cheering

Welcome, Nerdites, to a very spe­cial up­date for us here at SuperNerdLand!

Why? Well, it’s not just be­cause this week marks the one year an­niver­sary of the launch of our site. But that does have a lot to do with it!

It’s been one year since we of­fi­cial­ly launched SuperNerdLand into the wild, and it’s been an awe­some year. We’ve had every­thing we could hope for in the past twelve months; from great new fea­tured con­tent by awe­some con­trib­u­tors, to ex­cit­ing site fea­ture ad­di­tions and ex­ten­sive back-end growth. Our dai­ly views have grown from 50 – 100 at the start, to 300 – 400 now, and our ar­ti­cles spawn con­ver­sa­tion all across the web.

Not too shab­by for a plucky group of vol­un­teers who start­ed a web­site for $1, eh?

Content and Contributors

The word of the Nerd is start­ing to be heard by more and more peo­ple across the tubes, and that hap­pens to bring more peo­ple with some great in­sights will­ing to con­tribute when they can. As such, we’ve been able to add on fan­tas­tic reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tors. We’ve also been proud to host the oc­ca­sion­al guest ed­i­to­r­i­al, with pieces from fine folks such as free­lance writer and pro­duc­er Micah Curtis and Metaleater.com con­trib­u­tor Justin Knight. That past year has also graced us with many fan­tas­tic in­ter­views from well known mem­bers of games me­dia, game de­vel­op­ers, and even a quite il­lus­tri­ous voice ac­tor.

I look back some­times and I am just as­tound­ed. When we set out to fea­ture con­tent that we our­selves would en­joy, we over­shot the mark! I still go back to re-read ar­ti­cles we have put out, and en­joy them im­mense­ly.

2016 is go­ing to fea­ture more of that. More of what? All if it! We are go­ing to be hit­ting more game re­views, more in­ter­views, more ed­i­to­ri­als, and more news. More every­thing!

January was a bit of a slow­er month for con­tent gen­er­a­tion, though. Not just be­cause our main con­trib­u­tor, John Sweeney, was tour­ing the US, and sub­se­quent­ly came down with con­ven­tion flu from PAX South at the end of his tour. Consequently, you can look for­ward to some PAX South round-up cov­er­age from him as soon as he is re­cov­ered!

Your hum­ble EiC has been busy with his ad­min hat on also, and I’ve been hard at work on many site fea­tures that are all com­ing to­geth­er very nice­ly!

Feature Updates and Additions

We’ll take that segue to di­verge into the top­ic of the fea­tures we are bring­ing to SuperNerdLand! You might no­tice that the top­ic of new or re­vamped fea­tures come up of­ten in these site up­dates, and that is no ac­ci­dent. I spend a num­ber of hours every day when work and life al­lows ham­mer­ing on the site frame­work. This site is ever evolv­ing, and I just can’t stand leav­ing the func­tion­al­i­ty stag­nant.

Because of this, I am al­ways look­ing to in­tro­duce fea­tures that al­low our con­tent cre­ators room to breathe and do what they do best, to bet­ter serve said con­tent to our au­di­ence, and to move us away from be­ing be­hold­en to grub­by hand­ed cor­po­ra­tions and out­side Terms and Agreements.

What bet­ter time than our One Year Anniversary to in­tro­duce two of these long await­ed fea­tures that I am ab­solute­ly hype for?

Community Site

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The first would be the revamp/re-launch of our com­mu­ni­ty fea­tures! This re­launch is much bet­ter than what we had, and for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons. We had pre­vi­ous­ly launched fo­rums and site pro­files on our site, but I was not pleased with the im­ple­men­ta­tion, the peo­ple tapped as mod­er­a­tors and pro­mot­ers couldn’t do that job any­more, and be­cause of those pre­vi­ous two rea­sons that last it­er­a­tion of the com­mu­ni­ty fea­tures just didn’t take off.

That’s just fine, though. Not every idea, or im­ple­men­ta­tion of it, will take off. You take what you learned from those sit­u­a­tions, and ap­ply it to serve bet­ter things to peo­ple!

The need for re­vamped com­mu­ni­ty fea­tures hap­pened to con­verge with plat­forms like Twitter ab­solute­ly shit­ting the bed. Fed up users are switch­ing over to plat­forms like GNU Social to take ad­van­tage of a more free and dis­trib­uted net­work, and we not only want­ed to help pro­vide an­oth­er node for this dis­trib­uted so­cial net­work, but want­ed to cre­ate a space for our own au­di­ence to dis­cuss top­ics and talk with SuperNerdLand staff in an easy man­ner.

With these two things crash­ing to­geth­er, we de­cid­ed that our next it­er­a­tion of com­mu­ni­ty fea­tures should be a distributed/federated so­cial net­work in­stance. While oth­er folks are us­ing the very ca­pa­ble GNU Social to cre­ate Twitter-equse sites, we de­cid­ed to go with a piece of soft­ware called Friendica. It op­er­ates a bit more like a mix be­tween Twitter and Facebook, but it does of­fer in­ter­op­er­abil­i­ty with GNU Social in­stances, as well as of­fers con­nec­tion op­tions for post­ing on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc when con­fig­ured prop­er­ly.

It is still un­der con­struc­tion and test­ing, but this site is now LIVE for our love­ly com­mu­ni­ty to come and test! Once I fi­nal­ize just a cou­ple more things, I will pro­vide a video tour to get peo­ple ac­quaint­ed to the set­up. But if you are fa­mil­iar with oth­er so­cial net­works, then get­ting used to ei­ther GNU Social or Friendica should be a snap.

If you want to take a look at the pub­lic wall of our new com­mu­ni­ty page, then just click here! Or vis­it: http://community.supernerdland.com/community

Feel free to cre­ate an ac­count, poke around, and come tell us how much we suck!

Remember, if you al­ready have a GNU Social ac­count some­where then you can al­ready come talk to us all, and fol­low us! But you can cre­ate an ac­count on our com­mu­ni­ty site to take ad­van­tage of more fea­tures spe­cif­ic to our site. If you pre­fer to use the “Twitter” like ex­pe­ri­ence pro­vid­ed by most GNU Social in­stalls then I have no prob­lem rec­om­mend­ing Freezepeach.xyz, or the com­mu­ni­ty site for HighlandArrow.com pro­vid­ed by their EiC (and our serv­er room­mate) over at community.highlandarrow.com (some of you all may even like shitposter.club)!

Self-Hosted Video Streaming

The next fea­ture in­tro­duc­tion is very dear to me. Self-hosted video stream­ing has been some­thing in the back of my head for some months, but re­cent events with how ac­counts have been treat­ed on YouTube pushed this from a back burn­er “want” into a very up­front “need.” YouTube has al­ways been a ten­u­ous place for small­er chan­nels not part of an MCN, and we are start­ing to see more and more MCNs op­er­at­ing in ways that are counter to how we want to be treat­ed as a cre­ator and a con­sumer of con­tent.

So we rolled our own stream­ing so­lu­tion!

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Well, tech­ni­cal­ly it is uti­liz­ing Nimble Streamer, and get­ting its out­put in­te­grat­ed into the site. Nimble Streamer is a piece of soft­ware (Nimble is free, but the con­trol pan­el that ex­pands its func­tion­al­i­ty is a month­ly sub­scrip­tion) that al­lows one to be­come their own Twitch, YouTube, or Netflix es­sen­tial­ly. Right now we pro­vide chat by em­bed­ding an IRC chat into the page, but we are look­ing into a more per­ma­nent so­lu­tion to this

I’ve been bang­ing around for the past week and a half or so to work us into a nice beta sta­tus for our live stream­ing fea­tures, and I dare say it is more than ready for some pub­lic test­ing!

You can click here, or vis­it https://supernerdland.com/live to see the set­up.

We are go­ing to be work­ing on some sched­uled game stream times to an­nounce, so you all can come see us game and even come play with us! The Nimble Streamer con­trol pan­el also al­lows us to eas­i­ly do things like re­pub­lish streams to sites like YouTube.

So that means that all fu­ture episodes of our The Weekly Grind stream will simul­cast LIVE on our web­site and YouTube. We plan to keep up the simul­cast for some time, so if you like view­ing us via YouTube then you won’t have to do any­thing dif­fer­ent to keep view­ing our video con­tent. As we move into the fu­ture (or if YouTube kicks us off the site) we will be look­ing to mi­grate to host­ing video via our site only, but we will make sure to ease this tran­si­tion as much as pos­si­ble over the com­ing months.

Conclusion

The past year has been a bless­ing, and we are ab­solute­ly hon­ored to have built up the au­di­ence we have so far. We look for­ward to an­oth­er year of grow­ing the site, build­ing our au­di­ence to even greater heights, and help­ing to con­tribute to the on­go­ing dis­cus­sions rel­e­vant gam­ing, comics, movies, TV, in­ter­net cul­ture, and oth­er ab­so­lut­ly nerdy en­deav­ors!

Another thing I say of­ten, but can’t ex­press enough, is that we are lit­er­al­ly noth­ing with­out all of you out there in NerdLand. I want to thank all of you who have been with us the past year, and I want to ex­tend a greet­ing to every new per­son com­ing around these parts.

As an aside to end with, I do want to pro­vide a kind of shout out to Leigh Alexander. She was hand­ed the Offworld brand by the web­site BoingBoing last year, and it was such a re­sound­ing suc­cess that she is leav­ing the site and quit­ting games jour­nal­ism for a time! Thanks for be­ing our traf­fic mile­stone for a while, as our site hov­ered be­low, but not far from, Offworld’s traf­fic lev­els near the end there. And thanks for giv­ing us an­oth­er site that we out­last­ed to put up on the list.

This one is for you, Leigh.

What hap­pened to the site? (AKA I’ve been work­ing on the serv­er, all the live long day)
Site Update 10/2: New Writers, New Server, and Patreon
The fol­low­ing two tabs change con­tent be­low.
Josh Bray
Josh has worked in IT for over 15 years. Graduated Broadcasting school in 2012 with a fo­cus on A/V pro­duc­tion. Amateur pho­tog­ra­ph­er with a pas­sion to make things work… by any means nec­es­sary. Editor-in-Chief and do-er of tech things at SuperNerdLand