OutFocus is retiring

The title is not click-bait—we are indeed closing doors.

If you genuinely followed OutFocus for the three years it existed, you know that it has gone through a lot of changes. There was the original OutFocus published online in magazine format. Then there was the WordPress format—the change was basically because we wanted to tap into the potential of all that content we were producing.

OutFocus 3.0 was ambitious. It promised a new era for OutFocus—a future that was monetized and sustainable. We had plans in place for that. But the execution was lackluster. One could argue that we could have done better, or that we could still do better. But the sad truth is that, we don't stand a chance. If I drew a graph of OutFocus's growth, it would look like this:

Note: *This roughly represents the amount of popularity I observed for OutFocus. I'm not going to spend time going back to all the analytics right now. It's just depressing. *Each year starts from July and ends in June. Also each year roughly corresponds to a new OutFocus version.

You can clearly see why I'm taking this decision right now. It's not because I don't want to write anymore... It's just not working out. If we implemented all the features we wanted to, maybe we could have really scaled up, but without any sort of funding, it gets really hard to keep up. Domains and servers cost money. People need to feed themselves and live somewhere. Internet bills need paying. And OutFocus was started with no intention of monetization.

That brings me to another point—OutFocus is not what it was envisioned to be. It was a magazine for anything to happen. We've even published poetry and research articles in the same issue. But the core idea was that it should be disconnected to the shackles of monetization. Once you start doing it for the money, you start to game the system. You want to add click-bait articles, listicles, and ads. I hate all of this. But without monetization, the magazine was doomed from the start.

Maybe some other day all this will become viable. OutFocus was a very good brand. In some ways, it's the best thing I ever did. So I leave the future of OutFocus open. Before leaving you, I really want to show the new logo that I made as part of a rebranding effort which never materialized.

Oops. I dropped it in Schrödinger's box...

But letting it out is like opening Schrödinger's box—I wouldn't want to be the one to kill the cat. Let's leave it aside for now.

What will happen to the site?

As long as I can keep funding the site, I will keep it up. Although in the next few days, search and comment functionality will stop functioning as I will be replacing the site with a static version so I no longer have to keep maintaining it with updates and security patches.

What will happen to the team?

The team will be disbanded—they will be free to do whatever they want to. They always were. Each of them will go on to be very successful and happy habitants of planet Earth—that's what I wish for them. We will keep in touch.

On the bright side, this will give me time to think about and work on other things. The possibilities are limitless. We were never conventional, and we will never be. Keep tabs on us at https://www.theFeathers.in

To the readers

To the ~36k+ viewers who have read OutFocus at some point, I cannot love you enough. I just have one thing to say—sorry for leaving.

Loads of love.

Muthu Kumar,

Editor–in–chief, OutFocus.