Despite appearances, it has been a busy month around OSP with E3 and some more staff changes that are leaving us a bit on the back foot here. Fortunately, we have things squared away for a strong July, so definitely keep an eye out for some great features coming out starting today.
As you may have read in Nick Calandra’s Week in Review, there are going to be some changes around how we do interviews. I won’t rehash everything he said, of course, but suffice to say that we’re cutting down the number of long-form reviews that we’ll be doing and instead supplying more “magazine-style” Q&A interviews like this one that I did with Adriaan Jensen or our recent (and very enlightening) sit-down with the creator of Myst about his new game, Zed. One thing I’ve loved about working at OSP is all of the quality feature articles we put out on a monthly basis. Unfortunately, that is also very time consuming, and I know from personal experience how disheartening it can be when you pour yourself into a feature article or interview – sometimes taking up an entire otherwise productive day – and only get a couple hundred hits.
I don’t say this as a guilt-trip – chances are if you’re reading this then you’re one of our dedicated readers who probably contributed to those couple hundred hits – but rather just as a fact. We can no longer afford to sink so much time and effort into things that are not going to substantially increase our hits. We don’t do this job for bigger numbers, and I firmly believe in having a higher meaning than just viewers and money, but at some point it becomes more difficult to do our job if OSP is not seen to be growing, and after a great start to the year, things have been stagnating lately.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. We’ve had some great feature interviews over the last couple months and, while the form of those interviews will be changing somewhat drastically, I still believe that the content that you come to our site for will still be there, just without some of the extraneous language in there. You’ll still get an inside look at some of the biggest indie titles – and maybe a triple A title or two – that we can get our hands on, they’ll just be more concise. And despite all the fatalism in my last, over-long paragraph, I think that will ultimately be a good thing. And it will give some more weight to the long-form interviews that we write in the future as well.
One other change is that we’re going to be trying to write more op eds that inspire discussion. In layman terms, we’ll be writing more articles that might be construed as “clickbait,” though I hate using that word. As I said before, I have never viewed success solely on the amount of readers I have (having worked at a very small newspaper for the better part of five years, I probably wouldn’t be able drag myself out of bed in the morning if all I cared about was how many people read my stuff), and the term “clickbait” is such a pejorative. It suggests that we’re writing an article with no point, with no meat, no purpose other than to make people push a button.
I would never write an article for that purpose. And I would never allow one of my writers to waste their time writing something for that purpose.
Rest assured, if we publish a piece, it is done with a purpose: generally to state an opinion. However, we are going to be trying to post more pieces that encourage participation from the readers – like our reader discussion pieces but more long-form. So by all means, if you disagree with something we say, let us know (respectfully). But don’t assume we’re just writing the piece to make you angry enough to click the link. That’s not how we operate at OSP and I promise you as long as I’m the Editor in Chief, we never will.
So make sure you check back frequently this month. We already have some great articles lined up – including interviews with Death Road to Canada creators Rocketcat and the developer behind The Other 99 – and more still on the way. As always, if you have any feedback, let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter. And if you like what we do, be sure to share the love with your friends, family, acquaintances…anyone who will listen, really. It’s the best way to ensure we give you more of what you visit us for – more interviews, more features, more reviews, and more high-quality content.
– Editor in Chief, Reid Gacke.