I know when the site re-design happened awhile back that some of you commented that you'd like to see me check in more often and keep you all in the loop as far as what's going on with me and the site. I like to let my activity speak for itself, but sometimes that's not enough so here's an update post.
1) I've been trying to gradually ramp up my own activity on the site, specifically with reviews (the site's well-deserved and nearly sole focus now), but that can be difficult because I get a large portion of my income from freelance work and that keeps me fairly busy. I have a part-time job too, after all, and a lot of weeks for awhile there I was getting 30 hours at work and then coming home to many more hours of freelance work. It's hard to find time for other writing in between, as I'm sure you can imagine. And sleep. Sometimes I like to have that. Plus for a while, I was also taking online classes!
The good news is that I've been taking steps to simplify my life. I'm also keeping HonestGamers as a priority, so you don't need to worry that I've lost interest. When I can, I also use freelance work to get time with games that I then review for the site. My recent reviews for Okamiden and Super Monkey Ball 3D (posted today) are examples of that. In the weeks ahead, I hope to further cut back on the outside stuff so that I can focus even more on producing content for the site (and so I can spend a little more time relaxing, too, which is also important for my well-being).
2) I'm trying to build up a team of game critics who can regularly produce quality content for the site. It's slow going. A lot of the best and brightest people want to be paid, and there are enough outlets vying for their attention that we're basically left with whoever out there hasn't secured a paid position elsewhere but still wants to write about games. Sadly, there aren't a lot of truly talented folks (aside from our current staff team) who will write just for games beyond the ones that I've already found throughout the years or who are devoted staff members on other sites of a similar size... and those of us on this particular site are getting tired after writing so many hundreds of reviews, most of us.
My search for new writers therefore requires me to take a more active role as I work with the willing writers to make sure that their output matches the site's high quality standards. That means it takes more time to get new reviews flowing through--plus there still aren't a lot of people in the talent pool--so unfortunately it's going to be awhile before the site is performing at peak levels and covering the wide variety of blockbuster, niche, indie and retro titles that I hope to see it cover.
3) I continue to search passively for ways that the site can bring in more revenue, particularly because today I was contacted by one of our more regular advertisers and advised that they would not be able to advertise with us for a while.
The long-term goal is to bring in more revenue and therefore increase our advertising exposure so that more people find out about the quality content that we provide each week. More eyes on the site means more interaction when each of us post new content and it means more ad revenue so that the site can pay for itself. I believe that there are still a lot of people who would enjoy reading our content and perhaps contributing content of their own who just don't yet realize that we exist, so getting the word out is key.
To that end, I've also been more active on Twitter lately. You can follow my activity there by following me (@jasonventer). I am gaining more followers there, interesting and friendly people with important contacts that can lead to future opportunities for the site. Twitter is free advertising, so I'm pleased with how things are going on that front and social media has already had a small impact on the site by finding us a larger audience and more talent. I hope to see that continue.
HonestGamers has the potential to be a vibrant community for reviewers and for people who just love games like the rest of us, and I'm encouraged by the content that you among the active community have continued to produce. It helps to ensure that people have good reason to visit the site several times each week. I look forward to doing what I can in the coming months to increase activity and the number of registered users in general. Please bear with me as I continue working on this--mostly behind the scenes--as it is a time-consuming process and I am always learning ways that I can do it better.
Thanks again for your support, and please continue to use and enjoy the site!
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