Happy Birthday Eorzeapedia... and Eorzeapedians!
One year ago today, we registered eorzeapedia.com.
One year ago tomorrow, we posted – to little fanfare – our first post.
Sure we had an ugly logo, ugly icon, and ugly skin – but we had a website. We had a place to report on the news surrounding the development of Final Fantasy XIV. We had a place to build a community. We had a place for those eagerly awaiting any and all news about FFXIV to come, hang out, chat and generally wait patiently (or not so patiently) together in unison. As those who know us from FFXIclopedia, we like to take a moment (often annually) to look back at the past year and see where we’ve come from – and then take a look ahead. So here goes Eorzeapedia’s first retrospective…
A lot of what we’ve been focusing on thus far has been the look and back-end of the site. We integrated the forums, wiki and the news portion of the site and had a consistent look across the various platforms (and languages). The first skin (left) was functional, but not all that glamorous – and we quickly set to work on v.2 – which we released in October 2009. It was a large step forward for us. New logo. New colors. A whole new look. Better functionality. Eorzeapedia skin v.3 is in the works – and should be yet another improvement from a graphics and site design perspective.
Along with better form and function we’ve tried to add more ways for the community to participate. User blogs and user submitted op-eds were added – and these have been well received and should allow for a ton of community participation once the game is released. We’re also looking to significantly improve these platforms, with WYSIWYG op-ed editing, blog skins, and a better blog front page. Look for these in the near future.
Not surprisingly, the forums have been the lifeblood of the site thus far. With hundreds of community members online at any given time (and more than 1300 online at the peak) and almost 140,000 posts, we’re certainly one of the most popular and active, if not the most popular and active, FFXIV forum out there. With unique enhancements such as Eorzean bbcode and avatar integration with the SE Members site, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve the forum experience.
Aetheryte Radio Podcast
Our podcast Aetheryte Radio currently has six released episodes (with episode 7 in the works!). There is only so much a podcast can do when its main focus is on a game that hasn’t even been released, but the show has already come out as the top-rated FFXIV podcast on the iTunes music store. With more than 250 episodes under their belts from their top Final Fantasy XI podcasts, the podcast team’s new show will surely be the podcast of choice of many fans of Final Fantasy XIV.
On top of continuing to release shows with the exciting information coming out about FFXIV, there are also other things the podcast team is working on. The current podcast section on the site will be getting an overhaul, making it easier for listeners to download their favorite episodes as well as making it easier to contact the show and its hosts. There is also some new album art in the works for the show so make sure to keep an eye out for Aetheryte Radio related news on the blog!
The wiki remains in its nascent stages due to the NDA, but already users have added more than 300 articles and almost 500 images! And that’s just the English version! The Spanish, French, German and Japanese language wikis are also actively adding new content. Once the NDA is lifted the wiki will certainly explode. We already have a number of users chomping at the bit to add every morsel of information that is out there. Behind the scenes we’ve developed some very cool templates for NPCs, shops, actions, mobs, levequests, etc. – all of which will make it extremely easy for anyone to add content to the wiki. Just adding a few variables will generate a full page complete with the proper color, layout and categories. With more than a half million page views, people are already using the wiki to uncover whatever non-NDA protected information they can. As with the other areas – these stats place the Eorzeapedia wiki at the top of the pack.
With anywhere between 2,000 and 8,000 people visiting the site every day we’re doing better than just “holding our own” against the mega-sized MMO networks out there. The community model has proven itself time and time again in this day and age of Wikipedia to twitter. People are turning to community driven sites to not only simply get their news from others, but to share what they have to say as well. We hope to continue to provide these platforms to enable everyone to participate however they see fit. The team here is nothing more than a group of guys and gals who are equally as eager as the rest of the community to get into Eorzea and experience the world created by Square Enix. We hope that by providing this site, and by providing the community with what it wants, versus what a larger corporation wants, we can provide the best platform for all of us to come together and enhance the community aspect of what an MMO is all about.
Thanks for sticking with us this past year… and stay tuned for more enhancements from Eorzeapedia in the future.