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Summary of site status for 2014
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• Posted by: Christian Clemmensen   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Monday, January 26, 2015, at 11:49 a.m.
• IP Address: seahawks.filmtracks.com

2014 Summary of the Reviews:
--------------------------------------------------------

While it was expected, Filmtracks once again set a record in 2014 for the least amount of new coverage in a year since the site opened in 1996. Circumstances related to my day job and severe illnesses in the family necessitated long stretches without new reviews at Filmtracks. Fortunately, those issues are now past us and the site can settle into a somewhat more regular schedule in 2015.

New reviews of 2014 and late 2013 scores totaled only 27, coming in short of the goal of 30 for the year. No all-new reviews of older scores debuted during that time. As with 2013, all re-writes during the year involved adding newly-released albums to existing reviews, and 27 of these were done during 2014, slightly more than expected. Together, only 52 reviews were written or re-written in the year, down from 59 in 2013 but slightly more than the goal of 50.

To put this production in perspective, Filmtracks featured 130 new or re-written reviews in 2012 and 316 in 2011. Historically, the site has published at least 100 "touched" reviews in any calendar year, so the duo of 2013 and 2014 has been tremendously disappointing. Do not expect a return to prior levels of writing in 2015, not because of real-life distractions but because of the extensive foundational work necessary to revise Filmtracks' design and functionality this year (more on that below). Thus, the goals for 2015 will only be slightly higher than those for 2014, with more re-writes expected due to the increasing quantity of new albums for scores already covered at the site. No optional reviews of older scores will be attempted.

By the numbers:

2014 Goals:
--------------------------------------
New Reviews of New Albums: 30
New Reviews of Old Albums: 0
Re-Writes: 20

2014 Final Stats:
--------------------------------------
New Reviews of New Albums: 27
New Reviews of Old Albums: 0
Re-Writes: 25

2015 Goals:
--------------------------------------
New Reviews of New Albums: 30
New Reviews of Old Albums: 0
Re-Writes: 25


2014 Summary of the Overall Site:
--------------------------------------------------------

Longtime visitors of Filmtracks, or even those that arrived more recently to experience the slowdown in coverage in 2013, didn't see much further decline on the site during 2014. The forum remained viably active and all the top box office titles for the year have been covered. There was a decline in newly written reviews during the summer months, and I anticipate a similar two-month absence from the site to occur again in 2015 while I tend to day job-related endeavors. By fall, there may be much more time to write.

As predicted at the start of 2014, Filmtracks performed a bit better financially during the year than in prior ones. While the site barely lost money in 2013, it actually broke even in 2014. Depending on how you calculate depreciation on equipment, the site may have actually earned roughly $50 in profit for the year, a meager sum but symbolically satisfying. A slower, less expensive server contributed to reducing the costs at a slightly greater rate than the site's decline in revenue. Traffic levels remained the same in 2014, though those visitors did not yield the same revenue due to the eBay affiliate program altering its compensation scheme in very unfavorable ways for Filmtracks. Donations were also down, though site wouldn't have broken even without them.

The most important news at Filmtracks is the planned work to redesign and better monetize the site in 2015. The basic look and feel of the site will stay the same as it always has, but newer, more responsive layouts will assist in especially retaining and converting traffic on mobile devices. The Scoreboard Forum will be rearranged and reset, the composer tributes will be streamlined so that they all retain a similar format, and the voting and comment areas on the reviews will encourage greater participation. Expect some features to be deprecated, including the audio clips. It is my intent to survey the readership on the Scoreboard about many of these changes, because the audience is obviously the most important focus for them.

As with 2014, I ask for your patience as I try to accomplish all these updates to Filmtracks. Tackling the total project management of a site this size, from database design to user experience, is a daunting task for any one person to accomplish while working 50 hours a week at a day job. Please do provide your feedback on the Scoreboard when I request ideas about the direction of the site's evolution. The fact that the Filmtracks' core readership has remained intact over the past few years is extremely encouraging, and I again thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes to all in 2015,

Christian






Copyright © 1998-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. Scoreboard created 7/24/98 and last updated 4/25/15.