So… I got my website into a “mid-beta” state this weekend. The forums are upgraded, the themes are configured, and I’ve had to re-code some nasty bugs out of the default scripts in phpNuke… but by God it’s there now. Hurrah.
Now I’m at the point where I need to decide on what sort of content I’m going to provide. Before you say “well, why’d you make a site then?” let me say that I have a few ideas already - but they won’t cover all the bases I’ll need by themselves.
Thus, I’m turning to the press people who do this and the developers whom I’ll be dealing with, and perhaps amongst us we can define what this website is going to do.
Let me first define what I don’t want to do - and that is to be a weblog site that snatches headlines from everybody else and such. We’ve got slashdot and shacknews pumping out headlines all day, so I don’t need to participate in that. I do, however, have the site set up so that readers can submit news items - so I’m ok with posting a “Here’s a link to someone else’s artle that I found” sort of thing. It is, however, bad karma to claim blogged stuff as your own, so I’m steering clear of that right off the bat.
As for reviews, I don’t think I need to cover everything that comes out. I’m going to take reader submitted reviews and play editor with them - so if you’re not already a reviewer but want to make an attempt at it, feel free. The people who do it for a paycheck won’t be interested, I’m sure - hell, I wouldn’t work for free when I could be getting paid - but for everybody else, if you get the urge, the option is there. (Tom and Mark owe me at least one article of their choosing each - I told you guys I’d get paid for the QT3 design one of these days :-) )
So, for review content I’m thinking about doing something that nobody else really is… and that’s putting the main focus on the multiplayer side of things and giving the solo experience the secondary slot. Sort of the inverse of your average site. I’m not really into MMORPG stuff, so it’ll be mainly the maistream titles and mods that get the attention. I’m still conspiring with the guys at insomniax.net to come up with a decent review template - because it’s certainly not going to be your standard fare.
One thing I definitely need to do is get myself back on the various PR lists, so I get corporate news from the source. I used to have pretty good luck with this when I was writing for gamesdomain - but since I’ve been off for a year my status on the PR lists has faded a good bit. Any suggestions for an easy method of getting back on the mailing list without having to pimp to each publisher individually?
Another thing I’m considering is having interviews and Q&A sessions with various industry people. Not just developers, but we might have “Ask Bruce Geryk 10 Tough Reader-Submitted Questions” style things. Rather than formal corporate-style inteviews, I’m thinking more along the lines of getting someone in ICQ, asking them what the readers want to know, BS’ing a bit with them about random topics, and then posting the chat log. A very informal interview format, to be sure. Other Q&A stuff would be via email, so they have a chance to answer at their leisure.
Beyond this stuff I’m also probably going to soapbox a little - because hey, it’s my house and I can. Pretty much at this point though, I want to kick some ideas around with “the boys” and see if I can refine my vision a little before I head down any particular path.