There isn’t a single thing in this universe that grinds my gears more than
seeing a company “market” how bad their competitor is.
Now I’m sure the guys at streak.com are great, they might even have a decent
product. But you wouldn’t know by this post
[Link is now dead]) which happens to be titled “Help take down Salesforce -
join the team at Streak.com (YC S11)”. All that says is, “We dislike our
opponents, you should too.”
When you decide that your best marketing strategy is to focus on your
competitors faults, instead of on your strengths, you’re doing it wrong.
I promised that I would explain what happened with Curse, and why I no longer
contract for them on the Minecraft Forums and Minecraft Wiki.
I enjoyed my time working there, and I learned a ton. I do regret selling the
sites to Curse, mostly because I believe that the community would be a much
better place without them.
There were a bunch of great things that Curse did, however, they were
overshadowed by most of the things that were not motivated by making the
community better, but in lining the pockets of Curse just a little bit more.
This should go without saying, but I feel I need to anyways.
These are, my own personal feelings, and others may have had an amazing
experience. That being said, take the following with a grain of salt.
On the first of February, I received an email from Lesley Abernathy at Curse,
who at the time, was my direct supervisor. The email simply stated that they
thanked me for my time, but I was no longer needed.
Lesley is an amazing person, and if you ever have the chance to work with her,
I’m sure you’ll agree.
I wasn’t surprised. Over several weeks prior to this email, I had been told
repeatedly by Donovan Duncan from Curse, that I was not performing my job as I
had been requested.
Donovan Duncan is the main person at Curse when it comes to communities. He
was my direct report for several months before he was promoted and Lesley took
over that job.
Donovan was the person who first approached us about selling MC Forums, and
was our main contact through the entire selling process.
When we founded MC Fourms we always said we wanted to make sure that the
community was happy with what we were doing. My thought being, if the users
are happy, then they’ll naturally frequent the site more, thus bringing in
more advertising revenue.
Basically, do our jobs right, and everything else will work itself out!
When we sold the sites to Curse, that all went out the window. It was strictly
profits in the eyes of Curse. Don’t believe me? Here’s some raw numbers for
In August of 2010, we were making nearly $12,000/month from having a single
AdSense banner ad at the bottom of each page. It was extremely non-intrusive,
and most users didn’t even notice! It was enough to pay our server bills, and
then split the remaining 3 ways and provide a decent income.
Our main reason for selling to Curse was the fact that the sites had started
taking more than just weekends away, and we needed to either quit our day
jobs, or find someone to manage the servers. That’s exactly what Curse
It’s now painfully obvious that they did everything BUT take care of the
servers. I’m sure anyone who’s ever visited the Minecraft Forums is very
familiar with a 503 error.
They did, however, proceed to spam the entire site with advertisements, and
general money whoring techniques.
Our contracts basically gave Curse complete control of the sites, while
retaining us as contractors who maintained the sites for the period of a year
(it was supposed to be 2, however due to “UK law” they were forced to limit it
to 1. I still have my doubts about that “law”).
The trouble came when we started doing the news. As the news became more
popular, I created a segment called “Digital Diamonds”. DD’s were my creation,
and I had planned on having them be a way to spotlight the awesome things that
the community did. Donovan, however, had more perverse ideas.
I was instructed around December 2011 that any videos posted to the MC Forums
news portion, would be required to be on the CurseNetwork youtube account.
In other words, any videos that I wanted to post, I would have to take the
Contact the content creator, and ask for the raw video footage.
Post this footage to the CurseNetwork youtube account.
Post the video on the MCF News site.
This is wrong. Plain and simple. This is stealing. Not to mention that I was
instructed to only feature videos that were already popular.
So not only was I being told to cheat people out of subscriptions and ad
revenue, Donovan actually thought that the people who get millions of views
would be stupid enough to give me the raw footage from their money making
Why? So CURSE could reap the rewards from others hard work.
I refused to do this, and, this is the reason why I was fired. I don’t want to
blame the entirety of Curse; most of the employee’s there are amazing people
that I was overjoyed to work with. Even the owner, Hubert, is an awesome guy.
I’d like to say that while Curse happens to own several game communities, they
people who manage those communities are usually the people who started them.
These are the same people who have been there from the beginning, and love the
game just as much as you do.
If you own a gaming community, and are having a difficult time figuring out
how to manage growth, or need some technical help, I urge you to look for some
temporary help, or some consultation. Don’t sell your community to a large
company like Curse simply because they flash dollar signs at you. The money
may seem great, but you’ll usually make more by keeping the site, than you
would if you sold it.
You can always find someone who you can pay as a contractor to manage your
servers, and monetizing a popular site is not rocket science!
I hope this has cleared up any questions there may be regarding my departure
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at miles at vimae dot com.
First and foremost, I know both parties involved, and think they are wonderful
people. That being said, we all make mistakes, and it shouldn’t ever mean we
should stop supporting or boycott a brand/person because of it. We’re all
The issue here lies in the fact that NOBODY has ever done what’s being done
here. Very few games ever try the release cycle and transparency that Markus &
Co. have. Even fewer (if any?) succeed.
Yogscast are spoiled diva’s. Duh. They should be, they are amazing! Have you
ever seen their shit? It’s awesome! That’s what the fans make them, YOU love
the fact that Simon and Lewis are ass hats. I do too.
So you mix a very tired Mojang crew, with the weight of high expectations for
an event that is really just an over-glorified game launch that had to be
stretched out over 2 days, and never doing ANYTHING like this ever, and some
spoiled divas (even if they are justified) and obviously ego’s are going to be
I think this points to an even bigger problem. A while back, Yogscast made a
comment about us allowing adf.ly links for mods. We never issued a response
because, after all, they have every right to be pissed about that. Regardless
of the fact that I personally thought it was silly, we never made an official
The people to blame are the people who take it too far. The people who take a
single off hand comment, and twist it and turn it around so many times, that
the original meaning is lost and all that’s left is a twisted web of lies.
I urge you, the fans, to take to heart what you really love about these
people, and realize that they are just normal guys. They drink, they like to
play video games, they laugh and cry, they get pissed and say things they
don’t mean. After all they’ve done for us, do they really deserve us taking an
off-the-cuff comment and make it a huge deal? I mean FFS, Minecraft was just
released! I’ve been personally working and waiting for this moment for two
years. That is what we should be focusing on.
As for me, I love everyone. In fact, this was my view from the Nether part at
Hey, guess what? You can now vote on servers at MCSL! It’s a feature that’s
been requested alot, and I think it will give people the chance to promote
their server in a much larger way.
I haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to add the votes into the ranking,
but I will let you guys know, and I’m open to suggestions. Just pop in #mcsl
As always, let me know via the Feedback tab if you find errors or anything.
I’ve just finished pushing the new code to the production boxes for MCSL. I
made a bit of a concession on the new “New Servers” tab on the front page. It
shows any servers created in the last 7 days.
Pagination is where the real issue lies. The gem I’m using for it (Kaminari)
has a weird issue when trying to paginate multiple models on the same view. It
can’t keep the variables seperated, and ends up adding both pagination linkst
to the URL, so it’s a bit clunky atm.
After I get that fixed, it should run much cleaner.
I’ve also added a new button in the dashboard that will show you a history of
EVERY check made on your server, and what it’s result was. This should help
people who are having trouble tracking down why their server is going down on
I’ve also added a link to the blog on the front page, so people can start
realizing that this is where I do most of the update chatter.
I’ve fixed the first round of errors that I’ve found, and MCSL seems to be
functioning reasonably well.
I’m also in the process of adding a “New Servers” section, that’s a tab on the
front page, I’m having a slight issue with my pagination though, so right now,
it’s not on the production site.
As soon as I get that fixed I’ll push that live.