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Announcement from Aranel: Cancellation of MEFAs
aranel_took wrote in mefas
Hello everyone,

I'm sad to be the bearer of bad news, but I am going to have to step in and end the possibility of a 2012 MEFAs.

This decision is my own. I informed Marta, Elliska, and Inkling today that I am unable to continue supporting the website. There are still some bugs to be worked out, we've been having database issues with the hosting company, and with everything that's been going on I haven't been able to give the site my full attention to have it totally ready to go. It's become too much stress to deal with and it's negatively affecting my Real Life. Real Life has to take priority.

The site is in a condition that it is impossible for someone else to take it over at this point for a 2012 awards. There are still a lot of things to do for updating the post-nominations seasons. There are still bugs from the new updates to work out. I have been the only tech support person for the last year or so, so nobody else is familiar with it. I am also the worst code documenter in the universe (if there was an Olympics for crappy code documentation, I would win the gold!), so it would be no easy task for someone else to take over the updates and bug fixes.

I will still host the MEFA Archive and I will finish updating the 2011 stories as soon as possible (after a break to de-stress).

I know many will be disappointed in me, probably very angry with me, and I am truly sorry. But I know there are others already planning new awards, so I suggest taking your ire with me and focusing that energy on helping them out or starting new awards.

I will preemptively address transferring the site code to someone else: Honestly, I'm a bit selfish about it and I'm really not willing to give away the work I've done. I also don't want to have to support the code (see: crappy documentation). And, really, your tech support and your users will be much happier if you decide what you want in your awards and then design your own site from the ground-up to do exactly what you want. It will work much better than trying to adapt someone else's code to fit your plans.

I ask that you please respect my decision and not try to persuade me to change my mind on anything I've said.

Aranel Took

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Aranel, thank you for all the hard work you've put into this over the years. I hope you start to feel less stressed very soon. Real Life is indeed the most important thing.

Edited at 2012-07-03 08:21 pm (UTC)

I would say that Murphy's Law has had a field day with the MEFAs this year.

(((hugs))) I am not angry, just sad that this has all gone down this way.


I wish you all the best, dear, and hope to see you still around the fandom.

Thank you for all your hard work. I think the site was well done.

Fandom, let's face it, is meant to be fun. If it is taking over your life in a negative way, then it's time to step back. For the MEFAs to end is a terrible shame, but no-one can dispute how much you and all the volunteers put into it, or how much pleasure many, many participants had in reading and writing as a result. Thank you.

Thank you for all the work you've put into it. All else aside, the archive is a great legacy for the awards.

Seconded. The archive is one of my favourite places on a wet Sunday afternoon.

Bless you, Aranel! This is definitely a good decision, particularly since the database itself is not cooperating, making it all even more aggravating. I know you were really working hard to get it working, but it seems it is not to be. While I'm a bit sad about not having the MEFAs this year, I'm more than willing to let them go if it means less hassle and reduced stress for those who have to make it run for us. If there is no more joy in it, then it should be let go. I'm glad you've made the decision and I respect you for it. <3


Edited at 2012-07-04 12:57 am (UTC)

Thank you for the hard work you have put into this over the years. I know that this season was extremely stressful for the moderators/facilitators as well as others, and I just hope that this will not destroy your joy in the works of Tolkien, the authors who take his works as their springboard for personal expression, and the fandom in general. It is always a shame to see something that has been such a fixture of the landscape go away, but much good was accomplished by the MEFAs over the years as well. Once again, thank you for all of the hard work that you and the others put into the MEFAs this year and in years past. Your legacy is well established.

- Erulisse (one L)

I really cannot think of anything to add to what Engarian has so eloquently stated, other to add my own emphatic hope to hers that this entire experience won't erode your joy in Tolkien's works. I've enjoyed participating in the MEFAs for the last several years and always looked forward to it, and I've always been amazed at how much work all those involved undertook each year. I'm very sorry to see it come to an end.

Thank you Aranel so much for all your fine work on the MEFA site. You've done a fantastic job with a complicated program. I enjoyed using the new site last year. No one intended for this to happen this year. We were just trying to get input into the new rating changes. Bless you for all the time you've donated to our community.

Thank you very much for continuing to host the Archive! It is important to many of us as a resource, both as readers and writers.
To be the only tech support for such a site as the MEFA site, without any back-up, seems stressful enough to me under any circumstances. Thank you for the hard work you've put into it! I hope there hasn't been any lasting negative impact on your Real Life. Do take that break.

I'm in awe of the fact that you've been carrying all of this alone. I've had about five years' involvement with the MEFAs and admit I never gave the site as much thought as I should, purely because it has always run so smoothly. Thank you so much for all the work and thought you've put into this, it's given me an online experience I'll never forget. Thank you, too, for offering to keep the archive up, it's one of my favourite places to come and read. Go well, rest well, enjoy your life, and come back to fandom when the thought of it makes you smile again..

No apologies needed Aranel, you worked pretty darn hard on it and the odds are stacked against you now to get it fixed on time. If it's not this, then it will be that with those bugs and stubborn codes. You are a good coder and maintainer, look at the sites you have built. Granted you only know what bugs do pop up and are hard to squash, but you did built sites that are awesome, did their jobs and people could use quite well & with much pleasure.

De-stress and take that very deserved long break. Real Life is very important, and who knows after some time you can have a look at your site baby again and figure it out for your own learning curve, maybe apply it for something else. You never know right?

Thank you for your hard work the past months and the years before.

I'm very sorry to hear this and horrified by all the stress and harassment that you and the other MEFA admins have been under. I very much appreciate all the hard work you have done for MEFA and want to say thank you.

This is sad news, but of course, understandable, especially in light of what you and the other MEFA admins have been dealing with of late. I'm sorry that something that was supposed to be fun has curdled so badly for you all. I appreciate everything the volunteers have done over the years, so thank you so much for that.

Thanks for everything Aranel. I appreciate your hard work over the years and respect your decision.

Thank you for the years of work and not nearly enough glory for what you did to keep everything running.

I am also the worst code documenter in the universe (if there was an Olympics for crappy code documentation, I would win the gold!), so it would be no easy task for someone else to take over the updates and bug fixes.

We certainly have nothing to complain about there. We drove you like a work horse.

Real Life has to take priority? What sort of fan are you?! ;-)

Thanks for all the hard work you've done on the MEFA website all these years. You, Marta, Elliska, and Inkling have more than earned a break. Running any sort of major project in fandom is exhausting, and you held up to the strain longer than most would have. And thank you for continuing to maintain the website despite the ending of the awards. It truly is a fandom gem, and the fandom would be the worse for its loss.

Now go put your feet up and relax!

Hey Aranel,

Full props for all your hard work - I remember documenting code as a peon in high school and thinking run away! at every bracket...

I wanted to ask - you probably know a lot of folks are taking up the suggestion in Marta's post to revamp the awards with simplified rules, a different website, etc.

Elliska very helpfully gave a list of tasks and job descriptions and numbers of volunteers involved in running MEFAs year-round. To do what we want to do, we'll need to expand the number of people volunteering.

Could we post an announcement on the main journal here to join http://mefa-ratings.livejournal.com/MEFA Rebooted: Awards Planning Community</a>? It would help get word out to folks who want to see the awards continued and are willing to put some hours behind that desire into actually making it happen.

Thanks again for investing so much time in the MEFAs, and for continuing to host the archive site!


I just want to say "Thank you" for everything you've done... the love, passion, hard work, time, money, and dedication to our beloved fandom and the creativity it inspires. Praise you (all) with great praise!

Thank you all for your words of support. It makes me feel much better about my decision and it means a lot to me the hear it. I was expecting to have to hide out in a Doomsday bunker. ;-)

I'm still sorry it had to end this way, but hopefully we can all move on now.

Thank you,

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