Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Today, I took it upon myself to beseech the Chefs of Icon Buffet to rekindle the glory of IB. As you'll see in my message, I even tried to offer tips that could be used to double the time spent on PackRat icons that could be packaged & given to us IBers. Now, as much as I wanted to, I didn't take a cheap shot & sling any mud. Trust me, the temptation was there. But all-in-all I give them credit for making something that we all became enamored of, and despite the drastic decline in morale I kept it clean. My e-mail was:

Chefs of IconBuffet:

You know me as bjendrick on IB, and the creator of the IB Dashboard.

I'm writing to you out of concern for IconBuffet, and to not see it continue to die a slow painful death. I know that a lot of the long time fans & users there have gotten disheartened with the trickle of new icon sets that have been released. And at the same time, I understand that PackRat has far greater revenue potential with a much larger user base. (Just read the article on Venture Beat about Alamofire & the new ticket feature.)

As it stands, the efforts for IB have been dwindling, and the morale on the site has dramatically shifted. Here is my request. Let us help you. Let us help you to keep IB fun & alive.

I know how much you cherish IB for what it started & how it has shaped your recent history. There are many on the site that share the love for IB & would like to be a part of reviving it. Let us help, and even make it into something that can continue to turn a profit, or break even.

I have several ideas on this, but the highest ones are:
  • Use the PackRat card collections as new icon sets. Some of them could even be broken into more than 1 set due to their number of cards. And they could be part of a PackRat family or similar type to keep them segregated from the existing families. You could combine the efforts you're putting into PackRat without a major cost of time to do something for IB. And based on the past released sets, this could give you sets for release for at least the next 3-6 months. Oh, and people that would like to collect the icons from PackRat, can be directed to IB, making a great partnership.
  • I don't know anything about Ruby programming, but I'm willing to learn. Others in IB already know it, and would be willing to jump in & help improve IB. Some of the feature requests revolve around the forums, and other requests are around allowing users to submit icon packs. Both or either could be advantageous to you. If you were willing to make the community more of an "open source" type application (not as open as that, but with a shared work mentality) improvements could be made, and the love & morale would increase as well.

All in all, we have grown very fond of IB. We would love to see it continue to grow & evolve. At the same time, we're very aware of the business impact it has on your time & resources. Please let us help.

Feel free to call me directly any time of the day or night as I'm awake from at least 7a-11p Arizona time. I would love the opportunity to create something for the IB community. Thank you.

So I waited with baited breath. I know the feelings that we often associate to projects that we pour our hearts & souls into, and hoped that the response would be positve. Heck, I might have even expected to get a personal phone call, or at least a comprehensive thought to my ideas. However, the response I received left me underwhelmed.

Thanks for your feedback and suggestions. We greatly appreciate it, as well as your continued support of the 'Buffet! We'll keep this in mind moving forward.

Best wishes,

Brian @ IconBuffet

That may have been all the time they had at their disposal to respond. Maybe it came in amongst 100 other bug report e-mails. Maybe I caught them during lunch. Whatever the case may be, I felt dismissed, and even if they do incorporate some of this, I didn't get a sense of urgency about things. Call me resigned, but I'm feeling the urge to move on & wash my hands of all of it.

1 comment:

The Dude Dean said...

From my time around the chefs, listening isn't one of their strengths. They don't even follow IBers back on either their twitter accounts or the IconBuffet twitter account. To top things off I looked over their friends list over there the other day and they made twitter accounts for the Pack Rat Rats. WTF they would rather play with sock puppet accounts than listen to their very loyal user base?