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Important: Domain and Host transfer


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Hey everybody, this is a pretty significant post. Please saddle in with me.

 

Fuwanovel is migrating to both a new domain (Fuwanovel.net) and a new server (which we host). The old “.org” domain is going to be redirecting to the new “.net” domain automatically, so even if you forget to mark your calendars with the following dates, you’ll still end up in the right place. Be sure to update your bookmarks at some point, though : P

 

  • (Tomorrow) Wednesday 2/18/2015 – Evening: the forums, the Fuwazette blog, and the FuwaReviews blog will be redirected to the new domain.
  • Next week (as late as 3/1/2015): The front site will redirect to the new “.net” domain

 

For those of you who are nosey and want to start poking around the “.net” domain right away, you’ll find all the services I had mentioned but the forums will be outdated and the front site may or may not be online or functional. Do not panic – we’ll update the forums at the time of the transfer tomorrow night, and no content will be lost.

 

 

Precautions and Cause

Some of you will remember our failed migration last year. We’ve taken significant precautions to prevent a repeat of last year: Nayleen has optimized the server and we have paid for a significantly more powerful machine to host the site. Nay and I both did our homework looking for hosts, and we’re very pleased with the one we’ve got: scaling the droplet (the hosting power) is easy, and we’re enjoying a good value for what we’re getting.

 

We did this move for many reasons. Chief among them were legal concerns and recommendations, and my deep-felt responsibility to protect the many community leaders from new legal risks (of which I’ve only very recently become aware).  More positively, it also needed to happen because we have a lot of new content and services rolling out in the near future.

 

 

Consequences of TOS

The hot-button issue is compliance with our host’s TOS. I’m engaged today and tomorrow inspecting it and getting legal clarifications, but I do not believe we will be able to host torrents on the front site following the move and the D&R board will be too much of a liability to keep. It wasn’t my intention to have this happen all at once, but I feel like we have little recourse in light of protecting one another. I apologize if the legal liability is shocking, but the best way forward is to admit that what’s done is done, and the only thing we have control over is how we choose to move forward.

 

 

Compensation

I don’t know how else to say this, so please bear with me: I realize that losing the torrents will rub some of you the wrong way. It should make all of us concerned, as they were a major draw to the site. I’ve got two thoughts on the matter: 1) the year-end surveys indicated that torrent usage among the three surveyed usergroups (core, FB, Twitter) was much lower than anticipated, which will soften the blow, and 2) new features must by necessity rise to attract users in their place. Here is a taste of what I’ve been working on over the past few months and crystallizing (hurriedly) in the last few days:

  • The forums have been updated with blogging software. Users can input links to their own blogs, import RSS feeds of their blog, or create blogs hosted by Fuwanovel itself. This includes official/featured blogs such as the Recognition blog, or the Dev Boards Update blog (which is open to all the project managers in the dev boards to post freely on), or the Help Wanted blog (which similarly allows project managers to post freely when they’re looking to fill a position). All these blogs will have their own RSS feeds and will be incorporated into the corresponding Fuwazette categories. (Saving Tiago, Zaka and others time and hassle)
  • ^ this blog functionality will have a lot of cool implications (such as for private clubs and the VN readers club!)
  • The FuwaReviews site will now be reviews.fuwanovel.net, and it will be much more robust than simply a blog of the team’s reviews: I have negotiated with ~a dozen prominent VN bloggers and received the green-light to incorporate feeds of their VN reviews into the reviews site. I plan to continue to reach out to more bloggers and build this base. Things are looking pretty positive.
  • I’ve been in productive talks with several OELVN devs (if I’ve talked to you about this, please don’t name names) and it looks like we’ll be able to form productive agreements for early-access game reviews, interviews, and PR access (we get emails/rss feeds of exclusive insider info to publish on our blogs before they announce it publicly). I can’t finalize these agreements until the full “.net” site is live, but it looks promising!
  • I believe that I’ve arranged for an interview with [two gaming site writers/freelancers]. The interview would be about the VN landscape, Fuwanovel’s history, and how we plan to grow/expand in the future. No firm commitments, yet, but I’m in talks. There is another possible opportunity for an interview in a similar but more tech-focused major online blog as well.
  • The front site redesign team is going to be launched for-reals in the next 72 hours. I’ve made a template for, and several examples of, mock-ups (which are flawed, but conversation starters), and I’m busy this afternoon uploading useful assets/psd resources to be available and ready for the team. Emi has agreed to be our secret-genius weapon, which means we can’t fail : P
  • We’ve purchased a forums add-on which will allow us to use forums content in clever ways in our other websites. I’ve started putting together some ideas of ways it could integrate with the front site (including “FuwaScores” of games where fuwanovel users can score the games they’ve played and track their VN playing history), but its scope is much larger than that one implementation. With Nay’s help, I hope to come up with lots of cool ways to use this.
  • Part of my discussion with devs is their agreement to a “releases” feed which would track OELVN releases and which could easily integrate TL releases on PC, but also on iOS and Android. I’ve been talking to several of the mobile app store VN devs, and they’ve almost universally been enthusiastic about the idea
  • ^ This would be incorporated into the games section and a “What have I missed?” section which would list the important recent news and releases
  • Fuwanovel Academy – the evolution of the “ultimate VN starter kit” idea – will be a section on the front site which will explain VNs, help players get started with a VN within 10 minutes of starting reading, and provide a lot of advanced information about the VN landscape, “movers and shakers” in the western VN world, and (hopefully!) some exclusive (read: slightly longer than normal) demos from our dev allies
  • Obviously added on top of this is outreach to TL groups and OELVN teams to get them to use the Fuwanovel dev boards and/or the updates feed
  • Expansion of the creative corner and dev boards

 

Last of all, I’d like to mention that our host of the past two years has been very generous to us. I’ve passed along our gratitude for the extra nine months he’s given us to put our ducks in a row, and I want the community to know he’s making the transition very easy for us and being very supportive.

 

 

 

No matter what we do, we're going to lose some of our traffic and our userbase. I’m convinced this is a necessary decision (if a painful and hard one), and that we’re going to make it through this. People can say a lot of things about Fuwanovel, but nobody can deny that we have staying power.

 

Thank you for your time. I realize this is a lot, and it’s overwhelming. Please don’t be afraid to speak up or ask questions.

 

Tay

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Honestly, I'm not very happy about the torrents being dropped. Not only was it a major convenience to me, but it's already hard enough to introduce VNs to people. Linking them to torrents at least made the first step of actually getting a VN really easy. Whats more, installing and patching a Japanese VN can be a huge pain in the ass the first time you do it.

That said.

I've always trusted your leadership Tay. I know you always do what's best for this site. If a major sacrifice is necessary to keep this community together, then so be it. Long live Fuwanovel!

 

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Even though the prognosis for this has been quite obvious, it still leaves a sad feeling in our hearts.

But without the regiment of fuwafuwa freedom fighters (FFFF), there was nobody left to prolong the inevitable...

Yet, even though we can lose everything, our belongings, beloved friends, lives... one thing can never be taken away - the memory of fuwa that used to be, something that shall forever be remembered... that and the torrents since those will still be on nyaa and other trackers so yea, just seed them and people will find them somehow~

 

And there is always the hope for revival one day, all await the coming of MOFU MOE as it has been prophesied to liberate us all!

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Honestly, I'm not very happy about the torrents being dropped. Not only was it a major convenience to me, but it's already hard enough to introduce VNs to people. Linking them to torrents at least made the first step of actually getting a VN really easy. Whats more, installing and patching a Japanese VN can be a huge pain in the ass the first time you do it.

That said.

I've always trusted your leadership Tay. I know you always do what's best for this site. If a major sacrifice is necessary to keep this community together, then so be it. Long live Fuwanovel!

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Would the act of patching games be considered under legal scrutiny? I'm talking about providing torrents/downloads to the patch themselves without the game. Maybe it's just my way of thinking, but I've seen Fuwanovel as a database for torrents to VNs with English TL, and that being the most important part. Taking that away is changing the entire focus of the site in my eyes, but if you were to still be able to host the patches themselves without the games, that meaning still holds true to me.

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It has been a fantastic time, but now I'm signing out
 
I'm no active user here, but I've got to know lots of friends here.
With fuwanovel I went from just reading VNs to actually have people to discuss them with.
 
I won't personally miss the torrent downloads, but it's a principal hit.
Before I used to stand up for the fuwanovel cause "to spread VNs to the West", fan-translated, licensed, it didn't matter and I still believe in those words.
 
Now I don't really know what fuwanovel want.
 
As I see it now, it will become another .net (networking) site. It will probably remain a healthy and vibrant forum with a focus on VNs and a bunch of other more or less related things.
 
Just stating my disappointment (not directed towards anyone in specific).
You can't always get everything you want.
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Would the act of patching games be considered under legal scrutiny? I'm talking about providing torrents/downloads to the patch themselves without the game. Maybe it's just my way of thinking, but I've seen Fuwanovel as a database for torrents to VNs with English TL, and that being the most important part. Taking that away is changing the entire focus of the site in my eyes, but if you were to still be able to host the patches themselves without the games, that meaning still holds true to me.

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So do all hosts have a ToS that ganks torrents soo 'it can't be helped, bb torrents'

 

Or was this a 'we definitely want this host for X reasons, but oh no, their ToS means we have to sacrifice our torrents! oh well bb torrents'

 

Or a 'there have been rising legal issues, so to protect our community leaders we will switch to a host that forbids torrents. Kill two birds with one stone! bb torrents'

 

~~

Oh, I'm not bitter about this change btw. Already DLed everything there is to DL 8D. Just curious~

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I personally don't like the idea of loosing the Torrents, they were a key element in becoming the VN fan that I am today. That being said I realise that this isn't a perfect world, I trust the Fuwa leaders and know that they will do what's best for the community.

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So do all hosts have a ToS that ganks torrents soo 'it can't be helped, bb torrents'

 

Or was this a 'we definitely want this host for X reasons, but oh no, their ToS means we have to sacrifice our torrents! oh well bb torrents'

 

Or a 'there have been rising legal issues, so to protect our community leaders we will switch to a host that forbids torrents. Kill two birds with one stone! bb torrents'

There wasn't a connection between the torrent policies and the host choice (no killing two birds with one stone). The connection was between a commitment to protecting myself and my friends/community leaders, and a specific series of steps necessary to do so. My priorities were first to them, then to keeping Fuwanovel alive, and then to everything else. The host was chosen more or less for the power of the computer unit and the cost per minute/per month to run it (we found a good unit for a solid deal, and we took it). Fuwa's a big site/community, and hosting is expensive.

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Would the act of patching games be considered under legal scrutiny? I'm talking about providing torrents/downloads to the patch themselves without the game. Maybe it's just my way of thinking, but I've seen Fuwanovel as a database for torrents to VNs with English TL, and that being the most important part. Taking that away is changing the entire focus of the site in my eyes, but if you were to still be able to host the patches themselves without the games, that meaning still holds true to me.

Really excellent point Ceris. This is definitely something I've been looking into. It'll depend on the TL group. It's in their own best interest to self-host the patch and not give it to any other platforms to distribute for several reasons, but I don't know where the line is drawn when they decide to do so, regardless. One thing we're absolutely going to do is offer resources such as a private forum, survey capacities, and publicity to any TL group who needs it. The hosting and software costs to host a dev team website can be surprisingly high, and I have no problem giving them a private space in which to work so they can save their money (at least until they start with releases) for assets.

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Oh, by the way, how are we going to make a VN starter kit (now Fuwanovel Academy) without torrents or links to them? Besides having Katawa Shoujo be the only VN there, that is.

THAT'S ALL YOU NEED, FLUTTERZ.

 

In addition to KS the greatest starter VN of all time, there will be other free games (Narcissu) and links to easy distribution. The iOS port of Planetarian is great and affordable, it and others are on Steam, too. I alluded to it above, but I'm also in the process of trying to negotiate some cool demos (some extended, some not) for several VNs on PC and Android.

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