I want to add my special thanks to Colleen for sharing all the Ferry Forum adventures the past couple of years. Here are a few behind-the-scenes stories showing Colleen’s special contributions.
Pre-launch: Through November and December 2009, we spent many hours working on the initial site, neither knowing quite what we wee doing. During that time we thrashed out the Ferry Forum rules, site framework and making the site as user-friendly as we could. Colleen hadn’t used WordPress before but jumped in with intelligence and determination, very quickly getting up to speed.
Launch – January 4th, 2010. I left for ~4 weeks in Puerto Rico the next morning, leaving Colleen quite in the lurch! Needless to say, not all the bugs were out of the site despite all our pre-launch testing. We spent quite a few hours working through fixes on January 5 via cell phone, a real challenge since I was without internet access. Colleen had to describe screenshots for me clearly enough for me to suggest solutions — a real demonstration of her communication skills!
Initial deluge: Neither of us was ready for the initial flood of readers (an average of 940 per day, total of 29,000 for January 2010). Colleen dealt with everything pretty much solo that month (just a wee bit of help in week 3 when I got some time on a hotel computer). What a trouper. The Forum would have floundered without her keen attention and dedication during that first month.
Controversies. Colleen and I did not always agree on some important issues, including the primary mission of the site! For Colleen, the main mission was to provide support and information to help get a new lease at Gooseberry Pt. I was equally determined to get out as much information and discussion as possible about all options available (and other ferry issues) because I wasn’t convinced that yet another lease was the best option. This led to some very invigorating, even heated discussions about what was appropriate to post, or not. But throughout, we kept returning to our basic guiding principle of respectful, civil, open and honest discussion — whether between ourselves or on the Forum . In every case, that always led us back to working together positively to keep the Forum going.
Ferry Fatigue. It’s hard to say how many times Colleen or I ‘reached the end of our rope’ with All Things Ferry, or needed time away for vacation or other responsibilities. Colleen provided rock-solid support whenever I hit the wall or needed time off. Our mutual support made the two-year success of the Ferry Forum possible.
To Colleen — I am immeasurably grateful for your unflagging positive attitude, fortitude, sense of humor, fairness, support, determination and compassion throughout the past two years. The Ferry Forum would never have been launched or survived for so long or so well without you. I’ve never had a better collaborator/co-worker than you, any time, any place. It’s hard to lose you as prime co-editor, but I sure do understand why it’s time for you to move on. Thanks.