Gundamfactory.com – Post mortem

Gundamfactory.com - Post mortem

A little over a year after it was launched, I’ve decided to close Gundamfactory.com down. It sadly bows out a failure, having laid pretty much untouched for the past few months. In this post I’m going to take a look back at the site and give my views as to why it didn’t do so well. There’s no rampant finger-pointing or passing of blame to be had, just a look practically at what went wrong.

Timing
It was pretty unfortunate that in the weeks following Gundamfactory’s launch that HLJ launched their Hobbylink.tv portal, a community site attached to a successful hobby company? No contest!

Competition
I quite overestimated the need for another  Gunpla community site… seeing as there are plenty of established others that do it so well such as MAC Forums, which leads me into…

The Platform
Gundamfactory was built using WordPress because it was something I am familiar with, and assumed that people would be comfortable using. Thinking about it though, the WordPress back end is actually quite complex, especially for someone that just wants to share a few pics quickly and easily. Perhaps if the system had been simpler it would’ve had a better response.

The blog format also didn’t lend itself especially well to the detailed discussions a forum system does, which left the site providing a quite shallow experience for users, and considering I wanted to build a community… I didn’t really provide the system to do so.

Me
There’s no denying a lot of the blame for the site failing falls upon me. I don’t get the most time to work on kits these days, and with work and my JET application keeping me occupied my updates were few and far between. Following Ngee Khiongs departure from blogging I attempted to keep up to date with the news for a while – a task which I radically underestimated! It was a huge job to search the sites, translate and post news items daily and hats off to people like Gundam Guy who do it. Focusing on news in diluted the user-generated element of the site, and I really should’ve kept them separate as user posts would get lost in a sea of news items.

It’s possible I might relaunch the site one day, wiser from the experiences listed and only if I think of something original to do with it. But for now, RIP Gundamfactory.

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4 Comments

  1. 07/07/2011
    Reply

    Failure is not always a bad thing and at least you learned from the experience

    • 08/07/2011
      Reply

      Couldn’t agree more, I’ve learned tons from this, and would certainly think about the end result a bit more if I was to do it again. Hindsight is a wonderful thing eh 🙂

  2. 22/07/2011
    Reply

    Ngee khiong set the pace of Gundam information and others learned from him. GundamGuy is pretty focus as you may know is also distributing Gundam model kit. As for the Mac forum, it is a community and it is not easy to maintain the community and moderation. All of these had a purpose in mind. So what’s yours?

    Ngee Khiong is still doing what he enjoy now in blogging and in regular post but he post whatever he want and make him happy.

    • 25/07/2011
      Reply

      Hi Leon, thanks for the comment.
      Quite simply, my purpose was to create a community where like-minded individuals could come and talk about Gunpla, share their creations and get advice. After I launched my idea others launched and gained momentum, leaving little need for my comunnity site, so now it’s gone.
      On a brighter note though, I’m back doing what I enjoy too through this site!

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