Crypto-Chat was an attempt to make a cryptocurrency forum during the crazy bull run in prices.
I have to admit, this was not for the passion, or for the learning experience. It was a cash grab, which is one of the main reasons I believed this project failed.
I bought the domain based on the alliteration and having a good name overall, feeling it would be brandable and went with the discussion focus of a forum. I set up basic web hosting and created forum categories based on the most popular coins/assets at the time. I personally did not have a good understanding of the technology nor of the categories I was creating and did not have the advantage of being first on the scene. This combination made me realise quite quickly this was a dead project from the start. The only goal was to make money, and I wouldn't be making money if I didn't want to invest the time into creating my own content to create a community.
- Have a passion for the project you start.
- Money is good, but not the reason to create something.
- Knowledge is required to create a successful project.
PoryPro was a concept where a community could be formed like TheSilphRoad or another fan site but with scanning software/skills discussed in the open. I have the skills which would have allowed me to promote the subject and could write content as I had the knowledge.
The main drawback of this particular project was the possibility of having to close down the site due to its nature, the competition for the Pokemon Go user base is extreme, and a lot of content is already online for all to see. What could I provide that was new?
- Nothing new to bring to the table. Just another forum of information.
- Not as passionate as for the scanning project itself.
- Extreme competition. To be big would be huge, but getting there would be very difficult.
Pokken Tournament is a Pokemon game based on fighting, a play on Tekken. I saw a new game was releasing and figured this could be my 'first to the gate' chance at a Pokemon game launch. The game had a small but dedicated fan base on a previous site. Not much to say other than I thought I was first but was not, the project was dropped shortly after as I personally had no interest in the game.
E-drama was a site based on internet drama, with the rise in Twitch Streamers being popular I thought it would be possible to capitalise on the discourse created by these individuals like any real life show. The problem is while it's true you can make money, moderation and attraction of these types of users to a community is extremely hard.
- Not able to attract the user base.
- Way too much work to moderate, which ultimately closed the project idea for me.
- Monetisation of a community like this can be complicated.
TheServerNews was a YouTube project in my early to mid teens in which I created YouTube videos of various topics, mainly focused on RuneScape Private Servers at the time hence the name. Funnily enough the most popular video of the channel was a video on how to cheat at Cookie Clicker, a browser game. Completely unrelated to the niche I started in.
- Limited niche.
- YouTube long term with the style of video I choose would never go far.
- Outgrew the desire to make YouTube videos.
MinecraftServices was a forum created to compliment my already successful Minecraft Server List to create a community of server owners specifically. This was a well established field in which I was entering very late into the game. On top of this, creating the community meant I was banned from advertising my server list on other forum communities due to creating a direct competitor. I reversed at that point.
- Nothing new to offer, just meeting the same needs with the same answers.
- Damaged the ability of growth for another, already successful project.
- Extremely competitive niche, I've seen many new projects spawn and die with the same idea since.
Rollercoaster Tycoon addiction
Parkitect is a modern version of a cult hit Rollercoaster Tycoon 2, with similar style to the gameplay and grid like system. I played way too many hours of RCT as a kid and was hyped for the release of what looked to be the future of the genre as Atari killed RCT's good name. The problem was it's simply not the same game at launch and I felt I could add to the community.
I created a forum with the goal of creating a custom element for users to share custom rides and themes. That already existed. They did it better.
- Not first to come up with a good idea.
- The other forum already had it better before I started work, honestly preferable, everyone wins.
- The game wasn't at launch what I wanted, so interest was low to begin with. Lack of passion.
.download domain hype.
.download domained launched with a lot of hype, a full word which can be extremely useful as a domain. I purchased many on a website which allowed them for less than $1/£1 each, thinking I could flip them rather than make a quick profit, showing my lack of understanding for the field. None of the domains were able to be sold, renewal costs were too high to justify the purchase and all expired from my ownership. My choice of domain, focusing on questionable download types, likely didn't help either.
- Lack of knowledge.
- Domain flipping is hard if its just the domain.
- Is .download really that good? Not really.
The List that started it all
Top50Servers was the first game list I created based on my passion for both Minecraft and RuneScape Private Servers. A multi-game list with only basic knowledge of PHP, HTML and CSS meant that the project would only ever go so far in the early days of my skill set. I learned a great deal from this site but most of it was how not to run a site rather than positive lessons.
- Don't contact everyone you can find. I would directly create accounts in communities and message the owners.
- Optimisation is key. The site was just a bunch of bodge fixes. I was missing the 'make it better' part of my philosophy at the time.
- Make friends, not enemies. I refused to partner with other sites, this limited growth dramatically. I got greedy, I learned not to be.
Image source for preview picture - Design Graveyard