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2005: A Clarke Analogy

January 2, 2005

In my first 2004 update, I said "Here's to 2004 being -- as Standback would put it -- a year of many fivers." Now that the year is over, it's time to ask... how did it stack up?

On paper, it looks pretty good. We published a total of 124 fivers in 2004, for an average of just over one every three days. We also had six This Just In articles (and two briefs), a massive 37 Top 10 lists, two new subsites, eight major events (not counting Enterprise Week or the eTrektion), a server move, a forum software conversion, and the groundwork for 5MV v4.0, including a new PHP system currently functioning at eight subsites. In 366 days, there were 286 newsposts (counting Supplementals), which isn't quite daily, but is still a lot of newsposts. 112 of those newsposts involved new 5MV content, 91 were link days, and 60 were neither but still had some substance to them (like rants and X Years Ago posts).

The remaining 23 updates were the dregs: "excuse posts," as I call them. Now, when I did this count, I was surprised to see that there were so relatively few of those. You may be too. It feels like I've spent much more time making excuses than that. After reading through the newsposts, I think I know why: even on content days or link days, I often apologize for being late with something or other. And that almost always happens because I've made promises I didn't need to.

evay has given me advice about this before, and with it in mind, I'm going to try to take a different approach to the updates. Don't worry, they'll still be daily whenever I can manage it. But from now on I'm going to avoid hyping upcoming stuff, because I almost always miss the dates I predict on the News page and then have to apologize for it. When I hype, I introduce a factor that isn't there otherwise: obligation. This site is my hobby and I shouldn't feel guilty when I have to put other things first -- but when I've said I'm going to do something and then don't do it, I do feel guilty. That's unnecessary stress for me and I doubt the hype makes a difference to you, because those of you who get excited about upcoming content probably read the daily updates anyway. (And you don't read them to hear me whine.)

Other than that, the current update policy will remain in effect. Every day I'll try to post something. Realistically, there can't be new content every day, so on the other days I'll post other interesting stuff. That may be links, X Years Ago posts, rants (the Blalock=Beltran one went over well), or just comments on something or other. I may tie this in with my blog in some way (I barely use it now, but I'm planning to change that) -- please note that the 5MV News page is still not a blog.

Daily updates are not a promise. With my Master's program, I'm in no position to make one. But I love this site, and I've let both it and my schoolwork slip too much this term. In 2005 I intend to get both acts together. (The first step was... sigh... leaving my GameCube in Ottawa. I just got Metroid Prime 2. This better be worth it.)

Now then, speaking of 2005, here's some of what you can expect in the coming year. In keeping with the new antihype policy, I'm not going to put precise dates on anything, but these are things that we're working on.

  • Voyager Week: We're six days in, and Day 7 will be 5MV's first new content of 2005. Sorry for the big gap in the event; my December was indescribable. It'll be worth the wait. Day 7 is late because it's big.
  • Enterprise: For those who are wondering, my plans for 5ME haven't changed. I'm going to finish Season 3 first, then start on Season 4. I finally have copies of the first six S4 episodes. Since this material is so late, it's going to be my first 5MV priority after Voyager Week.
  • The eTrektion: This continues to be much discussed at the forums, but I've neglected it on the site itself. I still know where I'm going with the story, though. As soon as I have the time I'll come back to it.
  • 5MV v4.0: The status of this upgrade is complicated; suffice to say it's very much in progress. The full 4.0 upgrade is not something to expect in the near future, but I hope to launch it no later than the....
  • Fifth-Anniversary Event: As explained earlier, this is actually the event we originally planned for the 4th anniversary, which means a lot of it is already done. It's on course to be our biggest event to date. The anniversary is June 15.
  • Other Fivers: The rest of the staff will of course be continuing to write fivers for their subsites. There are also a lot of guest fivers waiting to be published, and I'll be spreading those out so that more updates have content. With any luck at all, the Fiver By Committee will be finished this year too.
That about does it for my 2004 "annual report." Happy New Year, and see you on the News page.
Previous article: 5MV, Year 5 (12/19/04)

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