The year 2020 was a disaster in so many ways. Before I go any further with this wrap-up of how Unpossible Journeys fared, I hope you and yours were able to weather the storm (and fires, and pandemic, and economic disruption, and political insanity) without much long-term ill effect.
From the start of the pandemic I was focused on work and family. While I did continue my Friday night gaming, prepping for that usually consumed all the creativity I could muster, and I only published ten blog posts over the course of the year. I even took a hiatus in late summer/early fall from even thinking about UJ. I was frustrated with the fact that I didn’t have the energy to update the site’s content or update the design (which I’ve wanted to do for a long time).
Upon reflection I realized that the process of preparing for and publishing content in UJ is the reward. And the more I focused on the site’s shortcomings, the more I hamstrung my own efforts. So for 2021 I’m going to worry less about the outcome and just enjoy reading and thinking and writing about tabletop roleplaying games. After all, I already have one job. I don’t need another.
In 2020 fewer people visited UJ and there were fewer sessions and page views. This is not surprising. Unlike a forum-powered site, UJ’s traffic relies primarily on new content. There’s a weekly baseline of about 100 sessions/day (driven primarily by Google searches) with occasional spikes generated by new blog posts (and the occasional jump in interest around a given page). Because new content wasn’t being created as frequently, and because I was making less of an effort to spread the word, there were fewer spikes and they weren’t as big.
There were no big surprises in content popularity, but I was happy to post these outstanding guest posts: Gunsmile’s A New Player’s Guide to Degenesis, Erwan Redout’s Gamemastering with Airtable, and Wouter F. Goedkoop’s actual play review of Tales from the Loop. In 2021 I want to publish even more high-quality guest posts. So if you’d like to write a guest post, let me know.
Speaking of communicating, the Unpossible Journeys Discord server has been going for a few months now. While membership is still small, it’s a relaxed, welcoming, low-stress place to hang out and discuss tabletop RPGs and related topics. Check it out!
May your 2021 be safe and fruitful.