Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

Unto Me A Child Is Born, Part Two

RBI’ve done insane amounts of thinking/brainstorming since first posting about my intentions with Robot Bomb. Here’s where I’m at:

Game Plan:

I think I know what I’m doing. Rather, I know what I’m doing, and I hope it’s correct. Anticipating the various problems and snags in this process won’t be easy, but I’m trying to foresee potential difficulties and ways around them. Thankfully, I’ve got an incredibly valuable resource in Stephen Carradini, editor-in-chief over at Independent Clauses. He’s got loads more experience running websites than I do, so I’ll probably be picking his brain on a regular basis.

Writers:

They aren’t set in stone, but I’ve got a decent crew of folks that are interested in writing for Robot Bomb. After having what I’ll call a learning experience with TSAE, I think I’ve got a better grasp on how to handle writers. Even though pulling admin duty on that blog has been painful at times, I’ve got a huge list of Things Not To Do that should come in handy with Robot Bomb. Perhaps the hardest element of this will be encouraging everyone to develop their personal style while maintaining an overall cohesion for the site. I’ve also got some people I’d love to write who claim to not be very good writers. I’m hoping to just chalk that up to modesty, but if necessary I might be doing some heavy revision on some pieces.

Web Hosting:

I’ve signed up with InMotion Hosting on their mid-tier business plan for now. I’ve already discovered one area in which it won’t be adequate – apparently podcasts are too resource-intensive for their shared hosting, so it isn’t generally allowed. That will put at least a portion of our content on hold until I can find a workaround. Eventually, maybe Robot Bomb will do well enough to merit VPS or dedicated hosting, but for now that isn’t economically feasible. Still, I like what little interaction I’ve had with IMH so far. Hopefully they’ll meet expectations.

Interface/Design:

It might not seem like a big deal, but I’ve had more trouble trying to come up with a solid design and interface than any other element of this thing. There’s actually quite a bit to take into account – you want something that’s modern and fresh, but overly-complicated. It should be visually appealing without emphasizing form over substance. The front page should have plenty of content and links for readers to check out, but shouldn’t be “stacked.” There should be graphics and media and pretty things to catch the eye, but it shouldn’t take too long to load. Above all, nothing should ever be hard to find or difficult to do. Make a reader annoyed or impatient a single time, and you might lose them. All of that being said, Zach and I have had some good talks about this stuff, and I’m a lot closer to what I want than I was a week ago.

Wrapping It Up:

Obviously, there’s still a ton to do, but I’m excited with what we’ve got so far. Robot Bomb launch is still a long way off, but I’m getting closer. We still need a logo design and some other graphics, and there’s plenty of footwork to be done with establishing contacts at various companies and getting material to cover. On a final note, I shot footage today for a pre-launch promo video. It’s gonna be awesome.

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July 8, 2009 - Posted by | State of the Blog, Tech | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I’m excited to help. Thanks for the shout-out!

    Comment by Stephen | July 20, 2009 | Reply


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