Happy Birthday Polyhedron Collider

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It’s been one year since I posted my review of Munchkin, thereby kicking off Polyhedron Collider, and it’s been an odd year. This is my first attempt at writing a blog and although I haven’t achieved what I set out to do I have learnt a lot.

My aim was to create a table top games website similar to my favourite videogame sites. Websites such as rockpapershotgun, videogamer and eurogamer were my inspiration with their witty, yet informative writing and clean styles. It was a lofty aim for someone with no writing experience and little knowledge in creating websites but you don’t get experience by sitting on your backside thinking about it; you learn by doing it. Overall I think I've failed, mainly because I think my writing quality isn’t up to scratch and I think that it takes me such a long time for me to write a post that there isn’t enough content. So instead I’m going to pass on my some of the, hopefully useful, things I’ve learnt over the last twelve months.

Blogger lies

My biggest issue was working out how many people actually came to my blog. It was 6 months in before Frontline Gamer pointed out that any blogger worth its salt should be using Google Analytics to measure traffic. So I set it up and was surprised at the difference in numbers. Blogger reckons I’ve had 4750 page views in the last 6 months, Google Analytics says 3690. Both numbers are lower than I’d like but the disparity is worrying. It’s obvious where the difference comes from as I am getting a lot of spammy hits from Russian cooking sites; page views via websites that have no links to my content at all.

Reddit is a powerful ally but a dangerous enemy

I posted links to my own content on Reddit and it’s something I’m no longer proud to admit. The increase in hits to polyhdroncollider.com was staggering. Two links posted on Reddit have contributed to almost a third of my total page views. However, there was a backlash, linking to your own content on Reddit is taken as very bad form and I suffered a short term ban. It’s not something I’m going to do again soon.
Reddit must be used with caution.

You know you’ve made it when you get plagiarised

Reddit did however point me in the direction of something weird. A review of Arkham Horror on a Spanish blog bore more than a passing resemblance to my own review. In fact, the last two paragraphs of my review where copied word for word. After pointing this out the Reddit community down-voted it into oblivion but who knows how many other people have ripped off my work.
At first I was livid about it; how dare someone copy my hard work and pass it off as their own! As time passed though I calmed down and realised that this had its positives; not only where people reading my work but they thought it was good enough to plagiarise.

I keep falling into the board game review cliché

I have to decide, is this a blog or a website? Am I going to structure this in the same way as my original plan or shall it become more of ‘my adventures in gaming’ and include more stuff on how my painting is going, battle reports that kind of thing. One thing has become clear; the state of board game reviews is terrible. There are traps that most reviews, especially those on BGG, fall in to and I’m guilty of falling into them myself. These are the tired cliché of explain the rules, say how nice the components are and then give a brief summary on my thoughts. It’s the worst kind of review around and there are hundreds of people doing the same thing. So here’s my promise to attempt to make my reviews more interesting, more dynamic, with stronger opinions and less rules nonsense.

At least I don't use the videogame rating system.

So where now?

The real question is what do you, my readers, want from Polyhedron Collider? Do you want a more professional looking website or a more insightful blog? Do you want more reviews, less reviews or a review of a particular game or system? One thing I have been eyeing up is video review but I’m sure you don’t want to hear my voice.
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