Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Interviews with Runescape Fan Sites: The RSMG

Today's interview is with Shad, owner and founder of The RSMG (The Runescape Millionaire's Guide) site. Obviously the site is focused on various methods of making GPs inside the game (not to be confused with RWT). Enjoy!

Q: How would you describe your site in a few words?
A: The RSMG can best be described as a website that teaches Runescapers the current methods to making money in Runescape.

Q: Can you tell us about major milestones of your site? A little bit of a history?
A: Major milestones would have to be when we ranked first on Google for terms like "Runescape Money Guide" or "Runescape GP Guide," and getting our first interview request from Runescape Reader’s Digest.

Q: What inspired you to start a Runescape fan site?
A: I really enjoyed playing Runescape, and earning money in the game. I saw that having money in the game correlated to how happy I was (for example, if I went pking and died with armor, I would be sad if I knew I had little money in the bank to replace it). I saw my friends struggling with this same problem, so I started this website to help them resolve it.

Q: What were your original goals for the site?
A: When I first started the website, it was meant to have a few pages just to show my friends how to go from having 1GP to a few million.

Q: Had your goals changed over time? If yes, how and why?
A: My goals have indeed changed over time. Now the goal of the website is geared towards helping me score babes. Kidding. I saw a lot of people needed help making money in the game, so I expanded the website and continued to update on the current methods.

Q: Was it the first web site you ever created?
A: I use to play Neopets when I was in elementary school. But unlike other kids who had their greatest enjoyment just from playing the game, I got my kicks from creating pages that gave people hints about that game.

Q: What technologies were used to create the site? Did you add new technologies into the mix after you created the original version?
A: Our cooking pot started off with the use of Blogger, which is a blogging website. Then we mixed in some slices of YouTube videos on to the website. Recently we started sprinkling in some forums to connect our community, and that required the use of vBulletin. We stirred it all up and have what we have now. Luckily we had team members, like Myr and Aga, who were really sharp about the forums technology.

Q: Is there a unique feature/service your site provides to Runescape players?
A: Yes. Yes, there is. We constantly try to post new money-making methods, or updates of older methods, so that players always have an idea of what they can do to easily make money on Runescape. We try to keep the streets of Varrock free of people who ask for free stuff.

Q: Which feature/service took the most time and effort to create?
A: Without a doubt, it would have to be the forums.

Q: Which feature/service was the most complex from the programming stand point?
A: The forums wins again.

Q: Is there a feature/service of the site you are most proud of?
A: Our Grand Exchange Hot Item Alerts are pretty “hot”. Our GE Hot Item Alert feature is basically an analysis of the current GE market and item prices. We do analyses of items and predict what item could go up in value due to things like recent updates, the recent usage of an item, merch clans, etc.

Q: Did you start the site alone or with friends?
A: I started the website as alone as a kid who wears Runescape t-shirts to school. Not that they’re un-cool or anything! Those kids are just too cool to hang out with anyone else. Yeah, that’s it.

Q: Are you the only developer of the site's code?
A: There isn’t much coding required for the site itself. I do have team members who help with the coding for the forums. We need coders though! (yeah, that’s right, I did some shameless advertising)

Q: How much time do you normally spend supporting the site? A few hours a day? A few hours a month?
A: I typically spend a few hours a week. Other times I spend a few hours a day, like today. However, there are other members on the team who spend more time, especially if they are making videos. We spend different amounts of time depending on our schedules, but we try to look out for each other so that no one person is doing too much work or so that no one person has to work when their schedule is really full.

Q: How many staff members do you have? How did you find/chose them?
A: I like to refer to them as team members. There are around 10 of us. I make an announcement on The RSMG when we need more team members. Interested players then submit answers to an application that we provide. Then they are assessed on their ability to write by submitting 2 sample guides. If all is good, they are welcomed aboard The RSMG.

Q: Are there aspects of web site management you were able to completely delegate to others?
A: Yes, ever member of The RSMG has powers to make posts. So they can post up their guides once they have completed them. I’ve also delegated full control of the forums to a select few team members.

Q: Did you even had to deal with hostility and/or attacks from other fan sites?
A: No, we try to play nice. The Runescape fan site community is really nice, and the owners of the fan sites are polite people. Though there was this one time that our forum was attacked by spam bots. We aren’t sure if the attackers were from another fan site or if the attackers were just random spammers. We would like to think that they were random spammers.

Q: Did you ever consider making money with the site or is it just a hobby?
A: It’s mostly as a hobby. I really enjoy helping and educating my peers. The money that comes with it is a pleasant surprise, but usually there’s just enough left over at the end of the month to go into my coffee drinking funds.

Q: What do you think about the current Jagex's fan sites support program? Do they do too much, too little? Is there something you'd wish would go differently?
A: I wasn’t aware that Jagex had such a program. Maybe they need to do more to get it out there :P

Q: Do you still play Runescape? If yes, how often?
A: Yes, definitely. I would say a few hours per week. It depends on how free my schedule is that week.

Q: What's you Runescape goals, if any?
A: To lead an army of the 300 best PvPers while they are dressed like Spartans.

Q: What kind of Runescape player are you? Which Runescape aspect is most appealing to you: quests, role-playing, skilling, pking, minigames etc.?
A: I was expecting “What kind of Pokemon are you?” No? Okay, don’t worry about it. I definitely have a passion for pking. That’s what led me to start making money in the first place. I didn’t want to have to worry about running out of pking supplies!

Q: Are there other Runescape fan sites you personally use as a Runescape player?
A: Definitely. I greatly enjoy going to other fan sites, reading their articles, using their tools, etc. I’ve been to most of the well-known Runescape fan sites on the web. I would say that I’ve been to all of them, but the fact that there are new fan sites being created every day makes that a difficult feat to accomplish.

Q: Do you follow/read Runescape blogs and news papers from other sites?
A: I have a couple that I follow. The blogs I follow are mainly focused on PvP’ing and on people who enjoy discovering new things on Runescape that the average player would overlook.

Q: Is there something you don't mind revealing about your RL (age, country, hobbies etc.)?
A: I really enjoy the martial arts of Jiu-Jitsu. It keeps me disciplined, focused, and organized.

Thank you very much, Shad!


Alex/ Runescape Bits Blog said...

That's exactly why I try to make money in rs too, in order not to run out of money!

I even played neopets before! Had one of those successfull pet-pet shops lol... I can identify with many things within that interview, excpet swap that j- juice -tzu for some boxing!

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