As part of my ongoing effort to improve this community, I tend to do a lot of reflection on where our efforts are being spent, and what sort of payoff we are getting. This thread is the first (in namesake but perhaps not in spirit) of a new series of threads focusing on quarterly (I will make this quarterly, not monthly, methinks, -Xander) review. Since it is the first of its kind, I will stretch back a bit further than just March.
So where to start? March was a great month for CDO. A couple days before March began, we saw some cool Mordheim rules that were developed by good people at Border Town Burning. These guys were responsible for some of the rules which allowed Mordheim players to participate in the Nemesis Crown Campaign last summer. If you haven’t had a chance to download the list, take some time and look it over. I think the list is interesting enough to be supported by us, and it would be cool to see some Mordheim warbands modeled after this list. Perhaps making a Mordheim model for a Golden Hat contest would be fun? Let me know what you think of this idea.
Following this, in late February, we were finally able to start up the CDO Community Awards to recognize those members of our community that are pushing the envelope of creativity and inspiration. We executed a successful nomination and voting process and awarded the 5 medals to very worthy people (thanks for your votes! :cheers ). Congratulations again to the winners, but also to the nominees, who in most cases were equally deserving of the award! 2007 saw truly amazing work done by so many people, and it’s great to see!
In March we were treated to the first official Podcast for Chaos Dwarfs Online. With the help of Hashut’s Blessing, Uzkul Werit and Pyro, we were able to produce an hour long cast on Chaos Dwarfs! We realize the audience of listeners may be small, but I think the effect of audio can be profound. It starts a conversation! The spoken word is very powerful, and I think it provides an excellent verbal discourse for discussion. If you are interested in being a guest host for a future episode, please visit the thread for the Podcast in the Project Development section. We are still trying to come up with a better name, though I am leaning more and more towards Chaos Dwarf Radio.
Next up is a huge milestone in my eyes. Chaos Dwarfs Online took the number one spot in Google for both a search of “Chaos Dwarf” and “Chaos Dwarfs” and also ranking second (to Wikipedia) for "Chaos Dwarves. This effectively makes us the world leader for Chaos Dwarfs as anyone who uses the internet to research the army will invariably Google Search one of those three terms. Many people try to achieve rankings through abuse of search engine routines and algorithms, the key is content. We have the content. We have built this place up from nothing in a year’s time to be the internet leader and authority on Chaos Dwarfs!
Next up is something fun, initiated by the mostly retired, but still keeping tabs, Flying Beaver. The Chaos Dwarfs Online Member Map allows you to pinpoint (more or less) your exact geolocation on Earth! It provides an interesting tool to see which members of the community live close by to you! Check it out if, by chance, you have yet to do so.
The main website keeps trucking along. As I am currently the only one of the staff to have any solid HTML background, the progress is limited to my free time spent on a computer. Slim’s Gallery was a welcome addition, and you can keep an eye out for a couple more galleries which are in the pipelines. The section of the site that needs work is the Hobby Guides section. I need to bust my hump and put up my Hobgoblin and Green Stuff videos. One thing we should try to do is come up with some really comprehensive conversion guides for BFSP with plenty of pictures. I have enough to get this started, so perhaps I will try to flesh out an entire page for BFSP conversions, that would be a great article for new Chaos Dwarf generals. Having everything in one page would be valuable.
Something we have touched on is the smilies. We are looking to enhance them and make a bunch more themed ones! I have some experience with pixel art, so I am trying to head this up. Head here if you want to help, or suggest ideas for cool smilies.
One thing I love to do as an administrator is to track stats. Some stats are accessible to users. We can see that we have 34,005 Posts, 2,170 Threads, and 725 Members. Not too shabby! Other stats include:
Posts per day: 81.21
Threads per day: 5.18
Members per day: 1.73
Posts per member: 46.9
Replies per thread: 14.67
80 posts per day is excellent, that’s way up from the early going. 1.7 new members per day has been about the average since we started the site, it hasn’t moved much. 46.9 posts per member is a great stat, it means that when people join, they actually contribute! But here are some stats you don’t have access to:
Visitors Stats - Summary (March 2008)
Total pages viewed: 160595
Total uniques IP: 4711
Average page per visitor: 34.09
Decent numbers. For a frame of reference, here are those stats from all the months since I have been tracking them.
Visitors Stats - Summary (February 2008)
Total pages viewed: 73291
Total uniques IP:2939
Average page per visitor: 24.94
Visitors Stats - Summary (January 2008)
No recorded Stats, site was down.
Visitors Stats - Summary (December 2007) site was down for a week
Total pages viewed: 117958
Total uniques IP: 2913
Average page per visitor: 40.49
Visitors Stats - Summary (November 2007)
Total pages viewed: 198236
Total uniques IP: 4184
Average page per visitor: 47.38
Visitors Stats - Summary (October 2007)
Total pages viewed 186102
Total uniques IP 4494
Average page per visitor 41.41
Visitors Stats - Summary (September 2007)
Total pages viewed 165754
Total uniques IP 4761
Average page per visitor 34.81
Visitors Stats - Summary (August 2007)
Total pages viewed 190320
Total uniques IP 4188
Average page per visitor 45.44
Although the page views haven’t quite recovered since the crash, we have more unique IPs (different people, or rather, different computers) accessing the site than ever before! 4711 of them this past month! December, January and February were hit hard during the downtime, which is understandable, but we are back on the rise!
Here are some stats for March about where our hits were coming from:
Exceptional Armies 44
The Underempire - Battlefield Hacks 24
And here are some stats on the words used in search engines that led to people accessing the site:
chaos dwarfs 311
chaos dwarf 177
chaos dwarves 87
chaos dwarf online 59
CHAOS DWARFS ONLINE 44
chaos dwarfs.com 25
warhammer chaos dwarfs 17
soul grinder 16
chaos dwarfs forum 13
chaos dwarf forum 10
“chaos dwarfs” 8
chaos dwarf army 7
Zombie Pirates of the Vampire Coast 6
chaos online 6
juza miniatures 5
chaos dwarf rules 4
kordel shorgaar 4
Warhammer Chaos Dwarf 3chaos dwarves online 3
chaos dwarf wiki 3
“making plate armour” 3
death korps 3
chaos dwarfes 3
dwarf artwork 3
chaos dwarf name generator 3
Soul Grinder warhammer 3
Cos Koniotis 3
flayerkin rules 2
borgio the beseiger 2
dwarf name generator 2
chaos dwarfs army 2
chaos dwarf hat 2
kris aubin 2
chaos dwarf conversions 2
“chaos dwarves” 2
warhammer toplist 2
Boar Centaur 2
You can see the power of our Google presence from the search hits in the above stats! You can also check out some stats on Warvault where we currently rank 9th, or Warhammer Toplist where we rank 3rd. I am a bit of a stats fanatic, so I just installed a free hit counter that has public access, so that you will be able to view our stats from now on. I tallied up the current page views from the above stats, and the above unique IP visits as well, those were used as the base stats for the new counter which can be seen at the bottom of each page.
So what’s on tap for April? Another Podcast, more galleries, more contests (The Artisan’s Contest is in progress, check the link in my sig!), and as always: more great community spirit! Another thing I am looking into is a better Slave system. There is a plugin called MyPlaza, which allows for some interesting uses for your Slaves: Change your Username/Usertitle - Adds items to allow users to change their username or usertitle, Sticky a Thread - Adds an item to allow users to stick a thread. The coding still seems to be in beta testing, but I have been keeping an eye on it so that it can work out some of the kinks. So check out that link and see if you like the various things it is capable of, then let me know! I’d also like to announce that Willmark will be coming on staff as a Moderator! He’s interested in contributing more to the Chaos Dwarf community, and I think he has thus far shown his devotion! On the heels of that, for now Ellimist will be a retired Moderator. Ellimist was a great help in the early throws of CDO, and he is a valued member of the site! Thanks for all your work, Ellimist!
If you are feeling ambitious, why not start your own project or join an active one! Get excited and start contributing to our awesome community! That’s how it will get better, just more and more and more participation and initiative from our users! After all, that’s how it started for me. I joined HoH as someone who had never fought with Chaos Dwarfs, but had the Army Book and a few models. The more I participated, the greater the reward. I tried starting a few initiatives on HoH, and then took a giant leap of initiative when I started CDO! Now look at how far we have come! I was honoured by you guys for the best contributor award! Not even for starting the site, but for my initiative to make some video tutorials! So if you have been edging to get more out of your army, take up an initiative of your own! And if you have made it this far in this thread, I want to offer my thanks for your continued and serious interest in this community, it makes all our efforts worth while!
Here’s to an even better April! :cheers
P.S. I wrote this a few days ago, so some of the stats for Member Count and Posts Made are off.