In a few days, the site will be taking another step in the direction of where I envision it ending up, feature wise, at least. So I figured I’d write-up a post giving a quick run down of things that are coming and talk about that direction. Right now, I feel like the site is lacking a little (or a lot) in the community aspect of things and it is something that I hope will change post-update, when I add in features that are more community-inspired.
First and foremost, will be achievements. Achievements, inspired by video game systems primarily, reward users for performing certain actions. Made your first comment? Visited 100 posts? You’ll be rewarded for it (not necessarily those things, they are merely examples). Ultimately, this gives a little incentive for the user to stick around contribute more and this is a good thing.
User-rated reviews. Currently, when we post a review, there is very little feedback or involvement from the user after they have read it. Yes, thoughts can be provided in the comments area, to either disagree or agree with the writer and so forth. But few people do that (not just here, but on major sites too, the number of people reading versus the number that read and comment is quite low). So after the update, users will be able to rate a game (that has been reviewed) out of ten, like a reviewer can. This gives the user the option to quickly let his or her opinion of game be known, though it is of course, anonymous.
Groups. This will allow users to find and join groups based on their interests. Xbox fan from Australia? Join the Xbox Australia group! Groups will have the ability to discuss amongst themselves and so forth. Most groups will be join-able and content will be available for all to see from the get go. New groups will be added as the need amongst the users arises.
Forums. Well, forums are just that. Forums! They’ll be a place to discuss things outside of groups. They’ll be pretty basic in comparison to the forums I had used waaaay back in the site’s early days before I removed it, but this isn’t a bad thing!
While nothing will particularly be changing with regards to content, I did want to talk about it a little because ultimately, the site lives on content and is a big part of the site’s future. So firstly I will say that in the general scheme of things, I am quite happy with what has come and what is yet to come. We regularly have good content posted (in my opinion anyway) that is well worth reading.
Unfortunately though, the MUD section of the site has not quite taken off as I had hoped. I’m extremely thankful for Kit_B’s efforts to date; she’s had to shoulder that entire section by herself with very little free time to do so. If it were in my power to give out ‘Internets’, she’d be one of the first recipients. So I am left musing with how I can ‘grow’ that section because, while I don’t have the time personally to dive into the trenches and do the dirty work myself, it is still something that I want to showcase; that I want a presence on the site. A couple of attempts to bring in a few more volunteers has been met with no results, what-so-ever. MUDding is largely a hobby and it seems that people just don’t have the free time or inclination to get more frequently into the ‘mainstream spotlight’.
Several world-famous ‘Deano sit down think tank’ sessions have largely drawn blanks on a solution to the problem, a cost-effective solution, at least. So at this point, I’ll admit that I am open to suggestions on the matter. As I’ve said, it is something I want to continue to support MUDs, because they are well worth it (in my opinion). And I’m willing to do so. But I need a game plan for 2012 to approach and grow it. We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.
I believe that covers everything I wished to address in this update, so I’ll end it here. When the site does go down for updates, it will likely be down for 24 hours (give or take). This’ll likely fall on Christmas Day, so that’s win-win for all concerned! Oh and behalf of GamingHUD, I wish you all happy and safe holidays.