smashthings-suggestions

Introduction

Hi guys, this short little article is all about asking for your help: we want you to tell us (in the comments below) about what sort of content you want to see more/less of. We want you to give us article topic suggestions and/or other website related suggestions.

I have also created a survey as well. Please do fill it out; the more we understand what you guys need from us the better service we can provide!

In the rest of this article I’m going to briefly overview how things currently work at HSP and how things could work, with your help. I then finish the article by outlining the next 4 or so weeks of scheduled content.

I look forward to talking with you in the comments section below!

The Current System

Let me quickly talk you though the current system we have at HSP for publishing articles:

  1. Author proposes a project, outlines basic details.
  2. Project is either accepted for writing or it is rejected.
  3. Author sets a deadline, and aims to finish the piece by that time.
  4. Editors review the article to make sure it meets HSP quality standards.
  5. If there are any concerns, author works with editor to make bring the article up to scratch.
  6. Article is scheduled for release.

This article wants to focus on point [1] above. At HSP, I have personally had 5 articles published (so far). I wrote a Deck- Building Guide because I thought some of you are interest learning how to build your own decks. I wrote an Arena guide on Turns 2 & 3 because I thought it was really important that players understood the importance of those key turns. I wrote a guide on a Wailing Soul Druid Deck (note: Premium article) because I had fun playing the deck and thought that you might too. I wrote a guide about “Playing-to-win” because I thought this was a something that needed to be said (even if not everyone wanted to hear it). And so on.

Now I ask you, what did you notice about the above paragraph?  Well, I hope you noticed that every article I have written so far started its life as something I thought you needed/would like. This basic pattern applies to all of us writers at HSP: we propose topics based on what we want to write about and what we think you want to read.

This is the current system we have for publishing articles. But here’s the million-dollar question: “Is there a better way of doing things?”

Proposing a New System

Let me propose a new method of publishing articles: YOU tell us what YOU want to read. At heart, this is a ridiculously simple idea: instead of us writers making content we think you would like, why not ask you guys what you want to read!

And this is what this article is all about. What I would like you to do in the comments suggestion below is tell us precisely what you want to read. If someone else writes a comment with a great idea make sure you reply to it (that way us writers know that there is a demand for whatever it is).

The HSP writing staff can then review the comments section and if one of us feels qualified to take on the task then we can dust-off the quills and start writing. Two to Three weeks later there could be a brand spanking new guide on HSP designed to tackle your specific question(s)!

With this said, HSP only publishes a few articles each week (this is for budgetary reasons) and as a result not every suggestion is likely to be turned into an article. Moreover, before writing a suggestion in the comments below please consider how useful you think the article would be for other readers. The more useful your suggestion is likely to be for others, the more likely it is to become the subject of an article.

Here’s an example of a suggestion likely to made into an article:

  • “Hi guys, I’m really struggling with Warrior in Arena. Could you give me a few tips? thanx”

Writing a guide on how to play/draft Warrior in Arena is something that could potentially help a lot of players. Moreover, we have a least one writer qualified to write it (Mr.Shine’s best class is, rather surprisingly,Warrior).

Here is an example suggestion NOT likely to be made into an article:

  • “Hi guys, here is a Youtube video of me playing Hearthstone. Could one of your writers write an article highlighting all my mis-plays? thanx”

This sort of content is likely to be exceptionally valuable to the player who submitted his/her games for analysis. However, other readers may not learn a lot from viewing such content, and thus it is not likely to make for a good article. Moreover, if we did this for one reader we would probably have to do it for everyone…And then we end up flooded with requests.

Premium Members

While we appreciate the feedback from ALL users of this website, you Premium guys/girls are extra important to us since without you this website wouldn’t exist (and that means that I wouldn’t get paid!)

So I would like you to consider this proposal as a way to squeeze a little extra juice out of your membership. Any article suggestion you guys make will be taken extra seriously and we will endeavour to address the query as best we can.

Currently your membership grants you access to premium guides. But now, if you leave a comment below you could be getting something a little extra bang for your buck: content tailored towards your very own hearthstone needs!

Please Take our Survey!

To take part: CLICK ME!

It is really short and will probably take less than five minutes to complete. It is also completely anonymous so please feel free to brutally honest.

Your answers really could help shape the future of HSP.

:)

The Current Pipeline

Before wrapping up this article I thought that I would spend a little bit of time informing you of some of the upcoming articles that you can expect to see published within the next 0-4 weeks (information correct as of 1/04/2015).

The main reason I am sharing with you our article pipeline is so that when you make a suggestion in the comments section below you don’t end up asking us to do something that we already in the process of doing:

  • ‘Playing-to-win’ (parts two & three) by me. These two guides will focus on Bluffing, Roping and Mulligans.
  • Lot’s more Puzzles from Mr.Shine
  • Weekly Legend video deck guides by Joseph
  • Blackrock Mountain Deck Brews and Card Reviews by Nuba
  • And obviously, once Blackrock Mountain gets released we will be publishing lots of stuff related to the expansion (guides to beat the bosses, new deck lists, etc)

Updates and stuff

UPDATE: 04/14/2015:

I have just been reading some of the response to the survey (thankyou all those that participated, by the way). One of the things I noticed was that plenty of you asked for more content, and plenty more of you noticed that there has been a decrease in the amount of content being released lately. To those people, I thought I would explain the reason for this change, and why it is not so simple to release ‘more stuff’. 

The reason for the decrease in article count is basically that HSP underwent a couple of changes recently: the pay for us writers per published article was increased considerably. This wasn’t ‘free money’ for us writers however, to get the extra cash we have to produce higher quality content. And when us writers submit trash, the editors tear us apart.

Hopefully those of you that noticed that there have been less articles of late also noticed an improvement in quality. 

Increased Pay + Editing Costs = More Expensive Articles

Initially, the business model was that higher quality articles would lead to more subscriptions, and that the newly found revenue (from those subscriptions) would counteract the increased production costs. Unfortunately, thus far this has not really been the case. HSP could either go back to the old way of doings OR we could keep the same commitment to quality but reduce costs.  HSP ultimately choose the latter of those paths and the easiest way to reduce costs was to reduce the number of published articles each week.

At the end of the day everything comes back to money.

:)

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On a completely unrelated note, is a forum something many of you would be interested in? 

Conclusion

And that’s my job done! But you, dear reader, still have a little bit more work to do: you have some comments to write!

…and don’t forget to take that survey either!

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