Friday, May 23, 2008

Ripples Across The Pond

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.

Whoa!

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).

Peace,
Lin

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds cool.. can't wait to see what you have planned.. with gas prices the way they are I will be staying home more..games are cheaper than gas!! : )

Anonymous said...

ok guys
i got in and feel pretty smart right now ahaha
welcome aboard lin. i am williejo and i think the oldest toader so be nice or i will put u along with the other mischievous toad on the time out bench

smokepole said...

ok guys. sounds real exciting. can't wait. welcome aboard Lin. if ypu're anything like Chris&Dan you will fit right in. don't let Williejo scare you. she"s a pussycat. lol

Anonymous said...

I love Toad Games, because of what it is! No ads,no buy me,buy me, no join now and get 50,000$ free when you sign up and have given us your money.
Just a nice friendly site where I can spend a some time away from all the phishing, scams, ads etc.
So, please don't do anything too drastic and spoil a wonderful site.

Twinmum said...

Well I have been with Toadgames since before it was even Toadgames. I like the games and the community that has evolved in the forum. I have faith in Toady that any changes made will only enhance the site and not undermine what we have acheived over the years.
I look forward to the new toadgames.
And welcome aboard Lin

Ernie said...

I'm sure whatever the plan is, it will be fair and reasonable. I trust Dan and Chris and by knowing them you must be trustworthy too Lin.I'm eager to see where this takes us.

Anonymous said...

i have played on the site for a long time now, some things need changing and some dont! hopefully if we are gonna pay maybe something can get done about the poker rooms! and there are some things that need changing with the bingo rooms! would love to see less drama throughout the whole site! keep up the good work!

SirGarrie said...

Lin, Chris Dan
I love Toadgames for what it is not. It is not another website with annoying pop-ups and advertising. It is a gathering place where I can have some fun, meet new people and talk with old friends.
I know you will do what you must, but I hope you do not change My Toadgames too much.

Anonymous said...

honestly, i don't think i'll pay to game...one of the reasons i loved toad games so much and told all my friends about it is because it was so "no strings attached..." i certainly understand the need to make money or at least have some sort of revenue come in, but there are too many other free things on the web to do instead of sites that cost...

rudy (olifant) said...

I wouldn'd mind paying a fee to stay a member and hopefully this means that members from outside the US (I am from Belgium) can win prices again, like it was before

Anonymous said...

you only print the comments that are in favor of what you have planned?

Anonymous said...

i love it
always one naaaa sayer
i love toad games the way they are or any changes chris ,dan and lin com up with i am sure with the variety of games there are we will all find something to play

goodluck men

williejo

Anonymous said...

I think they only print the ones with constructive comments...LOL

What I want to see changed..

Waiting list in poker rooms..
Private rooms in poker and bingo..
Better prizes..

I would be willing to pay if it means making the site better.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like good news. You guys have been working hard for many years and I have appreciated spending time here and making friends. I wish you all the luck and look forward to winning something cool and playing poker in my own private room. :-)

Anonymous said...

IF PAYING FOR PLAY MEANS THAT OTHERS OUTSIDE OF THE USA CAN AGAIN PARTICIPATE IN WINNING PRIZES AND THAT THERE WILL BE BETTER GAMES TO PLAY THEN WHAT WE HAVE BEEN SEEING IN THE LAST "FOREVER" THEN I AM ALL FOR IT. LOTS OF CHANGES WOULD HAVE TO BE MADE IF WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY FOR IT...GOOD LUCK

SirGarrie said...

Charging $48 per person rather than using pop-ups and advertisements may be shortsighted. I live on a fixed income and I don't know if I would pay $48 when pop-ups and advertisements would cost nothing.

Well, you have your problems and I have mine. I hope we can meet somewhere in the center.

Anonymous said...

I am on a fixed income too..and I have played games at sites with popups. I hte them! I would rather pay a small bit than deal with them.

(if I could not afford a few dollars per month I would rethink being online at all)

Long time member

SirGarrie said...

I HAVE re-thought being online and have concluded that the net has a lot to offer. My point is that we are talking about more than a few dollars ($42x12=$504 per year)and each Toad-player must decide for themselves how much a pop-up free game site is worth.

ToadCaller said...

* regarding the above post... There is NO WAY we will charge that much a year. At most, you will be looking at $40+- for the WHOLE YEAR!

SirGarrie said...

When I screw up I do it bigtime. A fellow Toad-gamer just pointed out to me that you are proposing to charge $48 per year, not per month. At that rate I would be a fool not to join.
I will definitely join the new Toadroom and I will encourage other persons to join.
Sooooooooory

hanni39 said...

Hi Guys,

I fully support the decision for small fees to continue keeping our site "pure". Have sent Grannytoad some suggestions on several ideas regarding the fees and some nicknames. I am sure Granny will tell me if my ideas are "off the wall". After tweaking them they went be sent on. Since Atari closed out Paint and Triple Yahtzee there are scads of players who are homeless and would be breaking down the doors to join if those two versions ever became available. Thanks for listening.

Datoad said...

The goal is to make all of those games!!! The problem is that we need to devote full time to the site (which is the plan).. but everyone knows that we can't pay bills without charging something. There will be greater economies of scale with more players.

One cool concept will be giving members greater token (ToadKins) earning ability with the more players they recruit for us... More to come on that.

Anonymous said...

STILL HAVE NOT ANSWERED IF OTHERS OUTSIDE OF USA WILL BE ENTITLED TO WIN PRIZES OR NOT....

IF THIS DOES NOT PAN OUT, WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE WHO PAY THEIR PLAY FEES...ARE THEY GUARANTEED THAT THEY WILL STILL GET A FULL YEAR OF PLAY TIME?

JUST CURIOUS...

WISH YOU ALL THE LUCK IN THE WORLD ON THIS VENTURE..I DO ENJOY PLAYING HERE

Anonymous said...

Yes...people outside will be able to win prizes... sorry for the late answer..that and many more items will be addressed in the next blog entry.

Datoad.

SirGarrie said...

How about publishing a photo of Lin, Chris and Dan. It would be nice to see who we're talking to. I'll bet that Lin is as cute as a fairie princess. If Chris and Dan resemble a toad, you do not need to publish their photos.

Anonymous said...

Yeah..."fairie princess" is about right... LOL

Datoad

Ernie said...

$48 per year seems reasonable and in my case since I've been playing these games for about 8 years now I can look at it this way. I'm paying $6 a year for the first 8 years. Anyway as soon as you arrive at a figure I'll send in my check and thanks for the wonderful fun and games.

Anonymous said...

well i like being a part of toadgames so will will help anyway i can

just remember that old pogo stick still can't jump

williejo

nina said...

Hello Toad Dudes, I'm wondering if you'll give a discounted rate for multiple members in the same household? My spouse and I both play on Toadgames and really would like to continue to do so, but not if we'd have to pay two memberships.

Thanks! nina aka MightyMouse on Toadgames.

imac said...

Ok, folks, I've been watching and listening to all whats going on here and i'm going to be bold, here's my 4pennies worth.

As someone said about the price of Petrol (Gas) we in the UK, pay $2.2 a litre, now thats over priced,BUT and a great big But,We are talking about £24.50 - ok £25 a year.

I really think this change in TG2 to TG3 is whats needed to go that one step further to put this site where it shoud be -- The TOP games and FORUM in the world.

I must admit, I've not been here as much - now I've got my photo Blog, BUT I'm right behind this move.

Bigger - better -

Bring it on Toad Masters and lets be The King.

Marie26 said...

Here's my thoughts. I've been addicted to just a few of the games offered on ToadGames. I'd like to see prizes offered to those outside the U.S. as well. I'd also like to have prizes given out in more than one game per week. It takes forever for my favorites to get picked as the game of the week. My reason for coming back to this site is trying to beat others' scores. I'm still trying to figure out how some of you get those awesome scores.

Anonymous said...

Prizes will definately be available outside the US... What is your favorite game?

Datod

Marie26 said...

My favorites are Match It (I found this site searching for a game like this) and Mahjong Airplane. I also like Sudoku and Mahjong Dog.

Anonymous said...

A suggestion - maybe memberships (or partial memberships) can be awarded as prizes, to give those who cannot pay a chance to win one.

Also, maybe tokens could be used to purchase memberships (or partial memberships) or used to buy lottery type tickets to win a membership.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to see some variety in the appearance of the games - they do tend to look the same.

Perhaps some different backgrounds or color schemes or toady characters would liven them up a bit.

And finally a plea for bigger game windows and bigger cards in the solitaire games for those of us with not so perfect sight. It can be difficult to tell the spades from the clubs.

Thanks for a great site - looking forward to the improvements and happy to pay membership.

Elane said...

Hey, I’m just looking forward to being able to have the tokens, how much longer? Also, I probably could sponsor someone less fortunate