We want to start writing things on the blog that are relevant to TSG and to you guys, our audience/supporters. Why do you usually come to TheSpeedGamers.com? Probably to watch us do silly or, if you’re Baltes, sometimes dangerous things all in the name of charity. When that’s not happening, what reason do you have to visit the blog? You probably get your gaming news/reviews from other sources…and typically our views are no different than the other 5 million reviews you can read. Maybe you guys really want to read about us and/or what’s going on with TSG. So, that’s the kind of direction this series will be formatted.
If you know anything about me, you know I’m the Web Dev here. So my rants/posts will typically focus on geekier matters. If that interests you then yay, if not I’m sorry. I won’t go into to much detail, but also if you have any questions or want me to explain something I said further, feel free to say or ask in the comments.
Symptom: Sciatica, Cause: Becoming old, spinal issues. I’m too young and broke for this crap. $50/per visit to a chiropractor is a lot for someone like me. At least after a few years of being unemployed I have a job…as a security guard…
Promoting the Pokémon Marathon:
We have officially started our internal marketing campaign on the marathon. Things are going well, and a few sites have picked us up already. Here comes the hype train, WOO WOO! We have some awesome stuff lined up for this marathon, and I’m not just talking about myself. I can’t go into details because we want it to be a surprise for the marathon…but the marathon should be a hoot and a half better than the Zelda marathon. For those math geeks, that’s 1.5x better marathon.
As you should know, right now we have only June and December marathons scheduled for 2012. We are considering another around Sept./Oct., but we don’t know what series or date would work best…which is why we are hesitant on saying we will do one because we don’t want a disappointing marathon. Let us know you suggestions for both in the comments.
I read a suggestion somewhere on the TSG site about making the integration between the blog and forum a bit more complete. Last night I started looking into it, and it seems that there are a few ways to do it…but none work specifically for how the TSG site works. Before Gwellin departed, he worked on carrying over the session information from the forum to the blog. This allowed him to pull the user information he needed to fill the form when you comment. In a nutshell the web gods wave their binary wand and automatically fill in the needed information forms for you so you can comment. This is faux-integration and it’s really the best we could do at the time.
What I’m proposing is to connect the two databases so that when a writer posts a new article on the blog, it creates a new thread on the blog with that authors user name. That’s step one. Step two is to also combine and mirror the comments. Blog commentors that aren’t logged into to the forum would have to be seen as guest posts on the forum. Step three…profit?
Making Store Products:
Speaking of profit, I want to start up self-screen printing TSG shirts. This would be a whole lot easier if I had friends around me, or lived in Texas. This isn’t as crazy as it sounds. I was reading Lifehacker (Yes, I read gawker owned sites sometimes), and they had an article on how to screenprint your own shirts. It looked really easy, and I have never really been quite happy with the quality we have now…but it was the best option at the time. We ordered 55 TSG Boy shirts for a fairly large price from CustomInk last time. With this new option it would be a low start up cost of about $40 per new design, plus shirts (Good ones, like the American Apparel 2001‘s that Fangamer uses) and ink. This would total up to a little over half of what we paid CustomInk. The savings could then be passed on to you guys, plus it would be higher quality shirts. The only difficulty I can foresee is multicolor prints, but that can be figured out with research.
Moving right along to the store. The same person who mentioned the integration thing talked about earlier also mentioned changing the store theme to better flow with the rest of the site’s theme. I agree, this should have been done a long time ago. The issue is that it’s hard to work on locally because BigCartel uses proprietary code, much like Tumblr.
I would either need to design it locally, then slowly implement the custom code snippets where needed, or use firebug and slowly chip away at it. I prefer the latter because less can go wrong that way. If I integrate the store, then I’ll need to integrate the wiki as well. I am not familiar at all with Dokuwiki, so that should be a fun challenge.
Mobile Marathon Site:
I mentioned this on my twitter shortly after the Zelda marathon kicked off in December. Looking back on it now, I realize that I wouldn’t be able to make it what you would all want. Basically because we use Twitch.tv and not our own server, this would be impossible. I could build a version of the site specifically to help mobile viewers keep of the donations and possibly the chat, but they couldn’t watch the stream without loading the Twitch app.
There’s probably not a lot of content here, I can’t tell. I just want transparency. I feel like the more you guys know about us and what’s going on, the more connected you’ll feel to TSG as a whole. Lets see how this goes.