We Make You Think

One Year of Clever Musings!

On October 24, 2011 Clever Musings officially opened for business with Adam’s look at Gears of War 3. Taking a look at what we’ve accomplished in that year, we’ve written some popular articles about Skyrim, looked at the legal issues surrounding Zynga’s blatant clone of Nimblebit’s Tiny Tower, and did a lot of talking about World of Warcraft. We really like World of Warcraft, (or at the very least, we have a lot to say about it). It’s natural to take a step back when reaching a milestone like this to assess how things went and where things should be heading. Join us as we share our thoughts on the one year anniversary.

Reflections and Recollections

Adam:

It’s hard to believe we’ve been at this for a year. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a huge milestone for us. When Carmelo and I started talking about doing a blog, I had no idea where we would be going. I wanted a place where I could write about the things I like. I liked Gears of War, it was something I was playing at the time, so that’s why the first thing I wrote about for Clever Musings was a series of articles on Gears of War 3.

In our first month, we had written 12 articles about (or vaguely related to) Gears of War 3. Needless to say, I was ready and waiting for Skyrim because it would be something new to write about. It should be understandable then that, in recent months, I’ve been concerned we’ve been focusing too heavily on World of Warcraft; it’s an easy game to write about because there’s just so much content there. You might have noticed we had a post up at the end of September outlining a schedule for series of articles about Halo. It was a project I came up with because I wanted to do something different; I pushed for us to adhere to a schedule as part of doing something different, trying to take on more of a managerial role. I failed to keep that project running smoothly which is why the project completely failed.

But in that failure lies a lesson, one which joins the many others I’ve learned in the past year. Some lessons were multi-faceted, such as the one I learned about details. It’s okay to notice that there are a plethora of technical problems with a game’s visuals, but you shouldn’t chronicle every last one of them as I did when I started the series on Gears of War 3; it’s okay to note some details to set a scene, but you shouldn’t get as detailed as describing that you were urinating when you realized Minecraft‘s flaws. That last bit sounds obvious, but there was a lesson there as well: I need to be more critical and more vigilant for superfluous (or downright inappropriate) errata when revising an article.

With all of the ups and downs, it’s been a great year so far. I’m excited to see where we’ll be next year. Maybe Clever Musings will be a site that writes primarily about WoW, but discusses other games to break up the monotony. Maybe we’ll be big enough that we can start running ads and mitigate some of the costs. Perhaps we’ll even own a Yak Wash! I can tell you one thing is certain: we’re only just getting started.

Carmelo:

It’s difficult to believe a year has passed already. Maybe I’m beginning to get to that point where a year doesn’t seem like that long anymore. As I think back on the work that went into this site, I’m generally quite pleased with the result. Adam and I literally brain-stormed the whole thing in a matter of days, and it was up and running in a few weeks. Granted, it wasn’t a very polished site and we hadn’t worked out any of the finer details, but it was still a cool accomplishment.

As I think back on my motivation for starting down this road, it’s really as simple as wanting an outlet for the frustration I encountered with Microsoft’s Live ID support forums. Adam wanted an outlet to focus on his writing, and a co-venture seemed appropriate. While seeing videos online like Zero Punctuation and Achievement Hunter’s Rage Quit series, I often thought to myself that I could go on rants like that too. Admittedly, reading a rant is not nearly as funny or entertaining as watching one, but I think there’s still some value in it.

During the year that’s passed I’ve learned far more about search engine optimization (SEO) than I knew when I started, as well as how to work in WordPress and manipulate PHP code. Using what I learned, and with art created by Myssi, the site underwent a visual change a few months ago to make it look more clean and less like I applied a some Photoshop filters to a few images I found online. *cough* I really like the new look.

The only goal I can recall having when Adam and I started was to become popular enough that ads could be placed on the site to cover the cost of hosting. Sadly, that goal wasn’t met, but I’m hopeful that as we adjust to what we’ve learned, we can put out more exciting content that captures people’s attention.

Charts!

Do you like charts? You do?! That’s great, because I have four pie charts for you to look at! These charts are perhaps the best way to show you how we’ve been with our content. It has absolutely nothing to do with how I’ve never had a reason to make a chart pie before, honest!

Clever Musings 2011-2012

We’d like to beat the record we set in November.

Clever Musings 2011-2012

It would be nice if this was more balanced.

Clever Musings 2011-2012

Adam focuses primarily on critique.

Clever Musings 2011-2012

Most of Carmelo’s posts are rants, but has almost as many critiques.

 

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