Growing Pains: Almost 10 years to the day after it started, Jay Massey has decided to take Slowlane off it's servers effective today and merge some of its content over to this site. Before I get into details, here's a little history first.
In April of 1991 Chris Stafford started the first hardcopy at-home dad newsletter Full Time Dads out of his Brighton Minnesota home. (Stafford passed that project on to Steve Harris of Maine in 1993. more info.) In 1997 Stafford started Slowlane.com, but still itchy to move along he passed it on to his friend Jay by the end of the year.
used the resources and finances from his own company, Coco Design
Associates and just stuffed the site with playgroups, articles,
book reviews, media stories
and a forum. With the help of Joe Martin, Coco's co-owner (also an at-home dad)
he quickly made it the online resource for at-home dads and expanded the site to
a whopping 1200 pages and was getting over 2 million hits a year. In the years
the site has been active Jay's has always said "its all about the
dads" as he has generously offered his site to help others, whether it
was to help promote and host playgroups, various author's or just a
place for dads to show off their writing. (1n 1997 when Jay took over, blogger
was still 2 years away from inception) Jay was also a fixture at the
At-Home Dad Conventions (he was the only guy wearing sandals) and always offered
his web expertise to anyone who approached him. At the second At-home dad
convention Jay talked me into securing the athomedad domain name before it
was scooped up. Of course my initial pathetic
attempt was no match to Slowlane.
Why these changes to Slowlane now? In the past several years it's 1200 pages became too much to manage, the message board became bogged down with spam and many of the playgroup links became obsolete. At the same time, Jay's son Tucker, and Coco design went though their own growing pains and something had to give. Even a few bloggers took exception of the slowdown. I asked Jay about the slowdown of his site last week and some of the comments that were circulating. "I don't blame them, I'd have said the same thing". He agreed that after 10 years Slowlane had served its purpose to give at-home dads a resource, and it was time to move on.
(Jay at right with his crew and his new stomping ground)
only changes I have made so far were for the remaining
playgroups that still relied on Slowlane for hosting. I have moved them to my
servers and Jay has already re-directed these Slowlane links to mine
so there will be no disruption. In the coming months, I will sifting through
Slowlane's pages and will move any relevant content to an archive section. Some of the
archives will include past articles, and even articles from the At-Home Dad
newsletter from the 90's.
I will keep you posted when I get the archive section up. In addition, Jay will still be an important part of the at-home dad community as he has offered the resources of coco design to help with any new ideas and changes that may help. So in the future I'll let you know if and of at home dad pages are "powered by Slowlane". So here's to you Jay, a huge thanks for your past and future contributions to the at-home dad community and for being a good friend on the way.