Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Is Rankk profitable?

Recently, the subject of "profitability" came up over a chat between mithmith and me. mithmith thought that Rankk was profitable to the tune of USD 100 Adsense revenue per month and therefore quite "rewarding".

Wow, if only that were true!

First, let me stress that the idea of "making money" wasn't our motivation for Rankk right from the start. We were looking for a bit of fun, excitement and learning. So far, those elements are there and therefore we're quite happy and motivated to keep it going.

Having said that, we would of course be happier and more excited if Rankk were able to generate some form of revenue.

To date, we have spent a total of S$520 for Rankk's hosting and domain name. The current hosting plan and domain name will run till 16 April 2010, which means from now till then, we don't expect to be spending any more money on the site.

And as far as "revenues" go, we've collected a total of S$194 from the donations and Google ads:

Donations: USD 97.09 (S$132.311)
Google ads: approx S$62

So Rankk isn't profitable, in case you're curious :P In fact, we're incurring a deficit of S$328.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Will Rankk explode?

Recently, ozehka asked about what we plan to do so that Rankk will not "explode" because of too many challenges.

The timing of the question could not have been more apt, because I have been thinking about that too.

First of all, we need to answer the questions whether we plan to keep on adding new challenges and whether there's a maximum number we're targetting at.

I haven't discussed these with Bio so the views expressed here are my own.

Yes, we plan to keep on adding new challenges. We have not set a maximum number of challenges and we don't intend to do so.

So it's quite conceivable that in time, Rankk will grow quite monstrous with very many challenges. Will it crumple under its very own weight?

Here are some potential problems:

1) New comers may get discouraged or overwhelmed by the sheer size, even before they start.

2) With no end-point in sight, players may lose the momentum eventually, no matter how determined they were at the beginning.

3) It becomes harder to keep track of challenges so some ideas may inevitably be duplicated.

So what are our plans to ensure that the size won't become a burden to Rankk?

Firstly, we'll be careful not to pursue a numbers' game. This means we'll need to be selective about new challenge ideas that are proposed, and only add those that are good and relevant to the site.

Secondly, we may need to modify the challenge listing to display only a default number of challenges so as not to "frighten off" new comers. Or we may introduce categories to the challenges and let players select what categories of challenges to display.

Thirdly, at some point in time we'll need to audit the challenges and get rid of those that are "insane" or grossly unpopular.

Finally, we will need to constantly make improvements and introduce new features to keep the site relevant.