5703 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Short news for mid-August, 2016


Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

More like scattered notes, really. And yes, I’m going to turn off the unnecessary bits in the news posts (such as the “jump to the game stats” button), but since there’s only been 3 news posts so far it’s not a high priority.

The 2016-2018 quality sweep

That remains the big thing. For now about 11% of the site has been brought to this standard. It’s not huge, but :

  1. As Groot would certainly point out, it’s better than 10%. Thanks, Groot. You get it.
  2. The entries in question are the ones receiving the most views, so that’s more than 11% in terms of reader experience.

This remains about adding Context sections, hyperlinks in the text, meta-data, cleft paragraphs and sentences to facilitate reading, embedded videos where appropriate (meaning films, TV series and some video games), occasional typos and grammar and style issues, glossary links, subsections in lengthy sections…

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It appreciably improves the site. The main issue, really, is that I have to do it 5,500+ times. Even the current pace (6-ish profiles per day) it takes hours per day, 7 days/week.

My main hope is that the profiles getting the most traffic tend to be the longer ones. So as I progress this quality sweep should get easier and faster.

Video games entries

You might have noticed an increase in the proportion of profiles based on video games. This is almost solely a result of the 2014-2016 grind toward the new version of writeups.org, and of the 2016-2018 ongoing quality grind.

These are only endurable by taking breaks, and video game breaks are both convenient and a source of further writeups. Therefore, higher proportion of VG stuff in recent months and for months to come.

Plus, heh, it might attract more readers and, who knows, get them interested in the comic books and role-playing material on the site.

Grove Street in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas by dusk

Publication schedule

For now I’m experimenting with packs of 5 or 6 profiles (new or with a large amount of new and revised material) published around the 10th, 20th and 30th of the month. So a bit more than a profile every other day.

We’ll see how it works out in the long run.

Breadcrumbs

One of the UX aspect we didn’t get quite right is the breadcrumb very near the beginning of the entries, going for instance Comics > Other Universes > Mage (Watt Magner Comics). I mean, it works fine but I’m now suspecting that’s its not visible enough and that readers tend to skip it.

So, yes – everything’s clickable, which is rather useful if you’d like to see more profiles in a given category (for instance a list of profiles in the “Mage (Watt Wagner Comics)” category).

Unknown legend

It seems to be a semi-common comment lately in the wilds of the Internet that writeups.org is “criminally underrated” or an “unsung hero” or otherwise overlooked. Well, I entirely agree. 🙂

I can occasionally cram in some networking and PR work, but it’s not high-priority. And the roadmap is not looking good for the networking/PR thing. Especially since I’ll confess that my patience with many large online communities doesn’t improve with age.

We’ve crossed a big milestone in terms of site improvement, but there are still too many profiles that are too old and weak (since we’ve been writing for 20 years). I find those personally embarrassing, so overhauling them is both a priority and a huge drain in term of time and efforts. That means no time for PR work, and that PR work would be half-hearted anyway.

And though there are constant visibility efforts going on, it’s continuing to fix some basic SEO aspects. That’s efficient, but low-flash and backstage.

Therefore, for those readers who feel that writeups.org should be more famous, you’re the ones who can do something about it on social media and other venues. 🙂

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