So 2010 came and went in the blink of an eye last night, and all I can say about that is *phew*, what a year it was. We had several high points and several low points, and overall no one can say it wasn’t an eventful year at ZI. Sure, I’ll do some nice statistical recapping and a sharing of some current and future plans at the end of this post, but before I get into it I wanted to do a small recap list of what I considered the 10 best things you could only find at Zelda Informer this year. Where does our top 5 video above rank? Does it even make the list at all? What is all the statistical goodness? What, Zordiana made the best of list? Hop inside for an analysis of 2010.

Best (and maybe worst) posts at Zelda Informer in 2010:

10. Pokémon League, and the ever ongoing Pokémon Tournaments

What started out as a fun endeavor due to the high interest in Pokémon among Zelda fans in our forum community quickly blew up into something much more, thanks in large part to direct support from two of the best Pokémon communities on the internet. Both Psypoke and Bulbapedia showed tremendous support at the start up of our league, and helped not only boom our forum activity even more, it helped really bring Pokémon to the forefront of this site. The league is an never ending event, so it’s not too late to join in the action.

9. Haunted Majora’s Mask Catridge

One of the best ARG to ever exist, this became a sweeping internet sensation between October and November. We were one of the very first sites to bring this ARG to the world outside of 4Chan, even if we didn’t know it was an ARG at the time of posting. Even setting that aside, its initial setup is just a great piece of spooky story telling, and we all love a good ghost story.

8. Magic the Gathering Zelda Edition

7. Top 5 Zelda Games

6. Launch of Metroid Wiki

Given the fact we are big gaming nerds, it wasn’t as if Pokémon was the only thing that peaked our interest in 2010. Before any of that madness happened, we came together as a community to create Metroid Wiki, which recently just passed 700 articles! While it experienced a bit of downtime towards the end of 2010, it’s back and going as strong as it ever was before. Metroid Wiki is quickly becoming one of the “go to” resources for Metroid on the internet, and as always we are proud of what we, and you, have done with the wiki to this point.

5. A Legend and a Timeline

In what became one of our last Bomber Articles to be posted at the site, Alex took a very deep look into the heart of the Zelda series. This article makes the list on principle alone: It was one of the last of what became a sad day at ZI, the day the Bombers was officially retired, ending and era that set up the foundation of what Zelda Informer was at it’s core. While it doesn’t mark the end of in-depth articles, it marks the end of an era that relied on them so heavily. We evolved, our writing has evolved, and thus the Bombers era has passed, and this just happened to be one of the finest entries to that era.

4. VGRC Revived, then Dead, all in a week.

R.I.P. I’m sure I’ll revive you for some small private use at some point this year, but it’s safe to say VGRC has had it’s last hurrah. It was a glorious E3, and we did prove that provided enough active staff members, VGRC could of still been a gaming site to be reckoned with. However, we just didn’t have the man power to fully support two full fledged gaming sites. This is similar cause as to why New Nintendo sort of fell through as well. Who knows though, Nintendo Informer is still a distinct possibility down the road.

3. Rumors Confirmed, Zordiana

While this is arguably the darkest moment in ZI’s history, and really a blemish on what was otherwise a sterling news reporting reputation, it has to make this list on principle. As the single most popular post at Zelda Informer since the day we were created (sorry Message of Majora’s Mask) it’s hard to ignore our major mistake of 2010. The only good to come out of it is that Zordiana has sort of become an internet meme, and is now sort of the unofficial mascot of the site. All that said, we had a glorious E3 week regardless, and were glad we finally put this behind us.

2. Recent Half-Completed Quote Investigated

This makes the list for many reasons those outside of staff may not be aware of. This makes the list not just because it’s a nice news post that looks into news we posted and dissects it to create a great discussion, it makes the list because of it’s quality. This is the sort of quality we are looking to bring to almost all of our news posts in 2010. Dissecting the news a bit, not just “posting it up”. Of course, the idea is to add that quality while still keeping our fast pace in posting. This post makes it as a shining example of what you can look forward to more often in 2011. Best written news post of 2010 by far.

1. Link is a Tree

While the comedic concept is not actually unique to us, it still shows a side of ZI that we don’t let out of the bag as often as we should. Sure, we may have some pretty interesting and funny posts such as Zelda Condoms, but nothing really compares to a nice satirical article.

Summary and Statistical Analysis of ZI in 2010

2010 was the most popular year in ZI’s history. To be precise, we had 1,476,352 unique hits last year, with 4,964,241 total pageviews. To give you an idea of just how big of a year 2010 was for us, our previous best year visitor wise was 2009. In 2009 we received 431,919 unique hits with 1,105,456 pageviews. That is a 340% increase in yearly traffic, and almost a 500% increase in pageviews from 2009. To think, this all came in a year without a Zelda release! Next year looks bright for us just with the two Zelda releases (three if you count Link’s Awakening) and hopefully we’ll be all set to put up some new visitor records next year! After all, all we can do is strive to continue to grow as a site each year.

The forums also set numerous records this year, including a highest posts in one day mark of 1709. In all, there was 122,199 posts in 2010. That’s a 450% increase over 2009, which saw just 27,000 posts. Truly 2010 was a success in terms of site activity and people’s general interest in what were doing over here, both good AND bad.

What to look forward to in 2011

While there will always be surprises, I’m not going to go too bold here in making statements that are still iffy on happening. What I do know is you can look for our navigation to get completely revamped early this year. Discussions have already gone into motion and Damir and I have made it our top priority heading into the release of the Nintendo 3DS.

In addition to improving our navigation, you can look forward to the Comic section getting revamped and for 72 Hours Remain to make a triumphant return. We are also starting to focus on walkthroughs, so you can look forward to a video walkthrough of A Link to the Past to be completed in 2011 along with written walkthroughs for Ocarina of Time, Link’s Awakening, and of course Skyward Sword. As we did with Spirit Tracks, we will have a spoiler free walkthrough of Skyward Sword up pretty much by the day it is released, with the addition of a full blown walkthrough actually getting completed this year. We’ve been listening to what you guys want and we’re striving to really push through on the basics here, versus striving for too many new ideas at once.

At some point in 2011 we are hopeful to bring back our Soundtrack section. Details are still being worked out to handle our download bandwidth costs. In addition, we’ll be improving the quality and frequency of our news posting, and will either see an increase in non-Zelda related posts at Zelda Informer, or a Nintendo Informer branch will form will contain most of the updates, with at least one or two Zelda related posts saved exclusively for ZI every day. This is more of trying to get the best of both worlds aspect, and is still under discussion.

While we have several other unique ideas for article series, videos, and unseen stuff in the past, we prefer to keep that stuff under wraps mostly because we don’t have any set timetables for it, given our current walkthrough focus. We want to make sure we provide you the quality walkthroughs you deserve, rather than just throwing something up just to say we have it.

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