Fan Site Business

Before FFXIV 1.0 launched, I worked on ffxivblog.com after I was invited by an awesome friend — Maiev. He wrote about it here, and I have always wanted to write an entry of my own regarding the matter. I have many mixed feelings about ffxivblog.com, but I will never forget how the experience has helped me tremendously with zantetsuken.net and Sequence Break XIV.

ffxivblog.com had started out fairly small and with several people invited to the project from Maiev. These people were FFXI bloggers and they were to become part of the FFXIV blogging community that brought some of us together in the first place. Or at least that is how I remembered it. Anyway, after I was brought on, I dragged my boyfriend with me and we started to make changes here and there. My first experience with podcasting also started with orzcast, the first and only (thus far) show with two primary female hosts. I talked about tits, love, and everything. It was probably because of this and the fact that there weren’t many other shows at the time (Aetheryte Radio and Crystal Core are the only two that pop into my mind pre-launch), that it brought a lot of hits and activity that quickly swung ffxivblog.com in a whole different direction. There was talk about ad-revenue, trying to get on SE’s good graces to be invited to stuff, people requesting for a forum, and more… and that is where the trouble started.

During beta there was already starting to be an obvious split. Some were starting to distance themselves away and write negatively about FFXIV. This didn’t sit well with some of us, nor did the NDA breaking articles that caused Matt to send me an e-mail to stop. Needless to say, I was shocked and horrified since I hadn’t written the article myself and I wasn’t the head honcho. This is probably where I started to get resentful. Not because of the e-mail, but because of the direction of the website. The uneven load of work that Orophen and I tried to fill, the feeling that the website was more to fill numbers for someone’s LS, and more. For a month or two, all I wanted to do was wash my hands of it. It was becoming too stressful and I didn’t like how I was as a person to some people that may not have deserved it. Frei and Orophen were in more frequent communication with me about the website, its direction, and our increasing unhappiness. This is very important to anyone considering a fan site: there is no damn point to it if it does not make you happy.

After extensive talks between the three of us, Orophen and I decided that it would be better to bail than to continue raising unnecessary stress levels. In the end, the three of us were collaborating together to work on a website we knew we would be happy with: something small, manageable, and without worry about publicity, hits, SEO, or anything of the sort. There were times Orophen would fret and worry about our traffic (and rightfully so after the large amount of hits we were used to seeing on ffxivblog.com), but in the end we found that it was too much stress to really care for making a concerted effort to increase our hit count. It took some time before we were able to start the podcast, but there was always one thing I always kept in mind after ffxivblog.com and orzcast: have fun. We don’t care for hits, we don’t care if people think our show isn’t “professional” enough, or whatever. Once you start worrying about those things more, working on a fansite no longer becomes fun- it becomes work. Though designing, maintaining and creating stuff is work in and of itself, it is a different sort of work that brings a great deal more satisfaction than anyone can imagine. It is a labor of love that I enjoy working on with Orophen, Frei, Rubicon, and Yelta and hope to enjoy in the years to come on FFXIV: ARR.

For those who were interested in writing for zantetsuken.net, I hope that you read this and take into consideration who and what we are about. Working with people can be hard, as we know when trying to find people to tackle primals and dungeons as a cohesive team. We aren’t interested in being a big website; we will leave that to the people with far more time, interest, and dedication than we can afford. We just want to be the best that we can be, in the way that we can be, and with people who collectively share our interest and aspirations.

  • ShouriElemente

    And really, isn’t fun the most important part anyway? I’ve always enjoyed you guys since I first found ya. It would make me very sad to hear you don’t enjoy doing any of this anymore. I’m glad that is totally not the case cause I don’t know what i’d do if I never heard the 5 of you together ever again. ^.^

    • Calaera

      We actually keep in almost near constant communication. :) I have so many ideas, I think Orophen might hate me because when I have ideas… I don’t stop. And right now I have a lot of them!

      We’re hoping Yelta comes to our server, is able to play with us, and to expand on some requests we’ve had in the area of end gaming. We’re all really excited about it, and we would also like our other friends to join and help us. Not just because it would be helpful to others, but we hope they (including you; if you still have interest in XIV or playing with us) have fun doing so. Just like we have fun doing this.

      • http://twitter.com/YeltaSumasu Yelta Sumasu

        I know my LS is planning on a server hop so hopefully I can sway them in your direction. It would work out pretty great too as the days most of them are not on seem to line up with the days you guys run stuff.

        Calaera, I hope you always work on projects that bring you joy and a sense of fulfillment. I said over a year ago when I was just filling in for Rubi that you guys should be who you are and do what you like and if people don’t like it they can find other sites to follow.

        Here’s hoping we have years of crazy fun ahead of us!

  • http://danforthwright.blogspot.com/ Danforth Wright

    <— A Million Titties ::can't resist:: /click

    Love you guys! Keep up the good work!

  • http://www.facebook.com/siyukan Josh Freeman

    I agree with so much here, I have been in a very similar situation. “Have fun. Don’t care for hits”, this is an excellent piece of mind to always consider when running a fansite because if you are looking for traffic or money and your motivation is fed on that, I guarantee it will fail. Many products weather it be Movies, Games and websites, if you create something for the purpose of get rich fast rather than to have something you desire (simcity vs minecraft for eg), you can see which is the clear loser and which triumphed over the years.

    Great article to read.