Design Contest on 99designs: The Zombie Apocalypse

Republished from the KoPoint site, The Zombie Apocalypse:

This is one of the first public moves that KoPoint has made around our zombie properties since acquiring TheZombieApocalypse.com last month. The intent is to build an organic, community-focused site (forums.thezombieapocalypse.com) integrated with a crowdsourced shop.

Our blog following is substantial, smart, growing, and a great way to ‘acquire’ an opt-in audience.

The t-shirt design will be hooked deeply with the blog, and as spring approaches we’ll encourage our followers to submit snapshots of themselves in the t-shirt.

The shop will be soon feature an ebook written in-house by old friends and community members.

99designs lets us both scale the contents  and provide incentives for the participants.

Our contest is funded by KoPoint sponsor SumAll, and serves as a really cool experiment in organic ecommerce.

theinevitablezombieapocalypse:

Dear Survivors of The Zombie Apocalypse:

Today we’re excited to announce the launch of a week-long t-shirt logo design contest.

We’ll soon release a line of limited-edition essential zombie survival gear. We figured the best way to get the merch store started was with an inguinal t-shirt designed by you, and hosted on 99designs.

Here are the details:

  • The t-shirt design contest will last for one week.
  • The design will be used on The Zombie Apocalypse sites and as our first community-focused t-shirt.
  • The winner will receive a prize of $299 (please see the rules on99designs.com), and credit in a blog post.
  • We’ll also do our best to consider and potentially contact runners-up about working together in the future.

KoPoint’s friends and sponsor SumAll is underwriting the contest.

This site has grown tremendously over the years. We now have several hundred thousand followers, and we thank you all for your great contributions.

We have opened invitations to our forums and the leaderboard is growing fast with First Wave survivors.

We’re also in the process of launching a crowdsourced shop (or, should we say ‘survivor’-sourced?) that will sell essential zombie apocalypse survival gear.

This spring, after launching the inaugural t-shirt, we’ll launch an ebookwritten by DJ Raspe and Natalie Zutter about the origins of The Zombie Apocalypse.

Thanks much for following The Zombie Apocalypse. We have some big plans for the coming year!

Keep calm. Survive on. Fight zombies.

– TZA

Learn more.

Blog Post: KoPoint Revenue, Podcasts, and The Zombie Apocalypse

I’m often asked how KoPoint makes money.

KoPoint is a content and community-focused startup. While we raised a small sum of seed financing, KoPoint has always been a revenue-focused venture. In this era of high-valuation venture-backed startups, I strongly believe that real businesses have a plan for generating income.

Last year KoPoint generated almost all of its revenue from advertising. While selling politics and business-focused media inventory does work, it’s slow and difficult.

This year KoPoint will generate much of its revenue from community-focused ecommerce sites. Building revenue streams from large and passionate communities like KoPoint’s zombieand Minecraft blogs is both tenable and exciting! Blog and ecommerce-focused revenue also provides stability that allows us to focus on creating fresh shows.

Here’s the plan:

  • There’ll be no change from the current podcast schedule. Each weeknight KoPoint will continue to produce great audio and video podcasts. KoPoint will always create fantastic discussion-focused shows about news, politics, culture, and tech.
  • We’ve acquired the domain thezombieapocalypse.com and have associated it with the KoPoint zombie blog. The zombie blog has about 140 thousand followers on Tumblr and is growing by a rate of about one thousand followers per day. These folks are smart, creative, and highly engaged. Around this community we’ve built and will soon launch a forum and Shopify ecommerce store. The store will sell a smartly-designed t-shirt, a creepily-plotted ebook, and the official zombie apocalypse Bonfyre app. The shop, as well as details on each of these items, will be revealed soon.
  • Our shop is hosted by Shopify, and merchandising handled by Merchify. Analytics are, of course, provided the venerable analytics firm SumAll.
  • In March and April KoPoint will roll a short series of podcasts based on the ebook story, and begin soliciting user created t-shirt designs.
  • Through the first two quarters of 2013 we’ll replicate this process across KoPoint’s Minecraft and Comic Book properties.
  • Pending an in-progress series of conversations,  during the second half of 2013 KoPoint will explore entertainment licensing opportunities for our properties.

As KoPoint matures through our second year of artisanal media creation, the process of building a successful and scalable business becomes more necessary and also more exciting!

As always, we encourage you to contact us any time if you have any questions or comments about KoPoint, our business, or our content.

Thanks for listening.

– DHP

KoPoint Revenue, Podcasts, and The Zombie Apocalypse

the_zombie_apocalypse_resist

I’m often asked how KoPoint makes money.

KoPoint is a content and community-focused startup. While we raised a small sum of seed financing, KoPoint has always been a revenue-focused venture. In this era of high-valuation venture-backed startups, I strongly believe that real businesses have a plan for generating income.

Last year KoPoint generated almost all of its revenue from advertising. While selling politics and business-focused media inventory does work, it’s slow and difficult.

This year KoPoint will generate much of its revenue from community-focused ecommerce sites. Building revenue streams from large and passionate communities like KoPoint’s zombie and Minecraft blogs is both tenable and exciting! Blog and ecommerce-focused revenue also provides stability that allows us to focus on creating fresh shows.

Here’s the plan:

  • There’ll be no change from the current podcast schedule. Each weeknight KoPoint will continue to produce great audio and video podcasts. KoPoint will always create fantastic discussion-focused shows about news, politics, culture, and tech.
  • We’ve acquired the domain thezombieapocalypse.com and have associated it with the KoPoint zombie blog. The zombie blog has about 140 thousand followers on Tumblr and is growing by a rate of about one thousand followers per day. These folks are smart, creative, and highly engaged. Around this community we’ve built and will soon launch a forum and Shopify ecommerce store. The store will sell a smartly-designed t-shirt, a creepily-plotted ebook, and the official zombie apocalypse Bonfyre app. The shop, as well as details on each of these items, will be revealed soon.
  • Our shop is hosted by Shopify, and merchandising handled by Merchify. Analytics are, of course, provided the venerable analytics firm SumAll.
  • In March and April KoPoint will roll a short series of podcasts based on the ebook story, and begin soliciting user created t-shirt designs.
  • Through the first two quarters of 2013 we’ll replicate this process across KoPoint’s Minecraft and Comic Book properties.
  • Pending an in-progress series of conversations,  during the second half of 2013 KoPoint will explore entertainment licensing opportunities for our properties.

As KoPoint matures through our second year of artisanal media creation, the process of building a successful and scalable business becomes more necessary and also more exciting!

As always, we encourage you to contact us any time if you have any questions or comments about KoPoint, our business, or our content.

Thanks for listening.

– DHP

Advanced Look: KoPoint Season Three

kopoint_logo_transparent_smallestKoPoint Season Three will officially begin on Monday, February 11th. Show production is already underway.

KoPoint programs are rolled together in tightly packaged ‘seasons’ (1, 2). Each season features a handful of carefully crafted shows. Hosts gather on weeknights at the KoPoint studio and record structured conversations as episodes. Episodes from each program are rolled weekdays on the primary KoPoint site and feed.

Time between seasons is spent examining and improving content, tweaking website and distribution platforms, negotiating with underwriting partners, and testing future projects.

Season Three will feature our strongest slate of programs to date:

We’ll also continue to exclusively syndicate several stellar programs:

Several shows will emerge as the season progresses, a zombie storytelling show, a travel program, a yet-to-be titled storytelling show featuring members of the NYC stand-up comedy community, and AFK On Air.

KoPoint Season Three is our second year as a podcast content company. The first year was spent learning how to create and package great content. During our second year, in an effort to emphasize quality over quantity, KoPoint will refine both our content and web presence.

Thanks for listening. Stay tuned.

– DHP

Welcome Back To KoPoint: 2013 and Beyond

kopoint_circle_logo

Welcome back to KoPoint, and happy New Year!

2013 represents a second year for KoPoint content, people, and programs! During 2012, our inaugural ‘season’, KoPoint folks created a ton of great content and learned a lot about the spirit and business of independent media.

In 2012, KoPoint had a number of successes:

  • Together, in a 12-month period our producers created 145 full-length episodes of awesome podcast and radio content!
  • We severed several hundred thousand complete streams and downloads, and several million minutes listened.
  • We acquired and worked with some great tech startups as sponsors.
  • We covered events like the Democratic and Republican Conventions, TEDx NYC, and NYC Comic Con.
  • We interviewed an amazing array of guests, like John Bolton, Steve Wozniak, and Cory Doctorow.

KoPoint stumbled and learned, too! Over the course of the year, KoPoint cancelled almost a dozen shows. Some anticipated succeses bombed tremendously. Some business models are hard to scale. I personally learned a lot about how to look beyond personal content interests and focus on what the audience wants. I’m learning to be an assertive yet humble business person and producer.  I learned that hype and trends are best avoided in favor of clear and concise goals. This sounds simple in theory, but when running a business linear progression can be a challenge.

In next calendar year we intend to grow the brand and continue to create more interesting content. In 2013 KoPoint will:

  • Continue to create and distribute stellar audio and video shows. We will double-down on the most exciting and interesting content. Our strategy is to iterate shows and content by producing focused mini-seasons. KoPoint will continue to produce and acquire fresh content on a regular basis.
  • Shows that are recorded live-to-tape, like AFK On Air, will emphasize video elements and live programming.
  • We will foster and grow our vertical blogs, such as The Zombie Apocalypse. Along with our partners at SumAll, we will integrate vertical blogs with ecommerce and sell a few cool products.
  • To that end, in Q1 KoPoint will release a number of ebooks that contain structural and thematic hooks with our vertical blogs. The first ebook will be The Minecraft Book: The Essential Guide For New And Returning Players, followed by Tales from the Zombie Apocalypse in early Q2.
  • KoPoint News will continue to grow. We’ve partnered again with the Talk Radio News Service and will continue to report for news and talk radio from the UN and Washington DC.

KoPoint’s first year was about learning and growth. The second ‘season’ will be about epanding our line of great, compromise-free content and generating honest revenue with fun partners!

Thanks for listening.

– DHP