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Gotta say... my first rant about FT.

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#1
First and foremost this is nothing personal against anyone at Flite Test its about a recent direction change I am not happy with.

When I first came to the family here it was just that. A family oriented happy place. The community here is great.

Over time it has grown and grown and with that growth as in all things undesirable things infiltrate and eat into the core.

To me it started with the migration to a bigger presence on facebook and social media in general.

That is when I noticed our forums falling by the wayside with a lot of good and dedicated people left holding down the fort with less and less interaction coming from FTHQ.

This showed up last Flite Fest when a lot of important changes were made that never got passed on to people here in the forums who do not buy into social media more specifically facebook.

Then the whole Kwad Share cluster happened and more of a mess was dumped on us. Thanks again to social media and no interaction here regarding our roll in that mess. To this day the person whos idea it was still does not interact at all on his own project.

Fast forward past a successful campaign and the birth of Edgewater Air Park.

With that came more growth and more change as well as more distraction from what attracted me and I assume most of the early people in the FT movement.

This to me has manefested in a loss of focus of the original values and is migrating more and more into corporate rather then family driven orientation.

The two most recent and obvious markers for me have been to move to partner with Amain and pass control of sales in that direction.

The second is the addition of homemade commercials or ads into all the content.

Both of these changes have set a heavy weight on my desire to keep supporting FT.

Starting with Amains blatant profiteering over the established Flite Test montra of keeping the hobby affordable. I as many others did not expect Amain to not be compensated for the logistical job they added but to me they have got greedy and in the process lost my support for FT in the product department. After all FT brings them several hundred thousand more potential customers just with the merge. Fleecing those loyal customers will push others away as it has me I am sure.

I am sure that will show on the books as sales decline below the level of support they previously had.

Now on to the ads and homemade commercials. I dont deny FT the right to recoup money for their effort by having sponsors. The standard links in video discriptions work fine. A section on the forums for sponsors is also fine. We all know how you tube works and can use forum search to find things the sponsors may provide.

My issue is this. Flying rc is what I do for fun. I am old and grumpy and have little time for it left. I do not need it invaded like everything else by advertising specially for things NOT related to the hobby.

I cant imagine how much of my life has been wasted waiting in commercials and ads I care nothing about.

Bottom line is I wont support that invasion into my hobby time. I have already unsubbed many you tubers like UAVFutures and Peter Sripol as well as totally stopped shopping specifically for FT products.

I am hoping by bringing this to light that others who see and feel this slide will respectfully voice your opinions as well to let FT know they are straying too far from the flock.

I would hate to reach the point where I can not find any reason to stay and support the family here.
 

JTarmstr

Well-known member
#3
I agree, especially with the new powerpack downgrade which is basically the last straw for me with the store. The amain merger makes stuff harder to find and shipping prices are up. As for the ads, My opinion is if its a youtuber like Petersripol, I will put up with his add, I will just skip ahead the two minutes, sometimes companies mandate where the adds have to go and unless everyone is willing to chip in for his salary being able to spend 15 seconds skipping isn't that bad.

However with Flitetest they have a store as well as sponsors like horizon hobby, I immensely dislike having a 'But First, let me tell you about our sponsor World of Warships' (or some sort of VPN or Grammarly or whatever) right in the middle of a build, its anoying and honestly takes me right out of the video. I have become more interested in watching Peter plan his ultralight than watching people try to make soda bottle planes fly. I miss the fun challenges were they had several good camera angles and a nice plan to the episode (as an example, the rocket plane was one of my favorite videos because the cameras, music, and personality were all really good, Josh B was the experience, Josh S was the newbie, and David was the crazy engineer) instead of a vlog sort of video with time lapses and big reactions. I'm not saying these are bad, they just dont fit with my tastes or interests.

My final problem is when they restate the mission every single episode, its great if your their for the first time, but honestly I dont want to hear it every time I watch a video for two-three minutes. I can understand it in a video with one of the new planes or one that will be quite popular (like the giant A-10). and I understand josh's passion for bringing this to everyone, but can we have a few episodes with maybe some more intermediate stuff? Some skill challenges, cool builds etc? We saw a bit of this with the John Overstreet builds but there haven't been that many. However I am hopeful that it will get better in the summer, especially if we see Andres return. Hopefully this comes off as constructive criticism, I am bad at organizing long posts.
 

Fluburtur

Cardboard Boy
#4
I never used the FT store being in europe so I can't really say anything about that and I have nothing about the more vlog type videos, it feels a little bit closer to the guys most of the time but I have to admit some videos feel a bit empty to me, not that I dont enjoy them because im an easy audience but im sometimes thinking "that is all?" at the end of videos.
The episodes one year or two ago were a bit more enjoyable I guess, I need to look back at them and compare.

Also sponsor messages in the middle of videos, no one likes that. I wouldnt mind if they were at the end but I always skip them, not interested in that. Would be nice to at least make them less invasive.
 

Michael763

Well-known member
#5
I think what pains are being felt are the growing pains of a niche marketing and business plan/model as it grows into a more typical business plan/model. Growing a young personality driven business into a sustainable business is not a painless process. As growth happens the personal touches/feel of the business will sadly dwindle away. I am encouraged that I see signs that they are trying to find a way to keep the personal small feel as much as they can.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#6
The FT crew do have a hard job and seriously they do need to eat sometime. Sure there has been a change in direction of late but it allows the core FT crew to do what they do best!

That you are becoming disillusioned is regrettable, (Mind you I do not, work for, speak for, or represent FT in any way, shape, or form). On my part I was disillusioned with the RC world long before I found FT and found their product and the forum members a refreshing breeze. Sure there are parts of the entire FT organisation that I do not have much of anything to do with but then I was taught that if I didn't want to eat something on my plate that there was still more that I did like to eat! Eat what you can and want to, then leave the rest.

The seeming lack of new designs recently had me wondering if this was all until the Master Series was unveiled. Now I know what the core was doing! They were committing MAGIC! Consider the FT family and then your own extended family. There are similarities. There are parts of my extended family that I have great difficulty in tolerating and other parts I love more than even myself.

Just do what you want to do really! Use the resources you want and ignore those that cause upset! Like a family promote it and tolerate it as your own. Try hard to return what you get out of it and it will continue to grow! That is my mantra.

Sorry no rant! No lectures! Just a call upon those disillusioned to enjoy what they do and avoid the parts the do not.

AS ALWAYS - Have fun!
 
#10
Imo the best videos Ft was putting out were about a year and a half ago. They had vlogs and real videos and were way more in depth than the videos now, which are just fluff to get on the youtube trending page. I like all the projects now but they are just overproduced. I'm tagging @flitetest so they see this thread, and I hope that all of these comments are not taken as insults. I hope that we all want them to be constructive criticism to make the community as best as it can be.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#11
What do you expect, regarding Twitter and facebook, when there are no rules or actively policed rules! The younger generation missed a few of the life lessons we older folk were given.

First thing is act responsibly at all times. It is true that you have rights but so do others. AKA Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

Second and equally important Never say, or write, anything about someone that you would not say directly to their face when alone together.

Regardless of what the law says people will retaliate often violently if you attack them, (even verbally).

Try to keep your opinions of others to yourself and your blood inside your body!

Just what my father taught me.

Have fun!
 

Tench745

Well-known member
#13
Sorry no rant! No lectures! Just a call upon those disillusioned to enjoy what they do and avoid the parts the do not.

AS ALWAYS - Have fun!
I like that even when we are unhappy, the FT fans make a point of being constructive whenever possible. For me, I'm afraid that most of what I'm disillusioned with is what FT is offering. I still enjoy building and flying little things, but that's just for me. FT videos are short, disjointed, and generally feel incomplete. I have said it before, they need a director. For me the enjoyment factor of their videos dropped way off shortly after Chad left.
As for the new planes, I keep saying "ooh, I should build that." And then never do. That's on me.
I've never bought anything from the store as most of what I would want are the speed build kits, and I can cut them myself. I keep debating about buying the new foam though. I have looked for things more than once and agree that the new storefront makes finding things more difficult with their massive selection combined with a sub-par search engine.

The FT crew rarely interact with the forums anymore, which is disappointing. And I don't enjoy the Facebook live, Instagram, Twitter, etc. The only reason I keep coming back to the forums is the hope of helping those who might need it and seeing the various builds progressing.

I agree with the concensus: there is no reason for FT to advertise non-hobby things in a video. They are a business, they make their own money providing products and services for a specific hobby. How would you feel walking into a Jaguar dealership and the salesman says, "I'd love to show you the newest E-type, but first, have you heard about the new sandwich options at Chick-fil-a? It doesn't belong.

So, how can this be fixed?
I don't know...
Communicating important information through their website or Youtube rather than relying on other social media would be nice.
Cut the ads.
Hire a director again.
Get back to being people talking to people not just building a business that will interact with the people.
Oh, and maybe get some new music for the episodes? The same two or three royalty- free tracks get old after a while. (see "hire a director" above.)

Like you Psy, I don't want to stop supporting FT, but I'm starting to run out of reasons to engage in their content.
 

DamoRC

Well-known member
Mentor
#14
I am old and grumpy
- I agree that you are - me too!;)

There are a lot of good comments here thus far and I tend to agree with @Hai-Lee , "eat want you want to eat".

I feel exactly the same way about many of the things @PsyBorg has said but I am beginning to think that I am getting past it.
I have realized that:
(1) this is the place that I get the most enjoyment, here among the community, old curmudgeons and all and
(2) it's not going back to the "good ol' days" when JB was trying to teach JS to fly and DW was setting CK's garage on fire. Ain't happenin'.

I am still grateful for everything FT have done, and continue to do, for the RC flight community and I still believe that their heart is in the right place. But they are running a business, and experimenting with how this business should be modeled, and this means change, and change is hard.

But I do think @PsyBorg hits the nail on the head regarding communication to the community through the forum (and in general). For example, we still have not had confirmation that there is not going to be an additional FF site this year. It's fine that there may only be one FF this year (I imagine its a huge undertaking for them and multiple FFs is probably not feasible) but couldn't they let us know?

Anyway, mini-rant-response over...
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#15
Im not disillusioned by any means. I am a very detail oriented person and tend to pick up on things before others do.

That means things tend to bug me sooner and I get to think things thru following the trend that bugged me.

I am quite the opposite of disillusioned about Flite Test.
That is why I even bothered to post what I see happening.

If it bugs me it will not be long before others are as well. I have already talked with many who have stopped bothering with the store.

Add now the mob mentality of social media and this cookie could crumble with a quickness.

I wanted to point out what I see so a discussion can happen and maybe bring to light a communal "feeling" and not the rantings of a grouchy old man.

By all means speak your mind on the issue good or bad so the core FT team can get a more realistic idea of where they stand by "family" not by social media fanbois that would bandwagon against them just as quickly as they initially chant yay FT but say nothing to show support by a reason why.

To me I see that tipping point approaching and all it would take is the right popular person to say something negative on facebook and the avalanche would start.
 
#16
While i agree with you that they have changed focus, I think they have a viable reason for doing so. I think that them becoming more bussiness orianted is good and bad. But either way it is neccesary and with the sponsors and such not only can they put food on the table but they can bring better quality content, while it may not be as focused or as often as it used to be, I still think they are making a choice for the better. Although i do miss the synergy that was brought by the two Joshes... Where has J Scott gone anyway?!?
 

JTarmstr

Well-known member
#18
(2) it's not going back to the "good ol' days" when JB was trying to teach JS to fly and DW was setting CK's garage on fire. Ain't happenin'.
Sad but true. I just wish that we could see some more people step into the spotlight, I think that the show needs more direction and a few more people on it. Stefan and Alex are great (dont get me wrong, I think they are awesome) but I get the feeling they wont try anything crazy like David or Peter did. I suppose I just wish that someone could step into the role they (David and Peter provided.

Where has J Scott gone anyway?!?
He has started his own program collecting the stories of WWII vets, i think its great for him to do that, another 10 years and none of them will be left.

I wanted to point out what I see so a discussion can happen and maybe bring to light a communal "feeling" and not the rantings of a grouchy old man.
Thats my hope too, i really dont want to see flite test turned into just another brand, what made it special was the people who ran the show and upheld their goals, if that starts to fail then it will just be another store.
 
#19
"He has started his own program collecting the stories of WWII vets, i think its great for him to do that, another 10 years and none of them will be left."

I totally agree with what he is doing just forgot about it? Maybe I don't really know anyway one of the things i do like about the forums is that even when people disagree it usually won't get disrespectful like on social media. Maybe a result of the mutual empathy when you see six months of work crash into the ground at 80Mph after 2 seconds of flight... sorry i started another tangent...
 

DamoRC

Well-known member
Mentor
#20
"He has started his own program collecting the stories of WWII vets, i think its great for him to do that, another 10 years and none of them will be left."

I totally agree with what he is doing just forgot about it? Maybe I don't really know anyway one of the things i do like about the forums is that even when people disagree it usually won't get disrespectful like on social media. Maybe a result of the mutual empathy when you see six months of work crash into the ground at 80Mph after 2 seconds of flight... sorry i started another tangent...
0-80 in 2 seconds - I'm impressed!