No, I’m not retiring for the 216th time.
Back in January’s State of the Website Address, I talked about how much I accomplished in the second half of 2018, and my plans for 2019. I made a lot of grandiose promises about doing things like restoring the site and its community to its former glory, creating a bunch of new content on a regular basis, doing more podcasts, and other promises I knew deep down I couldn’t really keep. A couple of months after that post, the AngryJerk.net Freight Train ran out of steam and burnt right the fuck out. I didn’t want to do much on the internet except for browse Reddit and 4chan.
I blame several things for this, but above all I blame one thing the most for my burn-out: My job as the assistant deli manager at a supermarket. I was working 6 days a week, at 47 hours total. Running a supermarket deli is no easy task, and I could write many articles about my 9 years of experiences at this place. Perhaps one day I will.
The good news is, I now have a new job in a completely different industry. With this new job comes steady day-time hours, weekends and holidays off, and significantly less stress. The crew and environment are great, and the job is more physical than mental, so I run less risk for mental burn-out. With the primary source of my stress completely removed from my life, I can now focus more on projects I’ve wanted to do, and create some of the content I’ve wanted to create.
The second reason for my burn-out was my lack of growth. Try as I might, I didn’t succeed in building the community I had hoped for. Not to dismiss or put down the people in my community now, you guys are fucking great, and the reason I’m pressing onward. It was disappointing to watch as my Twitter and Twitch numbers steadily declined, succumbing to a system that’s pretty much designed to keep you down and keep unfunny untalented hacks like Dr. Disrespect at the top. Building a community on Twitch is extremely difficult without joining a group and spending all of your free time “networking” (i.e. helping other streamers inflate their own numbers in the hope that they’ll do the same for you), which I refuse to do. It’s also very difficult when you can’t maintain a consistent schedule because of work and a social life. I’ve covered many of the difficulties of succeeding on Twitch in this article. My biggest difficulty with creating growth can be summed up by the idea that I was treating it as a second job. By trying too hard, I was effectively sabotaging myself and creating my own stress for no good reason.
Another thing sabotaging my growth was my abrasiveness. I’ve been online for about 15 years give or take, and during that time the landscape of the internet has drastically changed. 10 years ago, a name like Angry_Jerk would have caught peoples’ attention and interest. Now, in this age of dime store failtroll edgelords, the name “Angry_Jerk” is seen as abrasive and off-putting. Also, it limits me as an entertainer, because everyone expects Angry_Jerk to be an angry guy, and I’m honestly not that angry anymore. There is no more “rant scene” like there was in 2007. We now have “content creators” making videos for a more mainstream audience of normal everyday people.
Over the last several years, I’ve pushed back against the change and refused to get with the times. It is in that spirit that I am effectively re-branding myself. Instead of going by the handle “Angry_Jerk”, I will henceforth go by the “stage name” AJ Baker. It’s less abrasive, less limiting, and allows me to more easily push forward and bring my content up to par with the standards of today. The site will still remain here at AngryJerk.net, since I can’t just throw away a domain name that’s 12 years old. Gone will be the abrasive faux-anger and needless excessive profanity, and in its place better and more well-thought out content. tl;dr version of this paragraph: I’m going from Angry_Jerk the Ranter to AJ Baker the Entertainer.
One thing some of you keep asking me about in the Discord is the Twitch streams, and when and if they’re coming back. The answer is yes. I’m hoping to relaunch the streams soon, within the next week or two. The catch is they’re only going to be 2 hours long due to time constraints. I know this hinders growth, I don’t really care. It’s quality vs quantity here, I don’t have the time or energy to stream for 5-6 hours a day. So yes Nidos and Half, the streams ARE coming back.
So to wrap this one up, expect many changes in the next month or so. It’s the end of an era, and the beginning of something better.