Well, it’s back to work at the apocalypse tomorrow. Time to reflect on what I’ve accomplished during the past week or so now that I’m rapidly running out of time to slack about. Here’s what got done during the vacation:
* Visited with the folks, my brother, my adorable nephew, my grandparents, and my second cousin for a few days after Christmas. It was a very concentrated sort of visit – two full days of driving hundreds of miles in a rented Shoebowl on either side of a couple of days of hanging around the homestead and gorging myself on turducken. I also owe a visit to some folks in Fernandina Beach. I’m hoping time will allow in the very near future!
* Added about 100 pages to the new OtherSpace Wiki.
* Tweeted a bunch.
* Picked up a new iTunes FM transmitter for the Juicebox and the second season of Babylon 5 at Best Buy.
* Got No Son of Hekayt, Book I, online for free download at http://www.jointhesaga.com – a move that I made because I’m more interested in drawing newcomers to OtherSpace MUSH and the book’s a more tangible hook than a plain old invitation to explore the abstract concept of an online roleplaying environment. I also tweaked the main website a bit, adding buttons to link to the Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress pages – as well as the new forums, the Wikis, and the old community site. (If you’d be so kind as to become a fan of Jointhesaga on Facebook, that’d be great! And if you want to follow me on Twitter, that’s also cool.)
* Scored the Loremaster of Outland achievement on World of Warcraft. That’s Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms, and Outland finished. Now to wrap up Northrend so that I can claim that Loremaster tabard. Also, got Stamp much better geared and statted for the DPS role that I intend him to play, thanks to a lot of pick-up group runs. (Got the Perky Pug pet too. Best virtual pet in the game, if you ask me.)
* Leveled in Fishville and Mafia Wars, but Farmville is slow going. I may be losing patience for the farm. Feels like such a grind.
* Got Huck a full dental workup, grooming, and a blue kerchief. He looks great, but will be on antibiotics for a couple of weeks to clear up some skin issues.
* Saw Sherlock Holmes – twice. Once with my brother in Orlando; second time with Karen at Southpoint in Durham. It didn’t seem as good to me on second viewing, gotta admit.
* Saw Avatar, again, but this time in IMAX 3D. Big pretty is still pretty, although the story’s definitely very formulaic and simplistic.
* Watched Terminator Salvation, finally, on Movies On Demand. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t as bad as I had expected.
* Watched UP again, on Movies on Demand. Sad part is still sad, but the movie’s still very enjoyable. Classic work.
* Wanted to watch O Brother, Where Art Thou? again, but discovered that the DVD is SCRATCHED. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?! Must get a new one ASAP.
One key to player retention has to be the main website for the games. Currently, I’m becoming increasingly convinced that it fails to do the job of hooking new players and providing them with easy-access information. Even my worst-designed sites for JTS at least had promo/newbie material in one place, a distinct and separate forum, and a Wiki for collaborative lore-gathering.
The site as it is now runs on a robust Drupal engine that’s versatile and handy IF you know how to use it and IF you’re willing to create an account to register for it. It’s rather telling, though, that I see more activity from players on my personal blog here in a day – no registration required – than I’ve seen on the main site during the past week.
So, I’m putting up this poll to see what other folks recommend. I vowed not to screw too much with the website again, but if it’s broken, then I need to fix it. Share your thoughts!