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Weekend Update: The Future of HJC

As I have been mentioning, at the end of August my wife and I are expecting our first child. To say things are going to change would be a statement that is eligible for "understatement of the year". Obviously if things in my life are going to drastically change it definitely means things here at HJC are going to have to change as well.


Here's what WILL happen. This stuff really isn't up for too much debate...
The "I post everything" stipulation will have to go out the window. The past couple of months I have been posting 60-70 concepts a week, which is 12-14 a day. That number will come down significantly. Next, I can guarantee that there will not be a new post everyday containing 12-14 concepts. I love posting everyday, it gives me something to do. However, my new kid will now give me something to do and I'll have to find spare time for HJC. Finally, I can also guarantee that posts will not be regular (unless option 1 is chosen below). I won't know when I will get free time (if any) and I'll have to try and sneak in HJC time whenever I can.

What I propose...
My first idea is that I post one or two new concepts a day. This way I can sit down at my computer and put together a couple of weeks of auto-posts. I won't have the time to put together big 12 concepts posts, but I can do a bunch of small posts. I suppose it would be similar to the way Icethetics currently posts concepts. As I said above, this would remove the policy to post everything.

Another way to carry on would be to do one big post for the week. This post could contain up to 15 concepts and maybe more, but there would only be one post a week.

My third idea would be to go to a contest only format. These contests would run the same as they do now. I would open up the contest on the Monday and have it run until the end of the Sunday. Then on the next Monday readers would vote for their favourite concepts. The winner would be revealed on a Monday and that same day the next contest would start.

Those are three ideas that I came up with. What are your ideas?

What will happen to COTW/COTY?
No matter what format HJC takes on I will do my damnedest to make sure that the COTW carries on. Regardless of what's happening on the blog, the COTW always seems to be the backbone of the site. Winning contests and creating noteworthy concepts are nice, but people really seem to want to win that COTW! So, lets take for example the situations I laid out above.

If we go with the auto-posting of one or two concepts a day then we can have Committee Members email in their vote for COTW based on the handful of concepts that were posted in that week. No more nominating.

If one big blog post a week is the method we choose, then we can have votes emailed in again or we could just go with voting in the comments. Again, this would eliminate nominating.

If we went with the "contest only" format, the obviously the winners of the contests would be the COTW winners. This would only produce a COTW winner every other week, but that's okay.

Winners would then move on to the monthly and quarterly votes as usual.

How long will this new format be continued with...
There's no way of knowing this unfortunately. Making concepts and posting on HJC has become my hobby. It's what I do at the end of the work day to unwind. I will always try to make time for HJC and concepts. It may take a year or two, or three (and so on), but eventually HJC may return to how it is now. I will say that no matter what happens to HJC it couldn't be what it is without you guys, the readers. So no matter how this blog looks or what it turns into, I will always be appreciative of anyone who ever sends in a concept. Thanks guys!

Questions and comments...
I've put in my two cents and now I really need to hear from you guys. This is your chance to be heard. If your worried about what HJC could turn into then speak up! Do you like the ideas that I came up with? What are your ideas for the future of HJC? You might also want to come back periodically to this post so you can see other reader's ideas and questions and make your own comments on those.

If you have any questions about HJC or the future this is the place to ask them.
Weekend Update: The Future of HJC Reviewed by Ryan on July 21, 2012 Rating: 5

27 comments:

Ryan said...

Matt D. emailed this to me...

Hey, I have terrible internet connection right now (typing this on my phone), so I won't be able to participate in the discussion regarding HJC's future tomorrow. So I'm sending this email to give you my idea: allowing one or two HJC regulars to take over on certain days. For example, you could post M/W/F and have someone else do T/T and maybe a third doing weekends? Anyway, that's just my idea.

Caz said...

I would be fine with having a reduced number of concepts a la Icethetics, posting the better and more polished concepts. I think I would prefer the daily auto-posts to a weekly post. Maybe someone could create a sister blog meant solely for the new guys who are learning (like 6/10s and below), to reduce the concept traffic on HJC. I do enjoy the contests, but you're right, the COTW is the backbone of the site, and should be retained.

NB14 said...

I agree with Caz, I'd prefer the daily auto-posts. The COTW also definitely needs to stay.

Justin said...

I like your first two ideas, Ryan. Either one would be a great direction to go in my opinion. Keeping COTW is a must butI would love to keep contests going as well. As long as HJC keeps running some way or another, I'll be happy!

Colin said...

Ryan, first off, thanks for running this site so faithfully for such a long time. Kudos to you! Whatever happens, please know we appreciate your work, and will appreciate it (whatever form it takes) in the future.

secondly, I think a sort of hybrid of these options is possible, and would work really well.

Clearly the smaller concept posts are working really well for Icethetics, and I think that small daily posts are the way to go.

As you already mentioned COTW is so important to this site, but at the same time more contests happen here than anywhere else. I like the idea of a contest winner becoming COTW champ.

here is what my hybrid would look like:
-small auto-posts everyday for the first half of the month (producing 2 or 3 COTW winners, depending on the length of the month)

-a contest at the end of the month (producing 1 more COTW winner)

this way we get the best of both worlds.

DBro Alexander said...

I like Matt's idea of having some days being taken over by regulars but the only problem I see with that is someone forgetting to do their part.

Ryan said...

@DBro: Agreed

Stéphane Sinotte said...

Hi Ryan. Reading the comments, I think we all agree that HJC has become a rallying site for all of us. Seeing it change drastically is something I, personally, would be sorry to see. On the other hand, as a father of three boys, I know time will not be on your side soon!!! Matt D. expressed the idea I had: maybe build yourself a team of contributors (2 or 3?) you trust and hand them over, on a temporary basis, some of the work (invited authors in Blogger, which you can suspend at all time). Let's say maybe the handling of "everyday business" for one (concepts that come in); COTW/COTY for another; and so on. That way, while you get used to father's life, you can overlook the work of the team and direct. For all the fun we had here in the past years, I think we owe you that.

D3troit1388 said...

I like Ryan's idea. Post 1 or 2 concepts a day.

winnipegjets96 said...

Matt D.'s idea sounds very good, but caz's idea is a great idea, sorta like concept school to graduate into HJC, COTW is great and it deffs should continue. The solution to Dbro's problem, atleast how i see it is to give the person an advanced notice and they can tell weather or not they can do it.

NB14 said...

I really like Caz's idea of the two blogs as well, but since Ryan definitely wouldn't have the time to run another blog, maybe he could choose an experienced contributor to run it?

Steven Grant said...

I think I agree with the small daily post option. It's sad to see HJC change, but a baby is obviously much more important than a blog. Thanks for running such a great blog this whole time, I probably wouldn't be making concepts if it weren't for HJC.

I could also see Matt D's idea causing problems, like how would the email's work, etc.

DCamp said...

To be honest, I am often disappointed with Icethetics in the sense that 1-2 concepts are posted daily yet I often find them to be lackluster. The strength of HJC - and what brings me to visit it daily - is the anticipation of seeing multiple concepts from talented regulars AND knowing that my concept will be posted and critiqued. I understand the need to modify the format but I think something along the lines of what Matt D suggested should be considered. Thanks Ryan for all your hard work, i hope to see HJC running close to normal, somehow...

cody said...

My idea is this: Ryan, we need someone to help out with the site from, now on. You got a bunch of us willing to help you out here. I for one could do this, along with Tex,Stephane,Matt and so many others. If we were able to work together, we could do posts like Puckdrawn used to have (johnny buddies did the blogs for him sometimes). What do you say to using the committee in order ot make posts here?

Alan John Herbert said...

I really like this auto-posts with 2 concepts a day (or three if's floats your boat), with 5 posts per week (or 6 if you feel like it), so that way it would give everyone the chance to be part of the COTW, and like everyone said the COTW is your baby (bad punt I know LOL), the backbone of the site, and the bread and butter of every hockey jerseys concepts hobbies and nuts everywhere that willing to push their artistic mind in whole different level to win that prize the COTW!

winnipegjets96 said...

I'm deffinatley interested in helping with the blog! or even running the second blog for learning.

Martin said...

I agree to caz.
Maybe this sister blog could run a similiar contest to the COTW/COTY
like a rookie edition of the COTW/ COTY.
So on the main HJC site, there would only be concepts from 7/10 to 10/10 and on the sister site 6/10 and below.
so you can send that concepts to the blogger of the sisterblog and he or she could post it on that blog.

Caz said...

Glad to see that some liked the idea of a sister blog that would be AHL to HJC's NHL. If this were to be implemented, here is what I propose: Ryan should pick someone to run the sister blog, someone who is as experienced as he is, and is reliable to post on a regular basis. Concepts should be sent to that person, who would filter concepts, putting the 6/10s and below on the sister site, and sending to best along to Ryan. I think this would reduce Ryan's workload, while still providing an accessible website for new concept artists, and the constructive that they need to get better. Also, it would add to the prestige and competition to make it to HJC, and win COTWs, etc. Just a thought.

Caz said...

*That should say "constructive criticism." I left out a word.

Elias R. said...

i agree that some other hjc regulars should start helping out with the site. the sister site is a good idea too though.

Stéphane Sinotte said...

Hmm... I'm not sure about a "HJC minor league" site. The whole idea of this is being able to compare starters and "pros" to help everyone progress. If we separate them, don't we lose the spirit of HJC?

Ryan said...

There's a lot of support for a "sister" blog. The cause of HJC changing formats will be my lack of free time. So, a sister blog would have to run for the most part independently. It would certainly be heavily linked to HJC somehow, but whoever runs it (hypothetically speaking) would have to be able to devote about a hour a day to the blog. Or at least roughly an hour for each post. That's what it takes me. Does anyone here have that time/will to devote?

Does anyone who already operates a blog of their own feel like they want to take on the daily posting duties?

Would it be asking too much if I were to lay out some ground rules for this sister blog? As in how it looks, the tone in which it is written, a guideline on how many concepts get posted per day? What would you guys expect from this other blog? Posts everyday?

Here's a brief layout of how I would see it...
Main site HJC: 1-3 concepts posted Monday-Friday, the best of the best. COTW and contests would also be held on HJC.
Sister site: This site continues with the "post everything" policy. Ratings out of 10 are given. Posts everyday containing 8-16 concepts.

I'm not completely sold on having many writers involved. When something gets stretched too thin it weakens significantly. All it takes is for one or two guys to not pull their weight.

Keep the discussion going, but remember whatever situation you suggest that my time for the blog will decrease by about 95%.

Ricky said...

The only thing is, you may lose your interest in such a blog if you are away from it for too long.

In the absence of HJC, I at Buffalo Nickel Graphics am looking to post concepts of others. Heck, I have a page solely for those concepts (a portfolio of sorts) and each submitter will have their own slideshow. The catch if a concept isn't featured in a post, I will mention you sent something and will be visible in your personal portfolio.

Keep in mind BNG isn't just for hockey jerseys, but you see more of those on my site because of my contributions to HJC.


If anything, the HJC auto-posts can run under one of two formats: every other day or M-F. CotW/M/Y will stay, no more than 3 concepts (5 if every other day). Keep the voting committee otherwise we would never have a finite winner since there would be no nominations.

Otherwise, I would like to thank Ryan for his past contributions, keep us up to date when the little one arrives, and we very much look forward to your full return to HJC.

Matt D said...

Hey, I managed to get an internet connection after all (one day too late, though)...

I have to agree with Stephane on the "sister blog" idea... I think if that's what happens, you kinda lose the community of HJC. Also, HJC is different (and, in my opinion, better) than Icethetics because everything is posted, critiqued, and has a chance to win, not just a select few. I wouldn't want to lose that.

As for my idea, I'm glad to see it has support. I envision a setup where Ryan would still be in charge, but wouldn't have as much responsibilities. For example, say Stephane and Justin (HJC Open finalists) are chosen to help out. Ryan would simply split up the concepts submitted to him into groups of ten or so, and send those off to Stephane or Justin, depending on the day of the week. Then Stephane, for example, would review the concepts and post them, the way Ryan does now. One person could handle Mon/Wed/Fri, the other Tues/Thurs/Sat, then on Sunday, Ryan could do a post without any new concepts, just announcing winners, contests, or other regarding special things (like the Fredricton contest). This way, Ryan wouldn't have to worry about reviewing every individual concept, just running contests and keeping HJC online.

Again, that's just my take on this, it could easily be tweaked to Ryan's preferences.

JP said...

Hi Ryan, if you wanted to do a sister blog I would would be willing to run it.

Stéphane Sinotte said...

@Matt D. And Ryan: Thanks for the trust. If Justin is willing to do so, I'd be too. Justin, Ryan and I should get along fine. As long as HJC remains a one-site-fits-all ( get it?), I'm in of Justin is.

Tex said...

I like the idea of the small posts or the guest contributors idea. As long as something continues on this site. This blog has been my favorite blog since I discovered it, and has brought the quality of my concepts from crap to pretty good. As long as something continues, I will be happy.

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