Triki Galaxiki

I was just browsing the New Scientist Space Blog, and found a post about a new web-enterprise called Galaxiki. (Galaxy Wiki, geddit ?) It says it is “a fictional online galaxy created, maintained and owned by its Community”. It boasts that you can join free, and it has a kinda community pitch… but it looks like a business to me.

You zoom in on a grid and end up picking your very own star .. and then gee whizz, you can buy the star and edit its properties !! Of course, being a community thing, you can pay anything you like .. as long as it’s at least 5 euros….

So in some ways its like an updated version of that scam where you sell someone a star and give them a certificate, except the star isn’t even real ! You just make it up.

On the other hand, its not really like one of those old scams, as the guy who designed and built all this has worked really hard. Its a lovely toy. If it was painted clearly as a money making business, I would be completely happy with it. I just feel uncomfortable when you can’t quite tell whether this is a business with a cynical “open community” veneer, or an intrinsically open thing with a business veneer.

But maybe I am being a daft old purist lefty. This is C21. Its ok to make money. Hey, we all have Google ads on our blogs, don’t we ? Errr.. not me actually. I am not against making money. I just don’t like all that clutter. Adverts just add noise and confusion to life. How is a chap supposed to see past the ten thousand things ?

On one page, it says “this is not a research tool”. Dead right. I picked a star at random and got TAH357. Nobody has bought it yet and it has no lifeforms. Apparently – big sigh – its a “yellow giant class star”. Aint no such animal folks.

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5 Responses to Triki Galaxiki

  1. […] Link to Article google Triki Galaxiki » Posted at The e-Astronomer on Saturday, June 30, 2007 […]

  2. Jos Kirps says:

    Hi,

    First of all, thanks for writing about Galaxiki, and thanks for your opinion. I’m the creator of Galaxiki, the site is all new and I definately don’t want it to be a scam.

    What’s not really clear yet (so that’s something I’ll have to change) is that you DO NOT have to purchase a star – there are stars owned by the community, they that can be edited by anyone for free, so if you want you can edit stars without spending any money too.

    Of course, the site has to make some money too, running a large community site is costy especially if it’s CPU and memory intensive. I didn’t want to place advertising everywhere, as I think that large amounts of ads make a site look cheap and ugly.

    Okay, that’s all for now, thanks for the feedback, definately helps me to improve things!

    Galactical regards
    Jos

  3. andyxl says:

    Jos

    hope I wasn’t too harsh. Mentioning those old “buy-a-star” scams seem to imply your site is a scam too, which I certainly didn’t mean. I only meant that it looked like a business, not that it looked like a disreputable business. Anyway, well done for taking it well. Any publicity is good publicity 🙂

  4. Jos says:

    Hey, no problem 🙂

    Anyway, feedback is always important, and I really appreciate to learn from blogs like yours what people think about my project(s), as this is a great way to understand how others “feel” about a site and how I can improve the site to make it better.

    Today I made some changes to the Galaxiki website, and I added a new “About” page, hoping this makes it easier to understand what’s free and what’s not. This was also a reaction to your post, so you see that you already contributed to the Galaxiki world 🙂

    So thanks again,
    Jos

  5. Galaxiki says:

    Hello again,

    Just wanted to let you know that we’ve just released Galaxiki 2.5, a major update offering over 100 new features.

    Galaxiki has changed a lot since you first wrote about it, it’s become a real social site. There are now thousands of edited solar systems and interesting stories.

    Maybe you’ll find the time to take a look at what’s new!

    All the best
    Jos

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