Back in those days, a number of my friends wanted to blog about something familiar, and I wanted to try out Mac OS X Server on a static IP address obtained from a local ISP. We decided to write about all things Apple and came up with Mac360.com as our platform.
All Good Things Must End
How did all this get started? How will it end? I met Tera Jean Patricks at a winter CES in Las Vegas a few years earlier. Tera grabbed a few of her friends– Barbara Marie Brannan, Alexis Kayhill, and Natalia Nowak– and I grabbed a few of mine; St. Louis friend Jack Miller and his wife Carol, and Mac360 launched on an old iMac on my home office desktop.
The rest, as they say, is history. Mac360 took off and readership grew rapidly. Inspired by John Gruber and Daring Fireball, we blogged about Apple, the Mac, iPod, Steve Jobs, Windows and Microsoft and anything related to the Applesphere from application and product reviews to sassy opinions. Tera died in mid-2006 and we mourned her loss, but added even more friends to the group; Wil Gomez, Kate MacKenzie, Jeffrey and Jesse Mincey, then David Farrington, and Tera’s niece, Tera Thomas O’Brien.
Through the years we saw it all. The Mac moved to Intel Inside. The iPhone arrived. The App Store. iPad. Apple Pay, Apple Music, AirPods, and much more. We saw Apple’s stock price and valuation rise to record levels. We graced Mac360 with advertising to help pay some bills and give the growing staff an incentive to continue to write about all things Apple.
Mac360 switched from the original iMac to a Mac mini to a cheesegrater Power Mac before settling down a few years ago on a hefty Linux server. The site ran on the content management system Expression Engine and after a few years, we switched to WordPress. That gave us an opportunity to give each writer and other writers their own personal websites and that grew in number to 38. We called them The Apple Villagers.
Our approach to advertising changed over the years, too. Mac360 once ran a monstrous 21 ads per page before setting a trend with embedded ads without trackers; no ad trackers, no analytics trackers, not even cookies. Privacy became important to us as writers, and we expected and provided the same for readers.
Yes, all good things come to an end.
A few years ago I came down with an odd neuromuscular disorder that has slowly become debilitating. After 18 months of tests with a dozen different doctors I was referred to Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. More doctors and extensive tests confirmed a preliminary diagnosis of ALS. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Think of it as a slow-motion death sentence where muscles begin to waste away and tasks as simple as tying shoelaces or buttoning a shirt or standing become major accomplishments. Doctors want me to return to Mayo Clinic for followup visits to monitor the disease’s progress. If you know how ALS works then you will appreciate why I feel too tired to consider such a journey now.
My spirits are high (most of the time). I’ve led a good life, worked hard, and appreciate the loving support from family and friends, but I know– and feel– the end is near.
That means I can no longer continue to run Mac360 and the Apple Villagers websites as they are today. While I wrote articles for Mac360, most of my daily effort was designed to keep the websites running, to ensure advertising revenue sufficient to cover overhead and provide writers with something for their efforts.
Those days are gone. I cannot continue. In more ways than one, the end is near. Mac360 will close down.
I plan to keep Mac360 up and running until the end of March in the hopes that someone with more resources than I will see the value of nearly 16 years of content and nearly 10,000 articles (almost double that number when the Apple Villagers websites are included in the totals). All of Mac360’s writers and those with Apple Villagers websites are ready to move on to another era. That will make available a number of attractive, Apple-oriented domain names, too.
All of us at Mac360 are sad to see our era end. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs once said this about life and death.
Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent.
I understand the sentiment.
Through the years the Mac360 staff developed or adhered to a number of similar axioms.
- Everybody wants your money.
- Nothing improves without change.
- If everyone is out to get you, paranoia is a good attitude to have.
- There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.
It has been a very pleasant and interesting journey for all of us at Mac360. We hope we provided you with useful and beneficial information and perspectives, too. My hope is that I may be counted in the 10-percent of people who are diagnosed with ALS but the diagnosis is wrong.
Time will tell.
Thanks for the memories.