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20 Years of Blogging…

It seems like I should address this pretty big anniversary for this blog.  Lameazoid.com, is twenty years old, more or less, today.  I honestly don’t have the exact date for sure, but I do have an old copy of the original site that suggests it was created on 10/09/1998.  More accurately, it’s predecessor, The Chaos Xone, was created on 10/09/1998.  Back then it was just a random Geocities website.  It didn’t really use a “Blog Engine” but it did use a “Blog format” of sorts, in the form of manually updated HTML webpages and a copy/paste archive of old posts.

Funny enough, it’s pretty much still the same thing… ish.  I really haven’t cared about Anime in ages and the market for “Cool Waves” and “MIDI Files” hasn’t quite been the same in a long while.  The Geocities Pokemon Center was a separate site I ran that was pretty successful at the time.  This original website went through quite a few iterations, all sort of keeping the core idea of writing random “reviews” on “random crap”.  It moved hosts a few times, from Geocities to Lameazoid the Livejournal, then ramenjunkie.wordpress.com, some stints on Blogger, self hosted at my house on a Linux box, to actually using real paid hosting.  Somewhere around the time I left College and lost that free college hosting, and moving to WordPress I think is when I bought a domain and transformed The Chaos Xone, with it’s Edgy Cool 90s X (the X is for XTREEEEEEM), into Lameazoid.com.

Why Lameazoid?

I think at the time it was supposed to sort of be a sort of buzzword sounding name.  Like Freakazoid, the show.  Only Lame.  I have to admit, back then I was way way more cynical about everything, so I sort of had the idea of focusing on Lame things.  It also sounds kind of retro, which was also more of my shtick at the time.  I do still like the name, it was a pretty good choice honestly.

Over the years though my overall ability and interest in actually writing has come and gone.  If I’m being honest, lately it just feels like no one cares.  And they really probably don’t.  There was a time back in the mid 2000s when Blogging was huge and the site pulled in 1000 visits per day.  That felt pretty awesome.  These days, I’m lucky if I am getting 1000 visits a month, less so since I have not even been updating lately.

I’ve also purged things out completely a few times, for better or for worse.  I have everything though, in an archive.  I have a big ass local WordPress instance that has pretty much everything I’ve ever written in my life stuffed into it in one big ball of mind vomit.  Good and bad.  Not just Lameazoid and the Chaos Xone, I’ve scanned or transcribed old paper journals and writings into it.  Digital space is cheap, it can be backed up safely and easily.  Why ever delete anything?

I’ve also tried to actually reboot and spin off a few times.  The most ambitious was Ready Set Geek, which essentially was a separation of Toys and Video Games.  This leads to a bit of a conundrum on my part of where to stick the middle ground things like movies and comics.  The most successful is probably BloggingIntensifies.com, though that’s more of a spin off of my “Personal Blogging”.  I post there entirely because I want to, not to try to be some sort of New Games Journalism writer.  I’ve tried pushing more into the “new hotness” that killed blogging, like Tumblr and Youtube, but I guess I’m just not into that sort of thing.  I’ve considered trying to recruit people I know to also write here, there was a brief time (during that 1000 visits period) when I did have friends also writing reviews.

Running this site has been pretty great for a lot of indirect reasons though.  I’ve gotten pretty good at working Linux, for example, through the need to run a web server.  Its given me excuses to play with Photoshop and to take photos.  I used to use it as an excuse to be an early adopter of a lot of social media sites.  Knowing your way around the Social web is pretty useful.

Anyway, I mostly just wanted to acknowledge this little event.  Here’s to 20 more years I guess.

Lameazoid.com – State of the Site Address

Last year, I made a bit of a resolution to make this site, a thing again.  I started out getting back into the habit so to speak with Weekly Haul posts and Agents of SHIELD recaps.  Literally anything else that popped up was gravy.  After keeping this up regularly, I planned to do a re-launch with 2017.  This would shift things up to full speed, and part of the point in having a “launch date” was that I wanted to get out ahead of things.

This was when I started making up the master schedule.  I laid out the entire year in excel, by weeks.  I set up which posts would go out by type on each day of the week.  I went through and picked out notable release dates of movies and games and TV shows so I could make little themed moments around these events.  The schedule isn’t set in stone either and as it trails off into the year it becomes more and more of a wish list of maybes.  January originally also included 100% reused old content in the Video Games Reviews, though the goal was to rework these old reviews a bit and sprinkle them in among new reviews, which I also ultimately accomplished.

Major content at 6PM local time, minor content at noon local time.

The idea was to prevent what has happened in the past, where I’d vomit out a pile of posts in a week then disappear for 6 months.  My original goal was to have the entire month of January set up by the time January 1st came along.  Granted this didn’t include on demand style content like the Weekly Haul posts and Trailer Tuesday and TV recaps.  I did manage to make that goal and then some.

I still intend to keep to this schedule, but I have also come to realize the schedule was a bit… overly ambitious.  In short, I cannot keep up this schedule long term, every single week.  Period.  Movie reviews, for example, are always a last minute scramble.  I bulk take photos for toy reviews, but that has also lead to less dynamic photos than I really want for these reviews, especially since the focus of the reviews is photos over text.  Essentially, rushed content isn’t very good content.

I also literally can’t afford the pace of the schedule.  I spend quite a bit of money on new stuff, probably too much money, but I do have a budget just for “fun money” that’s very strict, and that also includes things like eating out and subscriptions to Audible and online games.  Imports alone break my budget.  I have a backlog of imported toys I’ve picked up over the last few years, but at ~$50 average each for Figmas and Figuarts, I would have to spend ALL of my “fun budget” on imports to keep up weekly reviews long term.  And I mean every penny, leaving nothing for games, or domestic stuff.

Another issue comes on the Video Games front, I don’t play a wide variety of games like I used to.  I have enough decent “Legacy Content” from nearly 20 years of blogging that I could repost them weekly for like 2 years, but over the past 2 months, most of my video game time has gone to Overwatch.  This has kind of been an “issue” for a while, it’s part of why I started to reviews of shitty mobile games before nuking the site a few years ago.  Because I mostly just played WoW or TF2, aside from the occasional shitty mobile game.  It became the only source of new content.

I also just flat out don’t have the time.  The latter half of the year was slower, I had time to build quite a buffer of content and photos, but things are busier now.  We are looking at moving this year, soon, mostly for convenience to my job, but also for a house that works better for us, which has taken a lot of time.  Work in general has been busier, which means I’m too tired to do side things like write mediocre movie and video game reviews.  Most nights I just want to watch TV with my wife or play zone out and play Overwatch.

The re-launch rush isn’t a failure mind you, It’s served it’s purpose, it’s created a baseline of content.  I kind of knew going in that at best, The Schedule was only sustainable for around 6 months, and that was at best maximum possibility everything works out grand.

I’m not quitting (again, again, again) mind you, I’m just taking a step back a bit and re-evaluating.  I mostly just want to say to myself, it’ll be ok, if you don’t get something new in every category every week.  I also have considered what works and what doesn’t.  I’ve already ditched Tuesday Trailers for example.  It was an experiment, it went nowhere, it was more hassle than it was worth.  I’m probably going to drop the Wednesday Haul posts as well, or more likely, make them even less formal and post them over on Tumblr or Instagram, or both.  They are a bit of a hassle, they were a practice in blogging discipline but ultimately, it’s filler content.  I have zero and I mean ZERO in the works on the idea but I’ve toyed with the idea of reaching out to get other contributors again, and having a Weekly Haul post that’s explicitly related to me, doesn’t work on a multi writer website.

I also want to get back to doing more “editorial” style content.  Just a sit down sort of analysis or opinion on hot topics.  Like the recent Nintendo Switch Release, or VR in gaming, or general ideas and speculations on the MCU.  I keep “having the itch” again, like I used to, but all of the time spent on this strict schedule of posts is stifling that a bit.

Ultimately, I just need to loosen up a bit.

Coming Soon, The All New, All the Same, Lameazoid.com

So, just a bit of site news here.  I’ve been working lately behind the scenes on a bit of a relaunch of the site.

Ok, I know, I’ve done this before, repeatedly, many times, especially recently.  But I’m extra serious about it this time.  Serious enough that I’ve gone through the work of making up a spreadsheet and a schedule to keep things on track.  Serious enough that I have a set posting schedule every day of the week for reviews of some kind each day.  Serious enough that I’ve been working on building a runway out of content, to help ensure that I can keep up, at least somewhat with this schedule.

I say keep up with this schedule because I already have accepted that at some point I may not be able to keep up with Weekly posts in every category.  However that’s part of the point of the runway, so I can have time to catch up as I have time to do so.  My intention is to be able to push back things as needed for new content.  For example, say I have pre written and scheduled Transformers reviews out through May, but then new figures for The Last Night start dropping in March.  I can do up reviews for the new toys while they are more relevant, while pushing back the older less relevant content.

A quick rundown of what the schedule looks like at this point.

  • Monday – Marvel Legends come in on Monday.  Originally I had planned to do a Marvel Legends review and a Marvel movie review each Monday but to be quite honest, writing out movie reviews has been the most complicated part of all of this, and I just flat out can’t keep up with doing two each week.  I might change this, but at this point, I’m not.
  • Tuesday – You may have already seen the new Tuesday Trailer Talk posts.  I’ve thought about doing a blog for ages just discussing trailers, instead I’m just tossing them in here.  Nothing too detailed, just some commentary on an upcoming movie based on it’s trailer.  Tuesday is also Video Game review day.  This will be somewhat of a mix between new and old content.  Video Games reviews take the biggest commitment of anything I do on the site for one reason, I don’t like to review a game until I’ve played a significant portion of it, preferably, until I’ve finished it.  How the hell can you review a game based on 5 hours of play time to crank a review out on the release date?  This has always been a pet peeve of mine.
  • Wednesday – I plan to continue doing Weekly Wednesday Haul when applicable.   Wenesday is also for reviews of “Other Figures”.  The first run line up is mostly import figures but I plan to start mixing in other lines as well, Star Wars Black Series, and whatnot.
  • Thursday – Thursday is for Transformers reviews.  Both new and old Transformers.  Of all of the content here, I could post a Transformers review every day for like 4 years and not run out of posts, so weekly should be easy.  I may eventually add a second day for Transformers reviews.
  • Friday – Friday is for films, movies, TV shows possibly.  Basically movie reviews go on Fridays.

As of now, I don’t have anything for the weekends, though I may start doing some sort of general commentary and a “What I played” post each week.  I’m trying to get the core in alignment first.  I also plan to continue with the Agents of SHIELD posts as well as add some other TV recap posts sprinkled throughout.  Once the logistics are a bit more set I want to look into doing more newsy posts, good deals online for toys and games, general news, etc.

Overall I’m feeling pretty good about things and I hope to get out of my dumpy funk from the past few years.

You can keep up with everything by liking the Facebook page (see sidebar) or following me on Twitter (@joshmiller).  I also am going to try to do a weekly newsletter email which you can sign up for below.

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