Possible New Features: Comments/Ad-free

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VideoGameCritic
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Possible New Features: Comments/Ad-free

Postby VideoGameCritic » April 16th, 2016, 9:05 am

I am considering two new features for the site but I'd like your feedback.

One is the ability to leave short, Twitter-like comments under each review. There would actually be a link under each review saying "View 5 comments" or whatever, and clicking on that would display them. Sites like Slashdot have built a business around comments - they can be very interesting and add a lot more information.

Instead of piling more work on the moderators, I might have the comments go right through if the user is registered. I would of course have a way for moderators to delete "bad" comments if necessary. If I allowed anonymous posts (should I?) those would definitely need to be approved first.

Secondly, I'm thinking about giving readers the ability to have an ad-free experience by purchasing some sort of membership (via paypal). For $1/month or so, you can support the site and have a clean, ad-free view of the site. It would be a source of revenue for the site and would give people a more direct way to support it. For people who aren't interested in this, their experience would not change at all.

Comments? Suggestions?

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DaHeckIzDat
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Re: Possible New Features: Comments/Ad-free

Postby DaHeckIzDat » April 16th, 2016, 9:24 am

Hmm... the short comments might work, but I have a feeling that most people who would comment on your reviews already do so here in the forums. Likewise, I don't think many people would be willing to pay for an ad-free membership when they can just get adblock for free. Just my two cents.

LoganRuckman
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Re: Possible New Features: Comments/Ad-free

Postby LoganRuckman » April 16th, 2016, 12:45 pm

I love the comment idea, but I don't think it should have a text limit. When it gets long enough, a "read more" tag should be afded to let others know it's a long comment.

As for the ad free thing, Adblock is completely free so that would be kind of pointless, IMO.

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scotland
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Re: Possible New Features: Comments/Ad-free

Postby scotland » April 16th, 2016, 1:20 pm

DaHeckIzDat wrote:..most people who would comment on your reviews already do so here in the forums. Likewise, I don't think many people would be willing to pay for an ad-free membership when they can just get adblock for free.


I think I agree. I find no value in spam bots posting, or endless drive by 'this sucks' comments. I would like to see more forum traffic, not less, so I would prefer a link to the review feedback section in the forums instead.

As for ad-free and supporting the site, those do not need to be linked. If we want the site to continue, then there should be some way to support the site. Maybe there could be a 'plus' membership, and only plus members get things like avatars, the ability to vote for game scores, or some other benefit.

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Re: Possible New Features: Comments/Ad-free

Postby VideoGameCritic » April 16th, 2016, 2:42 pm

I think Scotland has the right idea. I'm not trying to circumvent the ads. I PUT them there! Keep in mind I'm NOT a professional game reviewer. The site is modest and doesn't generate nearly as much as I put into it. I could quit running this at any time and probably be a lot better off.

Many readers over the years have inquired how they could support the site to keep it going. I really like the idea of a "plus" membership that would reward readers who chip in a few bucks. Not sure what bonus features I could offer, but the "no ads" thing seems like it was most feasible for the near term.

So it's not really about the ads, it's more about improving the cost-benefit of the site.

As for the comments, I think there's value to grouping them under the review. We don't need to limit people to 140 characters, I think we'll want to encourage them to be concise. Right now it's not easy to get from an old review to its original comments, and I think that would be challenging for me to implement.

Keep the feedback coming! I haven't even begun working on any of this.

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Rev
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Re: Possible New Features: Comments/Ad-free

Postby Rev » April 16th, 2016, 5:02 pm

I think it would be a neat feature if you did allow comments to be added to reviews underneath, although I agree with Scotland that a link to the related topic would work as well.

You know while donations might not work, you can make payments on paypal to other users as long as you put the reason for the funds transfer. That might be a way to get donations without a donations button (I remember you said that this wouldn't work). You could also do a patreon for the site. Those have gotten fairly popular and would allow you to get money from people who enjoy your work.

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Gentlegamer
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Re: Possible New Features: Comments/Ad-free

Postby Gentlegamer » April 16th, 2016, 5:32 pm

Let me get this straight: the ads deliver malware, and you want people to pay you to get rid of them? To directly monetarily support a site that is essentially your own personal gaming blog?

If you think you're putting too much into this site, then just shut it down and save the money. You could go back to your old shorter style reviews and just post them on twitter.

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Re: Possible New Features: Comments/Ad-free

Postby VideoGameCritic » April 16th, 2016, 8:32 pm

That was really mean and unfair. I am NOT using ads to deliver malware. I use the most reputable ads services and in the rare case someone reports anything suspicious I address it immediately by removing the ad or filtering the content. I think it you compare this site with other game sites (plastered with ads and popups) my use of ads is fairly restrained. Give me a break.

You want to use ad blockers that's fine. If you don't want to support the site, that's fine too! But you don't have to disparage it. Some people actually appreciate it and consider it a valuable service, believe it or not.

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Rev
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Re: Possible New Features: Comments/Ad-free

Postby Rev » April 16th, 2016, 9:02 pm

Gentlegamer wrote:Let me get this straight: the ads deliver malware, and you want people to pay you to get rid of them? To directly monetarily support a site that is essentially your own personal gaming blog?

If you think you're putting too much into this site, then just shut it down and save the money. You could go back to your old shorter style reviews and just post them on twitter.


Wow... You're comment is really off base and quite rude. He never asked for people to pay if they didn't want to and you've been here long enough to know that he always addresses issues whenever they are brought up. He doesn't work for IGN or other big sites and pays for this out of his own pocket.

Also, how is this his own blog? The site is far bigger than a simple blog and he puts a lot of time into the site because it is something he is passionate about.

Sut
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Re: Possible New Features: Comments/Ad-free

Postby Sut » April 17th, 2016, 3:33 am

Rev wrote:You could also do a patreon for the site. Those have gotten fairly popular and would allow you to get money from people who enjoy your work.


Although I'm a little Patreon'd out as everyone seems to use it these days (as much as I'd like too I can't support everyone I like). I'd be willing to pay $1 a month via this method. I would feel more secure with Patreon as it's an established service rather than a bespoke, possibly vulnerable site based contribution system.

Also with Patreon you can offer rewards for contributors for example review suggestions or preview of new reviews or something.

I like the idea of comments if the preferred method of linking to the review feedback forum page is a non starter (for me that would be the optimal option). But to keep it from degenerating into a juvenile YouTube type mess could take some policing.


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