Website update 1/9/16

Hey reader! This is another quick update explaining what’s happening with the site now and our plans for the future. In case you aren’t familiar with me, I am Daniel Lynch. My pseudonym is Phinnegan; most of my friends call me Phinn, and I write under the name Phinnegan. I am Cut or Tap’s owner, and primary content creator.

We are working on getting a plug-in to show our content calendar on the site. In the mean time, our January schedule is available on our Facebook page. Feel free to give us a like for updates whenever a new article comes out!

The site has become far more organized over the last two months. Back around September we were having many content related issues, which resulted in inconsistent posts. Now we post at least 9 articles a month, with a couple videos. I want to start uploading matches more frequently; my hope is to upload at least one match per week by February.

Ryan (the site’s designer) has also fixed the stretched-header problem that we have been seeing since the site’s launch. Due to caching, you might not see the headers the way they are intended to look just yet. Clearing you cache may accelerate the process; should take about a week or two for everybody’s browsers to catch up to the change.

Ryan and I have been focusing on our new Break membership more than anything else. Ryan has almost finished developing the platform for this new membership, and I now know how to post content into it. I really want to get this membership up and running before I go back to school, so you can expect it to be ready before January 23rd.

…”But what is the Break membership?”
Break is a new page on the site that houses all of the deck lists that I have created. Each list has a 300 to 600 word description, and includes details like what meta the list is strong in, which spots in the list are flexible, and potential additions.
The page is organized by format, with a link to each list in the table of contents. Like I said, this is a page with all of my lists, meaning it will not just include our current Expanded and Standard formats. I include lists that I actually still work on from the 2013 format, as well as other formats like Base to Fossil.

I plan to make a video sometime this week explaining the page in a little more detail. I’ll post that on the site without a membership restriction.

We have also been working on new “programs” to improve the site. We have a writers’ program, artists’ program, marketing program, and the Elite incentives program. The Elite incentives program is very costly, so we don’t plan to expand on it very much. I was hoping to have it running by now, however we just don’t have the money yet.

The writers’ program is a way for anybody to submit their work to the site. I frequently get requests from player to write for us, but they do not understand our expectations for articles. This new page will be a simple way for writers to submit their article(s) with some guidelines. These submissions will be uploaded to the site for anybody to see, given they meet the standards. This is a great way for new writers to display their work, and show us what they can do. If we feel the work of a writer is high quality, this writer may be chosen to become paid Cut or Tap writer. So make sure you put forward your best work!

The artists program is way for artists to have their designs on Cut or Tap in a couple different ways. Your art may be used as a header image on an article, a mat design, or on a shirt. We are currently working on the submission boxes for this page, but it shouldn’t take much longer. I would expect this one to go up before the 23rd as well.
The marketing program is designed for other content creators to be able to have some visibility on the site. Currently we are using Adsense to fill our ad space, but frankly I don’t like Adsense and it generates almost no revenue. The only real reason we have ads now is to fill up space to be quite honest.

We are also working on both the Stage 1 membership (guides for newer players) and our own version of a rule book. We wanted to make our own version of a rule book that makes it a little easier to learn how to play. Our version is intended to teach new players the rules, while giving examples that help with transitioning to be more competitive. Official rules might have sections about deck building saying that you need 20 trainers, 20 energy, and 20 Pokemon. You and I both know that isn’t accurate. Our goal is to give players some better info while they learn the game.
Stage 1 needs a lot of time to prepare. I personally plan on making about 20 pieces of content for the membership before we publish it. I’ll cover the membership in a little more detail in the future, but if you are a competitive player already, it probably doesn’t concern you.

In terms of issues with the site, there are only two left. Creating and managing this site has been full of problems and compromises that we did not want to make. Now, almost everything has been solved. The only real issue that we are having now is that members sometimes can’t see their content even when signed in. This is a pretty big issue because if you are playing 15 bucks a month and do not have access, you’re not getting anything for your money. For the most part I have fixed these membership issues, however we still have 2 to 4 more people with the problem.

The concerning part is the fact that we don’t know what is causing the issue. Hopefully we have a more permanent solution in the future, but as of now I’m simply going into users’ accounts and messing with their settings until something works! This is certainly the bigger problem, but just like all of the other issues, we will find a solution. 7 months of problem solving online teaches you a couple things. These membership problems are also detrimental to our funding because I issue refunds every time somebody has this problem.

The second problem is how frequently cards go bad on user’s accounts. I don’t know if people intentionally are putting in bad numbers, or if the cards just end up expiring for one reason or another. Either way it results in us not getting the funds we expect to get. I am slowly resolving these by communicating with subscribers, but it can be hard to find time.

You might be surprised by just how many things I have to attend to with Cut or Tap. On average I work for 4 to 5 hours on Cut or Tap daily, and that does include weekends. It’s not just me either. Ryan works similar hours, dealing with stressful technical issues. Andy has to edit articles with little notice, and often little communication. Andrew is doing a great job of improving our SEO and keeping our social media presence alive.

Cut or Tap is more of a team now, rather than two guys working from their dads’ dining room. I feel like we are really transforming the site into something big.

That’s about all guys, thank you to all of our subs, and supporters!