Over the past year, Lusipurr.com has experimented with a number of changes, great and small, to nearly every aspect of the site. We focused on professionalism, created a dedicated news department, changed the podcast format, opened donations, began selling merchandise, hosted TF2 nights, trebled the number of active staff, created editorial positions, opened a communications network with publishers and developers, launched a weekly webcomic, tried off-site hosting for comments, and began reviewing titles that we received as review copies from developers. Some of these approaches were well-received by our readership–others were not.
Nearly a year ago, I sat down with Jake ‘RootBeerKing’ Norwood to plan out what the new Lusipurr.com would look like. Now, a year later, even those of us who were here at launch can hardly remember how the original Lusipurr.com looked. It was blue–I think? Honestly, we can barely remember any of it. The new site layout has now become so associated with Lusipurr.com that no other layout, real or imagined, can seem ‘right’. This is the sign of a highly successful innovation. We created something that just fit. Would that this were always the case!
But alas it is not always the case. Many of the developments we have tried out simply have not worked. Our news department, for example, did not suit the style or direction of the site. Nor did our discussion-centred roundtable podcasts. These were, certainly, fine ideas–but they were ideas that were not suitable for this site. Somewhere, along the way, our drive to increase professionalism led to us forgetting what made Lusipurr.com successful in the first place: our deliberate and calculated rejection of journalistic norms (which is quite different from a lack thereof), laid out in the service of laughs. “Presenting the news in a humourous and entertaining way”, the original Lusipurr.com Megaphones Ahoy! Podcast description reads. Nowhere in that description do we find the words professional, inoffensive, or serious.
Over the past few months, our readership has flatlined and reader interest seems to have gone down. Be assured, we notice these things. Posts receive fewer comments, podcasts go by almost-unnoticed, even the thoroughly excellent webcomic (one of the few consistently awesome site posts) seems to pass without remark all-too-frequently. As I watched this situation develop with increasing alarm, I began to ask myself, “How can we bring the magic back? What sort of action do we need to take?” Drastic action seemed necessary–and now, despite initial reluctance, I have taken actions that I think are necessary to put Lusipurr.com back on its original tack.
This site has always worked best with a small number of closely-knit staff members who produce content on a weekly basis and, hence, are deeply involved in the site and its future. Whilst having a large number of staff meant less frequent work, it also meant that our members were more diffuse and less involved. We now rectify that: some less-senior staff will be departing given that there are simply not enough posts for all of the people we have. Those senior staff who remain will be writing on a weekly basis–shorter posts, closer to the length of site posts from 2009 to early 2011. There will be fewer restrictions on authors, on the podcast, on reviews, on editorials. Authors will be responsible for their own proofs, allowing a more diverse array of author voice. And, above all, we have told people that having fun with their work is the first priority.
Lusipurr.com’s original goal at launch was to present the news in an entertaining and humourous way. Along the trip, we grew a bit, and lost sight of the importance of that goal. Now, we reassert its primacy. We hope that we can earn back the loyalty of our readers by making Lusipurr.com a place which keeps you laughing whilst simultaneously delivering important industry news.
And if the developers do not like it? Well, then, fuck ‘em. We did without them for three years. I will just buy the games out of my own pocket and make certain every asshat who blacklists us gets NOTHING BUT ZEROES. You hear that, snarky devs? We will institute a number-rating scheme JUST to make certain that your vengefulness is repaid with nothing but naughts! If there is one thing that we know about here at Lusipurr.com, it is spiteful, vengeful, trollish dickery. Trust me. We invented it back in 1997, and we can SHOW YOU HOW IT IS DONE.
. . .
We are still in the process of getting our ducks in a row here, so there will not be any editorials or reviews today or tomorrow. However, there will be an Easter comic on Friday and a news round-up from SiliconNooB on Saturday. Sunday will see the ‘reboot’ (if I may employ an industry term) of the Lusipurr.com that, hopefully, many of you remember fondly. And I hope you are looking forward to it as much as I am.
Lusipurr.com has been your source for entertaining news since 2009. We hope to remain so for many years to come. Unless I win the lottery, in which case you lot are on your own: I’m moving to DisneyWorld.
Very truly yours,
President and Editor-in-Chief,