State of the Site: April 2015
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.