Jahed Ahmed

FrontierNav Report: June 2019

Progress Report

Changes in June

In case you're wondering, April and May don't have progress reports.

User Profiles

Screenshot of User Profile
Preview showing user profiles.

User Settings

Screenshot of User Settings
Preview showing user settings.

Community Feed

Screenshot of the Community Feed
Preview showing the community feed.

Universal Search

Screenshot of Universal Search
Preview showing universal search.

FrontierNav Editor

Screenshot of the Editor
Preview showing the editor.

Weekly Updates

I've decided to focus more time into FrontierNav and my other side projects for at least the next few months. As a consequence, FrontierNav isn't really a side project at the moment, it's more like a part-time job.

So in order to keep momentum, I'll be posting weekly updates. I do find I have a lot of material to cover in these monthly reports and often cut them short, so this shouldn't be a problem. I'll still post monthly updates, but they'll mainly just summarise the weekly updates.

Being Noticed

When FrontierNav first launched as a map for Xenoblade X, I mainly used Tumblr and Reddit to share it with those who needed it. From there it got a bit viral. Some news blogs reported on it and Nintendo Force even had a page for it in one of their magazines. Of course, it fizzled out over time.

Popularity increased again when I posted the Zygarde map for Pokemon Sun & Moon on Reddit. Eventually it got picked up by a popular YouTube channel, from which I've been getting one or two visitors now and then ever since.

Every time I release a new guide, there's been a similar pattern of short-term activity followed by a long tail of inactivity as it becomes forgotten.

So, over the last few months, I've been lurking a bunch of communities. From which I discovered that the vast majority of people playing Xenoblade X and Xenoblade 2 don't even know that FrontierNav can help them and have no way of knowing.

There's clearly an issue of visibility here. I can make the best game guides ever, but what's the point if hardly anyone uses it? How can I make FrontierNav more visible and keep it visible? A few ideas:

I've already started on the community aspect: The forums and activity feeds and the FrontierNav Editor. The others, I'll go into below.

Reaching Out

How can I help people find FrontierNav when they need it? A naive solution is to keep up a Twitter feed for anyone in need of help and link them to FrontierNav. That's time consuming for one person, though it is something actual companies do.

Affiliate Links

In the olden days, affiliate links were popular. Websites that link to each other. Often in sidebars as tiny images. I doubt anyone would want that sort of linking though until FrontierNav is a bit more mature. I don't even think a lot of active websites have such a thing nowadays.

Wiki Symbiosis

I did notice some links on the Xenoblade Wiki that links to FrontierNav's maps directly. Maybe there's an oppurtunity there. FrontierNav can supplement wikis and in turn get more visibility. This was one of FrontierNav's initial goals, and some pages in FrontierNav do link to the Xenoblade Wiki, but I didn't consider linking the wiki to FrontierNav. That's something to talk about with the wiki editors when I get the time.

Search Engine Optimisation

One of the most common ways to reach out on the internet in general is SEO. Make web pages more easily indexed by search engines like Google. FrontierNav already does a good job with Google. But since it requires JavaScript to render anything, other search engines, like DuckDuckGo, don't pick up anything other than the front page.

I mentioned improving this with static site generation in a previous monthly report. But it's a long way away. Google support is good enough for now.

Next Up

I started working on the Editor this month and with the current momentum, I should be able to release the FrontierNav Editor next month. That'll be the main focus.

Thanks for reading.