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Thread: Flash Kit v2.0 - Your ideas here!

  1. #121
    LDpro
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    Use your strongest asset to make money -- us!

    FlashKit is ungodly slow right now, but think about the reasons at to why: too many people!

    Don't get me wrong, too many people is a fine thing, and I'm not at all complaining, but here is what my proposal would be. I haven't read through this thread so please excuse me if it is a repeat. But here we go:

    The greatest strength (and weakness) of FlashKit.com is the pure number of people that belong to this site. I know that just over winter break (for those of us north of the equator [which brings to mind a question for those down under, do you call December "winter" or "summer"?] the number of members on this site was only 100k. Now we're at (or by the time you might be reading this, past) 150k members!

    One of the major features that FK has unlike any other site is the amount of tutorials that the site has. Here's an idea: let the developers who create those tutorials sell them! In return for letting the tutorial developer sell his/her tutorial, you can charge a nominal commission off of each tutorial. I would make all basic level tutorials free, and then charge for the others.

    Doing this, you'll need to realize that you *will* lose some of the traffic that the site has. So what? What is the impact? All that means is that you'll save on bandwidth and weed out some of the less serious people who are not willing to pay a nominal amount of money. The other drawback is that many of the younger kids who use this site and probably don't have credit cards don't have the ability to pay, even if they wanted to.

    I think that the most important thing for everybody to realize is that FlashKit is only going to be well funded if the money comes at some level from "the people who use THIS site." Regardless of whether Internet.com gives FK a lot of money or some other group, the bottom line is that those companies are only interested in funding FK if they can get money from us. We have to ultimatley be the ones to put out the cash. Frankly, I think that it is to our out-of-pocket benefit, and FK's 'recievables' benefit if some other corporation (like Internet.com) doesn't act like a middle man that will just skim off of the top.

    Finally (sorry that I'm going off here), I think that FK 2.0 HAS to make some posts expire, which will save TONS of space. What I propose is forcing FK members to save a post in their "myFK" section if they want for it to not expire (and be deleted) within 30 days. I would also kill people's ability to post large pictures via the boardrooms. That simply eats up too much bandwidth. If not that, than please at least encourage people to post *SMALL* picts.

    Some of this stuff is kinda "bah humbug", but the bottom line is really what counts here. Everybody needs to recognize that. Now I'm going to go and read what everybody else's ideas are. Thanks for reading through all of this if you got this far!

  2. #122
    LDpro
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    Re: Man, youŽre owned by INTERNET.COM

    Originally posted by casthigh
    dudes at FLASHKIT:

    YouŽre looking for ways to make the site more financially viable to generate sufficient revenue to support the operation??

    Are you kidding? YouŽre owned by INTERNET.COM: this "Internet Holding" has enough M1 to support 1000 Sites like this one (..and pay my rent in the meantime....!.

    If youŽre willing to start making an additional profit source I find that Cool (I come everyday here and IŽll have no problem to pay a fee), but making an argument like "weŽre growing way to fast and we need money" sounds silly to your loyal members...

    btw, This site is the number 1 Flash resource on the Net!!
    KUDOS for your awesome work & Vision ,and IŽll be very happy to pay for a membership (..but please without bull****)

    CASTHIGH
    I have to say that I pretty much agree with this analysis. But, it is also important to look at the flip side: Internet.com isn't going to give a lot of money to just some "really great flash developer's site". They care ultimatley about how they are going to profit by owning this site, and that means that FK may need to show that it can in fact be a profit making entity.

  3. #123
    LDpro
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    Originally posted by karnak
    Isn't this thread about how to make flashkit better? not about how to make money..?
    ..eh so pmineault already mentioned this but I would strongly suggest a closed FAQ forum for the boards, surely this could become a prominent forum and extremely helpful for those that want "personalized" help for things and also want a single forum to search through... this could be a great addition to the boards!

    good luck, hope the new site is coming along smoothly.
    Actually, no. One of the main questions FlashKit asks is for our ideas on how to make money. Furthermore, what is the problem if try to add our ideas on how "flash kit can be better" in a financial way?

  4. #124
    LDpro
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    Originally posted by a_slosh
    Whatever you do, do not make everything in Flash. It will just be a pain in the butt for you guys to try and keep everything's size down and for us to have to download everything.

    I think in a few years time when broadband becomes the norm, as against the exception, then you can think of doing that.
    I have to second this. **Even if** those of you who think a flash site of this size would be more efficient, consider how often we use links to cross reference previous posts, etc. Flash eliminates all of those possibilities.

    LDpro

  5. #125
    LDpro
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    Originally posted by aa
    i also would be willing to pay for access -- but not more than $5 or $6/month -- if it meant a fast forum, less hangs, etc.

    the time i sit and wait for things to happen on this site is worth that to me.

    we've been enjoying free resources here for quite a while. maybe it is time we all chipped in a few dollars.
    [Edited by aa on 01-31-2001 at 02:48 PM]
    Try per year. If you charged a nominal, one-time $1 fee for a member to use the site upon joining or their next post, all of your problems would be solved for a very long time. Keep in mind, there is no disad to losing people. They'll come back, I promise!

  6. #126
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    don't sell out!

    this is in reply to Beamerboy's comment on the first page about charging memberships...DONT'T! what the hell is going on here? the best part about this place is that it's free, full of KNOWLEDGE! not merchandise. 150 bucks a year? that's like what my gym memberships costs, and then restrict stuff only to those who pay? isn't that simply a division of the community you've built here. You have no idea how great someone is at flash or how much that can contribute, but your are basing that on how much money they have to spend. I could be a college kid who has been using flash since version 2 and know a boatload of script and want to share all my knowledge, but because all my money goes to books and I can't pay your membership then you exclude me? that is not right and that is agianst everything this place is about.

    if you need to make money then why not try selling cd's of all the flash movies? burn them yourself, but then you have the issue of rights and royalties to the people who created the fla's.

    please dont...

  7. #127
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    Re: Flashkit V2.0

    $9 dollars and some change a month ? $150 a year ? what are you guyz smoking ? You guyz are doing so well.. leave the $ out of it.

  8. #128
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    FLASH KIT UNIVERSITY

    FLASH KIT UNIVERSITY:
    You guys should set up some lesson plans and examinations. Then offer certifications in Flash. I know there is more to it than that but a good brainstorm session would give you plenty of ideas.

    For income....
    1. Sell a printed version of all the tutorials.
    2. Sell a CD version of all the tutorials.
    3. Sell a CD version of all the .fla files.
    4. Sell a CD of all the music files.


    ** ADDING a membership fee would put you at a disadvantage to other Flash sites.

    ** Selling your collection of movies and tutorials would give you an advantage to other Flash sites that do not have the collection you have.



  9. #129
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    Cow Icon Re: don't sell out!

    Originally posted by bantha
    this is in reply to Beamerboy's comment on the first page about charging memberships...DONT'T! what the hell is going on here? the best part about this place is that it's free, full of KNOWLEDGE! not merchandise. 150 bucks a year? that's like what my gym memberships costs, and then restrict stuff only to those who pay? isn't that simply a division of the community you've built here. ... that is not right and that is agianst everything this place is about.

    if you need to make money then why not try selling cd's of all the flash movies? burn them yourself, but then you have the issue of rights and royalties to the people who created the fla's.

    please dont...
    First let me say...

    First, let me say if there is a way to keep this site completely free and still make money to support the people who put lot of hours into running it, then by all means...

    It so easy for you to say don't do this, don't do that...fine, you pay the monthly server costs that this organization pays. At $12.50/month ($150/ year), I was proposing an executive membership to those that want more out of Flashkit - specialized services. You pay $150 for your gym membership. Why? Because it is a service and you want it. In this life, you get what you pay for. How many people go to a movie and spend the $12 Canadian ($8.30 US) we are forced to pay? I do, why, because I like the larger more comfortable seats, the better sound systems, the larger screens etc. Service, service, service. You cannot expect all the extras without paying...Oops, what am I talking about. That is exactly what some, and before I get blasted, I said SOME, people expect these days (I am speaking directly to those few people who use warez copies to support their businesses - if you make money then buy the DAMN software).

    I was not proposing to abolish what is already key to Flashkit, a community where flas can be submitted and downloaded freely, nor was I proposing to charge for the flas submitted freely, not that you could. I was proposing an executive membership fee, for the extras that are very heavy on the resources department, for those willing to pay to help support the cost of this site:

    - Complete tutorials - construction and deconstruction;
    - High caliber example sites (and I mean high caliber);
    - Fla upload support program;
    - Access to test flash beta programs;
    - Discounts to special flash events and free (only to make us feel like we are getting some free) executive, a member Flashkit t-shirt.

    All these kinds of frills cost money. Everyone starts *****'in when there are too many banners, so you have to get your money somewhere. Why not from members who are willing to pay for those extra frills. Some of us members use Flashkit to help them learn so they can support their livelihood.

    Let me finish this off by saying, if there is a way to have all the frills in life without paying, then where do I sign AND while you are at it, show me where I can get the free Porsche too.


    [Edited by Beamerboy on 02-16-2001 at 10:45 AM]

  10. #130
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    Re: Re: don't sell out!

    Originally posted by Beamerboy
    It so easy for you to say don't do this, don't do that...fine, you pay the monthly server costs that this organization pays. At $12.50/month ($150/ year), I was proposing an executive membership to those that want more out of Flashkit - specialized services.

    Let me finish this off by saying, if there is a way to have all the frills in life without paying, then where do I sign AND while you are at it, show me where I can get the free Porsche too.


    let me first say that i'm not trying to start a flame here, so please don't get so defensive or what not(and ease up on the sarcasim eh?). Above you said to start an executive membership for those who want more out of flashkit -specialized services...Dont we all want more out of flashkit? Yes, i think so, but what your saying is not for those who WANT for those who can afford more. I have never seen flashkit as a business or a company, it has always been a community. This is about knowledge and the access to that knowledge. When I used to post tutorials and fla's(as bubbamojo), I never once thought "this is just for the "Executive" type people", I alwasy wanted everyone to have access to the things I learned about flash so I could help them learn too. Any time you try to divide a community by means of status or money, trouble always follows...maybe i'm getting a little to deep here. THis WWW was based on the ability for people to share their knowledge freely.

    YOur right, it isn't cheap to run this puppy and I agree. For all you know I could either be a college student living off of 20 bucks for the rest of the week, or the executive member of Brice and Lumberg in Boston who could easily afford 6 times the membership fee you suggested, it's not the money, its the prinicple.

    I appreciate your views, yet I choose to disagree.

  11. #131
    kerfuffly3
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    Smile SUGGESTION & Praise


    Im a green NEWBIE who has fallen in love with Flash and with FlashKit (even with its slowness)---but here is something I was thinking...(oh ya and Im pretty smart so listen up).

    You have got some real stud Flash people here so why not create a FLASH GUILD of some sort that people can become Members of, ($15/yr fee), can have thier talent or skills evaluated and receive certified Guild rank, etc. etc. etc.

    I do Web Sites and would L O V E to be able to advertise that I belong to the 'Flash Guild" (whatever) on my site and my business cards --saying Im a 'Level 3' apprentice flash blah blah blah... I WOULD PAY A NOMINAL FEE AND
    KILL ANYONE WHO TALKED BAD ABOUT MY GUILD!! (well maybe not that far)---but how bout that?!?!?

    That would be Both USEFUL to YOU (Annual residual Income) and US the Users who are trying to get business or just plain more info!

    OH BUT! Dont make the levels exclusively difficult because you would lose alot of us and I would not be so proud of a title such a 'Level 0 Neophite puke'... sorry for rambling.

    TVance! (Jesus Saves!)

  12. #132

    Advertising Revenue

    The great things about web sites is that once they are online the advertising potential for the webmaster is endless. No fees mean that you could keep this site free for the members, while the advertising logos pay for your costs.
    With such a large member base, most companys would flock to advertise the cans of drink, or latest sportswear on this site, but most importantly its stays FREE for us users.
    We all already buy the products anyway, so its an ironic twist that we get them big companies to pay for something that we want instead of us shelving out even more of are hard earned bucks.
    I'm sure it wouldnt bother anyone to see a Pepsi advert on the footer.
    Example, FlashTyper sponsered by Orange etc etc.

    They pay, we learn. Sound Good?

    Thanks for listening.
    Dave

  13. #133
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    Awesome site. Mark, you and your team have completely revolutionized what learning and creativity can create via the web!

    Suggestions:
    1). Do NOT charge for membership! One of the truly great things I love about FlashKit is that it seems to support "Open-Source Programming". People-Helping-People. The authors of the tutorials/fonts/sounds...etc gave up their free time, wisdom, and gifts, to help others, knowing they don't get a dime. (And technically, it's not Flashkits to sell, is it?) This is TRUE help. There is already too much competiveness in this world. One of the biggest reasons why FlashKit is where it is today is because of just that.... FREE Flash development resources. And because of that FLASHKIT has it's name around the world, and you are PRIMARILY responsible for this rush in FLASH development (besides MM of course). Recognition goes a long way in this world. Keep supporting People-Helping-People!!

    2). I say you get your products out there! Promote your website and get some money while you are at it. There are thousands of members who would be willing (and proud) to wear your t-shirts, polo shirts, coffee mugs, mouse pads, posters, lamps... and things common to a developer... organizers, pens.etc. Just silk-screen your name on existing products, and WHAMMO! haha

    Keep up the AWESOME creativity and power of FLASHKIT!!!

    --Neelixx

  14. #134
    Ugly with a capitol F Ekostudios's Avatar
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    First off...

    DO NOT CHARGE MONEY!

    next, I would like to see more swf support in the message boards. If you could change the parameters around in the [swf] tag, that would be great.
    This way, you could add transparency, and define variables!

    and keep the site mainly html/php, a flash site will be too complex, and large. It won't work for the both of us.
    ---
    You guys are doing great!

  15. #135

    Post response?

    uhm.. im kinda wondering..

    after receiving over 100 replies, suggestions, debates, critiques, opinions etc from the wide-community about Flashkit version 2 - what does flashkit team think about those ideas? any decision ?

    because for me, (and I believe for some other people too) i really would like to know the team's progress in building flashkit v.2... or anything that we (the community) can do for flashkit? maybe some kind of votes to help you decide (such as: pay-site or free-site? html or full-flash flashkit?)

    .. anyhow, keep up all the excellent work, guys!


  16. #136
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    I totally agree with team Digital for the CD idea.
    I think that from the site u should be able to order like the tutorials CD or the fla CD or the music CD
    each would be jam packed with the content on Flashkit and it would be a chance for extra income.
    I'd probably buy all three if I had the chance because it would mean offline fk and loads more..
    Peace

    -Unrealsk8er

  17. #137
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    Talking flashkit 2.0

    my two cents:

    a) write scripts that update html files, DON'T keep generating each page dynamically (other than the forums, obviously). Most non-forum content doesn't update more than once a day - you can serve that material as (fast) static html. A little information design goes a long way.

    b) javascript pulldown "quickjump" menus make for good section navigation - check out webmonkey.com - very well organized site. Again, a little information design...

    c) all the dial-up users are saying don't build it in 100% flash, and they're right - kind of. however, some fast, efficient navigation elements in flash will help spruce up the site at no bandwidth cost - perhaps even a gain. its up to us to start using flash more productively than just "skip intro" intros & over-the-top interfaces. tricks like including all possible states of a nav bar in a single flash movie - which naturally gets cached by the browser - & then using javascript on each page to tell flash which state to display, can actually be faster than image-based rollover navbars.

    d) you've got a hardcore readership - a paypal donation system will work very well. just use it occasionaly - special fundraising drives - don't leave it out there constantly; you'll look weak.

    This one's a little out there:

    e) do a director-based CD that installs a browser-less flashkit application - all interface elements (including the first round of advertising) are local, it just uses online variable files (XML?) to fill in the content - now you've reduced bandwidth & you've got a CD to sell. Updates get downloaded permanently. Get a distribution partner in the UK & the US (so you don't have to ship CDs across the ocean!) and you're laughing. the software could do batch downloads of tutorials, which would all be accessible in a common interface. FlashTyper could even be taken local by having director control Swift Generator! Think of the possibilities!

  18. #138
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    good suggestions

    I am an avid flashkit user and would desperately love to see a faster return rate on page requests. I have been using flashkit as a resource for well more than a year(probably going on two). My main attraction to your site is the abundance of tutorials and sound files. In fact they have been my primary use for your site. I didn't even become a member until about two weeks ago when I sat down and actually browsed through other sections of the site.

    To get to the point, if I had to become a member from the start, I probably would have went somewhere else for resources because I don't like the hassle of signing up for memberships much less paying for them. I would have never realized what a great resource and community Flashkit has to offer.

    Give away the content to get visitors and continue to increase your member base (even if it takes some of us 2 years to sign up), and charge the advertisers more to make your profits and pay for the site. With a member base exceeding 100,000 you should be able to adequately sell virtual real estate in order to pay for site expenses. If not, hire new sales people.

    I have to agree with sbucci. If you had a "Save Flashkit" fund, I would be more than happy to put in $5 or $10 to see the sites performance improve. Put one up for the heck of it and see what happens. I bet you will be pleasantly surprised.

    Aside from that, I like the conference idea. A Flashkit conference could make a pretty hefty bankroll and give the flashkit users an opportunity to meet each other in person as well as the wonderful staff of Flashkit.

    Here's my personal advice. Charge for a classroom on cd. You could put together a cd-rom that would cater to different classes of flash developers (like basic, intermediate and advanced) as well as offer free trial versions of popular software. Charge $16.95 for the cd plus shipping and voila! A new source for revenue. And the cd could just contain a whole section of tutorials from your website. (I would definitely pay for the convenience of having your tutorials on cd and not having to add to the demise of server bandwidth by visiting the site). You could do the same with the sound archives. Bundle a section of audio onto cd with some trial sound software and put a price on it. People will buy.

    Sorry for adding to your database load with this huge reply. Good luck and I'm looking forward to v2.0.

    Daniel Arlitt
    Web Developer

  19. #139
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    I had couple of ideas while reading through:

    1. Why not do some kind of FlashKit approval for either web-design companies/individuals which could be charged for. It would give potential customers a bit of reassurance and could be linked in with a community of top-class designers. I'm sure everyone who took part would benefit if FlashKit upheld a high quality as i'm sure you would.

    2. How about offering some sort of optimisation of peoples coding. Members could send you their flash and you could optimise it for file size and speed/quality. You could charge according to the amount of time and effort it would take. The alternative to yourselves doing it is to have a group of members who could provide this service instead. A user could submit their request to the member group who could tender bids to optimise the user's flash.

    I really like the idea of printable tutorials. That would be a godsend.

    I'd also like to say a huge thankyou to everyone who contributes to FlashKit as it's really helped me to learn. I only started with Flash about 5 weeks ago but already i've programmed my first 3D movie and written custom animated cursor scripts etc thanks to submissions which i've learnt from but never copied. So THANKYOU... and thanks to FlashKit too such an excellent site. Hope my ideas may provide some help to you. I'll be submitting soon...

  20. #140
    well theres a lot of suggestions on making money
    Couldn't u just try and opt for other means to fulfill your financial needs. Flashkit is a recognised name and i'm sure there are people out there who are willing to cash in on the name.
    as for the debate on flash or html
    ultrashock looks real good but i wouldn't say the same for it's reliability.
    Flashkit's better off in html. But i think u could put up an intro in flash. The intro at ultrashocks real groovy
    But i know the guys back here have it in them to kick butt
    The layout shouldn't be changed at all.
    thats about it

    U GUys aRe The BesT
    Peace!

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