Since August 2011, I have been on Suite101. I worked my way up to Feature Writer, before such titles were scrapped.
It was the first freelance writing platform that I worked on. For that reason, it will always hold a fond place in my heart. I received a lot of early help from its community; and it was on Suite101 where I first heard about Wizzley.
Unfortunately, the site has struggled post-Panda. That affected my traffic and income too. After getting off to a flying start, writing one of the earliest reports on Occupy Wall Street, it all seemed to wither. I was writing a lot of news articles, but Suite101 gave up its Google news accreditation. Good friends immediately jumped ship.
I dithered and dallied, until a fellow writer gave me some good advice. She told me that she understood my loyalty, but in this game we can only have loyalty to ourselves. Nothing else puts bread on the table and pays the bills. I followed Christian Dörr into Wizzley.
Nevertheless, I've still kept a kind of presence over on Suite101. It may have been an occasional article, or an e-mail with friends, but I was still there. Then, in February 2013, came the announcement that Suite101 was changing again. The new model didn't include paying writers for their future articles.
Suddenly a whole community of people were looking for a new home. I had just the place! I spent a whole week over on Suite101, answering questions about Wizzley, as people evaluated their options. Then, to my utter glee, I watched many of them choose to come here.
It was a strange moment. It was like two friends from different parts of your life meeting up; or a couple of extended families gathering at a wedding. I found myself getting anxious - what if this group of friends didn't like that group?
Of course, I needn't have worried. As soon as the influx was obvious, Paul (a Wizzley author) created a forum thread welcoming in the newcomers from Suite101. The Wizzley community flocked to say hello. It was beautiful. I was so glad I was here to witness it.
As for those coming in, my Wizzley inbox was buzzing for days. One by one, the ex-Suite101 writers thanked me for bringing them here. It was better than I'd even made it sound, which is a rare thing indeed in this game!