I am sure that you have all experienced the current issues with Flash Kit.
Server errors, speed and download problems, and in some cases lack of access
In a nutshell Flash Kit has outgrown it's current hardware and software platform
and it is unable to handle the incredible load it is now placed under. To give you
an idea we have over 100k unique visitors a day, serve over 100gig in bandwidth
and show over a million pages a day!
We can no longer just hack and tweak to get maximum performance from the site, now
it is time to strip it down and re-engineer from the ground up. Flash Kit v2.0.
We are putting together proposals now for Flash Kit v2.0, some of the features we
are planning to implement...
1) Site speed - multiple servers on a scalable architecture
2) Better tracking of downloads,views, ratings
3) Member pages, linking members to content
4) Faster myFK, public and private listings of myFK selections (ie see webmaster picks)
5) Bulk download from myFK (like a shopping cart)
6) ExtremeFlash section for the very best fla files
We are also looking for ways to make the site more financially viable to generate
sufficient revenue to support our growing hardware and technical costs!
Any ideas you have for Flash Kit v2.0, and revenue generation ideas, please post to
this thread, help forge the direction of Flash Kit for the future!!!
Thanks for your help, and thanks for sticking by FK in the tough times!
Why not try and compete with Macromedia for lessons? they offer a "lessons online + talk to the teacher" lesson on actionscripting for Flash5. Even though i'm tempted they "give" this for $265! I'm sure you could do better.
I don't know if this means a special education license, but it would be a cool feature in a resource site!
Thanks for considering
I have posted a thread in feedback about self promotion using t-shirts, mouse pads and things of that nature. I've seen sites genrate a good amount of money and help to offload some of the costly upgrades.
The only case study I could thing of right now is http://www.clanladder.com which is a site that ranks online players in all types of games(and no i dont work for them). they ran into the exact same problem, you have and due to a great following, this 1 promotion paid for the entire upgrade.
I experience all sorts of problems with flashkit. I am looking forward to the bulk download as well. Maybe this can be something that can be done sooner then later, I think it will save people time. Also the idea about class is good. I think if you offer low cost, high quality stuff people will pay, i would be willing to let go of some cash for better knowledge. Anyone else agree. Joe
that UltraShock.com looks awesome!
But still, FK is the biggest FLash resource site on the net, I don't think any other site has over 3 thousand movies.
I really want to see the Flash Anime section, there are many good flash artists in here. Gotta have patience though
Faster FK site is soon to come? Great, then I'll enjoy FK even more !
Sounds pretty good Mark...
So these member pages... Say I had one... Would this link visitors to all the things I've made on FK, like open source movies, tutorials, sounds, and (pushing it!) posts?
Can we customise these pages?
I'd like to show my moral support for FK through all this! All the FK team, you've done a great job thus far, and I can't wait to see what you pull from your sleeves!
In the tutorials, i think you should find another solution
when it comes to all the pages, There are to little text on one page, i get annoyed when i read a couple of lines and then have to load another page.
You should also consider making a printable version of each tutorial.
Other then that i think your page should have Background about the flash programm, im thinking about where it all started, where it is now and where it is going. There should also be a couple of pages about how to get certificts and stuff like that.
Why not a "all-in-1" tutorial package and a myFK synchro tool ?
What would have been great, is the ability when downloading the tutorial files (that presently is just the bunch of files USED in the tutorial) is to get a real all-in-1 package for further offline use. So we could get a real tutorial in the zip, with explainations AND the files used for putting it in practice.It's a little hard to really use the tutorial zip's now, since as you are reading a Tutorial, you got the explainations but if you download the zip and want to put it in practice later, for offline hands-on, you have to connect on FK again and try to find the right Tutorial again...lack of time and of easyness.What better than looking for a tutorial,downloading the offline package (explainations+files for practice)and making his own myFK at home ? Another great feature would maybe be a tiny flash program provided for Mac and PC users so they would be able to automatically update their myFK online and on their own harddisk...a replication and synchronizing tool.
1: Leave Flashkit in HTML for at least 5 years. There are definitely not enough people on solid connections to warrant a fully Flashed site (even though it could be incredible, leave it for the future).
2: Initiate some kind of a stronger networked community. Those who attack Flash (online media, jacob neilson, etc) should know that there is a huge number of developers world-wide who consider Flash part of their life now and into the future and they don't appreciate over-focus on the inevitable crud that some people will produce with Flash.
3: Start a service similar to elance.com that is mainly focused on Flash content. You would have to make it seperate from the Flashkit site due to the size of it but you could tightly link them in some way. Elance is a service that allows freelancers and employees to come together in one virtual place for everyting from Web/Flash/Graphic design to Legal and Accounting services. I have heard that Elance will be as big as Amazon before long. They have a member base of over 200,000 for many different career choices. Flashkit has a member base of over 100,000 and you could focus completely on Flash/Multimedia. I say use your members to monopolise on the availability of Flash for businesses across the globe.
4: Float Flashkit.com on the ASX. I'd buy in.
5: This has been touched on above but my 5th and final suggestion is a tighter community. Standards need to be developed so that Flash will continue to rapidly grow on the web - i.e: pop-ups, full screen, file sizes, pre-loaders, $ervice rates, etc, etc, etc.
Here are a couple of things to bring in more revenue:
1) Have an executive membership fee to have access to complete tutorials. The fee would be very small, less than $150/year or $9.95/ month.
In this area, executive members would have access to such things as: complete tutorials - construction and deconstruction; high caliber example sites; fla upload support program; access to test flash beta programs; discounts to special flash events and free executive member Flashkit t-shirt.
Complete tutorials would have explanations right from scratch how an effect, menu, Actionscript etc.. was done, why it was done, the benefits and links to other tutorials that might help the member.
There would be complete examples of high quality sites that are downloadable so members could learn how to put a site together properly. The sites would be of a high caliber and would have a complete tutorial of not only how something was done, but also why it was done and what benefits would be achieved that way.
The membership would also include an area where members could upload fla's he/she are having trouble with to get help from other members as well as the Flash Gurus. This feature would have the fla's available for ten days before being deleted from the server. The support program would include 3 - 5 times per year a member could submit their fla for support from the flash gods of Flashkit.
Executive Members could have access to test BETA Flash programs and give their input. Members would have to sign a non-disclosure agreement to protect the companies that take part in such a program, but their input would be invaluable.
Members would also be able to enjoy discounts to Flash events, albeit small, but any money saved is good to put towards the next upgrade purchase of Flash ;-)
Executive members would be privy to their own EM Flashkit t-shirt as well as discount towards other Flashkit merchandise.
2) All Flashkit members would be able to download the daily new movies in one bulk zip.
I have found Flashkit to be an invaluable resource and I look forward to a newer version.
Definatly don't go all flash. My only main problem with the site is bandwith problems, and I've got a cable modem...All yesterday, FK was down... And there are always certain dead times when FK is slower than anything...I agree with Beamerboy a lot.
Beamerboy has made some v. good suggestions above. It could perhaps be taken even a stage further.
Why not have different tiers of memebrship. At the bottom FREE acess the basic features of FLashkit (perhaps as it is now). This could then rise through 2-3 theirs to the top level which more exclusive content.Lots of people have made some great suggestions as to what this could be.
What about extending the feautres of MyFlashKit. The memebrs with the most highest tiered access could have a toataly customizable site. Much like MyYahoo ot MyExcite. Where they had their own homeapge they entered, rahter than the deffault. It would be very cool to be able to costomize the home page to display only the content I was interested in. For example the could be a MyFlashKitBoards, where I could select boards which would appear in the list. Perhaps the user could customize the appeareance of the site.
At the lower levels of access, there could be preset templates, customized by FlashKit staff. For example a homegpage for developer/coders, or a homepage for designers, one for Newbies ... etc.
Please dont go down the Full FLash route, but what ever you do I know it's going to be the even greater!
I like Flash Kit the way it is. Just speed everything up a bit, especially the forums (they define the word slow at the moment). Maybe feature a bit more flash presentation on the site, but I agree with the suggestion not to go 100% Flash, the functionality just isn't there yet.
How about an Annual 'Flashkit Members Produced Site'. Someone lays out the groundrules for the site, and then any member of Flashkit can add to/(alter) it. Everything is opensource. Maybe that's to complicated come to think of it. Anyway, at the end of the year, the site is completed and showcased.
Making money huh? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.........already a lot of good suggestions. How about launching a "Flashkit Members Conference"? Just a thought....
One thing I don't like the sound of though is different membership status affecting you access to Flashkit. The MOST IMPORTANT part of Flashkit is that anybody can access anything. Everything in the community is shared. Now this is just my opinion, and I expect a lot of people will disagree, but if I had to pay for the privilage of what I already get out of Flashkit now, I don't think I would. Maybe. But probably not......hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Well for revenue, I think I was one of the first to mention merchandising a long long time ago and I still believe flashkit should have it's own store. This time around don't get the shirts made up yourself, contract out to another company and have them sell all the shirts, mugs, mouse pads, etc online. You get the commission they take care of all the shipping and handling. Try http://www.cafepress.com/
There should also be a software store. Forget about referral programs and have an actual online store. Find a big enough company who sells most of software that people talk about here and ask them to set up a shopping cart on this sight. Flashkit get's so many visitors that most e-tailers will bend over backwards to have there products listed.
For Speed...Delete old posts after four months. I know you guys want to keep an archive but even text adds up and consumes much needed space on any server. Clear out the old and in with the new. Memory costs money.
Also I would like to see more articles that are not based on the board forums. Almost every feature on the main page goes directly to the boards. What happened to articles and interviews?