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ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

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tchitcherine

Pawn

Posts: 28

Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:31 am

Post Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:33 am

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

bryan wrote:
tchitcherine wrote:So...all in all here is a product which is both superior to and cheaper than rival products....

You may well be very right on the superiority of some of our products, but you are strangely unaware of our userbase - the vast majority are not that interested in video learning - they just want to play and chat. Getting a heart icon in chat is likely more incentive for many than getting a Daniel King video. Interestingly chess.com went the other way than we did when presented with only chess or chat to try to monetize - they limit number of times you can chat in 30 seconds :)


Perhaps you might do better to compare ChessCube with rival businesses which are generally considered to be the best, i.e. ICC and playchess.com.

Not to knock chess.com but they're hardly King-of-the-Hill....
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mlombaard

Pawn

Posts: 4

Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:37 pm

Post Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:04 pm

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

bryan, another suggestion is that you can do what wikipedia does annually to fund their operations.

let those who can pay and don't mind paying for a brilliant service do so through donations, but let it be out of their freedom of choice.

many wiki users dont donate, but there's still enough that do because they love and support the cause.

also, i'd like to hear your view on the suggestion made by some to cash in by selling AD-space on the site.
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bryan

Site Admin

Posts: 125

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:03 pm

Location: Cape Town

Post Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:29 pm

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

tchitcherine wrote:Perhaps you might do better to compare ChessCube with rival businesses which are generally considered to be the best, i.e. ICC and playchess.com.

Not to knock chess.com but they're hardly King-of-the-Hill....

I am not sure why we would bother comparing ourselves to ICC or playchess. This site is far more aligned with web-based, generally social/causal/chat playerpool websites like chess.com than client-based, hardcore-player chess sites like that. Entirely different markets. They have a lock on the GMs, IMs and the people who aspire to be them, and hopefully we get the majority of the rest.
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bryan

Site Admin

Posts: 125

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:03 pm

Location: Cape Town

Post Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:42 pm

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

mlombaard wrote:bryan, another suggestion is that you can do what wikipedia does annually to fund their operations.

let those who can pay and don't mind paying for a brilliant service do so through donations, but let it be out of their freedom of choice.

many wiki users dont donate, but there's still enough that do because they love and support the cause.

This model works for wikipedia because they have a MASSIVE userbase. I assume they are a top 10 site in the world. If only a fraction of their users donate, they can do OK. Moreover, they, as a foundation have big backers who are glad to donate millions for the purpose of spreading knowledge. Our backers do not have such deep pockets, or want to give away all their money for a ChessCube charity. A fraction of our userbase would NOT cover our costs - and if you read Mark's message, the idea of donate is covered there anyway (even if you don't care about VIP features, just buy VIP anyway - this would be a donation then)
mlombaard wrote:also, i'd like to hear your view on the suggestion made by some to cash in by selling AD-space on the site.

The ad model brings in very little money. Do you still click on ads? Moreover, again, it is a functionality of scale - if you have many millions on your site every day, then enough DO click on ads to make some money.

But there are even usability and aesthetic angles to this - from the beginning we have kept ChessCube relatively ad free (at least in terms of intrusive ads that pop-up everywhere and ads for 3rd parties). If we did something like chesspark did, for example, which was put up ads with a countdown timer in between games, people would ALSO be very annoyed with that. The point is: without users willingly paying for services, whatever we do to encourage some to do so will be very much hated by many of the community - but we simply cannot maintain the status quo and stay online, so some forms of 'annoying' monetization angles will exist - whether its charging for games or ads (and likely obnoxious full screen ones at that because, NOBODY actually pays attention to banner or sidebar ads any more).
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bosox1275

Pawn

Posts: 37

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:11 pm

Post Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:51 pm

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

Maybe in the settings you could ask "Keep all Game history"
"Keep monthly game history"
"Keep Weekly game history"
"Keep daily game history" and
"Don't keep game history"
Many people don't look at the game history at all so maybe you could just ask people in the settings if they want it or not. Then you won't have to keep that memory.
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bryan

Site Admin

Posts: 125

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:03 pm

Location: Cape Town

Post Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:59 pm

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

bosox1275 wrote:Maybe in the settings you could ask "Keep all Game history"

Game storage is only one aspect of this... a larger server need (in terms of memory and CPU) is actually to facilitate all of the 6 million games per month in real time and the interactive chat... storage of this data is less costly disk-space related (although you are right that then querying these stored games does take memory and CPU).
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bosox1275

Pawn

Posts: 37

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:11 pm

Post Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:22 pm

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

I don't see the point of charging 10 cubits a game. What good are cubits for now? This is just discouraging players by charging that.
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gromit

Pawn

Posts: 10

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:25 pm

Post Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:26 pm

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

bryan wrote:I am not sure why we would bother comparing ourselves to ICC or playchess. This site is far more aligned with web-based, generally social/causal/chat playerpool websites like chess.com than client-based, hardcore-player chess sites like that. Entirely different markets. They have a lock on the GMs, IMs and the people who aspire to be them, and hopefully we get the majority of the rest.

So what is this site actually for? Is it just a business venture, or is it primarily intended to provide something that other sites don't -- and if so, what? Does it bother you that most of the people here are more interested in chatting and blitz than in trying to improve their play? Who do you most want to attract - the chatters or the players?

Obviously there's nothing wrong with trying to make money out of the site. Even more obviously, there's nothing wrong with taking steps to ensure that it doesn't run at a loss -- provided that this doesn't involve treating paying customers unfairly, as in the case of the recent changes regarding the use of cubits already bought. In particular there's nothing wrong with starting to charge for games even though they were previously free. Playing here is (mostly) a pleasant experience, and that kind of experience is worth paying for. I will be happy to pay for games once my cubits have run out, provided everyone else is paying too. I don't see why those of us who value ChessCube should be the only ones to support it financially. I'm not all that bothered how many users there are, as long as there are enough to keep the site going and ensure that I can find an opponent when I want one. I wouldn't even notice if all the people who like chatting and blitz were to disappear, as long as that didn't make the site unviable.
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bosox1275

Pawn

Posts: 37

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:11 pm

Post Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:36 pm

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

Just a suggestion remove members who are inactive for 6 months+
This will stop you from haveing pointless inactive users forcing you to keep their info.Sorry but I am too on the verge of leaving CC.It better get better soon...
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bryan

Site Admin

Posts: 125

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:03 pm

Location: Cape Town

Post Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:48 pm

Re: ChessCube Update: A message from the CEO

gromit wrote:So what is this site actually for? Is it just a business venture, or is it primarily intended to provide something that other sites don't -- and if so, what? Does it bother you that most of the people here are more interested in chatting and blitz than in trying to improve their play? Who do you most want to attract - the chatters or the players?

This site is for people who want a quality web-based playing experience as well as people who like to socialize with chess as a context. IMHO other sites with download clients are far less friendly - both UI wise and chat wise. So, yes, if you are a hardcore chess player with a download client who does not care at all about social aspects of a site, ChessCube is unlikely to have much appeal.

gromit wrote:... as long as that didn't make the site unviable.
We will try to keep the non-payers around as long as possible with different incentives. But nearly everyone not paying just cannot work.
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