Well, somehow made it. 2015’s finally here. The fated graduation year it is.
In retrospect, 2014 was one hell of a hot mess. A lot of stuff happened to me personally, and I can’t really say a new year makes me feel any more free from all the craziness I’ve tried to put behind me in the last few months. At this point, I’m kind of apprehensive about celebrating a new year at all – not that I ever did much in the first place – but acknowledging the joy of welcoming a new year now seems odd to me.
Anyway, I probably sound like a depressed old fart on what’s supposed to be a joyous occasion right now. Time to take a look back at what’s happened with Supar Robo specifically…
With the site, I feel like I was a little more disorganized this year than I would’ve liked to be. I often found myself rushing to finish things on time, to fulfill the deadlines no one else set for me but myself. That interlude post this past December was living proof of that, something I’d like to avoid from now on if at all possible.I even struggled with paying my domain fees for the site on time, and missed out on a great WordPress Theme package as a result.
The combination of personal issues, relationships, money, school, and future planning has led to a whirlpool of chaos for me. I don’t tend to talk about my personal life or issues very often though, so I’ll deliberately leave things vague. The issue of concern here is how it affects the site and what’s done/not done around here.
So for the content around the site, I think this is an interesting note to make: there were only 7 Master Grade posts this year. 2013 saw 13 of them, during Supar Robo’s maiden year.
I use Master Grade Gunpla here because I think it’s the most detailed and extensive category; most of my collection focuses on Mobile Suit Gundam, and since I only collect Master Grades, it seems like the obvious area to measure in quantity. However, while there were much fewer of those reviews and photoshoots in 2014, many other categories were filled out and expanded, such as my 1/100 Customs collection and Transformers collection.
I’ve tried to keep posts consistent throughout the year though, avoiding any long hiatuses or unexplained absences.
With my actual posts, I’m glad to see some quantifiable change and improvement in my methodology and quality. (God, it’s right after New Years and I sound like I’m pulling random words out of a dictionary, stringing them together, and calling it a sentence. I’m sorry, try to follow as best as you can).
Anyway, I’m immensely proud to see how far I’ve come with both the extent of content in my posts and the quality of the photoshoots. I personally think my relatively new photo setup is world’s better than what I started out with in 2013:
A good example of what I mean. Most of my newer posts are also much more extensive in covering the details about a particular figure or model; looking back on it now some of my previous posts were way too short and glossed over a lot of important points. I’ve actually considered doing some re-reviews and re-photoshoots for some particularly bad ones, but I’ll probably only get around to those when I don’t have anything new left to post about.
And the site stats since birth. That’s 24 months on the net, with some nice gradual growth in views and visitors. It’s nothing big yet of course, but I don’t exactly have amazing outlets to publicize on. Nonetheless, I’m just glad Supar Robo’s done so well as it is; in recent months in particular the view count has been booming periodically and I can’t actually figure out why.
Usually the site views and visitor count will only spike once a year – during Anime Expo, where we cover the event extensively pretty close to real time. It happened in July of 2013, but this year the site stats jumped in October and November for no explicit reason. I don’t think I posted anything particularly eye-catching during those months.
And as per tradition, the site is now getting a theme overhaul. It’s been hard for me to choose something new, since I’m so used to what I’ve used all year. The new layout is still pretty similar though; sometime down the road I’m gonna run out of similar theme layouts to use and am gonna be forced to try something drastic I just know it.
During 2013 I had two new banners up, one for the first half of the year and another for the second. During 2014, I stuck with the same banner from January 1st to December 31st. I wanted to update it halfway through the year, but beyond not really having time to do so, I also really wanted to feature my new Sideshow Striker Eureka statue on the next banner.
As luck would have it though, that item got delayed from December to January. So I was going to put it on the new January banner when it came in. But then it got delayed again to April 2015. At this point I just gave up and went ahead with the new banners without waiting for that dang thing.
There will be up to five new banners for this year, at least the first half. At least three of them (the three featured here) will be complete collection lines. It might be overcompensating for 2014’s single banner, but I’m fond of the new alternating style. You should technically see a new banner cycle out every time you reload the site or go to another page, but I’ll have to actually see how that works out.
So, another New Year’s night, spent the same way as the last two. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; make no mistake, this is bliss. I also happened to finish my final kit of 2014 mere minutes before the clock struck twelve. He should be getting a post and photoshoot sometime soon-ish.
All in all, 2014 was one hell of a roller coaster that threw me for a fairly unpleasant loop for the most part. 2015 promises to do the same, what with the whole entering college and higher education thing and whatnot. In a way it’s apt to say that the future’s here this year (extra cookies for you if you thought Back to the Future II right there).