Posted on December 19 2014 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
Once in a great while I like to have an open conversation with our fans on the state of Zelda Informer as it stands today and give an open address as to what our plans are for the future. We do this to try and maintain some semblance of responsibility (hard to be held accountable when no one outside of the staff actually know what we’re doing) and because we want all of you involved with us, helping shape our future beyond a comment here or there or a click on our latest wiki editorial or news piece.
Getting right into it, I wanted to let you guys know what we have planned for the rest of this year and 2015:
Walkthroughs: We’ve had walkthroughs for years, but frankly our overall efforts have been a bit pathetic at best. We have three “full text” guides that are all wildly out of date and formatted incorrectly. The rest have either one type of walkthrough or another, and absolutely zero walkthroughs are complete. This is an embarrassment to us as a site as we have promised focus on walkthroughs for many years. I feel like I have let you guys down, so the renewed focus has returned.
We’ve already hired two new walkthrough specialists to write and format walkthroughs on our site, and we’re working on revamping how walkthroughs display so it is easier to find the information your looking for. We’re also going to fulfill our age old promise of 3 guides for a better tomorrow: 100% Full Text, Video, and “Spoiler Free”. All of these versions of our guides will be updated. Currently guides are being worked on for Hyrule Warriors and A Link Between Worlds, but we’ll continue to work our way backwards through the releases to eventually have guides and walkthroughs for every game in the series. We are still looking for more walkthrough writers to help the cause, so feel free to apply to be one at Nathan@zeldadungeon.net.
Video Content: As stated above we’re going to improve and expand our video guides, and eventually we may even get into the Let’s Play territory. However, what I can promise you is that we have an extended focus on video content. You may have already seen some episodes of one of our new opinion show, The Boss Man, but beyond that we have videos for Top 10’s and other new features in the future. In fact, we’re open to your ideas on the kind of video content you want from us.
We’ll also be resuming and promoting weekly streaming efforts over on our Twitch Channel. We host Mario Kart 8 tournaments and live playthroughs of Zelda games, so be sure to check that out once that ball begins to roll again. Again, we are looking for more ideas, so feel free to share and we’ll try to make them happen. We have dedicated staff around specifically to handle video content.
Editorials and Exclusive Content: We never stopped producing editorial content, but it has slowed to a crawl at times. Thanks to an influx of new writers and some renewed vigor, we’ll be having more editorial content on a more consistent basis. In fact, we’ve had 13 articles already in December, which destroys the output of the last handful of months.
We’re also looking to expand other content types, such as bringing weekly features in and making our daily debate a bit more enticing, creating more interesting conversation pieces. Beyond our annual Zelda Versus poll series, we’ll bring back our typical weekly poll. What we’re really looking for is bringing you content you won’t find anywhere else.
Wiki/Forums: As some of you may be aware, we started up our own Zelda Wiki this year. We’re already over 500 articles strong and looking to expand even further. We’re really hoping you guys get into this as it’s a way for you to contribute directly to the knowledge of future and current Zelda fans. In addition we launched new Community Forums this week, so we can longer and more engaging ongoing conversations about Zelda and whatever else is going on in your life. We are hoping to improve both of these community features next year.
Changes in 2015
Improved Layout: Let’s face it, our layout is ugly. It could be worse, but it’s not suited to the type of site we are today. The header area is cluttered with category links, walkthrough links and drop downs, a login area with user stuff, and a giant space for an ad. It’s terrible. According to our click map, our sidebar is ignored. It’s almost like it’s entirely a waste of space for our users. We also realize there are a couple glitches for mobile users, such as double opening two navigation panels and all that jazz. None of this represents the type of user experience we want to give.
We want to better utilize all of this space and make sure not only our content is highlighted, but yours as well. Be it forum topics, new wiki edits, or a feature we are choosing not to unveil yet – we want to make sure you get your chance to shine in front of the thousands of fans this site gets every day.
Journalistic Integrity: One caveat when listing this as an improvement – we strive to improve this every year, but the focus in 2015 will be even stronger. What we mean is that we’ll try to do better in sourcing and giving proper credit for original work. We’ll strive to improve our grammar and cut down on writing mistakes. We’ll also be aiming to provide more in-depth news coverage – you’ll get just the facts to start because we don’t want to tell you what you should think while receiving the news itself, but after we get that out the way we’ll want to engage you more. Give you our thoughts on the news and why it matters. We may not always have something insightful to say, but when we do we’ll make sure you know about it.
I know some may be screaming “cut out the click bait” – but my only response is what is that even supposed to imply? Our titles already don’t lie to you, at least not intentionally (mistakes happen). The idea of any headline is to get people to want to read the news or work we’re doing. Still, we’ll strive to make our titles more informational and be sure to protect those who wish to not be spoiled with proper spoiler warnings.
As I talk about the future, I feel it’s good to recognize some of the positive movements in 2014. We revamped our entire server system. For those who have been here awhile, you may remember a time it took 12 or even 13 seconds to load the site. It was near unbearable, but we have since remedied this and sped things up rather quickly. Our server can now also handle massive traffic spikes without slowing down any thing. We’ve had some minor bug fixes and layout glitches fixed, though in the grand scheme it’s easy for no one but myself to actually notice the difference.
We also overhauled our entire staff heading into the holiday season, adding key components such as more copy editors, writers, and workers for other areas of the site.
What we want from you is feedback. How have we been doing? What would you like us to do in the future? Have any suggestions for us to improve ourselves? We really want to hear from you. Fan art above found here.