When I first started making websites, I went looking for web traffic data for other people’s websites in an attempt to set a sort of realistic goal post. I wanted to know: what sort of traffic is realistic for a site that’s just starting out? How will I know if the site is successful or popular? Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of information available. So, for those that come after me, here’s what my video game site, GameBlaster64, has looked like traffic-wise since day one (January 20, 2011).
My site is not entirely popular, but it’s not barren, either. I post sporadically, maybe once every week on average. The content quality is good, though: all of the posts are original articles, not found anywhere else on the web. I’m always on-topic and share my posts on Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Stumbleupon. I don’t pay for traffic. All of this is organic.
Looking at the data, I find it interesting that although I have hundreds of articles, the ones about popular or trendy topics are right at the top of the popularity chart. Though it’s only one data point, my site’s traffic data seems to support the notion that following trends returns greater interest than long-tail but focused content, i.e., writing things about Minecraft is more popular than covering older/indie/non-mainstream titles or news, even if the latter is much more numerous in post count.
I do run ads from Google AdSense and make some money from Amazon affiliate links, but it’s not enough to quit my day job. Not even close. Still, it pays for our Minecraft server, which is professionally hosted in NYC by the amazing people at Nuclear Fallout. And, I get enjoyment from the creative outlet, covering the industry I love.
When showing someone your start-up/product/service, it’s easy to let them guide your thinking unconsciously. It feels like there’s an inverse proportion of weight given to feedback to sample size, especially if it’s the first time taking the cover off.
Here’s a really great example of why one should always take every bit of advice as advice and not gospel:
You can play now, for free, compete in tournaments, or pay-to-play and win actual cash and prizes at https://willpwn4food.com.
This is a huge milestone for me professionally as I’m now able to say “Yes, I’ve been part of a team that has released a game for sale to the public.” It’s also a huge win for me personally: a game developer is something I’ve always wanted to become and now I’m officially here.
No, it’s me, too. I’m glad to have read “You don’t have to be local” from Derek Sivers, who goes on to explain how he feels the world is his home, not just the city or area he is living in at the current time.
It’s not just that he feels this way, but he has come right out and admitted it.
Earlier today, I had a thought: What if a few of us got together to develop specs for a PC-based open-source games console that uses a bootable Linux-based game DVD for games?
I blogged about the awesome boot’n’play Linux CD before, but it still relies on someone to burn the disc and reboot their machine. Also, this requires gamers to (unless they have a unique set-up) sit at their desk and look at their computer monitor to play games. Finally, you always hope that the bootable disc supports your graphics or sound hardware.
Why can’t we put together some specs for a cheap gaming PC in a mini-atx case, include a TV-out card that has composite, S-Video, and Component output, and offer downloadable ISO game-packs from a website. The system can have a hard disk or can save the games to a USB memory card.
The goal is to make the gaming system as easy to use as, say, a GameCube.
Download the ISO, burn the disc, put it in the console and play.
We’re already half there — the games console could easily use the boot’n’play Linux CD I spoke about earlier. It kind of makes you wonder why this hasn’t been done already?
I got back from the 6th Guelph DemoCamp around 9:00pm last night. Free beer, free food, a group of 50 or more programmers, and one block away from my apartment. Guelph rules :)
If you live in the Guelph area and you’re interested in going to the next one, there will be another DemoCamp on the 17th of September 2008. You should be there. Presenting stuff is easy: You get 5 minutes to set up, 5 minutes to talk, and 5 minutes to answer questions from the crowd. If you just want to come listen and mingle that’s cool, too.
I presented Jack of All Links to the crowd and it went really well. There were a couple of guys from WeGoWeGo, which is a startup that’s gearing up in Toronto as well as a few other people presenting technology or software they wrote. I really enjoyed it.
I was really surprised at the size of the crowd! I figured there might be at maximum 10 people (I mean, how many programmers *are* there around here anyway) but there were over 50. Exciting!
If you’re in the Guelph area and you’re looking for new and interesting internet startups, come to the 6th DemoCamp in Guelph on July 9th. It’ll be at The Albion Hotel (49 Norfolk St.) and I’ll be there presenting and promoting Jack of All Links, which is the social search engine I launched earlier this year. You can read more about Jack of All Links in a blog post made early last May.
What is DemoCampGuelph?
The origin of DemoCampGuelph is from the event known as BarCamp, which is a collaborative workshop / presentation / networking event where developers and businessmen/women share their latest endeavor whether it be a startup or tool or prototype. There’s only one major rule: No powerpoint!
From the website:
“What could I demo?
The real question is, what would other people find interesting? A web app or cool piece of software you wrote, a neat prototype or project you were part of, even some obscure tool or weird hack you’ve found that others would find useful, astounding or entertaining. Commercial, open source, homebrew hack, whatever… if you can show it off in five minutes, and think it’ll generate questions, conversation or feedback, come out and demo it!”
A similar event takes place in Waterloo, as well. Check it out!