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Unread 2010-08-24, 12:16   #1
Ved's Avatar

Feb 3 2003
4,678 posts
Age 41

I need to get some things off of my chest. Things that have been nagging at me and things that were a large part of why I took so long to take the leap into working on Mechapixel again.

To be completely honest, losing the largest portion of the site contributors back in 2007 fucking crushed me and I'm still not happy about how some of those things were handled -- in part due to the staff treating certain people horribly in the public forums (rather than acting professionally and biting tongues over any differences). Even if members like Grabthar had odd concerns with the tournament and the voting, they could have been resolved more civilly, but instead we (and by we I do mean the staff as a whole, even if some were worse than others) just took a huge steaming shit on him and others. As a result of that fiasco, we lost our most prolific contributor in terms of contest suggestions, and second most in terms of graffiti entries next to Aarkie, and a whole bunch of others who rightfully thought we handled the concerns poorly. When I looked at contests from 2005-2007, which was when Mecha was at its peak, I saw mostly Grabthar/footshot/toadslick/HBF/etc leading the way in entries, not PWA Veterans, who aside from Aarkie and Chuck, had all but stopped photoshopping by 2007.

It was a huge mistake, and at this point all we can do is learn from it and not repeat it in the future. That said, if we don't find new aspiring photoshoppers to help breathe life into contests, the site is going to be in trouble, in my eyes.

The man hours I've spent coding and am spending coding once again is just goddamn staggering. When I get into it, I can and often do spend literally 40-50 hours in a week (mostly over the weekend) working on the site, in addition to holding a full time job with an hour+ commute. No it's not really healthy, and no I don't care. I also don't care about monetary compensation for the time spent coding; I do it because it's fun, and I like creating things for others enjoyment (photoshops, web apps, whatever). My reward for doing it is seeing a lot of people use the things that I build, and enjoy the features. I do appreciate all of the applause in the forums, and this may be a shitty thing to say, but seeing people actually USE the features I build means 10x more to me than a pat on the back.

And now to the meat of this post:

The contests are starting to come back, and soon the moment of truth will arrive. I've had a lot of fun working on the site over the past 3 weeks but I've had a nagging feeling that it will all be for nothing, that maybe you guys just really only want a forum to hang out in and be able to talk, and it doesn't matter how much time is dedicated to anything else on the site other than the forums.

I know you all care about Mechapixel because you kept coming back, even when the site went down last year in May. Even when there was nothing at all in June. Even when there was only a shitty default vBulletin board set up from last July until this month. I got bummed out and started started flaking out in 2007, yet you guys kept coming, checking the site to see what was going on. In 2008 several of you even tried to keep the contests going with entries, even though your site owner was MIA. Then after many attempts, this summer Kokopelli got me to finally make a decision regarding the site, and I decided to get involved again because I had actually been missing photoshopping, the contests, and all the many good times we had here in the past.

I just want to feel like this isn't all for nothing, because you know what, if the past is any indicator, I'll see people SAY they want something (such as the old site and contests back), and then when they get them they won't do shit with them. It has happened before, and my fear is it will happen again. I hate to be so pessimistic, but I just need to be proven wrong. This is why Mechapixel constantly needs new blood; old members can't be expected to carry all the burdens related to filling the site with content.

Again, I know you guys all care about the site, and I need you to show it by helping to spread the word once Mecha is open. I'm not talking about paid advertisements, just things like posting links to Mecha photoshops here and there, submitting old contests to link sites (Digg, delicious) or better yet, social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter. Things like that. If you really do care about Mechapixel, please try to think of ways to help make it grow. It's something that will be CRITICAL to its success, and something very important to me personally.

We need new visitors, and by that I mean people who come to Mecha for some reason other than posting spam. 99% of the "Guests" you see browsing the forums right now are from China, and I guarantee you they don't give a shit about photoshop contests.

Thanks for reading.
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