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Where do we go from here?

Forums - Website Topics - Where do we go from here?

ioi said:
I always like an analogy.

You've owned a corner shop for the last 15 years. It used to do really well but with the advent of Amazon etc it is down a lot from its peak 10 years ago. You've had to move with the times and set up some online stores as well but your little shop still has a soft spot in your heart. You have a really good manager who runs it and a strong local community who shop there - it still makes enough profit to justify keeping it open but not really enough to spend a ton of money on a refurb which it desperately needs.

An old friend contacts you who helped you set up the shop to begin with, he is passionate about it and wants to help to build it back up again. He kindly offers to come in and do some work as a favour because he doesn't want to see the shop get left behind and customers go elsewhere and knows how strong the community is. He starts work refurbishing the shop but at every step of the way people complain because the shop is closed for a couple of hours, some of the products aren't available whilst cabinets are being replaced and some things have changed because it makes more sense overall and improves another aspect of the shop. Most people are polite and understanding but some are rude and obnoxious, huff and puff, and moan to the friend because something that is important to them has changed or been temporarily removed. The friend eventually has enough and leaves halfway through.

How do you feel now as the shop owner?

Your website has been a great treasure, I will be sad to see it go whenever that might be. Thank you! Really thank you it was a blast in the past. Kimi deserved to win



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Unfortunately, the website scene has changed a lot with the advent of mobile and apps - advertiser rates are down 50-70% from 10 years ago so profitability has been hit hard - hence why you have seen a lot of big sites shut down or have massive cutbacks.

I don't intend for the site to go anywhere - as I say it brings in enough to cover the basic costs and leave me with a little bit of profit - even if it were making a small loss I'd keep it going as it means a lot to me. But realistically it is hard for me to justify spending many tens of thousands of dollars developing new features so when we have people willing to contribute to the site for nothing (or a nominal amount in most cases but far less than market rate) then as I started by saying they deserve the respect of anyone who uses this site.



ioi said:
Unfortunately, the website scene has changed a lot with the advent of mobile and apps - advertiser rates are down 60-70% from 10 years ago so profitability has been hit hard - hence why you have seen a lot of sites shut down.

I don't intend for the site to go anywhere - as I say it brings in enough to cover the basic costs and leave me with a little bit of profit - even if it were making a small loss I'd keep it going as it means a lot to me. But realistically it is hard for me to justify spending many tens of thousands of dollars developing new features so when we have people willing to contribute to the site for nothing (or a nominal amount in most cases but far less than market rate) then as I started by saying they deserve the respect of anyone who uses this site.

Hmm, would you be willing to allow others to work on the site then? I know that it's a bit difficult to figure out who is suitable for the job and who can be trusted with that power, but I think that there would be at least some people willing to help (of course I could be wrong, but I guess that is an idea).



ioi said:
I always like an analogy.

You've owned a corner shop for the last 15 years. It used to do really well but with the advent of Amazon etc it is down a lot from its peak 10 years ago. You've had to move with the times and set up some online stores as well but your little shop still has a soft spot in your heart. You have a really good manager who runs it and a strong local community who shop there - it still makes enough profit to justify keeping it open but not really enough to spend a ton of money on a refurb which it desperately needs.

An old friend contacts you who helped you set up the shop to begin with, he is passionate about it and wants to help to build it back up again. He kindly offers to come in and do some work as a favour because he doesn't want to see the shop get left behind and customers go elsewhere and knows how strong the community is. He starts work refurbishing the shop but at every step of the way people complain because the shop is closed for a couple of hours, some of the products aren't available whilst cabinets are being replaced and some things have changed because it makes more sense overall and improves another aspect of the shop. Most people are polite and understanding but some are rude and obnoxious, huff and puff, and moan to the friend because something that is important to them has changed or been temporarily removed. The friend eventually has enough and leaves halfway through.

How do you feel now as the shop owner?

I'll pop over here instead of having you torn between two threads, but out of interest, would you ever consider setting up or letting the staff here do something like a gofundme or something similar to see if it was possible to raise a lump sum to just pay for that refurb all in one go? Given that we know there is a lot of different area's of the site which need looking at individually would it be an idea to just more directly see what could be raised from the forum users towards doing that work?

I'm not suggesting for a moment that the funds are not there to do the job, I'm just saying would you consider in your analogy directly letting the fate of the shop in the customers hands in a big sale event (help... this analogy is falling apart) but I mean if there was an amount quoted for a complete overhaul, would you imagine that figure outside the realms of something which could be raised here internally?

I know the VGC supporter feature does exist right now but that doesn't have a end goal in sight of it, I think users look at it more of a guilt free method of ad block than what comes out of it.

Just a thought.

 

edit - You could effectively get a feel for what such an event might raise here by doing a poll on the forums with different donation amounts in the poll just to see what users would potentially be wiling to put down to Make VG great again (I'm quoting Trump....)



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VGPolyglot said:

Hmm, would you be willing to allow others to work on the site then? I know that it's a bit difficult to figure out who is suitable for the job and who can be trusted with that power, but I think that there would be at least some people willing to help (of course I could be wrong, but I guess that is an idea).

Perhaps. Finding good people is always hard but it is certainly something I can discuss with Machina.

As has already been mentioned, most of the code for the site (the stuff that people don't really see) has been organically added over the last 13 years by different developers using different coding methods, code structures and so on - this makes it an enormous task for somebody to come in and make any changes, especially without inadvertently breaking something. Experience (both generally and with the site) are key and the more people we bring in to work on the code the more muddled and disjointed it will likely become. That is why what Talon was doing was so great - hopefully re-working and consolidating a lot of the code, getting rid of the old stuff and moving everything across to the new system section by section. Unfortunately that all takes a lot of time, hard work and dedication.



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ioi said:
VGPolyglot said:

Hmm, would you be willing to allow others to work on the site then? I know that it's a bit difficult to figure out who is suitable for the job and who can be trusted with that power, but I think that there would be at least some people willing to help (of course I could be wrong, but I guess that is an idea).

Perhaps. Finding good people is always hard but it is certainly something I can discuss with Machina.

As has already been mentioned, most of the code for the site (the stuff that people don't really see) has been organically added over the last 13 years by different developers using different coding methods, code structures and so on - this makes it an enormous task for somebody to come in and make any changes, especially without inadvertently breaking something. Experience (both generally and with the site) are key and the more people we bring in to work on the code the more muddled and disjointed it will likely become. That is why what Talon was doing was so great - hopefully re-working and consolidating a lot of the code, getting rid of the old stuff and moving everything across to the new system section by section. Unfortunately that all takes a lot of time, hard work and dedication.

Yeah, it's a case of it taking an enormous amount of effort that is frontloaded, but I think if a group were able to do so it'd really help things expand/improve once that hurdle is over. Unfortunately I have no coding experience myself though, so I am unable to provide any support on that front I hope that you and Machina can come up with something though!! I want to see this site imrpove and be better than ever.



Ganoncrotch said:

I'm not suggesting for a moment that the funds are not there to do the job, I'm just saying would you consider in your analogy directly letting the fate of the shop in the customers hands in a big sale event (help... this analogy is falling apart) but I mean if there was an amount quoted for a complete overhaul, would you imagine that figure outside the realms of something which could be raised here internally?

I know the VGC supporter feature does exist right now but that doesn't have a end goal in sight of it, I think users look at it more of a guilt free method of ad block than what comes out of it.

Just a thought.

 

edit - You could effectively get a feel for what such an event might raise here by doing a poll on the forums with different donation amounts in the poll just to see what users would potentially be wiling to put down to Make VG great again (I'm quoting Trump....)

Yeah that could be an option and it is something that has been discussed.

I don't know exactly how many hours Talon or Trucks have put in so far but for a good web developer you could be spending $50+ per hour. Multiply that by many hundreds of hours and you get an idea for the kind of numbers we would be talking about.



ioi said:
Ganoncrotch said:

I'm not suggesting for a moment that the funds are not there to do the job, I'm just saying would you consider in your analogy directly letting the fate of the shop in the customers hands in a big sale event (help... this analogy is falling apart) but I mean if there was an amount quoted for a complete overhaul, would you imagine that figure outside the realms of something which could be raised here internally?

I know the VGC supporter feature does exist right now but that doesn't have a end goal in sight of it, I think users look at it more of a guilt free method of ad block than what comes out of it.

Just a thought.

 

edit - You could effectively get a feel for what such an event might raise here by doing a poll on the forums with different donation amounts in the poll just to see what users would potentially be wiling to put down to Make VG great again (I'm quoting Trump....)

Yeah that could be an option and it is something that has been discussed.

I don't know exactly how many hours Talon or Trucks have put in so far but for a good web developer you could be spending $50+ per hour. Multiply that by many hundreds of hours and you get an idea for the kind of numbers we would be talking about.

It sounds bad to say it as well, but depending on how much each persons coding varies per the different people who worked on the site you're basically going to be looking at 2 figures, one to take what is here now and rework it all to try to unwind the different ways all the old code work together and basically unbuild the site and rebuild it all in the current basic state but where it's all unified code underneath or if it would just be easier to basically build a completely new site and bring over the data from here, what is essential from the old but throwing out all the years of intertwined work and code which has held the old shop together for over the last decade, would it still be the same shop if the logo over the door was lifted to a new building.



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TalonMan said:

I do have some people I'm still connected with on discord (I believe even you and I are still connected, VGP) - so I was directed towards this thread for a response, and so here I am! And while I appreciate this - I think it's important that I clear the air on all of this as it's only fair to those that don't even know what's going on. But first:

I have never once responded to or wrote a single post on this website that could have put somebody on "edge" without that person having instigated it, themselves. Not once!

 

I would say, you yourself probably came the closest to getting an unwarranted snipe from me - but that's because I was in an obvious foul mood at the time (I made that very clear from my very first post in that thread, that I was not happy at the time), and it almost felt you were intentionally trolling me in that thread. That doesn't make it right, but we cleared the air, and all is fine (right??). Outside of that one instance though, every single time I've gone back at somebody it's because they posted some arrogant (or, more commonly, ignorant) nonsense, that deserved every ounce of my wrath in return. Hell, if this were 2008 I wouldn't have hesitated to just pull the trigger and ban most of those people right from the start - but I've tried to keep my restraint and allow the mods to be mods.

I would love it (and would absolutely capitulate the point), if somebody were to show me just a single, solitary instance of my attacking somebody without warrant - just ONE!!! You won't find it, because it's never happened. Plenty of people have come into a thread I've started or participated in to tell me something isn't working right - some of them have even posted downright angry posts, too! But, unless they were disrespectful, they always got my attention and (most importantly) my help in resolving. I can think of three (possibly four) individuals that I lashed out at - and every single time, it's because they decided to act like a jackass or attempt to talk down to me, and I just will not tolerate that. Ever. 

 

Look - the bottom line is I really shouldn't allow the very extreme minority of morons, ruin the website progress for the vast majority of the community that really are awesome. On the other hand, I do this shit professionally day in and day out - and I honestly don't feel as though I should have to stoop to a level and subject myself to these lower class of people. And that's exactly what it feels like I'm having to do, every time I need to deal with nonsensical and insulting posts like those.

I wouldn't allow a client speak to me like that in my professional job - so, should I actually put up with it while working voluntarily on a hobby website?!?!?! No freakin' way!! And especially not when I've been putting other projects on hold, so I could focus my efforts almost exclusively on this website - that's just bullshit, I'm sorry.

So - rather than continue to waste my time putting up with this garbage, I just feel like maybe it's time for a change in scenery (so to speak). It sucks that I've allowed a few shitty, smelly apples ruin it for the bunch, but that's just what happens sometimes. We're all human after all, and sometimes we need to make decisions that are in the best interest of ourselves - even if that means hurting everybody else in the process...  :(

I want to thank you for your work personally and I know it consumes time and it is disheartening to hear people bitch and moan. I fully understand you setting different priorities. I wish you the best.



3DS-FC: 4511-1768-7903 (Mii-Name: Mnementh), Nintendo-Network-ID: Mnementh, Switch: SW-7706-3819-9381 (Mnementh)

my greatest games: 2017, 2018

Predictions: Switch / Switch vs. XB1 in the US / Three Houses first quarter

Nice to have met you best of luck Talonman!