TrekMovie.com has been in operation for 18 months now, and in that time it has grown to be the number one site for Star Trek news. By next week our migration to a new robust platform will be complete and so the site will be able to not only sustain continued growth in visitors, but also finally add some new features as well. Below is an insight in the where we are headed.
TrekMovie.com started out focused entirely on the new Star Trek movie (hence the name) and then soon added Star Trek Remastered to its repertoire. Over time we have grown to include more content from other aspects of Trek and that will continue. However, it has grown more and more important that this site be a total Star Trek site, open to all fans of all series interested in all aspects of the franchise. Due to the emphasis at both Paramount and CBS in the last year, there happens to be more news related to The Original Series, but that does not imply a bias. In point of fact, your humble editor’s favorite Trek series just happens to be Star Trek Deep Space Nine…but I love all Trek. All fans are welcome here and no one’s Trek is better than anyone else’s…no one is better at being a fan. We will be the place for everything to know about the new Star Trek movie and Trek Remastered (and yes we will be doing more of that again), but we will also expand our coverage of other areas of Trek.
One area where we will be diversifying is the regular columns…some of which have already started to show up. These are in part an expansion of what used to be ‘This Week In Trek’ except now each subsection will get its own regular column. So you have seen:
- Trek CelebStalker by Chuck Trotter
- Science Friday by Kayla Iocovino
- Sci-Fi Saturday by Rosario Calabria
coming up are…
- TrekInk by Alex Fletcher (on Comics)
- Library Computer by Rob Lyons (on Books)
- The Collective by John Tenuto (on toys and collectibles)
- FanMade (on Fan Productions)
- GameOn (on Trek games)
- FanWatch by Chuck Trotter (on the fan community, clubs, etc)
Some columns will be weekly, others semi-monthly or periodically. New columns may also crop up as well. Columns will offer reviews, previews, mini-interviews, retro-reviews, retrospectives, etc. We are also working with the various Star Trek licensees to ensure that we cover new books, comics, products, etc in a timely fashion…and to get some great previews and exclusives too. The goal is to have one column per day, except Sundays. Sundays we will do some kind of editorial or other feature. We will also have ‘guest columnists’ periodically. Once the site is redesigned (more on that later) the columns will sit in their own area.
One look at the comment count and it is clear that TrekMovie.com has a strong community. However, all of the output is now contained within article comments. This month we will finally be adding the forums that we have been talking about for so long. The article comments will remain as is…they are so much a part of the site that we have decided they shouldn’t change. But the forums will allow folks to start their own discussions. We are currently looking at various technologies for the forums. One thing that is under discussion is to also offer more features like letting people write their own blogs, upload their own images and videos, do live chats, etc. However, none of this will change the simple design approach of the front page, articles and comments.
TrekMovie.com has a nice simple design and there are advantages and disadvantages to that. Too often sci-fi sites are hard to read with lots of flashing stuff, and I happen to prefer light backgrounds and dark text so that will all stay the same. However one that that is likely to change with an upcoming redesign is a move to three columns. This will allow the regular columns to sit in their own area (probably on the left side) and have the news items sit in the middle. The right column will have ads, polls, some videos, static content, etc. The goal is to have the redesign carry over as much of the simple look, while making it easier for people to find the type of news that they are most interested in. In addition we will be adding more ‘tabs’ at the top for information on books, comics and other Trek products.
TrekMovie.com has built a brand as the leading source of Star Trek news, with regular scoops in the world of Trek. However the name is also a bit limiting…and clearly this site is already about much more than just Trek movies. So it is likely that sometime in the next 12 months the site will transition to a new brand that more reflects the general nature of the site. I know change is difficult, but too often I hear people say ‘oh that is the site about the new movie’ and that obviously cannot be the way this site should be perceived…this is a site about and for Star Trek and its fans…all of them.
Another area that is being looked at is to move beyond just text. In the last year TrekMovie.com has been doing more video interviews and expect more of that in the future. Under discussion now are a regular podcast and possibly a videocast as well. Also under discussion is a mobile version of the site and email updates. Some of these things are probably more long term.
Currently about a third of the visitors of this site come from outside the USA. At the very least, I would like to say hi to you all. One area we hope to improve is covering what is going on with Trek around the world.
I take this site very seriously. However, Star Trek is fundamentally a form of entertainment. And many aspects of the franchise and those who inhabit it are pretty funny. We will never take ourselves too seriously and never forget that this is supposed to be fun. We will continue to try and inject some humor into our coverage and if you don’t think it is funny…that’s OK too. But we need to do something to lighten up.
One of the reasons that TrekMovie.com is growing and expanding is the amazing team that we have been building over time. People like Matt, John and Chuck have been invaluable. And additions like Rob, Kayla, Alex and Rosario are sure to bring new voices and dimensions to the site. And of course having Leonard Nimoy and other ‘guest bloggers’ contribute is an honor and a thrill…and hopefully more will follow. And the more the merrier. Right now I am talking to a few of great talented guys who hopefully will be helping with all of the new technology and designs. But we can always use more help too. If you feel that you have something to offer, please send in a note via the TIPS link on the right column.
This all sounds like a lot, and it is. However I want to assure all the regulars out there that one thing that will never change is that this site will be the place to go for the best and most accurate news and scoops on all aspects of Star Trek. Since its inception, no site has announced more breaking news on Star Trek than this one…and it is our goal that this will never change.
One may be wondering why I wrote out everything above. Well it is because I see this site as a community effort. Feedback is important and I want people to know where we are and where we are going. So please offer some feedback below in the comments section about the site as it is now, and our plans. We are especially interested in hearing from some of those lurkers out there. 99% of the visitors to this site never make a comment…it is now time to be heard.