Hello, this is TalkingHead#3 here.
MyGrailWatch has been built for anime figure fans and by fans with intense dedication. But it was never meant to be a “fan-site” and neither was this blog intended to be MGW’s source of revenue. Rather, we intended to showcase the charm of anime figures and promote MGW as a service at the same time. As the blog reaches its second anniversary, it’s clear that it’s become more than what it was initially meant to be and that it can be so much more. Not only for us but for people who like figures, the people for whom it was and is being built.
So we thought about several things, “Where are we, where do we want to go, and how are we going to get there?”
Our objective isn’t to make mad money and buy McLarens. Fine, that’s not the main objective, it could be a side objective. The main objective for MyGrailWatch as a company is to “create a world-class service dedicated to 3D representations of 2D characters!” As with any business, capital is needed to sustain our activities as well as grow them.
And with that, I’m happy to share with you the MGW Membership, which is first phase of our plan to reach our vision of becoming that world-class service.
All of this business talk may come as a surprise, but we want to continue having fun with pretty girl figures. Whether you subscribe or not, we want you to continue having fun here too. Without enjoyment, all we’ve built will come to be pointless. The road ahead is not going to be easy, it wasn’t easy getting to this point either, but what I want MyGrailWatch is to be transparent and accountable. As we move forward, our long overdue privacy and ethics policies will also be incoming.
Why a membership system instead of running ads?
Besides the lack of control, the #1 issue is the lack of privacy. Pointedly, it’s creepy having your search interests show up on unrelated sites. If I can help it, I don’t want MGW to trade privacy for money. So while we aren’t opposed to running ads, we would prefer to do so in a way that will allow us to: 1) know our ad partners and 2) control the type of content we show 3) without compromising your safety or privacy.
Ultimately, the reason for going the membership route is because it’s more viable based on what we want to offer. And because ads are an eye-sore!
How is the website changing?
I’m happy to say there won’t be much of a change. The proverbial tomorrow will be the same as yesterday. We aren’t “paywalling” things which are free right now nor the things you’ve come to expect for free. Our pre-order guides with our translated descriptions and impressions will remain free. High-quality product photos will be shown when we have them. As it is now, there will be no censorship of said product photos if we can avoid it.
So what am I getting?
Thank you for asking! In addition to all of the free content on the site, you will also be getting…
You’ll be getting premium content in the form of longer and more in-depth impressions of the figures we cover on our site. As our impressions become more common, it has to be cut down to fit into our pre-order guide format. These writings are longer and have unrestricted length and are edited accordingly. We’re aiming for a base word count of around 650 versus the upper limit of 300 we have in our order guides.
Ahead of Time Content
Some of the translated descriptions and shorter impressions will be made available to you ahead of everyone else. Also, depending on your membership level, at least one longer impression will be made available a week in advance every month.
Behind the Scenes Content
With the enthusiasm we have for these figures, we always want to have eye-catching layouts showing off the best angles and details. With the attitude of “There can be only one”, there are some which don’t make the cut. So this is just a look at how the layout was composed and what we intended to show. Also, some which didn’t make the cut will be shown.
An MGW Membership is to be an all-encompassing pass to our premium offerings, on our blog and elsewhere. With that in mind, there are other things we want to include, however separate announcements will be made when they are ready.
You may sign-up at Patreon right now for an MGW Membership which we have available in regular and ‘SR’ tiers.
We chose Patreon as the host the of our premium content and to handle the payments because it’s a trusted brand and is a hassle-free way to sign-up. A bonus for us is that it has developer API. This will allow us to integrate it with our sites.
What about Ko-fi?
It will remain as a way for you to directly support our focused quality-driven and ad-free vision for our blog. This is especially true if you can’t afford or would prefer not to have a recurring MGW Membership right now. Buy us a coffee?
What about phases?
Yes, the undertaking is immense and we will be dealing with it in a phased approach. Please look forward to our forthcoming “Improving MGW” announcement where we’ll outline the changes that’ll make our site easier to use and navigate. As mentioned earlier, our ethics and privacy polices are being penned right now and be announced in the future.
There are many other things we want to do, but again, we can only talk about them at a later stage. One thing we do want as soon as possible is release a roadmap of features that you may expect.
To you and everyone who has supported us this far, I want to say a very special thank you. While I may not be the leader MyGrailWatch needs nor deserves, through God’s grace, I will continue to tirelessly work so that our objective of making MGW a world-class service is not a lie. Overall, this is an exciting time for MGW and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments section.