Monday, December 12, 2005
myOtaku Thoughts: Issue #1
I spent about 10-12 hours this weekend thinking about the new myOtaku.
(My brain is quite sore now.)
I think it's clear to everyone that there are a lot of incremental upgrades that we could make to the service. More customizability, more features, more this, more that.
However, while I don't doubt the importance of these incremental improvements, I think that's the wrong frame of mind to approach the new version.
To explain, first let me give some background.
When I conceived myOtaku v1.0, my goal was for it to be a platform to help create mini-celebrities.
An odd goal? Perhaps. But here was my thinking:
A user is browsing the fan art site. They see a beautiful work and want to learn more about the artist behind that work. They click to visit the artist's myOtaku site.
Wam! They can now see all the content the artist has submitted to our other sites, get linked to the artist's personal website, find out some biographical information, PM/email/guestbook them, and even read about what's going on in their lives.
To that end, myOtaku has been pretty good. A lot of our artists and members have become 'well known' in our community. myOtaku lets them express themselves further and communicate with the people who enjoy their work.
However, as myOtaku evolved and more customizability was offered, things kind of broke (or at the very least, bent).
Here's one reason why...
I'm scared to visit myO sites. Really! Now, when I find a piece of fan art I really enjoy, I'm terrified to click the myOtaku profile link next to the artist's name. I'm afraid of having a site load with 50,000 images, eye-squeezing colors, and an embedded video clip.
So how do we fix this?
One idea is to have a gateway page that leads into a person's blog. I think it's a fine idea, but needs a LOT of thought to work properly.
What do you think?