Miniature Gaming Expo launches Indiegogo to fund new gamer community website

By Polar_Bear
In Accessories
Jun 23rd, 2013
20 Comments
438 Views

Miniature Gaming Expo had launched an Indiegogo campaign to create a new website full of lots of options and tools for gamers and hobbyists.

From the campaign:

We want Miniature Gaming Expo to be the LEADING online social community where miniature gamers, terrain makers/painters, miniature painting studios and anyone related to the industry can exhibit and market online. Miniature Gaming Expo will provide miniature gamers with simple do-it-yourself tools to build unique personal website/portfolios, and sell miniatures, terrain or anything related to the nerdy world online! We want to offer community events and special discounts on gaming supplies for you! We have an initial offering of great tools and need YOUR HELP to get started in a great social community effort! Our Mantra is: SHOW AND TELL, BUY AND SELL!! You will be able to buy and sell commission free! Please help NOW! We KNOW you have lots of things you want to show off and tons of things you may eventually want to pass on to the next generation!

About "" Has 25858 Posts

I was born at a very young age. I plan on living forever. So far, so good.
  • Why should i pay to support a start up that offers, what dozends of other websites and portals already offer? You can set up a blog at Blogger, WordPress etc., you can participate incl. selling your miniatures on CoolMiniOrNot etc.
    I just don’t see the need for this.

    • You shouldn’t… 🙂 This should be ad supported by established companies etc. I don’t understand why I should put in the hours to blog about stuff and pay them when they earn money in ads and stuff the more people that join in. SO essentially every blogger signing off on this is paying them for the privelege of doing work for them. Essentially paying them twice. The idea is neat, but not the payment model. You should be paid to blog on their site not the other way around. I don’t see any positives with this the way it is?

      I am open to being proven wrong though.

  • blkdymnd

    Agreed. There are a ton of gamer blogs and forums out there that started up from scratch and are doing very well. No way I endorse Kickstarting a blog. Do some actual work instead of trying to take the easy way.

  • MiniGamingExpo

    MGExpo is about empowering gamers to create their own unique personal website with the ability to sell directly to their buyers. There will be NO ADS on that website and we will collect NO COMMISSIONS from sales.

    We will offer several subscription levels: a totally FREE subscription for those who want it, and premium subscriptions costing a FIXED amount per month, between $5 and $15 depending on the level of features one wants. A single listing on eBay will easily cost you this much with all the fees and commissions, not to mention SEO services and email distribution lists which come included among many other features.

    Stating that MGExpo is “only a blog” is a misrepresentation and I wonder who is behind these anonymous nay-sayers. Could it be those who stand to lose business from the elimination of the commissions? You be the judge.

    By all means, shop around and compare. For the quality of service we offer, we think our rates are very competitive. To learn more check out the demo site and visit Zhibit.org which is our equivalent offering for artists with MANY THOUSANDS of satisfied subscribers.

    And feel free to reach out to me personally through our Zhibit.org website if you have any questions.

    Brian Willis
    Founder
    Zhibit LLC

  • Wow you really did your homework calling us all one person and that someone is behind us. Also I did not call your site a blog – someone else did. I am an individual and if you cared to do a simple search you would find I run a simple blog and you would figure out my name as well.

    As for who would stand to loose from commissions??? I doubt anyone that posted here is gaining anything, and I doubt ebay cares. If you want to sell minis you go on established forums.

    I realise you are trying to establish a nice thing here, but I still don’t agree with the method. There are also so many ways to run a shop free, but yeah the thing is to get exposure which you are offering.. but it’s a catch 22. Why would I use your service when noone uses it? You want users I get it. But it’s not a case of build it and they will come and one size fits all. Just because zhibit works doesn’t mean this works etc.

    The only thing of value that you are offering is something that you don’t have – MEMBERS. Get a following first and then ask people to pay. AS it stands I really don’t see any of the benefits you are talking about. They are all hypothetical IF people join up.

    I’d be interested in a free subscription, but it’s so limited compared to blogger and wordpress and the occasional sale I make does not really warrant paying a subscription fee so why would I? It sems to me you are alienating the biggest source of members and that is the bloggers. The ones that would end up making up the biggest part of your community – that would actually be the reason for people to buy subscriptions and sell stuff – because a community exists. Naysayers? You got me completely wrong. I am telling you what’s wrong with your model and letting you know how to fix it. I normally get paid for this sort of thing.

    For you it’s gratis.

    • Thank you for the thoughtful response. It is far more professional than a few comments I had read here before they got moderated.

      I disagree with your statement that the value to any subscriber would come only from the TOTAL number of subscribers. For example, MGExpo will give each subscriber their own personal website which will get promoted on search engines to bring traffic. We have a lot of experience doing that with Zhibit.org and many Zhibitors score high in searches for their key search terms.

      I will grant you though that the value increases the more REAL subscribers there are and so… The first thing we’re going to do Monday morning is review our pricing structure. Initially we thought of equalling our rates to Zhibit.org’s, but we’ll seriously consider slashing them while the subscriber base builds up.

      The problem with a totally free membership is that you have no liability and end up with bad quality content. In the best case you have subscribers who upload half-empty websites and go away. And in the worst case you have spammers and SEO companies taking advantage of the free accounts. This eventually brings down the value to everyone because no one wants to be part of a service that is so cluttered with spam.

      If I may add a few personal words… We are looking to work with you to bring you what we truly believe could be a great asset to the miniature gaming community, the same way Zhibit.org’s been to the artist community. We welcome your feedback and we’ll keep monitoring this thread for any (civilized) comments.

      Brian

  • Everyone: Settle down.

    If you’re not interested in the product being offered, fine, don’t pledge towards it. That’s fine.
    You can even post, “You know, I don’t think I like this product and I am not going to pledge to it. I don’t really get it.” and that’s fine as well.

    This bit with personal attacks and such is too much. Several posts have been deleted already and I’m more-than-ready to delete more as necessary.

  • joshuar56

    Not sure why mine was deleted, when I honestly don’t even get what they are selling based on this video…

    • Joshua,

      Miniature Gaming Expo is about empowering miniature gamers to (in a nutshell) SHOW & TELL and BUY & SELL:

      SHOW & TELL means you’ll get your own personal website to display your miniatures, write a blog, keep a mailing list (guestbook), and much more.

      BUY & SELL means you’ll be able to list your miniatures on this website and sell them free fo any commissions via your PayPal account.

      We have a lot more information on http://www.miniaturegamingexpo.com which is a demo site built on the same platform we’ll be using for Miniature Gaming Expo. You can also look at Zhibit.org which is our current offering for artists.

      Brian

  • jonbowen234

    They are not selling anything. Its on Indigogo not Kickstarter. I assume they are trying to pay for the time/effort it would take to create this site. It might have promise and could attract people but if it gets me in contact with painters who toss my expensive figure in a padded envelope and mail it back to me then not sure how much it’s worth 🙂

    6sided.net already did this and seems to be going fine. No ads has merit but I don’t see much of a value add beyond that. I might be more interested if it was an attempt to create high quality tutorial videos for something other then painting 40k figs. Build the blog network under that and you might have something.

  • Kaine

    I think the problem you will have is that blogs with youtube integrations already do a very good job. With blog networks people get alot of exposure anyway.

    I can remember seeing this first time around in April when you posted about giving away free accounts (http://www.tabletopgamingnews.com/2013/04/24/72721/) and again in May when you were reminding people about the service (http://www.tabletopgamingnews.com/2013/05/04/73120/)

    Given its been going for at least 2 months i’m surprised you havent been able to provide some working examples of people using your service, i notice on your artist version you provide directories etc, so i’m not sure how many people are actually using your wargaming version.

    I can understand the benefits to a non-technical user that your site might bring, but blogger/wordpress arent that most difficult things to master and if people can master wargames with complex rules, i’m sure they can use some of the existing tools out there to generate a hobby site.

    You do raise a good point that sites become stale, but i fear this would happen anyway even if people were paying a small fee for the service, theres a lot of dead blogs out there, even on some of the more popular blogging networks.

    Perhaps you should rebuild your site around a professional miniatures painting network where people can sell existing miniatures and tout for business for new commissions, thats the only area i feel is missing from the current wargame scene.

    Wish you the best of luck with it, but honestly i think as others have mentioned its not something that “we” as the wargaming community are desperate for.

  • surprize

    An interesting concept I guess, but for me there are a couple of issues, one is that there isn’t really a tangible product so the “value” is pretty abstract. In a way the storefront bit of it (which lets be honest seems to be the main part) is kind of a “regressive taxation” model, everyone pays the same to fund the system regardless of the amount or value of things they are selling – so therefore its far more attractive to bulk, high value sellers, for smaller commission painters ebay’s commission model with its large userbase is still going to be more attractive. The second issue for me is its not really something I could support altruistically – i.e. its not something where I can see a social need or benefit for it to happen so I’m not going to put a small amount towards it expecting nothing back.

  • Ghost

    Personally I don’t think this thing is needed or wanted – although your Indiegogo campaign may prove me wrong and I wish you all the best.

  • Potentially, I could see the appeal.

    However, if you’re asking people for a subscription to host their sites, they should probably have full control over the software they wish to use, the ads they wish to run, the business-model they’d want to use to make it profitable, etc,,,

    My 2 cents.

  • Nightbee

    That woman’s 40k collection in the advertisement makes me very sad for some reason.

  • Toyznthehood

    I went to see what all the fuss is about and it seems to have been removed 🙁

  • First, I want to thank everyone who took the time to send in their feedback (2 cents or more). We really do appreciate your opinion and your time.

    Reading all your comments this morning was a cold reality check for us here. When faced with such overwhelming consensus, I believe we must take a step back, realize that we misread the marketplace, and reconsider our approach. We’ll be doing just that over the next few weeks and so for now, we are pulling off our Indiegogo campaign and demo website until further notice.

    You can imagine that we’re all very disappointed here. We have spent a lot of time and effort to try and bring Miniature Gaming Expo to life and we were very excited to get it going. However we know that we cannot do it without the community’s support and enthusiasm, both we seem to have in short supply at the moment…

    I’ll sign off here but not before I thank you again for this conversation. It has been an eye opener.

    Brian

    • jonbowen234

      The idea has merit but not to the normal average gamer. They can get a site anywhere and generally don’t care about views or selling stuff. What is needed in this small niche of a market is a concentration on getting manufacturers onto a website format that wasn’t designed in the early 90s. A lot of the cottage guys have no clue how to make a website or deal with paypal buttons. If you could adapt your system to concentrate of making a blog site with integrated store then you might have something. It could be used by painting services and figure manufacturers. It has to be simple and easy to setup. You can probable offer tiered plans based on item count and features.

  • Riquende

    Campaign removed. I guess the world just wasn’t ready.

    • grimbergen

      Another strike for indiegogo’s half baked system… there the campaign page is completely deleted with no info. At least on KS you can see most of the campaign details on cancelled projects to judge future projects from the same creator.