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Am I trying too hard to make a good website?

WMain00WMain00 Registered User
edited August 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So, the story goes that for a while i've been developing amateur based websites usually for reviewing games, movies etc. It all started off many years ago when I made a small web magazine with a group of people called The Review. It. Was. Terrible. Well it wasn't totally terrible, but certainly you wouldn't want to read it. Poor font choice, poor writing, reviews etc. In the end It was really just a test to see whether I could do it, what I could do with the tools to hand etc.

Years later I made another magazine called High Game. This one was a bit more successful, albeit only 2 issues were released on the web. Of that we managed about 20,000 odd hits, so it was pretty good. We managed to create something really astounding and neat, but the problem was it took massive amounts of time to develop it, so we really couldn't continue doing it anymore (a 2nd issue took 6 months of development time from the first due to design, writing and content constraints).

Needless to say though the spirit of High Game lived on and I tried out a couple of new things with it before finally putting it into hiatus due to money problems about 2 years ago. About a year ago however at another forum I visit the admin of that place asked me If i wanted to try it again for his website. Now, his website is in dire need of a redesign. It's barely used (hell even the forumites that exist there probably don't realise there's a main website to the place) and badly designed. The idea was that I go along, make a new website attached to the main page, and develop a magazine like structured reviewing website again.

So far so good and you can see the progress in my sig link, but there's a problem. In my opinion the forumites of the place in question are NOT interested in the slightest. We have a couple of people who are helpful and sometimes contribute, but the rest don't seem to show any real sort of interest. The result is that no real word of mouth is occuring with our website plan to get us out there, so we're stuck getting very few hits.

Now of course there are other factors as well; for starters we're still not the main page, we're a sub page to the main one and as such we still don't have the www. to us. I've tried explaining this to the head guy but it falls either on deaf ears, or ears that listen but don't do anything. There's also other problems in that we've been trying to add news to the page in question, but the page isn't capable of doing that many things without making it muddled up. Finally i'm beginning to think the page design isn't really good and needs a totally new redesign that updates more often.

I've tried explaining this to the higher uppers but nothing gets done, and i'm gradually getting tired of this. What i'm also getting tired of however is the communities total uninterest in the website. This has culminated in a breaking point yesterday and today where a person who has another website has been posting in the forum links to his opinion to his website.

Now, i've always seen it as a unwritten rule of forums that you don't pimp unless A: You contribute to the forum in a regular basis with full contributions or B: you asked for prior permission from the moderators/admin if you can perform a quick pimp. So needless to say i've been rather annoyed at this person who has contributed absolutely nothing to the forum but continues to pimp his work. I point out this, saying that he is failing to really contribute anything to the place, and in return I get grief from, you guessed it, the people who don't really care about our website.

It's important to understand that for a good while I have been developing small websites or ideas for things. I used to get teased about it in high school, but as I saw it, it was good to have a plan. I like developing projects or ideas as it gets my mind thinking, even if I've yet to find a successful plan. So when i'm trying to make a good website for a forum and am met with resistance by forum members over being slightly miffed by the knowledge that a member of the place has been doing nothing but linking his opinions to his own website, I get somewhat miffed. I'm spending my time trying to develop something for this place and I get in return snide comments or resistance. Now ok, there are a good couple who are impressed, but many of them seem to be contributors rather than just actual followers.

It's like this forum is high school all over again; you're that crazy kid that's always trying to come up with new ideas when you should just relax and be monotonous and uncaring like the rest of them. Similarly though, to link all the way back to the crux of this thread, i'm wondering if i'm trying to hard. I'm wondering whether i'm getting angry because i'm trying to hard to make something work. I'm also wondering whether i'm trying to raise an already sunk boat.

There's always going to be some people on any forum who won't be interested, whether it's due to opinion or taste or they just don't like you. The problem is I feel that this forum has too much of that, and it's starting to weigh me down. I'd figure i'd ask an outside group what they think. Is it really a case that I'm just trying to hard to make something work and I should relax, or should I get out there and do it more and screw what they think?

I'm just looking for advice really on whether I should keep going on this place or give in a try it elsewhere.

WMain00 on

Posts

  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2009
    I think the problem may be that your aspirations are at logger-heads with the project sponsors.

    See, you have this idea of a video games news and reviews site where people can also discuss the topics raised in the blog in a forum attached to it. The owner/administrator of the forum has an idea of a forum for discussing video games and ok, sure, I'll host a blog about it too, whatever. Your goals don't align, from what I understand of reading your post.

    That's not necessarily anybody's fault. You have a good idea for a gaming blog which could be successful but it isn't something that the forum owner is as excited about as you are, so he's never going to provided it with the attention which you feel it needs. Meanwhile, you're trying to get an audience excited about something which they don't appear to want.

    The normal emergence of the successful blog/forum website starts with a blog. That blog attracts readers, a community forms around comments on the blog, if it gets busy and popular enough a forum is created to better facilitate the discussion of topics in the blog, a larger community forms there and discussions not originally initiated by the blog form.

    So structurally, there is an issue that this has been approached back to front and that is likely where the resistance/indifference is coming from. The admin has managed to form a community in the absence of the blog so he isn't going to feel like it's an essential addition and the community members are going to be resistant to change (look what happens around here when they try to do something little like change the order the sub-forums appear in on the main page and then imagine if they tried to change or force something big on us).

    The answer isn't to give up and 'relax' though. You obviously have a drive to create this sort of website and there's nothing wrong with that at all. Not many people have the motivation to follow through on something like that to the degree you have. You've been burned in the past though with taking on projects that are too large or working with people who lose interest, so perhaps the solution is to start again from scratch. Start small with your own one-man blog, let a community form around it, invite guest writers, offer to do guest articles on other blogs, let things grow organically and at a manageable pace with your own enthusiasm being the primary drive behind it rather than a disinterested sponsor.

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