Some of you guys might have noticed that I’ve been pretty prolific this week. I made a Halloween post, opened up voting for the C round of Anime ABC’s, updated everybody on some personal stuff (which was a major downer for me by the way), and announced my Twitch channel (which you should totally check out). That got me thinking, there’s something I’ve not yet talked about regarding how I run Jon Spencer Reviews, and that’s: Why don’t I have a set release schedule?
The short answer is that it’s inconvenient. However, the real reason is a lot deeper than that. When I first started out I actually tried to set a weekly release schedule, with updates for each week, each month, and so on. I did that for awhile but I noticed something; nobody actually cared about the release schedule, the updates, or anything like that at all. What people liked was content.
That being said, I do recognize the benefits of having a set release schedule. One major benefit comes to the reader in the form of consistency and predictability. Knowing when someone will post and what kind of content they’ll be posting definitely has its draw. I would be all for this here, but more on that later.
From the creation side of things, having a set schedule can make the generation of content easier to plan long-term. While it might be tricky to manage if I tried planning each set thing as they came, thinking things out ahead of time and writing in advance comes across to the reader. This is obviously great for both parties as it increases the quality of each article on top of frequency of posts.
However, there are some pretty big drawbacks. Some of these reasons are strictly personal and others are more universal but they are all major reasons as to why I’ve abandoned a set schedule, at least for now. Here’s my list of reasons and why:
1. I’m Busy/Disappointment
I know this one sounds like a silly excuse but it’s true. I work multiple jobs, am graduating University this year, and have to juggle a personal life outside of the work that I do here. Since I started this blog up as a “for fun” thing that was really just a way for me to put out some opinions and maybe have some people discuss stuff with me, I only manage to put in so much effort here. Naturally, I am always trying to increase the quality of content here, keep things interesting, and most importantly, have fun doing it, but life happens and it gets in the way.
When interruptions happen I can afford to take breaks with no real set schedule and I don’t feel like I’m breaking any promises to you guys. It helps me feel a little less guilty about needing time to focus on myself rather than this site. In addition to this, it also adds to my second point.
As I hinted at above, a set schedule doesn’t allow for as much flexibility. If I have something unexpected come up, it interrupts the release schedule and lets readers down. Since I’ve had this happen multiple times before, I always felt really bad having to say I couldn’t deliver on a promise or having to push back a release. I didn’t feel good, readers didn’t like it, and so we were all unhappy.
Bigger though, is that a set schedule doesn’t allow for as much spontaneity. Sometimes I’m just really inspired by something, have a lot of passion for something new and I want to talk about it. With a set release schedule, I can’t always find a way to fit these things in when I want to. By not having a set schedule I’ve been able to really focus on the content I feel like creating the most.
A major example of this is actually Anime ABC’s. That was a totally spontaneous idea that I thought sounded really fun. Now, I do kind of have a rough outline of when I want stuff to come out for it, but each article has come out as I’ve deemed it ready and that seems to be working. Other smaller articles have come out of this as well like my Stardew Valley review.
Improvement is really important to me. I am always striving to come up with interesting new ideas, better ways to write stuff, and other neat things. I talked about how Anime ABC’s was a content consequence of not having a schedule, but it didn’t necessarily improve the quality of the blog itself. I would like to think it does, or at least will if it isn’t already, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.
What I mean, is stuff like contributor content or the introduction of my Twitch channel. These are two things born out of my lack of a schedule that I know matter-of-factly increase the quality of the blog here. Just look at how many cool reviews came from Jacob, the guy who writes most of the movie reviews here. Some of his articles are the most popular on the site and I mostly focus on anime and the occasional board game here. It’s impressive that the audience at Jon Spencer Reviews is so diverse in its interests, and that has always been one of my goals here.
While I haven’t yet started to stream, when I do, this will allow me a direct form of communication with you guys. I like my readers and I want to have conversations with them. I also like sharing cool stuff like the video games I enjoy, stuff I buy, etc… and I can talk about all of that and more on a stream. By utilizing a service like this, we can engage and enjoy doing so in a more genuine method than just writing.
So That’s Why
Hopefully, this has been a bit of an insight into how and why I run this site the way I do. Perhaps you disagree with me, and that’s totally fine, I’d love to hear suggestions on how I might be able to improve things here. Either way, let me know what you think about set schedules vs free form content creation in the comments below.
Until next time!