Can’t believe I have been at Envato for nearly 5 months and I haven’t posted on the forums. Now that I’m here, you won’t be able to get rid of me.
What I can’t believe, Josh, is that I’ve known you for nearly 5 months and have never seen a picture of you without a hat on – until now! Josh in the forums AND a picture of you without a hat on. All on the same day, this is way too much for me! Welcome, Josh!
@scottwills, a sincere request: Short answers please! Would be great if your replies speak about forthcoming upgrades / fixes that deals issues mentioned here.
Ha, ha, I’m all for short answers, VF. How’s this one?
Regarding specific upgrades/fixes that deal with the issues mentioned in this thread, I’m already in the process of finding out what more we can share with you. I will need to resolve that dilemma before I can report back, but already on it. I saw your questions here, great summary, thank you.
Because top authors use their own advertising, Envato should reduce the focus of top author / top files and increase the focus on new authors / new files.
That’s partly true, DS, but a very good point nonetheless that we’re constantly wanting to improve: Help increase the focus on new, high quality content from new authors. Not just promote the best-selling content, which is important, but only half of the equation. There are lots of ways we could do this and have discussed this a lot internally. I can’t personally comment on the specifics, priorities or dates of what’s being done to address these issues (that would be for our Product team to consider discussing publicly when they deem the time is right), but I definitely want to acknowledge that this is not being overlooked as the future shape of the Marketplaces are defined.
An official response would be great from Envato about this. But NOT the copy-paste one, please. We need concrete things like “A new homepage is coming, expect it in January 3, 2014” OR “We don’t want to replace design, maybe 2 years later when the pipeline is clear”. At least we’d know what to expect.
Hello, TP! I noticed you don’t have any information on your author profile page. You’re missing out on some great SEO opportunities if you don’t mind me pointing that out. Take a look at how some/most of the top authors on all our Marketplaces prepare their profile page for existing and potential customers.
So back to your question. Here’s the deal: We’re a business. And our business is based on our community of authors and buyers. Because we’re a business with competitors, we can’t always share exactly what we’re doing and when it will be released. So we always have to ride that line between, answering all your questions, letting you know what’s coming, but also protecting ourselves from not laying all our cards on the table so that competitors can see where we are heading.
Look at Apple. Do Apple give a specific date with a full list of specs for their new hardware or operating systems 12-months ahead of time? No. Do we, as authors, tell everyone about what our items are going to look like and the functionality they will have 6 months before they are released? No. Why? Because as an individual or a company of multiple people, it’s common-sense not to play all your cards in business too early, if at all. You want to give as little insight to your competitors as possible. But you do want to try to announce something is coming closer to time if/when possible, there are definite advantages to that.
So when we have the Marketplace General Manager come into the forums like Helen did earlier in this thread to say “we’re listening”, that’s not a copy and paste response. That’s actually a positive statement of intent from someone at the top of the chain here at the Envato Marketplaces that we’re committed to listening to everyone’s feedback in our forums, via e-mail, via Support, via Social Media, and via our Community Meetups and so forth. If anyone still hasn’t seen it, you can see/hear more about what we’re doing and how we’re constantly listening in our latest Marketplace Update video. It’s also a clue that things are being worked on to address these questions and concerns and even if someone doesn’t think that we’re working on anything or does not immediately see changes, it doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
Maybe this is a poor analogy, but hopefully it helps convey the point I’m trying to make here: Just because there hasn’t been a nuclear war yet, doesn’t mean people aren’t building nuclear weapons.
So we have some people saying, “The Marketplaces are ‘broken’, what’s Envato doing to fix them?” and then we have Envato saying, “We’re listening, and we’re working on improvements all the time.” The disjoint is this: Perhaps the community are not seeing everything that we are doing, what we have done and what we will be doing. Again, we may not always be able to reveal explicitly what we are currently working on. But the solution to this issue might be something along the lines of a dedicated page where we show you recent improvements/changes (that have already addressed what some of you have been asking for), projects currently in progress, and planned projects.
So if we did something more along those lines, may I ask if you think this would be at least a reasonable start to helping put all the pieces together to help convey what’s going on around here? Because with insider knowledge, I see a lot of changes occurring already and a lot of short term projects about to be completed and a lot of longer term projects already in the works.
So in the context of ThemePrince’s point, the summary here is:
- “We’re listening” is not avoiding your questions. It’s letting you know we hear what is being said, it may have been brought to our attention in the past too, and it’s mostly likely that we already have plans in progress to address these issues.
- It’s frank but it’s the truth, we can’t always specify what we’re working on. Sometimes, yes, but not always. Likewise, release dates. We know internally when something is planned to be released, but what if something comes up (as can invariably happen in Web development as you may know) and the release date changes? There’s a balance there about timing announcements for guaranteed wins/projects and sometimes the reality is just announcing once it’s done/released.
- Pick-up clues around the forums to see what we are proactively communicating with you. e.g. Search. It’s at the top of our agenda. It’s being worked on. Changes are already being made. But these are just some short term changes and longer term changes are planned and are part of a much bigger project.
- You should already have started to notice that more and more teams and individuals at Envato are more openly sharing info with the community and asking for feedback on projects behind the scenes. We hope you like this small, but useful step/direction. The feedback from our community is hugely important and shapes everything we do here. Sincerely, please don’t think that comments and feedback are overlooked. Good or bad, we see it, we read it, we hear it, we note it, we always try to address it in everything we do.
- Let us know what you think about the idea of improving the way we communicate what we are sharing with you. e.g. A possible/potential page to pull all the information together to better convey recent improvements + share projects we’re actually working on.
Hi everyone! Lots of good questions and feedback in this thread! I’d be glad to share my personal knowledge and feedback with you, but please bear with me, I will need to break it up into smaller responses and spread them out this week so that we don’t end up with a mammoth epic response that sends everyone to sleep. I’ll keep dropping-by this week to hopefully add some insight.
So the very first question was from FinalDestiny. FD always has some great questions, thanks, FD!
Hello everyone. I’m just amazed when looking at the latest approved themes and templates. In nearly 48 hours they approved more than 50 themes.
What does this mean for the authors? No more exposure.
Take a look at AudioJungle. AudioJungle has approximately 350 items per day approved. AudioJungle authors already know that homepage exposure is ( a ) a nice to have, ( b ) it’s not a “need to have” and ( c ) they know that homepage exposure is not the ‘Holy Grail’ to having a successful item. Does this mean that sales on AudioJungle are slowing down? No, the opposite, they are drastically increasing. Does this mean that AJ authors are not getting big-selling items anymore? Again, no, the opposite, more authors (Elite and non-Elite) are selling larger volumes of their items, and new, talented authors with high quality content are being discovered. As long as authors create high quality items, customers will always be more interested in those kinds of content and will gravitate more frequently towards those higher quality items.
The ‘problem’ (as an author) is that we are competing against so many other authors and so many more items. There’s so much more choice now for customers. So from a customer perspective, this is awesome! And from an author perspective it’s about making sure you’re constantly doing something new and something different and thinking more about the needs of customers. If you items are replications of existing trends and functionality and nothing more – what more is this offering the customer? The appeal of your items and also the service, brand and reputation of your Marketplace account/portfolio should be an author’s primary goal, not the quest for home page exposure.
Customers shop on author reputation, item quality, item value, item/design quality and uniqueness, item flexibility and quality/availability of support (which is always the author’s choice of course, but most TF authors are offering support.) Focus on what customers need and want, make sure you are paying attention to SEO on EACH of your portfolio items, and take some responsibility for your own marketing (and don’t rely on homepage exposure), and this will help authors attain better results than merely submitting a file to TF and thinking that everyone will purchase it.
Our Marketplaces are an incredible platform. But there’s an ‘old-school’ / ‘early days’ mentality I sense that one simply submits an item to the Envato Marketplaces and it immediately becomes an overnight success. The truth is, that’s not always the case. There’s no secret formula to success, but there are variables you can control and there are variables you cannot control. Focus on the variables you can control.
So if you think homepage exposure is getting more difficult on ThemeForest, you’re exactly right, but it’s due to TF becoming even more successful and popular which is primarily a really, really good thing for authors and buyers.
But exposure as a whole is actually increasing. More people are coming here, more people are looking at categories and sub-categories and using search to find content, so more and more people are seeing, finding and buying ThemeForest content. Note something very specific at this point here: Most customers do not come to the home page, see a file, and buy one of the items on the home page. They use search. They research. They compare and contrast multiple items. Customers come to TF with very specific preferences to design, they come with very specific preferences to functionality. If a template or theme or design does not meet these requirements, they’ll sort content based on functionality or will go to a specific category or sub category to find it.
So the opening response I wanted to make here is:
- Is home page exposure a nice to have? Yes!
- Is home page exposure a need to have for a successful item? No.
- Is TF’s popularity increasing? Yes.
- Are items getting more or less exposure as a whole? More.
- Do we/Envato need to think about new ways to better highlight content? Yes!
And that last question in the list above, it’s the crux of this thread, so I’ll touch upon that in a separate post later. This opening response is long enough as it is.
Again, lots to respond to here, I will respond to as much as possible as quickly as possible, but please note that I will be dropping by each day, and perhaps multiple times per day, to ensure all the big questions here are answered. Keep the conversation coming. Thanks for understanding.
Many congratulations, MP, a milestone to remember! Awesome music, and I love your branding. Anyone starting out on AudioJungle or the Marketplaces in general should take a note on what a difference high quality graphics/branding can make as you present you and your content to your customers.
The sky’s the limit, MP, we wish you the very best of luck with your continued success!
Btw, the article seems to have some false/erraneous claims.It says that the same watermark was in use since 5 years ago. However, I joined here 4 years ago and the old “Envato” watermark was still in use then. Only after some months it got changed to the “AudioJungle” watermark.
I think you’re right, Dejan, the article may not be telling the entire story, but I’m sure it was not intentional, but even if the full history is not included, Cyan has been involved with the watermark since the very beginning. Either way, I’ll let Josh know, the writer of the article, just so he’s aware, thanks for mentioning it, Dejan!
So if any Marketplace purists and/or Envato historians are reading and were wondering, and if my memory serves me correctly, here’s the actual full history of the watermark:
- The original watermark was “FlashDen” when audio loops were first sold on our very first Marketplace, FlashDen (now called ActiveDen), back in 2006. Listen to an example. This watermark was recorded by Cyan.
- AudioJungle launched in May 2008 and around that time we introduced the new “Envato” watermark. Listen to an example. This is NOT Cyan. The announcement was made here.
- There seems to be a rogue watermark being used at this point and I can only find one example of it in the library so maybe it was a one-off test. It’s referenced in the announcement in the previous point so maybe an “AudioJungle” watermark was soft launched but then we quickly switched back to “Envato”. Either way, I found an example of the ‘rogue’ “AudioJungle” watermark possibly by Cyan (it certainly sounds like her), and used by Stefan, one of our longest-standing reviewers, you can hear it here.
- Finally, around November 2009 Cyan recorded the “AudioJungle” watermark that we all love and still have in use today.
So that’s the end of today’s history lesson, but if you could go home and learn some of these dates we’ll have a quick test in next week’s class.