Earlier this year, January 1st to be exact, I did a 2009 in review post. When I look back on that post and transition to where this site is now, a lot has changed. Through all this, a lot has stayed the same as well. I am here today to inform everyone on what I personally think the state of Zelda Informer is, and then follow that up with where I would personally like to take us. This is my own personal thoughts, and has no bearing on the over residing feelings of the staff as a whole.
Zelda Informer, as it stands, is a stagnant website. One year removed from our growth spurt and renewed confidence in our abilities that Spirit Tracks presented, we have roughly stayed the same. We failed to expand content sections, the bomber’s era ended, and we did little to increase our viewership. Sure, I am not one to complain. We are still getting over 3,000 daily readers. How can I complain about such a big number? After all, this is definitely the most popular website I have personally been a part of. Hell, we had a day with 33,000 unique viewers earlier this year. I am fairly certain from January 1st through the end of this year, we will have reached more viewers than the rest of ZI’s years combined.
Still, we are stagnant. Some of it is my lack of personal commitment, and the rest can be tied to the lack of commitment from staff. In other words, having staff who is committed to doing more than just the norm. That isn’t a knock on the presently active staff – they have all done their parts masterfully. It’s more so a personal knock in me not recruiting the right people needed to expand our site to new heights.
Zelda Informer is still one of the premier Zelda News outlets on the web. Sure, other sites have stepped it up such as Zelda Universe and Zelda Dungeon, but when it comes to pure consistency we are still rarely matched. Daily updates, usually several a day, and we still make sure to provide unique content. Still, that doesn’t mean all is well in Zelda Informer land. The norm is fine, but we are seeing a decreased interest in our readers.
Take our most recent article releases. None of them have gotten over700 unique views since coming out, with the one released this past Friday only getting 399. I am almost willing to bet that this address gets more readers than our articles do. Why is this? Because it’s different. State of the Address stuff only happens once or twice a year. People are attracted to unique content. We have over saturated our own fan base. Is that good? Of course not, but it’s not all bad either. People enjoy the 2 a week release schedule in general, but they prefer for us to tackle more controversial topics. Things such as talking about the life lessons we should get from Zelda pail in interest level to “The Many Flaws of Twilight Princess”. While a none existent article, I am willing to bet the title alone would garner 1,000+ viewers the first day, if not more.
So when I look at the Zelda Informer on a whole, I see a stagnant website. We found a good evolution in regular casual article releases. We did a great job at Spirit Tracks release. We had some of the best coverage of Skyward Sword at E3 that could be found on the net. We offer daily updates, occasional video content, and interesting discussions here and there. We made a lot of evolutionary changes in 2009, and never took the next step in 2010.
When I look to the future there are a few core things I want to accomplish at this site. For starters, I want to stimulate our audience. This is something that isn’t all that easy to accomplish at a site dedicated to one game series, with brief mentions of some other stuff going on at Nintendo. So the question is how do we stimulate the audience? We take the next evolutionary step.
What that step is has yet to be determined in full, but I do have some running ideas. We already started our renewed focus into walkthroughs – and I think offering fully fleshed out walkthroughs is a big evolutionary step for this site. However, given the nature of walkthroughs, I think people want more in 2011.
In my vision of our future as a site, I see us doing some amazing things. I see the return of 72 Hours Remain, and naturally a new comic series. I see the Zelda Historians project coming into full fruition. What is Zelda Historians? You’ll find out soon enough. I also foresee many contests, with us giving away copies of games, and maybe even a 3DS. I see a regular podcast actually sticking, and naturally the return of our music download section. More importantly I feel is a heavy dose of video content.
Also, in this vision of mine, I do see us expanding a tad more into the Nintendo realm. While we already do some updates and occasional articles, why not some more reviews? What about video content for Pokemon or Mario? Point I am making here is that I see us doing some grand things at this site, and I really hope some of it, if not all, comes true.
I love you guys. I love this site. Lets look to a brighter tomorrow.