AATG. Some thoughts.


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HairyArse
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#1 at 19:38:58 - 04/12/2012
DDevil
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I like turtles.
#2 at 20:16:39 - 04/12/2012
nekotcha
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A good article dude, I've posted a high level response up there, I'll make a few more suggestions here

These are deliberately intended to be controversial, feel free to send the hounds after me for any of them. :)

- Ditch the forum, and force all the discussion on the site into the comments threads. I know a lot of us enjoy the random chat on the forum but it also splits the discussion of many topics between the two, not to mention diluting the page hits on articles. It might also force people to write more articles - if you want to discuss a topic, write an article on it to start with.

- Move away from original content and focus on aggregation instead. I've said before that I would absolutely kill for a decent article once a week summarising the major games news of the week or drawing my attention to the more interesting articles that have appeared that week. Other sites get the referrals, you get the hits, readers get articles served up on a ready-to-eat platter - everyone wins.

- In a similar vein, take advantage of the forum contributors to create articles that gather together many players opinions on a single game by picking out the best/most interesting comments from a thread (this would probably work better as a retrospective than trying to be up-to-the-minute like a review though). (Er, I realise this couldn't happen at the same time as my first suggestion though :)).
#3 at 20:17:13 - 04/12/2012
Sillothian
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nekotcha said:A good article dude, I've posted a high level response up there, I'll make a few more suggestions here

These are deliberately intended to be controversial, feel free to send the hounds after me for any of them. :)

- Ditch the forum, and force all the discussion on the site into the comments threads. I know a lot of us enjoy the random chat on the forum but it also splits the discussion of many topics between the two, not to mention diluting the page hits on articles. It might also force people to write more articles - if you want to discuss a topic, write an article on it to start with.

- Move away from original content and focus on aggregation instead. I've said before that I would absolutely kill for a decent article once a week summarising the major games news of the week or drawing my attention to the more interesting articles that have appeared that week. Other sites get the referrals, you get the hits, readers get articles served up on a ready-to-eat platter - everyone wins.

- In a similar vein, take advantage of the forum contributors to create articles that gather together many players opinions on a single game by picking out the best/most interesting comments from a thread (this would probably work better as a retrospective than trying to be up-to-the-minute like a review though). (Er, I realise this couldn't happen at the same time as my first suggestion though :)).


This is adapting nekotcha's suggestions, but how about turning AATG into a gaming database in a similar manner to Giant Bomb? You pick a game, add it to the database if required and then write something about it, ask a question about it, link to a video or article on another site. Obviously this requires a lot of user interaction to keep things running and people to moderate what is being posted and linked too.

My other radical suggestion to keep the community together as it is, but lessen the work required for Hairy is to make AATG into a Facebook or Google+ plus page. Give a few of the regulars mod status to keep things in order, but the rest of the content is just down to what people want to talk about. Obviously this is nowhere near the same as having your own dedicated gaming website, but if Hairy decides enough is enough then it is a way of keeping us all together. Although I know not everybody likes the idea of people knowing their real names online ;-)
#4 at 21:05:51 - 04/12/2012
Tiger_Walts
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I'm interested in this idea of doing away with the forum. Or at the very least, the on-topic forum.

Re-arrange things so that:-

- Anyone can post an article
- Articles have tags that tie them to specific games, genres, publishers, article type, etc.
- Users can vote on each article
- Users can comment on any article
- When viewing the archive, users can use the tags to filter content and order the results by user score, date published, most recent activity or date of the most recent comment
- Write a php script that dynamically builds rss feeds based on those same criteria
- Let users flag certain tags so that their front page always lists those articles
#5 at 01:25:50 - 05/12/2012
peej
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I would miss the forum. But I would love everyone to be able to have free run at articles.

A fantastic read though, made me feel like bawling.
#6 at 11:02:15 - 05/12/2012
HairyArse
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Problem with opening the site up to auto submissions is that we'd get a shit tonne of spam or press releases. I get loads of them sent almost on a daily basis through the submissions account.

I do have another idea, though, that I'm going to develop over the coming weeks/months that might just work.
#7 at 11:12:08 - 05/12/2012
Bremenacht
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I like the idea of AATG being either an enhanced comment or forum system. What Nekotcha said, basically.

For you, Mr. HairyArse, you said the onus is on you in that article. It isn't. You can do what you want to do, be that changing the site, asking others to carry the load, or ending it. Also, do you really want it to be all about the games, excluding anything else? You've said what you don't want - what do you want?

I often read people on various websites saying how they're sick of this bigsite or that, so you'd think there'd be some demand for bespoke sites like this.

#8 at 00:55:12 - 06/12/2012
kentmonkey
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That's the thing: there is. However that would involve people trying something new, sticking with it for more than three seconds and reducing the amount of time they spend staying on a site they bitch and moan about.

People moan about websites (IGN for one) but then stick with it because they can't be bothered to research other alternatives.

My guess is that many who complain about IGN would still read an IGN review over coming here (or any other comparable site for that matter) to read one.
#9 at 01:00:52 - 06/12/2012
NewYork
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I do love this site a great deal.

It is the continuation of a community I have been part of for 8 years.

To think after all that time it could dissipate into nothing is quite sad.

I understand that people are getting on and priorities change, and I'm not too fussed about that. The pace of the forum could be a little faster, but it's still good enough.

It really is a shame to see articles on the front page seemingly neglected (and it's no fun writing a neglected article - I know). I can sympathise with whoever said that the lack of attention made writing not worth the time.

And it is probably unrealistic to expect a decent frequency of articles on the front page when so many of the heavy-outputters don't play games that much, these days :)

I think if you just accept - as you seem to have done - that this site can't live up to PR standards (timely articles, high output, high retention of visitors), and focus on doing something that makes you happy, then at least you take the stress out of it.

As long as the community exists (don't stop the forum!) I'll have reason to come back here. And I've lost interest and given up on communities before, but never the EG -> AATG one.

Only other thing I can think of is to promote activity on the FB page. Of course then I'd have to join it. -__-

Anyway this is just a rambling mishmash of thoughts that swirl in my head after reading your article. Bottom line is, HA, you've created something good. Peej, too. This place is good. So keep it going, mmkay?
#10 at 09:07:00 - 06/12/2012
repairmanjack
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This is still my favourite place on the internet - and not for the occasional freebie/review copy it coughs up. I enjoy writing and reading the articles (although I'm very conscious that my output has slipped with a couple of other commitments in the last couple of months - effectively having two jobs, and a partner who watches TV, has impacted more than I'd like), but I can't imagine this place not being here.

Ditch the forum? Sorry, but if that's your call then you haven't left enough footprints in the sand here over the last few years (not that I'm saying you're part of the problem, of course).

It's a lot on you, Rich, but I'd honestly be heartbroken to see our little corner wound down. Maybe a merciless Twitter campaign can do a bit more for us?
#11 at 09:36:24 - 06/12/2012
HairyArse
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Don't worry guys. I'm not shutting the site or forum down so stop panicking.

The fact that enough of you care enough to make your feelings known means closing it is a complete non-starter. And besides, even if I decided enough was enough for me, I'd just hand the 'keys' over to Peej or someone else.

We're going nowhere, we just might have a change of direction.
#12 at 09:48:56 - 06/12/2012
kentmonkey
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NewYork said:
It really is a shame to see articles on the front page seemingly neglected (and it's no fun writing a neglected article - I know). I can sympathise with whoever said that the lack of attention made writing not worth the time.
Cheers. Although you couldn't even pay enough attention to realise it was me.

:o)
#13 at 10:41:26 - 06/12/2012
HairyArse
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Did someone say something? ;)
#14 at 10:47:36 - 06/12/2012
nekotcha
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Thinking about it, it's not really surprising that people have less time to contribute to the site with the way the economy has been the past few years. Everyone's got less money and is having to do more to get by, whether that's doing extra hours in one job, working two jobs, or just saving a bit of money by shopping around a bit more.

Basically what I'm saying is that this is just another thing to blame George Osbourne for. :)
#15 at 10:51:43 - 06/12/2012
billdoor
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I've not commented because I feel I've neglected the opportunity to write stuff and feel guilty. Think the last one I did was ubisofts autumn bash in 2011. Got a promo copy of rise of the guardians last week, turned out to be quite a nice dungeon crawler. Should've done a write up for here too :(
#16 at 10:57:09 - 06/12/2012
HairyArse
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No-one (except me) should feel any guilt for not writing for the site. My criticism is aimed at people who say "Someone should do this!" completely disregarding what we do here.
#17 at 10:59:09 - 06/12/2012
kentmonkey
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HairyArse said:Did someone say something? ;)
/sobs
#18 at 11:20:33 - 06/12/2012
billdoor
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HairyArse said:No-one (except me) should feel any guilt for not writing for the site. My criticism is aimed at people who say "Someone should do this!" completely disregarding what we do here.


AATG is a community, and as such I feel a bit responsible. It's not as if you or Peej get paid, so in a way you're on the same level as the rest of us ;)

God knows how Peej does it, pushing out about 800 kid book reviews a month, gaming, and presumably servicing his saucy missus. He must be some sort of super-vegetarian that doesn't need sleep or something.
#19 at 11:56:25 - 06/12/2012
El_MUERkO
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I like turtles.


caused a snot bubble
#20 at 12:12:56 - 06/12/2012
peej
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billdoor said:
HairyArse said:No-one (except me) should feel any guilt for not writing for the site. My criticism is aimed at people who say "Someone should do this!" completely disregarding what we do here.


AATG is a community, and as such I feel a bit responsible. It's not as if you or Peej get paid, so in a way you're on the same level as the rest of us ;)

God knows how Peej does it, pushing out about 800 kid book reviews a month, gaming, and presumably servicing his saucy missus. He must be some sort of super-vegetarian that doesn't need sleep or something.


That is exactly it. There is a very good reason Popeye ate spinach :)
#21 at 15:33:32 - 06/12/2012
frod
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can we get some shopto affiliate action going on?
#22 at 11:50:40 - 11/12/2012
frod
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#23 at 12:03:13 - 11/12/2012
HairyArse
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I used to have that set up - In fact I used to have Amazon, Shopto, Game and GameStation links to buy every game in every review, but no one ever used them and they took up loads of screen estate so I sacked them off.

I've got some grand ideas for a site redesign. I'll add it to the list. :D
#24 at 13:10:40 - 11/12/2012
frod
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since gameplay went tits up it would be nice to have an equivalent of their release calendar, with just a wiki-like list of upcoming games, you could whack affiliate links on there, maybe this is what you're already thinking of?
#25 at 13:15:07 - 11/12/2012
HairyArse
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No as it's too high maintenance but I'll certainly consider it - maybe even make it editable.
#26 at 13:21:59 - 11/12/2012

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