Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, getting drunk on an airplane, Christina Aguilera flubbing vs. Whitney Houston lip syncing, or dried pineapples, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.
Thanks for joining me for the 300th edition of Coffee Talk! I’m going to selfishly use today’s column to talk about my experiences with the site — both the good and the bad. As always, I’m going to stick to the trusty Steve Raghunath binary system.
Good: Your support has been phenomenal — definitely beyond my expectations. I figured a few of you would come over from G4tv, but your readership and loyalty have been tremendous. When the site first launched, it was all you guys. Some of the original crew has stopped reading (or commenting anyway), but the traffic is better and more diverse than ever. You guys got it all started and kept things active with your excellent comments.
Bad: Publisher support has been poor. I was hoping for more event invites, coverage opportunities, and all that good stuff. Instead, some PR people have stopped sending me press releases and screens. Part of it is that I need to be more aggressive with PR people. Part of it is that some flaks have just completely dropped me because I no longer work for a major outlet. It’s disappointing because I need those content opportunities to keep the site growing. Creating original content from BlizzCon, DICE, GDC, etc. is just really, really expensive. Unless I get a large, random PayPal donation, I’m going to need a lot more publisher support to keep the site growing. If the support doesn’t come then I’ll really have to scale things back.
Good: I’m amazed that the site hasn’t attracted any flamers. All the comments I’ve had to delete were of the spam variety. I don’t recall having to delete any comments due to excessive profanity. I definitely haven’t had to delete any comments from readers wanting to flame it up. I’ve been super pleased with quality discussion here. Things get heated every now and then, but it’s almost always good and fun stuff.
Bad: I’m kind of disappointed that the site hasn’t attracted a flamer. For some reason, it would make me feel more “legit”. I’d also love to see how guys would respond to one.
Good: The site has been one of the most rewarding projects I’ve ever worked on. It’s fun mixing it up with you guys, writing the stories that I want to write, and growing something from scratch. It feels awesome when a story or video gets picked up by other sites and leads to a significant traffic spike. I feel proud when the site’s Alexa ranking goes up. When things go right, I often get the feeling of, “Yeah, I did that!” Rpad.TV is just behind Yahoo!’s Reset for my favorite work experience ever (I made a lot of money and got to travel around the world with my “best best”).
Bad: The site has also been one of the most stressful projects I’ve ever worked on. I’m pretty sure I haven’t been this poor since college. I stress out when traffic is down from the previous week (and forget that it’s way up from the year before). When the site’s Alexa ranking slides, I get sad. I sometimes have micro panic attacks, mild bouts of depression, and question whether I should be putting so much time into the site instead of looking for more freelance work. The highs are fun, but the lows can be…challenging.
Good: Ultimately, I still believe that I have a chance to create a site that can be a little bit different and offer content the way I think it should be served. It’s not there yet and it will take a lot of work, but I still believe that the site can continue to grow into something special. I’m proud of how things have progressed, but think it could be so much more. With more work and some luck (and a random donation from Bill Gate and/or Mark Zuckerberg), I think it’ll get there. I hope that all of you are still reading and posting comments when it does!