Metro Manila · Megacitizens.com says Goodbye & Farewell
All stories come to an end - and it is now time for us at Megacitizens.com to say thank you and goodbye, it was a truly memorable journey keeping you updated about the latest developments surrounding a Megacitizen's life in Manila. We would be honored if you would take some time and read our final article.
How it all started
I arrived in Manila in January 2010 without having ever been to non-western country, leave alone a Megacity. Everything was bigger and more confusing as it has ever been before. Even though the Internet was my friend, there were still so many things that you just could not find on the Internet -- to be honest, you could barely find any reliable information at all. A couple of months after me, Dirk arrived and encountered the same problems. For him it was even more challenging as he did not move there alone but with his entire family.
After a while, you get used to outdated information on the Internet or just having no clue what you are actually doing. The most helpful resource however were friends and colleagues and friends of friends. Basically: if you wanted to know something, you had to ask around. While this is all fun and games when you plan to go on an island-hopping adventure, it gets quite tiring when you want to rent a car, sign-up for electricity or want to have the best Italian food in town without wasting you entire evening on the roads driving around.
Almost every time Dirk and I met, we discussed this issue - motivated by good cold beer - when he finally said 'come on, let's do something about it!'. And so the idea of Megacitizens.com was born. Back then still under a different name, we started with the strategic design in January 2012 and went live (soft launch) in January 2013. So that makes it five years from the brain child's birth to now.
5 Years Megacitizens.com
So for five years now, we tried to provide people like us who spend a couple of weeks up to a couple of years in the Megacity with well-researched and acurate informtion about what is going on in the city. During that time we wrote and updated more than 900 articles, recorded more than 300 videos, took thousands of pictures and got more then 10.000 followers on social media. All that content has been freely available for everyone who was searching for it. We also tried different things such as a Forum, news updates, the MEGAstar, useful services, reader stories, our Stammtisch-meetings ... we did have a lot of fun along the way.
Standing at the end of a journey always leaves you with a bad feeling, nostalgia and melancholia. However, we should always remember why we started this adventure. We did not start it because we wanted to earn a lot of money -- both of us had good jobs, we just wanted to keep as many people as possible informed and updated with what is going on in Manila and hand them the tools to make it through everyday life -- especially if they have just arrived. And, in my humble opinion, we did a damn good job.
It felt good, when we saw our pictures and videos being used (sometimes even with our permission) on other websites, organiziers asking us to promote their events in our event section and friends coming over to visit us in the Philippines telling us, they found really good information about this and that on this website called Megacitizens.com. That is what we spent our money and free-time working for.
As a team, we would like to thank all of you readers, some of you who have been with us from the beginning and others who are just new to our site. Thank you for keeping us motivated through your readership and nice messages over all those years.
All of this would of course have not been possible without an amazing team. I would like to thank Sigrid and Diana who provided us with countless content updates, articles and useful information over the years. Both of you were on the ground and created all that content our readers benefited from in so many ways. A special thanks goes out to Johannes who did not only supervise the content management and -development but was also our expat eyes and ears in the Megacity after we left -- thank you so much for doing my job much better than I could have done it! I cannot thank our creative director Nina enough. She was not only responsible for transforming a bunch of text into a beautiful multimedia landscape, but she was also Megacitizens' pioneer, being there from the beginning all the way to the end.
Personally, I would like to thank Dirk who made all of this possible. Not only providing all the resources for this project and therefore allowing me to have my own virtual 'playground', but also the strategic guidance and entrepreneurial mindset. Dirk, thank you so much -- it was an exciting journey.