Your progress has been saved.Both Gabefornow and I are immensely grateful for the support we have been receiving over the last few years, and, in particular, the last few months.

If you go into our archives, you will see that we’ve been consistently producing new content for 18 months straight. In reality, I created the site back in 2009, and even before that, I was starting to write movie and video game reviews, possibly even in 2008. This site is now the culmination of all of those efforts. It has been quite the ride.

However, Gabefornow and I both need to take some time to figure out our financial life. Though I think every site owner and blogger hopes that his or her site produces for them, that isn’t necessarily the main focus with us, nor is it necessarily the reason we’re stopping.

With the addition of Gabefornow, we started doing more indie game reviews, and we were hoping to continue to reach out to the indie community. We made many changes to the website, hoping to create a better user experience for our visitors. You don’t address these issues and dedicate yourself to these tasks in anticipation of going on hiatus.

Certainly, there are always different motives that go behind running a site like this, and while I’m not saying that our motivation has always been pure (a little financial remuneration is always nice), we have been working on adding more value to the world around us. We hope that we have, even in a small way.

For this site to be everything that it should be and could be, the team needs to eliminate financial pressure. Too much mind space is taken up by debt and paying the bills, and anyone that it’s in this situation knows that it throws you off-balance, regardless of your intentions.

This isn’t necessarily “the end”. We hope to come back to this project when we have more freedom in our lives and when money is under control. We hope to have more fun than we’ve ever had in the past.

In order for that to happen, “free” or volunteer projects need to be made less of a priority in our schedule. I am mostly saying that because, of anyone, my priorities have been the most “out of whack”. I simply cannot believe how much of my time has gone towards non-paying projects in the last 18 months. I am only now realizing my personal value, which is worth so much more.

When we are ready to come back, it will likely be with new additions to the team. This was never meant to be a one-man show, and I would absolutely love to see more content creators collaborating and contributing.

We hope to return in short order. Until then, we’ll be seeing you!

GravityWell, another year has come and gone and I’ve been playing a little bit of Team Fortress 2 to celebrate a prolific and productive year. Here at AS Movies & Games HQ, we hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. Don’t forget to let us know what you’ve been playing and watching in the comments section below!

In the gaming world, 2013 saw the release of games like Dead Rising 3, Bioshock Infinite, The Last of Us, Payday 2, Arma III, Shadow Warrior, Wasteland 2, Crysis 3, Planetary Annihilation, and SimCity among others.

Despite this amazing lineup, I can’t say that I’ve played many new games recently. This year, I completed Bastion and Ys Chronicles. I’ve also been playing a bit of VVVVVV, and during the holidays I’ve been playing Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Team Fortress 2 like I already mentioned. You can’t blame me for wanting to play “older” games, especially when I haven’t even touched them yet.

In the movie world, 2013 saw the release of titles like Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, The Conjuring, Kill Your Darlings, Robot & Frank, World War Z, The Place Beyond the Pines, Saving Mr. Banks, Star Trek Into Darkness, About Time, Philomena, Man of Steel, Trance, All is Lost, Upstream Colour, Cloud Atlas, Blackfish, Blue Jasmine, Django Unchained, The World’s End, Zero Dark Thirty, The Great Beauty, Before Midnight, Iron Man 3, Lincoln, Captain Phillips, and Gravity.

I have watched quite a few movies this year, but not many of them were new. I did see Django Unchained, and I would like to see Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues as well as Lincoln and Iron Man 3 as well. There isn’t any rush, but if things go my way I will have the chance to go and see Anchorman 2 in short order.

As for the site itself, it has been a fairly eventful year, with numerous site design revisions and malicious hacking. We’ve gone back and thickened up old content, and there is definitely more to do in that regard. Many of the older posts didn’t even have photos yet, and that matter had to be taken care of.

Looking forward, we intend to bring on more writers to create more fun and engaging content. We intend to start our own podcast, and we intend to create more videos as well. Stay tuned, because there are definitely some exciting things on the way!

Oh, and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

AS Movies & GamesWhat’s up, loyal AS community?

We’re back with another awesome-sauce site update, and trust me it’s a gooder. Make sure to read to the very end. It will be on the next quiz, so study well.

This time, we’re going to delve into some of the bogus site problems we’ve been experiencing as of late. We’re also looking for writers, so we’ve covered that in a little more detail towards the end. Word up!

Malicious Code

The overlords have been a little unhappy, because not long ago, someone (probably a bot) inserted some malicious code on the site. We don’t know exactly when it happened, but when we discovered the issue, we were a little disheartened.

The overlords were pleased with how the new content and design was coming along, but when random outbound links invaded the site, they became rather upset with us and faxed us a halibut.

All our base was belong to them. It wasn’t really our fault, but I guess there were some security issues with previous versions of WordPress, and we suspect that’s when our site got targeted.

Not to make too much of it though, because everything is more or less back to normal. There were some moments of frustration, undoubtedly, but somehow we got through it (the pizza and beer didn’t hurt). After all, our wise founder has access to all of the knowledge in the world. It was only a matter of time.

You’ll be glad to know that we’ve been adding new stuff too. There’s still a lot of work to do on archived content, but we’re pleased with the progress that has been made (I can’t speak for the overlords though; they’re slave-drivers).

Writers Wanted

We’ve made mention of this elsewhere, but we’d love to see some new writers come on and contribute content to the site. Some of us are rather busy with other projects, and though we do enjoy working on the site a lot, we’re always open to brining on new team members to help out.

Here are some of the specific topics we need writers to cover:

  • General movie news
  • General movie reviews
  • 80s movie reviews
  • 90s movie reviews
  • General video game news
  • General video game reviews
  • Retro video game reviews
  • Modern video game reviews

Other than that, we’re not going to get into too much detail here. If you’re interested, go to the contact page, leave us a note, and we’ll discuss the specifics by email and phone. Got it?

AS Movies & GamesI’ve been going back into the archives lately, and it has dawned on me that I’ve done a lot of bonehead things with this website (things that could have a negative effect on the SEO as well as things that could take away from the user experience).

When I re-branded the site last year, I was really excited about some of the new techniques and strategies I was learning about online marketing. However, I didn’t give a lot of thought to the details, nor did I actually have a concrete plan to carry out. I simply got consumed by scheduling more and more content for the site.

So, what’s wrong with the site? For one thing, a lot of the posts are lacking images. I’d always figured I would go back in and add them later, but only now am I realizing how time-consuming this can be. Some of the posts have less than 400 words. This is also something I’m working to correct. I definitely want to thicken up the thinner content on the site. I also used entirely too many links in the early posts (and not enough in the later posts). I never meant for this site to be a link farm, but I got overexcited with promoting affiliates.

I’m also realizing the need to share the content from the site on various social streams more often. I recently started a Google+ page for AS Movies & Games so new feed items appear on the page. It’s a small step, but it’s definitely a move in the right direction.

I will probably need to look in to Google Authorship as well. So far I’ve been the primary contributor of content to this site, but of course AS Nathan shared a few items as well, and I think I will probably have new writers coming on in the future.

I would also like to find a better way to present the content on the main page. Video games and movies tend to be highly visual, and I want the site to begin to reflect that. I’m guessing there must be some good Genesis plugins for that.

When I mentioned before that this was a long-term project, I think you are probably beginning to see why. Right now I’m a one man army and I have a lot of other projects to tend to. The bottom line is that this site needs a lot more love than I’ve been giving it.

With that being said, if you go back into the archives and view some of the older content, you will probably notice that I’ve been making some improvements to it. This is definitely something I will continue to do.

Posted in News and tagged as .

AS Movies & GamesIf you’re a regular visitor to the site, it has probably come to your attention that I’ve been making some tweaks as of late.

The site was once hosted on Movable Type, but last year I decided to move everything over to WordPress. This transition was largely inspired by the Smart Passive Income podcast, particularly episode 36 with Sunil.

Listening to the podcast gave me a great deal of hope and inspiration to continue working on a site that I didn’t necessarily have the intention of updating or growing any longer.

Not that I didn’t enjoy writing or creating videos about movies and games. It’s just that I’ve always had a lot of other things on the go, and knowing the importance of regularly updated content, I didn’t think I would be able to create new posts consistently enough to make it worthwhile.

Thanks to the YouTube embeds, Amazon affiliate links and a decent back log of indexed content, the site started producing a little bit of money all on its own. It wasn’t a lot, but it was enough to make me want to consider the possibilities again.

That’s when I decided that a fresh design, a new name (with keywords in the title) and migration over to WordPress would be a good strategic move. I also knew that I could schedule enough content in advance to keep the site updated (scheduled posts in Movable Type never really worked that well), even as I worked on other things. I could leverage the reviews I wrote for the old site, revise and thicken them up a little bit, and publish them all over again.

The Transition

It sounded pretty good in theory, but when I started implementing the changes, a site that was beginning to produce a bit of income basically dropped down to zero, thanks to the fact that I didn’t immediately migrate over all of the indexed content. Evidently a lot (probably most) of my traffic was coming from search, because, as soon as I made the switch over to WordPress, it bottomed out pretty fast.

Suffice to say, it may not have been the smartest move, but I definitely learned a valuable lesson from the experience. Staying on Movable Type may not have been the worst thing, and infrequent updates may also not have been all that bad.

In either case, I wanted to start over, and I wanted the site to update at least five days a week. This wasn’t all that hard when I still had a substantial back log of content from the old site. However, more recently, you may have noticed that I’ve been leveraging content (videos) that others like Spoony have created. Certainly, it’s not considered “cheating” in the blogging world, so long as you’re adding your own thoughts to the piece and giving credit where it is due.

This isn’t necessarily a long-term strategy, but as I’ve already noted, I always have a lot on the go, and the fact that this site is a little lower on the priority chain is probably fairly obvious.

In essence, what I’m trying to get at is that I see this as a long-term project. I’m very certain that I will need to go back and optimize and thicken up some of the content, not to mention add affiliate links or more ads to monetize it. I may even want to add more writers or more content producers for the site.

Genesis Framework

The goal of the recent revamp is to improve the SEO and ranking of the site and also to experiment with the Genesis Framework, which I purchased for my birthday. I’d been hearing good things about it, and since configuring the design and layout in WordPress has not been my chief strength (I’m quite good with HTML and CSS), I thought using Genesis might make things a little easier.

I am still testing out to see to what extent this will prove to be true. Supposedly, the framework is a lot friendlier to mobile users, and it’s also supposed to be properly optimized for search traffic. That still remains to be seen, but assuming that’s true, it just leaves the design and layout bit I touched on earlier.

So far, I’m not finding it any easier to configure the design with Genesis than with any other WordPress theme. I had heard that in the hands of a good designer it really comes alive (could be a direct quote from the website), but it seems that even the most basic elements (fonts, links color, background color, etc.) have to be set up manually in a CSS file. I’m a little disheartened by that.

It’s nice to know that the SEO is taken care of, but I’m still wondering exactly what I’m paying for. Perhaps, thinking of it as a well-designed theme is more on-point than seeing it as a catch-all solution for beginner-to-intermediate WordPress users.

Most good themes have customizable widget areas. Some of them have child themes. So, at this point I’m still wondering what exactly is unique to Genesis that isn’t available elsewhere (sometimes for free).

Some of that will probably come to light as I continue to play with it. I do like the fact that they have a variety of pre-designed child themes that you can purchase, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around using themes that others have crafted. I guess this is fairly standard practice with WordPress, but I come from the school of thought that you need to make your website theme your own.

Through some trial and error, I’ve figured out how to do this with Movable Type. I am still trying to work out how to do it with WordPress. So far I have coped by using the sample child theme and tweaking the CSS file. It seems like the most non-destructive way to adapt the theme to my needs.

As well, painstakingly developing my own child theme – at least at this point – is a little out of the question; it’s time I am likely to be spending elsewhere.

The YouTube Channel

Technicalities aside, the most popular component of this whole operation still seems to be the YouTube channel. I guess that makes sense, as video games and movies are highly visual mediums and they lend themselves well to video.

For the moment, it seems that the other social channels we’re on (Twitter, Google+ and Facebook) as well as the website haven’t been fully embraced the same way the YouTube channel has.

I suppose this might just be a “take what you can get” type situation. I would rather have a decently popular YouTube channel than no apparent interest in what I do.

Conclusion

Despite all of the technical stuff, I hope you enjoyed this read. I know that I’ve kind of jumped all over the place, but time permitting I thought it might be good to let you know where things are at periodically.

The long of the short of it is that the site now has more content than it ever had, and I am working towards making it more pleasing to the eye. As I already pointed out, this will probably be a long-term project, and incremental change is what I see happening with it.