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Summary of site status for 2020

Christian Clemmensen
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(beergarden.filmtracks.com)
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Summary of site status for 2020   Monday, January 25, 2021 (9:41 a.m.) 

2020 Summary of the Reviews:
--------------------------------------------------------

Not much more needs said about the challenges of 2020, the pandemic, economy, and politics making life generally miserable for everyone. Filmtracks was hurt more by the slowdown in major new theatrical movie releases than anything else, traffic to the site declining during the year with fewer blockbusters to entice interest from casual movie-goers.

Ironically, the pandemic had no affect on my writing for the site, my day job at the City of Seattle shifting permanently to remote work as of March and ending my 100-minute commute each way. That position did, however, require over 50 hours per week, and it was that time commitment to the City that left no time for Filmtracks. Thankfully, late in the year, I switched to a far better job in a different department with hours protected by a union, so both Filmtracks and my family will benefit.

As frustrating as 2020 certainly proved to be, I managed to "touch" 49 reviews during the year, short of my goal of 65 but better than the 38 reviews touched during 2019. Coverage of both all-new scores and new albums for existing scores was minimal during the first half of the year due to the demands of the day job, but the pace of writing picked up briskly in the latter half of 2020 and the start of 2021, representing a welcome return to an ideal writing schedule for the time being.

The reviewing goals for 2021 will once again remain the same. With luck, the 2020 Filmtracks Awards will debut earlier in the year than the 2019 ones did. Expect my writing to continue catching up on the previous year's new scores and albums. Without box office performance to guide which scores are covered, look for some unusual selections this year. Reviews of re-releases will continue to be about a year behind at best until I can catch up on the backlog of 30 or so products.


By the numbers:

2020 Goals:
--------------------------------------
New Reviews of New Albums: 35
New Reviews of Old Albums: 0
Re-Writes: 30

2020 Final Stats:
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New Reviews of New Albums: 23
New Reviews of Old Albums: 1
Re-Writes: 25

2021 Goals:
--------------------------------------
New Reviews of New Albums: 35
New Reviews of Old Albums: 0
Re-Writes: 30


2020 Summary of the Overall Site:
--------------------------------------------------------

After the hosting misadventures of 2019, Filmtracks enjoyed a relatively quiet 2020 until the political trolls flooded the forums at the site late in the year. Nothing brings out paranoid nationalist buffoons and hapless religious trolls like an American presidential election, and this one, Filmtracks' seventh, was no different. Otherwise, few governance or technical problems arose during the year, the switch to an AWS hosting solution in 2019 solving many lingering issues.

A combination of the pandemic and my limited writing schedule further eroded the site's readership over 2020, traffic levels continuing their long, steady decline over the past few years. The once resilient mainstream viewership from casual movie-goers diminished to even the popular legacy reviews. Revenues declined to the same degree as traffic, and while costs have been significantly reduced on the new server, I continue to subsidize the site personally. Donations from readers help offset those losses, and I am always appreciative of that assistance.

There's reason to hope for stability in the coming two years, however. Construction will be starting later this year (finally!) on a permanent home for the site. With luck, my family and I will continue to evade COVID-19. If all goes well, Filmtracks will enjoy a return to lasting, regular content schedules and readership by sometime in 2022. As always, I pledge that Filmtracks will outlast Facebook, the worldwide menace of disinformation infinitely more dangerous than the naked trolls here, even if this site's market cap is roughly $780 billion less.

Best wishes to all in 2021,

Christian



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rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. Scoreboard created 7/24/98 and last updated 4/25/15.