(Or How To Build A CCG-Related Web Site People Will Want To Visit)
Not being one to ignore the opportunity to follow up previous articles, I hereby present (unto you) a sort of follow-on piece to ‘Six S Spells Success‘:
There are several reasons for me wanting to revisit this subject (for those of you unable or just unwilling to view the original article, it was about ‘Writing For The Internet’), but the most urgent and pressing of all was my inability to think up any other subject (that and having a brace of excellent ‘sous entendu’ domain names kicking around). So, if you’re still with me, you perfumed minxes, you!, lets get right on with it.
No dawdling this week…*
Let’s get straight to it!
Here we go…
NOW, DAMMIT! DO IT NOW!
The Guide To Successful Web Authoring Part II: Assailing The Seven C’s by ‘Boney’ Tony Boydell
1. CALLING CARD
(is that two of them gone already?)
The first of our criteria is the name of your site – because how are those ravenous hordes of card-flopping maniacs going to get their fix of your Internet-based nectar if the bee can’t find the pollen, so to speak? Naming your website is astonishingly important, so use the following criteria to aid your thought process:
a. Catchy; the name should be easily recalled by the most goldfish-like of punters
b. Appropriate ie. the name should have some relation to the primary subject of your site ie. it is good for Star Wars CCG sites to mention the words ‘Star’, ‘Wars’, and (if possible) ‘CCG’ – it is overly optimistic to expect the correct demographic of visitors if your site is, instead, called tvclassics.com, or fish-mouth-pessary.org
c. Not a double-entendre; it is inevitable that wherever there is wholesome, good-natured Joi de Vivre, some smutty-minded whore-son will set up a porn site with almost the same nomenclature. For example, the following non-game-related web-sites were discontinued after only short periods because they were receiving the wrong type of ‘browser interest’:
* www.big-jugs.co.uk (The Hove Pottery and Ceramic Society Home Pages)
* www.staggering-cocks.org (Veterinary Medicine Source Texts with relation to Poultry and Fowl)
* www.ringlord.com (A hardcore – as in deeply fanatical – Tolkien fiction site that was attended by alternative form of ‘anal’ subscriber)
* www.blue-tits.org (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds – Somerset Branch pages)
* The Society for People Born Out Of Wedlock’s very own ‘bastard.net’
d. Short-ish; I know that we have bookmark technology, but registering a domain name that is the entire contents of your University thesis WITH ALL THE SPACES REMOVED will turn round and bite you on the behind eventually. Equally, having a ‘polite pause’ as a domain name, e.g., www. .com is just as ridiculous.**
e. Not already used; unfortunately, in these go-getter times, it’s likely that all the best names have already been taken; so you’ll have to be a bit more inventive.***
Hoorah! So you’ve managed to secure a sensible domain name for the knock-down price of $99/week with the option that your provider will sell the darn thing to anyone it feels like, at any time, without informing you first.*****
What do you do now? Why, you fill it with remarkable, insightful, pertinent, topical, wry, well-observed and well-crafted articles, that’s what!
Oh, and DON’T put a ‘links’ section on.
Well what’s the point of dragging the populous here, kicking and screaming over IP, if they’re just going to follow a link straight out of there again?
Good Things To Have On A CCG-Related Web Site
a. Remarkable, insightful, pertinent, topical, wry, well-observed and well-crafted articles
b. News from the current ‘scene’
c. Decklists and breakdowns
d. Tournament info
e. Discussion groups/forums
f. Something funny
g. Something mildly controversial
h. Something for the weekend, sir? (Ha! — The Ferrett)
Bad Things To Have On A CCG-Related Web Site
a. Incoherent raves written phonetically
b. News from the scene as it was six months ago
c. JPEGs of people lighting their own farts++
d. Adverts for personal equity plans
e. Direct, uncensored access to alt.binaries.erotica.obese-people-with-warts
Actually, this ‘C’ sort of links in with the previous one, which was Content, in case you’ve already forgotten; if you HAVE already forgotten, due to some rare brain disorder whereupon you have no short-term memory, then every day must be a joy when it comes to opening CCG boosters, mustn’t it? Eh?
(ripping off the foil wrap of a 6th Edition pack)
Ooh! This rare is called Hurricane, and it does X damage to
each creature with Flying and each player! This’ll be useful!
(producing storage box of old uncommons)
I got a box of those ‘rares’ here if you want to trade ’em for
those Rishadan Ports over there…
Er…who are YOU?
(indicates to cards just opened)
…and what are THESE?
(sighs and throws uncommons box at nearby cat)
Mind you, if you’ve read this far you’ve probably forgotten what I was talking about not fifty words ago.
Onward! Ever onward!
So you’ve decided on the subject matter for your virtual presence – now you need to work out how to structure it. The information should be as readily available to the average surfer as is possible – i.e., that means:
a. Logical grouping of common subjects (sub-sections) ie. it helps if your feature articles are under the ‘Feature Articles’ section and not under ‘Decklists’ or ‘About Our Sponsors’
b. Easy/quick access to all areas (indexing), i.e., recreating the Minotaur’s Labyrinth in glorious 3D and placing the required pages at it’s heart is a BAD IDEA(TM)
c. Reduced number of ‘special effects,’, i.e., animated graphics, scrolling bars, shower-cams, etc.
Those people in the [email protected] recommend the KISS approach to web page design (referring to the mnemonic "Keep It Simple, Sunshine" and not the popular Rock combo lead by an enormously be-tongued septuagenarian with a foiled cucumber down his PVC [email protected]@); although I prefer to use "Stop Messing About, Chum. Make Your Baseline Intelligible, Tidy, Coherent, Helpful, Uncluttered, and Practical" (you work out the short-hand, I’ve got an article to write!)
It’s a hungry community out there, buster, and it demands regular feeding. So, to ensure that you will become a preferred trough for their metaphorical gastronomy+++, you must UPDATE your site as often as possible. The ultimate aim is to provide DAILY updates, but this is achievable by only the finer and more accomplished URLs like (cough) Star City Games++++ ; settle yourself in the comfortable knowledge that two or three times a week will be sufficient.
Editor or no? Obviously, if you have a tight [email protected]@@, you can save money by either NOT utilising an editor at all or by recruiting a troop of performing monkeys; but you should really consider investing in a hirsute individual with a rodentine/verminous nom-de-plume (they’re available at Toys R Us next to the marked-down Buzz Lightyear action figures; my personal favourite is ‘Music Hall Ferrett,’ who comes with a Top Hat, a cane, and a Lunar Jetpack that plays ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ when you press his face in REALLY HARD)
Blah-blah-blah advertising yadda-yadda sponsorship drone-drone hit counts rhubard-rhubarb, etc
Now I’m scraping the barrel of words beginning with ‘C’ that can vaguely be applied to websites. Still, giving cool stuff away on a regular basis always keeps us punters happy, so find out where they print those cards, bribe a few cleaning ladies, and get those ‘uncut sheets’ into the A1 scanner!
So there you have it: some sound, if mostly irrelevant, advice for constructing your very own Shrine Of Internet Excellence.
(pause while Tony waits for you to leave)
Yes? Was there anything else?
(Embarrassed pause followed by forced cough)
No? Well bugger off, then – I don’t want the neighbours to talk.
* – I promised myself that I’d abide by that most noble of epithets: "Brevity is the."
** – Not to be confused with the Children’s Etiquette site where manners are explained using cuddly toys: www.politepaws.org
*** – I currently own the ‘rights’ to www.magic-is-ass.com if anyone’s interested****
**** – That’s a differently-thin lie
***** – Believe me – this is one of the BETTER deals currently on offer!
++ – These are BRILLIANT though, aren’t they ?
+++ – The Science For Promoting The Belief That The Moon Is Made Of Cheese
++++ – Aren’t we all about due for an inflationary rise in our remuneration?
@ – IT professionals with ‘Internet’ in their company name and an expense account to die for
@@ – Can you spot the filmic reference ?
@@@ – (snigger)