Frontier Pop Issue 103: Switched On - C. A. Passinault
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PREVIOUS ISSUE: Losing The Plot - CURRENT ISSUE: Switched On - NEXT ISSUE: Lost Frontier

NEW FRONTIER POP FORMAT

BY EDITOR AND PUBLISHER C. A. PASSINAULT

You probably noticed that Frontier Pop is now using an updated (upgraded) format. I removed the useless social media buttons and changed the blue background to purple.
The content can’t be easily updated to the new format, though, so it will be a while before the old format goes away in the archived issues.
Frontier Pop launched in the Summer of 2010. When I designed the site, which used a new “Pioneer Class” site design, I designed it to be easy to update, upgrade, and navigate. The publishing format was around weekly issues at the time, a high volume and fast paced publishing model much like that of another pop culture web site, although their was a big difference; I wanted the reader/ site visitor to be able to navigate from one issue to the next, easily and intuitively, which was something that the other pop culture site was not capable of due to flaws in its design and organization (I used the same tactics to outperform a rival online film festival and discourage them to the point where they gave up, as they had bottlenecks with the way that they were organized and their ability to add films. My online film festival, which was the first one, and which they tried to copy as far as the idea, but they were unable to copy the details of how it was designed because they could not see it while it was in development, was designed to be easy to update and navigate. My online film festival was online a couple of months before theirs was, and by then, they were stuck with their design because it was pretty far along by then, as they got the idea and began developing their online film festival several months earlier when they overheard me telling another independent filmmmaker that I was developing an online film festival. Ironically, someone accused me of copying their idea, which was crazy, as I had proof that I had the idea first, that I got started first, and that I was online first; I would have also had to have been psychic to take their idea, because I would have had to been able to read their minds, which is impossible. After defeating them in the market, my online film festival became the most effective film festival in Florida, and was that way for several years, until I shut it down to move it back to my Tampa Bay Film web site. That, however, did not happen, because progress continued as Tampa Bay Film became less important as a property, covered in this issue of Frontier Pop, and I decided to combine a monthly film festival and networking event series with an online film festival to create the upcoming “Connected Film Festival”, or CFF, which will become the most powerful film festival concepts and properties in the industry; “Connected” having a double meaning for being online, for the online film festival component, and for industry networking. Tampa Bay Film is still an important property and brand, too, but it will be replaced by Independent Film Revolution, or IFR, as my main independent film and filmmaking resource web site, and Tampa Bay Film will mainly focus of reviewing and keeping tabs on the Tampa Bay independent film market, just like Florida Independent Film will).
The Frontier Pop web site was also designed to be scalable. For issues with a lot of content, individual pages, or articles, could be expanded upon, connected with the issue. I am not entirely sure when it happened, and it could have been in the original design document seven years ago when I developed the web site, or it could have come about in that first year, but outdated issues would become the issue for the main subject that they covered, and the articles associated with the issue were not only interconnected with their sponsoring issue and the other articles published in that issue, but could also be referenced by other issues and subject sections on the site. I also came up with the scalable idea that all issues remain in play, and that no issue is final; past issues and the content associated with them could be updated at any time and without warning.
These ideas, developed from years of experience with the original Frontier Society web site, would have been there because of that experience with the previous web site. They were brilliant ideas, but they were not actually used at first, because the issues back then consisted of one web site, and that page could have up to 10 pages of content, if not more.
I did some research, but could not really lock down in the brief time that I had what was done when, but it does look like that the current “upgrades” were well though out even back in the Summer of 2010.
It’s just that we did not use that format until now.

It does look like that format was in place back then, as noted in my research of the earliest issues of Frontier Pop:

Issue 1, July 20-26, 2010;"A New Frontier". Format first used.
Issue 4, August 10-16, 2010; "Preparations". Showing strains of not being able to keep up with a weekly schedule.
Issue 5, August 17-23, 2010; "Working". Weekly isses and monthly features (hybrid?). First mention of all issues being in play.
Issue 8, September 7-13, 2010; "Catching Up". "All issues are in play" phrase used.

At any rate, coming back to the present, Frontier Pop has been troubled for many years. For years, there were few issues being published, even after I changed from a weekly publishing schedule to a monthly schedule, and continuity rules for the issues demanded that I keep the volume numbers, which were year to year, and issue numbers, which were monthly, up to date, which meant that those numbers climbed over time even though the issues were not being written and published, as the idea was to eventually go back and publish those missing issues.
By 2016, six years into the life of Frontier Pop and with only a few issues online, the number of missing issues and incomplete issues was staggering, and I noticed that because I began working toward getting the site back up to speed.
There was a lot of missing content, however, and it would take a lot of work to go back and to fill in the gaps. So much, in fact, that I began to research the feasability of scrapping Frontier Pop and starting over again with a brand new web site. That said, there was value in the branding, even though I was also researching renaming the Frontier Society, as well as a legacy with the web site, so I kept all options open.
Around June of 2017, though, I finally made a decision, and it was a tough one, even after buying multiple domain names and researching trademark clearances for alternate branding. I decided to keep Frontier Pop and to salvage it.
That salvage operation, salvage being an accurate word to describe it, was going to be a lot of work, however, and it would take months, and, eventually, years.
A lot of files remain that need to be fixed. That will take months. The support sections have been updated, but you can only do so much with what is actually on the site. It will take years to get those to where they need to be.
At the time of this writing, I should be on schedule with a regular publication schedule in October 2017. Once we settle in with a regular publication schedule, and we are able to sustain it, I will look into increasing publication work by publishing an additional three to four issues a month of the back issues (the missing, started, and incomplete issues), starting by working backwards. For example, in November, with the publication of the November 2017 issue on time, I could go back and also write and publish issues for June 2017, May 2017, April 2017, and March 2017. In December, I could publish the December 2017 issue and then go ahead and write and publish the February 2017, January 2017, December 2016, and the November 2016 issues. I want to work backwards like that so that there is continuity in the menu system for navigation.
Hypothetically, let’s say that I can keep up with that pace as I move forward (and backwards). It would take roughly two years to get this site completely caught up.
Now you know why I seriously thought about starting over. It is a lot of work. The bright side, however, is that in about two years the issue count will be accurate, and the site will have a massive amount of content on it.
As for those back issues, I will be writing them like I would have if I were actually in those moments, with no psychic predictions or hints from my knowledge of the future. As I work backwards and come across older issues that have been done or incomplete issues, I can also update them. It will be worth it.
At any rate, it will be an interesting ongoing experience of retroactive writing and publishing as I pretend to be in the past, with no knowledge of how anything that I am writing about turns out (until it is later updated after initial publication, sticking to the rules of the site where all issues are never completely finished, and all issues remain in play, with any issue eligible to be updated without warning).

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