Elfwood.com, a few years ago the world’s largest community for Fantasy & SciFi art, is about to be upgraded, and if I will decide, it will become larger than when it was blooming in 2008, and above all it will be commercially viable.
But my vision doesn’t stop there, does it? 😉
What if we could consolidate a large part of the world’s Fantasy & SciFi market. How could we do that? I am not talking about including every game developer and amateur illustrator in the world, but at least a large part of the world’s Fantasy & SciFi market. In order to bring much more value to our Fantasy & SciFi nerds out there.
I have a long-term natural and personal passion for beauty and mystery, so to find my personal passion and focus in this niche is no problem. And I love the old Elfwood and community power. But what about the overall strategy to bring artists, illustrators, gamers, game developers, Cosplayers, SciFi bookshops, and the like, together on one single platform?
I studied excellent sites like WetCanvas and TopAnime, who have succeeded in growing very big. (Although they feel very outdated today – especially Wetcanvas – I admire what they accomplished.) WetCanvas grew big and valuable by connecting several artrelated platforms together. So if I visit Wetcanvas I can also visit ArtistsNetwork, ArtistsNetwork.tv, etc thru one mouse-click. I assume there is just one company behind all these platforms, namely F+W media Inc. CEO is Tom Beusse, who is succeeding the former CEO David Nussbaum. Here is some financial info and marketing info on F+W media. Some of F+W media’s main “competitors” are Random House Inc; American Style Pte. Ltd; Active Interest Media, Inc; Meredith Corporation; Sterling Publishing; All American Crafts.
I think that is an interesting strategy: to consolidate the art market that way, and bring a higher total value to the artists. A much higher value than if the platforms would have been separate.
Although, I am more into creating entirely new types of markets (rather than consolidating existing platforms), where artists get paid for what they are doing. After all, artists not getting valued, recognised and paid has been the biggest problem in the artworld for several decades, and that is why I focus so damn hard on creating platforms where they are getting paid. (I cannot reveal exactly how these markets will look like. Not yet.)
So, the initial plan is to i) upgrade Elfwood.com and make it as big as it was before Elfwood’s founder left the site. ii) Create sister sites that bring new types of commercial markets to artists, where they (for once) get paid for their art. In tandem with that we can iii) cooperate with relating platforms: Scififantasynetwork.com is a site that feels well maintained but could get more traffic, and we might help them with that. Epilogue.net and perhaps Renderosity are two other platforms that might want cooperation. Fantasy & SciFi book chains, and so on.
What about the Fantasy & SciFi gaming industry? We could make them visible on our website in a way that is compelling and inspiring to our 150.000+ members (cannot tell exactly how, not yet). They get exposed in a way much better than the usual ads and banners than no one wants. After all we have loads of great game industries here in Sweden.
Mergers and acquisitions? Instead of having a network between platforms, should we simply acquire some other platforms? It feels messy, but doable. Present a compelling grand vision, create a strong team, look for deals, borrow money from financial institutions, make the acquisitions and make sure that the unencumbered cash flow on these platforms cover debt service. Done!
That way we could consolidate eg Elfwood with Epilogue (is it worth anything at all?) with Conceptart, and so on.
So, the strategy so far is:
i) internal growth on our own platform
ii) create commercial sister sites
iii) external exponential growth through joint ventures, mergers, or acquisitions
What i REALLY want to see is a great platform that brings a large part of the Fantasy & SciFi world together. THE FANTASY PLATFORM. It brings artists, illustrators, game developers, book shops, and cosplayers togher. BAM what a creativity that could bring to the world!
(Share your ideas with me if you want, thanks 😉
Ps I think of something similar to market.envato.com but on top of what they offer, I want something more… alive, with vivid video clips, virtual reality tech, people showing off in crazy make-up, and people meeting in real life, together with a more introvert creativity on one unison platform.