Public Service Announcement MK3

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Joseph
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Public Service Announcement MK3

Post by Joseph » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:42 pm

Well, we've charted out a course for Winterwind in 2013. And since December 2013 will mark our 10 Year Anniversary, we hope to make this a good year. A damned good year in fact.

So to outline our "plan of attack", and all good attack plans have many prongs, this is what we intend:

Content

The Ezine - We will continue doing the ezine. Quarterly is always the ideal though with our currently small pool of contributors and the lack of a graphic artist on the team the aim is for two to four issues per year. My graphic skills are limited and not really able to do justice to the ezine's content.

The main site - Our intention with the main site is to start adding content on a much more regular basis than the ezine, ideally at least monthly. And since the main site doesn't include the visual element that the ezine does, this should be easily achievable.

Regarding content, Fluffy has expressed an interest in contributing short stories and Marcus has expressed an interest in doing a gaming column. On the subject of the latter, since we know Marcus is not perfectly fluent in English at first we were looking at having to edit the articles. Then an idea occurred to me: Why not turn that "weakness" into a strength and do it with some humour. So Marcus and I talked about it and decided to name it after a crazy dwarven D&D character of his and call the column "Bactar's Broken English Gaming Rants", serious points conveyed in crazy style.

Regarding contributors, right now it's, as we know, a small core. Myself, Jez, Michael C. and AKJ. If Fluffy and Marcus start contributing, we grow by two. We'd love to, need to, expand the number of our contributors even further, both regular and guest pieces. In the past we've had some excellent artist profiles, short stories, columns and interviews and we really hope to get back on track in those areas too.

Promoting

Once upon a time this wasn't a concern. We had regular content, our gaming interviews, for example, were picked up by major gaming news sites, etc, etc. But then we went through phases where we didn't add much new content and even went an entire year between ezine issues (from December 2011 until December 2012). That obviously kills momentum and leads to falling off the radar. Each month we still get plenty of traffic via older content. For example we still manage to average about 200 hits a month for our old interview with Damien Foletto regarding the demise of Black Isle and their cancelled Baldur's Gate III and Fallout 3 via their wikipedia entries but...

Essentially, we're starting over. Sig links on other forums and mass emails via this one only go so far. The plan moving forward is to try developing a presence on various social media platforms, in particular, Facebook and Twitter. Regarding FB, we intend to create a page for Winterwind and also add "Like" buttons to the site and ezine. Doing so on the site should be fairly straightforward. Adding them to the ezine could be tricky due to the nature of the coding. Regarding Twitter, I have absolutely no experience with it. But fortunately, Michael C. does and he's offered to be the primary handler of Winterwind's Twitter account... once we set it up.

Before we launch this "relaunch" however, there's some work to be done on the site and ezine.

At the start of the year, the decision was made to put ads back on Winterwind. Like so many sites around the net, we're partnered up with Google Adsense. We actually had them up many years ago but took them down during one of the redesigns of the site and I honestly forgot we had the account until this past New Year's. So, we have them appearing on the the forums and the main site and the hope is that they will cover our hosting costs each year and, if we're lucky, enable us to eventually do a nice, visually appealing redesign of the site. I've also been testing them on the ezine too but unfortunately there are some placement issues due to the ezine's coding being different from the site. In short, vertically they're fine but horizontally, while they appear on the left and right of the issue's pages as intended, how far they appear from it varies according to the user's monitor size and resolution. Fixing that is beyond my knowledge so we've asked for some outside help and hopefully get it sorted soon.

I've also, as mentioned in the previous version of this thread, been working on restoring our SE placement in various categories. Once upon a time, rankings were based on Meta tags (keywords) and we were quite high in a few categories. Due to some sites engaging in "keyword stuffing" most search engines now essentially disregard keywords and focus on the title element and meta description.

In Summary

So to summarise...

We plan on increasing the frequency of new content and we're hoping to increase the number of contributors. We'll be working to expand our online presence and finding new avenues of promoting the site (via Twitter and Facebook) in the hopes of restoring, if not surpassing, our previous traffic levels. And lastly, if the ad revenue allows for it, our hosting costs will be covered and we'll be able to redesign the site from functional albeit basic to much more more visually appealing.

So... thoughts, comments, suggestions... volunteers...

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AngryKidJoe
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Re: Public Service Announcement MK3

Post by AngryKidJoe » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:00 am

Read and understood. I sent you a PM with some brainstorming/venting that I have been doing the past week.
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Re: Public Service Announcement MK3

Post by Michael S Collins » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:44 pm

I've looked into finding other writers and a few seem interested! :)

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK3

Post by Joseph » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:56 pm

There's an announcement I'm just dying to make. Oh, I'm just giddy over it. Well, two announcements really. And giddy over both. Soon... Soon...

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK3

Post by AngryKidJoe » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:15 pm

Why the wait?
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Re: Public Service Announcement MK3

Post by Joseph » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:40 pm

Suspense. And final confirmation.

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK3

Post by MERLANCE » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:09 pm

I've got a bad feeling about this...

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK3

Post by Joseph » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:24 pm

MERLANCE wrote:I've got a bad feeling about this...
Considering you've almost never taken an interest in anything outside of the gaming and rpg forums I've surprised you even noticed this.

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK3

Post by MERLANCE » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:23 am

Hey, I still read stuff from outside those forums from time to time. And if its an "Announcement" it seems important?

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK3

Post by Joseph » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:30 am

Well, yeah, announcements are important but considering the opening post of this thread, it's just didn't strike me as something you'd take notice of. You're a man of surprises.

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK3

Post by Marcus » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:12 pm

I am very happy to be the one behind the retarded text of that "dwarf". I love to help, even if it wont be the most serious of texts but the context will probably still be of a pretty serious subject but yet with a comedy tone right? Well, looking forward to see how this goes! :)

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK3

Post by Trailer Park Jesus » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:23 pm

your site really needs a redesign. really really needs a redesign.

and a retarded dwarf writing a column is comedy gold!
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Re: Public Service Announcement MK3

Post by Joseph » Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:51 pm

^ Thank you, Captain Obvious.

We're working on it. In fact, it's part of the announcement I've been holding off on.

As for the forums, I've been thinking of adding new user groups with the group name/colours that appear on the bottom legend of the index page and the colours showing on the user's name (the way admins and mods do). However... pretty much everyone at this point would be either a patron or contributor except Marcus! Poor Marcus would be one of the only "regular" members.

So, any thoughts? Should I add groups for patrons and contributors? AKJ, you've got a "Founders" tag though I'm probably not going to create a founders group and ditch the tag. You're obviously covered under either Patron or Contributor. I see Contributor as the more appropriate... although I'm anticipating an "I don't care" response from you. ;)

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK3

Post by AngryKidJoe » Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:05 pm

Well, then, how about I want my own unique tag?! How do you like that one Mr. Assumptions! So, now we're colouring people, huh? What are we, racist?
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Re: Public Service Announcement MK3

Post by Joseph » Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:15 pm

Well... you could always fill in your custom title field but I control the groups! And I just might put you in your own unique group. With your own "special" colour.

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