Feedback Friday! (2019-11-22)

Owner
BGA

All feedback welcome :)

Got praises/complaints/wish features for our forum, game pages, content creation, etc? Let us know here.

For this week, I'd especially love to get your feedback on something that Trent and I have been thinking about. Although BGA has been growing consistently, time and money are our biggest limitations to growing faster and implementing all of our crazy ideas (full disclosure: Trent is on BGA full-time and receives minimum wage while I juggle a full-time job in addition to doing half-time on BGA with minimum wage--and we're hoping to continue as long as possible without going under lol). Because of this, we are thinking of setting up a way for us to receive donations that will directly shape the website and for us to continue to build something awesome together. Couple of thoughts/things to figure out are:

  • To have complete transparency on what sort of items will get implemented when funding is reached (along with a realistic deadline and goal amount)
  • What sort of goals should these be? It feels odd to set something like "BGA App Implementation" or "Revamping the Play Log Process" as goals when we'll eventually get to these anyway
  • Should it be like Patreon style where you set one major item(s) per funding goal? Or displaying a list of items that will change in priority according to which receives the most amount of support from users?
  • Maybe not just setting practical goals, but having rewards for donations? (allowing some level of profile or avatar customization?)

I'm sure there are way more things to think about but wanted to start getting everyone's inputs. Really appreciate everyone for making this community great and please know that we won't start strangling everyone for money xD

Edit: Oh and also, don't forget that the current round of giveaway will end 11/26! Good luck to everyone and let's see if there's an upset this time :)

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Supporter12 months ago

Also, I wish for the ability to search/sort by artist, or designer, or mechanism.

Owner12 months ago

Yesss. The search by mechanism currently works but the search results aren't that good for some of the more obscure/uncommon mechanics--a lot of the game pages haven't been filled out enough

I'd really love to have the search by artists/designers--it's been in the back log for a while but hopefully we can push it up in priority

Supporter12 months ago

I really do appreciate how ya'll have been working on this. I'm not trying to ride you hard. 

Owner12 months ago

Not at all. It makes it incredibly easier on us when everyone voices what they want to see :)

Thanks Chris!

12 months ago

In regards to logging plays, I've been doing that on BGG for a couple of years now, so I don't think I'll end up doing it both there and here. But if there was a way to link the two, so when BGG is updated it also updates here, that could be nice. Not sure how plausible that is because I know nothing about that sort of technicalities, but it's a thought.

Also, for funding, I suggest getting involved in the board game groups on Facebook. Get involved as people (i.e. Phil and Trent, rather than BGA), and people will come to you. It'll take time, but as people get to know you and what you do, people will start trickling in, which can help your audience, which can help the site's activity, which can give you more ads, etc. It does take time this way, but that's how I've found a number of different resources was through them engaging on social media.

For example, Chris Cormier has his Geeky Goodies site. He has been engaging in all the groups (Boardgame Group, Everything Board Games Community, Board Game Spotlight, etc.) for a long time, so when his site launched, he had some instant traffic. Plus, people liked and respected him so they were willing to give it a look. I know time is of the essence and it can be hard to do that, but every bit of exposure helps. Just some thoughts :) 

Owner12 months ago

In terms of getting involved in other communities, I think the lesson I always have to go back to is that it's a marathon. It's tempting to drop a link and leave a few comments every now and then but boy I feel bad whenever I do that haha. I've actually been trying to get back into the facebook groups and get to know people (actually ended up friending a few I ran into and had a long chat with someone who designs games). I think it'll get much easier for me to take this slowly especially once I go full-time (some day) and don't have to feel.... rushed to make the most of my limited time in getting more eyes onto our content haha

And on the play logs--what you're saying makes sense and I'm sure there are many out there who feel similarly.

Our approach has always been to make our features 10x better than others so that the value of our features will speak for themselves... so we'll take it as a challenge to streamline the process as much as possible! And implement ways to present the data in a much more interesting ways :)

(I think Trent recently started working on the play log feature so let's see where we end up at)

12 months ago

It's definitely a marathon. I try to stay current in all the groups so I don't feel too bad when I post links, but it's pretty hard. I'm a regular in the Everything Board Games group, but that's because it's where I do my reviews, so I don't think he'd mind if I dropped review links there haha 

Supporter12 months ago

I think a Patreon would be a great idea. I’ve never subscribed to one but I think I’d be willing to do so for this website.

Also yearly Kickstarters to fund the site would be a good idea. It’d be just like funding public radio or something. 

Owner12 months ago

We were really wanting to launch a donation drive before the end of the year. At the same time we knew we'd be in for trouble if we launched a Kickstarter without much prep (we only just recently had the idea of having a donation drive). 

After thinking about what everyone has mentioned and bouncing around ideas off of each other, we decided to go with a simple donation drive hosted on BGA with a modest goal to start out with. The current plan is to launch it two days from now on Wednesday, so let's see how it goes! :)

Supporter12 months ago

That’s a great place to start. Looking forward to the announcement!

Supporter12 months ago

I've actually been thinking of funding stuff as well. The ideas that I personally have been thinking of are, 

1: Patreon, a similar format to what you suggested. 

2: You probably don't have enough users to make it work very well yet, but I was wondering about a market place where you get a percentage or a fixed amount per sale. 

3: Kickstarter, similar to what the dice tower does. Of course the problem is that Kickstarter does take a bite out of it. 

4: some sort of sponsorship, or advertising. It seems like Blue Cocker could be pretty pumped about the 25 hr marathon that Trent did. What about the makers of Skulk Hollow, is there a chance of partnering with them? I am not a huge fan of ads, but I don't find them too offensive as long as it is clear that it is an ad or sponsorship. 

5: What about an Amazon affiliate link on the games section of your page? 

These are not in any particular order. I do think that y'all are doing a good thing. I have really enjoyed my time in the forum and look forward to continuing to do so. 

Owner12 months ago

Wanted to reserve replying back to this until I had enough time after work :)

I wanted to clarify some of the ways BGA currently makes revenue (it's all shown on the respective pages but it can be easy to miss):

  • Our game pages include affiliate links for the game purchase (there's a note somewhere on the game pages to notify users that we have them, but it might be easy to miss)
  • We sponsor Kickstarters in different tiers (email news blast, displaying the Kickstarter ahead of all others in the Kickstarter carousel in the front page, ad space on forum and other pages, etc.)
  • We make revenue through Board Game Prices. It was only after this acquisition that Trent went full-time getting minimum wage (and me starting to get paid for my work now) 

1 & 3: Patreon vs. Kickstarter approach is one that I think Trent and I will have to talk about for quite a while haha. But it's been helping to get you and other's perspectives on this. Just when I feel like I've gotten a handle on how to promote content on social media, now I have to think about money haha

2: Yes, the current plan is to set a fixed percentage or amount per sale on the marketplace. We hope to get it to a point where the service will be valuable enough to justify it.

4: While the marathon was incredibly tough (it impacted my current full-time job as well since I was constantly trying to support Trent in the comments section or visiting the studio to make sure he's not going crazy/hungry haha), I think it showed the potential of these stunts for a great promo material. We'd definitely be down for doing a sponsored one in the future.

Thanks for the detailed feedback!

Supporter12 months ago

I did know that you did some ads for Kickstarter. I was suggesting that there could potentially be some other options as well. 

I didn't notice that you had affiliate links. I'm glad to hear that. 

Best wishes as you wrestle with the other questions. 

Owner12 months ago

Thanks, we've been bouncing around different ideas and decided to go for it. We plan to launch the donation drive on BGA's front page once Wednesday arrives. I hope it gets some traction haha

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