Going Commercial?

October 1998 Editorial

Opportunities are where you find them. I've worked since '91 in the computer games industry, which is very much project driven - that is, you work like crazy when you've got a live project, and things get quiet between projects.

Well, I was in one of those between-project interludes back in '94, when the Web was just starting to take off. I didn't want to be idle, so I asked management if they'd mind if I started studying HTML (the mark-up language used to write webpages). The reply was that they definitely wanted me to get into this web stuff - they didn't care what I did, as long as I was learning.

My first thought was to do a webpage about miniatures, and I started work on a page for a particular ruleset - only to find there already was an official page for those rules! This pointed out to me that somewhere on the Web, there needed to be a central resource for all miniatures gamers, with links to all of the other miniatures webpages. That was how this website was born.

So Much Email, So Little Time...

Those days of being paid by my employer to work full-time on this website as a training exercise ended long ago. My available time to physically sit at the keyboard and type out articles is nowadays very limited - at most, five or six hours per week. Beyond that, a long commute gives me plenty of reading time, and I also spend other time actually playing or painting miniatures... but that's it. A strictly limited amount of time.

So, I use "triage" to determine how to spend those hours. I try to keep up with my daily email, but if I miss an item, it slips into the backlog folder (almost 2,000 messages now). News items and manufacturer updates generally get top priority, since I don't want the Manufacturer's Directory to mislead anyone, and news gets old fast. I log each rulebook or review item sent in, and faithfully work through the rules stacks and the workbench bin.

Would I Ever Do TMP Full-Time?

I'd love to work on this website as a full-time job, and would be able to cover a lot more than I can do as long as this is only a part-time activity for me. But I've also got to be able to afford to live. "Going commercial" therefore means my working full time on this website, and somehow having enough money to maintain a decent standard of living. Where would the money come from?

So, let's take a survey

Drop me an email, and let me know:

  1. Would you consider subscribing to TMP?
  2. How much you'd be willing to pay per year?
  3. What would you expect in return for your money? What types and level of service?

In the subject line, please put "VOTE" so I can tell which emails are part of the survey.

If there's enough interest out there - heck, I'd go commercial in a heartbeat. And if there's not - and frankly, I'd be surprised if there's enough support for this - then I'll wait a few more years and bring the question up again. :-)

Comments or corrections?