We're nearing the end of 2007, and already I've got plans for where the site will head in 2008. They're only that--plans--because without help from staff and users, I can't possibly bring them to satisfactory fruition.
Still, any who have the good sense to check my blog might want a sneak peak at what I'd like to see happening as we shuffle through the last part of 2007 and move into the bold future that is 2008.
First, the focus (after reviews and news, which remain the number one priority for obvious reasons) from me and hopefully other staff members will be on game data, artwork and screens. I'd like to build HonestGamers into a real resource for people, so that even if someone comes and doesn't find a review for some obscure game, he might find screens or art and maybe game details that aren't available anywhere else. The more consistently random users can make such discoveries, the better. That's going to be a huge area of focus for me.
The other area of focus is on the community. I believe that we can cram HonestGamers as full of great content as we like and it still won't matter unless enough people come and enjoy what we offer. We've built up a great resource on this site and we continue to attract praise and new visitors from all over the Internet. Long-time fans are constantly telling me how much they like the site's growth and improvement over the last year or so. We don't have the audience we should, though. Smaller sites with much crappier content routinely find themselves more users, simply because people don't know that we exist or don't leave the sidelines.
As I see it, we need to really get the word out. I plan to do that with some advertising over the next year, as possible, but the best advertising is when someone tells a friend about us and says "Hey, I post at HonestGamers and you should too."
One problem we've had in the past is that people trickle in and out and there's never really a steady community. Consider popular sites and their community. As their numbers grow larger, the users on such sites 'feed' off one another, so to speak. Excitement builds because people are activiely discussing the things they care about and meeting other people who do the same. Common interests result in some of the most enjoyable content available online. HonestGamers can and should have that sort of experience readily available. All of the resources are there to make it happen, just not the audience.
So starting now and heading into 2008 and beyond, I'm encouraging everyone to do what they can on a personal level to improve the community aspects of the site. Post more on the forums. Respond to the posts others make. Post here in the blogs. Tell friends who might be interested and make a positive impact on the site. Add HonestGamers to your signature on other forums. There's no monetary reward, but you should feel satisfied as you help this community grow into the (even more) awesome place it can be.
My promise to all of you is that the more everyone does to really make the site grow as a community and as a gaming resource, the more I'll do to make sure that it remains exciting for everyone. If we have a really active community, contests and prizes WILL improve. Traffic to your content you've provided on the site WILL improve, as will feedback. Everything builds on itself, but I can't make it happen without your continued (and potentially increased) support.
So there, that's my little speech. Feel free to let me know whenever you have suggestions to improve community, and please do tell your friends who might be interested in this site. As an added perk, you might even help a pal win a free Wii!
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|sashanan - November 10, 2007 (07:46 AM)
I'm with ya. This place feels more alive as time goes on. You've got a couple of nice content categories that would work really well if we can just draw more people in - high score submissions, for example, would become much more interesting if we had enough people around to actually get some competition up there. And it´s a feature that most game sites do not support.
|Felix_Arabia - November 10, 2007 (08:01 AM)
Also, the blogs have great potential, but I think they still need more options. The new layout has finally grown on me, but I was playing around with my blog's appearance last night, and I was really wishing it'd be easier to make it look good.
Static backgrounds, an omission of all those lines that appear when you clear your color schemes, a nicer looking default banner that actually takes up the entire width of the blog (or no banner at all when you decide you don't want one).
Also, when using Safari, all my hyperlinks appear blue or purple rather than the colors they really are.
Point of this post: add more love to the blogs!
|Genj - November 10, 2007 (02:49 PM)
Whenever I hit the Go button to see everyone, it doesn't show every user but only a select few. Like last week it only showed Wayne Steed's stuff.
EDIT - Hey my blog is fixed. Now make it so I don't have to study stats.
|shotgunnova - November 16, 2007 (10:37 PM)
HG is going to ride the soul train into '08. YEAHZ!