Hello Fellow Toads,
Big things are afoot at toadgames.com and this blog is the place to find out what they are, what they mean and when they're gonna happen.
My name is Lin and I'm the newest member of the Toad Games team. Dan, Chris and I go way back, and for the past few months we've been working together and wrestling with Toad Games, what it is and what we think it should become. We've reached a crossroads of sorts with the site and we've put together this blog to bring you into our thinking, our goals and our vision for this online community we've created, and you've built.
Toad Games has been free since the beginning. We've gotten by from your generous donations and our wallets. And that's gotten us pretty far. We're proud of what we've become and what we've accomplished.
However, it's been sticking in the back our minds that we were capable of building something bigger. Capable and hungry to build an online community that goes beyond games and create a real social network that lets people connect on whatever level they want. To make friends, have fun and to interact in a meaningful way.
Of course, therein lies the rub. To do this will require much more than our part-time efforts and your generous but not always consistent donations. Sorry to phrase it like that, some of you give and give and we do appreciate it. Some of you, well.....
So we started out on a path to make Toad Games at least self-supporting and hopefully, us-supporting. Most of the larger social networks are free, relying on advertising, banners and sponsors and, by golly, that's what we wanted to do. We interviewed various sponsors, advertising networks, marketing concerns, snake-oil salesman, carpet-baggers and all manner of slick advertising folk who were going to guarantee us a big chunk of free money each and every month.
In exchange for our souls.
The thing that we discovered (even though our dads told us many times) is there's no free lunch. It all started out innocently enough, hey, just put up a banner here and we'd like to get a sponsor link here and, oh yeah, you'll need to send us your updated member list each and every month. And yes, we'll need home addresses and phone numbers and maybe if you let us know what they're doing on the site so we can start to really focus in on each and every member and start ramming messages down their throats for stuff they don't need and probably don't want but by then we'll know them better than they know themselves.
Basically, concoct any sort of future-society-gone-bad movie plot that you can and there you have it. Every meeting we came out of, we were more and more depressed and knew, in our heart of hearts, that this would destroy the essence of Toad Games.
So what to do?
We went back to the drawing board, put on our green visors (like the old bankers wore) and started crunching the numbers. And when we were done, we had a plan. It was going to take a whole lot longer to get that Ferrari (or even a gently used Honda) but we knew it was sustainable, preserved the fabric of Toad Games and would allow us to build this site up to what we know it can be. And what we know you want it to be.
And, oddly enough, it should cost less than a gallon of gas per month.
Next time, we'll start to get into the nitty-gritty of the plan and what it means. And by all means, tell us what you think. Comments are open, go nuts (like I need to tell you).