The State of Sonic Zone - May, 2014
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SonicFan23
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« on: May 03, 2014, 04:39:53 PM »


       
        Hey guys, I wanted to take some time to fill you in on the current state of the site, as I haven't done much with it over the recent months. Recently, I have spent a good amount of money (that I really shouldn't have spent) renewing the server for yet another year, keeping us on the net for at least that long. Why do I spend so much money and time on this site that really brings me no revenue or real personal benefit? Because Sonic Zone is like my baby. It amazingly has been around for nearly 7 years and I genuinely care about it, and the few loyal people who still come around. I am proud to be the owner of a site with so much history, and although nowadays it doesn't show, we have had a LOT of success through the years, and it doesn't have to end now.
        I am well-aware of the fact that the site's traffic is down dramatically, and that I take complete responsibility for it. As an admin I have not been even SLIGHTLY professional or efficient with this site in a very, very long time. I've lightened up with the rules to the point where it's like a giant free-for-all and I honestly haven't had any motivation to develop the site further due to personal issues recently. Though things have looked bad around here, the site does have a good foundation, and I want you all to know that I have NOT given up on it. The lack of updates recently can also be partially to blame for the drop in traffic, on top of people having personal problems with me (which for the most part I understand). Let's face it, running a successful site alone is tough, especially when we are talking about Sonic the Hedgehog in the year 2014. For those who have been negatively affected by me personally, I want to genuinely and sincerely apologize. Through the years, I have made far too many mistakes, and I have learned a lot. Along with many of you, I have grown up here. I started Sonic Zone when I was 16 years old (now 23). To lose this place would be very hard for me, even though I am an adult now.
      This site started in 2007 with a goal of bringing people "1-click downloads", which at the time gave it a good kick-start, especially with the fact that alternative ways of downloading things was a bit harder back then. Sonic Zone today lacks direction and goals. In order to be successful in the growing competitive web nowadays, sites need updates and originality. Thankfully, I brought something new to the table with Sonic Zone back in 2007, which is why I believe we became somewhat successful, but I need to find something that brings new life to the site. I am open to suggestions!



    SO, WHAT CAN WE DO TO TURN THIS AROUND?

   1. Advertising on YouTube - Unfortunately, I do not have video-editing skills like many of you do. If you are truly interested in the future and success of Sonic Zone, feel free to create videos on YouTube for Sonic Zone. Truth is, most members find the site via YouTube videos. We need new ones! I will literally pay you (via PayPal) if you make a good quality video(s) on behalf of Sonic Zone. Contact me if interested. In order to receive money, you will need a channel with at least 500 subscribers, and a good quality video that clearly shows effort and time spent on it.

   2. Newsletters - This can be done by me alone. I will try to soon push out email newsletters inviting members back to the site. A lot of the time, members show up after literally forgetting we exist for months or even years. This is something I will try to do as soon as possible.

   3. Be more welcoming! - I am totally OK with a lot of the things that go on around here (if I didn't, it wouldn't happen), but I notice that a lot of new members not only aren't truly welcomed, but they are treated completely disrespectfully and for obvious reasons, we will probably never see them again. We need to start being more friendly. If we all try a bit harder, I think this can make a big difference!

  4. Share our Facebook page! - Nowadays, advertising successfully can come down to one simple service - Facebook! Sonic Zone's Facebook Now has over 2,000 likes (and I spent a lot of money to get there). You can make a HUGE difference by simply inviting your friends to 'like' the page. I always post updates to our Facebook page which will help generate more traffic.

 

        In conclusion, thank you for taking the time to read this, and for continuing to support Sonic Zone. This topic is here simply to reassure you guys that I still do have faith in Sonic Zone, and I want to get our team back. Whether the old members return or not, I want us to welcome newcomers and make them feel at home here. I want us to bring in a new generation of "Sonic Zone Veterans", and I believe with a little effort, we can do so. Remember, you were all new at one time. Let's treat people how we would want to be treated. I am open to more suggestions, and I do take them seriously. If you want to put a good effort into a decent YouTube video advertising Sonic Zone, I will compensate as stated above *(You must have a minimum of 500 subscribers + a quality video to receive money!)* Thank you to those of you who still believe in this site, and I hope we can work together to build this community back up again - Anything you do to help us is greatly appreciated!

« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 02:17:03 AM by Jonathon » Logged
Elija2
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2014, 05:25:32 PM »

It's nice to see that you're still making an effort to turn this site around.

Are you planning on keeping the Sonic downloads up? I understand that they're a major draw for this forum, but it would suck for you to be sent another cease-and-desist from SEGA. Also, I think not allowing any illegal content on this site would give it a lot of legitimacy and help it not just be seen as a site for piracy. You could still keep the soundtracks up since I doubt SEGA cares about those.

And is anything gonna be done about the spambots that keep signing up? They really are a nuisance.

As for the money issue, why not put some small ads on the site? I'd be willing to whitelist the site on my ad blocker so you can get a little bit of money to pay for the server. It's kinda weird that you put a link to Adblock Plus on the home page since you're essentially advertising an ad blocker.
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SonicFan23
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2014, 05:28:07 PM »

It's nice to see that you're still making an effort to turn this site around.

Are you planning on keeping the Sonic downloads up? I understand that they're a major draw for this forum, but it would suck for you to be sent another cease-and-desist from SEGA. Also, I think not allowing any illegal content on this site would give it a lot of legitimacy and help it not just be seen as a site for piracy. You could still keep the soundtracks up since I doubt SEGA cares about those.

And is anything gonna be done about the spambots that keep signing up? They really are a nuisance.

As for the money issue, why not put some small ads on the site? I'd be willing to whitelist the site on my ad blocker so you can get a little bit of money to pay for the server. It's kinda weird that you put a link to Adblock Plus on the home page since you're essentially advertising an ad blocker.

As for Sonic downloads, I think we're OK having them for the time being. As for ads, I really don't want to clutter the site with irrelevant ads. I would use Google AdSense but sadly I got banned for life from the service years ago, and I have yet to find anything even remotely comparable in quality/relevancy.
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Ravenfreak
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2014, 06:03:54 PM »

How about using promotional forums to help increase traffic on the site? Forum Promotion is the largest promotional and webmaster forum. It's very active, and I'm sure there are quite a few Sonic fans surfing the forums. Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2014, 11:41:13 AM »

I'm sure if SEGA of America doesn't care about gameplay videos it doesn't care about anything else. Actually, the only people who filed against gameplay videos was SOJapan. Lets just say the rest of SEGA was pissed. Anyways, could we sneak some advertising in comments about the Lien-Da redesign?
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Elija2
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2014, 12:17:47 PM »

As for Sonic downloads, I think we're OK having them for the time being. As for ads, I really don't want to clutter the site with irrelevant ads. I would use Google AdSense but sadly I got banned for life from the service years ago, and I have yet to find anything even remotely comparable in quality/relevancy.

How did you get banned? And could you still sign up under someone else's name (like a family member)?

I'm sure if SEGA of America doesn't care about gameplay videos it doesn't care about anything else. Actually, the only people who filed against gameplay videos was SOJapan. Lets just say the rest of SEGA was pissed. Anyways, could we sneak some advertising in comments about the Lien-Da redesign?

That's ridiculous. People pirating their games affects them way more than people watching gameplay videos does. Plus John has already been contacted by SEGA before so that's proof enough that they care.
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Shilz
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2014, 01:13:52 PM »

 
How did you get banned? And could you still sign up under someone else's name (like a family member)?

That's ridiculous. People pirating their games affects them way more than people watching gameplay videos does. Plus John has already been contacted by SEGA before so that's proof enough that they care.
I thought that it was SOU that asked us, but they had no pull over here, AND that was a fake report.
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SonicFan23
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2014, 01:31:24 PM »

How did you get banned? And could you still sign up under someone else's name (like a family member)?

That's ridiculous. People pirating their games affects them way more than people watching gameplay videos does. Plus John has already been contacted by SEGA before so that's proof enough that they care.

It was supposedly SEGA of Europe and it was years ago, though I still don't entirely believe it was legit.
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