Welcome to both new and old subscribers! We're just returning from Grand Prix Vegas – and wow, what an event it was! The response to the QS booth was both overwhelmingly positive and humbling.
We were stoked to learn that the ION Scanner was used to register the Sealed Decks for the main event! We all noticed that the main Sealed event finished up uncommonly early, but it wasn’t until we spoke to the ChannelFireball team that we realized that our technology was responsible.
This was also our first event with the new executive team. We were anticipating a great show, but we didn't imagine how well it would actually go. It was great to meet so many Insider and ION subscribers in person, and equally awesome to welcome some new ones to the QS family.
We had been planning to do a really amazing future-tech demo at the Grand Prix, but some issues with the on-site internet forced us to reconsider. After evaluating the situation, we decided to do the demo somewhere with a reliable connection rather than risk a mediocre demo.
Now that the dust has settled, we do have announcements that we can make – including an update on the tech demo. Here are some of the exciting new things we're rolling out:
Welcome to QS 2.0
Part of the next stage in the evolution of QS is our content. As the premier data-driven and finance-focused site in the Magic space, we recognize that our content model has become somewhat myopic. While you're keeping up to date on the latest price spikes, charts and trends, it's easy to miss the big picture that, at the end of it all, this is still about the game we all love. We've come to realize that in the rapidly changing world of Magic: The Gathering, we're missing opportunities to help people play more Magic.
To that end, we're implementing an expanded content plan to help inform and educate more players on how to best navigate the MTG economy. From the kid who simply wants to be able to afford a Commander deck, to the Magic Online grinder, to the trader who wants to best manage his collection, to, yes, even the most savvy of MTG investors, we want our content to help the most players possible.
You'll still be receiving all the great weekly articles you receive from our current team, but I'm excited to announce that we are proactively adding new voices. Please welcome to the team...
- Morgan Wentworth: Morgan is an incredibly talented, multifaceted content creator, and we've been following her work for a while. She's created content for us before, and we’re thrilled to have her as a regular contributor now. She'll be writing weekly articles, recording videos and doing some streaming. She will also be joining Chaz and me as a new host with the QS Cast. This will bring a fresh voice to the program, and I can't wait to hear her perspective week to week. Morgan also writes for Gathering Magic.
- Jake and Joel: Some of you are already familiar with their growing YouTube channel, Jake and Joel are Magic. If not, you should definitely check it out. They've done a variety of finance-focused videos, so we're recruiting them to do more for QS. We're really excited to pair their "entertainment industry" style with our data-driven focus.
- Kyle Rusciano: You may not have heard of Kyle and, in fact, neither had we...until he cold-submitted an incredibly detailed data piece about Magic Online. We were so impressed with his work that we decided to bring Kyle on staff. He will be producing articles specifically about Magic Online, something our Insiders have been increasingly requesting. We look forward to cultivating Kyle's talent and watching him grow. We've already launched a couple of his pieces, which can be found here and here.
We can't wait to see what these new producers bring to the site! As we continue to evolve the content strategy and explore new areas to help players, you'll be seeing more new faces join the content team.
As we're continuing to move into the evolution of QS, we decided the company needed a new look. As we begin to work with more clients at a larger scale, it's important that QS represent its professionalism accordingly. Part of that representation is our logo. You may have seen it in on our t-shirts and booth banner in Vegas, but if not, here is the new logo for Quiet Speculation:
The logo will be rolled out and integrated with the new homepage, which brings me to....
The current website is beginning to show its age, both in form and function. While we pride ourselves on our data and tools more than flash and aesthetics, we recognize that the QS interface is due for an upgrade. So we're doing just that. Soon you will see an entirely new, polished experience, and I'm excited to give you a little tease of some of the current prototypes:
Pretty cool, right? The final design is still in development, but we wanted to provide a peek into what you can expect. We're targeting Q3 for final rollout of the new website. Now, let's take a step deeper into the site and talk about...
Our financial tools are some of the best features about QS. Trader Tools offers collection import, spread comparisons and pricing data as some of our best service offerings. I can personally say I've pushed it to the limits during some big purchases and sales, and other power-users have reported doing the same.
As Kelly mentioned in his first AMA, the codebase he wrote for TT years ago is in serious need of an overhaul.
So that's exactly what is happening. With Tyler taking the reins as CTO, we have already begun digging deep into our infrastructure and upgrading key pieces. The upgrades will occur in pieces and modules throughout the second half of 2017, and we will release usable pieces as they are ready to be beta-tested. The final vision is an even more customizable and robust Trader Tools. It should serve as a one-stop shop to handle all your pricing and financial needs.
While this is happening, we're still adding vendors to make sure you have the most accurate pricing data possible. For example, did you notice this?
That's right, ChannelFireball is now part of the Trader Tools pricing database! This adds an incredibly valuable data set to our platform, and we're super excited to have their pricing available for you. Big thanks to Jon and Alexander and the team for partnering up with us!
ION Scanner Rebrand
When we debuted the ION Scanner, we offered up a basic version to Insider subscribers and a more advanced version to our business customers. Previously these had been named Core and Pro, respectively. After seeing some confusion among customers, we’re clarifying the names.
We're rebranding our ION Core and ION Pro plans as ION Scanner Basic and ION Scanner Advanced. QS Insiders will continue to have ION Scanner Basic plans included with your subscriptions, allowing you to scan your cards into Trader Tools or simply check their prices across our database, all without ever typing a thing.
For more heavily invested parties – vendors, stores, large-scale speculators, and dedicated hobbyists – we have ION Scanner Advanced. Subscribers at the Advanced level should stay tuned, because we've got big plans for expanding the ION brand for this audience. For example...
Welcome Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon to the ION Family!
At GenCon last August, we had many customer ask us when we’d add these two games to the ION Scanner. Our commitment was “by GenCon 2017,” and we’re thrilled to say that we were able to get it done far sooner! The most recent release of ION Scanner Advanced will include these two games, with price data from Troll And Toad to start. We’ll discuss more about this in an upcoming ION Scanner release announcement.
The Big Tech Reveal
Everyone has been asking Kelly: "What about the tech you got us excited about for Vegas?" Well, frustratingly, the demo for it was the primary victim of the convention center WiFi. However, Kelly will be recording a follow-up video to reveal it soon, piece by piece.
There you go, friends. Those are some of the cool things we have in store for QS! New content, a new website and a host of updated features. As someone helping guide this next chapter in QS, its story never ceases to amaze me. From its grassroots beginning as Kelly's basement blog to the slick updates I've discussed here today, QS continues to evolve as a unique and premium content hub for MTG. Thank you so much for joining us in this journey, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds!