Poll: New Rubberslug is live! What's next?

Now that the new version of Rubberslug is live, what would you most like to see worked on first?

Gallery (tag support, filter options,etc)
25%
Market (transactions, streamline uploading, etc.)
23%
Forum (better formatting, filtering)
2%
Search (restoration/improvement of other search methods)
30%
Other Community Features (chat, blog, other gallery modules)
2%
Stability (page speed, bandwidth reduction)
6%
Something Else (tell us in the forum!)
8%
Hey! Thanks for responding. I'm definitely interested to hear what you think and these suggestions are helpful.

A lot of these suggestions are new and a lot are things that are in the pipe. The social networking/friending thing Toony mentions is going in as soon as everything else gets stable. The new platform gives us the ability to actually embark on entirely new, exciting things like this.

A common thread seems to be HTML formatting. This is something that should exist in some format, but it led to all kinds of dangerous things happening in the format it existed in before. HTML formatting is one of the large reasons that the previous site was so broken and leaked like a sieve. So, something to meet halfway is in the pipe. (The forums were never finished, for one, they were supposed to have an FCK editor frontend. Google if you're curious.)

Most of the stuff that's still broken is the old stuff. It's simply being revealed for what it is: irreparably broken.

New stuff is awesome. Highlights:

For instance, now item pictures are stored offsite (new ones, haven't swapped the old yet) and deleted when they're supposed to be deleted. No more fighting a losing battle against declining HD space. Less crashes.

Priority shifting was fixed to be completely stable now, verified after a week of testing. No more crazy ghost items. Less show-stopping breakage.

Removing HTML makes it so that people can't destroy their own galleries with bad HTML. Less show-stopping breakage.

I can actually make changes to the site without breaking the rest of the site. Crazy good news.

Traffic sitewide is up 20% after just a week. Incredible. New people are discovering RS through gallery tags. Better thing.

There's an adage in software development that the most important thing you can do is launch. Everything else is secondary. I believe in this 100%. Most of my assumptions have been justified. A few have been modified. Work will continue to happen, but here's the cold reality: Rubberslug loses money every day it's in operation. I am not independently wealthy. Giving stuff away for free is a terrible business model. However, I will continue to do so, subscriptions or not.

That being said, I can't spend another six straight unpaid months on this project. I would lose my house if I did that. I have to move on. If I have to pick a throat to slit, it will not be my own. This site is an amazing asset but right now, it is simply that: an asset.

You didn't think this full-time job came with a paycheck did you? :)
noisywalrus
Plastic Future
Dec 02 at 10:21 AM
Rubberslug loses money every day it's in operation. I am not independently wealthy. Giving stuff away for free is a terrible business model.

There is a quick fix for that: start charging. Sure, you'll lose a number of members. You'll lose all of the inactive galleries, because their owners will not know about the new system. But then you'll be making money and will have a reason to implement what folks are asking for.

My question for you: do you still use RS as an example of your work for potential employers?
reithejelly
Stem Cels
Dec 03 at 11:20 AM
I agree. I list my gallery on my resume as an example of my ability to collect, organize, annotate, and present materials in a museum-quality format. This has been done using the existing platform which, as you say, has become dysfunctional and increasingly outmoded.

It's a reasonable bet that Japanese animation art is at least as worth conserving as, say, Japanese woodcuts (which at one time were very inexpensive as they were seen as ephemerial decorative art). If so, then a museum-quality website certainly has a future as a resource for serious curators, and thus as a long-term source of income for you.

It's pretty obvious that the comments you're getting are coming from the most highly committed curators, who put a lot of their time and energy into collecting and presenting their galleries. These are also (I'd also guess) the people who'd be most willing to pay for a subscription.

It might also be worth considering a free "RS Lite" for those who just want to put up scans with little or no commentary, and promote the added features as a way of getting new or inactive collectors to upgrade. That works well with Photobucket, to which I already pay a subscription fee to house the graphics that I import into my RS gallery.
60something-sensei
Sensei's Anime Gallery
Dec 03 at 11:39 AM
Thanks again oh might Lobster King! We know the work you do on RS is pure dedication and love. And for all of your efforts thank you, we look forward to continuing our monetary support of RS. =) Thank you millions for making RS the REAL cel community home.

So based on the poll, we prefers the following:

1) Search: Adding a robust search tool into the forums. We often have lots of questions being raised by users that are asked and answered. Sadly however, the forum information is scattered and buried much like hidden treasures. Adding a solid search tool would help resolve this concern.

Also it would help if we had a few more mini-mods and/or mods clean up or "lock" posts that raise questions already answered. The clutter in the forums is amazing, but there are viable steps that can be taken to make it much more user friendly.

2) Gallery: Currently, it appears when entering text into the edit site text there is a major issue. For us, none of the existing site text appears (gallery listing, home, wishlist, feedback, about, private area, links). Resolving will help others b/c we are sure others have the same concern.

3) Marketing/Fundraising: It sounds like you have good ideas how we can improve the RS shop/market. Looking forward to these ideas! Also, you may be aware of this but just in case, currently in the Production Art Market we found an ugly bug. It appears all of the items previously marked as discontinued or not available, were made available once more during the migration. Can something be done about this b/c we just spent a few hours manually changing each item to unavailable and zeroing out the price.

We'd also like a way to donate cels to RS or find a way to promote fundraising. We are willing to dedicate some cels, in addition to monetary donations to this cause. Anyone else?

Why don't we revisit fundraising, using a t-shirt contents? RS can benefit from creative marketing captions and logos.

4) Stability. More than anything else WE LOVE RS. However when we are on the road and sharing RS, the site often takes a long speed can be slow at times.

Personally not interested in the social networking function or chatting, there is AB and FB for people who care. But this tool can present new opportunities to connect and reconnect w/older users, so who knows we'll try anything once.

We see so much growth and potential in RS! One last thing we'd strongly suggest is only granting paid membership access to certain resources within RS. I.e selling. What exactly those premier benefits will be still have yet to be determined and we hope this will be revisited in the future.

Thanks again for all of your dedication over the years Jason! =)

Cheers!


Edited Dec 03 at 2:21 PM
gallery is the TOP pick of my list-- tags, better filtering, section set up, etc. :)
ginga123
Ginga's Anime Galactica
Mar 20 at 1:02 AM
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