Hello, and welcome to the first installment of ‘Ravings’, which is a new column on RTM. Let’s talk about what this column is, and then look at some changes to RTM and some things coming down the road.
First off, ‘Ravings’ is basically a way to talk to the users in a formal setting and let you get to know us better along the way. In a sense it is like the ‘letter from the editor’ that starts off many print magazines, though this column will not always be written by the same person, but will move around from time to time. It’ll be made up of opinions and ideas more than facts and figures, so bear this in mind.
Now, on to the changes!
As you may have noticed (or may notice in the future) we have made some small changes here and there, though nothing major. We have changed the classifieds section and market buzz into the RTM Shop Center. It will be a central point for the buying, selling and trading that is part of this hobby, and will still have the market buzz, plus links to online stores and our advertiser index (which is rather empty at the moment). The auction search will remain as well. RTM is not selling anything and the store is gone.
There will be some ads here, and more of them than there are right now. The reason is simple - the site is not cheap to run and the ad revenue can pay for that and allow us to provide the information and services that people have come to expect from RTM. Some people detest ads, but it is unavoidable for a site that is as busy as RTM. We decided there were four options for running RTM:
- Operate it at great personal expense forever (not practical as we did not win Powerball or the Big Game recently)
- Run a store along with the site to sell toys and related merchandise to help supplement the site (and it’s clear that this isn’t practical as it didn’t work)
- Operate the site as a subscription site where you would pay for access and would only gain access if you paid (it’s practical, but we felt the nature of the site was better served by being freely available to everyone)
- Sell ads and support the site with these
We decided on option four, but if anyone wants to donate large sums of money for option one or knows plenty of people willing to pay for a subscription in option three, we would consider changing...
For the time being the webmail option is being evaluated, mainly because there are plenty of excellent options available right now that are very good (and maybe even better) alternatives.
The RTM Spotlight is back (so check it out!), but we’ve decided on a different focus than the way it was done before. The Spotlight will be the place for us to provide information on new toys to give people a better idea of what to expect and to help people form their own opinions on new toys that haven’t hit their area yet. The Spotlight is designed to provide information and the reader should supply his or her own opinion on it after getting a better look at the new toy.
One thing that had been sorely lacking at RTM for some time has been toy archives, and that is something that is going to change over the coming months. We have several new archives in the works, plus we will be updated and expanding the current archives and bringing back a few that have been MIA for a while. We are also looking at expanding the archives away from the predominant super-hero genre to include other subjects.
An area of coverage that will be expanded will be about toys for women. Bobbi will be bringing the feminine expertise to try and help RTM be more, ahem... ’well-rounded’. And if you don’t like the idea of more women using the site, keep in mind that geeky toy women might be more interested in geeky toy men...(It worked for me!!)
We have some new things planned for the site over the coming months, and many of them will have to remain a mystery for the moment, but we feel you’ll like them once they are ready to go.
We do expect that the first year or so here will be a learning experience for everyone. We’ll do our best to make you happy, so do your best to tell us when we mess up. And yes, we intend to be around for a long, long time!!
Now enjoy the site!!