I wrote about WaniKani a few days ago but neglected to get into detail. Instead, I spent most of that post going on about my failed attempts at learning Japanese. There’s still actually a lot of fail going on since I’m focusing on vocabulary and kanji only and not grammar. Having noted this, I’m not going to get all that far in terms of comprehending actual sentences. 😛 Still, it’s a start and I already know more kanji and kanji compounds than I ever did.
As for what WaniKani is, here’s an explanation of the site: http://www.tofugu.com/2012/04/26/wanikani-sneak-peak/ While this was written over a year ago and the site has gone through some cosmetic changes and tweaks, the fundamental teaching method and mechanics still remain the same.
Kairospot regulars may notice that a few staff members no longer hold any sort of staff-related titles or even have profile pages anymore. It’s because we’ve been banned; all of us (I’m nunuu) , including innocent new recruits that were brought in recently to man the Gamerspot (Kairospot’s sister site) YouTube channel. They didn’t even know what was happening and were removed from their positions even before they started.
Edit on Oct 28: I’ve been notified by Prohibit that the YouTube staffers weren’t banned. There was a misunderstanding/misinterpretation on the part of the parties involved.
Here’s the low-down:
All I Want Is Your Money
The ban-fest came about after former writer/moderator, Loopy Kay, outed the questionable ethics and behaviour of the founder, Prohibit. You may lend some compassion to someone if he told you that donations meant for the message forum were used to pay bills and other life necessities. After all, a sob story about losing one’s job and needing money to sustain a living for a short while might pull on some heartstrings.
However, how would you feel if you discovered that all donation money went to his personal PayPal account and that he never had the intention to tell the community about how the money was being used? And that an apology and admittance to forum subscribers only happened due to pressure from staff? Moreover, how would you feel if you discovered that the money that you handed over out of goodwill with the expectation that it will be used toward expanding and improving a website and community that you enjoy was used for other things like, say, luxuries?? No, I don’t have proof of this myself but fellow staff have put the pieces together. I mean, when you’re strapped for cash and suddenly start praising the hell out of a new electronic gadget you bought, something’s not right.
As a donator myself, I expected the money to go where it was meant to go and if it didn’t, then I believe that even a short message explaining that the funds would be used to for personal reasons and such would have been warranted. (Hell, I covered the cost to have an enhanced search engine to be implemented. It never happened.) Unfortunately, the attitude regarding this matter boiled down to “it’s my site, I can do whatever I want with the money.” In short, your donations were being used as someone’s supplementary income.
I’ll Just Sit Back & Relax While You Do All The Work
While this impacted subscribers, staff endured another type of mismanagement; Prohibit disappeared without prior notice for an extended period of time. No one knew why or what happened. Kairospot co-founder, Steve10, also went MIA for a bit as well but did check in briefly to explain that he was absent due to health reasons and work. While DaveNg88 and I were administrators, our hands were tied. We lacked certain editing permissions, weren’t fully accustomed to the forum software, Xenforo, to look into registration issues potential new members were reporting via Kairospot Facebook page, and couldn’t implement anything without first consulting with him. It was essentially being at a workplace without a manager for weeks on end.
Kairospot was self-sustaining since it was mostly a message forum. There were a few technical hiccups which were dealt with by fellow staff member and Xenforo expert, Forsaken. Gamerspot, on the other hand, was meant to be an actual, full-fledged website with content spanning from new game coverage to reviews to opinion pieces on the game industry and gamers. In the absence of management, Dave went above and beyond his role as admin at Gamerspot and got all writers into a publishing schedule which saw the site active with a continual stream of new articles throughout the summer. Sadly, this was shortlived.
I Give You Empty Promises
When Prohibit and Steve returned, things seemed to be back on track but it was not long after that staff came to know about the embezzlement issue mentioned earlier in this post. At this point, we began to doubt Prohibit’s position as our, for a lack of a better word, manager. As it turns out, he was looking to rely on Forsaken and the admins to essentially shoulder his role. The fact of the matter was that no one ever agreed to this nor was such expectations ever mentioned. We all signed on to helpout the site NOT to run it and call all the shots.
Prohibit took our concerns lightly and when Forsaken confronted him about his behaviour during a Skype conversation, he even went as far as to state that if we didn’t like what was happening, we were free to leave since we were all easily replaceable. After a short while though, he backpeddled and profusely apologized for not fulfilling his duties and for being inaccessible for matters regarding his sites. Prohibit promised to change, swearing that there would be more transparency on decision making and that he would become more involved with both Kairospot and Gamerspot. For a while, he really did seem to make the effort to uphold the promises by becoming more active, setting up a staff directory with contact information among other things, and a group PayPal account accessible by all administrators. But the cycle began again as he soon fell back into the habit of not doing anything.
About a couple of weeks later, the ball dropped again.
Someone’s Paying Me Big Bucks. Sweet.
Kairospot broadened its horizons to cover more than just Kairosoft. It fact, it became a second home to up-and-coming mobile developer Epic Devs. The developer had their own subforum and released two exclusive tech demos of Epic Pirates Story for the community to try out. Kairospot goers warmly welcomed Epic Devs and they soon became a household name.
However, about a week ago, the subforum disappeared. Staff were unaware of the reason and couldn’t properly answer inquiries from members; we were just as in the dark as they were. Once again, Prohibit took it upon himself to do something without giving any notice or explanation. The obvious mentality here is “it’s my site, I can do whatever I want with it”. To put this in perspective: can you imagine working in an environment where management spontaneously changes things like moving stock, changing floor layouts, or even policies without telling employees? Imagine the impact this would have when interacting with customers.
On a personal note, I never knew that we changed from a simple donation system to a subscription model until a member complained about it. My initial reply stated that we didn’t have one. But I thought it was kind of odd that someone would mistaken the option to donate however much he wanted as a monthly recurring charge for a fixed amount. So I checked the donation page and saw something that was implemented out of the blue. Needless to say, I quickly edited my before a reply to it could be made. I am certain that you can see how foolish my original reply would have made me, an administrator of the site, look. But I digress. Back to the issue with Epic Devs.
I’m Just Going to Wait Things Out
It was uncovered that the developer had been paying Prohibit to have a section on the forum. That, in itself, isn’t a shocker since paying to get more exposure and publicity is common practice for companies. However, due to a small set back on the developer side, Prohibit was notified that the funds weren’t readily available this month. He then promptly removed the subforum without compromise and contacted them afterwards. No amount of grace period or compassion was given.
Prohibit disappeared again for a few days following the incident. And this was the last straw; the patience of staff members finally took its toll. We gave Prohibit the benefit of the doubt and expected transparency and discussions regarding the sites that we helped build and manage. But, once again, things happened behind our backs.
I’m Going to Ban The People That Made Kairospot What It Is Today
This was when Loopy engaged in whistleblowing and revealed what was happening behind the scenes to all members of Kairospot. They deserved to know that they were being exploited, that all Prohibit cared about was making a community that he could profit from. (Prohibit would fervently defend his claim that Kairospot and Gamerspot weren’t making him any money. However, let me remind you that any denomination of money given to his PayPal account, and even ad revenue, were pocketed. It may not have been every penny but a fair bit of it never went back into either website.) Most of all, they deserved to know that the Kairospot founder was incapable of handling responsibility and didn’t understand the meaning of team work.
Of course, like in a real workplace, leaking the truth will get one fired. In our case, we were all demoted and kicked off of both the ‘Spots.
Our Future Beyond the ‘Spot Network
Talk about creating a new gaming community was discussed between staff during Prohibit’s absence, and it was never kept a secret from him either. We stuck with Kairospot and Gamerspot because we all decided to give him a second chance to see if he could really stand by his word. But most of all, we loved the community. It’s unfortunate that things fell through.
We have since moved onto greener pastures. You can find us over at our new home, AdeptGamer. It’s not meant to be a rival of Prohibit’s work since it was mainly started as a place where we could stay together and continue talking and writing about a hobby that we all love and enjoy. We promise to continue providing the warm and friendly environment that people have become used to at Kairospot as well as awesome articles, guides, and multimedia for your viewing pleasure. There may not be too much there as of this writing since we’re just kicking off the site but I can assure you that it will not stagnate like Gamerspot. We have dedicated founders who are literally in the business of making and hosting websites and talented staff that’s really motivated. Please drop by and have a look~! ^____^
The post was deleted a few hours after it went up at Kairospot. It paints a more darker picture than what I wrote. I just didn’t feel it necessary to list the nitty gritty details to get my point across although I can vouch that what Loopy has outlined was true. We had a lot of projects planned but none of them ever took off since Prohibit was always more interested in refining website designs rather than looking into their content and anything else related to them like proper site promotions (especially for Gamerspot) or merchandise. We actually had a pretty fun T-shirt design contest a long while back. I THINK we selected a winning design but it didn’t matter in the end since making T-shirts went on the back burner.
What was really sad was that some of the projects were meant to be perks for donators. Instead, all they got were sparkling usernames, special icons denoting their status, and the ability to edit their title. There was probably more (other than access to Game Dev Story 2) but they were probably just forum options.
It turns out it was the same tests again. I suppose it sort of matters if you mean to boost up your percentile. I went up 5%~! 😀 I think having to type nothing but 310620950 or whatever (I typed it in for so many times but I can’t remember it clearly ^^???) for 98% of the Numeric test helped boost it. I still wasn’t up to speed so to speak since even with the full keyboard, I had to find a place to put it. I should have remembered to push aside the laptop so I could properly have the keyboard sitting on the table. Not sure I want to try the evaluations again.
There was a bizarre snippet that came up in the Numeric evaluation! It was obviously a phone number as it was formatted as (###) ###-####. However, the rules indicated that anything in parentheses should be preceded by a hyphen. I sat there for a moment thinking if I should put it in. ^^ In the end, I made the decision to type it in. NO IDEA if I made the right move.
Anyway, throughout all the evaluations, I marked snippets with no “user provided data” as blanks (where the user is the person that wrote or typed the info shown on a snippet). For example, under Letters Only, there were a few that only showed “Address” in computer printed text which was obviously the name of a form field. (Think of any sort of forms that require you to provide such information like a passport application, job application, etc.) To me, the evaluation was only looking for “user provided data” and not just any letters that pop up on in a rectangle graphic. After all, what kind of data entry job REQUIRES you to type in the form field headings as well? This could be an incorrect interpretation though. I’m not sure because, as noted in my previous post, there were no examples.
Oddly enough though, I JUST noticed that both the Dollars AND Numeric evaluations HAD examples. Not sure why I didn’t see them last night. I suppose I didn’t realize that the scroll bar of the pop-up window wasn’t all the way down the page. 9___9 I’ll go and correct the post now. ^^
Edit on Sept 8th: Managed to inch up to 98th percentile! XD Curious if I’ll get any work. Heh. Also, I forgot to mention that the evalulation is based on speed too.
It’s just difficult to settle on that I actually like. One annoying thing about the live preview feature is that it never displays the theme WITH all installed widgets. To me, it really makes a difference when it comes to whether or not I’ll choose that theme. I’d rather they straight up show it to me that way so I won’t need to constantly reload my blog.
I DO like Yoko, which was the one I was using before this one (called Sundance), but I discovered that paragraph text except bullet points were always displayed in a small font size when viewing a full blog post. Oddly, text was in a comfortable, readable font size on the front page. It was just strange.
Sundance is similar to Yoko in layout so things are okay now … although I suppose I could do with a better header image. 😛 Maybe when I feel like it, I’ll try and create something better.
I decided to join for the heck of things since everywhere I went said they were legit but lord, the evaluation tests were full of ambiguous directions. I found that some things were seriously open to interpretation like if there was a comma within a dollar value, should you just continue to type in the numbers only or should I hit the slash key BECAUSE there was a stinkin’ comma? (More on the tests later.) Would it have killed them to give examples? But I suppose if they did, most people would reach their 95 – 100th percentile threshold which is the assumed range by users that will land people in the “most likely to be hired” waiting list. However, I have read in the KeyforCash members FAQ (you can only access it after logging into the site) that depending on the amount of workload they have, they may very well extend job offers to people below 95 as well.
While they do allow for retakes of their evaluation tests every 24 hours, I believe that they are randomly generated and will not always consist of the same categories. Naturally, this is done to prevent anyone from cheating.
I’m just really curious about the piddly amount of money I’ll be making with this blog. XD I think I should be able to make back the domain registration fee within 12 months though. Well, that’s assuming that I won’t get less than $1.00 for the time period that the ad company assesses. If that’s the case, then I’ll have to redouble my efforts in blogging about useful stuff like writing mini guides and FAQs for various games that I play or just consider the payment of getting my own domain as, well, just that. (It wasn’t even expensive anyway. I paid $22 or something cuz I went with the private registrar instead.)
Yeah, there are other places that offer revenue for blogging and such but they all seem to require some sort of commitment such as x-number of articles per week or month. I don’t want to be tied down to those sort of rules. Besides, I enjoy writing about whatever comes to mind.
I really wish I discovered WordAds back in February when everyone playing FFXIII-2 was flocking here. ^^ If I were more into Kingdom Hearts 3D, I may have been able to attract a similar amount of visitors back when the game first came out over here in North America. As it stands now though, I’m holding back on continuing it until I get a 3DS XL because it’s a game that deserves to be on a larger screen.
The next major game title I’ll be tackling is the sure-to-be-glorious Ys: Foliage Ocean in Celceta. At least, I believe it will be because Ys SEVEN totally did not disappoint. Then again, SEVEN introduced the spiffy party system and the overall gameplay was highly addictive. Celceta builds on just about every mechanic introduced in that game so I expect potential awesomeness.
Anyway, the importing of this title will result in me purchasing a PS Vita … which I totally don’t mind since I wanted it for Super Stardust Delta anyway. It’s just that, back when SSD was out, it was the only game I really cared about. And a single game usually doesn’t justify the purchase of an entirely new system.
Wow. I just completely went off-topic so quickly. XD
………… I just realized that the ads are kind of … not tailored to the topics that I usually write about. Oh well.
I opened up accounts with InboxDollars and ZoomBucks on Friday after doing some research on them. They ARE legit sites but don’t expect to rake in any sort of moola quickly — or do any sort of raking in, really — since it can take a while for cents or ZoomBucks to add up before you can cash out.
One of the biggest roadblocks to these two sites is the fact that I’m in Canada and 90% of the surveys I tried kicked me out after answering a few questions since I didn’t fit their “focus group” or that they already had enough people within the same demographics so they didn’t need any more opinions. I don’t have any idea if there are trends with these surveys where users can fudge their way through until the end. (You get squat for incomplete surveys.) I also don’t qualify for any of the “pay to read e-mails” stuff. I don’t really care though since I’ll probably end up cancelling the accounts in the near future.
I suppose one of the best ways get points and money is via referrals. I’m not about to plaster my referral link everywhere though.
For what it’s worth, ZoomBucks seems to provide more options to build up to rewards. I don’t think they ofter cash back like InboxDollars, but you can exchange your ZoomBucks for gift cards and such. It takes until about 550 ZBucks until you can really get anything but unless you’re one of the few that can actually succeed in completing surveys, you can only rely on tasks such as Web searches for specific sites and answering questions regarding the site, weeding through images and marking ones that do not adhere to certain criteria, or watching videos for piddly amounts of ZBucks. I thought that you could get some ‘Bucks from playing games since the heading is under Earn ZBucks menu option but I dunno if it applies for all games.
There are offers that provide more generous “payments” though. For example, signing up with Netflix will get you 323 ZBucks. Unfortunately, like Netflix, these sort of offers that provide healthy sums of ZBucks usually require some sort of credit card info.