Our Creator Tools may seem a little limited, and we admit that using request forms for everything is a bit backward, but it’s the best option we feel we can offer for the site and our Creators at this stage. We’d rather keep all the back end work for us to do for you, so all you need to do is tell us what to do, and we get it done. Hooray for Alpha versions!
That said, there’s only so much we can do in the screening process, so some things might slip through the cracks, which is why we have Report buttons like every other social media site. Generally though, once you request something and we put it up, it should stay there until you tell us to take it down… or it goes out of stock, of course.
We had considered making Coop Content a multi-vendor platform – basically like Etsy or eBay – but then all the back end work would have to be done by the Creator. Yes, that gives you more control and more analytics, but it also gives you a lot more work. It would also give all Creators access to their supporters’ personal/financial data… we’re not doing that, even if it is just to fulfil any orders.
That’s why we opted for request forms for now. That said, as soon as we can get some programmers on staff, we’d be looking to replace all our functionality with original code. It’d integrate the full Creator pages into separate sections on a User’s Profile, so all you’d have to do is edit the right tab to release and host all your Content, Projects, and Products from there. Basically what the Posts tab already shows, but one for each service and a Create New button right there for ease of use.
Plus, we’d include these tabs in every account as standard, so anyone can become a Creator automatically. Kind of like on YouTube; democratising the Creator Tools to everyone. However, we are just a small team with limited experience, so we’re working with what we have, but we still feel that we have created a simple and functional site for the Alpha release.
The Beta Tools
If the plan for the Alpha version of the Creator Tools are just a bunch of Request Forms, what will we be using for the Beta version? Carrier Pigeon? Smoke Signals? Telegraph?
Well, as amusing as all of those would be, forcing Users to have access to all three methods and not tell them which is required for Premium Content, Products, or Projects… I’m sure it would prove so un-user-friendly that we would lose the entire user-base. Except for maybe Steampunks, if they even exist anymore.
Anyway, the Beta version will be more like a multi-seller platform, meaning there’ll be more work for Creators to have to do themselves. However, it will also give them a lot more freedom in terms of how they construct their Content, Creator Pages, and Crowdfunding Projects. Rather than being limited to our standard formats, they’d have their own proformas to choose from and edit.
It’d basically be giving Creators a super limited function admin-ish semi back-end portal that allows them to directly create their own things, see basic analytics for their work and sales, and handle all their own business really. Hopefully, we can make it a bit more user-friendly than the actual admin interface, but they might just have to suffer the slight jankiness as a trade off for better functionality.
The reason we’re looking to put the workload back on the Creators, once we reach our Beta release, is because the workload at the back-end for us will probably be massive. Well, hopefully it is and it isn’t, meaning: we’d love to have so many Users and Creators that we can’t possibly deal with all the content being uploaded to do everything through request forms; we’d hate to have loads of reporting going on, though some is to be expected, and be swamped just moderating.
It also allows Creators to set their own release schedule, rather than having to wait up to 24hrs for us to sort out. It’s all about striking that balance between functionality, ease of use, and profitability. We don’t want to be sat doing super basic clerical work all day, but neither do our Users, so that’s why we’d continue doing the financial processing and product delivery side of things.
Also, you know, we be destroyed over Data Protection and Financial Conduct if we let any User access all that as part of just signing up to be a Creator (also, sign up as a Creator now!). Think of the fraud we’d probably be vicariously responsible for. That’s why even the hard release of a final version of the site would still keep all of that for us at the back-end to get on with, but we’ll have more things automated by then too with all the development we’ll have done by then.
Original code, private servers, algorithms, illegal content/conduct screening bots, AI, HAL9000, Proteus IV, Skynet… the options are endless!