AuthorTopic: Tzigla Rocks!!!  (Read 75896 times)

Offline evilchelu

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Re: Tzigla Rocks!!!

Reply #120 on: January 31, 2011, 06:37:02 am
Somebody make a youtube video of quack quack coming together and write a blog post or 3 about it quick!  That should stir up some attention.  I would, except that I don't have a blog and I'm up to my chin in travel plans.

Actually, now that we have the event stream we're planning on adding board playback in the browser and also maybe automatically generating movies and uploading them to youtube. Baby steps :)
http://tzigla.com/ - collabs & exquisite corpses, y'all

Offline evilchelu

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Re: Tzigla Rocks!!!

Reply #121 on: January 31, 2011, 06:43:58 am
I think the reason I and possibly other people aren't as interested in this collab is because it's so disconnected from the forum. I mean there wasn't a whole lot of communication in the other threads but I could see it progressing on the forum which I'm already visiting every day and there's a sort of drive to reserve a tile when you can see them being taken. The only way I can see this being the same for Tzigla is if I had bookmarked it and were visiting it regularly but I'm not so interested in the collab that I would do that. The other thing I was thinking was that this is the Tzigla thread not the pixelation tile collab thread, so I come in here expecting talk about Tzigla rather than the collab, which again isn't particularly interesting to me so I don't read the thread, and without having the collab on my mind I probably won't be itching to participate.

I can't really say how to solve this but by taking out the human/community element the whole thing just seems less interesting.

Edit: Maybe a postbot or something which could post the comment box activity in the forum. Just a thought.

As with most new things, some adaptation is needed.

We could do a tziglabot that would post the activity from tzigla to a special thread. The bot could even impersonate the user that did the action/posted the comment.

However, it's more custom work for what appears to be just lack of interest, or maybe people are overly busy. So, I'm personally not convinced that that would stir up much more activity. I'll have  a look at implementing this tho, and if it doesn't take too much time, I might even do it. But, again, it seems kinda odd to invest time in this when there is hardly any activity on the pix board :(.
http://tzigla.com/ - collabs & exquisite corpses, y'all

Offline Commander Gizmo

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Re: Tzigla Rocks!!!

Reply #122 on: January 31, 2011, 05:26:00 pm
I also looked at the staging area.  I was preparing a response with some demo images but, as it turns out, Mathias's post covered it much better anyway.  I completely concur with Mathias's first 4 points.  I can see pros and cons to getting a larger user base now vs later.

Chelu, Mathias is right.  You need more flair and pop to your site so it feels fun instead of drab.  It needs to add energy to the project and motivate your users.  It does none of those things right now.  If someone is told about it or finds it on google, they are probably not going to look around very long before they form their first impression of dullness.  Inaccurate or not, they'll never learn the truth if they aren't motivated to stick around.

32 makes a good point as well, even if he can't pick a good forum name.  You would likely get a great deal more response from the forum communities you are connected with if there wasn't such a huge distinction between the community and your site.  There are lots of ways that have been used in the past to close this gap, and there are probably plenty of new and innovative ways as well.  A few suggestions after a quick brainstorm:
  • Theme Matching
    You could set up your site to allow for multiple themes which, with your partner site's permission, closely follow that of the partner site.  This would make the transition very seamless, but obviously has many challenges and a ton of work is involved.
  • Postmortem
    You might start a thread with the idea of reviewing what was liked or disliked about quack quack, your only completed board.  You could also invite comments on the artwork itself.
  • Board Specific Threads
    You could start a partner site thread for each board you start on your site, or at least the boards you think they'd be interested in.  Having discussion within the community about a board in progress spreads awareness, encourages community interest, and helps greatly to knit the partner site and your site together into one community.  It may also demonstrate what progress is occurring, thus driving further progress.  Having only this thread about the inner workings and theory behind your site doesn't really perform any of those tasks.
  • Ask Them
    Why not start a thread asking the community what they want to work on?  Perhaps the right type of board will generate more response.  The folks here might prefer a particular palette or theme for example.  I realize that is what this thread is kinda for, but it can be intimidating for someone to make a suggestions about what type of board they want when there is so much backend and UI discussion going on.

Welcome to the World Wide Web
Unfortunately, the truth is that making a cool site that attracts tons of users on it's own is very rare and usually takes a very long time.  Strong communities on the net don't usually just happen on their own.  Now that you are a webmaster, you need to be a salesman for your site.  You have to network (good start with the partner sites!), create buzz, and generally spread the word.  Since you have chosen such an unusual and unique name for your site, you have some extra work to do to get the name out there.  Is your site using search engine optimizations (SEO), and is it linked to from any blogs, news outlets, or youtube?  Who knows about it, and who do you want to know about it?  You may consider searching out some of the larger artist enclaves round the 'net and approaching them to become partner sites.  The bottom line is a cold hard fact: Someone has to take time away from development to build the community.  And unless you can find someone else to do it, that someone is you.

Offline evilchelu

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Re: Tzigla Rocks!!!

Reply #123 on: January 31, 2011, 07:07:55 pm
Thanks gizmo for the suggestions. We really appreciate that you and Mathias care about tzigla to post so many suggestions :-*

We're painfully aware that tzigla doesn't have a cool design. Unfortunatelly, as I replied to Mathias, that's kinda the best we can do. It has however seriously improved since the beginning, I guess :).

The problem with communities is that they don't really want to make the work to integrate with tzigla, and even if they would, they don't have the people to code the really tiny bits that glue it (I did it myself for pixelation, btw, even tho I don't do php).

I'm assuming they're all afraid tzigla is going to steal their users and make millions off them or something. So, deeper integration with a huge number of forums isn't something people seem to be craving. The idea for tzigla was from the beginning that it has to revolve around existing communities and make their life easier, but it seems to go this way:

1. we don't know where these communities are exactly
2. if we get to them, maybe someone will post a tiny post about tzigla
3. they will love the idea
4. nobody will actually care about the integration or running a board

We really really want to have other people be admins, but the communities don't seem to want or trust tzigla. When I'm really sad about this I'm thinking it's because it's completely free and so I assume they all think "there MUST BE something wrong with this, why would anyone do it for free" or "nice, but then all our users and ad revenue will go away". I don't even want to begin to think how sad it would be that if this were actually true (for them, because they have such a low expectation of the world).

About your specific suggestions

re: theme matching: Even if it would be seamless, someone has to do the work. Then we have to keep up with supporting themes, making sure they still work when we change stuff, etc. However I think this would just feel a bit like uncanny valley since we'll never actually be integrated without quite a bit of work from the partner site as well.

re: postportem: You mean go around on art boards and post the quack board and ask for opinions? For some reason I'd feel a bit sleazy. I'd rather go and just tell them about tzigla, not try to sneak in. But maybe I understood wrong what you suggest :)

re: board specific threads: Where would I post all the other 5 boards we have now? There's no other community part of tzigla right now. And pixelation wouldn't have been either if ptoing wouldn't have been so believing in us. He really wanted this to happen. Most people you have to chase around and still they don't care. Again, I'm assuming that since it's free, most people instinctively associate free with zero value and don't invest much real thought in it. As I replied to 32, I could theoretically do a tziglabot for pixelation that could impersonate users and post your tzigla activity in a special thread. But, why? There is almost no activity on that board so what would that help.

Then, as I was saying, other forums I've contacted like the tzigla idea, but they're not even going through the work to implement signins, which is about 15 lines of code. I'm positive they won't go through the process of implementing securely posting as the user from tzigla, which is more complicated work.

re: ask them: Ask who? On pixelation? Of course people would want different shaped boards, hex boards, iso boards, tetris boards, rotated boards and all sorts of other cool ideas. But it's very easy to want, then it's even easier to not to put in the work. Based on historical evidence, I strongly believe it's not the lack of an exact board type that's keeping people from participating (for example: lots of people asked and lots were convinced that activity and commenting would help; yet it's clear they didn't)

re: welcome to the www I'm totally aware of that. I think I've proved that I didn't expect this to be an overnight hit and I'm putting in the work to back it up.

Starting up, we didn't even consider wanting to have a tzigla community. We wanted to have tzigla help existing communities. But maybe that's a bad plan. Maybe tzigla should be parallel and completely separated and not even try to integrate, since existing communities seem afraid to get too close to tzigla.

Let me tell you what we tried already.

We've tried to create buzz and spread the word. It worked! But within our circle of influence, which is developers and programmers.

We've posted a question to hacker news and it made the front page for about 4 hours. In that day we had about 200 unique visitors from there, and about 3000 unique visitors because people posted on twitter. The result was about 15-20 people reserving on the sandbox and then abandoning tiles, and 4 people actually have made a tile on the newbies board.

I've also posted to a deviantart forum section, I'm not really sure it was the correct one. Zero visitors came from there, so I'm assuming that nobody reads that section, but pimping your project in another category I think is not allowed so, meh. We'll be making a deviantart tzigla account to post the collabs there, but we kinda need to finish some collabs first, heh.

We've contacted the pixeljoint people over a month ago. Admins said they love it and want to do something with it. I've sent them really really clear details about how to implement auth so that their users have their logo on tzigla next to their name, etc, same as pixelation. Everything went silent.

We've found the iCE facebook page (from tiles.ice.org fame) and dropped a link there. After a few weeks, somebody noticed it and said, "nice!", we should redo tiles.ice.org again. Then they went silent. Except a guy who decided to post a link to his own site even tho he doesn't care to update it anymore.

I've personally contacted the original author of the original tiles.ice.org. He was so excited about tzigla, then there was silence.

I've found the #ice irc channel, some people loved the idea. But then silence.

Plans for the future

1. Make a tzigla account on deviantart and post about the collabs - probably with screenshots at 25, 50, 75, and 100%. Unfortunatelly, the tzigla name is taken and unused and I can't reach the owner so he can transfer us the username, sigh.
2. Make a tzigla youtube account - post videos of board, but we need boards :)
3. Start emailing again all those people that i've already contacted.
4. Actually find people who would write about tzigla. Lots of people seem to love it, they post on twitter, nobody posts on facebook, nobody seems to have a blog. Also, as I said in the hacker news thread, the artist type people don't share, and I don't know where all these art forums that would be insterested are. Our active users don't seem to like tzigla enough to spread the word either. Also, once something gets to some sort of community where designer type people hang around, nobody cares anyway, most likely because of all the "not really part of our site" issues from above.

What people who love tzigla can do

Help us find moderators, preferably moderators that come with a community attached :)

Also, tomorrow morning we'll deploy the new version on the live server and we'll start again to find people to tell about tzigla and try to get more users.

So, if by any chance you want to spread the word, please wait till tomorrow!

Conclusion

Sorry for the rant, but I wanted to make it clear that it's hard for us to spread the word to artist communities because we don't have any artist friends. And it always comes across as a genuine recommendation if someone that's already part of the community makes the offer instead of the site's authors. So, if people that love the site don't spread the word, we're kinda swimming against a strong current.

Hugs y'all!
http://tzigla.com/ - collabs & exquisite corpses, y'all

Offline evilchelu

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Re: Tzigla Rocks!!!

Reply #124 on: February 01, 2011, 07:56:13 pm
Yay! New version deployed on live! ;D

http://tzigla.com

Changes since last deploy on live:

* thumbnails are generated when the admin approves a tile
* much nicer homepage (dedication to gizmo)
* signing in/out redirects back to the exact location you were viewing
* smaller sharing buttons
* automatically removing color profiles from tiles
* done tiles are now the exact size (since we're now removing the extra uploaded margins)
* a lot of invisible code changes that were needed so we can generate the thumbs because of stupid standards

* major thing for admins when sending back tiles!
  * admin can send a PM on tzigla
  * the artist can now see what the admin saw when it was sent back
  * this is very cool and important because the admin no longer has to send a message on facebook, twitter or pixelation, and the admin also doesn't have to manually make a screenshot anymore, wee
* option to allow max N tiles per artist per board
* we also nuke the transparency away from uploaded tiles

* feedback form
http://tzigla.com/ - collabs & exquisite corpses, y'all

Offline evilchelu

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Re: Tzigla Rocks!!!

Reply #125 on: February 06, 2011, 07:58:28 pm
Hola again! :o

Shiny new version deployed! Thank dira for the code, cos I didn't do anything for this release.

http://tzigla.com

Changes:

* PLAYBACK!!
  * only for complete boards and for boards where the borders are being shown (only the checker collab c64, that is)
  * http://tzigla.com/boards/1
  * http://tzigla.com/boards/3
* better small-thumbnail generation for opera
* admins can now hover a tile they have to approve to see what margins this tile will leave for others

Huggies!
http://tzigla.com/ - collabs & exquisite corpses, y'all

Offline Mathias

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Re: Tzigla Rocks!!!

Reply #126 on: February 07, 2011, 06:33:18 am
We appreciate the long explanation there, chelu. And the upgrades are nice!

I want to make some more tiles in the coming week. Been having trouble buckling down; stuff going on over here. Poor 1-3 is probably feelin' pretty dejected. I better paint her up real nice to make up for it.

@ both of you, Dira & chelu, keep up the awesome work!!!

Offline evilchelu

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Re: Tzigla Rocks!!!

Reply #127 on: February 07, 2011, 07:33:14 pm
Hello peeps,

We want to announce a potentially confusing change we will be adding to tzigla in the next days. A license! :o

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

This is the same thing that wikipedia uses, and also lots of people on flickr choose to use.

The main goal of the license is to make sure proper attribution is given to the artists, and to tzigla, when people post a picture of the whole board or tile. It also allows anyone to take the tiles and make a better visualization or form of art with them and makes sure the tiles are not "locked" into tzigla.

Here are some reasons why we're adding this license and what we want people to do with it:

* if someone posts a picture to their blog, we want them to put a link back to the board or tile
* with or without a license, people will make a screenshot of the board, and try to sell posters (this happened to the tiles.ice.org boards)
  * people will do this anyway, but if we have a clear and simple license, they will at least put a link back to the board on tzigla :)
* we love to work on tzigla, and we want people not to take advantage of our work
* we want to encourage others to create even nicer things from the boards in tzigla. some examples:
  * nicer visualizations of a board being revealed (we have a play button, but a person with video editing skills could make a much better one)
  * calculations and computations based on the tiles. concrete examples: number of colors used, percent of red in a board, average number of attempts for a tile, etc

We hope you agree with us and we'd love to hear any opinions or advice regarding this.

Thanks!
http://tzigla.com/ - collabs & exquisite corpses, y'all

Offline dira

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Re: Tzigla Rocks!!!

Reply #128 on: February 08, 2011, 11:09:48 pm
For those wondering about the state of the Pixelation collab, it's coming together very very nice. Can't wait to see it fully revealed!  ;D

There are only a few tiles left, so you should grab one and show your pixel power while there is still time:

« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 09:30:11 pm by dira »

Offline Argyle

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Re: Tzigla Rocks!!!

Reply #129 on: February 09, 2011, 05:59:04 am
Finally got some closure on my curiosity about the name you chose for Tzigla.  In romanian it means "Roof Tile" - did Google inform me properly?


Revelation: Oh hey, these two separate boards are collaborating together to form a single image that looks like the work of iLKke

« Last Edit: February 10, 2011, 11:36:38 pm by Argyle »