Behind the Blog: April 2, 2013–Fetishizing Bloggery

Shh! Do you smell that? It’s the staff of this here lil’ nerdist haven being on fire for the past month!

No not literally. Huh? No, I don’t know why you’d have to be quiet to smell something, especially when there’s no actual smell to smell. Look, you’re the one responding to a static block of text and- No, wait! Come back! I still haven’t hit you up to use our Amazon affiliate link for all your online shopping needs yet! I mean.. er… sat down and told you all the funny anecdotes about the great content we’ve been producing here at GUO over the past month. How funny? Well, ya know, it’s more ‘mildly amusing’ than actually funny, but- No, wait! Come back! I mean, it’s hysterical! And informative! And we’ve got a very special deleted scene! Well, not a scene so much as a statement, but it’s the same thing when you work in text. And it’s kinda dirty! Yeah, we run a family show, but I think the words are big enough that we can slip this one past the censors.

So how ‘bout it? Care to click on through the page jump and take a little tour of what’s on the other side of your computer screen in this month’s edition of Behind the Blog?

So, traffic this month… Visits down a bit, page views up a bunch, so kind of a wash. Doesn’t seem like there’s much coming back from Google’s new algorithm. You gotta pay if you wanna play. Or at least avoid being classified as a blog as opposed to a website. The change to Google Image Search really hurt a bit more than I was expecting as well. At least I used to get a pageview out of the other blogs nabbing our screenshots… Well, it was a good couple years on top. Maybe it’s time for another vacation. Winking smile

The true Top 5 is too hard to figure out thanks to the avalanche of spammers last month but, in terms of new content, the Star Trek Earth Hour promo, Humble Bundle sale, and Tomb Raider story took top honors. Well, at least one thing I actually worked hard on came out on top this month. I’m long past due to tear the template apart and check some stuff in terms of SEO. Sounds like maybe I should get around to that already. Spring sucks for traffic anyway.

Bah, analytics. Who needs ‘em? You having fun around here? Good enough. On with the show!

So, this B-the-B is a day late so I could run the stupid April Fools joke. Should there be an apostrophe in there somewhere? Hmm. Man, you would not believe how many words, terms, and grammar rules I end up Googling during a day’s work. Huh? Oh, yeah, yesterday’s prank! It was going to be a bit more elaborate, more believable, but I kinda waited too long to get started. So… I did that. It was a lot easier than getting all the Javascript to work right.

BioShockInfinite 2013-03-29 00-36-11-79The BioShock Infinite review. I’ve said many times that I don’t bother writing reviews for mainstream games, but the Mrs. had urged me to try again for the last couple I played (She also wanted Devil May Cry and Far Cry 3 reviewed). Originally the BioShock post was going to be a quick one, but I got carried away. Had a cute title in the first draft. Something like “Everyone Who Enjoys Single-Player FPSs Must Play BioShoch Infinite | The Duh! Files”. Too long, but The Duh! Files still makes me giggle. So how’d it do? Meh. At least I got those gorgeous screenshots out of it. And I didn’t spend the obligatory three days I usually do on a review. Sadly, it probably shows. Thanks to those who used the share buttons on this. I hear ya, and we’ll probably do more big releases going forward. I usually avoid M-rated game content for the blog, but I think that explaining the rating at the end may offset the simple appearance. Dunno. Lots of thinking to do on this topic. If you’ve got two cents to share, let us know in the comments.

Ya know, I used to have a nice little niche with the iOS stuff, but the Big Boys have started to gobble that up. Maybe I need to move back to video for things like this. Not that the video and streaming scene hasn’t been gobbled up by the mainstream also, but at least I won’t be spending 20 minutes looking for a cute way to turn a phrase. I’m not really sure where to find our niche these days. Maybe it’s time to double-down on Hello Kitty!

Tangent? What tangent? Dude, you are SO in the wrong post for a coherent conversation. No, wait! Come back! I meant…

I’m kinda surprised as the mediocre numbers on the post about the Star Trek Online expansion. STO’s usually good for clicks. Curse you Google algorithm! Yeah, there are search engines other than Google, but I don’t have enough data to see any kind of trends in them. Everyone uses Google. And I don’t blame ‘em. I tried to switch to Bing for, like, a month. Tried. Really hard. Yeah, didn’t work out.

The Hatsune Miku pizza box top trick was fun to try. It was the first time I tried to use augmented reality using a picture of a thing rather than the thing itself. Of course, it worked like a charm. I augmented my augmented reality! There’s a good Deus Ex “My vision is augmented” joke in there somewhere, but it’s late and no one would get it anyway Winking smile

And our #1 post from last month was The Last Temptation of Croft–New Tomb Raider Game Fetishizes Violence. Thank goodness, because it was, by far, the one I spent the most time on. This originally started as a smaller “PSA: New Tomb Raider is M-rated for UtraViolence” or something similar. Although that remained a theme in the final version, the overall message went a little further afield. In fact, this article had more rewrites than anything else I can think of recently. Not counting the editing passes, this whole thing was deleted and rewritten from scratch three times. There are just so very many things wrong with turning a PG-rated franchise into an R-rated gorefest.

Near the end of the article, I collected some shockingly sexist quotes from the game’s producer Ron Rosenberg from a 2012 interview about the game. Here’s a tasty quip that very nearly made it into the final draft, but I just couldn’t. Family show and all that. Also pretty unprofessional. But I REALLY wanted to. So I snipped it for just this occasion. Enjoy!

“Curiously absent from Mr. Rosenberg’s comments are any revelations regarding being a misogynistic YouTube commenter or using the 2005 film The Cave as a masturbatory aid. Go figure.”

Yeah, you should see the gold that can be mined from my recycle bin. Also not appearing in the published version of this article was a video compilation of Lara Croft’s deaths and a comparison of Tomb Raider death scenes through the series history. I mean, if this is all we have to look forward to in the evolution of AAA gaming titles, no wonder the industry is crashing. (Fun fact: The new Tomb Raider game went on to sell 3.2 million copies in the first month.)

Oh, and that Last Temptation title? Literally a last minute change. I had a number of generic titles throughout the week’s worth of drafts. Don’t remember what the final one was that it almost went to print with, but I literally woke up at 5AM and got out of bed to change this mere hours before it was scheduled to post. I’m SO glad I got up! It’s a great title!

I really went with a lot of gaming content this month. There was a ton to do, it’s usually good for hits, and I could’ve used the ego boost. Not so good this time. I wonder how the other game sites are doing. That market has gone all kinds of soft lately. Also, I think I’m gonna plotz if I have to pretend to care about another Android phone. You follow tech news? Try this drinking game: Anytime a device is described as thin, light, and/or beautiful; Drink. You’ll be in AA before next year’s CES

Be sure to check out Lou’s excellent article on the Planck mission. Looks like some might have missed that one. It turns out that our universe is a good deal older than we thought! Well, not a “good deal” in cosmic terms, but certainly from my frame of reference.

Finally, from the “I crack myself up” category, was the Weekend Watchlist salute to William Shatner. It was a total coincidence that we had three Star Trek stories come so close to each other and I felt the need to differentiate this one. Framing Star Trek as a failure in a the context of of a Shatner ‘story’ just ticked my funny bone.

So that’s just a taste of our monthly labor of love. As always, you can sift through our past performances using the Archive feature in the right-hand sidebar. In terms of content moving forward, Weekend Watchlist has drifted to a biweekly feature. That feature has always taken a good deal more time than originally planned and, after doing so many, ideas for interesting topics aren’t always easy to think of. Things will probably be quiet this week as I have family in town, so head’s up there.

As for the state of the GUO Homestead, things are kinda crap. The Mrs. has been busy cooking up some all-new health problems, but won’t tell anyone what they are until she’s made us go through all kinds of tests to guess. Could be bad, could be nothing, definitely gonna be expensive. Strange sense of humor, that girl Winking smile

So from all of us here in this little corner of cyberspace, we love ya! And you should love people, too! It’s cheap and easy.

Thanks for reading!

Too many exclamation points this month!

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