Gord = TheGord, a lazy goodfornothing I've known for a long, long time.
He's very modest.
Exceptionally brilliant too, I might add.
Though, in all seriousness, I've been putting a fair bit of thought into this project. I think it could fly since you already know enough people who can contribute to make it go.
Let's break down what we need:
1 - Publiciticy
2 - PR
3 - Excellent Design
4 - News content
5 - Original content
6 - Cash Income
1. Publicity. This is the easiest. Between the traffic Lawrence already gets to his GameSX site and myself, we've got tens of thousands of people right there who at the very least will check in once. A slick presentation coupled with good content will compliment the image we have of being bright fellows. That means respect and it just gets far easier to deal with everyone. PR people will know of us, so they will spend more time with us. Developers will know of us, so it will be easier to get interviews and whatnot.
We are gifted with having the publicity before the product.
2. PR. If we namedrop my name of this project, instant credability until the site is known well enough that one can phone up X at Y and say "Hey, this is Z from L's gamesite of the future" without the PR person going "WOW! Another website written by someone living his his parent's basement with eight readers wanting a free game or to waste my time". As such, getting interviews and promo-product should be fairly easy. As long as the company knows their product will get a fair review and some publicity regardless, they'll happily send out everything we ask for. Review product is exceptionally cheaper than buying advertising.
That said, some companies will be exceptionally pissy over negative reviews if they feel the site is an attack site. Elitist sites that say "Every game is a bad game" and that every game ten years ago was better will not get much co-operation. If you treat the people in PR like real people and actually try running stories by them before publishing them, they will work with you forever.
3. Excellent design. Lawrence has that down pretty damn good. Coming up with a clean format will be an obstacle easily overcome.
4. News content. In theory, the news will come to us. With a popular site, people will email the news. Or just fleece a popular forum for news like most other site does. I like how Exodus's site just links to interesting stories instead of GameSpot's link to every single press release ever.
Remember Next-Gen Online? That was run by two guys with zero help from the magazine. They got no support at all. No games, no editorial help, nothing. But because they were liked and not a shapeless corporate machine, people emailed them all the news from everywhere. That would be the end goal we would want.
5. Original content. This is the most important part that is needed to separate from the masses. There are a billion fan sites already out there relisting the days news they read on other sites, so if you read one you've read them all. Original content takes time. Be it overseas crap, interviews, or huge explanation on how things work. I had thought of doing a dedicated site of "The Word of Gord" that would be nothing but essays much like the three already on my site, but I ran out of time. Those three essays have been read millions of times. People will read intelligent essays.
Exodus's site is a mixxed bag in this regard. Some things like the GP32 sum up is good. Direct, big, and tells me what I want to know. Sadly, most of the features are washed out by too much "blog noise" contained within. I don't care how they got the store or that they saved a nickel on a gallon of gas to get there by using a coupon. I don't care that there was six people in the store and that the price tag was on the left side of the box. I don't care their neighbor has a lovely dog and that their sofa is blue. (that was a dramatic recreation). Please don't take this as an attack, but just an observation. The actual foundation of the messages are fine, just the delivery needs less "blog noise".
I do however especially like the custom graphic headers over each page on Insert Credit though.
Back to the L. project. A site that can deliver multiple essays/full length a week (dare I say one day?) will have traffic unlike the world has ever seen because no one does that anymore.
Of note: Interviews should be done early Next Gen style. Actual revisiting of things said before, reality checks, and basically a real discussion rather than a multi-page advertisement.
6. Cash income. Turning traffic into dollars. In theory if we have the traffic, we could solicite advertising. I suspect that advertising will have to come after the site has traffic proven. If everyone says "oh, L's site is great" and every company has heard of it, I suspect they will be far more receptive to paying money to advertise than if we ask while they think it's some hack site with no traffic.
7. Other. I would vote in favor of a closed forum. Make it so all can read, but the only people who can post have either:
1. Worked in the industry and we like.
2. Submitted an original essay worthy of publication.
3. Paid money (thus if one acts retarded will be banned and lose their money, so good behavior is encouraged).
4. Demonstrate that they are not retarded and are worthy of a free pass.
Game forums are flamewar magnets. By having such rules, we could have a forum that intelligent people would want to post in and keeps the millions upon millions of people who would pollute the forum with noise out. If we can pull off a news site that is intelligent and respected, people in the industry will want to be a part of it.
Sadly I banged this off in about 10 minutes before I head off to work, so I apologize for grammar mistakes and unclear concepts I may have typed.
In conclusion, we have the traffic. We have the talent. We have the writers. We can make this work.
Assuming we have L., myself, and Exodus on board, how many others can we expect to help lay the foundation to what will be Next Generation Online 2.0?