The Webernets

INVISIBLE ORANGES NO MORE

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Cosmo Lee is leaving Invisible Oranges.

For the uninitiated, that’s something akin to Varg Vikernes saying he’s leaving Burzum. No disrespect meant to the other fine writers who contribute to IO, but that site lives, bleeds and IS Cosmo.

But then I read Cosmo’s statement on the matter and I immediately got it. It might not seem like it, but this here blogging thing is a lot of work, especially when it’s not your full-time job (but even when it is). Sez Cosmo:

I’ve done Invisible Oranges for four and a half years, putting in 30- to 40-hour weeks on it, seven days a week. (I can count on two hands the number of days I’ve taken off from the site.) This is my 1400th post for Invisible Oranges. Given that each post typically takes over three hours of work (a typical album review requires weeks (if not months) of listening, an hour to write, and an hour to edit and lay out), and an interview typically takes over five hours to transcribe, edit, and lay out, I’ve put in well over 5000 unpaid hours on this site. (Our advertising this year might have us breaking even in terms of server and other costs.) I’ve sunk thousands of dollars into this site, and I wouldn’t take a single one back. But eventually it will be time for me to move on.

For four and a half years, I’ve come home from the various jobs that I’ve had and basically worked on the site until exhaustion. I’ve been exhausted for years. What you see on the site is the tip of the iceberg work-wise. I am perpetually hundreds of emails behind, dealing with writers, readers, bands, labels, and publicists. I currently have over 1,290 potential spam comments to moderate.My desktop currently has over 35GB of unheard demos and promos. At conservatively 10 demos and promos per GB, my new releases listening queue is over 350 releases long. I can’t even download releases as fast as they come into my inbox, never mind listen to them.

Invisible Oranges is one of my favorite metal blogs. I enjoy his unique and unpredictable taste in music, and I’ve really taken to the conversation-sparking opinion pieces he’s been publishing lately, so I’ll be sad to see it go. But I completely, 100% understand why he’s deciding to throw in the towel; if he’s already accomplished all he set out to accomplish and running the site has ceased to be fun, why continue?

At least things won’t be entirely shut-down; Cosmo wants to pass the ball along to his community:

… it would be cool if members of the community could step forward and help grow this site beyond what I’ve done with it so far. I’m not sure what’s the optimal number (10?) or division of labor. We could work on that over time. This site has many tasks: processing new releases, back end maintentance, social media accounts, calendar functions, dealing with third parties (bands, labels, publicists, vendors, guest bloggers), editing, layouts, and, of course, actual writing. From now until September, I can help train people to do the things that I do. This site’s readers number in the several thousands. If they want this site to continue and grow into what it should be – a good home for underground metal – I think they can do it. Many readers know more than I do, and are very eager to point that out. Maybe they can put their knowledge to use!

If I weren’t so occupied by MS I’d definitely offer to help out in some capacity. Perhaps some proprietors of newer metal blogs currently making a name for themselves — such as No Clean Singing, The Number of the Blog, Heavy Blog is Heavy, etc — would be able to jump in and be a part of Invisible Oranges 2k12. Get in touch with Cosmo by leaving a comment and letting him know how you’d like to help out.

The last day of IO as we know it will come on September 24th. Until then, I’ll be soaking it all up while I can.

-VN

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