Wait, things are changing?
If there’s one predictable constant in life it’s change. Everything changes at some point, whether that be the seasons, life circumstances, or the very anime we’re here enjoying to the fullest, and the only thing we can do is roll with the punches. Random Curiosity is no exception to this rule, and as repeatedly teased in a few posts now change has come to this site. Major change.
The gist of this announcement (in case you want the TL;DR) is that Random Curiosity is now officially under new management. Earlier last season Divine, after having managed and written for this site for over 15 years, finally decided to call it quits. This admittedly was a long time in coming: RC has been steadily declining alongside other dedicated blogs over the years, hosting of anime material such as images and PVs increasingly harder when relying on ad revenue due to threatened legal action (no matter copyright law), and site costs never going away. Divine put up with it all until he could no longer, ultimately deciding to bow out in the spring after some of the latest hiccups we’ve been dealing with in the background. Should a proper retirement announcement have been made? Probably, but Divine is a busy guy these days and wanted to keep it quiet. The result, however, is that I (Pancakes) wound up inheriting things and taking over ownership of the site. What can I say, I never intended on letting RC die that easy, and thankfully being employed helped ensure it remained the case!
So what does this mean for RC going forward? For the immediate future not much. The writing you’re accustomed to, the previews and AOTY posts expected every season and year, all shall remain as they were and continue carrying on. In the longer term though both I and rest of the team have a few major changes planned:
Opening RC up to donations
As mentioned, RC has struggled for a while now. This site has always prided itself on operating for free, largely thanks to ads, but the recent trend of licensing groups threatening legal action over images and PVs has almost eliminated all our ad revenue. None of us have any dream of turning this site into a profit maker (we do this entirely for fun after all!), but we all believe RC should be able to generate enough to keep the lights up and running. With this is mind we have two big changes forthcoming:
- A Ko-Fi link will be added for one-off donations for those inclined. Like what we do? Appreciate our previews? Drop us a few bucks so we can keep giving such content. Likewise we intend on entering Amazon’s Associates program which will function like ads in that your clicks (and Amazon purchases) will provide the site a kickback.
- Opening up a Random Curiosity Patreon. To head off likely comments no, this will not be for gatekept content, but rather enabling you the reader to help guide our content creation. Want us to write about a particular topic? Like us to cover a certain show or review an older series? Our Patreon supporters will be able to make those requests and get us doing those things some would like to see (within reason of course). Plus all supporters will be able to read our previews and AOTY posts early (~2-3 weeks before season start), because I doubt everyone has missed how speedy we’ve become getting those out of late!
Again, to reiterate, nothing you expect content-wise is changing, everything will remain free to see for any reader of this site (including any Patreon-requested posts I might add!). This is simply our way of ensuring RC can stick around far longer than it could with only us funding the costs while giving you all a way to influence what you see on this site.
Total site overhaul
Similar to RC’s funding, a site redesign is a long time coming. While this was done a few years earlier after some unintended downtime (as some might remember), the update happened to bust things like our comment section and left some annoying bugs relating to mobile views and basic blog UI design (no one likes scrolling through long posts if they can help it). Now me owning the site outright means several big changes are also coming on this front:
- The RC theme will be updated to properly handle both web and mobile so users of both can enjoy our content as expected. Expect a visual update of our theme as well to herald our new age.
- Commonly requested reader features like comment previews, comment editing, and night mode will be introduced. WordPress has enough plugin options for these already to make it possible.
- RC’s overall design will be overhauled with the addition of such modern marvels as tabs (to ameliorate the scrolling issue for some posts), dropdown sections (particularly for images), and other UI components which fit our blogging format.
As part of the changes our secondary goal is to obfuscate our image and video content to ensure we can still retain some ad revenue because hey, it’s easy to do and just relies on you not using an ad blocker 😛 Plus such changes will let us refactor our post structure to improve our search engine optimization since that has definitely been lacking over the years.
The Game Plan
Now with all that said the obvious question is when you can expect these marvelous new adjustments – and the good news for some of them is very quickly!
Our Patreon and associated donation links will be going live in the next few weeks (a separate post will cover the details). We’re going to time this with next season’s preview (already being written by the way!) so Fall 2022 will be the first RC preview you can see early if you become a supporter. Likewise those who do support us will be able to guide our fall writing and
make sure their chosen show of the season is absolutely positively covered suggest topics for us to splurge over.
The site overhaul will take longer due to its nature, but expect to see at minimum general post structure (particularly our previews and AOTY stuff) to be different come this winter, if not next season. My aim is to have comment previews and editing enabled for winter as well (but no promises), and the full site update implemented come early 2023 once I have some time to prototype a few ideas. Given I switched from oil & gas work to tech magic for a living I figure I should be able to blast this out relatively quickly – after all, gotta use that software engineering knowledge somewhere besides the 9-5!
In the end, however, no matter the changes and overhauls, RandomC will keep on carrying on. At least as long as I’m around this site will continue to cover all things anime and ensure those previews and AOTY posts you expect are there when new seasons and new years finally roll around. To everyone who’s stuck with us through the years, thank you, it’s your involvement and readership which truly keeps this site going and lets us really enjoy the time and effort we put into it.
Once again thank you all for being part of the RandomC community, and here’s to another era of anime fun!