About Me

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Tabby Road, New Furrsey, Foo S. A.
i am a seven-year-old virtual Cream Persian FooCat (born on Little Christmas, 1/5/10), the mascot and spokesfurson for FooBA4U, the FooPets members' cooperative service site.


Watch This Space

...it's been quite a while with no significant input from the site - whether actual developments or even a concrete update on plans. We're still firmly in Dr. Ron's corner, but it's getting harder to justify the lack of word.

In the meanwhile, we are in the process of drafting two things : a retrospective of our experiences on Foo, from 2009 to present...and a series of recommendations on ways the site could constructively move forward.

It's taking longer than we expected - the first because there have been so VERY many changes it's actually hard to remember exactly when certain things took place, and the second because we are doing our level best to accomodate ALL points of view onsite, whether we agree with them or not. Give us a few more days, and...


Exit, Stage Left?

We've seen more change in a month or less than in the last three years, and it started out so hopefully... welcoming back the disenfranchised, restoring member-to-member sales, and getting rid of the bounty on FooSheltering pets. I was ecstatic.

Now...you can HAVE an unsubscribed account (or two, or ten : which I think was a mistake, they should be one to a customer) - but there isn't much you can do besides revisit and rebond your pets. User sales, breeding, and gifting are still not enabled for unsubscribed members, despite the fact that it is depriving the site of the income they could provide over and above what it receives from subscriptions (and this is a REALLY dumb time to deny them motivation to purchase FD packages, as this time of year many people who could not otherwise afford to spend receive gift cards). My cynical side is beginning to see the whole affair as a more subtle form of the emotional blackmail we used to get from Rivet to subscribe. I really hope I'm wrong.

After much bellowing and wailing from those who bred specifically to use their babies as cash cows (growl), AC/FooShelter buyback was reinstated - originally just for a month to accomodate those who already had litters on the way, but ultimately for keeps. GOD, I wish Dr. Ron hadn't caved on that one... it was one of the brightest rays of hope in the "new" Foo.

Despite gentle hints and pokes, we still have no word regarding the return of open fostering or discount subscription packages without FD/gem bonuses, but with the other subscription benefits.

The "new and different" pet finally made its debut and is simply a retread of a Rivet design... and an ugly one at that, though I suppose it has its charms. (I was rooting for the "hybrid" Pokeys featured on a FooMart item)
I had thought that introducing a new pet - and the furor it created - was intended to distract from the issue of opening sales/gifting/breeding to unsubscribed members, but it now appears that it was intended to usher in the restructuring of from-the-site pricing. No problem with that - I go back to the days when all but a few pets were 300FD a pop, and the "AC" pricing was way overdue for some kind of overhaul... but I was hoping it would take the form of a return to the original site sales vs. FooShelter (no more candycoating where disposed-of pets are going), and getting the whole shebang the *bleep* OFF of the play page. It has always bothered and annoyed me that in order to look for other pets, one of yours must be left standing and waiting. On the plus side, in the course of repricing the site pets, the buyback rate ratio has been dropped - breeders can still more or less break even, but it's less profitable than taking the time to find buyers.Score one for the good Doctor, who hates the very idea of AC buyback almost as much as we do.

The site needs income. We get that. We ALSO get that there are a lot of ways that income can be generated, from subscribed and unsubscribed members alike, that are not being utilized. Bringing back product endorsements, reworking FD packages* to better reflect the current site economy (and thus furthering their sales to ALL members), setting up more levels for subscription both above and below the existing ones, selling additional pet slots, and even RL merchandise like Tshirts/sportwear, plushies, and even a FooPets pet products brand, are all viable revenue sources to explore. There are probably dozens of others that I haven't even thought of.
THIS JUST IN - FD costs when purchased in packages have been HALVED. Go Ron!

If FooPets wants to make money, they need to be seen as WORTH money... and after a brave start, I'm not seeing it anymore. Dr. Ron, please - there's a better way.


No More Black April - It's SWEET NOVEMBER !!!

We TOLD you to keep the faith...NOW look !

For those who can't read this (I'm too excited to SS again right now, I'll see what I can do later), all those members left out in the cold during Black April can now COME BACK - FREE.
The 20-pet cap applies only to newly started accounts.

Member-to-member sales of pets and items have ALSO been restored, though I am still looking into the specifics...but this news was too good to wait.


Onsite Announcement quote from Ron : 

"I just deployed major changes, most notably user-to-user sales of FooMart items (for any price) and user-to-user pet sales (for any FD price above a minimum), 1-year CF membership packages, and the re-institution of free memberships.
I’ve updated the FAQs to reflect the changes. There’s a nifty chart describing the membership features for all three packages (free, CF, and CF+) at http://www.foopets.com/faqs#club  (see above)
You’ll also find that chart at http://www.foopets.com/club, where you can upgrade/downgrade easily.
Legacy free members who were kicked-out in the Foopocalypse of April 2011 should be able to log in and re-unite with their pets, inventory items, and scenes. (color and italics mine)
Looking forward to hearing your feedback!"

And the very BEST news - the bounty on thrown-away pets has been abolished (to much crying by those who invested in CF+ for the free LLs and were caught with their britches down...)

So far the ONLY downside I see is that it requires a paid account to direct-sell pets and items -  those who wish to ought to be able to afford at least a $5 month membership...and this really was necessary to appease those who have been paying these long last three years.
We have achieved EVERYTHING we wanted except open fostering...and the night is young, lol.
Raise a glass to Doctor Ron on us - he's earned it!!!


WUXTRY, WUXTRY! The Doctor Is In the HOUSE!

O ye of little faith...we are looking at a return to free membership. Yes. Really. It won't be tomorrow, and the details have to be worked out, but it's official - Doctor Ron wants his baby back - along with all the people who love it.

Additionally, for those without an "inside line", pet limits on subscribed accounts have been raised to 60, images can now be posted in the Forums, and Instacare is now running nicely. Most recently,  the backdrop and layout have been buffed up (and are now back to Foo Blue), and a new Chat system has just been implemented.



Times they Are A-Changing ?

Doctor Ron has actively returned and appears to be making an honest effort to get the site functional once more. As must be expected, given the state of the coding (even excluding the muddy bootprints left behind by Rivet), it's not easy, and there have been setbacks, but for the time being we'd advocate cautious optimism - Ron DOES love the site, as we all do, and we believe has its best interests at heart...all we hope is that we can all agree as to what those best interests are.

The main efforts currently focus around basic functions like pet care and breeding, with a few dividends thrown in (you can once more post images in the Forums, and - remarkably, as we would have expected to see it as a paid-for feature - pet slot limit has been raised from 50 to 60 per profile. For those who have not been around since the early days, it used to be 10, with paid subscription - way back when, lol - allowing 20). The downside is that Forum posts - and pet profiles as well - must now be in Textile rather than HTML code (and changed over spontaneously), which has - sadly - caused a lot of lost graphics. (Personal profiles are not - as yet - affected, for which we and many others are grateful.) Apparently it was a necessary, and unalterable, side effect of repairing profile loading and pet care, but as some of the images were irreplaceable, it would have been nice to have some warning so they could have been preserved somehow. Perhaps the across-the-board flipover to Textile was unanticipated, a side effect of the Forum edits and/or InstaCare repairs.

Progress does appear to be fairly steady, with setbacks being promptly addressed insofar as possible, and we applaud the changes overall - it IS a huge amount of work to deal with repairing or rewriting even minor amouts of code here...and an effort is being made to keep members up to date on what is happening, a vast improvement in itself. M.foo - which now requires a separate login, for reasons as yet unknown - and widgets are presently out of action, however.

Given all that, there ARE a few areas which we'd like to see addressed once the dust settles...some gentle pokes and reminders have been tossed upon the waters of the Forums, with no response - even from other members - turning up as yet.

ONE - a return of open fostering. with Pay-To-Play firmly in place (and yes, it's necessary, though discounted levels without FD bonuses would be helpful, as well as something along the lines of Gift Certificates to help friends without FD access), the main reason for its restriction is gone...and with the Widget mode apparently being eliminated, it will be the only way to access nonfriended pets, including our own bred babies on dormant accounts.

TWO - the return of direct member-to-member sales of pets and items. We have encountered a number of double-confirmation trading systems on various sites, many of whom have volunteered to share their code. This would eliminate any possibility of scamming even the greenest players and generate far more site income in the form of FD purchases than the present buyback systems. It would also eliminate the need for a separate Gifting mode, more than making up for whatever bitspace it requires.

and THREE - eliminate the bounty on FooSheltered pets. Direct sales will obviate any need for it, and we have NEVER seen the point in rewarding people for throwing their pets away. It encourages irresponsible breeding, undermines good pet care habits, and flies in the face of everything Foo is supposed to stand for. As it costs nothing and takes up no space to keep babies on a profile (they can no longer even be lost due to neglect, another change we might take a fresh look at), the ability to get rid of them at a profit only encourages bad habits and attitudes toward virtual AND real-life pets.

All of these were Rivet innovations, and were introduced primarily in an attempt to assume control of finances and pave the way for Pay-To-Play. They no longer serve any positive purpose. Let's get back to our original ideals !

(by the way - as we have had to deal with it on another site - anyone who needs help with Textile coding, give us a shout)



Well. I was just looking back, and realised it's been a little over three years since Ron, Scott (where IS he, by the way?), and Eugene (who was never a very visible presence) rescued the site from the ashes of Rivet and restored it to functionality.

We still have pay to play - I can understand this, the original fiasco happened because OPM (Other People's Money) got control of the site, and forced contribution is preferable to another Riveting experience - but repeated requests for a budget plan without FD bang have fallen on deaf ears, sadly. Gifting has been restored, the Mart is back (sort of), and playmode, so far as I know, is running smoothly.

We still have the Junior Contingent - I don't see anything that can really be done about that, aside from creating a separate twin site for adults and lettting those who wish migrate their accounts there - and the accompanying restrictions on links and so forth. We still have an inflationary economy due to the vast influx of "free" FDs from memberships and the lack of direct member-to-member sales of pets, services, and items (this also means we effectively no longer have member-run shelters). We still cannot foster/care for pets whose owners we are not friended with. We still have the bounty on throwing pets away, with free LLs via Premium to facilitate the process. We still have (stop me if I'm wrong, it's been quite a while since I braved the Forums) runaway censorship of anything remotely negative...which appears to include nearly any constructive suggestions for change.

What DO we have? And what would we like? Or are all those still on board resigned to taking whatever the site hands them - are all the "activists" gone now?

(NOTE - due to repeatedly getting my head bashed in, the Foop no longer has any links - or even real mentions - onsite, so few if any who weren't already here know it exists, much less where to find it. Should I toss it onto - shudder - FaceBook?)


Screw Politics...Let's PARTY!

Enough of being serious - the holidays are here, let's just enjoy ourselves - and each other - for a while! 
Welcome to the Fourth Annual - and for the first time, multisite - GrinchFest! Come join us, make friends, and see if you can win the prize! Click image above for game page, directions, and a bunch of other fun stuffs.