Well, this was our first whole year done, and what a year it's been.
I just wanted to take a few moments to review what a whirl-wind it's been, especially for me behind the scenes.
2014 started off with a few feature to the site and that was 1on1 video chat. I had this great vision in my mind of a 'Skype style' experience where members call each other on the site and cam without having to add each other to Skype and all that cumbersome stuff. Sufficed to say I didn't realise my dream correctly for whatever reason and the feature flopped. Hard. I think it was more down to the way I implemented it, but either way, it sucked.
My next big idea for the site was 'The Theatre', a place where Masters and slaves could book a room to broadcast themselves to the globe. They could send out a link to anyone they wanted, fire up their cam and be watched by hundreds. Although this feature was almost finished towards the end of development I decided that if I was going to implement webcams on the site, in whatever way this was not how I wanted to go about it. 4 months worth of development - scrapped.
April was a busy month, and saw a lot of new things asked for by users. The introduction of separated lists in the members section to just show either Masters or slaves, The Pantheon and updates to the ownership system.
May saw the Pantheon and Slave Market taken down as it was just not how I wanted to to fit in with the rest of the site, and it also did not integrate well with the other features here. We had our 1 year anniversary and also the announcement of the Videos section. All was good!
So June comes around, and well this was probably the most significant month of this year for me. I decided to quit my full time job and focus on this place 100% (with some other side projects). It was a big step for me, and a scary one. I had no idea if this place would work or what kind of situation I might be in a few months down the line. Also, how would I cope focusing on this all day every day, would it drive me mad? (I think it has).
Thankfully though, everything seems to have worked out fine - apart from a few issues I'll come onto soon. I'm pleased I made that decision and I think if I hadn't this place would not be here today. When I had my full time job this was a hobby to me, I wasn't that bothered if it worked or not, however spending all my time on here made me determined. Determined to give the great members that we have an awesome place to come, and I am going to continue to do that.
June also saw the launch of the lottery, a little fun game we're all familiar with and some members have won a lot of money on it!
We also launched our slowly becoming popular Webcams section.
July comes in, everything has an opposite right? This is June's opposite. Well, our payment provider at the time - Zombaio. Decided that after months of fucking me around with not paying out on time etc they would close my account. I followed all their rules, played by the terms Visa and Mastercard set out, but because I (and other Zombaio customers) demanded our money they closed our accounts. 4K was lost. Just like that. They had not been paying me for months which is why payouts to Masters were delayed on here. I had to fork out from my own money to pay the Masters here, all the server and software costs, as well as my own living expenses.
Let's just say it was a VERY stressful time. I really wanted to jack it all in. After thinking this place was doing great I was suddenly broke and without a payment provider for this place. In comes Verotel. My saviours. They saw the problems Zombaio customers were having and stepped in. They took me on board, set me up in double quick time and we were away again. Things were on the up!
In comes August. Oh fuck another problem. PayPal had been snooping around the site, and because some members can't stick to the no mentioning PayPal rule they close my account. More money lost. At this point I'm in despair. Has this really happened again two months in a row? Yep it sure had. Still, people need to be paid so I fork out more of my own money. This is becoming ridiculous. What am I getting out of this? Ergh. I hate my life.
Everything else is pretty quiet up until November - thank fuck!
November we get the Pantheon and Slave Market back with a new updated look, we also have the feedback system and the Shop! Development is in full swing, hurrah!
I still have so much to do here, and I think you all for staying with me. I know at times it can seem frustrating.
Masters, I'll be getting more payout options in January to replace PayPal and give you more choices than just Amazon Gift Card. I know the last few months have been annoying in that respect but bare with.
We're also going to be having a site re-design in the new year to make it a bit more friendly and bright, the darkness is a bit too much sometimes, especially for me looking at it all day; but I think I'm going to keep the yellow theme, I quite like the yellow.
I think I'm going to be looking for a few Admins in the new year as well. This place really is getting too big for me to manage all by myself now. I remember the days when I could log in and know almost everyone here, there was a good group of regular users who would chat and get involved.
Now I fear it's becoming a bit like the other sites with the Masters who just log in now and then to post PAY ME NOW FAG in the chat room and then vanish for another few months. This site however over the next year is going to start supporting the members who do contribute and join in regularly, I don't have a clear vision on it yet, but some sort of reward system anyway.
Oh, I've forgotten the threats from other sites, I've had a lot of those. Messages saying I'm copying them etc. Please. I design and build everything here myself (it shows ha-ha).
I found it amusing when one site introduced credits (tips were called credits here at one point) and claimed they were unique to them! However they had copied and pasted my FAQ page exactly ha-ha. When confronted about it I was threatened and banned. I probably get a few e-mails a week hurling abuse at me. I'm used to it now.
In spite of all this I do love this place. I've had members help me out with all kinds of things from helping with the wording of something to helping promote the site, and for that I am truly grateful.
I suppose in short I'm not too sure what 2015 will bring for this site, definitely some more unique stuff, a bit more refinement and hopefully a lot of new members. We're close to 1000 members, that's pretty cool. We've had a lot more join obviously, but anyone who joins but doesn't verify after 28 days is removed. I only want the best here :)
I'm going to keep on at it, try and re-coupe the thousands that I lost and then hopefully I can relax a bit!
Anyway, thanks for listening to me ramble on, it got a bit negative towards the end there, sorry about that, I guess it's still all playing on my mind.
If you do enjoy this place, and would like to help fill that hole in some way the donation box is in the sidebar, every little helps.
Right, I probably won't be on here much until after the New Year, so I hope you all have a good one, and yeah. Cheers.