Firstly, let me stress: NOTHING HAS BEEN DECIDED YET.
I am posting this to get feedback on a possible change to the site.
As many of you know, originally the site covered many, many SP FPS games, maybe 20. Over time that got cut down to 15, then 10 and now we have 5. All for Half-Life and that’s perfect. In addition to creating the maps and mods posts, I also started creating lots of other types of posts; now grouped into Phillip’s Blog. These types of posts intersperse the main content – the maps and mods.
I enjoy creating these types of posts and I know that a few people enjoy reading them.
With the imminent release of Half-Life 3 confirmed for January 2016 (OMG, I bet you nearly choked on your coffee.) There’s no imminent release of HL3, but all of this extra content “gets in the way” of the main content. If this were removed then the site would present itself as a better focused resource.
What is it now? A database of SP maps and mods with other content OR a personal blog with some reviews OR Half-Life themed community OR OR OR. When people visit the site it needs to be immediately clear what it is.
Perhaps I have tried to be too many things to too many readers.
Do nothing. Try to make the navigation better, especially with regard to what is shown on the frontpage.
I don’t think this is the solution.
Move all the non-map and mod content back onto PlanetPhillip.com
Now when I say “all” I mean almost all. Some things should stay if they are directly related to maps and mods; end of year reviews, event articles, Reader to Reader. I’m not sure exactly what should stay and what should go, but if this is the route chosen, then I will decide carefully before doing it. Solution A is to continue posting new articles on PP and solution B is to just use it as an archive, with no new content added.
LambdaGeneration is about to rise like a Phoenix and re-invent itself. At first those changes will only look cosmetic but the changes are much deeper than that. This is not the place nor is it my place to discuss those long-term changes, but suffice to say the future is exciting. Currently, it covers all of Valve’s games but has plans I think Half-Life fans will appreciate in the long-term.
The ideal place for my non-map and mod content is here. My Twitter followers may have noticed my tweet about buying the domain a few weeks/months back (I can’t remember exactly). LG is perfectly placed to offer my content a stable home AND a wider audience (it gets approximately 25 times more visits per month than RTSL).
Hopefully, all of the old content can be transferred across WITH the comments, but we will need to do some testing first. However, ALL new content I write would be published on LG, again, except for the content that is directly related to maps and mods.
Now, please don’t think this is just a one-way street, with LG getting all my content and giving nothing back in return. On the contary, Alex, the owner and designer of LG, will be involved in helping RTSL provide a better service to its readers. This could involve design changes and new initiatives.
Register a completely new domain and move all the non-map and mod content to there.
I don’t see much benefit to doing this, but maybe there is a good reason.
Simple delete the non-map and mod content. Back up the database just before I do this, just in case, but simply delete it and focus on maps and mods. I haven’t ruled this out because the older posts don’t get that many views any more and very very few comments. This would be the easiest thing to do. If I decide to write new stuff then I can post it on LG.
Whilst all the content being moved is interesting and important, if I woke up tomorrow and found I had been hacked and it had been deleted, I would get over it. It’s the maps and mods that are the core reason for my creating the site and for most people’s reason for visiting.
I feel I need to focus on that much more. And perhaps if I didn’t write so much other stuff, I would be able to backdate the older maps and add newly released stuff faster.
I really haven’t decided and I want to hear your honest opinions and feedback.
There are still lots of things to discuss about a possible move to LG, like could we move readers accounts across to save you having to register there too etc. Don’t worry, my content won’t get lost on LG, it will be easy to find and new content will still be written as and when I feel like it – much the same as now.
So, tell me what you think.