Inquisition of the Week: One Year Later

Critical-hits.com is one year old! We started in August of 2005 under the name “Great Justice” as a temporary site to get WordPress up to speed. Our staff then started exchanging emails about what to call the site. There were a number of names that I liked but were centered around “Nerd Pride” which not everyone is as into. 🙂 Eventually we came up with Critical Hits, which exemplified all the different hobbies and interests we wanted to represent with our site. After a quick check, we found www.critical-hits.com to be open, and so we registered the domain and moved the site on October 6th.

We’ve gone through a number of changes in the past year: several theme changes (expect another one before the year is out), adding other portals from the site (GATO, our Amazon store, and recently our Myspace presence.) We’ve fended off hordes of spam, the insults of a blatant ripoff site, and had loads and loads of comments. We’re currently looking at adding two new weekly features (THAC0 Thursdays and Webcomic Weekends) along with recruiting some new columnists.

Which leads me to my Inquisition of the Week, which actually is two questions:

1. What would you like to see on Critical Hits, no matter how ridiculous it might be?

2. What was your favorite post of the last year?

I’ll leave #1 up to you guys, but as for #2, it’s a very tough call. I really enjoyed Bartoneus’s Random Encounter where the state of MD is banned from the Union because it looks like a gun. (For the record, our most commented post was also by Bartoneus discussing this year’s E3, when we didn’t know that it would be the last “real” E3)

In order to celebrate, we’re throwing a big ole LAN party this next weekend. While I don’t know if we’ll do much live blogging, we do plan to take pictures, do a report, and maybe a little something extra if we can get the technology working…

About Dave

Dave "The Game" Chalker is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Critical Hits. Since 2005, he has been bringing readers game news and advice, as well as editing nearly everything published here. He is the designer of the Origins Award-winning Get Bit!, a freelance designer and developer, son of a science fiction author, and a Master of Arts. He lives in MD with e, their three dogs, and two cats.

Comments

  1. 1.

    To be honest, I’d like the site to go beyond this blog format. I would much prefer seperate pages for seperate things. Such as a page for video game news and reviews, a seperate page for board games, a seperate page for movies, a seperate page for tv, a seperate page for comics, a seperate page for computer tech, etc, etc, etc.

    Sure, this is a MUCH harder format to deal with, and it may very well be the reason for not switching, but that is the best way to accomodate users. I, personally, would much prefer to have seperate places to add and review content based on topics that interested me the most. If I feel like reading/writing some video game reviews, I would prefer to go to a video game page of the website as opposed to searching the blog format.

    It is harder, I know. But it would be more convenient for web surfers I think. Plus, I would be more engaged with more of the articles I think if I did not have to scroll (read: skip) past the new ones that do not interest me in order to find the new ones that do. Also, I see little reason why a new comic book article should bump a new video game review article, or poker article, or whatever. They are completly seperate categories on most counts, yet often new articles will be bumped off the main page too quickly.

    Also, with a format like the one I suggested, you would be able to more accurately see where the interests of your readers lie, and try to convince people with broad interests like myself to write articles for the pages that interest the most people. If, for example, I knew my poker articles were well read, or that most of our visitors like to see video game and movie reviews, I would probably be more likely to write more often and on those specific categories.

    I like the blog format for a main page. Where authors can post a quick blurb advertising their new article/review/comic/etc. But beyond that, I think that a user should be able to surf on over to the computer game section, or the tv show section, and stay there reading all the articles and getting all the latest information for as long as they like.

    I think a format like that would be better for the users. Additionally, I think it would motivate myself, and possibly others, to write columns for a specific section. The articles would not ever feel out of place that way, but on the contrary, would have a home surrounded by similar content.

  2. 1. I’d like to see some book reviews. I know a lot of you probably don’t have time for much more than comics, but some of you must read, right? …right?

    2. I can’t really pick a favourite, but there are a lot of great posts. Josh Sako needs to post more, now that he exists again. If he has time, that is.

  3. I agree with drscotto. The column, blog style is sorta bland and doesn’t make the site stand out as much more than a blog. Personally, I liked that previous look to the site that was green and black and took up the whole screen.

    One thing I know I mentioned before (in person) but would like to bring up again is a function that many forum sites have. I’d recommend that there be some sort of side column that shows the articles with the most recent posts. I’m aware of the column that shows “recent comments”, but I feel it should just be replaced by showing which article had a recent post (so we can link to the article with some element of surprise as to what the comment is). As another incentive for people to review previous articles, I’d suggest that articles that get comments get bumped up in the order. It seems that once an article gets pushed down the line, it gets pushed out of memory and interest.

    Since I can’t really think of a specific article that was my favorite, I’ll just go with the only article that I wrote: “The Good, the Bad, and the Leet”

  4. Thanks for the comments. The big change coming in a few months I think will fit your suggestions. In the meantime, I’ll try adding some extra stuff to “resurrect” some old posts. As for keeping the categories seperate, you’ll just have to use the Category buttons on the side to filter away the stuff you don’t care about. Unfortunatly, with our current staff (two writers and a couple very part timers) we don’t get enough content to justify splitting off into 5 seperate blogs. The new thing, however, will be more delineated.

    Sorry I can’t discuss what’s next yet, but I think you guys will like it. In the meantime, I hope you all will stick with us!

  5. Well, you said you were recruiting more columnists. Do you have people in mind, or are you still in the process of looking?

  6. If you would like me to write more often, I can do that, but I really can not write very often about strictly poker. It just does not motivate me or provide enough content enough of the time.

    That being said, I will try to come something to post on a weekly basis, though it will certainly not be poker related nearly that often.

  7. Original Sultan says:

    I like the idea mentioned above by The O about having a side column with articles that shows articles with recent posts, or that an article with recent posts gets bumped up in the order. As he said “It seems that once an article gets pushed down the line, it gets pushed out of memory and interest” and I agree completely.

    As for my favorite article, my time frame of reference is shorter since I haven’t been visiting this site for that long. But I would say the article by The Game about Solid 1’s was my favorite.

  8. Dr. Scotto: we’d first need CONTENT to fill multimle boards before breaking it all up into different sections, I would think. I do like the different areas of geek all together, you know: all the little geek fiefs becoming one big geekdom 🙂 Yeah it does read as a blog, but maybe we could fix that with some multiple column action. Like one for reviews, and one for news, if sth like that is possible? IE like Gato having a column, and us side by side.. -OH I see yeah, others are thinking the same ok then, um, “me, too!”

    I liked having the many different headers.

    I can kick out more book reviews, so long as you’d be ok with some of them not beeing sci-fi fantasy.. I mean does the act of reading itself qualify, of does it have to be sci-fi/fantasy based?

    And lastly, it would be nice for non-writers to be able to- you know, comment as well. I mean if this is supposed to be for the public, and not just us wanking to ourselves, it would be nice and perhaps useful to try and get them involved where we can, ja?

Trackbacks

  1. […] did a little bit of reminiscing on our “One Year Later” post (and hopefully were able to implement most of the suggestions made then) and asked […]

  2. […] started a bit rocky, and it took us a while to find what we wanted to do with the site. After year 1, we started to establish schedules, set deadlines, and become a slightly more serious operation. […]