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.
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!
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…
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.
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.