Hellos & Goodbyes, Pop Petitions

Pop Petition: What we want from the Creators’ Blog (and a message)

Pop Petition Header

Yep, Spotted Dragon here with another Pop Petition! Like our previous petition posts, today we’ll be voicing some of our top concerns and hopes for our favorite game. And you’re welcome to chime in down in the comments!

There’s always room for improvement, right? Well I certainly think so. Not only have Poptropica islands been a bit lacking as of late, but the Creators’ Blog itself seems less than impressive lately as well. It seems like forever ago when we had frequent posts by notable personalities, but now it’s hard to tell who is doing the posting in the first place!

#1: Frequent Updates

This one seems a bit obvious, doesn’t it? A little update wouldn’t hurt anyone, and in fact would ease the minds of many fans! These days, what posts we do get from the Creators’ Blog seem to be “filler” at best.

creators-blog-1

It seems to me that the main purpose of the Creators’ Blog should be updates. Leaving Poptropicans completely in the dark about the game’s future simply sparks concerned theories and, well… posts like this. It is totally understandable that not everything can be revealed, but it’s hard to maintain interest in something that you know nothing about.

That being said, we have gotten some posts recently that fall under the “update” umbrella, ranging from ad announcements even to an actual island announcement. Posts like these certainly make me optimistic, but trends do not exactly show consistency, nor on-time publication. And it may just honestly be that we aren’t getting the right kind of updates we are hoping for?

#2: Fan Interaction

We’ve all seen the  comment capabilities on the blog, in hand with the “liking” system, but we’ve also had our fair share of complaints about it. We’ve also seen new interactive “games” being featured on the blog, like one that looks a whole lot like some of our own community members game ideas

Guess the Island

A big complaint we’ve already faced is the time it takes for a comment to get approved. While this is of course understandable, it does seem to take longer than necessarily… necessary. Additionally, there are original content concerns, which at this point is to be expected. The “guess the island” style game has circled fan blogs for years now, and the Creators are really late to the punch.

These issues are not only fixated on the Creators’ Blog, but stem to their other social media outlets too. Fans continue to miss Skinny Moon, Poptropica’s old social media manager, and for good reasons. With her in charge of social media, someone’s job was literally to interact with fans on a daily bases. Voices were heard more often then than ever, and since she has left that feeling has steadily declined. We persistently tweet questions and try reaching higher levels of interaction these days, but whoever is behind Poptropica’s Twitter (and Blog of course) today just doesn’t do as much as we’re looking for I suppose.

#3: Behind the Scenes Looks

Concept art, sneak peeks of upcoming features, HQ photos, you name it. Behind the Scenes pictures always seem to intrigue fans, if not only a little bit. And while we do get the occasional glance behind the curtain on the Creators’ Twitter, their blog posts are less than enticing in that department.

more_character_sketches

Again, it is understandable that not everything can be revealed. That would take the fun out of everything! But hints here and there lead to amazing theories and excitement among Poptropicans. With the length between island releases increasing, it is important to keep up moral and interest in the fanbase.

Though it’s nice to see some photos from HQ on Twitter fairly often I suppose, the Creators’ Blog continues to not live up to its potential. And our hunger for information on islands is constantly unsatisfied. This doesn’t mean we want a bunch of repetition between the social media platforms, but it does mean that the Creators should catch on to what their audience gravitates towards.

#4: The Archive Feature

Lucky Joker was quick to point out that the archive feature on the Creators’ Blog was recently removed. Though there is still a search-bar, the sidebar of the blog has always seemed a bit bare.

pdmll

Currently, the sidebar on the blog consists of a little welcome message, social media links, a search-bar, popular posts, and the list of island info pages. But what if you want to… pop down memory lane? Archive features can be super useful when you need or want to look back at old posts. While a search-bar provides a similar service, sometimes you don’t know what a post’s title is, or you aren’t looking for anything specific. Archives are especially useful when you’re looking for something in a particular month or time-frame.

Though this feature obviously is not a constant need, it’s a nice tool for both those nostalgic Poptropicans and those intense researchers. It wouldn’t be used everyday, sure, but what’s the harm in keeping it up? It doesn’t take up a huge amount of space and it adds more purpose to the sidebar as a whole.

#5: ANSWERS!

Yes, this request definitely overlaps some points I’ve made in this post already, but I still think it deserves a full section of it’s own! Similar to fan interaction and frequent updates, I think “answers” sums up most of what I’m looking for.

Gone forever?

All in all, we simply can’t have radio silence if we still want this fandom to thrive! The community is strong, but we would be lying if we didn’t acknowledge the diminishing interest in Poptropica. But is that anyone’s fault? No fan is to blame for slowly moving away from something that doesn’t update, retain relevance, and well… answer questions!

I know this request sounds vague, but it can be hard to pin down exactly what can save this game. It’s not that Poptropica isn’t fun anymore, or that characters aren’t appealing, or that storylines don’t pull you in. I think that a huge portion of the problem stems from how things are currently being run! Fans are left in the dark far too often. The Creators’ Blog should be a way for those behind Poptropica to reach out to its fanbase, to answer questions, and to collectively find ways to improve the game.


Remember that this post isn’t meant to bash the Creators, but instead voice the opinions and suggestions of fans. We all want Poptropica to be as awesome as possible!

So, what are your thoughts? Do you agree with our list? What do you want to see more often on the Creators’ Blog? Be sure to let us know what other Pop Petitions we should make as well!


Silver Wolf - Transparent BackgroundMoving on however, I do have some bad news to add to the end of this post…

Silver Wolf has decided to leave the PHB, a choice that no one can blame her for, of course. Her passion for both blogging and Poptropica has lessened, as it does for many fans over time (not to mention how time consuming preparing for senior year of high school can be!). Still, what she brought to the community was thoughtful posts, creativity, and kindness!

I’ve personally become close friends with Wolfy over both of our author careers, and we started blogging around the same time. She will certainly be missed by all the PHB authors, but don’t worry too much! She will still be active on Discord and I may just force her to never leave DeviantArt.

She assures us that she will not be completely leaving the community, and will be sure to leave her own blog up. It was an honor for her to work on the PHB and she appreciates everything that this fandom gave her, including amazing friends and experiences!

~SD

Astro-Knights Island, Sneak Peeks, Uncategorized

Our first half-million, Jeff Kinney, and Shining Crystals!

Yes!! Poptropica Help Blog has reached 500,000 hits – that’s half of a million! 😯

Special First Posts!:
Scary Tomato’s first post (joined July 26, 2008.)
Smockers’s first post (joined October 6, 2008.)
Codien’s first post (joined October 20, 2008.)

The PHB was created on July 26, 2008. Today is February 17, 2009. That means it took only around 6 months, 3 weeks, and a day! That was quick! 😀

To celebrate with a bit of confetti, check out this funny website:
http://producten.hema.nl/

The language written there is Dutch, but don’t worry, you don’t need to know Dutch to watch the cool video there! Oh, and turn on the volume for extra effects, too! 😛

Or…

  • opens the cookie jar*
  • munches*

Let’s add some milk to that, too! Cheers! :mrgreen:

Many of you might know Jeff Kinney. In case you don’t, he’s the author of the bestselling series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid! If you want to read Diary of a Wimpy Kid, you can see it online for free on Funbrain: http://www.funbrain.com/journal/Journal.html?ThisJournalDay=1&ThisPage=1.

Anyway, Grey Flame recently discovered on Jeff’s website that Jeff Kinney himself is one of Poptropica’s Creators! Thanks for sharing, Grey Flame!

For proof, visit Mr. Kinney’s website at: http://wimpykid.com/

Click on “Author Interview” at the left side. Under the second Q-and-A that shows up, click on “Next”. On the next page find where it says “Q: Are you a full time writer?” A:, the answer, says: “No. I work full-time as a virtual world designer, and I created Poptropica.com. I’m also a full-time dad, so things are very busy for me right now!”

The big news is, there’s now another known way to contact the Poptropica Creators! On Mr. Kinney’s website, click on “Contact” at the left. At the top, it says:

Jeff Kinney
wimpykid@comcast.net

Please note: Because of the amount of E-mail Jeff receives, it’s not possible for him to respond quickly. It might take a few months for Jeff to get your E-mail.

We might be able to ask Jeff Kinney about Poptropica questions by sending E-mails to him! However, as the note says on his website, it might take quite a while before he replies (if he even does at all!).

If any of you send him an E-mail, and he replies, tell us about it! You can forward it to us at poptropicahelpblog@gmail.com. If it’s really interesting we can share it with everyone else on Poptropica Help Blog, and give you credit, of course!

Anyone here like pink? Then this next Astro-Knights sneak peek is for you!

Thanks Zany Moon for the alert. Adorned all over this image we see are a many shiny pink crystals. Here’s the picture and information:

Blog Post Title: Far Far Far Away
Description: I’ve found some really unique places within the vast world of Poptropica. This place was really special with its many glistening and glowing pink crystals. I couldn’t help but pick one up and examine its beauty.
Image URL: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_q9BePaDQLzI/SZmP51ndHoI/AAAAAAAAAC0/Gx0istNg42c/s1600-h/crystals.jpg
Image Name: crystals.jpg

Maybe we’ll get to hold these crystals on Astro-Knights, since that’s what Comic Kid is doing in the picture! 😉

More Recent News
PHB Sneak Peeks: Monkeying Around
Happy Valentine’s Day to Hyper Snowball and all other Poptropicans!
Big Nate: Island and Guide ONLINE!

Uncategorized

Go Tough Skull!

Congratulations, Tough Skull!

“We can’t all be winners,” says Shark Boy, one of Poptropica’s Creators. Today he logged onto Poptropica to play Star Link against Tough Skull, but Tough Skull, living up to his/her name, was tough and wouldn’t let Shark Boy win. Thanks Kaliki for the information about this new post. Shark Boy says:

Every once in a while we like to hop on Poptropica and play against some of you! Sadly, today wasn’t my day…Tough Skull totally trashed me on Star Link. Nice one Tough Skull.

That picture above was included in Shark Boy’s post.  If you want to read more about it, here’s the link:
http://blog.poptropica.com/2009/01/we-all-cant-be-winners.html

Sadly, Star Link doesn’t show the player’s names so we don’t know what Shark Boy’s name on Poptropica was. However, if you see Tough Skull wandering around Poptropica, be sure to congratulate him/her somehow (maybe by challenging him/her to another game of Star Link?)! 😛

Oh, and you better practice your Star Link skills, as well as all the other multiplayer games! You never know when a Creator might challenge you next! 😆