What I'm up to these days...
October 04, 2019

I have been pretty busy lately, and I haven't posted to my blog to keep you all updated on what I'm doing to fill my time. Part of that silence comes from a desire to surprise you with improvements I know you'll like. I enjoy working my tail off on something, then revealing it so it has the most exciting result. But I can see where the silence might also be interpreted as a sign I don't care, or that I am busy doing stuff elsewhere and don't have time of the site. Neither of those things is even remotely true, and so here is an update.

My main project right now is the site's games database. I spend dozens of hours each week, probably about twice the hours I devote to my actual day job (which is a clerk/cashier position at a local department store). The games database is important because a healthier games database means I can make exiting features better and more useful, and because it means there are more entries to the site from a search engine like Google, which translates to more traffic on the site and more interest in the site's content (specifically: your reviews). This is hugely important for those reasons and others besides, and the effort seems to be producing the desired results. It just happens to take a LOT of time. It's all very tedious and mentally draining, but I plan to keep at it and I hope very much that a year from now--yes, a full calendar year--I'll be able to point to the results and to this post and say "See? I knew what I was talking about!"

But I'm not just working on the games database, even if that's where I spend most of my time. As you've seen, I also am trying to write the occasional review, something you can more easily see and (I hope) enjoy as a result of my efforts. And I am trying to find more people who can contribute similar content to the site, because I do think we need a larger variety of contributors to maintain submission activity and discussion. The site is better for everyone when more people are involved, I think (though with too many people involved, sometimes things can slide back in the wrong direction). There's a balance that needs to be maintained, and I recognize we have a ways to go before we find it.

I'm also working on polishing site features here and there, and I haven't always posted about the results even when they're good. I recently made some substantial changes to how game genres are tracked, which makes it easier to look up listings for some genres. More importantly, I was able to improve the site's search functionality. There are still some steps I need to take, and I know what those steps are and will take them. As things stand, though, our search engine is now considerably more effective. I checked site search on a few leading sites around the Internet and I have to say that ours performs very well in comparison. Better, in a lot of cases. Which is a nice evolution! I also updated the "Reviews" page so that when you check your reviews in your blog, you can also sort according to the rating you assigned games. I hope some of you find that useful.

In the coming months, as noted, I will continue to work to improve the site's quality and quantity of listings. I will continue to review stuff when I can squeeze in projects, and I will continue to seek out new talent. I will also continue to make slight tweaks to site features and the layout, but I plan no major changes on the front end. I think at this point, we have a design and a set of features that mostly support what we like doing at HonestGamers. My overall goal is make only the changes that will help us do those things better and more easily. Let other sites flounder about, trying to find whatever new identity will bring in more ad revenue and such. We've found our identity, and it's terrific. Now all I'm worried about doing is making sure more people know about it.

Thanks for your continued support, even when sometimes I'm quiet about what I'm working on for long stretches of time. Your ongoing support continues to drive me to work harder on behalf of this site and community, and I look forward to seeing what fun we have in the years ahead!

Most recent blog posts from Jason Venter...

Feedback
CptRetroBlue CptRetroBlue - October 16, 2019 (12:42 AM)
Absolutely love the additional stuff on features like the review submission section, I was always wanting to be able to preview my reviews before submitting so I may had to correct anything before they were shown on the site, thanks. I also dig the counter which allows us to let the site know when we want said reviews to be featured when approved.
honestgamer honestgamer - October 16, 2019 (10:47 AM)
I'm glad to hear it! When it comes to features, it helps a lot that I built the entire site by hand, rather than just using something like Wordpress templates and extensions. So I know how to do things, or can figure them out, plus I use the site myself so I find things I'd like to do and if there's a feature missing that I really want, it's quite possibly something someone else would also like to see.

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