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Improving the AG community - your thoughts on Kickstarter idea

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rtrooney - 24 September 2014 07:19 PM
Marek - 24 September 2014 06:06 AM

Sorry, but this really rubs me the wrong way. You can argue these improvements are not necessary from your point of view but the last thing I expected was to be accused of cynical exploitation.

Sorry it rubs you the wrong way. “Cynical Exploitation” is not a phrase I would have used. If you want to increase advertising revenue, and a forum/format change is required to do it. So-be-it!

But there are five steps in an objective statement

1) What am I going to do?
2) How much am I going to do it?
3) How much will it cost me?
4) How long will it take me?
5) How will I know when I’m done?

So far, I’ve only seen #1 answered. And that’s more of a “this is what I would like to do than anything concrete.

How about

1) Purchase new forum software supplied by xxx
2) Reformat current forum layout to include/eliminate xxx
3) At a cost not to exceed $xxxxxx.xx
4) Complete the forum changeover, including a one-week shutdown, by xx/xx/2015
5) Self evident…when you are up and running again with no software glitches

And, if this allows for increased advertising income, again, so much the better.

Your current plan doesn’t meet Kickstarter standards.

If you want to define “Regulars” as participants who have more than 100 posts to their credit, and want to ask them for a $xx.xx donation, that’s fair. What are the numbers? How many people fit that definition? What is the total anticipated cost? Do the math!

I think you will find a far more receptive audience if you just lay it all out. With the emphasis on all.

 

What on earth are you on about?

When was this made into a cash grab? You yourself indicated that you could only see this approach working for an objective to generate more advertising revenue, but that doesn’t make it true!

And just because you think it’s sort of a cash grab, you claim that AG requires to explain and defend themselves in the way you describe above?

You could argue in such a way perhaps for a commercial enterprise, but I think it’s rather unfair to expect this from AG. They are struggling as it is to generate enough revenue to support all the work included to keep a sizeable site up.

Adventure games are not yet so mainstream that this site can expect advertising revenue like IGN or Gamespot. Yet, these guys have dedicated a lot of hard work to this niche genre….without much compensation to show for it.

Clearly, if it was all about the money from the get-go, they would have chosen a different genre of entertainment!

 

     
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rtrooney - 24 September 2014 07:19 PM

Sorry it rubs you the wrong way. “Cynical Exploitation” is not a phrase I would have used. If you want to increase advertising revenue, and a forum/format change is required to do it. So-be-it!

But there are five steps in an objective statement

1) What am I going to do?
2) How much am I going to do it?
3) How much will it cost me?
4) How long will it take me?
5) How will I know when I’m done?

So far, I’ve only seen #1 answered. And that’s more of a “this is what I would like to do than anything concrete.

I’m flabbergasted. Did you read Marek’s first post?

 

 

     

I will kill every last one of you monsters!  Return of the Obra Dinn

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Personally, I have no difficulty believing that this is not a “cash grab” but simply the honest desire to improve the site for all involved and I can’t see why anyone would think differently.

I think that what this thread shows is that there are definitely members who would donate/back a campaign or whatever to improve the site and also some who won’t. I’m not judging anyone - everyone is entitled to their view and no-one should feel like they have to pay if they cannot or simply do not want to.

However, I have had a lot of enjoyment out of these forums for quite a few years now and have contributed nothing except for some inane babbling and pretentious rubbish. I would be happy to make a donation/financial gift/whatever to see that continue and be improved. The better the site is the more it can grow and attract new people to hang out with on the forums and promote Adventure Games on teh internetz. With respect to all concerned, no one is ever going to make money out of this site and we are lucky that those in charge are prepared to do so much at their own expense for our enjoyment.

I would say run a fundraising campaign (somehow) and forget the rewards. I wouldn’t say no to a T shirt or whatever but I think many kickstarters spend too much of their money on providing rewards. I would rather all went to improving the site. Many of those who are “hardcore forumites” will probably give and don’t need rewards and I wouldn’t expect those who aren’t so interested to back anyway. I certainly wouldn’t pay towards a website I hardly used and I wouldn’t expect anyone else to.

By all means print some T shirts for $10 each and sell them for $20 dollars to those that want them and after postage and tax you’ll probably be lucky to get $2 a time. I would love to own one, but if it doesn’t make any profit to be spent on the site it’s kind of pointless isn’t it?

     

3.5 time winner of the “Really Annoying Caption Contest Saboteur” Award!

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Bogi - 25 September 2014 04:01 AM

I’m with rtrooney here. I won’t back this, smells like a cash grab.

This makes my heart sink a little. AG has been around for over 15 years, entirely for free. The site is maintained with help from the community, with ads helping us to sustain it. We suggest this once that people help us out financially, just to help make the site a better place for everyone.

I respect if people don’t want to contribute, but I don’t respect our intentions being called into question when it would be 10000% easier for us to not bother.

rtrooney: the initial post covers a lot of what you’re asking. Most of your listed questions were already answered, or you answered them yourself. (Keep in mind this is a thread intended to openly discuss the idea, and not a final pitch. So if it’s not quite all locked down to the final letter, that’s why.)

Anyway, it is nice to see that most people agree the forums could be improved. I think atm we’re leaning towards focusing a donation on just improving the forums, as this is the most tangible and easily realized goal (with a lower target as well). But obviously, support for the forum idea is inherently going to be stronger than the wiki idea when discussing it on… the forums Smile So we have to take that into account too.

     

Retired AG founder

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I’m 100% behind this project. I believe it’s the most sensible way to bring stronger content and services to fans of adventures. When it comes to rules, there wouldn’t be a problem: Indie Statik did a similar thing a while ago. A better website is a tangible proposal, which is the only thing that Kickstarter demands.

I would stick with the main goal of updating the website (which is more attractive) and propose to update forums as a stretch goal. Don’t be scared; I’m positive that the community will be all over this, save for the occasional dissenting voice.

Best of luck with the project!

     

Senscape // Founder // Designer | Working on: Asylum | Twitter: @AgustinCordes

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Marek - 25 September 2014 06:17 AM

This makes my heart sink a little.

More than a little, I’d imagine. The cynicism of a couple of regular posters is disappoinitng to say the least. On a personal level, I don’t actually have a problem with the forums but I guess I’m not expert enough to know what else is out there & I probably don’t post or use screen shots enough to have problems some maybe do. At any rate, as someone who is (I guess) around the 100 posts someone mentioned earlier, I’d certainly be prepared to donate ca. $20 if it’sfor something the site administrators think/say/argue is worthwhile.

 

     
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Bogi - 25 September 2014 04:01 AM

I’m with rtrooney here. I won’t back this, smells like a cash grab.

For the record, following is my original post:

“While I am all for making things better, I would disagree with the above statement. The forums only “suck” if you want to do something different with them. I think they are just fine the way they are.

The only reason I can think of for changing the current format is to bring in more advertising revenue. That is an admirable objective. But, if that is the real objective, and I believe it is, then doing a Kickstarter to achieve that objective is just wrong.”

Please note that the phrase “cash grab” is nowhere to be found. And, while I seem to be taking a lot of heat, the only comment that refers to actual funding says that if raising advertiser revenue is the objective, Kickstarter is an inappropriate way to fund it. But people seem to be reading a hell of a lot more into my phrasing than is there.

Also for the record, the first time the words “cash grab” were used they were used by Marek.

“If you think this is some kind of cash grab, think again.”

We’ll that’s obviously not what I thought.

Marek also said, “Sorry, but this really rubs me the wrong way.”

Should I be allowed the opportunity to say the same thing? Because the insults coming my way by “regulars” who shall not be named, really piss me off as well.

 

 

 

     

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Of for the love of pete, rtrooney, why is everything always such a hassle with you?

You blatantly asserted your belief that we are asking for funding so that we can implement more revenue-producing features. In other words, you claim we’re milking the community for free money so that we can make even more money off advertisers as a result. That’s a cash grab, whatever the semantics you’re now trying to hide behind. In fact, it’s TWO cash grabs in one.

As for your assertion itself, it is a) based on absolutely nothing, and b) completely wrong. The fact that you choose to believe it says nothing about us or anything that Marek said, and everything about you. If you’re pissed off, too bad. Your belligerence does nothing but undermine all the goodwill that goes into running and improving this site.

If you’ve got something constructive to offer about this proposal, we welcome it. If not, drop it.

subbi - 25 September 2014 05:29 AM

They are struggling as it is to generate enough revenue to support all the work included to keep a sizeable site up.

I don’t normally involve myself in business matters, since that is Marek’s area, but just to clarify, we are not struggling to maintain the site as is. Day-to-day operations are just fine, thanks to the enormous number of hours contributed by volunteers. It’s just major projects like these that require time and software and expertise beyond our abilities that we can’t afford. 

By the way, if this were even remotely about advertising, the forums are pretty much the LAST thing we would bother to improve. The forums are great for our community of a few hundred regulars, but that’s microscopic compared to the main site audience, which makes the revenue impact negligible.

Mike the Wino - 24 September 2014 05:15 PM

I don’t know, so I’ll just ask: Is there an existing AG t-shirt already, something you folks who run this site wear around your sprawling AG offices?

Sadly, no. I’ve been bugging Marek about it for years, because I want one! Tongue

     

Editor-in-Chief, some obscure little site called Adventure Gamers

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AG swag would be neat, but it’s probably not a good fit for a pledge drive. In the end that would likely just result in less money for the proposed project and more work handling physical goods.

     
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Jackal - 25 September 2014 11:41 PM
subbi - 25 September 2014 05:29 AM

They are struggling as it is to generate enough revenue to support all the work included to keep a sizeable site up.

I don’t normally involve myself in business matters, since that is Marek’s area, but just to clarify, we are not struggling to maintain the site as is. Day-to-day operations are just fine, thanks to the enormous number of hours contributed by volunteers. It’s just major projects like these that require time and software and expertise beyond our abilities that we can’t afford.

I may have phrased it poorly, but the point was that it is ludicrous to claim that AG is in it for the money (cash grabs), when it is so obvious that the site is not generating any tangible profit. At least that is how I understand it.

     
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Oh yeah, subbi, I know you were being supportive (always appreciated), and your overall point was spot-on. I just didn’t want anyone seeing this and running off half-cocked with the notion that a fundraising request for a specific project was secret code for “we’re in financial trouble just staying afloat.”

Kasper, you’re absolutely right about swag being a poor pledge reward under the circumstances. I’m gonna keep bugging Marek for those shirts one of these days, though. Grin

     

Editor-in-Chief, some obscure little site called Adventure Gamers

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If we do swag we’d definitely need some help from a graphic designer. Smile We’d need vector graphics, preferably something that can be printed in 1 or just several colors.

     

Retired AG founder

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I would definitely support this project, no matter which way you decide to go.  Where’s that donate button again?  Wink

     

We don’t get smarter as we get older.  There is just less stupid stuff left that we haven’t already done.

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I would also support a kickstarter. Would love to see the forums AND a game wiki.

     
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A Kickstarter seems like a good idea, and I’ll be happy to throw some money at it, as well as provide feedback on the KS page before you go live, if you need it.

I’ll suggest you place both the forum and wiki in the base goal - while the forum is probably mostly of interest for existing users, a wiki has a much broader appeal. That will probably mean, that quite a few people will support the Kickstarter for the wiki alone, even if they have no interest in the forum.

Then you could have a stretch goal for general site improvements (the site is pretty good as it is, but there’s always room for smaller improvements, and it could be an incentive for some people to pledge).

And get some endorsements from us users as well as game developers for the KS page Smile

Not directly related to the KS: I would make it a requirement, that you have to be a registered member of the site to contribute to the wiki (to minimize the amount of chaos, spam and incorrect info).

EDIT: Clarified/moved the “wiki requirement” part.

     

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