How It Started
Hello SessKaggers, and welcome to the Pink Moon Observatory!
I’m ForgettableFox, the creator and Admin of the PMO.
I want to start off by thanking the community for not only their patience, but their overwhelming support and positivity. This project began with a hairbrained idea of “what if” back in October 2021 and after 7 months of work, hiccups, and sleepless nights – we have a useable site to give to the community! I can’t even begin to explain the amount of effort that went into building a site of this nature. You see, I’ve never built a website before in my life, and I was starting from ground zero. Lucky for me, I had some excellent volunteers who helped me get things done, and hired an amazing web developer to do the things I couldn’t. Countless hours, trial and error, and planning had to occur to get to where we are now.
And we’re not even close to being done!
I want to be completely transparent with the community. That means making sure the PMO’s goals are outlined, ensuring everyone knows where their funding is going, and creating realistic expectations for all parties involved. SessKag is a time-tested ship with an incredible Fandom history, that deserves to have its place in the spotlight. (We have an excellent History of SessKag for those interested! Written by our very own, Drosselmeyer!)
I highly recommend reading this Admin Update post in its entirety to understand where we are now, and our plans for moving forward. There are also several important links throughout this post, but I’ll put them up here as well for ease of access.
General satisfaction survey to see gauge the community’s user experience and plan for future improvements.
Our upcoming features and their priority levels.
Our tracker Beta Sheet. Users can input any issues or recommendations that they have concerning the PMO. The PMO team will review and update accordingly.
A Community of Evolution
Something that’s been on my mind for a long time is the idea of an ever-evolving website that grows and changes with its community. There are plenty of websites out there that either do no updates whatsoever, or the updates that they do perform are more for patches and overall maintenance.
Since we have a relatively small, niche community I’d like to create a space that is in constant flux (sounds scary, but hear me out). I want the community to feel confident that its moderators are listening to their needs. What you see today on the PMO is not what the website is going be 6 months, a year, or even 5 years from now. It’s going to mutate and shift and change with the fandom’s wants and needs.
That’s my pledge to you!
We plan on doing periodic User Surveys and our Feature Roadmap is available for the community to see at any time. For those that don’t know what a Feature Roadmap is, it’s essentially a list of website updates that has all the features we plan on doing, ranked by priority level. Guess who gets to set that priority!
That’s right. YOU.
Our community members will be the ones to outline our focus, and determine which features we want to see next. Although, there are some constraints to take in consideration:
- Web Developer
- Many of the features that have been mentioned in our initial interest survey were highly technical. Meaning, they require actual coding inputted into our backend datafiles to be accomplished. Because none of the current PMO team can code, we need to contract a web developer to do these updates; which, of course, means money to pay their freelance costs.
- In terms of funding, the PMO will prioritize server costs and annual fees before feature updates. We maintain a certain amount of funds in reserve to pay for our hefty server costs. If the PMO does not receive enough funding to cover those baseline costs, website updates will be put on hold. We have to keep the lights on before we expand our house!
- The PMO is run strictly off donations and does not profit off of the site in any way, shape, or form. If you would like to donate to the PMO, please check out our Donations page.
- Web Developer
- Depending on the difficulty of the feature request, some updates could take several weeks or months to accomplish. A lot of planning, organizing, and testing goes into each feature, especially when they are large updates that span across the platform. This could mean that the site has to go down for a period of time, or certain portions of the site need to be turned off to complete those updates.
- High Expectations
- It can seem frustrating when you enter a site and don’t see all the things that you want it to have. By filling out our User Surveys, helping us fund the changes you want to see, and having some patience – we can build the things that you think would make a good site. It’s about having open communication with one another and actively participating in the community that you love. Every voice will be heard, but we do need patience to get these things done.
- Things Can and Will Go Wrong
- Part of creating something new means there are bound to be errors. Whether it’s with coding or current processes in place, stuff can and will go wrong. But that’s okay! We have measures to help curb those errors and fix them as they come up.
- There’s Not A Lot Of Content
- It’s because we’re brand new and starting with a completely blank slate, which is rare for a community as long-standing as ours. The way to get more content is by marketing the site and letting creators know we’re here and ready for their genius. Patience is going to play a huge part here, specifically. This isn’t a one-and-done site, this is a project of love that is going to span the years.
- High Expectations
Our Current Priorities: Marketing and Large-Scale Beta Test
Let’s talk website development and project schedules! (Woo, fun stuff I know!)
The PMO Team has been hard at work trying to create an inclusive and user-friendly website for the fandom. We’ve done 2 beta tests thus far, but our sample sizes were relatively small (10-15 users). Our Launch Day Event which takes place throughout the month of April fulfills 2 important purposes:
- Marketing for the PMO to inform the community of the new site
- Large-scale beta testing
While purpose 1 is the whole point we’re here (we are hungry for SessKag!), purpose 2 is crazy important and comes with a few caveats.
Beta testing is an integral part of platform development. Much like how Fanfiction beta testers help an author identify things that could be wrong with their work, website beta testers help us identify bugs and issues within the core of the PMO site.
I’m saying this up front – there are going to be issues initially. That’s just part of the development game. Things aren’t going to work, and the PMO team is going to have to troubleshoot as to why things aren’t performing as advertised. Then it’s going to take time to fix those issues. But here’s the cool part, there is an ENTIRE TEAM dedicated to fixing those snags as quickly and efficiently as we are able. We have a process in place for this wide-scale beta test, and that should help smooth things out.
If you find an error, please fill out our Community Beta Sheet so we can track the problems the Fandom is having, and get them sorted immediately. This is a prime example of how your voice is being heard by the Admin and Moderators.
We still have a lot of work to do. This isn’t a one-and-done project. We’re not just throwing a mediocre product to the community and riding off, cackling, into the sunset. Things are going to be changing as we build up SessKag together. That means encouraging creators to post their works on the site, encouraging viewers to support their favorite creators, having patience with the PMO team as they sort everything out, and just having a general warm and inviting atmosphere for everyone.
After years of standing quietly by, only circulating in our own tiny Fandom bubbles – we’re revitalizing this community and giving us a place to flourish and grow.
Thank you for your continued support and I hope you enjoy the Pink Moon Observatory.