2023 Retrospective

Never Bet Against the Web.

Let's go back to 2015. I am extremely green in the tech industry. The zeitgeist for the past couple of years was filled with how the web was dying and how mobile apps were taking over.

Being new to a career in a field that looked to be in a transitional period is enough to give anyone anxiety, I was no different. But, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go to numerous development conferences during those years. I went to more talks and tutorials than I could count. Despite that, if you were to ask me specifics about what I learned, I would be drawing blanks.

Because, as it turns out, the tech field is always in a transitional period. The specifics of what you learn one day are going to change the next. The hottest new technologies are usually contemporary until an even newer technology appears.

There was, however, one line from one talk I went to that has been forever seared into my brain.

"Never bet against the web."

In context, the quote was about the staying power of open source websites and web applications in the face of constant technological change. A strong rock with history and visibility standing proud in an ever changing ocean. I've been thinking about that line a lot lately.

The rigidity the quote implies, is something we need more of as a fighting game community. Between social media, personalized content-feeding algorithms, discords, the death of forums, influencer based communities, etc, a lot of information regarding most local scenes is not centralized.

More importantly, it is not searchable or discoverable. I don't understand how anyone with a newfound interest in fighting games can find an entry point into their local scene outside of just being lucky.

That's what ohiofgc.com was built for. We as a community need generic, platform agnostic ways for search engines to give potential new members a repository of information that lets them find their local scene. I believe we are accomplishing that mission beyond expectations.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the new Ohio FGC website.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • 5.8k unique visitors
  • 34k page views
  • 762 tournaments imported
  • 40119 matches imported
  • Countless stories of people finding their scene through the website
  • Organic search accounted for 1/3 of our user acquisition, our largest source.

The statistics blow my mind. I'd like to give special shout outs to the other TO's in the state who have helped import tournaments, contribute content, spread the word, and just doing what they've always done to keep the scene thriving. Also big shout outs to everyone who has participated in a local event the past year. The scene wouldn't exist without y'all.

So what's next? There's still a lot of improvements I'd like to make to the site when I get time, especially in the UX department. I'd also like to add more types of stats, we surely have the data to do some cool things there.

But the big thing I'm most excited for is the launch of a spin-off project. Today we're launching usafgc.com .

Those of you who remember the old ohiofgc.com site will see extreme similarities. usafgc.com is a simple, easy to maintain, easy to update, web page that is going to act as a gateway for people all across the country to find their local scene. It's a little sparse at the moment. I highly encourage people contribute to the project as it is open-source. (You really don't need to know much about coding or html for that matter)

That's it. 2023 was huge. 2024 is going to be even bigger.