Thursday, November 17, 2011

OneBookShelf Changes It's Sorting System For Free Products and I'm Not Happy

Maybe they are just trying things out.  Maybe its a programing glitch.  Maybe this is the new way they want things to be.  I don't know what the answer is, but I'm not happy.

Before, when you were at the RPGNow / DriveThruRPG homepage and clicked the "Free Stuff" graphic on the left side of the page, it took you to a page with the latest "Free Products" being offered.  If you wanted to go back further in time, it was as simple as clicking a button.

Now, when you click the "Free Stuff" graphic, you are taken to a page where the free stuff is sorted by "relevance" by default.  So, White Wolf's Tri-Stat DX RPG is now the top selection - originally added to the mix back in 2004 - 7 1/2 years ago.  I can also sort by Product Name, Publisher or, get this - price.  It's all FREE, what price is there to sort?

There is no option to sort by date added to the catalogue.  So, if you are adding a free product to OneBookShelf's catalogue, the chances of someone finding it are slim to none as it stands currently.  They do not appear on the home page with the other new products that are offered at a price.

Some may still come to my attention via my status as a reviewer, but I suspect a lot will escape my view unless others bring it to my attention.  You can always email me at trubluniteATgmailDOTcom if you come across something free that should get some added attention.

As I said at the start, this may be a temporary glitch, it may not be - but I certainly am not thrilled by it.


  1. That started last nite. They are screwing this up hard as I have downloaded a lot of items to pimp or review in my upcoming zine.

    Now, they go and make it a pain in the ass.

    I think I'll email them tomorrow and ask for advertising revenues now if they are going to waste my time helping to promote items they sell.

    Just glad to know I wasn't going crazy. This will hurt their traffic. I haven't checked to see if Paizo is tied in the same way...they carry most of the free items as the others.

  2. Yeah, I made a comment on RPG Now about it too. I'm sure it was just an experiment... it will change back. They seem pretty responsive to customers.

  3. I'll add my voice to the call for changing it back. While they're at it I wish they'd include a top 100 chart for free products as it would make it much easier to identify recent popular products.

    When I published the first 4 issues of Oubliette they all got close to the top of the chart and then stayed in the top 100 for several months.

    Now that I have a limited free distribution model, they don't get a look-in even though the readership has grown enormously. A free chart would be really handy to see how popular they are against other free publications.

  4. Ok, it's done. They have till Tuesday and then I plan on starting a boycott.

    Message as follows:

    Just a comment to go along with the rest of those in the online game community who have contacted you and will continue to do so about the following matter.

    Your recent dismantling of your 'free' products area creates a very real situation. I make use of these products to do previews on my blogs and soon ezine.

    This service provides me with a chance to preview work early, get people interested in new product and ultimately send them to your site. I do this without compensation from either of your gaming sites.

    Now it is a pain in the ass and quite frankly to time consuming to track down the material as it now stands and as such will be dropped from my programs until such time as RPGNow decides to pay for ad space or brings back the free product filter in a usable form.

    In other words, if you don't want someone driving traffic to your sites for no cost to yourself then just keep the free product situation the way it is. There are other online retailers providing much the same type of free program services that would probably appreciate the traffic boost.

    (end message)

    "Never try to appeal to a man's better nature. He may not have one. Instead appeal to his self interest'.

    -Robert Heinlein


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