Goals of the Redesign

1a) Widen primary audience beyond anime. (Western animation, etc.)

1b) Wide primary audience beyond cels. (comic art, etc.)

2) Improve the animation and comic art economy via sales and/or improved relationships and communications between collectors. (i.e. play matchmaker between collectors of a certain interest, "friends" lists, etc.)

3) Improve search engine performance of site to get people outside our current community to join us.

4) Build a small revenue stream to offset the cost of developing and running the site without sacrificing quality.

5) Take over the world, like we do every night.

So every decision I'm making here directly correlates to something above. It's not because I'm being mean. Think of it as tough love: I may end up taking away some individual benefits that will benefit everyone more in the long run.

I'm not vaporizing/changing things on a whim. There's a clear justification for all of this and I want to make sure I'm not coming off as negative for the sake of negativity. I'm also loving the feedback, so please keep it up.

The ideal end result is that you all are the new stars of a vastly larger community. Trimming the fat now makes that possible. On that, you may just have to trust me. (Eeep!)

Discuss. If you want. :)
Edited Jun 15 at 11:04 AM
Plastic Future
Jun 15 at 10:58 AM
These all sound like good goals to me.

#1a I would love to see more western animation art.
b. There's already at least one comic art gallery site, but it's atroooocious in design. ;)

#2 Sounds interesting! And ambitious.

#3 Is tricky to me since I see "getting new blood in here" to mean things like Google picking up more...and I know a lot of collectors don't like their scans going elsewhere (Why?)

#4 I know this will be unpopular, but the obvious methods of revenue are the sales fees, subscriptions and ads. I don't have a problem with a site supporting itself in these ways. The only thing I will say is that if the "free" model of the sub service is too restrictive, then that would definitely limit community growth. Don't know what your specific goals are there, though.
Mirana's Production Art Gallery
Jun 15 at 10:48 PM
Regarding #2, improving the cel/comic collecting economy...

We like the idea of rep points for sellers/buyers. Maybe recommended sellers, too? It would be great for high-volume sellers (such as ourselves) to be able to show everyone else who they like as sellers... sort of like trickle-down reputation within the community. ^__^

Not sure about the fees thing. Obviously this is the best way for RS to earn some extra cash (without resorting to alluring game ads on the front page), but what would make people want to pay to sell on RS when eBay offers them so much more exposure? (We're hoping you already have an answer to that question... it's probably going to make or break this thing)

Like Tori, we hate the fees that eBay charges but we love the exposure we get. What do we get with RS?

Regarding #5... Narf!
Jun 17 at 7:23 PM
This is all preliminary and subject to change, but here's why you want to post a sale here:

1) [b]Your collection is already here.[/b] Working on an ability to get your entire collection (or the items you choose) into and out of the store with one click. No scanning, no forms to fill out, no nothing. You need to raise some cash? RS becomes your instant art pawn shop.

2) [b]No listing fees.[/b] I'm pretty sure that I can make this happen. It seems to make sense. I don't think anyone benefits from *less* stuff available, although junk and noise become an issue. If it does, we'll deal with it with better filters.

3) [b]In the future, *much* better verified seller/buyer capability than eBay will ever have.[/b] Why? Because they don't have the benefit of being a collector community. They're just a bunch of people selling random crap and some of those people happen to be selling cels or comic panels. My goal is to go beyond simple star ratings (i.e. "A++ would do business with again") and get LinkedIn-style recommendations from other collectors creating a web of trust. Since I have all the data from Rubberslug, if you give me permission I will share your history of public participation on the site with a buyer.

4 (or 3b)) [b]Going to distance to identify real people.[/b] The more information about your real life you provide to us, the more we will vouch for you. Entirely optional, but I think everyone can accept that you're far less likely to be scammed if you see, hear, and know the actual person. Webcam video verification, anyone? That's something we can do *today* thanks to my work for another startup :). No one else -- not even the big boys like eBay, craigslist, etsy, etc. -- can claim that.

5) [b]Always cheaper than eBay.[/b] That's going to be the basis of the fee schedule moving forward.

So to sum it up, selling on Rubberslug will cost you nothing in time or money to list here but you will create a much stronger relationship with who is buying your stuff.
Edited Jun 18 at 7:50 AM
Plastic Future
Jun 18 at 7:49 AM
Also, some pie-in-the-sky ideas. Not sure if/when any of these will happen.

- Branded stores. Might be able at some point to let people host their own branded store on RS.

- No transaction fees until the fees reach a certain point and/or first $x of sales per month are free.

- Alternate ways to boost your reputation like helping people track down rare stuff (even if you don't sell it to them) and things like that.
Plastic Future
Jun 18 at 7:54 AM
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