Review Section: Our initial goal for the Hard Drive Review Section was to add a section to our website where fans can read all of our review content, including articles and videos we have made in the past. We have successfully created and categorized this section for readers to peruse: https://thehardtimes.net/harddrive/reviews/
Content: Since beginning Grant for the Web, we have produced a number of reviews for the new section.
(Review: Bo Burnham’s New Special Has a Joke About Gamers, Which Means We Can Write About It)[https://hard-drive.net/review-bo-burnhams-new-special-has-a-joke-about-gamers-which-means-we-can-write-about-it/]
Technology: In order to announce the new section of our site and incorporate Coil technology into articles through the ability to vote on reviews (for Coil members), we wanted to revamp the design and layout of our website. The new design of the website is now complete and is available here: https://hard-drive.net/.
The new layout of Hard Drive deemphasizes advertising in favor of content, Coil, and community. We’re working to make sure that our articles are the most prominent feature of the website and encumbered by fewer (and, often, zero) ads. The next biggest thing on a review article will be the voting feature for Coil members. Thirdly, to keep subscribers staying on the website, we want them to feel like it’s a home for them to interact with like-minded people. That’s why we are incorporating a larger chatbox that works across articles, so that fans can converse with each other about the content they are interested in.
We also think that the above will create a more user-friendly experience that will keep users on the website and encourage them to sign up with Coil for more content.
Outside of our website, we also have had success uploading our videos to Cinnamon and loading them directly into the body of our review articles to direct users to paid views if they have a Coil subscription.
This is the big update for Hard Drive since our last progress report. We were finally able to add our 'Review the Reviewers' feature, and we're really excited about how it came out.
You can read about the new poll feature here: Who Reviews the Reviewers? Why We’re Adding Polls to the Bottom of Our Reviews to Let Our Writers Know If They’re Right or Wrong
It was very important for us, as a satire website, to utilize our Coil integration through a satirical device. That's why we came up with our idea to parody how video game fans read and react to real video game reviews. We think this will help fans enjoy our Coil-related content without thinking that it's too different from the usual satirical content that we publish daily.
We're also a website that lives and dies by its viral content. As a result, it doesn't make sense for us to gate our content behind paywalls, effectively limiting the exposure to just those who pay for Coil. Our solution to this problem is to make all of our content free, but give Coil subscribers access to better versions of that content.
With the Review the Reviewers poll, this functions as "super votes" in our voting system. Everyone who logs onto Hard Drive will be able to experience and participate in the polls, but Coil members get an extra feature that influences the game for everyone. This also furthers the satirical device, parodying the way that people think video game reviewers are paid to give good scores to certain video games.
We're very excited about how this came out and we're especially proud of how fine-tuned it is to be seen and appreciated by a large group of readers. Hard Drive is thankful that Coil is a place where creators can experiment with monetization, instead of just falling back on the same tired strategies. Hopefully, our Review the Reviewers poll is a huge success and we can work towards giving our Coil subscribers, as well as our free readers, an even cooler experience on our website.