Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year 2012: Blogging Resolutions

Sunday, 1 January 2012

I'm terrible at keeping New Year's Resolutions, and I've broken so many that the whole tradition doesn't really interest me nowadays. But in terms of blogging, I thought it could be fun to put together some resolutions I'm aiming to stick to in 2012...

1. More British, less American
I review what I like, not what I have to, and the majority of what I like happens to be of US origin these days. However, it's clear from stats/comments that British shows are actually more popular here in terms of page-hits. This is probably because less sites cover UK shows, so any reviews draw a starving audience. In comparison, a review of Breaking Bad gets lost in an ocean of Breaking Bad reviews (most of which get uploaded a day or so before my own, by which time people have had their fill). So this year I'll try to cover more UK shows than before, although obviously I won't be forcing myself to review British shows I dislike.

2. More screengrabs
I often use official promotional photos to illustrate reviews and break the monotony of text, because they're generally brighter/clearer than muddy screengrabs. However, good-quality screengrabs are unique, and often a show's own promo photos are taken from irrelevant scenes. Or are just plain ugly in their composition! The only reason I don't use more screengrabs is because it creates extra work, but I'll try and do more this year. Unless there's a good counter-argument for why it's okay not to bother. Chuck is a show I'm often forced to screengrab, if you're looking for a comparison.

3. Less episodic reviews
DMD has always focused on episodic TV reviews, but maintaining that workload is becoming a real challenge. There were a few TV shows in 2011 that I'd have covered in detail a few years ago, but I chose not to this year because they would have been the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm also aware that TV shows undeserving of weekly attention sometimes still get covered—either because I know readers desire them, or because I don't like dropping a show I've reviewed from the start. I'm getting better cutting shows loose (see Glee, Rubicon, American Horror Story), but I'm going to be a lot tougher this year. If a show doesn't really deserve a weekly critique, it won't get one. Or the reviews won't be weekly, but occasional. So watch out Primeval and The Killing USA.

4. More features
Every time I write something that isn't news or a review, the response is always good. I suspect it's because anything different makes for a refreshing change, or general articles appeal to more people than specific stuff. Recently, my Top 10 lists in December were a notable draw for people. Consequently, I'll be making a conscious effort to ease off on news/reviews and present something more unusual: maybe some more Top 10s, more Talking Points, maybe a page of loose thoughts I'd like to share. Would this be appreciated?

5. Less font fiddling
I'm a pain when it comes to choosing fonts, and longtime readers will know this blog tends to alternate between Arial, Trebuchet, Verdana and Georgia (of varying sizes) throughout the year! I can't guarantee I won't continue fiddling when I'm bored, but I'll try not to convince myself something needs changing when it probably doesn't. Is everyone happy with the smaller-sized Verdana font being used here right now (at time of writing)?

6. Less updates
Back in the day, DMD would update 2-5 times every day. Now a good day perhaps has two updates, although I still try to ensure something new goes up every 24-hours. However, in the quieter times of the year, I'm going to let updates "happen when they happen". I don't envisage days and days where nothing is being posted, but perhaps there will be more times when two-day gaps become fairly common.

So that's it. Those are my big six resolutions regarding this blog. I've also decided to stop doing my monthly DVD/Blu-ray release lists, because I'm less convinced than ever it's worth the effort. Other changes and improvements may also be coming soon, but I'd be very interested to hear your own thoughts and opinions...

Is there anything you'd like to see DMD do this year, or anything you're not happy about currently? Would it really be so bad if some TV shows just received "season reviews" once they're over, or do you enjoy the weekly discussion on individual episodes too much?