Tomorrow (Monday) begins the official first day of 2011 work for many of us here. Aside from having my wisdom teeth removed last year, I didn’t take much time off so I tried to make the most of this break and stay offline for much as I could. I was able to do that because of the great staff we have here – Jafo, Hankers, WOM, DrJBHL, HG_Eliminator, Snowman, Lantec, and the other names who are escaping me right now. They truly are the best to work with and I personally appreciate everything they do for the site and skinning in general.
Getting back into work mode one of my first goals for 2011 is to make WinCustomize even better than it is. Site traffic has declined over the last year or so as skinning is moving back to its niche “roots”, and getting more people involved here and download/submitting is a top goal. Looking back at Win98 and WinXP when I first got involved into skinning, Windows was terribly bland and skinning was almost a necessity. Now that Windows is more physically attractive skinning has also gone from just changing the look of Windows, to changing how Windows looks and how to boost ease of us and productivity. This is not a bad thing in my opinion, and an app like Fences is the best example of what I’m talking about.
Taking lots of things into consideration I made a short list of things I’d like to address in the first half of 2011.
- Address lingering site issues. WC 2010 is brand new, but there are still some issues that need to be worked out. Yes, the delete skins button is one of them.
- More/better tutorials. Skinning isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do, but it’s definitely not impossible. We need better tutorials and a better way for new and old users to find and use them.
- More contributors. We have a great core group of skinners that submit to WC, but more would be even better.
- More content. Mobile wallpapers maybe? Any other apps that can be skinned that should be added? Let me know!
Community is important as ever, and looking at our user groups here it was a fantastic decision to bring on board DrJBHL as our article/news poster for WC. He has been doing a phenomenal job at keeping WC users up to date with the latest tech and PC news, and I think doing this is a great move to broaden appeal to new users. In trying to address the tutorial content we definitely more people to contribute. Over the years I have written what seems like a countless amount of tutorials, but many are outdated and there are many others on WinCustomize that are more “experts” at specific apps than I am. If you would like to dedicate some time to helping update/write tutorials, once again let me know.
Getting more people over to submit to WinCustomize has been more difficult. Many just don’t know about the site, and others I have spoken with just don’t have the time to submit to multiple sites which is understandable. We “recruited” some people this year who are well known on other sites like DA who just didn’t realize that WC gets millions and millions of visitors each month. WinCustomize is a great way to expose yourself (no pun intended) and since we do obviously focus more on customization, it can be easier to get your work noticed. I’d like to see what the interest is in some type of referral program. Introduce an artist to WC and once they become a regular contributor a reward is given. Thoughts on this? Would you take part?
Well I think I have rambled enough, so let me also take this opportunity to thank you for your support in 2010, and I know 2011 will be even better than last year was!