01 May 2013

7 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About TheMetalBikini.com

So after we hit 20,000 pageviews, I decided to wait until we hit 50,000 before I did any more posts like this. 

In the 10k pageviews article, I thanked primarily Ben and Sean. At 20k, I thanked some of you readers who have been with me since the start or have gone above and beyond spreading the word about the site out of what I can only assume is pure love and adoration. 

For 50k, (50,000 friggin' pageviews, y'all!) I thought I'd talk a little about the site, but wanted to frame it in a slightly more interesting way than just talking about how hilarious and insightful I am (lol wut?), so I decided to make a list about some of the random, debatably interesting facts associated with me and TheMetalBikini.com

As for why it's the 7 things, I wanted to do 10 but can't think of three more. 

7. I have only ever promoted this site on two websites
That's right. All the other places you've run across references to TMB.com, the only places I've ever mentioned it (I shy away from the word "promoted" because in my mind, that involves advertising, marketing strategies/ campaigns, etc.) are the FFG Forums and the forums at Warseer.com.

As you probably know, both of those sites are messageboards. I frequented the FFG boards heavily back in November and December seeking advice on rules questions and stuff, and the Warseer boards are primarily 40k/ Games Workshop-centric, but there is a little sci-fi games subsection where I've posted links to TMB.com. I also have links to the site in my sigs for both of those sites. I still go on both of them from time to time to try and keep up on topics folks are discussing, but I spend most of my time messing around working on stuff for the site nowadays. If you want to say "hi" or whatever though, I'm cid_mcdp on the FFG forums and DEADMARSH on Warseer.

I've also never invested in SEO or anything like that. I know a little bit about that kind of stuff from a previous job, but not really enough to apply it for reals or anything.

That's it though- anywhere else you've seen someone talking about the site, it's been one of you guys. Long story short, this site and the surprising way that it's grown has been 100% organic, which is pretty cool if you ask me. 

Oh, and the ads so far have paid for the $10 it cost me to buy the domain and retail price on two expansions if you were curious. 

6. I bought this game totally on a whim
I'd actually been pretty turned off to Star Wars in general, recently by the SWTOR MMO and the most recent movie trilogy. I knew the game was coming out as I was on the FFG site a lot around last September because I'd bought the Dark Heresy rule book last August or September, so I'd seen the ads and stuff for X-Wing, but had no real interest in checking the game out as 6th ed. 40k had just dropped, I'd just built a 1,500  point Necron army to go with my Marines and Guard, and again, I'd felt pretty cheated by Star Wars since about oh... 2001 or so. 

While I was in one of my local FLGS picking up that Dark Heresy book, I saw X-Wing on the shelf as it'd just come out. I picked it up, gave it a once over, put it back down. 

It wasn't until a week or two later that I found out about the movement templates and a lightbulb came on over my head that I might be able to play this game over Google Hangout with BC. This was a big deal because BC and I had been looking for a miniatures game to play over the internet as we both like miniatures games (ok, ok- we both like to play with toys), but many of them were too free form in their movement to hope to try and replicate player moves over a voice & video connection. 

A few days later, I stopped back by the Evansville HobbyTown and picked it up. 

That said, lest ye think I'm not a big ol' Star Wars nerd from waaaay back- 

5. I have an Alliance Firebird symbol tattoo
I got my first tattoo in what must have been May or June of 1994. I was going to school with a guy who used to tattoo and long story short, he agreed to come over to my apartment and tat me up for $50 after class one evening. 

I was kinda scared, it hurt like hell, and it took him forever. End of the day though, I have a big, black Firebird in the middle of my chest, like over my sternum, from now until I'm worm food. 

4. BC and I invented the foundation of a very similar game back in 1993
BC and I used to play the old West End Games Star Wars RPG back in the day. This is like around 1992-1994. Summer of 1993, a mutual friend of ours named Rob got a copy of X-Wing for PC that we played on his dad's work computer a ton that summer. At some point, BC and I thought it'd be super cool to invent a Star Wars miniatures space combat game. 

Yup, for reals. 

While that's literally been 20 years ago, I do remember us working out some rules, using a black sheet we fully intended to paint up as a star field, and me attempting to whittle a Y-Wing out of a block of wood I'd found in my dad's garage. As that was taking forever, we dug out his old Star Wars boardgames (BC has a ridiculously huge library of boardgames from when he was a kid) and looted game pieces as we developed our rules and stuff. I don't remember which games specifically we jacked pieces from, but he probably does. 

I can't remember how we were planning on handling it exactly, but we did have a system of some sort worked out for playing with the capital ships and doing dogfights with starfighters kind of off to the side on another smaller board. It didn't use a point system (I don't think we'd ever played a game with a point system at that point), and if I remember right, it was more like a boardgame in that you started out with X many ships, but there were various mechanics for getting more ships and/ or bigger ships in your fleets. 

3. This site is a Blogger blog
That's it. While I've run traditional hosted sites in the past for fun and for my old band, this site is simply a blogger.com blog with a custom domain name.

I decided to go with Blogger over a traditional host largely because I've never planned on hosting files, apps, or a messageboard here nor was I interested in paying a monthly fee to do so. Also because it's really cheap and I can work on it from anywhere I can log in to Blogger, which again, since I have a 3G Chromebook, means I can work on it pretty much whenever I want. 

2. I've not missed a daily update since things started in earnest
I've been late a couple of times before I figured out the scheduler function, but every week day since 28 Jan 13, a new article has gone up- at least one. In the beginning, a lot of times it was more than one.

This may not sound like much to you- it's only been about 3 months since this ball started rolling, but you try writing something fairly witty, insightful, and/ or compelling every friggin' weekday for three months, while working an average of 50 hours/ week, watching a two-year-old and a baby while your wife pulls a 12-hour shift three days a week, and see how long you last, jerky. :)

That said, the streak will end at some point. It may end tomorrow, it may end next week, it may end next month, but it will end at some point. It almost happened a couple weeks ago when I screwed up and left my Chromebook at work after working late, but I sat on the living room floor and typed up the Three Basic Actions article on the Mac to keep it going. 

1. This was all BC's idea
I've mentioned this before on here, but nearly all of the Wave 1 Listbuilding articles are actually part of a GDoc I'd written up for him and Sean as I'd been playing a couple of months longer than they had when they started and I wanted them to get up to speed more quickly than I did.

BC saw how long the GDoc was and suggested I put it up as a blog. At first, I didn't think it was a great idea as I was busy with work and the kids and stuff, but he kept at me about it, and I eventually warmed to the idea obviously. 

The first few weeks of posting were pretty bland, but eventually more and more of my jokey, slang-ridden, personality crept in, and as y'all readers indicated the humor was at least part of why you kept coming back, it eventually turned into what I feel really sets TMB apart from the other more polished, more professional X-Wing Miniatures sites out there. 

So there ya go. I've got a couple of kinda big plans looming in the future for TMB.com that I can't talk about just yet. One of them should have already happened, but I've just been working too much lately to complete it. I just found out yesterday though that I'm getting promoted at my real job and moved out of my current position, so hopefully I'll have a little more time to work on my stuff now and the first big thing will happen fairly soon. It's about 70% complete as things stand right now. The second thing is going to happen a little later- I'd originally planned on waiting until around July, but I don't know- I may spring it a little early if I have time to work on it and come up with something that I'm satisfied with. 

Anyway, thanks again for coming to the site- I'm glad y'all dig it so much. I have an absolute blast writing stuff for you guys to laugh about and use in your games. 


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