(There are three writeups.org donation drives a year – February, June, October.)
Let me tell you how the writeups.org (worg) project is going. No, no I insist.
1/ Publicatishing (new word)
We’re still holding at 5 entries every 10-ish days. The backlog got perilously short circa November of 2018, but that bounced back. Mostly because I had some success with health management stuff, such as being able to breathe. Breathing is good.
The month-to-month variations in traffic remain significant for no visible reason. But it *seems* that 95K-ish unique visitors/month is now our average – somehow.
Normally it’d worry me in terms of server load. But using our increased advertisements income — from positioning them better — to move security and some caching on another server did work out.
2/ A few more thoughts about volume
In past “State of the WORG” pontificating, I’ve mentioned that we’re not after volume. Yes, I often note the high traffic. But it’s so people know they’re not writing and/or reading some obscure hole-in-the-wall site.
Previously I’ve mentioned that a reason for this were server loads issues. We can’t afford enterprise-class hosting. But I don’t think I’ve mentioned an online publishing rule-of-thumb – the 5% ratio.
An in-depth analysis online article will *generally* make 5% of the traffic as facile clickbait. So, deep dive WORG character profile – 5 readers. “TOP TEN SUPERHEROINES WITH THE SEXIEST BUTT!!” – 100 readers.
Which also means that a good chunk of our traffic is people looking for pictures, usually via Google Image Search or Pinterest. Personally I’d prefer if they’d also read the texts but heh, our illustrations are pretty nice too.
(There’s this bon mot in French publishing I’m fond of. “If you sell more than 5,000 copies of any given book, then there’s some kind of misunderstanding going on.”)
3/ Big Sweep
This is bringing entries to the 2016 minimal set of features (Context section, shorter paragraphs, hyperlinks, etc.). Still slow, but it has picked up a bit in recent months as I’m not as badly burned out on that as before.
As of this writing there are slightly less than 1,000 profiles left to upgrade. They’re all in the bottom third of the site. Every other entry within the bottom third is done, essentially.
So there still are months of work, but psychologically, knowing that i’m now dealing with a three-figures number makes me feel better.
You keep hearing about this Big Sweep stuff quarter after quarter. And it’s been going on for actual years. But I must insist that a profile that has been through it read much better. Few will notice because it’s how it should have read in the first place… but it’s a result.
4/ Technical bits and bolts
None ! There has been some technical stuff – but it’s about doodling what writeups.org might look like in 2021 or so.
It needs to be even more mobile-friendly, and I’m sure we can gain about two more seconds on delay-to-readable page loading times.
5/ 1985 Who’s Who in the DC Universe
There have been digital reissues for these venerable sourcebooks . Meaning dramatically improved illustrations in some entries.
Now, a lot of these entries are the oldest ones. Many are from a 1990s push to re-publish Mayfair stats that were in sourcebooks most had a hard time finding. Amazon wasn’t all that yet, so it was RPG bookstores or nothing. Therefore, it’s not our best #content.
But heh, at least these look better now. And it’s a further incentive to redo them.
These illustrations also mostly end up on our Pinterest board .
As you may have noticed, some more recent DC Comics stuff is getting published on writeups.org. There’ll be more high-profile and substantive such arcs in coming months. They’ll cover 2010s material.
We don’t do a lot of characters from recent comics. Profiling requires a good amount of material, and things to be “settled” for a bit. Or if you prefer, it’s best to have some level of hindsight about the character. So the exceptions, like the Ironheart two-parter some months back, are notable.
This is even more marked for DC, whose continuity during the 2010s has been peculiar. But as it turns out, doing *narrow* slices, often just a specific writer/artist run, more or less works. Except for the many runs that lasted but one year, which are usually too thin.
So anyway, donations are welcome to keep the servers, the caches, the firewalls, the Photoshop™ subscription, etc. running. So we can keep developing and embettering this site.