The Site Upgrade…Is It Good Or Is it Evil?

If you read my blog post yesterday about’s upcoming web upgrades you’d know that this coming sunday 29th of March Brian, Fernando and the guys who own are going to shut the website down for for a few hours to make upgrades. At the time the thing that stood out the most from Brian’s email / msg to me was the new chatting feature (which they have already implemented as of this morning)… Although I probably wont get a chance to speak to many of you (because of the time difference … I live in Cairo, Egypt) I was excited at the prospect. But then Fernando sent me a message that … more than anything made me less comfortable with the upgrades … and more apprehensive about what is to come.

To be fair… I will try to be as objective as possible while dissecting this issue. I appreciate what Fernando and Brian have done to establish it… its a huge step in and for the voice over industry. This is money out of their pockets that they are yet to recoup. I mean think about it… they pay for the server… the bandwidth… the development (even though the site is built on wordpress and uses buddypress which are essentially open source and for free). And we enjoy getting together… making connection with industry professionals both talent and business owners alike…. what do they get out of it?

Before we answer that lets look at Fernando’s comment to my blog post yesterday:

About the updates:

– Correction of bugs

Taji says: Thats great… I havent noticed many bugs in the site other than the site logo which kinda looks like a cross between the MSN application icon and the RSS icon. But otherwise the site seems solid.

– Remove the youtube videos and flickr features

Taji says: Fine… I don’t really use those features anyway… Maybe others in the site do but not me… not yet at least.

– Embed youtube videos in the profile.

Taji Says: Ohhhh Kaaay… um… I havent used the youtube feature except in my blog posts so I didn’t know that you couldn’t embed youtube vids in your profile.

– Update all blog themes to display ads in the free blogs.

Taji Says: WHAT! wait… why? is this how you guys are planning to make money? I don’t mind that you guys want to make money… go ahead… but what if I end up with budwiser adverts on my blog… what if its got hotel ads, adult ads, viagra, cialis and that other one… levitra. Is there a way to control what kinds of ads are on your blog? Will I have to sacrifice my religious beliefs so I can keep my blog? (which is not an option btw)

– New features packages to buy more space for your blog, stats and keep off the ads

Taji Says: So I looked at the upgrade system they have set up and how does it work?… well here it is folks:

Credits are 1.00 USD each

ID Name Description 1 Month 3 Months 12 Months Action
48 Ad Removal Buy some credits to remove the ads of your blog 5 Credits 10 Credits 30 Credits Subscribe
47 Basic 1GB Increase your upload space for your blog and profile 25mb to 1GB 20 Credits 50 Credits 100 Credits Subscribe
46 Basic 500mb Increase your upload space for your blog and profile 25mb to 500mb 5 Credits 10 Credits 30 Credits Subscribe
45 Basic 100mb Increase your upload space for your blog and profile 25mb to 100mb 4 Credits 8 Credits 20 Credits Subscribe
43 Basic 50mb Increase your upload space for your blog and profile from 25mb to 50mb 1 Credits 2 Credits 5 Credits

Taji continues: So I pay $100 usd to increase my upload and blog space from 25 mb (the default) to 1 gig….  and 30$ to keep ads off my website for a year. Thats $130 USD per year for the full upgrade.

That would be great if I hadn’t just paid $142 for my website hosting which gives me UNLIMITED bandwidth and harddisk space plus a domain name for 3 YEARS!!!

Guys come on… are you kidding me? You really have to rethink your pricing. And or policy about this. For God’s Sake Voiceoveruniverse gives you 20 megs per VO demo for free!!! and I have like 7 demos up there. Dis is not gooooot!

– New live chat for support

Taji Says: YES! this is good… excellent upgrade!

– New bbPress Forum for the all group discussions.

Taji Says: err… ok… dunno how this will be different to the group discussions we already have.

That’s it. Suggestions? Please let me know!

Taji Says: I believe I just did!

Thank you Taji.

Taji Says: I dunno how happy you’ll be with me after this post!!

Fernando M. Areias

(owner of ( and

Look I will say this again … I think you guys are doing an amazing job with this site… I think some of these upgrades are more like downgrades for the users… and you could of course tell me to pack up and take my blog somewhere else… but just in case you guys do listen to what the VO talent think…. that was my input.

I want people to make some noise (comments)…. and thanks for stopping by the Emporium.


  1. Hi Taji,

    The ads you think may violate your religious beliefs are the same ads you see now. They will be just added to your blog. Based solely on the people here as VOs. There will be no difference in the ads we all see everyday.

    We are listening Taji. In no way would we allow this website to be tarnished by some overpaid corporate medical company, or otherwise.

    At the moment everyone has 25 mb of space for demos and blogging, we are paying for this space. I can see already that there is an error in the pricing structure. We will be correcting this and your price list will be invalid. As it was in beta we had not reviewed this section.

    As always Taji thank you for your input and voicing your concerns.


  2. Hi Fernando,

    Actually those were more like observations … not suggestions… But I would like to make a couple of suggestions.

    I like what voice123 did with that whole source-connect pooling of our resources thing where they get a better deal if a large number of people bought the product together… generating a discount.

    I think you should approach people like Auralex, MXL, Pro Tools, Audio Technica, and Adobe to advertise on the site… or you can make casting directors pay for posting jobs in the general section (but make it free if they want to offer talent jobs directly)

    I’m not talking about massive amounts of money… $5 per posting. I honestly dont come to voiceover-casting for jobs… even though the name of the site suggests I should. I come to the site to relax and meet like minded people… But if they want to advertise in this space then by all means… but you can make your buck there. Or provide an online shopping section for the site that includes e-books and tutorials even hardware… you can really get the ball rolling… why should I go to if I can get it from your site… I go to your site far more than I do amazon.

    think about it

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