Author Topic: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game  (Read 19610 times)

Rowedahelicon

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #40 on: March 21, 2015, 07:09:42 pm »
Heck, a couple of days in and he's still not even getting the meatshield admins to help put up a concerted "defense".


I wonder what their opinions of the sale are, and when they found out about it. Kind of makes me think Yak delaying the new UI is a "fuck you, pay me." thing.

I wouldn't be surprised, I've really wanted to see what his take on all of this is so far.

ColonThree

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #41 on: March 22, 2015, 07:57:04 am »
That alone is what makes this whole IMVU thing worth it. Not only will he be accountable to the furries to maintain any of his social capital at all, but he'll also be accountable to someone at IMVU, for whom this will become a game of grading against metrics. Which metrics in particular remain to be seen, but I do suspect it will begin to involve balancing a budget, keeping support ticket counts down, and giving the site an overhaul as it has since several years so sorely needed.

His livelihood depends on it now. There's no turning back.

It sounds good, but I have major doubts that he is remotely capable of pulling it off. For the last 10 years, the site has been run somewhere between a charity and a hobby; doing as little as possible to keep the site running, and using his spare time to indulge in his fetishes and playing king furry. Now suddenly he's got a boss to report to, perhaps some performance reviews to endure, targets to meet, and if it hasn't come up already, he'll be tasked with actually trying to turn some sort of profit. Long forgotten and neglected features like premium accounts and print-on-demand will now become lifelines. After 10 years of slacking off, making false promises, and wasting money, he'll have to not just put real time and effort into FA, but turn his whole lifestyle around.

The problems will no doubt be compounded by how vastly different these two different companies operate, as noted earlier. An interview with their co-founder reads like the exact opposite of how 'neer runs FA.

"A lean startup is one that takes advantage of open-source technologies"
Dragoneer once spent money on a licence for (poorly-made) wiki software instead of a free alternative.

"Timothy Fitz, a software engineer at IMVU, says the developers average 50 new code iterations per day."
FA barely updates more than a few times a year, and even then just minor bug fixes or pointless UI changes.

"Ries says it came from books like Lean Thinking, which outlines ways companies can reduce waste and boost revenue"
FA has servers that do nothing, new ones purchased that are way over-spec, and potential revenue sources like advertising are frequently ignored.

He's off to a great start by accomplishing precisely zero since the deal was made two months ago. I would love to see this be the push 'neer so sorely needs to actually do something with FA, but if anything I think it will just break him.
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Conan

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #42 on: March 22, 2015, 09:09:02 am »
Speaking of new servers...



New servers won't keep people from leaving if IMVU fucks up, Sean.

Anarcho-Loser

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #43 on: March 22, 2015, 01:27:08 pm »
https://twitter.com/Dragoneer/status/579725560521318400

So here Neer states that FA could pay its own operating costs. I guess no one can claim that regular operation of the site was a big burden on him then.
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nrr

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #44 on: March 22, 2015, 03:41:27 pm »
It sounds good, but I have major doubts that he is remotely capable of pulling it off.

I hate to be the pessimist, but I have those same major doubts. Nevertheless, I also have faith that he'll find a way to make it work and turn his life around. This whole exercise is going to test his ability to maintain the relationships required to keep the trust of the furries who make use of FA as well as the management above him at IMVU.

It's a net win for everybody involved, frankly, no matter how it turns out from here. The worst thing that could happen is that FA gets melted down for scrap without any consideration for the cultural value of it all, which means that the past 10 years of furry history wind up being a wash. I can just see Jason Scott foaming at the mouth about it now…

Now suddenly he's got a boss to report to, perhaps some performance reviews to endure, targets to meet, and if it hasn't come up already, he'll be tasked with actually trying to turn some sort of profit.

I think the emphasis is going to be less on graded for being able to turn the site net-positive and more on turning the site into a loss leader. Think drug dealers and companies like Slack. First hit's free, but it gets you hooked.

He'll be dragged through performance reviews and quarterly meetings notwithstanding, and his competency as a manager of this particular property may or may not be questioned.

Long forgotten and neglected features like premium accounts and print-on-demand will now become lifelines. After 10 years of slacking off, making false promises, and wasting money, he'll have to not just put real time and effort into FA, but turn his whole lifestyle around.

I'm hoping that he actually does and that he proves us all wrong.

The problems will no doubt be compounded by how vastly different these two different companies operate, as noted earlier. An interview with their co-founder reads like the exact opposite of how 'neer runs FA.

Frankly, it's the exact opposite model employed by several companies, my current employer included. The fact that FA didn't run lean is just a testament to the same sort of non-accountable management worms eating into the brains of everyone there.

He's off to a great start by accomplishing precisely zero since the deal was made two months ago. I would love to see this be the push 'neer so sorely needs to actually do something with FA, but if anything I think it will just break him.

I hope not. Like I said, I do hope that he ends up proving us all wrong.
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ColonThree

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #45 on: March 22, 2015, 10:29:05 pm »
I think the emphasis is going to be less on graded for being able to turn the site net-positive and more on turning the site into a loss leader. Think drug dealers and companies like Slack. First hit's free, but it gets you hooked.

You'll have to expand a bit on that one for me. Do you mean they might see FA as nothing more than an advertising platform to get people to join IMVU? If so, they were already advertising IMVU on FA anyway. Unless of course that advertising actually worked far better than most people imagined, and they want to squeeze it dry.

Edit: I just realised the ads started after FA was already sold, so I assume they were going by FA's popularity alone as a guide. It seems to me they wouldn't get too many users from FA, since anyone remotely interested in something like IMVU would have already joined SL, which is far superior.

No word on whether or not it took him a month to reply to their ad inquiries.

If the site was sold in Jan and these ads started late Feb, that might not actually be far from the truth after all.
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Conan

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #46 on: March 22, 2015, 10:58:58 pm »
https://twitter.com/Dragoneer/status/579725560521318400

So here Neer states that FA could pay its own operating costs. I guess no one can claim that regular operation of the site was a big burden on him then.

The funny thing is the inability to pay for infrastructure could have easily been resolved by... I don't know... having not-dirt-cheap ad rates or some sort of premium functionality...

Oh well. IMVU will take care of that. I can't wait to see the only "community" ads be for Bad Dragon and one of the scam "furry dating" websites next to "ARTISTS HATE HIM! Learn do draw using this one weird trick!" ads.


ProvincialTwit

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #47 on: March 23, 2015, 06:48:28 am »
Oh well. IMVU will take care of that. I can't wait to see the only "community" ads be for Bad Dragon and one of the scam "furry dating" websites next to "ARTISTS HATE HIM! Learn do draw using this one weird trick!" ads.

"ARTISTS HATE HIM!  Learn to sell out your 'community' using this one weird trick!"

Gourd

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #48 on: March 23, 2015, 10:43:54 am »

Arvyote

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #49 on: March 23, 2015, 12:06:16 pm »
Dragoneer comes clean in this exclusive interview.

https://youtu.be/tDRsPE1BbB8

I don't know who made this but I had to wipe the Red Bull I was drinking off of my screen.

an Hoopoe

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #50 on: March 24, 2015, 09:20:36 am »
one Onta (26,000+ watchers, operates numerous furry and non-furry pay-sites) made a journal saying:

Quote from: Onta
I have no fucking idea what's going on with this IMVU bullshit but if you like the art on my gallery you should start saving it now. I have zero interest in policing the IMVU fuckery and even less interest in having my art & content leverage imvu fuckery.

Get this shit handled NOW or deal with people ditching your site.
^
http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/6603906/

Cue more discussion of the IMVU art theft issues and crap damage control from Dragoneer:


^
http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/6603906/#cid:44992213

Also, I think Dragoneer's stilted cargo-cult pr attempts are getting worse and worse:

Quote from: Dragoneer
Onta,

We're working directly with artists who violate IMVU policy. Worry not. When users report art theft to me that takes place on IMVU I'm working directly with the artists to help file reports against the users who stole art.

But in the unfortunate reality, any marketplace where users can submit this kind of content is prone to theft -- be it eBay, Amazon, Redbubble and more. This isn't an IMVU-specific issue, but the difference is I work for IMVU, and part of my goals is easing the issues for artists.
^
http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/6603906/#cid:44992190

"Worry not"? "But in the unfortunate reality"? It's like he's communicating in Engrish from a 90s Mega Drive game or something.

A response to Dragoneer:

Quote from: Runefox
That is unfortunate. It's also unfortunate that your employers are actively working against artists who are trying to even see if their art has been stolen in the AP section by refusing to even allow them to browse it without paying, providing their SSN, credit card in-name and photo ID. Not to mention the only method for takedown is DMCA, which is the least possible effort required by law to police copyright.

Most sites, including Amazon, offer a way to report products for various reasons, but IMVU does not. Even flagging (which accomplishes little) requires an account on the site, which many artists don't want. And to top it all off, some of this stuff has been on there for years, and a lot of it violates IMVU's own ToS. That should go to show you how much they actually care about policing their store, at least not so long as they continue to make money from it.
^
http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/6603906/#cid:44993119

And from the FA forums, Dragoneer admits that even as an IMVU employee he can't do anything about rampant art theft and how IMVU handles it + "we're working on it":

Quote from: Dragoneer
IMVU is aware of the issue that their requirements to register to view adult content is causing some artists. I do not have a good answer. Suffice to say, some parts of my day are spent browsing looking for copyright content, and I will be contacting artists I can identify and let them know how to get their content removed.

I've never been for art theft. I'm an artist, my wife's an artist, pretty much all of my friends and family are. I get there are some issues now, but we are working on trying to smooth them out.
^
https://forums.furaffinity.net/threads/1353961-FA-IMVU-Discussion?p=5114750&viewfull=1#post5114750

Edit:

Quote from: Dragoneer
I've posted in a lot of journals to help discuss and relay issues to users.
^
http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/6603906/#cid:44993835

Amazing.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2015, 10:25:17 am by a pigeon »

DJ_Izumi

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #51 on: March 24, 2015, 09:29:12 am »
Onta's popular, and it's the big popular artists leaving that threatens FA the most.  It's like a mall losing it's anchor stores, the other stores can't keep it afloat.  It's really interesting to see if Neer's attempt to 'save' FA is what leads it to go 'Full MySpace' and sink within a year.

Gourd

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #52 on: March 24, 2015, 10:25:11 am »
https://forums.furaffinity.net/threads/1353961-FA-IMVU-Discussion/page41

This is so hilarious.

Quote from: Dragoneer;5114796
That's solely to verify age, nothing more. I've been sending some users links to their art on the marketplace to help them identify what needs to be removed.

The response

Quote from: MoonRiverz;5114836
Just an FYI, even if an AP user finds the link to an AP product and sends that to a non AP user, the non AP user cannot view the product or the page. All they will have to go on is your word and if you also provide a screen shot of the actual product page for them. No one, whatsoever, who is NOT AP cannot see anything AP in the catalog, store, game, ect, even if they have a direct link, they will get a blank page and told they must log in, and without AP next to your name you cannot see anything.

Less important, but equally funny reply

Quote from: Smelge;5114841
I find this beautiful.

Dragoneer has been helping people for days by doing something that can't in any way help unless the artist buys access. That's it guys, it's all been completely pointless. This is it, nothing we can say or do can beat this level of terrible.

Seriously, go home. It's over.


Anarcho-Loser

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #53 on: March 24, 2015, 10:32:25 am »
Ya know, I've been watching this clusterfuck for days now, and I dont recall seeing anyone connected with FA besides Skiggles say anything about this acquisition. Usually they're around trying to protect Needs ass when shit goes down, but this time they've been totally silent. Maybe Need has absolutely no support from even his own buttbuddies at this point. Or maybe I just haven't been paying enough attention to notice them comment.

Anyone seen anything from other Admins/Mods/Anyone?
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Gourd

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #54 on: March 24, 2015, 07:56:13 pm »
The only staff I've seen get involved with this are Lizardking and he's on the side of the community and Mr. I'll-Resign-If-I-Don't-See-A-New-UI-In-A-Vague-Allotted -Timeframe (Kalmor) to do a late and half assed job of thread moderation.

I don't even think dogfucker has spoken his piece on this debacle.

Dima

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #55 on: March 24, 2015, 09:52:41 pm »
I don't even think dogfucker has spoken his piece on this debacle.



https://twitter.com/ConeOfFire/status/579359820311998464

I think Chase's quiet support says enough for his piece.

Conan

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #56 on: March 25, 2015, 01:18:09 am »
So a couple of days ago, FA posted this journal.

Thank you all for raising the concerns about products you have seen in IMVU's catalog. Its important to remember that IMVU's shop has over 16 million items and all of them are user-generated (not created by IMVU). Products are submitted to the catalog and reviewed by peers before they are made available for sale. Of course as with any UGC (user-generated content) situation, this means inappropriate or copied content may get through.

IMVU community has a large segment of customers who like furry-themed products - avatars, furry outfits, posters etc. Some of their creators have accounts on FA as well and may be selling their own artwork on both sites. Some of the content may be copied. Do note that the content being there is not related to IMVU's acquisition of FA and has not been added to the catalog as a result.

There is a process to deal with this that is followed by IMVU. It is called DMCA process and details of that process can be found in their TOS toward the end. IMVU must comply with the DMCA process exactly as it is specified and therefore all required information is needed before products can be taken down. Do remember that the original content must be yours before you can initiate a DMCA takedown request - you may not file it on someone else's behalf.

We may have stated before that you can flag and report products if you believe them to be copied from you, however, that is not correct information. DMCA is the only way to request action on such content.

We have heard your concerns about not being able to view content that is AP-rated in IMVU's catalog and therefore not available for viewing to the general public. FA is currently with IMVU to figure out a solution for that issue.

We understand and appreciate everyone is reacting to the news and there is a lot of information going around - facts as well as rumors. We are doing our best to monitor your feedback and concerns, respond to them and sometimes work with IMVU to get you the appropriate response.

Emphasis is mine. Since then, Dragoneer has maintained that DMCA is the only way to take down the stolen art.

In steps Strype, a former FAU Guest of Honor and someone who appears to be generally buddy-buddy with Princess Piche. Earlier, he posted a journal.

So, the other day I found someone selling my art on IMVU. I asked him to take it down, and he said he did. Then I saw the thread in the forum that showed the Access Pass Only stuff, and my stuff was still there. So, I poked Dragoneer about it. I -JUST got this PM


RE: IMVU Account
From: [USER REDACTED]
To: Strype
15 minutes ago
You know...I was trying to remove any and all work of yours from my catalog on IMVU, but now that you reported the two pieces of yours that I accidentally missed, I'm down several hundred dollars that I put into that account myself. I have never received a single dollar back from IMVU for what I did and contributed to that community, and now it's all gone and permanently banned. That's a pretty harsh outcome that I was trying to prevent and be nice with you about. Hope you're happy.

Permanently banned from IMVU,

[USER REDACTED]

PS, don't bother to reply to this, I don't check this account.



WE SHIT, MAYBE YOU SHOULDA TAKEN IT ALL DOWN, THEN INSTEAD OF LEAVING UP ALL THE STUFF YOU THOUGHT I WOULDNT FIND OUT ABOUT.


So yeah, my stance on all this? I REALLY don't like IMVU, but this art theft thing has gone from LOOOONG before the buyout. But hey, a bit of help from another site to help whip this one into shape ain't a bad thing, and it'll be a lot easier than FA bobbing along on its own. With the extra support we can probably get the UI updates and all the fancy stuff we've been hoping to get around here.

And as for Dragoneer, yeah, things haven't been perfect, and sadly it seems that hating on the guy is the thing all the "cool kids' are doing nowadays. I know it's easier to imagine him as a money-grubbing incompetent nincompoop and not a human being that's trying to do whats best for the site, but I've met the dude, and he's always come off to me as a genuine guy that's trying to help the community and eats WAY too much shit for it.

And I know you guys are probably gonna give me shit for defending the guy, too. You can keep that to yourselves.

Look, point is, look up there. The thieves are getting their asses banned, and we have Dragoneer to thank for it. Maybe we should consider putting down the torches and pitchforks and help the guy out. If you spot thefts, tell the artists. And artists, take note of who's selling your stuff and note Dragoneer about it. That's what I did less than 12 hours ago, and we're starting to see results. This theft has been going on for YEARS before the buy-out, but now we have a chance to scrub it all out, which will be good for everyone.


Now, if you don't mind, I'mma go chill for the next 23 hours and have a kickass day to myself, and then get back to work on all that art you homies seem to really dig.

You can see Strype simply messaged Piche, which is the exact opposite of "DMCA is the only way to request action on such content." Some people are claiming they need to send in physical DMCA paperwork, which is actually the only legal way it's valid even though most reputable businesses honor online copies. Not sure if this is confusion amongst the users or IMVU's doing.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 06:16:14 am by Conan »

GarLogan

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #57 on: March 25, 2015, 01:45:39 am »
I joined after a long time lurking because this recent drama just really made me go 'what?'

On the whole 'what does staff say' I saw some dude who claims he's an admin 'behind the scenes' reply to a journal of someone I watch. Dude's name is Kyoujin and says

Quote
I still work behind the scenes as an admin here and there, and although I probably will be leaving soon (not related in any way to the IMVU change).. I can say that this won't be the case. We have our own rules on FA, and they're not being changed at all. FA isn't going to be run any differently, which is why the admin team is still the same. I can't go into every detail due to an NDA, but it seriously won't change the site like people are worrying about.

I understand the concern, and even when I first heard I was worried.. but it's natural to worry. No one likes change. But art theft will still be dealt with the same way, and the rules we have in place are not changing in any bad way.
- http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/6605552/#cid:45008865


Can these guys really be that dense?


And the Strype post... so a close popufur  friend of Piche messaged  himabout a guy who was plagiarizing him on IMVU, and the situation was solved. Whoopee? So, how does that change the fact that anyone who is not riding Dragoneer's cock favor has to shell out and go through the DMCA process instead of getting a Speshul Favor? Doesn't he see that his post is basically showing how favoritist the FA infrastructure still is? Piche will end over backwards for his favor pr0nzter, but if you're not one of the people bringing in the cash, you can go to the line with the rest of the plebes.

Anarcho-Loser

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #58 on: March 25, 2015, 04:29:59 am »
K-jin was at one point an admin. Last I heard they had taken an extended absence and they were complaining that Neer wouldn't let them take up their admin role again, even though they were told the position was always open to them.

I guess they got that issue worked out then.

Course, if K-jin doesn't have that @ next to their account name, they're operating under a secret account. TRANSPARENCY!
We tried, we failed.

an Hoopoe

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Re: FA sold to 11 year old commercial internet game
« Reply #59 on: March 25, 2015, 05:48:19 am »
Can these guys really be that dense?

Kyoujin's extremely lengthy reply there is interesting, I think, because it illustrates the attitude of the FA staff who are loyal to Dragoneer and stick around down the years, and of people who relentlessly defend/brown-nose Dragoneer.

He really is that dense and repeatedly blames "conspiracy theories", declares that there just aren't enough people willing to volunteer as admins because of "trolls" and mindlessly defends FA's set up without ever questioning how Dragoneer let it get like that, and simply asserts that FA will always be as bad as it currently is, and flatly states at the end that he won't respond to any further comments because what he's said is the truth and that is that:

Quote from: Kyoujin
There's not enough people who truly want to help, or they aren't willing to step out into the crossfire because they're afraid if they help, they'll be targeted by trolls [...]

These conspiracy theorists will never be satisfied. People just LOVE to play the blame game. That's why people attack the site and start conspiracies [...] they just make up their own conspiracies. Hell, I've heard plenty of ridiculous conspiracies about the site [...]

IMVU is not going to ruin the site. Our new system is going to improve our huge issues with tickets, and things will be much better. However, it takes time.. and sadly, people aren't patient, and again, people like to point fingers and create drama. That's how it always is, and how it always will be.

[...] nothing I, or anyone else says, will change how people want to think.

[...] If you want to reply to my comment, that's fine, just please don't take anything out of context. I may or may not read the response, but either way I probably wont' respond [...] There's not much more reason for me to respond again because, I put up the truth
^
http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/6605552/#cid:45009307

Kyoujin's ignorant claims about people being afraid to volunteer for FA is contradicted by evidence such as this staff recruitment journal where hundreds of people demonstrate interest and state they've applied and no one says "Gee, I'd love to apply but I'm afraid of trolls":

http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/5122085/

I think the repeatedly invocation of conspiracy theories demonstrates his absolutely contempt for, ignorance of and disconnect from the FA community and his bootlicking loyalty to Dragoneer. There are so many documented fuck ups, failures, lies &c. of Dragoneer documented in this forum and all Koujin can do is to invoke conspiracy theories and blame people for wanting to be disgusted with how FA is run, as if Dragoneer's constant fuck ups were non-existent:

"nothing I, or anyone else says, will change how people want to think".

Sadly, If he ever becomes aware of this post I believe he'd simply take it as "ugh, those damn dirty trolls hatin' on the FA staff and inventing conspiracy theories" and never stop to think that Dragoneer doesn't have to run FA as he does.

Last thought I had: If one is talking about conspiracy theories, surely Dragoneer's selling FA to IMVU and keeping it a secret for several months is closer to a genuine conspiracy (against the community and users) than anything anyone else has come up with.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 07:23:39 am by a pigeon »