Daily Elysium: State of the Site (Month 1)
Hard as it may be to believe, GWJ has survived an entire month online. Some might ask, now that we've achieved unparalleled success, shouldn't we retire to the storied comforts of a south Florida retirement home, and putter about in golf carts through a gated community brimming with elderly game journalists that slip regularly into nostalgic reverie over bygone halcyon days of gaming? Dare I say, instead that our work has only just begun?One of our promises here was to be a site that kept the lines of communication open between you, loyal reader, and ourselves. This means more to us than simply being correct in each and every forum post we participate in, though we plan to continue that important tradition, but also letting those who wish get behind the scenes, see what we've got planned, what we're working on, and how we see the site moving forward. So, let's talk about the future.
Certis and I had a vague idea of how much traffic the site would see in its first month, and we signed up for a bandwidth plan that would leave us plenty of room to grow while supporting our existing needs. We were certain that this plan would maintain us nicely as we slowly fostered a reader base, increased our output, and eventually established ourselves as a young but worthwhile site for game culture news and commentary. We fully intended that somewhere around June or July we would need to seriously consider increasing our available bandwidth, and step up to the next tier. That was the plan.
Instead, we exceeded our allotted bandwidth before the end of January, and were forced to upgrade two weeks after the site went live.
That is to say that you, yes you, stop looking around humbly and take a bow, have made this little endeavor far more successful than we would have dared initially hope for. In the realm of gaming sites, we're still barely a blip on the radar, but on our little plan that we have written out on a dirty napkin we keep in a glove compartment under a poorly folded map of Kansas, you've propelled us to a level we expected to be skirting come August or September.
So, I guess that means we're pretty firmly engaged in this now. We've picked up a third poster (actually we have four posters, but one of them is taking her sweet time finding a topic) long before we had thought we'd have need, and over the past month I like to think we've come a bit closer to finding our own distinctive voice. We'd like to reiterate that we're not a competitor to the big news sites that dominate and cover daily gaming news with great alacrity. It is our goal to cover a breadth of topics that might interest you, and a tasty bit of news on our favorite movie is as important as any gone gold announcement. Further, we're determined to give you some kind of thought beyond simply spitting out a stream of vaguely connected stories.
So, what's to come? Well, by making us an increasingly successful site, you've given us some leverage in picking up content, and we're making constant behind-the-scenes strides to do just that. We've been in contact with many people, and are beginning to line up more interviews. We'll continue posting our thoughts and full blown reviews, as well as holding open season on editorializing. We'd like to give you a little more content each day than we have been - one of the reasons we brought Sway aboard - so you've got reason to visit morning, noon, and night. The integration of the comments system and revamped forums are a bit trickier than we had hoped, and are getting meshed with a complete site redesign we have planned, so we ask that you bear with us a bit. It's still in the cards for GWJ, but will probably be later rather than sooner.
I want to talk a bit about the forums. First, we're completely bowled over at the community that's sprouted. By and large, the tenor and insight we see in the forums is pretty much on par with what we had hoped could be fostered. With that said, you're probably going to see us take a slightly heavier hand in policing over the next month. We're working on a code of conduct which we will post in the coming weeks, but again we encourage you to use common sense. If you wouldn't want your co-workers to see it, then it probably shouldn't go in the forums. To that end, you may see a few more posts get moderated out. If it happens to you, don't take it personally, don't scream and shout, and don't feel like we're somehow squelching your freedom of speech. More than likely something about the wording made us feel like the post should be phrased better, and you're welcome to repost your comment with the offending elements removed. If there's a serious problem, you'll hear from us.
What we'd like to see avoided in the comments and the forums are pretty standard stuff. No senseless profanity (occasional and moderate use is permitted). No slurs, or personal attacks - if there's a chance it might be confused as serious, then change the tone of your post. No links to warez or pirate sites. This next one is a bit subjective, and not something we plan to persecute, but is mentioned for extreme cases. No blatant abuse of the language for effect - no one here wants to read all caps or l33t speak. We're not talking about inadvertently misusing adverbial clauses, or dangling participles here, but I'm pretty much of the feeling that if you couldn't take a moment to form your comment into some kind of coherent standardized structure then why should we have to read it?
Ugh, so many rules. I don't want to give the impression that we're mobilizing our moderating forces to wage some kind of grammatical Jihad on you, but simply to give fair warning that we'll be taking a bit more organized policy. Again, I want to stress that having your forum post edited or removed is not some indictment on your worth as a human; we aren't calling you out to pistolas at dawn, and we aren't about to ban you. It just means that we felt your post should have been worded a bit better, and that you should remember that forum posts don't always sound to a reader quite the way you meant. In the end, we hope this early approach keeps our forums a worthwhile place to visit as we grow, and discourages the kind of trolls that all too often ruin the very best forums.
We've got great things planned for you over the next month, and we're working to make GWJ an absolutely crucial stop on your daily circuit. As always, thanks for visiting!