Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Short Feature: Dollaholics Social Network

Hello everybody! Last week, a new site for BJD collectors named Dollaholics was launched through Tumblr, and I fell in love with it. It is kind of a social network, where you can upload photos/links/videos, have a small forum, you can chat with your contacts... a lot of things! So, curious as I am, I rushed to contact sidroq -the founder and admin- and asked her to do a small feature.

The site can be found here: http://dollaholics.com/ and the short interview (English only, this time) is answered by both sidroq and jkci (the tech). Questions are in bold, and check the name before the texy to see who is answering.


Hey there! Thank you so much for doing this interview about Dollaholics.com.

Sidroq: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be featured on your blog! My name is Safiah and I go by sidroq online. I’ve been in the hobby for about two years and I’m the admin of Dollaholics.

JKCI: I’m Jenna. I’m tech support and the developer of Dollaholics; I can be reached at jkci on the site. I’ll only be around until Safiah decides to outsource my job to the lowest bidder, so no one get too attached.

Sidroq: I’m just waiting for someone bid lower than than “your eternal friendship.”



Dollaholics.com is an incredible social-network site for legit-BJD owners. Would you share with us why did you decided to do the site?

Sidroq: It was born of frustration. The BJD community is spread out over a huge variety of websites; there are sizable communities on Tumblr, DeviantArt, Flickr, Livejournal, Instagram, and Facebook, as well as BJD-specific forums like Den of Angels and commercial venues like Etsy and Ebay. That’s not even counting the many sites that host reference material for our hobby. It felt like I was chasing friends all over the internet to follow their blogs, see pictures of their dolls, read tutorials they published, and chat with them. No one site allowed for everything comfortably! A single place where we could do all of that and more. Dollaholics is nowhere near a perfect platform, but it’s the basis for an all-in-one BJD site where everything is linked, tagged, and cross-referenced.

JKCI: Safiah told me "There should be a BJD social network." I said, "I could probably just make you one." She then sent me a 60,000 word illuminated manuscript to describe the site that she wanted -- and promptly disappeared, as she does, being only a mythical genie pulled into this land by wish and whimsy. What followed was perhaps the darkest period of my life. I awoke constantly to site-related nightmares. There was an endless cacophony of shrieking outside my window, though when I looked there were no birds. In any case, the end result was Dollaholics, which -- all joking aside -- we're both really excited to be a part of.

Sidroq: Developing Dollaholics literally killed her computer and internet connection during the blur of mania Jenna used to build the site. She texted me when all this happened, and it was really scary. Without the internet, she is only barely tethered to this earthly plane.

Screeshot of Dollaholics' "Doll Galleries" menu.


Is there a goal/main idea about the design behind the site? Any particular feature you want to highlight?

Sidroq: The main goal is allowing BJD collectors to network, make friends, and do business in a positive, safe environment that’s specifically for us. Right now, our main goals are improving the marketplace and the website’s mobile functionality. In the future, I’d like to add the ability for users archive information about sculpts, companies, modding, crafting, etc. for the use of the whole community. Imagine how convenient it would be to find a sculpt you like on a comprehensive list, then find owner pics or marketplace ads for that doll on the same website with a single click! I’d love to highlight our marketplace, which just launched on Saturday. It’s still small, but steadily growing.
It has an easy-to-browse interface that displays photos and prices right up front, and our system allows for classifieds or automatic selling, depending on what the seller prefers. Right now, we have feedback and reference requirements to gain the privilege to post items, and it’s free. In the future, when we’re sure the Marketplace is running smoothly, there will be a $5 monthly fee to sell. Browsing and buying from the Marketplace, however, is and will continue to be free! We also plan to add an account type for dealers and manufacturers who sell more products and want more visibility.

JKCI: Dollaholics is a celebration of the community. It’s all about creating a centralized place to network and share. You know, you can have the best site in the world, but it really doesn't matter unless the people there are having fun. This site is really all about being social. So we're really excited about everything being integrated together. You can jump straight from the forums to viewing albums right into our marketplace and it's just a seamless experience. And it's just started. We're growing. We have a lot of fantastic plans for the future.
I think the biggest problem most online communities have is in administration. And it's no one's fault. It's difficult to walk a line between ensuring that everyone feels welcome in the community and ensuring that you aren't overly censoring your community. You have to respect your community members and understand that they might not always agree with you but they still have the right to speak. I think in many communities there's this impulse to follow the vocal minority at the expense of the less vocal majority, and that's something that you have to be very conscientious about, to create the best, friendliest and most positive atmosphere.
This isn't just about a hobby. It's also about art. For some, it's even a profession. We want to make sure that we respect everyone's contributions and time. I think that's the value that we bring to the community.


Screenshot of Dollaholics' forum.


Finally, thank you so much for doing the site, and doing this short interview! Do you want to share anything else?

Sidroq: Jenna is awesome for creating this site! She doesn’t even care about BJDs (other than the realistic jointed dogs which she needs 12 of)!

JKCI: There is so much more on the horizon for our members. Safiah is incredibly passionate in everything that she does and she truly wants to make this project grow. We did not anticipate this type of response so quickly when we launched. What we realized very rapidly was that the BJD community was waiting for something like this. That there was this empty space that was waiting to be filled. So, naturally there's been a bit of a scramble. We want everyone to be happy and we are in a constant state of improvement. We're listening to everyone and we've got -- believe us -- a long list of things that we want to add and develop in the coming weeks. Again, this isn't about building a site: it's about building a community. So we're going to take it one step at a time, build a firm foundation and make sure that everyone always feels welcome. I think we're really humbled about the way that the community has already reached out to make the site their own. We're already seeing some of the community members really stepping up, sharing fantastic content, organizing events, bringing groups together -- it's just remarkable and it's exciting to be a part of it.

Sidroq: Joking aide, the BJD community is tight-knit, enthusiastic, and not afraid to explore a new site and give us the feedback we need. It’s been an incredible experience already, and we’re just getting started.



And that's it for today! Kindly, sidroq gave me some links to share as always, so here they are:

10 comments :

  1. Cool! They look like very nice people and you can tell all the work they have put into the website. I'm happy that is up and running and with a lot of members already!

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    1. Indeed! I'm loving the site, so far!

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  2. It was so interesting to read :) Thank you for sharing!

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  3. This was really interesting, great that you shared this! I hadn't heard of Dollaholics before, but it definitely sounds like something I want to check out ^^

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    1. Yes! It is very new (opened last week) but it is worth a try!
      I just found you in there, and added you :3

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  4. I signed up right after reading this :D
    Cool initiative! And cool interview ;)

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    1. Thank you, and nice to hear it! Add me if you want, I'm Musume in there :3

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  5. Thanks for sharing, I think I'll also sign up after checking this! :D

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    1. :D Happy you liked the interview! You can add me on Dollaholics if you want :3

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