Hello @Claws, you are known as one of the owners/founders of Icepets.com - you started this project with your partner Michael...
Do you mind telling us what made you two come together? And please tell us some things about yourself.
Michael and I knew each other for years prior to starting IcePets, we both wanted to start a pet site, and both had different strengths to bring to the table. I was bored, and needed something to do with my time. I need to be challenged on a daily basis, and a pet site made sense as something challenging to devote to.
In 2009, Icepets opened up to the world, what are some obstacles that you site has faced?
February 28th of 2009 is when Michael and I decided to start making a pet site. October 20th of 2010 is when we opened. There have been a lot of obstacles, almost on a daily basis, pushing through each obstacle with consistent problem solving has kept things going no matter what.
Being a virtual pet site, what are some things that Icepets offers to everyone? Any unique features to speak about?
10 released pet species, 4 collections, 4 dailies, 5 flash games, 5 misc game features, 8 quests (one them being a progressive level/part based quest that guides you to complete various tasks around IcePets with progressively greater trophies and rewards), a complex referral system that (to my knowledge) is unique and superior to most (and will be made even greater soon), and for the most part not too much beyond what most would call "the basics" as we're just beginning to develop the engaging aspects.
Icepets at this time has 3 users online, is there any advertising going? Also, how many programmers does Icepets have?
This interview was written before we decided to start growing the user base (we started about 3 weeks ago), and our users online now averages 20-30 with spikes of 40 and continues to grow on a daily basis. The only advertisement up right now is the ad here on VPL. Word of mouth, and our superior referral system, draw in many of our members.
How do you feel about pet sites? Do you feel that they're growing in popularity?
I feel pet sites, including IcePets thus far, have drifted away from truly being pet sites. In most cases, focus on pets is minimal. Within 6 months, you'll see IcePets begin taking innovative steps towards pets as the focal point in ways that improve the play of our game and engage the player.
I don't know whether or not pet sites are growing in popularity; some are growing, some are not.
Where do you see Icepets going in 2 years? How about 5 years?
My plans aren't detailed that far out.
So, did you come up with the concept of Icepets? Who's idea was it?
Most everything seen on IcePets was detailed by me, in written specifications for the programmer, with additional details added during discussion with the IcePets Programmer. Other things are from the great mind of Nate, the IcePets Programmer, other team members, and the players of IcePets.
How many server(s) does Icepets currently run on? What's your server plan like?
Very cheap hosting, nothing special. We're upgrading soon to handle the growing number of players, and leave room for bigger moves for growth.
What are some of the staff positions that Icepets has? I see that you guys have Sabrina running your twitter account, what sparked this decision?
Staff positions on IcePets are, in no particular order; Programmer, Pet Artist, Graphic Artist, Item (and sometimes NPC) Artist, Head Writer, Writer, Content Manager, Moderator, and soon Support Staff will be a new position. Management of IcePets development is my responsibility, marking is Michael's responsibility, but even still the big decisions on either side are always discussed between the two of us to make sure we both are on the same page and happy with the direction.
Someone was hired to run the twitter account, to give the twitter account a greater chance of having one person to give it full time dedication to make full use of twitter's marketing potential.
Any time I put into something other than development, is time taken away from development, therefor I prefer not so spend time on things other than development whenever possible. Sabrina ended up not being able to learn the twitter marketing techniques well enough, and is no longer with us.
Icepets is currently considered a "small" pet site, which means, its still growing and being developed - is Icepets in beta, or is it out of beta?
IcePets came out of beta in October of 2010, still very much so being developed on the back end and on the basic fundamentals until we decided a few weeks ago to grow the site and begin developing and releasing the engaging content.
If you could tell an upcoming pet site owner one thing, what would you say?
You must be crazy.
If you never started Icepets with Michael, what would you be doing today?
Maybe playing a pet site and wondering what if.