The Experiment

Roman, my perpetually restless sidekick, has persuaded me to try a little experiment. For the next two weeks, instead of posting a substantial feature every Friday, I’ll be posting something smaller – a news story, some ‘first impressions’, a miniature interview, a foxer, or a competition… – every day.

This isn’t, I promise, a crafty way for me to swing the lead (the site’s weekly wordcount will remain roughly the same) or a first step on the slippery slope to blandness. If the experiment proves unpopular* or unsustainable, things will return to normal mid-June. If, on the other hand, daily bitesize helpings of THC go down well, the trial may be extended.

* Obviously, without your feedback, this will be difficult to assess.

I can’t think of any better way to commence this fortnight of fecundity/fragmentation than with news of a groundbreaking MMO wargame…


  1. I look forward to it, although I hope it doesn’t spell the end of the A2Z.

    Can we share tips? If so what would be the best way to share them?

    I’ve got a few like:
    – it’s the last day to grab some free TGV content for Train Sim World 2 and 3 and Train Simulator Classic
    – not exactly my thing but the free prologue to Strategic Mind: Spirit of Liberty was released recently (14 GB download)
    – this online Typex simulator which I’m trying to get the hang of: There are some more machines on the same site.

    • Thanks. I had the Strategic Mind: SoL prologue pencilled in for a daily post, but wasn’t aware of that remarkable Typex Simulator. An email (tim at tallyhocorner dot com) is probably the best way of submitting gen.

  2. I check THC practically every day, because I’m dense and haven’t yet worked out your posting schedule, so I’m hopeful for this change. Equally, if it doesn’t work out, I’ll still check THC everyday because I’m also a creature of habit.

  3. I’m afraid I don’t have the wherewithal today to craft cogent points so here are some initial thoughts:

    A) The probably needs to go along with a proper-ish reader survey, viz:
    1)What device do you read THC on? (Desktop / laptop / mobile / tablet(?) / etc.)
    Me – Desktop, as I can enlarge pictures comfortably. Mobile rarely when travelling.

    2) How frequently do you visit THC?
    Me – fairly often until Foxers are solved (very rarely Tue-Thu, but this did change while I had a ship in Das Football Boot)

    3) In descending order, which articles on THC hold the most interest for you?
    Friday Foxer
    A-Z = 3×3 = Communal Combat Mission
    Actual Historical stuff eg. Unsimmed conflicts
    Demo Discs
    Other articles – may be higher or lower depending on content
    Virtual Journeys
    Monday Foxer (haven’t got in the habit)

    4) What (gaming) news-site/ aggregator do you like the layout of, and feel THC might try to emulate?
    Me – the question occured but I haven’t got an answer.
    (It needs something to separate ‘weighty’ feature articles that should stick around for a while from smaller, more parochial bits)

    – – – – – –
    B) At an article a day, and the front page having space for 8 means things will get knocked down pretty quickly (see point A4. above).
    (Isn’t there something about the majority of Google users not going beyond the first page of results)

    – – – – – –
    C) I’m not sure how you’d go about it, but I feel I could do with more tabs and a categorisation of article types (eg. Demo Discs/Freeware seems to be enough of their own thing). The trouble is we’re familiar with Tim’s writing style, but I suspect a newcomer might find the titles and first paragraphs a smudge obtuse, and uncertain what to expect.

    I’d also like an archive with the articles listed solely in text (ie. no picture and no first paragraph), just: title, summary, article type, date.

    – – – – – –
    D) Become a Steam Curator, maybe? I have my doubt that you get kickbacks, but it might be possible to include the THC URL at the start of each one.
    (I suppose someone else owns the copyright for articles you’ve written that are published elsewhere; I don’t know how synopses of those articles would be viewed).

    • Lots of food for thought here – thanks.

      ” The trouble is we’re familiar with Tim’s writing style, but I suspect a newcomer might find the titles and first paragraphs a smudge obtuse, and uncertain what to expect.”

      This is one of the motivations behind The Experiment. Roman reckons a front page littered with screenshots and (fairly) conventional intros will help THC make new friends.

  4. I like the idea, i often forget to check in on Friday’s. I have a daily browsing routine and would be happy to include thc, and i suspect many will have similar daily browsing routines. This should also increase the number of visitors per day and thus eyeballs on ads, but perhaps more importantly, with daily news/bits makes the site look more alive and active. But as others have said, the bread and butter of a2z and 3×3 etc, should certainly not be replaced. Perhaps these are more for the weekends as longer reads, with the smaller stuff for the weekdays.

    • I’d love to post both short daily pieces and a meaty Friday/weekend feature, but until I’m in a position to employ other writers, sadly, this is unlikely to happen. Hopefully the daily posts will be sufficiently varied and detailed to compensate for the temporary loss of A2Zs and 3x3s. We shall see!

      • Could (semi) daily posts and a weekly A2Z coexist? As the seminal Friday Feature, it could be part recap of what was already posted in the past week.

  5. I personally look forward to enjoying a couple cups of coffee while I read the feature every Friday, but I am not opposed to the experiment, especially not before it’s even underway.

  6. I do believe Roman is a smart cookie who had a good hunch. This kind of regularity might very well bring the sort of contents that would allow the Flare Path’s wisdom to reach beyond its current, vanilla crowd. Gotta keep it up for a few weeks and see how this goes, but I am inclined to believe it can only bring some improved coverage from the outside in the end.

    Keep up the good & hard work!


  7. I’m slow to comment but a daily reader, and so far liking & appreciating the experiment

  8. I’m a longtime reader of the Flare Path, and latecomer to THC. I never cared for the Foxer puzzles, but don’t mind them being there. After I realized that the Friday “Firehose” article was the only thing I enjoyed, I find myself hovering my cursor over my THC bookmark, but remembering to look at the day of the week in my statu sbar, and if it’s not Friday… I don’t bother clicking it!

    But now, I’m really looking forward to your Experiment. I love your writing style and hope to see it on display perhaps daily now! Cheerio!

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