NeoDex:Sixth Birthday/Jacob Speaks Out
In 2009, Jacob stood down as Editor-in-Chief of the NeoDex. It was a decision that set the tweet-o-sphere a-twitter, set talk shows speculating, and set journalists rooting through dustbins looking for signs of an expenses scandal cover-up.
But what really happened? What is the story behind the man who captained the Good Ship NeoDex from the pond of redlinks to the sea of knowledge? What are his plans for the future?
In this open letter, Jacob breaks a two year vow of silence and tells all. You'd have to be mad to miss it.
Off the bat, I feel I need to make an admission. I don't think it's quite well known (or known at all), but my original intention on the venture of being a NeoDex Admin was entirely of ego. I was young (at least younger) with high aspirations, and through the NeoDex I thought my works would get noted for building a widely used Neopets Wiki from the ground up. While I can say it hasn't exactly turned out that way, notice was given, and while I'm no longer a part of the official team, it would seem I'm still thought on now and then, given how I was asked to write about my time as the admin who turned it all around since the NeoDex's beginning six years ago.
It began in March 2006, wherein I was given the status of Head Admin of the NeoDex. About a week or two before I was a normal visitor to PinkPT and stumbled upon the NeoDex, saw the grim state it was in, and only noticed the opening of Head Admin after creating who knows how many pages and making a blueprint to rework the wiki from the ground up. Having fiddled with the coding a bit, realization struck and I said to myself, "I could totally do this!" Kym noted the work I did and gave the thumbs up, and thus began the early stages of the NeoDex.
While I could describe the appearance of the NeoDex at that time, I don't really need to because you can actually see for yourself. That's the wonder of a wiki. All the work you put into it is shown for the world to see via article history. In summary, it was a jumble of information with no real organization or cohesion. To give an an example you can easily understand, let's look at the now 54 Neopets. If I recall correctly, only half of those Neopets had articles made, and only half of those had anything written on them, and half again spoke of the Neopet the topic was supposed to be about (pretty much). It was like that throughout the entire wiki. And to top it all off, no one was around to counteract the constant spamming and vandalism going round for a month. For the editors who have dealt with the spam bots the wiki gets, you can understand how much of a blow that is.
A little something about myself: if I see something out of place or a mess, I tend to organize it, even if it's not something of my own. I would go to libraries and find myself putting away books properly if I find them out of place. It's a habit which has been a blessing and curse depending on the situation. So when I found this wonderful idea of a wiki for Neopets, I shuddered at the same time when I found out what a disaster it was. I made myself dedicated to the task of making sure the NeoDex was a presentable and precise location for Neopets lore and insight, and spent days working on hundreds of edits at a time.
I worked tirelessly for things to make sense, and before I knew it, almost every notable article on the NeoDex has been sorted, written, or written in the style I had devised. It was a triple win for me in the end: I learned a lot of new skills, played out my need to sort and correct things which needed fixing, and got a name for myself as intended. When you literally shape the entire structure of the NeoDex from the ground up, it tends to get noticed. And please note I'm not saying that just to gloat, because I tend to have no pride in myself as it stands. But I'm a man who believes in truth, and it's the truth that the framework of the NeoDex as it's known was a solo job.
Even so, there is only so much one editor can do, and I didn't have to wait that long because other editors came round when they saw the work being put in. We may have been few, but we were dedicated, and did what we create certainly feel like magic. Yes, I know that sounds a little silly, but how else can you describe the feeling of knowing others around the world are as dedicated to the task of filling out and presenting the worth of all that is Neopets? Collaboration is the very basis of the wiki, downright promoting the idea of others to pool in and sort what they know. Being a part of that is a wonderful thing, and knowing someone else had my back in the midst of my work was a wonderful feeling.
So what happened to all of that? Well, life happened, in which too much got thrust onto my plate and I couldn't give any more of my free time to the NeoDex. The biggest act which brought this about was the dropping of my laptop while it was in the middle of heavy commuting, which any computer expert out there will tell you kills the hard drive. I couldn't afford another computer, and the only access to a computer I had (if at all) was from the local library or the small moments a roommate would lend their own laptop. Lack of funds also took up my free time, and what time I had in front of a computer was soon being taken for other more urgent affairs (those relevant to living the next day).
I eventually realized I couldn't keep up with the demand of the NeoDex and my own life, and gave notice to Kym of PinkPT to start the search of a new Head Admin in December of 2008. Since then, I've bought a new computer the next year, and have played catch-up with many things I've lost touch with through computing and the Internet. The one thing I've never really gotten back to was editing for the NeoDex. I've been around in the PPT forums, and have even got back into playing Neopets itself, but my visits to the NeoDex are spaced with months of time, which is really no more than a drive by an old hang out. I've always felt great guilt over this, and have always intended to come back and finish what had been started.
But that's the wonder of a wiki in general. No matter how much you write, correct or sort, there will always be more work to put in. What we know and understand and how we know and understand it will always keep changing, meaning the job of a wiki editor never truly ends. While this may depress the lot, it actually makes me smile when I think on the prospect of continuing to work on something that continues to grow. More so when I think on the fact I would be working with a community I helped build from the very beginning.
Not only that, but Neopets is still thriving as well. The Faerie's Ruin last year I believe was perhaps one of the best plots conceived to date. The Altador Cup continues to go strong, and another great change via the reforming of Krawk Island is happening as I write this. As not only the former Head Admin but a Neopets player from almost the very beginning, I'm excited for where TNT may take us. But with the fun will always come the work for the NeoDex and its editors the world at large. It's a daunting task keeping up with new content, all the while making sure the old content is accurate, but it's something I'm sure the NeoDex editors take on with relish.
Though I'm sure I speak mostly for myself when I say that, and as I've already stated, I've pretty much retired myself until I can get a handle on my life and the world around me. I'll eventually come back and get a feel for the NeoDex again and how it's evolved away from my eyes, and I'm sure it's grown something amazing. To the NeoDex editors who have kept vigilant, know that you are amazing, and I have not forgotten the work we have made. It's been real, and I hope you continue to be strong so that when I finally do get back on my editing legs, more memories can be made. And edits.
Can never forget the edits.