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Author Topic: Insim under new management!  (Read 254260 times)
Anyerfillag
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Insim under new management!
« on: 2008 November 26, 23:09:59 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

Its all here

So it seems that downtime was to do with the handover to a new owner. He's only just joined AND get this - isn't a Sims 2 player but in fact an online marketing and web development guy. I call Insim dying very soon. Call me paranoid or a fan of the tinfoil hat but I'm very skeptical of him so far.

(I posted it here as its not paysite related - even if he wants to raise $1,000 to cover server costs - but is an interesting change in the community)

Oh and:

Quote
I'm hoping to complete this transition by around the second week of December 2008 with your help.

Thats about setting up a new donation model and moving to brand new servers Shocked He wants it done in two weeks. Hello, world economy in meltdown Roll Eyes
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How's THIS for some shit?!?!
« Reply #1 on: 2008 November 26, 23:34:12 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

OK, I got this in my email just now after hearing about it, and needless to say, I am PISSED. Read for yourself and see what you think.

Hi there.

Since you are one of our super-moderators at InSIMenator.net or Insimadult.net, I wanted to contact you first and introduce myself. My name is Walt Thiessen, and I have acquired the inSIMenator.net and insimadult.net websites from Kathy and Eric. They contacted me a couple of weeks ago because they needed to relieve themselves of the responsibilities of these sites so they can concentrate more time on other priorities. We reached an agreement, and the sites and server were transferred over to my control this past weekend. I'll be posting an announcement about this change on the sites soon, but I wanted to contact all the super-moderators first.

Eric has already agreed to continue to update his InSIMenator module for at least another year, and Kathy will undoubtedly still be around from time to time, as she will be answering questions for me behind the scenes. So while there has been an important change, it doesn't mean we're losing the two original founders entirely.

I'm hoping you'll stay on as a super-moderator and help me as I take steps to move these forums forward to the next level. I'm not a “gamer,” and I don't know much about The Sims, so I'm counting on you super-moderators to help me. Among other things, I'll be leaning on you heavily to continue to maintain the standards the sites current enjoy. I'll also be leaning on you for recommendations regarding moderator and super-moderator nominations.

I'm an online marketer and website design/host/development guy. My plans for these sites are two-fold. First, I want to  keep them going in the tradition that Kathy and Eric have already established. Second, I want to make them profitable enough that we can add functionality and hardware to handle the increased traffic that the sites have experienced lately and will likely continue to experience when The Sims 3 is released in February.

I want to share with you some of my ideas for the sites and server for your feedback. I'll also appreciate any suggestions you can make to help me with my transition in my new role.
New Server Planned
First and foremost, as soon as I took control of the server I noted that it is quite under-powered compared to what the demands of the website are. This is something I'm planning to change ASAP, probably by the second week of December. Currently, the sites are served on a dual-processor server which I took over from Kathy and Eric. Over the weekend, the heavy demand crushed them to the point that they were largely unavailable. I've put in a load limit to prevent them from crashing, but that's just a temporary fix. In the meantime, during peak periods some users will get messages saying that the server is too busy, asking them to try again later.

I'm planning to acquire an eight-processor server (plus 3-4 times as much RAM as we have right now) which will give us four times the processing power and should eliminate most (hopefully all) of the bottlenecks we've been experiencing particularly in times of high demand.
Insimadult.net Needs A Big Helping Hand
The Insimadult site is barely at break-even point according to Kathy and some months has been subsidized by the InSIMenator site.

Further, when I tried to transfer the advertising links by setting up a new account at Adbrite in my name, they forced me under a new policy structure they have into their “black label” section which is dominated by hard core porn advertisers. This resulted in a short period where some really hard-core ads hit the site on Sunday. As soon as I discovered what had happened, I pulled the ads and replaced them with some Amazon ads for Sims 2 and 3 products. However, such ads are not likely to pull as well as regular advertising, so it's likely that on-site ads at Insimadult are going to produce less revenue than before.

Obviously, this is a bad situation. If revenue was already no more than break-even before I acquired Insimadult, then we can't afford any revenue reductions for Insimadult. So I'm giving serious consideration to a subscription-based membership system of some kind so that we don't have to shut Insimadult down entirely. I'm also in contact with a large ad agency that specializes in advertising placements for adult websites, trying to discover if there are any alternatives we can use that won't hit Insimadult with hard-core porn ads while generating some reasonable ad revenue.

I'm trying to decide between a VOLUNTARY subscription-based membership system and a MANDATORY subscription-based membership system for Insimadult. With either approach, I'd work on creating some incentives for becoming a subscriber. The most obvious one I can think of is to remove advertising from the pages for logged-in subscribers. I'm also open to any other suggestions you can make regarding additional benefits to offer potential subscribers in order to induce them to sign up.

You know the users and members of Insimadult much better than I do,. Can you tell me what you think their reaction to a subscription-based system would be? Should it be voluntary or mandatory? I'm thinking of putting up a poll to ask them how much they'd be willing to pay on a monthly subscription to Insimadult with the following options: $0, $1, $2, $3, $4, $5, $10, $15, $20, and $25 Or More per month. I'd use the poll results to guide the minimum subscription pricing options we'd offer.
InSIMenator.net Needs To Stabilize Donation Model
As I looked at the financial history of InSIMenator.net, I found two things. First, the advertising revenue is consistent, but it's not large enough to finance the site sufficiently. The donation model that the site follows is critical to its success. Further, donation totals from month to month have varied dramatically. This makes management of the site a bit of a financial headache.

Similar to the Insimadult site, I'm thinking about implementing a voluntary donation model here as well. Unlike Insimadult, I'm not contemplating a mandatory subscription model for the InSIMenator site. I want to make it voluntary, which we'll need in order to grow the site. As with Insimadult, I'm thinking about making the subscriber experience advertising-free. Beyond that, I'd welcome from you suggestions about additional incentives and benefits we can offer in order to induce people to become members.

The potential for InSIMenators.net is very great. Over 400,000 people have become site members in the past 3.5 years. That's a sizeable pool, and it seems reasonable to me that we can get at least some of them to become subscribers. If only 1% of that 400,000 became monthly subscribers, it would provide sufficient financing to not only pay for the larger server needs but also to bring in professional developers to add various kinds of functionality to the website over time!
Current Bills Are High Right Now – Donations Are Needed
From the moment I took over the sites, I incurred some instant expense hits that haven't yet been covered by advertising or donation expenses. So far, in addition to the purchase price I paid to Kathy and Eric, I'm more than $750 in the hole in operating costs, and that's going to more than double with the new server acquisition. Plus, the vBulletin licenses for the forum and database are coming due at the end of this month. So I'm going to be putting out a donation drive request, which I'm hoping people will enthusiastically support. We need to raise money fast in order to do the things that need doing.
Polling For User Input On Both Sites
I'm going to put out some polls over the next couple of days to measure user input on a number of things.

First, as I mentioned above, I'm going to poll on the subscription idea to get a sense of how willing users are to support the sites financially on a regular basis.

Second, I'm going to offer a poll about whether they think the sites needs a “face lift.”

Third, I'm going to ask for suggestions about additional features and benefits they would like from the sites.

I'd appreciate it if all super-moderators could encourage people to take these polls. The more input we get, the better.

That's all for now. I'm sure I'll be in touch with you all as we move forward. Feel free to contact me with any input and suggestions you have. Also, I welcome your suggestions as to who should be promoted to moderator or super-moderator positions on an ongoing basis.

Yours Sincerely,

Walt Thiessen

Clipped to get rid of personal info. Thanks for reminding me about that, Jojoba, had totally forgotten to do it in the copy/paste.
« Last Edit: 2008 November 27, 00:01:51 by Paden » Logged

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Anyerfillag
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Re: How's THIS for some shit?!?!
« Reply #2 on: 2008 November 26, 23:36:24 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

I posted about this in Sharkbait and waited to see if you would tell us what you heard but...

...omg! Shocked
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Sherry
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Re: How's THIS for some shit?!?!
« Reply #3 on: 2008 November 26, 23:38:36 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

Wow.... just wow.

It just sounds so slimy, are you sure it's not a joke?  It's unreal.
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Anyerfillag
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Re: How's THIS for some shit?!?!
« Reply #4 on: 2008 November 26, 23:41:39 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

Its all over the InSIM frontpage, with links to threads about donations, who Walt is and revamping the entire site. So I don't think it is - it would explain the blackout at InSIM a few days back.
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Jojoba
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Re: How's THIS for some shit?!?!
« Reply #5 on: 2008 November 26, 23:44:12 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

Yup am pretty pissed as well. Was unsure when I PMd you whether you knew about it already or not..from the posts at Insim, it seemed Eric and Kathy decided not to give anyone any prewarning. I am too annoyed for words currently

Although, you may want to snip out his address in your post Paden.
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Anouk
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Re: How's THIS for some shit?!?!
« Reply #6 on: 2008 November 26, 23:48:58 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

Its sounds weird

First you start out saying that the site doesn't even get enough money currently.
Then you suggest to buy a server that is 3 times as expensive, and make giant upgrades that cost alot of money.
Then make suggestions for a subscription system (like at MTS2, not a big deal). Or, maybe make InsimAdult pay.

But in the end, surprise surprise, it won't be enough, so time to make a TSR the second.
He even SOUNDS like Thomas or Steve XD
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Ashbashtus
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Re: How's THIS for some shit?!?!
« Reply #7 on: 2008 November 26, 23:49:44 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

This is absolutely ridiculous. I can't wait for Paden to give him a piece of her mind though. I don't believe the whole innocent act of not knowing how the community would react to this news. Kathy and Eric had to tell him about the war that has been going on since the beginning. Something smells to me.
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Sherry
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Re: How's THIS for some shit?!?!
« Reply #8 on: 2008 November 26, 23:53:44 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

I don't think this is going to go over well.  They pretty much just oked Mr. Corporate Douchebag to come in and try to milk as much money as he can out of the website and it's members.  Then they waited until everything was done and over with to warn their mods and members, cause, undoubtedly, you'd be all WTF are you thinking?  I don't know what exactly is going to happen with insim now, but my guesses is it's going to be the beginning of the end, and if Walt as clueless as he makes himself out to be then it will probably also be hilarious. 



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WedgewoodBlue
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Re: How's THIS for some shit?!?!
« Reply #9 on: 2008 November 26, 23:56:29 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

I want to be a fly on the wall, when the shit hits the fan. I'd actually pay to see Paden rant at him in public. Now that would be money well spent.
He's just started the death toll for Insim and Insim Adult. What a dumbass.
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Re: How's THIS for some shit?!?!
« Reply #10 on: 2008 November 26, 23:57:30 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

If either of the sites turn into something smacking of TSR, I will cut all ties there and only post my stuff at MTS2.
I am very, very disappointed by this news.
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Jojoba
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Re: How's THIS for some shit?!?!
« Reply #11 on: 2008 November 26, 23:59:04 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

Theres also a thread at GoS about this. Its just riduculous :/ I do not understand how they decided to do it like this. People were not given a prewarning or even the chance to say goodbye - many of the members, regardless whether they are mods or the whatnot, had known Kathy and Eric for years and had built friendships with them. To brush them off like this is just insulting. To further give the site to someone who sees it as a business and investment and not interested in the community/sims in general is just destroying the site in itself.
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Re: How's THIS for some shit?!?!
« Reply #12 on: 2008 November 27, 00:00:03 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

Quote
Second, I want to make them profitable enough


Quote
The potential for InSIMenators.net is very great. Over 400,000 people have become site members in the past 3.5 years. That's a sizeable pool, and it seems reasonable to me that we can get at least some of them to become subscribers.



I got no further than reading up to this part. He really sounds like ThomASS! Let him try this...and watch it become a ghost town.  Cheesy
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Devilfish
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Re: How's THIS for some shit?!?!
« Reply #13 on: 2008 November 27, 00:01:09 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

I find it very hard to believe that Kathy and Eric wouldn't add some sort of no-going-pay clause to the sale, but I don't know either of them so  can only imagine what went on there. If they've had enough of the site that's fine, it can't be easy keeping it up, but this is appaling.

Paden, if he really wants to know how the community would react, I suggest linking to this thread. It's gonna explode nice and proper.
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Anyerfillag
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Re: How's THIS for some shit?!?!
« Reply #14 on: 2008 November 27, 00:02:50 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

Its lulzy that he says he doesn't want mandatory subscriptions at InSIM in response to Paden, but he's alright with doing it at InSIMAdult?! Huh
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