were-all-nerds

Our two month an­niver­sary is com­ing up here at SuperNerdLand and I fig­ured it was a good time to let peo­ple know how this lit­tle ex­per­i­ment is go­ing. Given that busi­ness moves slow­er than news, do­ing these State of the Site posts every cou­ple of months seems like it will hit the right spot of hav­ing in­ter­est­ing things to tell you while not re­peat­ing my­self. First I would like to thank all of our read­ers, view­ers and con­trib­u­tors thus far. Without you there is quite lit­er­al­ly no site to be had. It’s the com­bi­na­tion of pas­sion that our con­tent con­trib­u­tors and our au­di­ence have that makes this en­deav­or pos­si­ble.

Where We’ve Been

We start­ed SuperNerdLand in February 2015 with a bit of a com­bi­na­tion to our gen­e­sis. There was a group of peo­ple with great ideas and no where they felt they could get them out. There is an au­di­ence hun­gry for a re­newed en­thu­si­ast press that won’t throw them un­der the bus for fla­vor of the month con­tro­ver­sies. We saw that there is a ded­i­cat­ed au­di­ence out there that wants a stan­dards dri­ven press, and so we start­ed upon this voy­age.

None of us are what you would call “pro­fes­sion­als” in me­dia. In fact we are all vol­un­teer at the mo­ment. We do have a col­lec­tion re­sources in both skill sets and ex­pe­ri­ence that will al­ways make me feel in­cred­i­bly lucky to be sur­round­ed by the folks that I am here at SuperNerdLand. We hope to ex­pand this lit­tle fam­i­ly in the fu­ture as we grow our cov­er­age spheres with peo­ple as pas­sion­ate as you and I.

How are we doing?

In two words: We A’ight. That’s a bor­ing sum­ma­tion though, so let me ex­pand on that a lit­tle bit. Let’s face it. The en­ter­tain­ment me­dia mar­ket is sat­u­rat­ed. The mon­ey in­side the in­dus­try is spread so thin that most writ­ers can­not do it full-time and ex­pect to eat, let alone keep up costs of a busy site if they are start­ing up.

I would liken the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion to the video game crash of 1983 in so much that a glut of low qual­i­ty prod­uct is sat­u­rat­ing the mar­ket caus­ing a nose dive in the vi­a­bil­i­ty of the en­thu­si­ast press as it stands.

And I am OK with this.

Also much like the video game crash of 1983, the mar­ket and the in­dus­try it­self is not crash­ing. It’s just get­ting shak­en up. Market un­cer­tain­ty isn’t great for in­vest­ment and ad­ver­tis­ing, but it sure is a great time to start in­no­vat­ing. That is what the video game soft­ware and hard­ware man­u­fac­tures had to do af­ter the 1983 crash, and it’s what the en­thu­si­ast press is go­ing to have to do now.

So where does that leave us here at SuperNerdLand? Well, we frankly start­ed with strong ideas but no ex­pec­ta­tions. So in a way that makes any suc­cess a good thing. That said, we are do­ing bet­ter than I would even have giv­en large ex­pec­ta­tions of a site filled with part timers start­ing out in this mar­ket. Our page views from our first week com­pared to the one that just past­ed showed an in­crease from 50 views to up to 5,000 views per ar­ti­cle. Maybe I am still naive enough to be im­pressed by this, but this showed me some­thing. I con­sid­er the site in beta mode still –but even so– there is an au­di­ence out there for our view­points and for al­ter­nate plat­forms.

Given that we are get­ting bet­ter day by day in our own craft, and the old ad­vice of “Always con­tin­u­ing for­ward to reach suc­cess,” I see no rea­son our au­di­ence wouldn’t grow go­ing for­ward. With feed­back from our read­ers and view­ers, I feel we can keep ag­ile enough to ad­dress the con­cerns peo­ple have with me­dia these days and be able to present com­pelling con­tent.

There is one un­ex­pect­ed thing that came from our first two months in beta op­er­a­tions I’d like to touch on. While our game re­view and im­pres­sions con­tent does de­cent­ly, it is ac­tu­al­ly our ed­i­to­r­i­al and opin­ion con­tent so far that is get­ting the best re­cep­tion. We do clear­ly la­bel our opin­ion pieces as such, and work to be fac­tu­al in our ed­i­to­ri­als. So we con­sid­er it a high com­pli­ment to be re­ceiv­ing praise and in­creased views from this side of our site.

Where are we going? 

Opinions and ed­i­to­ri­als were not some­thing I was go­ing to fo­cus on as the site was in­fan­cy, but I do feel there is worth in them when pre­sent­ed prop­er­ly. Opinions that work to ad­dress more than one side of an is­sue, and fac­tu­al news-worthy ed­i­to­r­i­al  pieces are some­thing I per­son­al­ly love to read from oth­ers, so I can ap­pre­ci­ate the want for it. I guess I am just blown away about how we have been re­ceived for ours so far. We plan to fo­cus on these as­pects of our site much more into the fu­ture. Not just be­cause we have got­ten a good re­cep­tion, but also be­cause our staff en­joys shar­ing their pas­sion­ate views.

That isn’t to say we are fo­cus­ing less on gam­ing, re­views, Let’s Plays, ect. In fact we will be hit­ting these ar­eas even hard­er in the next cou­ple of months as we start to spread our wings and it­er­ate on feed­back from our au­di­ence and staff mem­bers. Let’s just say it’s a good time to be a nerd.

I plan to be ham­mer­ing on a new ver­sion of the site in the next cou­ple of months, which will push us to what I will of­fi­cial­ly call SuperNerdLand 1.0 af­ter we so­lid­i­fy cer­tain or­ga­ni­za­tion­al as­pects and set­tle into cov­er­age ar­eas. We want to get the site pay­ing for it­self and so­lid­i­fy our pres­ence in cer­tain ar­eas, as well as launch an­tic­i­pat­ed projects like our pod­casts and video projects.

To lay the cards on the ta­ble, so to speak, we have a fair­ly low op­er­at­ing costs. Fiscally at least. A lot of the in­vest­ment in the site comes from people’s ex­pe­ri­ences and time spent work­ing on con­tent. To be frank (and it will be part of an up­com­ing how-to ar­ti­cle on start­ing a plat­form), we start­ed with cost of one dol­lar. Here soon our to­tal op­er­at­ing costs will be up to $8.99. For now.. If you make us pop­u­lar, that could change. For now, though, we are the de­f­i­n­i­tion of fru­gal.

The gen­er­al plan is to get the site pay­ing for it­self, then use any­thing above nine dol­lars a month to start up­grad­ing and evolv­ing the site, the con­tent, and our com­mu­ni­ty fea­tures. I will ac­tu­al­ly be putting some things to­geth­er on the site to de­tail where we would like to go and the costs in­volved. In this re­gard I have a bit of in­spi­ra­tion. If you want to see trans­par­ent me­dia in ac­tion, go give Highland Arrow and their con­tent a look.

I want to thank you all for be­ing along for the ride so far, and stay tuned… be­cause we are only just get­ting start­ed.

Writer Introduction: WTF is a Scrumpmonkey?
A New Year, A New Site
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