Happy Birthday To Us!!!!

2008 August 11
by Vanir

I can scarcely believe it (and almost forgot to post it), but today marks our one year anniversary!

I can remember what I was doing this time last year like it was only yesterday — Dante, the Stupid Ranger, and I were all scrambling to get ready for Gen Con. We’d been working like mad for about 2 weeks trying to get our D&D Crib Shirts in order, I was drawing comics as fast as I could, and our site’s namesake introduced us to the world.

One year later, what have we learned?

  • About T-shirts: the ones you make through Cafepress come out beautifully. And cost so much that nobody wants to buy them. Even if you don’t charge anything over cost. Special thanks to those lucky 8 individuals who bought something. And of course, extra special thanks to Yax, our best customer, who was responsible for about half our total sales. You rule, Yax!

    One thing certainly didn’t help our sales: making crib shirts for a lame-duck edition of D&D results in no sales. Matter of fact, I’m relatively certain the three of us are the only ones who bought them. However, I used the hell out of my Bard crib shirt while playing Bat Loaf, so it wasn’t a total waste of time!

    Chalk this one up to understanding what our readership wants, and drawing up reasonable business expectations for one’s blog!

  • Webcomics are fun to read, and very time-consuming to draw. So time-consuming that Evensbrook *cough* hasn’t seen the light of day since about Halloween last year.

    Despite this massive obstacle, it is still fun to do and we still consistently get about 20 hits a day looking for comics. I’m going to try and dedouble my efforts this year and see if we can get one out every couple weeks. I even have the next strip written and drawn! Dante’s seen it! I swear!!!!

  • We love writing about D&D, especially when we’ve been playing a lot. But we really have no idea what everybody likes. The most seemingly innocuous “oh my god nobody posted last night quick come up with something” posts seem to get tons of comments or Stumbled, and the ones we slaved over for hours perfecting every word get no comments at all. (However, you will never know which was which. Mwahahaha!!!!!)

    We did learn, though, that the very best way to get people to talk about your article is to include them in on the discussion, and to jump in yourself. It is also, unsurprisingly, the most fun for us as authors — so expect more of this!

  • R-E-S-U-R-R-E-C-T-I-O-N.
  • We’d like to think the three of us are different enough from each other in style that people can instantly tell our articles apart, but we’re actually pretty sure everybody thinks Dante writes everything. That’s OK, when we get our first Internet stalker, it’ll be him they come for. I’ll be safe in the Vanircave.
  • There are a seriously large amount of cool people out there. Some of them run blogs, and help you out in your first steps along the way. Big huge thanks to Martin Ralya, formerly of Treasure Tables but now of Gnome Stew, Jonathan Drain from d20 Source for giving us our first big surges of traffic. More thanks go to our good buddy Yax from Dungeon Mastering for allowing us to shack up in his banner ad space for awhile, which got us a bunch more traffic too. And thanks to everybody out there who responded to my copious emails asking for a link exchange.

    Of course, I would be remiss without giving extra special thanks (and administering a heaping helping of mad props to) Yax, Phil the Chatty DM, the crew from Critical Hits and a lot of the other D&D blogs we’ve come to know over the last year for being with us the whole year and forming one of the best damn RPG communities we’ve ever seen on the Intertrons. We’re proud and thrilled to be counted among the numbers of these guys, and we can’t wait to meet them in person this week.

It’s been a great year for us, and we’re excited to see what the next year brings. It’s pretty neat having Gen Con be your site’s unofficial birthday every year. Please come out and help us celebrate at our Out of the Box Roleplaying event on Sunday from 9AM-11AM. It won’t cost you a dime, and rumor has it there will be COOKIES. (Disclaimer: you may have to fight me for them, and I am tenacious.)

As a side note about that cake — Efreak and I made it for Stupid Ranger’s birthday about five years ago when we first started playing together during the Evensbrook campaign. She thought it only fitting that we use it for her namesake. Oddly, if memory serves, the campaign was at right about the place the comic is currently stalled. Weird!

Once again, thanks to everyone — and especially thanks to all of you for reading. We’ve really enjoyed our first year!

8 Responses leave one →
  1. Dave The Game permalink
    August 11, 2008

    Congratulations!

    And… roll for initiative for the cookies!

  2. ScottM permalink
    August 11, 2008

    Congratulations! Happy first year– I’m looking forward to many more.

  3. Geek's Dream Girl permalink
    August 11, 2008

    Happy Blogiversary!

  4. Martin Ralya permalink
    August 12, 2008

    CON
    GRAT
    ULAT
    IONS!

    You guys and gal rock!

    This site is one of my regular reads, and has been since you launched. Keep on kicking ass. :)

  5. ChattyDM permalink
    August 13, 2008

    Happy 1st year guys.

    I’m a fan of the 1st hour… so much so that I was convinced you launched before I did… :)

    Soo looking forward to see you in the next few days…

    Can’t wait to spring Gloom Darkendusk on you!

  6. Yax permalink
    August 15, 2008

    Happy blogiversary

  7. Adaen of Bridgewater permalink
    August 17, 2008

    ~Adaen of Bridgewater

  8. AoB permalink
    August 17, 2008

    Er, that should have read “Congratulations!”.

    All the best,

    ~AoB

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