Web Site for Gaming Guilds

I don’t follow the gaming industry that closely. I don’t usually cover what is happening at all. But this caught my eye today, probably because it is on my radar for new social networking sites and services. But this is new as far as I know and fairly innovative. The site is called MMOGUILDSITES and launched at the end of November 2006.

MMOGUILDSITES is offering a one stop place to put together a website for your guild. Sure the concept of a guild site is not new. But this way of doing it is. You don’t need to have any knowledge of coding or experience building a website. But it goes further than that, there is a swag of features to make your site a place that members can communicate, coordinate and make their own. All plans offer the same features:

  • Forums
  • Private Messaging
  • Polls
  • Events Calendar
  • Guild Applications (for potential members)
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Plus Optional Additional Features

There are many other features that make the whole package look very attractive. You have a dashboard to set permissions and appoint moderators for your forums and website. A drag and drop interface to design the layout of the site. Things you can drop into the site are things like shout boxes, events, members profiles, statistics and images. You can even customise with a theme, and they look great. Don’t like the default themes on offer then design your own using the tools provided. Once created themes can be shared between members of the site. So while the site is for separate guilds it is building a sense of community. There are lots of features that I have not mentioned as I would run out of time to list them all, they seem to have thought of everything!

I was impressed to see attention to detail like the addition of RSS feeds. On face value this service looks to be of a high quality and a lot of thought has gone into presenting a product that any gamer would appreciate. This is something that I could see having wider implications and applications outside the gaming community. It is about time that social networking sites took notice this is a fine example of how things should be done. Very slick for a user generated site.

While the look, feel and features are great it seems that these are the type of features that the target audience would be looking for. The features are there ready made and they are things that would make it easy, fun and functional to both members and owners of each site. This is a niche market and it appeals to that market.

I said service and service it is, there is a cost involved, but I think it is reasonable and fair and if the quality is there then users will not mind paying for it. The only difference that I can see between the plans is the upload limit. Prices are per month.

  • Standard: $8.99 – 100MB upload
  • Pro: $12.99 – 200MB upload
  • Premium: $16.99 – 500MB upload

While there is a cost involved here it is a community site for a guild, what is to stop a group getting together and starting a site? Shared costs would make it inexpensive. A great way to give your guild the professional look together with ease of use and user-friendly feel make this a top idea on a solid platform.

I think this one has legs and promise. They have what looks to be a sound business model and they have not priced themselves out of existence. Nice work and I hope they succeed. Also check out their blog which looks just as good as the rest of the site. Anyone had any experience with this service?

I almost forgot they have a free trial for 7 days.



A Bullet Proof Way to Cheat Digg?

Spike the Vote ImageDigg used to be about content. Content that deserved attention based on the quality of that content. Spike the Vote is set to destroy that once and for all.

Digg is constantly on the look-out for people that cheat Digg, such as with multiple log-ins. But what if each Digg is from a unique user with a different IP? You could not say that it was not legit. That is exactly what Spike the Vote is aiming to do.

“Spike” the founder of the site says his motivation for starting it:

“… I’m tired of 30 elite users (or bots, perhaps) controlling the front page content of digg.com. That’s why I created this little community here. We collectively vote each other’s stories to the front page.”

I am not sure that is entirely accurate. Especially considering the fcat that the algorithms on Digg were recently changed to prevent a group of “Top Diggers” from controlling what gets to the front page. Now there has to be a greater diversity of Diggers, Digg a particular story in order for the story to get to the front page. I guess ironically that very fact makes this venture even more successful.

So how does it work? You must be registered to use the service. Second each day you are given a “mission”, that mission is to Digg some stories on Digg. You have 12 hours to complete your mission. 20% of the stories are users of Spike the Vote the other 80% is random stories on Digg. This is to:

“… eliminate footprints and keep things anonymous.”

Each story you Digg will earn you points that you can trade for Diggs on your own stories. “Spiking” was not going to start until there were 1000 registered users. They must have reached this total as at the bottom of the page there is a list of the current “missions” and their status. Seems they are having some success.

I don’t know what Digg can do about this. There is no way of determining which users of Digg are a part of the “Spike theVote” community… unless they intend to plant a spy? Be careful Spike.

More than anything does not the actions of this site contradict the very principles that motivated it’s invention? That stories are pushed to the front page by few users. I think so, so how does he justify that.

Sink or swim? Swim I think, who would not go for a fool proof way to game Digg and for Digg to be able to do nothing about it?. That is of course if “hits” are all you are in it for. The motivation is certainly there for people to complete their mission as they then get to have their own stories Dugg. It is pyramid schemes for Digg! I also wonder how many commercial and profit organisations will gravitate toward this service? Many would find even a few thousand hits profitable.

I am not blogging just to get noticed and I have written before about the value of being Dugg. While the buzz is nice the everlasting effect can be argued. But the other fact is that I don’t have the time to Digg in the first place. Is this the tip of the iceberg and beginning of the end of Digg? Potentially the end of creditability.

UPDATE: Sold to Jim Messenger for $1275 on ebay. It would seem that he is a strong Digg supporter and donated it to them. Looks like a few Digg gamers just got caught. Seemed like a bit of a low thing to do even though they were gaming Digg. That is just my opinion though.