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Uncharted Territory
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Re: The Official HomeStation Magazine (HSM) Thread

Aug 28, 2011

Aloha, Patchex:

You've actually summed up one of the greatest challenges all journalists and writers face these days: in this TL;DR internet age of instant gratification and Twitter abbreviations, how to maintain an attention span longer than a couple of paragraphs?

This is not to suggest that article length is necessarily a virtue; brevity is the soul of wit, as the aphorism goes. However, HSM does maintain a fairly strict 900-word-count minimum for each article, as we feel that's an appropriate minimal length to properly explore a subject.

What we continually strive to do, with every article, is make sure that it's interesting to read. Length is often secondary to enjoyment; an engrossing three-hour movie often feels like it went by faster than a ninety-minute snoozefest. One of the techniques we try to practice at HomeStation is the habit of putting a pull quote into every paragraph.

(A pull quote, for the uninitiated, is a really memorable quote that's pulled out of the main body of an article and enlarged on the page, as a way of enticing a reader to check out the rest of the article. Generally speaking, we try to write articles that have a pull quote in every paragraph. This helps to keep the reader engaged.)

Thank you, though, for the feedback; every serious insight we get from our reader base -- both critique and praise alike (thanks for the kind words, Joanna!) -- helps us focus on delivering a better product for the community.

Written from the HomeStation,

NorseGamer

Editor-in-Chief, HSM

www.hsmagazine.net

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Survivor
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Re: The Official HomeStation Magazine (HSM) Thread

Aug 29, 2011

"Today's article is an examination of the changes in the gaming industry at large -- how cloud computing, digital downloads, microtransactions, and the Great Recession have all combined to form a perfect storm in which Home can emerge as not just a successful business model, but indeed a successful template for the entire industry to follow."  quote from NorseGamer.

I just finished reading that article. Wow!   In a way, I feel like Patchex:  there is so much meat packed into that one article, it took some time to read it all and really digest it.  The implications for gamers are staggering.  I am not sure how many readers will really understand what you reported but it is mind-boggling.  And I will bet money it will be read in the Sony offices and game developer headquarters all over the globe. 

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Fender Bender
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Re: The Official HomeStation Magazine (HSM) Thread

Aug 29, 2011

I was just wondering, do you guys Just keep adding to a Mag that is out? Or do you Save them for the Next one... cause you keep saying whats just publisized. Do you mean in the Mag its self or on the site? Cause I noticed I was given a link to info yet it wanted me to log in to see the info, that made me a little uncomfortable.

As far as length and content, yes I agree a lot goes into the articles, and yes I know some like a long read with lots of discription, and I know that lots of gamers are really smart, yet another thing I notice is that alot of terminology used in the articles is really hard to grasp. I think that vocabulary is important, yet when is it to much... by doing this you might be limiting your audiance. I'm not sure what your numbers are like, yet I would bet that they might be better if some of the content was a little more straight forward and not so flashy so to speak.

I plan to read more this week, yet there is a lot of time consuming reading material in the mags, and like I said if you make more puzzles I will continue to read... note that I am not that great with crosswords, not really my thing, english (as in structure, spelling and grammar not pronociation) is not my best subject, yet I do enjoy a good puzzle that is based on logic, and I like sudoku...

I have not read the cover page article yet, for fear that I will not want to continue reading your Mag, yet Miss Ana said that articles were well written... I hold reserve for some types of politically correct writtings due to personal situations... and I try very hard to over come these types of feelings I hold, yet I will try to read the whole Mag this month... also please note that no matter how I feel about the articles in the Mag, I do think that Sites like yours, GI, and PStalent, (who each hold a mag as far as I can tell, same as the Cronicles) and a few others should get equil treatment on the forums dispite the fact that you are HOME based, even if I don't agree with content.

Please excuse any spelling errors, like I said not my strongest subject.

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Uncharted Territory
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Re: The Official HomeStation Magazine (HSM) Thread

Aug 29, 2011

Patchex wrote:

I was just wondering, do you guys Just keep adding to a Mag that is out? Or do you Save them for the Next one... cause you keep saying whats just publisized. Do you mean in the Mag its self or on the site? Cause I noticed I was given a link to info yet it wanted me to log in to see the info, that made me a little uncomfortable.

As far as length and content, yes I agree a lot goes into the articles, and yes I know some like a long read with lots of discription, and I know that lots of gamers are really smart, yet another thing I notice is that alot of terminology used in the articles is really hard to grasp. I think that vocabulary is important, yet when is it to much... by doing this you might be limiting your audiance. I'm not sure what your numbers are like, yet I would bet that they might be better if some of the content was a little more straight forward and not so flashy so to speak.

I plan to read more this week, yet there is a lot of time consuming reading material in the mags, and like I said if you make more puzzles I will continue to read... note that I am not that great with crosswords, not really my thing, english (as in structure, spelling and grammar not pronociation) is not my best subject, yet I do enjoy a good puzzle that is based on logic, and I like sudoku...

I have not read the cover page article yet, for fear that I will not want to continue reading your Mag, yet Miss Ana said that articles were well written... I hold reserve for some types of politically correct writtings due to personal situations... and I try very hard to over come these types of feelings I hold, yet I will try to read the whole Mag this month... also please note that no matter how I feel about the articles in the Mag, I do think that Sites like yours, GI, and PStalent, (who each hold a mag as far as I can tell, same as the Cronicles) and a few others should get equil treatment on the forums dispite the fact that you are HOME based, even if I don't agree with content.

Please excuse any spelling errors, like I said not my strongest subject.

We release a new magazine issue roughly once a month, but we publish a new story to the website every single day. Keep in mind that you don't have to have a registered account with HSM in order to peruse the website; you can read all of our articles and magazine issues without ever signing into the website.

Regarding the Issue #7 cover story; we know that it can be a polarizing subject, which is one of the reasons why we chose it. HomeStation prides itself on tackling the social issues of virtual reality -- because as much as Home is a gaming platform, it's also a social networking environment -- and we know that in so doing, we will provoke discussion and debate. Which, in my view, is a good thing. When a culture balkanizes to the point where it can't discuss anything amongst its own constituents, then the true decline has begun.

(That said, there are many wonderful articles in the new issue and on our website, and the flash navigator allows you to completely bypass the cover story if you so choose.)

The beautiful part about a healthy and robust community like Home is that there are, as you pointed out, a variety of community media outlets to choose from; and, indeed, certain media styles will appeal to different demographics with varying intensity. HomeStation positioned itself, from the very beginning, as sort of The New Yorker of Home. Our prevailing theory is that there are a lot of mature and literate people in Home who are looking for a level of journalism that's geared to their level, and judging from our audience numbers -- currently between 5,000 to 6,000 unique visitors every month -- there seems to be quite an appetite for what we're delivering.

As always, of course, we're constantly exploring ways to improve. Your comment about having more puzzles in the magazine issues, for instance, is one that's been brought up and agreed with over here. Everyone seemed to like the crossword challenge from the last issue, so we're probably going to have more of that sort of thing (and other such games) in future issues. Thanks for the feedback!

NorseGamer

Editor-in-Chief, HSM

www.hsmagazine.net

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Uncharted Territory
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Re: The Official HomeStation Magazine (HSM) Thread

Aug 29, 2011

Aloha, HSM readers!

Today's article -- a guest contribution by tbaby -- takes a look at tearing down stereotypes and guarding against prejudgement. The notion that Home is populated solely by maladjusted male youths is patently false. There are many, many reasons why an intelligent, stable and successful adult would choose to spend his or her leisure time in virtual reality, and this is one such story.

Also, as this is tbaby's first article with HSM, please congratulate her on being published to our website's front page!

Written from the HomeStation,

NorseGamer

Editor-in-Chief, HSM

www.hsmagazine.net

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Treasure Hunter
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Re: The Official HomeStation Magazine (HSM) Thread

Aug 29, 2011

terra_cide wrote:

KatCall75 wrote:

The biggest problem I can see, as a writer, would be to find information that's not already known.  With that, the more I'm thinking about Patchex's suggestion of Journey, the more I'm liking it.  Being it's a Sony exclusive, we actually have a shot at getting one of us in to interview someone in that team.  That would make a fantastic article.

This where writing from a "how it made you feel" stance - to Norse's point - comes in. For example, I could describe the 2.3 liter, turbocharged engine in my Saab 9-5 in great detail, from bore/stroke of the pistons, to horsepower, torque and fuel economy. But who'd find that interesting to read, when they're specs that can be found anywhere on the Web? My own eyes would bleed from the boredom of writing it.

What is far more interesting is the story of how shortly after purchasing it, I was cruising along US Route 1, believing I was doing the speed limit - I happened to be the only car on this particular stretch - until, that is, I looked down at my spedometer and had the shock of my life. Because I wasn't going the posted 50MPH speed limit. I was doing 75. And yet the car made it feel as if we were just floating along road, much like the petals in Flower floating in the breeze; the engine sounding as if it were barely running. Or I can tell you how on cool, crisp autumn mornings in New England, the turbo whistles a merry tune when you do decide that your foot is made out of lead.

This is the kind of color we're looking for in a game review at HSM. And I'm not going to spoil it here, but Estim20 has submitted a review that illustrates this beautifully. Keep an eye out for it.

That just made me think of the colors red and blue - in your rear view mirror - and the tune of a police car siren - coming after you and your foot of lead on a cool crisp autumn morning - a la New England.  LOL  

I am not "registered" with HSM - but I do enjoy some of the articles to date.  Keep up the good work.

JPConway


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Fender Bender
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Re: The Official HomeStation Magazine (HSM) Thread

Aug 29, 2011

I joined your website awhile back but lost interest quickly due to lack of setting up a personal page.

An article you wrote recently tho has peaked my interest.I like anyone who tries to get other companies to see how valuble home can be if done right.

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Uncharted Territory
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Re: The Official HomeStation Magazine (HSM) Thread

Aug 30, 2011

Aloha, HSM readers!

Today's article, written by RayBladeX, offers some valuable insights into how to take your gaming skills and become a competitive gamer at tournaments like EVO. For those of you who aren't familiar with Ray, his qualifications for writing such an article are pretty high, considering just how many tournaments he's competed at already, in addition to being quite a digital athlete within Home. Gamers are, on average, fairly competitive people -- and who doesn't want to show up at a tourney and wipe the floor with everyone else? In the words of today's internet-speak: massive pwnage.

As an aside, there have been a couple of recent inquiries about registering with the HSM website; while we certainly love it if you're a registered user, there's absolutely no requirement to register with HSM in order to enjoy our content. We have a new story up on the website every single day, so there's plenty to peruse!

Written from the HomeStation,

NorseGamer

Editor-in-Chief, HSM

www.hsmagazine.net

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Hekseville Citizen
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Re: The Official HomeStation Magazine (HSM) Thread

Aug 30, 2011

JPConway wrote:

terra_cide wrote:

KatCall75 wrote:

The biggest problem I can see, as a writer, would be to find information that's not already known.  With that, the more I'm thinking about Patchex's suggestion of Journey, the more I'm liking it.  Being it's a Sony exclusive, we actually have a shot at getting one of us in to interview someone in that team.  That would make a fantastic article.

This where writing from a "how it made you feel" stance - to Norse's point - comes in. For example, I could describe the 2.3 liter, turbocharged engine in my Saab 9-5 in great detail, from bore/stroke of the pistons, to horsepower, torque and fuel economy. But who'd find that interesting to read, when they're specs that can be found anywhere on the Web? My own eyes would bleed from the boredom of writing it.

What is far more interesting is the story of how shortly after purchasing it, I was cruising along US Route 1, believing I was doing the speed limit - I happened to be the only car on this particular stretch - until, that is, I looked down at my spedometer and had the shock of my life. Because I wasn't going the posted 50MPH speed limit. I was doing 75. And yet the car made it feel as if we were just floating along road, much like the petals in Flower floating in the breeze; the engine sounding as if it were barely running. Or I can tell you how on cool, crisp autumn mornings in New England, the turbo whistles a merry tune when you do decide that your foot is made out of lead.

This is the kind of color we're looking for in a game review at HSM. And I'm not going to spoil it here, but Estim20 has submitted a review that illustrates this beautifully. Keep an eye out for it.

That just made me think of the colors red and blue - in your rear view mirror - and the tune of a police car siren - coming after you and your foot of lead on a cool crisp autumn morning - a la New England.  LOL  

I am not "registered" with HSM - but I do enjoy some of the articles to date.  Keep up the good work.

JPConway

Actually, the police cars around here in my state only have blue lights, and they seem to fancy out of state plates moreso than the plates belonging to us natives.

One of the beauties of living in a very rural corner of the world, I suppose.

A big congrats to our two first time contributors, Ray and Trisha! As a fellow single working parent, I can identify with much of what Trisha describes in her article. And Ray... Well, his CV in gaming at a pro level speaks for itself, really.

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Uncharted Territory
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Re: The Official HomeStation Magazine (HSM) Thread

Aug 31, 2011

Aloha, HSM readers!

Today's article, written by MJG74 (HomeStation's art director), examines the economic impact of "used" gaming -- specifically, how the industry itself is slowly transitioning out of physical-media sales and into more of a cloud-based model. Which, of course, Home already exemplifies. What might the industry's business model look like ten years from now?

Written from the HomeStation,

NorseGamer

Editor-in-Chief, HSM

www.hsmagazine.net

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