Whew, it’s hard to believe that Meeple Mountain is celebrating our second birthday. It’s easy to get lost in the details when you’re working on a website day to day, or even a week at a time. But when you stop and look back at an entire year’s worth of accomplishments it can really take your breath away. I thought that 2016 was a solid year for us when I wrote our 2016 Year in Review, but 2017 blows it out of the water. Let’s dive in and see what we achieved in the last 365 days!
A New Look for MeepleMountain.com
After a year and a half wearing the same clothing it was time to give the Meeple Mountain website a makeover. We spent several months designing a new look and finally we migrated over to using the industry standard content management site WordPress. Not only does this make running the website easier, but it gives us access to lots of great functionality, and also allows us to more easily add features to the website.
But a website is only as good as its content, and this year saw our output grow by leaps and bounds. In 2016 we released nearly 100 pieces of content, but in 2017 we bumped up that number to almost 140. Our content covers a wide variety of types from reviews and interviews, articles and editorials, and data science pieces.
We even introduced a new term to the world of board gaming, the “board game step ladder”. Our series examines games of specific type (category, genre, mechanisms) and offers up 3 titles, each one building upon the previous in complexity, strategy, or theme.
We nearly doubled last year’s review count, and we had some real winners too. The three most read reviews on our site were all published this year: Cytosis, Terraforming Mars, and Tiny Epic Quest. What a dichotomy right? Microscopic worlds, interstellar worlds, and fantasy worlds.
13 Top Six lists
Our Top 6 lists are, as always, some of our most viewed content. This year we tried to branch out and cover topics we hadn’t discussed before. That resulted in lists like our Top 6 Board Game Podcasts, and the Top 6 Games to buy at Target, and of course the list that start the board game step ladder phenomenon, our Top 6 Boardgame “Step Ladders”.
Our interview content was a little lighter this year than last, but that didn’t stop us from talking to award winning designers Phil Walker-Harding (Imhotep, Barenpark, and Sushi Go!), and Richard Breese (Key to the City: London and Keyper).
36 Articles and Editorials
Our articles and editorials are the pride and joy of Meeple Mountain. This type of piece really allows our writing team to speak with their own distinct voice. We introduced board gamers to wargaming, taught people the basics of painting miniatures, offered suggestions on how to run your own campaigns in Dungeons & Dragons, talked about new tools for board game discover, and analyzed the stunning successes of CMON in the Kickstarter arena.
We jumped into the video world with both feet producing 34 videos ranging from reviews, to interviews at Gen Con. While I’d like for us to produce more video content, this was a great start.
Call for Authors
The primary reason for our increased output was the call for contributors we announced at the end of August. Thanks to a huge response, we increased our roster of writers from 6 to almost 20. These new writers not only let us move to a three times a week release schedule, but they also brought in valuable experience, writing skill, and most importantly new voices and insights.
If you missed our first call, never fear…we’re going to be announcing our second call for writers soon. And to be honest we’re always looking for great talent. So if you love all things gaming related, and have a voice you want to share with the world, come write for us!
Traffic & Social Media
Our traffic numbers last year were nothing to sneeze at, but in 2017 we saw our traffic nearly triple over last year’s numbers. Our website now averages over 16,000 views a month, our Instagram account has over 700 followers, our Facebook page has almost 800 followers, and we have over 2,200 followers on Twitter.
Board Gaming in Nashville
Board gaming is becoming a worldwide phenomenon, and that totally plays out here in Nashville. Meeple Mountain is leading the board gaming revolution in Nashville and here are some of our proudest accomplishments.
Meeple Mountain Board Game Cafe
The biggest news of all in 2017 was that Meeple Mountain announced that we were opening a board game cafe here in Nashville, TN. While were were hoping to be open in 2017, reality has set in and our plans are simply taking longer than we expected. The upside is that we’ll have even bigger news in 2018 when we open our doors for the first time. If you’re coming to Nashville next year, make sure to look up Meeple Mountain Board Game Cafe!
Nashville Game Night
We’re moving into our 3rd year of running local gaming events and our numbers couldn’t be stronger. Meeple Mountain hosts the largest, and one of the longest running game nights in town. Known simply as Nashville Game Night, and taking place on the 3rd Wednesday of every month, this event averages 120 attendees or more, with spikes up to 140. These numbers are thanks in part to the wonderful sponsors we partner with every month. We’ve even decided to add on a second Game Night, on the 1st Wednesday of the month, starting in February, 2018.
Nashville Tabletop Day
In 2016 we had a dream…to play board games all day with our friends in celebration of International Tabletop Day. That dream came true with 160 friends, and total strangers. In 2017 we doubled down and drew a record crowd of over 300, making Nashville Tabletop Day the largest free Tabletop Day event in North America. We had over $13,000 worth of games to giveaway thanks to the 19 publishers and businesses we partnered with.
Nashville Tabletop Day 2018 is on the books for April 28th, so make sure to join us for an event that you won’t want to miss.
What Does 2018 Look Like?
Last year our goals were modest: move to a 3 day a week release schedule, increase our writer count to 10 or more, and start publishing video content. We achieved those goals with flying colors. So how can we top 2017? How about we open a board game cafe? Dare we try to move to a 5 day a week release schedule? More video content? How about all of them!
Only the next 12 months will tell us if we made it or not. Will you join is on a journey through time?
Founder of Meeple Mountain
Editor of MeepleMountain.com