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FlashDen becomes ActiveDen

FlashDen becomes ActiveDen

FlashDen is a community site that's been around for years and they recently did a major redesign. Just after the redesign, the change became much more extensive as they were asked to change their name as well. Out of the blue, Adobe's legal department figured that they could not use the word Flash in their name so FlashDen is now ActiveDen.

A couple years ago I got to meet Collis and Cyan, the founders of FlashDen in a spacious, cool and worn out garage in Sydney, Australia. Since then, their company Envato has started 5 marketplaces, 9 tutorial sites and a series of other sites. Not a small feat by any mean and we have to say we're very impressed with the crew pulling this off. We talked to site manager Lance Snider about how the recently redesigned site has managed to grow into such a big thing.

imageQ: How did FlashDen come about?
A: FlashDen was a the brain child of freelancers Collis and Cyan Ta'eed. While still in its infancy, FlashDen (called FlashFoxx at the time) wasn't as profitable as they'd hoped. They sustained themselves by working ridiculous hours, freelancing on the side, eating up their savings, and working out of Cyan's mother's garage! But it didn't take long before it exploded. What started out as nothing more than a vehicle to give the couple the freedom to travel and quit freelancing quickly grew to the stock empire it is today.

Q: Tell us a bit about how you came across FlashDen yourself and ended up working there?
A: I'd been doing freelance for years using stock photography before it hit me that I could be on the other side of the table selling stock and making passive income rather than buying. My first attempt at selling stock was with photos, but I failed miserably. I'm a terrible photographer. I then had moderate success selling illustrations before I finally discovered FlashDen. I quickly became one of the top authors on the site and an admitted FlashDen addict, checking my account up to 30 times a day. When I saw the posting for the site manager's position, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to be part of the Envato team. The rest is history. :)

Q: Other sites have tried doing marketplaces, but FlashDen have really succeeded. What's the secret formula? :)
A: Of course, content is the most important part of any site's success. Our authors are the lifeblood of FlashDen as they're the ones who actually create the content. We've succeeded because we've got the best authors in the world and we've got them because we make it the best place to sell. For example, the authors commission used to cap out at 50%. We could have left it there, but we wanted FlashDen to be the most lucrative place to sell. Most of the changes we've made are a direct result of community input. When the community speaks, we listen, which goes just as far as a raise.

ActiveDen site manager Lance Snider

Q: You recently redesigned all the marketplace sites (FlashDen, AudioJungle, VideoHive...). What prompted the redesign and why is the beloved Fox so small now?
A: The fox tail shrunk because I didn't read the washing instructions and put it in the dryer. Actually, it was to stay consistent with all the current and future marketplaces. The logos all looked great on their own, but together, they just didn't fit.

The old design was great, but we finally reached a point where the current design couldn't sustain all the great ideas we wanted to implement. For example, the ability to follow your favorite authors is something we've been wanting for a while, but on the old design, there was nowhere to put it. This current design not only includes a slew of new features, but can be easily added to when the need arises.

Q: A redesign of a commercial site is always dangerous since it generally will "replace something that isn't broken" with something different. Why risk it?
A: The risk was lessened by the fact that the most important parts, the authors and the files, didn't change. Buyers don't come to FlashDen for FlashDen - they come for the great content and great community. All we did was improve the ways in which the content can be found.

Q: The community of FlashDen is really special featuring many friends and collaborators across borders. What do you think makes the FlashDen so special?
A: The fact that we are a global company is what makes us so special. Your value in the community isn't measured by where you're from or what you look like. It's measured by your skill and how you interact. Another great thing about being global is that we're not limited to the best people in a specific region - we've got some of the best people in the world.

Q: Not only did you redesign, you also had to change the name of the site to ActiveDen as well?

A: Yes, we've recently changed our name from FlashDen to ActiveDen. This will really opens the doors to the kind of content we'll be able to sell. For example, we already have Flex files and fonts which really didn't fit with the old name. There are no immediate plans, but the new name will better allow us to sell other file types like Air or maybe even Silverlight. Though it may seem like a major shift, the community and the content are really what made the site what it is, not the name.

Note: We've contacted Adobe several times regarding their sudden need to remove the word Flash from the name of websites that are after all about Flash. We're still waiting for an answer but we'll try to get the word directly from Adobe on this as it could be relevant for many community sites, ourselves included.

About Jens C Brynildsen

Jens has been working with Flash since version 3 came out. Since then, he's been an active member of the Flash community. He's created more than a hundred Flash games (thus the name of his blog) but he also creates web/standalone applications, does workshops and other consulting. He loves playing with new technology and he is convinced that the moment you stop learning you die (creatively speaking). Jens is also the Editor of this website.

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Posted by timsoulo on 01/29 at 03:38 PM

Have you heard of someone else changing his name because of flash? A new flash component marketplace is about to launch at
I wonder if they will face the same issue

Posted by Primetime on 03/22 at 06:39 AM

How could the ActiveDen lawyers have let this one slip by? I thought ActiveDen was run by the finest lawyers in all of Australia. Just look at their author guidelines: According to those guidelines, art works dating back to the middle ages are still under copyright! I didn’t know this either until I read their treatise: The Eiffel Tower is copyrighted. Pure brilliance! But, there’s one problem. Those pictures above are of just a bunch of stoned, unshaven kiddies. Surely they can’t be the scholars who wrote the wonderful pearls of wisdom I cited above?

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