Sunday. Bloody Sunday.
Here we are again with the fourth installment of HEY! LISTEN! The Zelda Universe World Report. This week we focus almost exclusively on COMMUNITY NEWS, and dedicate a chunk of space to a new, not-promised-to-be-regular feature – the PIPTORIAL.
Also say hello to our new logo, designed by yours truly.
Best Of – explodingdekunut.net announces the results of it’s annual Golden Item Awards. Winners include The Desert Colossus (Lifetime Achievement), Zelda Reorchestrated (Most Unique) and HTLOZ II (Most Lively Forums). Completely shut out? Zelda Universe. Sniff. There’s always next year. LINK
l33t – another episode of Accidentally Linked sees a guest director take over. Market research is the pits. LINK
Arty – TSA over at the Hylia presents a mess of official Twilight Princess art. Also, there’s some sort of watermark drama. LINK
Flashy – D3stiny_Sm4sher, also from the Hylia, fishes the deep, dark, polluted waters of NewGrounds to hook the Best of Zelda flash movies. LINK
Darkly – Zelda Blog hands over editorial directorship for “Whose Blog Is It Anyway?” The topic, as chosen by readers, is a self-described “metafiction” about Dark Link. LINK
Bossily – jngeorge at Zelda Dimension proves that Zelda does not begin and end with Twilight Princess in this newly minted guide to boss fighting in The Minish Cap. LINK
PIPTORIAL: US, THEM & THE OTHER
The longer I do this column, the more I wonder about it’s purpose.
While I thoroughly enjoy the hours spent scouring over two dozen different gaming and community sites to bring you your weekly ZU link dump, I have noticed a disturbance in the fandom. There is seemingly an endless string of Zelda-related fan sites out there, some fresh, some old, that for all appearances are dead in the water. Sites like The Grand Adventures and Ganon’s Tower have become shadows of their former selves; as reported a few weeks ago, new sites like 5rupees start strong but die due to disinterest shortly thereafter.
This is nothing new for the internet, where abandoned sites line the link highway like ghost towns, monuments to faded interest, stemmed enthusiasm and ambition outstripping reach. Population: tumbleweeds.
ZU has, at times, skirted the edge of relevance – weeks without front page news, lagging section updates. We’ve restructured our news and content management to address these problems, and as the last few months show, the results are paying off. We hope you agree.
It has been said that each of the bigger Zelda sites (of which we proudly can call ourselves one), serves a specific function in the fandom. Zelda Legends is the place for hardcore Zelda fans. The Hylia was once exclusively dedicated to TSA’s impressive speed-runs and a wealth of Zelda info. Relative newcomer Zelda Blog is the premier place for quirky, thoughtful discussion on the series.
And Zelda Universe is about community.
In a quick scan of the dozens of Zelda forums out there, ZU’s are noticeably the most active, boasting on average about 50 registered users online at any given moment. While we would never claim to be the heart of online Zelda fandom, we are very much a gateway to the larger online Zelda community. Currently we are working on returning our Fan Works section to it’s former glory, as well as beefing up the general, comprehensive Zelda info we’ve been known for. It is a slow and steady process. We strive to bring you relevant news about what’s doing in the franchise. We are constantly examining our purpose in the broader context of fan sites.
The initial idea behind HEY! LISTEN! was very simple – the internet is evolving. Sites like Digg, You Tube, Wikipedia and My Space have shot into the stratosphere by being community driven content providers. Increasingly, the people of internets are taking control. HEY! LISTEN! hopes to be a part of this movement, offering comprehensive social bookmarking of active Zelda sites, as well as various bits and pieces from all around Nintendo. As an independent fan site, we do not have impressive access to exclusive, official information – but we can provide a map to that content and put it in perspective. ZU will always provide compelling, original material, but in addition, we want to take our position as community gateway and use it to benefit both our dedicated visitors and the online fandom as a whole.
There are three sections to each HL – SITE NEWS (which is us), COMMUNITY NEWS (which is them), and NINTENDO & FRIENDS (which is the other). Readers can actively participate in the latter two – all you have to do is send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link and a brief description of why it would be of interest to the community. Not everything sent will be posted, of course – we still have to exercise our editorial muscle – but HL is one of the few places in the fandom that does not pretend to exist in a vacuum. It’s true purpose is to act as a community newsletter to keep all Zelda fans up to date on what’s going down with our people, regardless of site fidelity.
Please use the Comments below to discuss your thoughts on the column, and what you’d like to see for it in the future.