Now that we have brought SEGA Nerds back to life, I think I owe the community a public apology and an explanation about why the website went away.
First off, I am very sorry to have left the great community that so many worked to create. SEGA Nerds was and still is my favorite website of all time. Through running it, I met some incredibly great people, and I hope you can forgive me for some of the dumb decisions I made along the way and give us, SEGA Nerds, another chance. I also want to thank some of the site’s current and past staff members who helped Graham and I make the site into what it was. We couldn’t have done it without Nathan, Ryan, George, James, Gill and so many more that came and went, but not before leaving their mark on the site.
Now, on to laying everything out for you. Many people have asked us throughout the years why we stopped running SEGA Nerds. The answer isn’t really all that interesting. However, before I get to the answer, I think I should run through a brief history of the site and explain a few things to you.
SEGA Nerds was brought to life from a shared desire between Graham and myself to write about SEGA and the games we love. In actuality, it was the successor to Dreamcaster’s Realm, a very poorly made website that was our first project together. We learned a lot from Dreamcaster’s Realm and decided that we didn’t want to be pigeonholed to only the Dreamcast, so SEGA Nerds really was just a natural progression from our initial vision.
All we really did was write news articles about SEGA and review games every once in awhile, but SEGA Nerds found an audience and it grew really fast. In fact, it probably grew too fast, because we simply couldn’t keep up with the heavy demand of traffic. Host after host dropped us because we were too big of a strain on their servers. Eventually, we moved to a dependable host but were paying well over $100 a month in hosting fees alone. At that time, the site was making no money, and I simply couldn’t afford to pay the hosting fee out of my own pocket.
This led to us joining the b5 media team, much to the dismay of our readers. While the design certainly wasn’t great, it did solve our hosting problems and gave us a small but somewhat steady stream of income that we could use to put back into the site. Unfortunately, b5 media had to restructure their business model about a year or so into our partnership, and once again, we were scrambling to find a new host. After trying out a couple more solutions, the old financial issues started popping back up again and we were approached by John Lee, who now works at Raptr but at the time was working as a consultant to SEGA.
An Unholy Alliance
This is the first time I’ve spoken about this next part publicly, and I probably shouldn’t mention it, but I want to be completely open with the community. From what John Lee said, he was working with SEGA specifically to assist them in community engagement in North America. His plan was to have SEGA partner with an independent website to become its official/unofficial community blog.
Being that we were the most popular SEGA blog at the time, he chose us as the site. As he explained his plan to us, we were certainly interested but were also naturally unsure because we really wanted to keep full creative control over the site. Eventually, it was all for naught as the decision was made that SEGA would create its own community blog instead, which it still maintains today.
However, John was still interested in partnering with SEGA Nerds. He pitched us a great plan that would involve creating a network of popular blogs, which included GoNintendo, SEGA Nerds and several others I can’t remember anymore. We would still keep ownership of the site, and he would host it and offer technical support. It seemed like a great opportunity for us to continue to grow the site.
Despite reservations from several staff members, I made the decision to move forward and join The Kartel. To say our readers didn’t like the change would be an understatement. The community was unhappy with the site design and the fact that the URL was no longer www.seganerds.com but something like thekartel.com/seganerds. Outwardly, it appeared that we had “sold out” or were taken over.
To make matters worse, John’s plan to bring in other top sites never materialized, and so it was really just SEGA Nerds and The Kartel’s main page that made up the site.
In hindsight, it wasn’t the right choice, and I certainly regret it, although I don’t blame John at all. He’s always been great to us, it’s just that SEGA Nerds needs to be its own entity and live on its own. I understand that now.
A painful death
However, at the time, I couldn’t continue running the site on my own. I couldn’t afford it from a financial standpoint, and I had a lot of personal issues revolving around a crumbling marriage that weighed heavily into me handing the reins over to Graham and reluctantly walking away from the site.
Graham valiantly tried to keep the site running, but he eventually quit posting as well sometime in 2011. By then, the site was a shell of its former self. The spirit of what made it so great had vanished, and it fell into disrepair.
From SEGA Nerds’ ashes spawned some other SEGA sites, most notably SEGAbits, which was created by George and Ryan and several of the other community members from our site. In many ways, it was the successor to SEGA Nerds and it really is a great site. George and his team did a great job at bringing the community back together when SEGA Nerds was no longer around, and I’m sure they’ll continue to do great work into the future.
The New SEGA Nerds
Over the years, Graham and I talked about how great it’d be to start SEGA Nerds back up again. Despite all the drama and busyness in our lives, SEGA Nerds held a special place in our hearts, and something kept tugging at us to bring the site back to its former glory. Which brings us to today.
In truth, our current plan for SEGA Nerds is the same as it was in the beginning – it’s just a place where we can come to discuss and write about our favorite video game company. We’re not concerned about how many page views we get or where we stack up in the pantheon of SEGA fan websites that exist on the Internet. SEGA Nerds is created by a few guys who enjoy writing about the SEGA games that they love. Moreover, we want to do whatever we can to help the SEGA fan community grow. Our intent is not to splinter the SEGA fan community or take anything away from any of the other fantastic SEGA fan sites out there.
That brings me to our site philosophy. Many sites today seem to post the same news stories every day, with little original content. We basically want to be the opposite of that. We’re not going to post every piece of news that relates to SEGA or every screenshot of a new game in development – not because we think we’re above posting news or that we’re better than those other news-posting sites, but more because of the reality of our limited resources and time. Sure, we’ll post the big news when it’s warranted, but we’ll mainly stick to hunting down our own stories and writing original features and reviews. Our passion is to produce the highest quality original content, and I’m pretty confident we can do that.
So, with that said, I want to welcome you to the new SEGA Nerds. On behalf of Graham, Nathan, James, Ryan, and the rest of the SEGA Nerds staff, I hope you enjoy your stay. Keep the dream alive! -Chris