HEARTBREAK HOTEL

…just when we thought they had done their worst, they found a way to add yet one more morsel of agony in pursuit of their vision of what the site should be – a transparent effort to cut the members off from their fosters, no doubt in anticipation of being able to soon harvest and delete them.

Unsurprisingly, THIS “improvement” went unheralded until it was a done deed…as the justification they offer is even flimsier than the rest.

We are in the process of composing an email, which we will post here, along with Mojo’s email address – and possibly those of all of their corporate sponsors as well – for you to copy/paste, augment as desired, and send.

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HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF…

…it would appear that our original question – the one that inspired this blog – has at last been answered : the “why” behind the seemingly-senseless changes.
Even had Janasov not been heard to state elsewhere that the site was being completely made over for the “modern” market, the goal(s) have now become graphically clear.

ONE: get all transactions under the control of, and exclusively favoring, the site. How – or if – they expect to actually make a profit under this system is another matter entirely…

TWO: Drive as many of the older “free” accounts off the site as possible. In this we devoutly hope they will not be allowed to succeed…

THREE: (and most ominous) To gather in as many “surplus” pets as possible (with the additional perk of being able to extinguish a large number of onsite pokeys), via a bounty on pets returned to the FooShelter  – newly candycoated as “just a division of the Adoption Center” – and by getting the majority of foster pets under the control of the new warm and fuzzy “Pet Sams” so that they can be quietly gathered up and tucked away in the FooShelter as well : following which will undoubtedly come a mass extinction that will make last year’s deletions look minor indeed, clearing the decks – and the server space – for more Disneyesque versions like the new Red Husky. (and to think Janasov supposedly came to FooMojo to get away from DisneyCorp…)

We are informed that “Good Cop” EAB1 has “answered” some questions about the changes announced by “Bad Cop” Corie…with the only hard information given either already known or easily deduced,  and no real data on the questions that we couldn’t readily figure out for ourselves. My, my – what a surprise.

But then, FooMojo had already discovered a much more effective way to “surprise” us.

~ Photobucket ~ Photobucket ~ Photobucket ~
(clicking any of these will take you to the source, where you can download or copy/paste them. an “Adult Member”, by the way, in my definition, is anyone capable of grasping basic concepts like the fact that getting half of what you paid for something when you sell it isn’t a fair exchange, that the changes beta and beyond are for the management, not the members…and that “DrJane” ain’t a real person.)

AND THE HITS JUST KEEP ON COMIN’

The following is a copy of the post i made on page 52 of the thread (now well over double that number) detailing the latest “improvements” to the site. If you haven’t seen Corie’s (the Bad Cop, as opposed to Good Cops EAB1 and DrJane/Ron) latest sermon from the mount, go look.

and weep.

or rage.

or both.

___________________________________________________________________

what a surprise…one more giant step on the road to CandyLand.

has it occurred to management that you have just killed all LL sale income, as there is no point in breeding an animal you cannot sell? presumably the next step then is elimination of breeding, as well. i really should have seen this coming when your solution to the falling stats due to the introduction of the Ultras was to freeze green stats regardless of medians – rendering the pets affected novelties useless for propagation.

from the players’ point of view, you have also destroyed the many hardworking member shelters, who cannot now place pets unless you plan to make them giftable, which i think unlikely – more probably, gifting is the next thing to get the ax.

what a neat way for all the irresponsible absentee breeders to get rid of, and rich off,  their endless unsold litters…and as far as conditions in the fooshelter go – those pets are in suspended animation, unless a kindhearted member chooses to visit them in Mobile – unfed, unwatered, uncared for in any way until by some lucky chance they are adopted. i remember when adopted pets from the fooshelter arrived well plastered with foopoo, until you changed the coding to exclude it from scenes. what happened to that wonderful concept of responsibility that the site was supposedly founded to further and encourage, especially in the young?

25% of the action on sales wasn’t enough? i personally had been anticipating a tax on pet sales, but once again, management has found a way to do something even more destructive to the future of the site.

this war of attrition against long-term members must cease. most of us are too stubborn and committed to our pets and/or our previous investment in the site to be driven away. your rationalizations for the changes are as usual flimsy at best…i am not a programmer by any means, and even i can see a dozen ways to solve the problems of scamming and harassment – and as no one is forced or obligated to pay an inflated price for a pet, there is no such thing as “profiteering”, at least on the members’ part. the fact that an item or pet does not sell either means the price is too high, or no one who is able to find it happens to want it – both temporary problems, and easily dealt with by the selling member. none of your justifications hold up under reasoned evaluation.

as i don’t think anyone at FooMojo is stupid, no one there believes this is going to increase site income or member satisfaction…therefore another motivation is at work, and i can envisage only one. if you want to shut the site down and start over, have the courage – and the courtesy – to say so.

If It Quacks like a Duck…

Remember back when we had that nice little ongoing newsletter that came up automatically on the page? I liked that a lot. One of my little Fashion Show winners made the “front page” once – I was charmed, and thrilled. They actually TALKED to members then…

The new huskey looks like it was designed by Disney by way of anime central…ironic, since our new CEO left PlayDom to come here when PD was taken over by Disney. (not to mention our new “Disney Princess” look..)

My best guess at the moment is that they are trying to get away from the whole concept of karma…pet care is optional now as (supposedly) they won’t be taken no matter HOW long they sit unvisited (the “new” Pet Samaritans now visit every 3 rather than 5 days), the rank charts and FAQs on karma/starpoints have vanished, and the whole system has been scaled back and effectively minimized.

They MAY be thinking about eliminating CF – or at least reworking it somehow to get rid of the discounted foo$ it’s flooding the site with. It certainly is losing its limited charm rapidly…

What’s oddest is that they have been busily making pet care less important or rewarding – while claiming that’s what the site is about when they take anything else away (fashion shows, RP, the ability to profitably sell/resell anything, etc) – but continue to make less and less available to DO…they seem to be pulling in two different directions.

Still trying to figure out just what – if anything – has actually been done to/about the stat drops due to the impact of Ultras on the site…the new huskies are unaffected as they have yet to establish breed norms, but what about the rest? Simply freezing them where they are is less than no answer – that just prevents breeding and attenuation from balancing the stats back normally. Plus, while 5/5 Ultras are less common, most new creates have one or more drastically high or low stats – and now that the stats show up even on them, people just reload until they get what they want – further aggravating the problem of stat distortion. FooBA4U will shortly be doing a new reading of stat medians and comparing them to the preserved “pre-Ultra” numbers, and we should have a clearer picture then.

Does ANYONE have an insight into where all these contradictory and destructive new “changes” are supposed to lead?

Song Sung Blue…

(to the tune of  “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler On the Roof)

Still love the kittens i adopted –
Still love my pokey pups at play –
I don’t remember wanting changes,
Nor did they…

I tried, FooPets –
I cried, FooPets –
Never needed change :
Why is the website that I cherished
Sad and strange…

When did this get to be a duty?
When did the pleasure grow so small?
Wasn’t it yesterday I loved it all…

I tried, FooPets –
I cried, FooPets –
Nothing left but tears…
One reason following another,
Killing the site in just a year.

…we are in the process of compiling and looking at the results – and implications – of all the new “improvements” that the famous “everybody” wanted. We will post our findings and evaluation soon.

So far, it looks like they haven’t missed a single member group in the “insult and upset” department this time…even their precious (and now obligatory for new joins) ClubFoo took a hit. There is so much to examine that it’s nearly impossible to even take it all in, much less isolate and deal with specific issues – they have certainly perfected the technique of throwing so much at us at once that individual changes get lost in the shuffle, not to mention hiding the smaller but more long-term items behind something big and flashy…

 

We Have All Been Here Before…

Once again, a baby step forward, and then ten giant steps backward,  or to the side…

I cannot understand why the only site designed for someone able to appreciate detail, realism, and genuine concern for pets is so bent on mirroring other far less advanced sites catering to those who want semi-animated toys.

Why leave an eager market where you are the only contender for a rich cash reserve, to compete with literally hundreds of others already filling the niche for the younger market? Even if they can retrofit FooPets for this purpose, it’s a waste, and a cash-poor field…and they are striving against sites designed and built by kids for kids – a loser’s game, at best.

I am really beginning to believe that the true intentions in all this are to crash the site altogether so they can build anew –  most likely an anime-style pet arcade for youngsters.  Probably cheaper to run…but what a waste.

Times They Are A-Changin’…?

Although there has been no direct response from On High, we have noted the first positive (if potentially self-serving and poorly thought out) change on the site in quite a while, with the new “kinder, gentler” Pet Samaritans no longer repossessing pets after 15 days.

While it’s equally possible this is just an attempt to cope with FooShelter overcrowding –  if that is the case, incidentally,  it would be a wonderful time to make yet another magnanimous gesture and restore Foogem Fridays – and we live in daily fear of another mass extermination (plus, the Sams need to come a bit more often and provide more than simply food and water for this to be considered an especially humanitarian gesture), still, when coupled with the price rollbacks on food,  meds, and CF subcriptions,  and the reappearance in the FooMart of items with gem options, it appears a glimmer of daylight is breaking through the stygian mists of headquarters. (The most noticeable fly in the ointment at the moment being the fact that the FooPetter message – and by extension, presumably, the site – seems to be aimed exclusively at underage members.)

Word has it that other member-beneficial tweaking is in progress, including a reworking of the Forums…we aren’t holding our breath, but hey – maybe the horse will learn to sing.*

(* – for those who may never have heard this particular fable…once upon a time, a minstrel had been condemned to death for flirting with a king’s daughter. when the time came for him to be executed, he appealed to the king, promising to teach his favorite horse to sing in a year’s time, if his life were spared. when his friends pointed out that he was merely postponing the inevitable, he replied, “A year is a long time. The king may die. The horse may die. I may die…and who knows? Perhaps the horse will learn to sing.”)

Hey, You…

okay…it’s time to fish or cut bait.

the New Foo Crew has come out of the closet, so we can no longer be accused of going behind the soi-disant authorities’ back … and it would seem from the drop-off in response that we have all the input and critique we can reasonably expect. We will be tidying and reediting the Business Plan blog materials, but some kind of a cover letter would seem to be in order, to introduce ourselves and our position.

(NOTE : we have just made some final additions and changes to the FooPets blog, left, and will be using it, pretty much as is with some minor point-of-view tweaking, as the Recommendations attachment when this is sent.)

so…let’s start with the baseline requirements :

Dear Mr. Janasov and Those FooMojo Executives Tasked With Decisionmaking For the FooPets Site :

We think it can be reasonably stated that the current state of affairs on FooPets  is working for no one involved, unless the goal is indeed to crash the site and rebuild from the ashes – and as if that is the case, there is no point in anyone doing anything, we will treat that as a nonoption.

We have put together a list of recommendations that we believe will work for both members and management, or at least leave them equally dissatisfied with one another but content that the solution is as fair as it’s going to get…but there are a few dealbreakers that I think need to come first.

ONE:  NO MORE HYPOCRISY. stop candycoating actions taken for your own purposes as “something everybody voted for”, “in the majority of members’ best interests”, and so forth…and MOST of all, unless a great many things change (and we’ll HELP you!), stop lying to children and their parents about the purpose of the site.  As things stand, the only education they receive is in hyperaggressive capitalism – loving and caring for a pet have become secondary at best.

TWO :  NO MORE “SPOOKY ACTIONS AT A DISTANCE”. Tell us what you plan. Ahead of time. Not only will it do you no harm, but the potential gain for the company, not just in good will but in INCOME, is enormous. Your established membership was (and is, so far at least – we aren’t ALL gone…yet) primarily composed of adults with discretionary income, most of whom have children and grandchildren that we would be glad to bring into the site – and sponsor – should honesty and pet care once more become its focus. We are also, by and large, quite capable of making practical,  intelligent suggestions that will benefit the site and the membership as a whole – and of looking at problems management may be having and coming up with solutions that work for all involved. TALK to us – and listen  to our response…you have a vast untapped resource of free expert consultants sitting right at your fingertips – use it!

THIRD: LOOK AHEAD. The discounted Foodollars being dumped into the site by the promoted (and now obligatory) ClubFoo memberships are what is truly destroying the site economy, and were until recently the main factor in falloff of bank package purchases – and raising prices does NOT solve the problem. Set up a reasonably-priced membership, with decent benefits, but without the foodollar perk, and push the bonus-dollar packages back to roughly where they started pre-CF, with perhaps a $10-a-month commitment in exchange for the $200 a month (give or take) foodollar bang, but no major semiannual or annual discounts. STOP charging people to come in the door – unless you are prepared to eliminate the need for any further tender purchase by bringing prices back down to realistic levels, this is economic suicide of the first water. One either pays an entry fee, OR spends extensively onsite – not both.

Please…we want to see the site WORK – just like you do. We are adults that understand financial realities…yours, and our own. We still believe in the truly amazing potential the FooPets site has for making a major contribution to pet education, pet charities – and your bottom line.  Let us help you help us help.

FooPets became what it was because it was different – why are you trying to turn it into just another virtual gaming site?

We are planning to shoot this out in about a week, so if you have input, criticisms, etc, look things over and let us know ASAP what you think should be added or changed.

We especially need people to go over the specific recommendations outlined in the FooPets draft, which is in or near its final form at this point (we think/hope)…thanks!

Published in: on February 20, 2011 at 10:33 am  Comments (6)  
Tags: , , ,

Brick By Brick…

I have put up a starter draft of the recommendations we intend to submit to FooMojo  (by email, registered mail, and hand delivery), in the blog entitled “FooPets Business Plan”, clickable to the right. Comments and suggestions can either be posted here, or on the Plan blogpage itself.

2/11/11, new material added to Business Plan subblog,  right,  existing material expanded, and Comments section there fixed so people can use it.  (sorry…blush…i was so busy setting it up i forgot to do that to begin with)

All input is welcome – these are my thoughts, I’m sure others can refine them and add ideas that haven’t occurred to me…and I will be incorporating and attempting to cover all the excellent input we have received so far in “Where Do We Go From Here”, below.

Thank you all…and please…say a prayer for your faithful bird dog, on her way into the bear’s den soon.

Excelsior!

Where Do We Go From Here?

“…to challenge the sky – or stay on the ground…”

It would appear that such hard data as is available has been found – and as i have no competence to “translate” the more esoteric jargon in the “Bits and Pieces” links, it seems the only alternative left is to try to beard the bear in his den…the bear in this case being Mr. Janasov, and the den, FooMojo central.

As it’s pointless to whine that things are going wrong without offering a reasonable and practical alternative, we are now seeking your ideas and suggestions for how to make the site work for everyone – members of all ages and financial situations, management at both the site and corporate levels, sponsors and backers…and the pets themselves. (if the company’s main selling point is that FooPets are “alive”, it’s about time this was reflected in their handling of them onsite)

We already have some plans for this, but before we trot them out we’d like to hear from you au naturel, without any slanting of your own thoughts by the reading of ours. To the best of our knowledge, it’s possible to post comments anonymously if you want to be heard without being identified…by any faction.

Once we have consensus on a full business proposal that will put the site back on the road to what it could – and should – be, we will get it to Mr. Janasov and various other high-ranking FooMojo staff members…and if there is no response of any kind, I suppose we’ll just have to take the whole mess public.

Ball’s in your court, folks – what’s your take on what needs to be done to mend Foo’s broken hearts?

(Addendum – thank you all for the input! i agree about the things that need to be addressed – but we need to put together alternatives and solutions that will work for the corporate entity if we’re going to get any kind of a hearing,  i.e. “do this instead”, and the reasons why it will boost their bottom line by increasing member satisfaction.  Obviously we are dealing with people who don’t have a clue as to what does and does not work for the site – though it shouldn’t be, it’s our job to educate them if we are going to save FooPets and restore it to what it ought to be.)

By the way…i just heard from someone who lives near the offices and will hand-carry hardcopy and drop it in their laps on our behalf. Excelsior!