of work we were given. OSO got editorial content. We got paid to produce it. Win-win. And though we really didn’t expect such a longstanding arrangement to end so abruptly, freelance gigs do come and go.
OK, so the offshoreonly.com technology team jumped the gun a bit and pulled the home page last Friday, which not only kind of freaked us out but—in truth—pissed us off. We wanted to say a proper goodbye to you, our loyal readers, who have supported us for so long, and felt that had been taken from us in panic.
More truth? I had this scathing, angry commentary ready to go on speedonthewater.com. But patience, something I tend to be short of in my more-fiery moments, prevailed and our OSO editor had the front page editorial platform restored so we could sign off with gratitude and dignity.
This is offshoreonly.com column No. 723 for me, and I have enjoyed writing every one of them. With our OSO pieces, Johnson and I were able to depart the more-news-oriented format of speedonthewater.com. We were able to do more pure storytelling. And when you write as much news as we do, now matter how much you love it being able to loosen up a bit and have some fun is a privilege.
You can find the archive for all of our work in the articles section on the OSO home page. And though our editor is optimistic for our eventual return, we have no idea if that will happen, much less when.
So for now at least, this is goodbye. We hoped you enjoyed the ride.
We certainly did. Thanks for coming with us.