The future of IBOT {A new era} | IBOT

"For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."
- Steve Jobs

And so it is with everything in life, there comes a time when we need to make changes. Changes that will benefit us as individuals, and benefit those around us as a community. IBOT is no different and certainly not immune to change. Over the years since Jess started IBOT (I Blog on Tuesdays) in 2011 there have been many changes in the make-up of #teamIBOT (those lovely souls who make a commitment to read and comment on your posts every week). But none as big as this.

It is with much sadness that Jess will be closing this chapter of IBOT in her life and passing it on permanently to me. From 2017 this blog, Kylie Purtell - Capturing Life, will be the official and permanent home of IBOT.

I know the decision to leave IBOT for good has not been an easy one for Jess. When she decided to take a break a few months ago she wasn't sure if the break would be for a short while or for good. Over those months she's done so many things, and finally came to the realisation that it was time to move on.

To celebrate our awesome creator of IBOT, I thought it would be a great idea to dedicate this post to Jess, and the wonderful members of #teamIBOT who have made this community the loving, supportive and comment-filled one that it is.

And so, I asked Jess to answer a few questions about IBOT and her plans for her future post IBOT. An 'exit interview' if you will!
The woman who started it all

What was it that made you start IBOT all those years ago?
A twitter conversation. A few of us were talking about how Tuesday was a slow day for blog comments and I thought maybe a Tuesday themed linky would help. Turns out it did. :)

Did you expect it to be so successful when you first started?
Not at all! We had 12 links the first time (I think) and it felt like it took me hours to read them. Boatman made the comment, “what will you do if you get 20 or 30 links?” and I said, “I doubt that will it ever happen.” Turns out it also did.

What do you think is the secret to IBOT’s success?
There’s a few possible factors. I think not having a theme made it easy for everyone to join in. Being strict about new, previously unpublished posts (a rule some people love to break), means that there’s always fresh content to read, instead of stuff being shared over multiple link ups. But overall I think #teamIBOT has been the main factor behind its success, because we worked really hard to make sure everyone got visited every week. I’ve always believed that blogging gives everyone a voice and that IBOT is a chance for that voice to be heard for those who might not have much of a platform, and by those who might not read otherwise.

Do you have any favourite IBOT posts or moments from over the years? If so, which ones?
Oh it’s so hard to choose!! Gate 25 is always going to be special because it was about Dad’s death. The girl in the chair with the unkempt hair was written about one of my girls, and I love the moment in time I was able to capture with that one.

Mad About Bridget was fun to write. In my Garden was about moving on from PND, and actually being grateful after the fact. It gets a special spot. And finally, Flipping the Switch. Not because it’s a brilliantly written piece of work but because so much changed for me after that moment. Looking back now, I can see how that was a hugely pivotal moment.

How did you come to the realisation that it was time to move on from hosting IBOT?
I began thinking about it at the end of last year really. It was getting harder for me to maintain and enjoy, but it wasn’t the right time. I considered a break but I thought if I did that, I might not come back, and I really wasn’t ready for that. The five year anniversary seemed a good moment to step back. It was probably three months after that that I realised, I didn’t miss it. Since then I can see so many other things I want to do in my life, and blogging is a distraction. But you’ll have to read my post today to hear more on that. :)

What does the future hold for you, both as a person and as a blogger? Will you continue to blog?
I may continue to blog sporadically, when the urge arises. :) I’ve just finished a Diploma of Christian Studies which I loved, so am going to continue studying next year and do a bachelor of Theology part time. I’m very excited about that. I’ve also got some part time work lined up, and if that’s not enough to keep me busy, writing! I’m currently in the middle of the first draft of a third novel right now — the first one morphed into a sort-of series — so I plan to finish that and then polish the first one properly and start submitting to publishers. Big year. :)

Any last words of wisdom for the lovely IBOT loyalists?
Firstly, thank you. You guys have been amazing and made five years fun and purposeful. I’m going to miss ‘hanging out,’ with everyone. Secondly — blog with heart. Write with passion. Use wisdom in what you say, and consider the repercussions of your words, but let your voice be heard. Read other blogs. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Don’t sell your voice, unless that’s what you’ve set out to do, and be careful even then. Public voices have a responsibility to the people who listen, so don’t take that privilege lightly.

And finally, know that you’re worth more than the words you put on your screen. Blogging does not determine your value, any more than any other success does. You’re amazing because you’re you — everything else is just icing on the cake.

I'm sure you'll all agree, Jess will be sorely missed in the blogging world of a Tuesday, but the future is full of big things for our fearless creator!

As well as Jess handing over the reigns of IBOT, there will also be a number of #teamIBOT members hanging up their commenting boots from next year. Janet, Haidee, Rachel and Emily will be taking their leave of #teamIBOT, which will leave us with a few spots to fill. If you'd be interested in being a part of the #teamIBOT commenting team please let me know in the comments so I can start planing for the new-look #teamIBOT once January hits.

To finish off this post I wanted to share some words of congratulations and thanks from the members of #teamIBOT, without whom IBOT would not be the success it is today...

Renee, Mummy Wife Me -
Ahh Jess. I am so very sad to see you leave teamIBOT, but am excited for what the future holds for you. It was 5 June 2014 when you welcomed me into the team. You carefully explained your magical spreadsheet to me and how teamIBOT ensures every blogger’s post is read each week. I loved your dedication to the link up and how you built it to be a true representation of all that is awesome about the blogging community. Our teamIBOT group is such a warm, positive and safe place to share our hopes, dreams and worries. I’ve made so many beautiful bloggy friendships because of this awesome little team. I’ve loved following your journey as a writer and can’t wait to see what BIG things are instore for you. And Kylie, thank you for taking on the task of filling Jess’ shoes. You’re doing an awesome job already. Bring on a big year of IBOT in 2017.
Massive bloggy hugs x
Some current and old members of #teamIBOT with Jess

Denyse, Denyse Whelan Blogs -
I was part of the first #teamIBOT and reluctantly left when my blogging slowed for a couple of years. You powered on through study, writing and publishing a book, house moves and more…and I came back to blogging in 2015 and was accepted back into #TeamIBOT. It’s been a great learning journey for me as an older blogger to feel so supported by you and the team and the many who blog on Tuesdays.

Now you have decided to stop for all the right reasons and I want to thank you again for your on-line presence and support of so many bloggers! I count you as a bloggy friend and one I have been fortunate to meet IRL!

I have written about that on my blog today too. We will miss your presence but always have you in our hearts and minds as #IBOT becomes Kylie’s from 2016. Best wishes and thank you! xx

Haidee, Maybe Baby Brothers -
When I first started blogging again I had no idea how to begin to find like minded bloggers to interact with until I stumbled upon Jess and IBOT and then suddenly I was introduced to a whole world of wonderful women and found a place to belong. Not long after I was invited to join the team and never looked back. I got to know the wonderful Jess on a more personal level and I know we're all sad to be moving on to a new chapter without her but Kylie has done and will continue doing a fabulous job I'm sure! Thanks Jess for the awesome opportunity to work with you and the other lovely ladies of IBOT! I'm gutted that other commitments have meant saying goodbye to the team (for now!) but I'm sure you'll all continue to kick ass on the blogging front and supporting this awesome community of ladies. Good luck with all your future endeavours Jess, I'm sure I'll be seeing your name on a book on the shelves of my local bookstore one day soon! xx

Toni, Finding Myself Young -
One of the best parts of blogging is feeling like you belong to a community of like minded people {even though we're all technically sitting alone in our houses typing into a computer}. Being part of #teamIBOT has cemented the community spirit of blogging even further for me as I get to be part of a supportive group of women banding together to share the love amongst the aussie blogging community. I'm so grateful Jess asked me to join the team last year. I wish her well in her future writing endeavours while myself and the rest of team continue to hold the fort for #teamIBOT each Tuesday.

Em, Em Hawker Blog -
I have never met Jess. But I love her. We've traded comments, messages, emails and love across the interwebs for years now, and I know she is gorgeous through and through, passionate about words and writing and supportive to the end. The community she's built online is testament to that, and IBOT is a wonderful legacy for her to pass along.

Jess, I cannot wait to read your future bestselling novel and tell the entire world I (e-)knew you before you were (even more) famous. Thanks for the inspiration to blog on Tuesdays. x

Janet, Middle Aged Mama -
I discovered Jess and IBOT very early in my blogging career - at least 5 years ago, I think. I was so excited to discover there was a whole wonderful community of bloggers out there to connect with, and so many great blogs to read! Thanks Jess (and all our IBOTers) for being such an integral part of my blogging journey.

Natalie, Our Parallel Connection -
When I was invited to a an IBOT team member, it was like I had finally been invited into the cool group. Jess was so welcoming and helpful that I knew this group was meant to be my new online family. Then the girls started messaging and I knew I was home. So many changes have occurred since I started in the team early this year but sometimes change is a good thing. Will miss you Jess but we will always have you in the heart of IBOT.

Discovering the IBOT team was like walking into a friend's BBQ - so many people to chat and mingle with, and great atmosphere! Blogging on a regular day each week makes you accountable for your own posts but it's a whole lotta blogs you look forward to catching up on too.
I was chuffed to join the IBOT team a few months ago. Even more chuffed to meet a few IBOTers in real life at Pro Blogger 😂🎉😆 Jess has started something so amazing, she should be proud!! You'll always be our Girl Tuesday!! xx


And with that, we finish the IBOT year. It has been a real pleasure getting to read all of your blog posts throughout the year, and I wanted to thank you all for continuing to be a part of IBOT every week. Without you guys there wouldn't be an IBOT link-up!

IBOT will return on the 10th January, and I can't wait to continue our blogging adventures together on a Tuesday!

Do you have any words of thanks that you would like to leave for Jess? Feel free to leave them in the comments below. And if you think you'd like to be a part of the awesome #teamIBOT and help with the commenting every Tuesday, please also let me know in the comments. See you next year!

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