General Comments - ALL Please Read and Comment on Each of the 11 Points as Applicable

Bill Loguidice's picture

Please, let's all discuss these and act on them where appropriate, or disagree or offer a different suggestion, as appropriate.

1 - I like "The Gurus of Gaming" that shows up after Armchair Arcade on top of browser windows. Good job thinking of that. The only criticism I can possibly make against the top logo banner as it is now with the logo and the arcade controls image is that it's perhaps a bit too long from top to bottom, but I'm not sure if that's adjustable. I'd like to see it about 15% shorter top-down, as right now it takes up a bit too much real estate for optimal reading purposes in my opinion.

2a - I love the current Armchair Arcade logo that Seb did, but I really think before soft launch one of us should do it over from scratch. I want everything "invented" by us, those here now. Seb generously gave it to us for all perpetuity, but as we move into other ventures, we're better off doing everything in-house as it were. I would love to take some time to do it, but doubt I'll have the time. Perhaps Elizabeth can do it? The only requirement would be to have it as an infinitely scalable vector image.

2b - Is Elizabeth working on any graphics, Matt? You had mentioned she was dabbling with some stuff, but I'm not sure what the current status is or where we'd be able to use them. I love the idea of making the new AA as visually interesting as possible.

3 - I think under the Armchair Arcade logo - or preferably incorporated into the new one - we really must have our sub-heading of "Videogames and Computers". That's the only way to really stress what we encompass.

4 - Go to "Administer" and "categories": http://armchairarcade.com/neo/admin/taxonomy and "add term" and start adding terms you think should be included that are not already there. We can schedule a few days in the coming weeks to weed out the bad ones or decide on a structure we prefer. Of course we can always add at a later date, but planning ahead will make things easier.

5 - I went through the site and tweaked a few things here and there. Nothing major. I'm not skilled enough to do much more, but then much more doesn't need doing. Great work, Matt.

6 - We need to decide what to do with our online store that sells shirts and mugs and what-not. It's a sales failure, but that could be due to lack of new stuff at Armchair Arcade. I'd love to see us re-vamp the product line and use new images in new ways. I personally think we should keep it going, but I'd be all for leaving it simply linked back at the old site. By the way, DreamAuthentics was interested in giving their customers a free merchandise voucher for our store, they liked the products so much. So there's probably SOME value there.

7 - We need to decide which advertisements to continue with, if any. Google Ads, since inception, has brought in well over $100. The RGT Light Gun ad has brought in over $50. PlayFirst is worthless and should be discontinued. In any case, like the online store, the relationships need some tweaking regardless.

8 - We need to implement the current game offerings on Neo, or put on new ones. The only requirement is that it's free for us, little to no advertisement-driven, and MUST retain a high score (it's what keeps people coming back). I was surprised at how much the games have meant to people and it's part of what got us the "Best Site of 2005" award from PC Magazine.

9 - We need to retain some of our existing links in some form. We have several key relationships that I feel we need to maintain with reciprocal links, like with Grrlgamer, AtariAge, ClassicGaming, Digital Press, etc. They always give us good press/referalls and we need to maintain that going forward. We can definitely cull quite a bit out though.

10 - System Matrix - I don't care about this right now. My book is another six to eigth months away from completion. When I get closer, we'll figure out how to create a full-featured museum quality showcase for US-based systems.

11 - I will follow this with a suggested timeline.

Comments

Matt Barton
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Missed it!

Hmm...I somehow missed this post and only saw the last one. Not sure what's up with that.

These all sound like good suggestions. I'm pretty sure Elizabeth can come up with some different designs, logos, and such. We've both been busy lately, but maybe this weekend would be a good time to contemplate some new design strategies.

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Bill Loguidice
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Well, this weekend is booked

Well, this weekend is booked solid with family commitments due to the holiday for us, but I will absolutely be checking in whenever possible and will work on whatever I have to. I'd really like to hear other opinions too, particularly on the timeline. Hopefully it's not just you and me trying to accomplish stuff on that... I'll shoot you an e-mail, Matt, anyway, in a few minutes to Gmail...
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Bill Loguidice - Armchair Arcade Co-Founder and Editor
www.billandchristina.com (includes Videogame and Computer Collection)
www.mythcore.com (creative development company)

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Mark Vergeer
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Drop the store in it's current state

I say drop the store in it's current state. Even though I put energy in creating pixellated images for it it just doesn't work.

We should try to come up with something different.

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Bill Loguidice
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Answer to dropping the store and other revenue

Well, I'm not saying "no" of course or disagreeing with that comment as I'm not thrilled with the store either and it has generated zero revenue, but it seems a bit drastic to drop it in whole. Can you elaborate a bit more, Mark? I think at the very least since we can create any designs on any products and tweak the entire look and feel of the store, surely it might be more beneficial to try and get the thing up to a more professional level than just canning it entirely. We really need to keep SOME sources of revenue, particularly since we're not sticking with the one area that's been profitable to this point, the Google Ads. Frankly I'd like to stick with the Google Ads, but I just don't see how it would work with our current Website (it would drop the professionalism and there's no good place to stick it).

Right now, we can only generate revenue from Dream Authentics, which would take forever since they only sell expensive home arcade machines (and is relatively recent and has not yet paid out), and the RGT light gun, which has only paid out once (with two or three $5 adds since the last payout - we get paid out every $50) and also presently only works on PS2 and Xbox, limiting things as next gen systems start to hog the spot-light (though I'm sure they'll be adding new product to address that, though again the technology is only as valid as long as there are light gun games to support it!).

Obviously a BIG source of revenue will be doing a POD of our articles and selling that as a B&W "book"/magazine. Once that takes off, then I think we'll be in a much better position to drop the turkeys. Thoughts, though, Mark? Do you think the store can be salvaged?
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Bill Loguidice - Armchair Arcade Co-Founder and Editor
www.billandchristina.com (includes Videogame and Computer Collection)
www.mythcore.com (creative development company)

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Mark Vergeer
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Store salvation....

The store as it is right now is dead. We've obviously created something that isn't attracting attention whatsoever. I myself am one of it's few customers ;)

We need revenues coming in. But I think we should consider totally re-doing our store. Thinking up a concept with the staff and then filling it with art/anything that we will create in the future.

I say dump all not successfull / not appreciated things when we redo AA!

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Bill Loguidice
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The store again... (eveyone's thoughts?)

The ONLY two counterpoints I can make to your statements, Mark, which I agree with for the most part are that we've only had one minor issue since the store was implemented with traffic down (AA is a ghost town as we speak) AND we've had two separate serious interest events. Those two events were the last guy who did our cover (the Space Invaders thing) and the President of Dream Authentics, who wanted to give a gift certificate to our store to each of their new customers. So to me, there's SOME potential there, so to me the FIRST answer is not to totally eliminate it, but to genuinely try to design GOOD products on there. We should also limit the selection just a bit. I have a good feeling about Armchair Arcade Neo (2.0, whatever) and I think a store is a great idea if we can work it through.

Anyone else have any thoughts or am I being foolish?
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Bill Loguidice - Armchair Arcade Co-Founder and Editor
www.billandchristina.com (includes Videogame and Computer Collection)
www.mythcore.com (creative development company)

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Mark Vergeer
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a sound point

You've got a sound point there. Looking at the store from that perspective makes my judgement on the store a whole lot milder.
You are right. We can make something out of the store still, especially when we have more traffic.

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Matt Barton
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Good Products = Critical

Bill, I wanted to shout "AMEN" when I read your post. I'm someone who loves buying t-shirts to support a good cause. These usually end up being my favorite shirts! I love my GNU T-shirt (with the GNU license printed on the back), my Bit Torrent t-shirt (it's really stylish)...Probably my favorite is a black t-shirt with the phrase LOAD"*",8,1 on it. I also have two game shirts, a Pac-Man ghost shirt I got from Target and a "Galaga Rehab" shirt I got from Hot Topic. They're all very high quality shirts that are comfortable to wear, and look great.

I took a peek at the shirts available at the AA store and just shook my head. For one thing, there are too darn many. It'd be much better to have one or maybe two really good designs than all those other ones. I love Mark's icons, but would I want them on a shirt? I can't see it.

Compare: Bit Torrent Shirt. The ad is nice, but study how the design actually looks good, even if you didn't know what BT was. As far as I'm concerned, we need shirts of that quality if we want to make this a hot-topic item. Also compare the Firefox shirt.

My suggestions:
1. Cut way back on the options. At most, two t-s and a polo. Why? Well, for one, having only a few improves their noticeability.
2. small logo on front (probably on pocket side), and nice, larger logo on back.
3. Drop cafe press. It may cost more to do this right, but if we're not willing to make an investment in these products, can we honestly ask our readers to?

I'll see if I can get Elizabeth interested in this, but will also try to open it up a bit and see if I can find some professional artists willing to chip in. I just met the new media professor from the art department a few days ago, and she seems like someone who might turn out to be a valuable connection (although, sadly, she doesn't seem interested in gaming.)

If the store as it currently exists isn't bringing in any money, I say drop it now. Let's redo it and then launch it as part of Neo, making it clear that it's a total redesign and worth checking out.

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Bill Loguidice
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Changing the store

Again, we have full control over the look of the store and all the products in it. By all means, let's have at it. Either e-mail or IM me for the user names and passwords if you can't get them from the current AA Website...
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Bill Loguidice - Armchair Arcade Co-Founder and Editor
www.billandchristina.com (includes Videogame and Computer Collection)
www.mythcore.com (creative development company)

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Bill Loguidice
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Psswrds - Onlin e Store s and Goog le A ds

Store Administration for the two stores (Go to www.spreadshirt.com and login as one of these two)

shop 1 (static - we sell fixed products) : armchairarcade.spreadshirt.com /shop number 2507

shop 2 (designer - customers design their own) : armchairdesign.spreadshirt.com /shop number 3091

the login for the fixed product shop:
USER NAME - bill@armchairarcade.com
PASSWORD - PIXELGRAPHICS1

The login for the DESIGN shop - armchairadmin
The password for the DESIGN shop - loguidice01

Google Ads:

https://www.google.com/adsense/default
Login: bill@billandchristina.com
Password: Nu-Wavex
(this is active on all of my applicable Websites)

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Bill Loguidice - Armchair Arcade Co-Founder and Editor
www.billandchristina.com (includes Videogame and Computer Collection)
www.mythcore.com (creative development company)

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