SmashWiki's inbox has received a very interesting email today.
My name's Alex and I'm contacting you in regards to the Major League Gaming Affiliate Network. We are actively looking to expand our affiliate network of over 20 gaming sites, and would love to have you on board. As I'm sure you know we are a few weeks away from MLG Anaheim where we will be running Smash for the first time since 2006. We've also been running several qualifiers for Melee through our Grassroots program. With a growing Smash audience we think a site like yours would be a great addition to our network.
We currently have an in-house ad operations team here in NYC and a sales team located in the major markets (NYC, Chicago, and LA). These teams are focused on getting high CPM direct campaigns. As a partner, we will help alleviate the headache of display advertising and help you monetize your site better.
Please let me know if you're interested and we can then set up a call to go over some more information.
Major League Gaming
3 Park Avenue, NYC 10016
- Sounds great I guess...? Dots (talk) The Kirby 12:18, 3 June 2014 (EDT)
- Sounds promising, but at least from my perspective we need a bit more of a breakdown of what exactly this would entail. If affiliation just entails cross-linking and such, it's a no-brainer to accept. If it's more than that, it warrants more careful analysis. I couldn't find any info about what their affiliation setup involves looking around their website, though it's very possible I'm not finding something. Miles (talk) 12:21, 3 June 2014 (EDT)
For those who are not sure what benefits this will bring, here is what I would see this bringing:
- More traffic (and more users)
- Increased percieved legitimacy, especially among competitive players
- Greater ad revenue (helps Porple cover hosting costs, especially as SmashWiki goes through its Smash 4 expansion)
- Higher search rankings (keeping ahead of Smashpedia in google searches is vital)
I'll respond back to see if I can get details on what exactly this will entail. Before I do so though, I would like some more preliminary thoughts and perhaps given questions to ask. Omega Tyrant 12:34, 3 June 2014 (EDT)
- Perhaps you could ask what other Smash-related websites are also being considered. ChuckNorris 12:55, 3 June 2014 (EDT)
We may not get this again, and affiliating with MLG means a lot for the wiki. Definitely accept this. Also, anything that can help Porple keep the site up is very useful. Scr7(talk · contribs) 12:58, 3 June 2014 (EDT)
- This looks promising, so I can support this. Berrenta (talk) 13:01, 3 June 2014 (EDT)
My biggest concern is that there would be some sort of "control" over SmashWiki and/or its content demanded by MLG; if this is concern is unfounded, then I don't see any reason not to go forward with this. Miles (talk)
If indeed this is nothing but "affiliation", I see no issue with this. But any terms that require a change in our policies, focus, or appearance would put a serious dent in my interest. We need more information. Toomai Glittershine The Quiet 15:44, 3 June 2014 (EDT)
As everyone else said, that sounds great, but we need more details. Very promising for an increase in traffic and appearing more refined, but if they start trying to take jurisdiction over content on pages that doesn't align with their agenda, then that sounds pretty balls. Ryxis (talk) 15:58, 3 June 2014 (EDT)
Maybe I'm just reading too deeply into this and/or I'm being too paranoid, but the fact that this email provides very little information outside of claiming it will help us leads me to believe something is amiss. I say we get as much information as possible before humouring the idea of affiliation e.g. asking how they would improve monetisation, what degree of control they can gain over the site, how we can choose to secede should things not go well, etc.
As applies/should apply for all business transactions (if this may be called that), a formal contract that is negotiated thoroughly and that benefits both sides would be a good thing to develop. I understand that it might be wise to leave law out of all of this, but should need for the court arise, an agreed-upon contract could be desirable/useful/necessary. Everyman Or Nobody? (talk) 19:49, 3 June 2014 (EDT)
I pretty much have the same opinion as Miles, Toomai, Ryxis, ect. As long as the site continutes to be run the same way it currently is, and no demand for a "less casual more competitive" article format is issued, it's totally fine with me. ♡FirstaLasto♥ 11:26, 4 June 2014 (EDT)
I asked for some details, and got this response.
Thanks for the quick response. I understand your concerns and I assure you, we do not impact the content of your site in any way or plan to take control of anything you're doing.
The only difference on your side is that you would be running ads from the MLG ad server instead of your current system (Google Adsense?). What that means from you is that you would be given a higher CPM and your users would see the same ads we run on our site.
In addition, we can also help promote your site through our social media platforms. So for example, if you guys put out an article on Shortening with Fox/Falco, we could tweet that out from our main @MLG account.
You guys are doing a great job and we don't plan on altering your content in any way!
If you have time today or tomorrow, I'd love to get on the phone and talk you through everything. Any time from 1:30-4:00 EST works for me today, but if you need time to contact your team that's fine. Please let me know what works for you!
Major League Gaming
3 Park Avenue, NYC 10016
- What disturbs me is the ads. They can get in the way easily. Aside from that if they won't change how we run the wiki then I'm fine. Dots (talk) The Mushroom 13:52, 4 June 2014 (EDT)
- As long as the ads basically operate in the same way they currently do, it shouldn't be a problem; as it stands, we're not having issues with overly obtrusive ads or anything right now. I'd say the call is mostly Porple's job to handle, since it would involve some work on his part to set up the ad switching. Other than that, I can't think of any other reasons not to just go forward with this. Miles (talk) 14:59, 4 June 2014 (EDT)
- Seems okay to me, as long as the allure of them sharing certain articles doesn't end up affecting what types of articles we prioritize. But yes, in the end I think all you admins getting together and deciding among yourselves is the fairest way to decide on the course of action, but Porple should have the final say, if he deals with the hosting costs and whatnot. ♡FirstaLasto♥ 15:34, 4 June 2014 (EDT)
Who cares, not like anyone clicks on those anyway. We'll still be getting the same amount of ads, so it won't affect us very much.
And here's the big thing. If we reject them. Guess who they're going to next?
- Does Smashpedia even cover things related to competitive smash anymore? Scr7(talk · contribs) 17:51, 4 June 2014 (EDT)
- I really doubt "bad blood" is a good way to put it. Most of the Wiki considers Smashpedia a joke now, especially now that SmashWiki has been displacing Smashpedia in Google rankings, and it seems only new-ish members who are trying to be edgy seem to think bashing Smashpedia should be a requirement for users.
- Smashpedia no longer covers the competitive scene (with their tier list page being horribly out of date and their Project M page being up for deletion), so I don't believe that MLG would bother. I have doubts a site owned by Wikia would even allow an outside source to control adverts on the site.
- Who cares, not like anyone clicks on those anyway.
- While I cannot speak on the behalf of Porple on how our adverts work, there are are adverts that do not require clicking on to give revenue to the site.
- If I may add, you may notice that the adverts on this site are only displayed for non-registered users and are relegated to only the top and side of the side of the page, with none of them actually bleeding over into the text of the article or otherwise being a distraction. A primary concern is how MLG plans on incorporating them; if they start showing up for registered users or otherwise invading the writing of the page, we may as well have stayed with Wikia.
- Oh, and if I may add, I believe Porple should be heading discussions with MLG. If adverts are the only thing being discussed, then he would know the most about the topic.
- --- Monsieur Crow, Author Extraordinaire, 19:26, 4 June 2014 (EDT)
Update: I spoke with them about the ads. Our level of control isn't going to change in terms of who we show ads to, the types of ads shown, etc. Since I don't see any downside here, the current status is that we're moving forward with the affiliation. I've been told that getting everything finalized will take about four weeks since it will take some time for them to get ad campaigns ready for us. It's not a done deal yet and input is still welcome. I agree with the concerns of them having too much control, and with that addressed, this looks good to me. --Porplemontage (talk) 19:53, 6 June 2014 (EDT)
- Sounds good. Unless something comes up, we should be good to go forward with this. Glad it worked out so smoothly. Miles (talk) 22:52, 6 June 2014 (EDT)
I'm... reluctant. Cards on the table, I've been wanting to start a push to bring the NIWA wikis closer together and perhaps even get some sort of official recognition from Nintendo themselves, much like what happened with the Team Fortress Wiki and the VWN (the VALVe equivalent of the NIWA.) I can't help but feel that an affiliation with MLG would conflict with that. VinLAURiA (talk) 17:42, 8 June 2014 (EDT)
- Pretty late response, but we have never had to deal with Smashpedia. They are not a rival, and they are most definitely not a threat to our Wiki's status. At this point, they're more like a little fly that we've just come to ignore because it's too much effort to take it out, yet it can't do much harm at all. Just laying that out there. MegaTron1XD 02:49, 21 June 2014 (EDT)