Funding Campaign Opinion

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Kim 2 months ago.

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  • #549

    Hello guys,

    first of all, you have a wonderful site. I really like quality of the images and the UI so far. And I just happily contributed $5 to the funding, but some things about it put me off a little bit.

    First is the subscription thing. Even knowing that contributing gives me some subscription time along with it, it sounds counter intuitive to me, paying now, so you can build stuff that I'll have to pay again to access some time in the future. Also there's no pricing as of now for the subscription, so that makes it even more uncertain.

    Another thing is about the features. I don't know if there was a research to which features the users asked the most or any metrics about user behavior, but at least for me, the site is about coming here, doing some drawing sessions and then moving on. There are lots of other sites about making your professional profile, and uploading your drawings and asking for reviews. I think money on the site should be primarily focused on improving what it does best already which is providing quality images for drawing practice. I work with IT for a living and came to learn that if you don't have metrics to help you tell what the costumer wants, your assumptions have a high risk of just being plain wrong.

    Last thing is about tone. In one blog post, you mention that having [some big number] of visitors every week, there's no reason why you didn't beat the mark already which makes it sound like the people who use the site, but are not contributing might be kind of ungrateful in some way, which is not the feeling that you want to foster when asking people for their money. Another thing is the link at the end of the session, when the asking for contribution appears being "No, thanks. Line of action doesn't help me". I don't know if that's supposed to be a joke or to make people feel guilty on purpose, but it's annoying specially when you have already contributed.

    I support other projects too. I support a site that does boardgames reviews called Shut up and sit Down and two artists on Patreon. Sinix and Ahmed Aldoori. One thing that all these guys have in common and that Line of Action lacks a little bit is a face. Some person people can relate to. People don't generally empathyse with businesses, but will go a long way to help someone they care about, even if they just know the person through youtube videos. The forum engagement is kind of low comparing to your visitors number, so even if you have a constant presence there, you'll probably not be reaching enough people. The tier I have for Sinix doesn't even give anything but some of his sketches one in a while, but I keep supporting him just because I like his videos and want him to keep doing them.

    I'm sorry if I sound pedantic or if I'm not well informed on your plans and goals or even if I'm just being plain stupid. If some of my views sound a little harsh, know that they come from a place of kindness. I really want your funding to succeed and the site to keep getting better.

    Wish you all the best.

    #2588

    Kim
    Moderator `

    first of all, you have a wonderful site. I really like quality of the images and the UI so far. And I just happily contributed $5 to the funding, but some things about it put me off a little bit.

    Thanks! :) I am thrilled you like it and I deeply appreciate your financial support.

    First is the subscription thing. Even knowing that contributing gives me some subscription time along with it, it sounds counter intuitive to me, paying now, so you can build stuff that I’ll have to pay again to access some time in the future.

    It's not an unusual funding strategy; you can see it commonly among game kickstarters especially. It's a way to fund the work that needs to be done to keep the site up and running for years to come, to utilize that solid new foundation to enable the many features that people have wanted from us for ages, and to create a way for the site to thrive into the future; being a 100% free site with no premium options for the last decade has meant we are held back from the features and photos people most want. Our core offerings also suffer as surging demand results in slowdowns and even complete site downtime, without the resources to put a better foundation under us. I don't want to have to repeat this fundraiser in a couple more years, and instead hope to give the site premium offerings that let the entire community (even the free users) see the site remain strong and improving for another decade. :)

    Also there’s no pricing as of now for the subscription, so that makes it even more uncertain.

    I'm still working to finalize the pricing; I should have it out very shortly, and I'm sorry there's been a delay on that! It is definitely weird to have the one without the other, you are totally right.

    Another thing is about the features. I don’t know if there was a research to which features the users asked the most or any metrics about user behavior

    The features to include and what order to put them in our fundraising goals was picked based on several thousand emails from the last couple of years as well as two recent focus groups conducted among art students starting to graduating from art school, some of whom had used LoA before and some who used another tool.

    Another thing is the link at the end of the session, when the asking for contribution appears being “No, thanks. Line of action doesn’t help me”. I don’t know if that’s supposed to be a joke or to make people feel guilty on purpose, but it’s annoying specially when you have already contributed.

    I'm sorry you don't like these reminders; asking people to take a serious look at whether or not they value the site at least a one-time payment of $1.49 worth, especially given that many use it daily and have done so for months or years, has by far been the most effective at getting people to participate in supporting us. With 31k consistent users per week, the realm of possibility for what we can achieve for the site together is huge!

    I'm sorry it continues to nag you since you've already contributed; please bear with me for a week or two more. :)

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