As some of you will have heard: I started work on a LEGO minifigure trading site a while ago, under the name Project Swapfig
, to improve on an existing site I'd used a few times.
Most of the functionality that I wanted to include is present, and I'm going to be launching the site on May 1st, hopefully in time for Series 10's general release.
To really get things going, I've started a Kickstarter project
to raise money for widespread promotion, as well as covering web hosting and maintenance, and promotional goodies.
Hopefully the project itself will explain things, but if you have any questions or suggestions please let me know. And of course, I would really appreciate as much backing and exposure of the project as possible.
Here's the link to the Kickstarter project:http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/296710547/project-swapfig-minifigure-trading-action/dashboard
Here's the video I made for it (with closed captions):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdQyZXV9W7U
In my opinion, it may be a bit niche, but I wish you the best of luck with it. I see that you haven't set an over the top funding target which should give you a fighting chance. Presumably you're going to do it regardless of whether you get funding or not?
However, I wonder if going for advertising to get lots of users is the right way from day one. As you have worked on it by yourself, you know how it works and should work. Would it not be an idea to get it beta tested by others before the official start date? If 100s of people start using it from day one and you have missed something obvious to others but not to you, will there be time to adapt it before those people get turned off?
Word of mouth alone on here should be enough to get you a decent number of try-out users. Is it really necessary to pay to attract new users straight away when targetted posts here, eurobricks, etc is likely to attract a large group of users.
I still have some time before the release date to develop the site, so depending on how things go I might have a short beta-testing session to check if I've missed anything, or if anything could be improved.
As for the advertising: I obviously wouldn't go for paid advertising right away, as I'd want to make sure the site works first! but I figure it's easier to prepare and then hit the ground running, than to wait and then beg.
Okay, I've updated the Kickstarter project to be more thorough, as well as adding a few more rewards. If you're sharing the link please use this one: http://bit.ly/swapfig
I'm not heavily into figs but do like to get specific ones for the parts. Trading via forums is not something I've ever felt comfortable doing, so a site like this will be useful to me.
Can't wait for this to go live. I'll be using it often once you (hopefully) upload more minifigures to its database for trading (Star Wars, exclusives, etc..).
It may convince me to trade a few CMFs, as well though :)
I've had a play and I like it. The flexibility in setting up trades is superb. I have the following observations / suggestions / feedback - hopefully this is the right place to put them:
Maybe put UK and US (and a few others Germany etc if these are likely to be important) at the top of the list of countries for registration.
There should be some rules mentioning what should be included:
- figure and accessories: should be everything in the packet (although not extras for early series?), for example - does this include baseplate?
- figure only - as specified at bricklink for example? No hand held (or foot) accessories, but should include capes and headgear and so on?
- what about including sealed packets as an option?
Haves pages: maybe have the update haves button at the top as well as the bottom of the page? (Same for wants page too).
Wants page: difficult to see when "normal" priority is selected, others (high/ low) are clearer. (I've tried on firefox and chrome)
Propose a trade - the count of high / norm / low does change when figures from these categories are added.
The only reason "sealed" isn't/wasn't a specific option at present is that there's a world of problems involved if someone misidentifies a figure - it's happened to me a few times. However, there is a market for sealed packets so it's worth adding. The only issue is whether or not it would apply to other groups of minifigures added later on.
How do other people feel about the list of countries (on the register and edit profile pages)?
The countries list is not a big deal - just a suggestion. I always find having the countries of the majority of the users at the top of the list suggests that this has been thought about and it gives a better impression, but it is not a deal breaker!
That said, lego bricks and pieces has just Germany at the top of the list, and everyone else further down.
One thing concerning countries - is it possible to have a Europe selection when selecting trades (borrowing the idea from BL)? So we could select UK (or own country), Europe or Worldwide (all).
If it really takes off, then chances are non-AFOLs will be using it to swap kids' minifigs to complete their sets. In this case, I think there does need to be clear rules about what constitutes a complete figure.
I was playing around with the Haves list yesterday and hand a question suggestion for the "clear all" feature. Would it be possible to have a pop up that says "are you sure you want to clear all?" Or something along those lines. With the button being next to "update" a user may inadvertently click "clear all".
I'm loving the site though! I'm very hopeful you'll get your funding and it will have a strong kickoff!
^^^^^ It may be useful to browse for people in a specific continent, so I'll look at putting that in.
Good luck :-)
I'm having a small competition over on Flickr, involving some graphics work. Feel free to enter if you fancy it.
I do have some feedback - I used the contact form to send it, but might as well raise it here too.
If I have a sealed pack and a possible trading partner wants the minifig as a complete, I am not shown this as a possible trade. Is it possible to implement that if the partner wants C, then we are shown this if we have either S or C. In most cases, I'd be happy enough to open it if he wants open and complete rather than sealed - or just send the sealed pack.
Similarly, if the partner wants an I (incomplete) figure, we could be shown this if we have S or C or I.
Got a message saying
A new activation link has been sent to your email address.
When I click on the link from my email.
Great website tho!
I got a new email today with a proper activation code which worked. Just before the (non-)trading issue was clear and it was taken down.
Still, it's great to see how proactive he is in getting it sorted. Way better than some other sites.
Anyhow, it looks like things are picking up - I was able to make a trade offer a while ago. There may be some more issues but I will keep an eye out for them.
And not due to the offer being bad, but a software problem again. I still cannot make offers either. I've emailed you.
Still no email yet.
Also, will probably be a good option to add "Keep logged in" option on?
Thank you for all of your hard work Drew! It is very much appreciated. I can see #SwapFig becoming a resource for the LEGO community for many many years!
I can hopefully take things a bit easier now, so I'm going to focus on cleaning things up before adding any new features.
I've tried both firefox and chrome, same error.