Ten years is roughly 84 years on the internet—maybe more. In 2003, Friendster was still a big deal, MySpace was just getting started, and Facebook was only a twinkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye. Blogging was still a relatively new phenomenon, and music blogging was in its infancy; Fluxblog, one of the first blogs to regularly post MP3s, was founded in 2002.
A year after Fluxblog’s founding, the Columbus-based Netscape project manager Robert Duffy started Donewaiting.com. The site was his outlet for writing about music he liked—bands like Wilco and The White Stripes, as well as local acts like the alt-folk singer Tim Easton and the post-emo band Miranda Sound. Though it never became as well-known as indie-blog titans like Brooklyn Vegan or Stereogum, the site carved out a sizable niche over time, offering readers dispatches from Columbus, as well as Houston and Chicago. Before the South By Southwest festival became a media-blitzed behemoth, Donewaiting served as a hub for news, and traffic skyrocketed during the early part of each year. (Duffy spoke on panels in Austin, and in 2008 the site sponsored a day party at the festival.) It shot and produced videos of live performances, including a 20-minute space-metal epic from Columbus psych outfit Eye. It brought on hip-hop blogger Wes Flexner, whose typos, in-the-know jargon, and love of graffiti inspired a fiercely loyal following and sometimes vociferous detractors. (In 2009, Duffy moved to Brooklyn, and I came on board as co-editor and chief Columbus correspondent.) Donewaiting also housed a mighty community—affectionately and somewhat ironically named the “Friendship Farm”—that for a time was the place for music fans in Columbus to generally get all hot and bothered about local festivals snubbing bands and whether Times New Viking were lo-fi saviors or simply overhyped.
But after 10 years, the blog is calling it quits. (Facebook had already killed the Farm; conversations that used to happen in the microcommunity of a message board now occur on social media.) Duffy’s heart isn’t in it anymore, and neither is mine. The passion for music, once so apparent, began to wane. Getting writers to post conjured dental analogies. [...]