My email to WIS - Topic

Sent to them with my real name and links to my linked in profile....

Hopefully, we'll at least get a reply on this. 
Hey guys – Please forward this to your management… Hopefully this will be a wake up call. 
My user ID is biglenr… I’ve been a member of the site since 2002, and on your baseball council since about 2005 or 2006. I’m also an ecommerce professional, you can check my profile on Linkedin for my qualifications,  and I’m frustrated with what is being done with the site.
I’ve got to tell you… You’re killing the site through inattention. The last update was in 2009.  The same strategies have worked since that day. No new challenges to overcome, just the same one over and over. 5 years between updates on the web… That’s an eternity. 
You’re not bringing in new users. Perhaps you’re marketing within the Fox web sites (I actually know that you are), but you’re not spending much on Google or Bing search words. I went to to look up your spend, and it’s essentially negligible. 
If you’re relying on organic search, that’s not doing it for you either. You wind up below the fold… I don’t have to tell you how few people bother to go to the 2nd page of search results, or even to scroll down. I’m sure Fox has some SEO specialists… Try to get them to work with you to get your organic results up.
Existing users are leaving…. There is normal attrition in any hobby, and it’s worse when the product is stale. You’re not bringing in new users to replace them. That makes theme leagues and spots in progressive leagues hard to fill.
When new users get here, they are treated to a drubbing by open league sharks using the same boring (but darwinally optimized) cookie strategy that ensures that the new user doesn’t want to stay. 
And of course, your facebook and social media presence is rudimentary, your site is incredibly unfriendly to the mobile phones which are rapidly replacing conventional PC’s as the preferred web browsing tools, and you’re trapped in the last decade for user experience. What’s your bounce rate for mobile phone users? I would bet that it’s very high.
Noise was made about doing a site redesign last year. That noise has petered out and all we hear is silence. However, let me say that a redesign without functional changes is like putting lipstick on a pig… It may look a little better, but it’s still a pig.    You have game play issues on the site that should be addressed, from fatigue abuse, a skewing towards deadball pitchers, undervaluation of the SB, and unrealistic secondary postions being used (Hojo playing errorless ball at SS, for example).   And so many more. 
So in quick summary
-        You’re alienating your existing customers through inattention
-        The game play is far from perfect, needs to continually evolve
-        Little to no marketing to attract new customers
-        New customers that do arrive get their butts handed to them in open leagues and leave
-        Ignoring the driving trends of the marketplace by not getting involved in social media
-        Old user interface is a poor fit for mobile phones
Any plans to address this, or should we say “Thanks for the memories” and move on to another hobby? I’m posting this as a thread in the main sim forums… If you don’t reply to me, please reply there. 
Thanks –
Len (Biglenr)
12/18/2013 8:38 AM
Bravo Len...thank you for carrying the flag for all of us who have been here a while and really care about the fake baseball game we play day in and day out. I second these points wholeheartedly and hope that some action is taken or I too will be looking for another way to spend my money/time.
12/18/2013 10:22 AM
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I honestly believe they(FOX) want the site to die. It's not a big money maker for them anymore and they've decided it's not worth trying to rejuvenate it.
12/18/2013 8:52 PM

I have to assume that they paid a pretty good price for the product when they bought it from Tarek.  I don't understand the logic in just letting it die - heck, they'd be better off selling it back to the Turk and letting him and his boys in Cincinnati get back to doing things the right way.

All I can do is wish...

12/18/2013 11:41 PM
Thanks Len...i keep waiting as well...only with 5 teams in 3 progressives at the moment, and seriously considering ending altogether. I've been in about 10 years, used to do a lot of open leagues and themes...but only the long-time progressives now.
12/19/2013 12:27 AM
Posted by thejuice6 on 12/18/2013 11:41:00 PM (view original):

I have to assume that they paid a pretty good price for the product when they bought it from Tarek.  I don't understand the logic in just letting it die - heck, they'd be better off selling it back to the Turk and letting him and his boys in Cincinnati get back to doing things the right way.

All I can do is wish...

Got to agree with the Juicester.  I've not been here as long as some but have been here 8 1/2 years with over 1100 teams.  As most know, we were promised a new engine to drive SLB some time ago but it has failed to appear.  I don't know if its admin's fault or not...but I believe the overall blame has got to come from higher up.

I play in 10 progressives and enjoy them for the most part.  Its keeping owners interested that is frustrating.  I've started playing in more theme leagues with a different grouping of players other than just "open".  At least different players are forced to be used...but even that will become boring eventually.

As many have said before, if most of my "friends" left the site then I would soon follow.   WAKE UP FOX!

12/19/2013 4:03 AM
Thanks biglenr and bravo for a flawless email to them. 

I hope they decide to sell it back to the original owners - it seems like the site was happening and was well-administered under their management. 

Second-best outcome is that they pay attention and do something. Thanks for raising exactly the crucial issues that need and have been raised in these forums for years and also for the reminder that an aesthetics-graphics only update is not sufficient by a long shot.
12/19/2013 4:56 AM
Fox team leader controlling WIS:

"Hey Herb are you hearing any strange noises coming from the cellar, no, ok pick me up a BLT for lunch will ya...."

12/19/2013 2:11 PM
a couple of things potentially worth trying:

1. everyone reading this submit a ticket asking them to post a reply in this thread
2. everyone with a twitter account send them a message @whatifsports asking the same thing
3. I don't use Facebook, but apparently they have a site...same thing
4. more extreme, but someone (i don't have time) could organize a 1 month no new teams in Jan. This would be disruptive to existing progs, and hence potentially unfair to other owners, but if done on a large enough scale might get attention

There's probably more...perhaps our resident civil disobedience guru (italyprof) could weigh in with suggestions
12/19/2013 4:02 PM
Thanks contrarian23 - never been a guru before ! OM - anyway see the progressive boycott thread started by seamar_116 or the "nearing the end" thread for my suggestions.

Aw what the heck, I will post them here too: 

1. A boycott should be "active" not just passive - contrarian23's suggestions are very good ones - we need to inundate admin so they know it is happening and not just that the market has dried up so they close the site instead of responding. Also your idea that we ask them to reply to this thread with a lot of tickets is a great one.

2. We should have a thread - I think we should use the one seamar has set up called "progressive boycott" - where commissioners can report on whether their leagues are boycotting, and where owners and commissioners can post their messages to admin and WIS.

3. People should check in regularly so we don't just drift away, checking on any progress or news about whether there is a response. 

4. We need a decision-making process - even the voting online that seamar has set up already - to be able to decide when to call off the boycott and end it, or else to make any changes or choices that would face us in the course of the thing. All the more reason why we need people to check in regularly and we could start with a sitemail list of owners participating. 

5. We need to know what we want: how would we know that we got enough to call and end to the boycott? 
12/20/2013 2:15 PM
italyprof; point number 5 is the lynchpin
12/20/2013 2:32 PM
5. We need to know what we want: how would we know that we got enough to call and end to the boycott? 

This is key.  Because as far as I can tell, the main beefs are that Admin ignores us for long stretches of time, promises updates that never arrive (and doesn't explain, or apologize for, the delay), and that little is done to attract new users.  

On the other hand, the consensus view seems to be that the sim engine itself is basically fine (especially as it applies to progs, where "cookie" players are not an issue).  

Speaking only for myself, the sim engine being okay off-sets the negatives. Of course I'd love updates to the engine, I'd love to see new users discovering the site, I'd love it if Admin waved at us when it saw us on the street instead of turning up its collar and avoiding eye contact.  But what it comes down to for me is that my three prog leagues are the main reason I stay on at WIS, and I'm enjoying them just fine.  

12/20/2013 2:34 PM
I agree that is no one specific change that is most critical.  Though the engine does need an update for all of the reasons biglenr describes.

At a minimum, what I want is regular communication from admin as to the future of WIS.  Will there be future updates?  When?  What will be included?  And most importantly, provide regular communication to your customers (at least monthly...weekly would be better) as to the progress therein.

I have submitted a ticket requesting exactly this.

And yes, I am willing to participate in a boycott if that's what it takes.
12/20/2013 2:39 PM
I do NOT have the years of experience many of you who have commented here have. I am in 2 progressives and play the occasional theme. However, I too, am quite frustrated (already) with this site. My beef is a bit different perhaps. I think the SIM "parameters" themselves, the actual triggering "Algorithm" (if that's the right word) is insufficient to yield realistic enough results. Too prone to unbelievable and weird occurances/outcomes. Too streaky with an emphasis on HR's and a devaluation of SB's, base-running, etc.  Therefore I disagree with the following quote from the esteemed Mr. Stengel.

"On the other hand, the consensus view seems to be that the sim engine itself is basically fine"

Also, I would prefer more control of WHEN certain extremely important events occur. (Like a bullpen move, or a P. Hit, or even a substitution). The settings and control we have now is just entirely inadequate to afford realism and allow believable results. The pitching options (box check BS controls) we have are NOT specific enough to allow us managers to actually GET "Sparky" to make the move we'd like WHEN we'd like to do it!!  Particularly with the Pitching changes.

Some folks from one of my progressives have mentioned another site that has (perhaps) better realism available. I, (and maybe others) are checking into it.

I would suggest that the only REAL impact us users may have on the corporate "doofusses" who now own this site is IF they find out many of us (their customers!!!) are leaving for a competitor. With our dollars!!!  And I don't play free here!!!   I've only been to 1 TOC. Only made the playoffs, twice. But I'd play for years IF I can find a site that allows me to REALLY manage a SIM team!!!

My name is Laramie and that's just my 2 cents and my opinion.

12/20/2013 11:38 PM
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