Here we are, ending the second year of Sega-16’s run, and it seems like we’re only getting started. Over the last twelve months, we’ve achieved all of the goals I set forth in last year’s retrospective, as well as a few I hadn’t contemplated, and we have gone above and beyond anything I thought we’d accomplish. In all areas, Sega-16 has grown at a rate that was unexpected, and it warms my heart to see just how well it’s been accepted by the gaming community.
Content has never slowed down. Contributors have been regularly been submitting reviews and to a lesser degree, features. So far, we’ve amassed a collection of almost 300 reviews and 200 features, which puts us at the forefront of Genesis coverage on the internet. With almost 2,000 screen shots, over 200 print ads, and over 60 video commercials, Sega-16 has matured into a major resource for those seeking information on Sega’s 16-bit hardware.
We now have a staff. Content has been pretty consistent since we started, with contributors graciously doing their part to help. Since around December, none of our content has been pre-published, and I was happy to see that we had reached a point at which we could fully rely on original content. However, as most contributors were eager to submit reviews, I was still left with the burden of writing the majority of the features. Now, I don’t mind writing them; in fact, I love doing so, but after more than 120 features, it tends to wear you down. For that reason, I decided last month that Sega-16 needed a staff. As of this month, we now have four dedicated writers who will be giving us an even more constant flow of reviews and features. Ben Galway, Nick Gibson, Vince Thornburg, and Dan Riley are going to be giving you all the Genesis-related articles you could hope for, while Steven Kenyon and Josh Tompkins will ensure that everything runs smoothly. We’re complete now, and hopefully this great bunch of guys will continue to provide some excellent reading for a long time to come.
The site was redesigned. Last year, I stated that we were going to upgrade from the basic — ok, ghetto design that my crude html skills were barely able to create. Thanks to forum member and now Sega-16 webmaster Steven “landstalkerx” Kenyon, that goal has been reached. Steven’s incredibly simple and elegant design was the last piece needed to make the site a serious resource. All of our content is accessible from anywhere on the site with only two clicks, which makes navigation a breeze. Furthermore, the color and design is also more “Sega-like” and is in tone with the era of the company’s history that we cover. As time goes on, we will continue to refine the look of things and make them more efficient so that our readers will have as enjoyable an experience as possible each time they visit.
Our prestige and credibility have grown. Slowly but surely, Sega-16 is gaining a name for itself as a reputable source for accurate information. Our extensive collection of interviews with people from all aspects of the Sega 16-bit era offers readers a great look into the “behind the scenes” of how things were done back then and shows that we’re serious about ensuring that we get things right. Prominent members of the Genesis community have so far been happy to share their experiences with us, and we are committed to giving them a place at which to do so.
Moreover, we’ve been referenced on both GamesStats and Game Rankings, as well as just about every Genesis-related entry on Wikipedia. This has given us lots of great exposure, and it’s only the beginning. Look for us soon in an upcoming issue of Retro Gamer Magazine!
Our forums have grown at an impressive rate. In the first year of its existence, we managed to achieve a membership of less than ninety people. Since then, our membership has grown to just under three hundred. The overwhelming majority of our original regulars have remained constant posters, and a whole new group of Genesis fans have joined the ranks and post regularly. Moreover, we’ve gone from Invision’s free boards to phpbb and finally to the wonderful world of VBulletin. The software upgrade puts us at the forefront of forum technology and gives our readers a flexible and beautiful home in which to talk about everything Genesis.
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Not bad for only a year’s work, eh? I know it may sound like boasting, but can you blame me? Sega-16 is my baby, and I’m very proud at what it’s become. I never thought I’d enjoy running a website so much, and never did I imagine that it would be not only fun but an incredible learning experience as well. It’s great to see that others are enjoying the fruits of our labors and that we’re considered their first place to go for Genesis information.
Yep, 2005-2006 was a banner year, but I’m not satisfied. I want us to grow more and become the premier Genesis site around. With the help and continued support of you, our readers, we will accomplish exactly that. I thank you for your enthusiasm, attention, and everything else that you’ve given us. My only hope is that we can continue to meet your expectations…and eventually exceed them.
I sincerely hope you stick around to see if we do.