Hello, DNAphil here.  Normally articles about the direction of Gnome Stew are done by our Gnome In Chief, Martin.  This week starts the big layout crunch for Masks and Martin is sequestered away helping to put the final touches on what we are expecting to be a worthy sequel to Eureka.  So while Martin is locked away pouring over text, I am going to take a few hundred words to talk to you about the follow-up to our 3rd State Of The Stew.

We Listen…Even To Ourselves

When we posted the State Of The Stew, we received 12 comments on the article about things we could do to improve the site. In addition to those comments, we Gnomes generated over 100 internal email’s. The one thing that all the comments had in common where passion.  Everyone felt very passionate about things we could do to make things better.

So not to waste any of your and our passion, we took every comment and put them into a spreadsheet, so that we could review them and decide how to address them. In total there were 42 unique suggestions, with several suggestions being mentioned multiple times.

Our next step will be to bring all the Gnomes together and discuss the list of ideas, and decide what actions to take. With Martin locked away for June, we have decided to hold this GnomeClave in July. We will, of course, share the outcome of that meeting with you.

We did not want to waste the energy we got from your comments, so we wanted to address two things right away, because they were the things you were the most passionate about. They are:

Increase Posts (and the rise of a calendar)

The number one comment we heard, was that our posting frequency had dropped off, especially during the writing of Masks. Before Masks, we did a pretty good job of posting an article every weekday (we save weekends to shave our halflings). But with us splitting our time on articles and book writing, we let our every-weekday posting drop off.  You saw it and we knew it. So our first order of business is to get back to posting every weekday.

Last year at Gen Con, ChattyDM asked us how we scheduled our articles. The secret was that we didn’t.  For three years, we Gnomes have been winging it, just posting articles in an organic process with no upfront planning. For the most part we were pretty successful with this, though sometimes we would have to post an article at the last minute.

To help us meet our goal of posting every weekday, we have set up a Google Calendar, and we are trying out having each Gnome pick the dates, in advance, for posting their articles. The calendar allows us to make sure that we are covering all the weekdays, and it should reduce our need to write some of those last minute articles. So far the calendar experiment is working well.

Facebook Articles

Another thing that was mentioned by a few people was that we were cross posting articles on GnomeStew and on Facebook. This creates confusion on where someone should go to read articles, creates two places where we Gnomes try to monitor comments, and it skews our web traffic stats.  No blame on you guys, we did that all by ourselves.

So we have changed the way we update our Facebook page. Now a link is posted on Facebook, and when you click on it, it will take you back to gnomestew.com/, where you can read and comment, where we can keep an eye on you, and where we can get a more accurate reading of our web traffic.

Where We Go From Here

We hope you are enjoying the return to weekday postings, and our more streamlined Facebook updates.  We have more ideas in the pot simmering, and we are looking forward to serving them up to you in the near future.

As always we appreciate you taking time out of your day reading Gnome Stew, and we return to our GMing advice next week.

If you did not comment on the original State Of The Stew article, feel free to leave us a comment here, and I will put it on the spreadsheet for July.