Newgrounds and Social Media

2013-03-21 19:54:32 by Gerkinman

Just a quick question on the future of Newgrounds, a lot of the improvements that have been made to Newgrounds in the last few months have been fantastic, things like the notifications system and being able to see what activity your friends have been up to are fantastic additions to the website, even if they didn't come about until years after the same features were implemented by competitor sites. Better late than never.
One area I feel like the site is still lacking however, or two areas actually, are within the space of social media and the lack of the site being built with responsive design in mind.
The first aspect, social media, is pretty self explanatory, obviously you can tweet and promote your work on facebook, but now that we have a video player on the site, is their any reason we cant embed these videos directly into our facebook or tumblr pages? Maybe its something that is already in the works, or maybe since im no expert in web coding there is far more involved than I realise. But moving forward, if Newgrounds is to stay relevant, or indeed get some of its relevance back, I think its something that will need to happen.
The second area was responsive design, this is only something that im really noticing to be an issue now. I know the redesign we currently have on the site was started upon years ago, before responsive design was really much of a concept. But now that Newgrounds supports videos and html5 games, making the content more mobile friendly, it can be rather frustrating to use the site in its current state on mobile devices. These are just my opinions however and I would be interested to hear what others think.

In other news, I have to rereleased old shorts up on the youtubes. Swivel is my new favourite thing in the world.

The first was Down at McDonalds which is still probably my favourite short to date despite being made like 5 years ago.

The other was the final episode of the original series of Nimbin. I have been wanting to return to the series with new art and a new format for quite some time but after a pretty luke warm to the series release on Youtube im not really sure if its worth it.

Next week I am hoping to have a new short called Wet Willy finised and released, its my first proper short in my new animation style. So yay for that.


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2013-03-21 20:28:46

theres like 3 guys working on the back end of newgrounds. maybe 4.. as opposed to 300 at youtube. :p

still not an excuse to have any of the features you mentioned, but it definitely partl the reason as to why its taking so long.

Gerkinman responds:

Ha ha, I knew it would be a logistical issue. But, with Newgrounds viewership dropping off, its in the best interest of the site to try to keep up with what competitor sites are doing to try to keep people here. I guess the internet is evolving faster than ever and its getting harder and harder to keep up with the standards people have for the delivery of their content.


2013-03-21 21:07:38

I wouldn't give up on your other series due to lukewarm reception. It looks like a good concept. I just had trouble hearing what they were saying and wasn't quite able to catch on to the story. Loved the soundtrack.
Nonetheless, keep reinventing yourself and stay inspired.

Gerkinman responds:

There hasn't been a new Nimbin episode since 2008, so its all but forgotten pretty well, and even in its heyday the series wasn't particularly popular. I still like the universe its set in tho, and the characters, I think thats why I was wanting to bring it back.


2013-03-21 21:08:59

It too some bloodloss , but I think thats finally sinking in, there seems to be some pretty cool shit down the pipe

Gerkinman responds:

The Newgrounds youtube channel could be used a little better as well, just sayin lol.


2013-03-21 23:09:49

I agree with all the points MindChamber has made, as well as your expectations. It's a matter of money isn't it? Hire a consultant: 1 year of Tom's take home pay. Hire a team to get it done faster: probably the value of NG itself. Buy the online services and software (Google) for better integration and visibility: 1 year of NG profit.... I'm just making these numbers up, but when you compete against major websites and search engines for page hits, expansion is a damn hard thing. It's like an ant fighting a cat for scraps, 1000:1 ratio easy.
NG is still good, we got all the heart we need, to outshine the bigger anthills in cyberspace :3

Gerkinman responds:

In the end all things come down to money, and I guess at some point a gamble. You can pay a bunch of money to bring things up to date, but there is no guarantee that it will bring visitors back to the site. On the other hand you can penny pinch and do things slowly, but that increases the risk of alienating the users of the site and making things inconvenient for them, thus killing traffic. Its a very difficult balancing act.


2013-03-22 07:24:54

I hear Luis is working on the mobile version of the site, and though I'm all about big screens and real computers it looks good, simple and innovative. Would be good with a design that was scalable to different resolutions, but it's definitely better than it used to be in terms of usability (except for those annoying dropdown menus). I do wonder at times if NG staff are constantly working their asses of or spending more time on personal projects/life than they used to. Not that I'm complaining...

The ability to embed NG content would definitely be a real boost though. Maybe there's some copyright issue preventing it. Maybe bandwidth issues. I can see how including videos on other social sites would really spike resource usage, maybe without bringing in significant amount of users, but if the feature did exist I know I'd be embedding lots of content on my own site. NG could take it one step further by allowing regular flash content embeds as well, AFAIK there are no other sites that allow that.

Gerkinman responds:

I didn't realise a mobile site was under way, it must be a nightmare to design as there is so much content that needs to be fitted in. Im sure the NG staff are working on the features, its just another one of those things that feels like it could be too little too late, mobile versions of sites have been common for years now.

You might be right on the embedding front, I have no idea how the back end of those sorts of systems work. I dont think it would ever work with flash, but Facebook already has HTML5 game support, embedding them from Newgrounds could be a boon.


2013-03-22 09:29:27

Here's the mobile site design:

As for embedding flash, it wouldn't be difficult at all. Everything on the site is embedded already, so... the only thing they need to do is make that code visible, and allow hotlinking (linking to the files directly instead of only the pages). Yeah, it could be. :)

Gerkinman responds:

That is pretty damn cool.