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Beneath the Mask: All About Joker and Persona (ε)

Preface

With Joker ready to seize the ultimate treasure that is a spot on the roster today, I thought it'd be right to talk about what exactly Persona is, and why the hype is absolutely incredible right now.
Persona has actually seen tremendously passionate adoration and considerable critical success for quite a while now - you may have heard about it in passing years ago - but it had stood as a cult classic, since the mainline games hadn't had a major console installment since 2008.
That is, until the release of Persona 5; much like the Phantom Thieves themselves, the series has erupted onto the main stage, taking the hearts of countless people in a way that many never saw coming.
Amidst all the hype, you may be wondering what lies beneath the mask.
Persona's one of my absolute favorite series, and it has a very special place in my heart. So, Joker's inclusion in Smash is so absolutely legendary that I still don't think I have the words to describe how much it means to me.
What I do hope I have words for though, is why Persona is so wonderful, beloved, and worth your time. Hopefully these words are also better than last time; this post is actually an echo fighter, noted by the little epsilon symbol!
I recommend Reddit Enhancement Suite, since it lets you expand images here in the OP while reading, plus it comes with a bunch of really nice features!
It's worth mentioning that Persona isn't really for everyone in the same way something like Mario or Zelda are; but if you go into it with an open mind, it can offer oceans of fun, along with just as vast amounts of thoughtful experiences; and maybe even some of the fondest and most important time you've had with games.
And maybe, if you really resonate with it, after playing, life will change.
So, let us start the game.
But first...

Shin Megami Tensei

Before talking about Persona itself, I think it's right, especially in a Nintendo context, to talk about the series it's derived from, Shin Megami Tensei - also known as SMT or Megaten.
See, Persona is actually a spinoff series of SMT. While it's not necessary to be familiar with SMT in order to understand or enjoy Persona, as they do not share continuities; SMT is strong in it's own right, and it also helps provide insight to the developer, Atlus (who are now owned by Sega).
SMT is a JRPG series spanning back to 1987 - but despite how evocative that may seem of many classic RPG franchises - SMT's identity and mannerisms are a world apart. While many of its contemporaries adopted traditional fantasy settings, which they'd later develop in different ways, SMT had, from it's inception, been vastly different from its peers.
SMT's world is Earth - in the throes of a devastating apocalypse, one that's left it as little else but rubble; along with a peculiar effect - the world is now teeming head to toe with otherworldly beings. The planet's become the subject of a territorial dispute between rival forces of Law and Chaos, the ranks of which are comprised of a whole pantheon of figures.
...Actually, make that multiple pantheons, because I mean that as literally as possible - the beings you meet in SMT (referred to as demons, regardless of affiliation) are all from real world religion, mythology, and folklore; and are used to present conflicting ideologies developed over the course of history.
You form pacts with these demons and fight alongside them; which isn't all that different from Pokemon, at its core. But, while Pokemon and their mechanics are fairly straightforward (at least on the surface), SMT's demons... are a bit different.
Not just because you fuse them, either: in SMT, demons are not pets or mere obstacles: the demons are the people you talk to. They are the residents of the world - the NPCs, the enemies, and the allies, so your experiences with them are much more broad than with the same kind of entities in other games. Maybe they'll try and shake you down for cash, maybe you'll enter a weird conversation, maybe you'll try and recruit them, or maybe they'll just kill you.
Some enemies will admit your strength, or fall for your words and join you, but others may not be so obedient. The opposing forces of Law and Chaos are also comprised of those who seek to make you follow their ideology. These conflicts will be especially uncompromising, but if you can continue to best your opponents, you'll be able to learn more of the philosophies of each faction, and make your decision on what should become of the remnants of the Earth.
As for why it's good to mention SMT in a Nintendo context; it's because the series actually appears pretty frequently on Nintendo consoles, and is often exclusive, too. Although, what's probably the strongest and most recommended game in the series, SMT III: Nocturne, is a PS2 exclusive, but isn't that difficult to get a hold of it you have something that can play PS2 games.
Modern SMT games on Nintendo consoles:
And, if you've ever wondered where that "Featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry Series" emblem comes from, well, that's from Nocturne. Yes, Dante is featured in that game.
...I can't end this section without some more of series (and Atlus) mascot Jack Frost, so here hee is, ho!

What exactly is Persona?

Experimenting with SMT, Atlus would release SMT If..., which would receive a spiritual successor, Revelations: Persona for the PS1. This started to establish some primary differences between the two series: SMT would be focused on navigating the apocalypse and the will of its residents, but Persona would instead opt for a focus on the people who would have to navigate the mire of the mind, in their own bouts of survival.
It enjoyed modest popularity, and was followed by Persona 2: Innocent Sin and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, both for PS1 (and would see PSP remakes).
The first set of Persona games have some great things going for them, but because they are a touch archaic, and so different from their successors, the rest of this post is going to focus on Persona 3, 4, & 5.
After acclimating to the PS2 environment, Atlus took the opportunity to revitalize Persona under an all new creative vision, for Persona 3.
Katsura Hashino, director of SMT III, assumed the same role for the new title, bringing new mechanics, ideas, and customs to the series; while the art was headed by Shigenori Soejima, who made an incredible effort to modernize the series and provide it with a tremendously unique identity and style. Additionally, long time Atlus composer Shoji Meguro expressed great satisfaction with the project, as it allowed him to compose music that he'd always wanted to. Each of these creative directors have worked on Persona 3, 4, & 5, keeping the design philosophy consistent, yet dynamic.
Persona games, like father, like son, are JRPGs. But despite sharing the same genre as SMT; what I think is more interesting and important, is how the two series contrast with each other.
While SMT's world is strange and largely solemn - characterized by its desolate landscape and strange, otherworldly residents; Persona's setting is far more intimate, taking place in modern day Japan. And because of that, Persona is very different from SMT - by changing the setting, while also having a similar core design philosophy, you end up with something entirely new:
The odd interactions with demons are now conversations and activities with friends;
The pacts with demons are now friendships you forge with peers who've awakened to the ability to summon a Persona, changing their world drastically;
And the coldly delivered questions posed by self-righteous demons are now melancholic, tender, and often relatable musings by regular people about the harsh realities and unfortunate feelings they face.
That's the basis for the most important difference between SMT and Persona, and the one that arguably informs all the rest: Shin Megami Tensei is about philosophy and talking to demons, while Persona is about psychology, and talking to people. This difference effects just about every aspect of the game, and provides Persona with a whole new set of strengths, as well as a tremendously unique identity.
A key to that identity is that among Persona's many themes, the most recognizable, central, and universal is its heavy inspiration from Jungian psychology. Many of Carl Jung's ideas are adapted into elements of the game, like the collective unconscious, archetypes, and most prominently, the persona and shadow; which are all featured as important ideas and mechanics. While you don't need to be familiar with those ideas to enjoy Persona, and the game doesn't make background information necessary, nor does it try to explain the concepts beyond what is needed, seeing the elements at play is still very interesting.
Central to those themes, is the Velvet Room and its surrounding subjects. This room exists between dreams and reality, mind and matter; explained by its residents and expressed by its endlessly memorable theme.
The Velvet Room is connected to the collective unconscious, humanity's shared ideas and visions, and the residents of the enigmatic room - a mysterious man named Igor, along with his various assistants - will assist you on your journey: detailing important points about the journey you will embark on, explaining the importance of the relationships you forge (which is very important and we'll come back to that soon), and allowing you to fuse and recall Personas, summoning them from the sea of the soul.
Personas are manifestations of a person's soul, and are capable of fighting, or in some cases, providing external support. They're understood to operate more or less like another limb; and if you're familiar with Stands, from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (Part 3 onwards), Personas are very similar. Personas are not usually able to be summoned in the real world, however. This means that you and your teammates are actually more or less normal people, and act as such on any given day; but can explore an alternate world and call upon your Personas there, to accomplish a goal that'll effect the real world.
The demons that you face in SMT are now the Personas you fuse and equip. Where in SMT, they were residents of the game's world, in Persona, they are representations of icons that humanity has created - cultivated from, and passed into, the collective unconscious. They each correspond to one of the Major Arcana of the Tarot deck of cards, representing the archetype of person that they are similar to, who they resonate with, and what ideas and values they express. This concept is very important, and we'll return to it soon.
So, a few major elements have come up, and they sound pretty different; there's a heavy focus on interacting with people in your local area, and you explore a "counterpart world," summoning Personas to fight. That's because Persona is comprised of two hemispheres, a dungeon crawling RPG half, and a social sim half, which support and play off of each other.
The RPG half consists of the supernatural elements of the games. Exploring labyrinthine towers, twisted worlds behind the TV, locations born from warped thoughts, and more; while summoning Personas to fight against the hostile beings known as Shadows, who come in countless different forms.
Shadows are your opponents in these strange places, and are sort of counterparts to Personas. Weak shadows aren't quite tied right to one person, but stronger ones take the form of conglomerations of identities (told through their Arcana), or are born from the unconscious or repressed thoughts and feelings of a specific person.
By defeating these Shadows and exploring the environment, you'll be able to effect the real world in various ways, which change from game to game. Managing to accomplish this while juggling your real world responsibilities is a critical pillar of Persona's design. Which brings us to...
The Social Sim half. Since you can only summon Personas when exploring the "counterpart world," you're a normal person when you aren't over there. So, you're encouraged to live as you like in the meantime - hanging out with your friends, talking to passersby, messing around at the arcade, going to the movies, reading books, fishing, doing part-time work, visiting nearby landmarks, and tons more.
You play through almost every day of the calendar across the game's many months, and become well acquainted with your surroundings in the process. It creates a very intimate setting, and the experience feels special, as you have fun, accomplish goals, explore opportunities, and share important conversations with the people around you.
These games shine when you take your time: it's best to savor the experience and immerse yourself, so I'd very strongly advise against rushing - these games are long. Like, I'm talking 60+ hours as a lower estimate. But each hour has something pleasant, interesting, or thoughtful, and the culmination of it all results in something that's even greater than the sum of its already wonderful parts.
Talking to the people around you is the main attraction here, and the old pals from the Velvet Room are here to help establish that: Igor explains the power of Social Links or Confidants, the bonds you form with others. Each of them, not coincidentally, also correspond to the Major Arcana of the Tarot - The people you meet present you with a bond, based on their identity and how they relate themselves to you.
Strengthening these relationships is especially important to Persona, and learning about the different characters is both fulfilling on it's own, and it supports the themes of the game, as many character's arcs have a message that resonates with the key ideas expressed by each title.
These bonds you forge aren't just for the social sim segment either - improving your relationships with Social Links/Confidants will grant you more experience when fusing Personas of a corresponding Arcana. On the flipside, spending time with people is more effective when you're carrying a Persona of the same Arcana as them.
That principle isn't the only way Persona's two halves compliment one another: a central element of the games progression is accomplishing goals efficiently, before the deadline approaches for a mission. Balance is key, both for the player, and for the game's design; and this philosophy is one of the many reasons Persona is an incredible and unique series.

Why is Persona cool?

To start, the premise is great - playing through each day over the course of many months cultivates a strong fondness for the places you frequent, and an even greater fondness for the people you meet and interact with. The games encourage you to prioritize what you care about most, you are meant to do what you want to do, more or less like real life. It's up to you to pursue Social Links with characters you enjoy, to do the activities you like or the ones that help better you as a person, and to explore the mysterious "counterpart world," prepare yourself for what's ahead, and complete tasks on time.
Your decisions are your own - do you care most about being smart, charming, or bold? Do you care more about being charming enough to get close to certain people, or would you rather first focus on your friends who don't need that? Who are you most interested in; the regretful monk spending time in the club, or the shady businessman with the infectiously catchy theme? Maybe you've become very invested in listening to the sick young man at the park, or maybe you've come to really enjoy talking to your club-mates.
You may have decided to try and close the gap between you and your guardian, or you may have decided to try getting to know the back-alley doctor, or the downtrodden politician, or the aloof shop owner. Which of your close friends and party members are you most invested in? Do you want to focus on supporting your friend who's been ostracized, or is helping another friend get past life as a shut-in your absolute highest priority?
There's tons of great characters, and getting to know people from different walks of life is central to Persona. Like real life, the conversations with each person can range from fun and simple pleasantries, to tough questions, to genuinely really thoughtful and touching moments. Some characters struggle with issues that you or someone you know may have struggled with, and some of those issues may be ones that would be difficult to find tackled in any other game; whether it be dealing with self-loathing and depression, deteriorating family life, jealousy, ostracization, or many, many other topics. Characters are something Persona does a fantastic job with.
Forming priorities makes for a personalized experience, so for that reason I advise against using a guide that maximizes Social Links on your first playthrough. It's tempting to follow a guide, but you playing the game as you would on your own makes the experience even more genuine, and strengthens the already stellar social sim segments.
The game's two sides supporting each other through the the Velvet Room makes for a remarkably resonant experience: seeing your Social Links allow you to create powerful Personas is rewarding; and noticing the observations you make about the real world influence the landscape of the alternate one keeps the scenario engaging. Seeing the game adapt elements of Jungian psychology is similarly interesting, as several key aspects of the series can be traced back to those ideas. Not only does it have a universal impact on the series through the Velvet Room and the concepts of Personas and Shadows, but each game also provides their own ways to mix the concepts into their stories, which also sport their own specific themes apart from each other.
In tandem with that idea, Persona's music, art, and atmosphere are all superb and unforgettable; due to them each sharing a core foundation, but splitting into different directions, giving each game a unique personal identity that they all understand extraordinarily well. One of the best ways to see this is through each game's key color; Persona 3's cool blue, Persona 4's bright yellow, and Persona 5's striking crimson. Because they're so distinct, I'd like to talk about Persona 3, 4, and 5 in their own sections, which should introduce, and hopefully explain why each of them are individually strong games, as well as great contributors to an excellent series.

Persona 3

As mentioned before, Persona 3 would be the first in the "modern" line of Persona games; bringing many of the series conventions with it, such as Social Links, the calendar system, and a focus on modern audio and visual design, among other things.
The game's color of cool blue is evocative of its melancholic feel - Persona 3 is about the heavy topic of death and loss. But even though life is merely a journey to the grave, it must not be taken without hope. Persona 3 is also more principally about forming bonds with people so that they'll have memories of you, finding the resolve to live even when it doesn't feel worth it, and spending your time wisely, because life is fleeting, yet meaningful. What I said on Persona being about prioritizing what's most important to you is especially prevalent here, as that idea directly ties back to the core themes of the game, creating a great resonance across the entire experience.
This is also told through the journey of Persona 3; an adaptation of the Fool's Journey of the Tarot. As you move into the dorms of Tatsumi Port Island's Gekkoukan High School, you'll make an eerie voyage across the city, staying conscious during an enigmatic time right at midnight, the Dark Hour, which incapacitates all but a few individuals. Upon your surprisingly safe arrival, you'll settle into the dorm. A short while later though, the Dark Hour gets more perilous, due to the arrival of a Full Moon. When the moon's glow is whole and clear, a terribly powerful Shadow will appear, each one numbered with one of the major Arcana.
Under this stress, you'll awaken to your Persona, marking your entry into the organization of S.E.E.S., who scale the enigmatic tower of Tartarus to end the Dark Hour and eliminate the Shadows who inhabit it. But scaling Tartarus isn't your only concern in the Dark Hour; as the Fool Arcana, you'll also need to defeat the Full Moon Shadows and prepare for a showdown with the 13th Arcana, Death; all the while making sure to take care of your regular, everyday life.
The setting and atmosphere of Persona 3 is tremendously effectively told through its art: though the game is certainly dated by today's standards, the art direction is excellent, and more than makes up for it. It sports strong environment design across Tatsumi Port Island's many areas, cultivating a sense of comfort, with a powerful feeling of "relaxed" order and refinement, that is relayed by the sort of modernized art P3 uses. This contrasts with the supernatural elements and designs of the game's Dark Hour, in a way that creates a special sort of harmony in dissonance, as the hemispheres give weight to each other, working very well to illustrate different sides of an experience.
There's also an interesting layer of abstraction to the art, with an emphasis on minimal shading, even in the animated cutscenes, which makes for an compelling style that makes the game stand apart, even from it's peers. It'd later be adapted in other ways to create some fantastic art, like this piece for the movie, and art for Dancing in Moonlight, among other things.
Persona 3's identity is also sold extremely well through its music. The audio design at play here is downright fascinating, and extraordinarily captivating. Like the art, it has a resounding sense of well-planned contrast, and it features a focus on both eerie electronic themes, and especially its own distinct brand of hip-hop. The sincerity it puts behind tracks like Iwatodai Dorm and the similarly cheesy, yet endlessly hype Mass Destruction makes them impossible not to love. Whether Joy is adding color to a walk with a friend, or When the Moon's Reaching Out Stars is offering melancholy and purpose while planning out the day, or the eerie yet invigorating Master of Shadow narrates an encounter, there is always a song playing that supports the mood immensely. P3 is a musical journey, and there's still many tracks you'll encounter that'll continue to demonstrate that, and I just can't spoil them.
Persona 3 is available on PS2, and a director's cut, Persona 3 FES is also on PS2. There's also another edition, Persona 3 Portable, for PSP. It features the option to play as a female protagonist, with some different Social Links, although it doesn't allow free roam. It's difficult to recommend one over the other, because the free roam of FES makes the environment feel more alive, but I am especially fond of the additions and changes that the female protagonist's route through the game offers.

Persona 4

P4 followed shortly after 3, but took a fairly different approach - rather than following Persona 3's outwardly melancholic themes and color scheme, Persona 4 adopts an extremely peppy and bright yellow.
This carries sort of a double meaning - while P4 is much cheerier than many of the other titles Atlus has developed, but it's also referential of the game's themes of escapism. Behind the happy-go-lucky veneer is the fact that there's been a series of murders committed in the small town of Inaba. The police and detectives have been unable to make any headway into the case, driving the unrest higher. All the same, everyone attempts to continue living a peaceful existence in the town.
In the face of this threat, it's up to your team of Persona users to get to the bottom of this. If that sounds familiar, that's because it's extraordinarily similar to the premise of JoJo's Bizzare Adventure Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable. But because of that, many aspects that make Diamond is Unbreakable a strong manga, such as the setting, tension, and atmosphere, similarly make Persona 4 a strong game.
You'll be transferring to Inaba to live with your uncle, arriving in the wake of the shock, so you'll be hearing various rumors around town. One of them stands out in particular though - the urban legend of the Midnight Channel. Supposedly, by viewing a TV during midnight during torrential rain, something very strange will occur. The rumors aren't unfounded, and you'll find yourself able to access a world existing in the backside of the TV.
What you'll come to realize, though, is that this place is even more unusual and hostile than it would initially appear - in this world, there exists Shadow forms of individuals - repressed and unconscious feelings of malcontent with oneself; which stand as the major bosses of P4. If someone can accept themselves this way, they may awaken to a Persona. Learning this, along with conversing with a friendly resident of the Midnight Channel, leads to the creation of the Investigation Team, who use the Midnight Channel to reach out to the truth, and attempt to solve the case of the murders plaguing Inaba.
Core to P4, is acknowledging things for what they really are, and using that to grow. This manifests in different many ways across the game, but for the Investigation Team, it allows for a close group of pals who meet often just to mess around, as they get more comfortable with each other. The relaxed nature of time with friends makes for an interesting dichotomy with the creeping tension of living in Inaba, as everyone tries to make the most of the position they find themselves in.
Persona 4's design is similarly very strong, following the tradition established by P3. The art is heavily pop inspired, extending to its take on the supernatural elements, and emphasizing its more upbeat nature compared to its predecessors. The music follows suit, with incredibly memorable tracks like Heartbeat, Heartbreak and Signs of Love, among many, many other great tracks that accompany your time in Inaba, characterizing it as something special.
Persona 4 is available for PS2, and the remastered Persona 4 Golden is available for Vita. Because of the welcoming atmosphere, it's also a very good game to enter the series with, easing you the eccentric and odd elements that give Persona it's unique flavor.

Persona 5

Persona 5 is the most recent main series Persona game, released in 2016 (JP)/2017 (West). With the shift to HD development, it took about 8 years in total for P5 to release after P4. But, taking their time proved to be well worth it, as Persona 5 ended up being one of the most acclaimed, passionately adored, and memorable games of 2017; likely even the whole console generation, and maybe beyond that too! Even Sakurai himself is a massive fan!
The upgrade in visual presentation brought by P5 is immense, immediately you can see that the models in Persona 5 are gorgeous. In fact, the whole game is gorgeous. Joker's announcement trailer wasn't just for show, it's inspired by the intro of Persona 5. Persona's trademark superb art direction runs wild here: everything from the title screen, to the various menus, to elements of the battle mechanics, and far, far beyond, absolutely everything radiates style. But it's not just style for the sake of it - the art at play is purposefully evocative of the picaresque stories that inspire P5, and actively support the game's themes; doing so with a signature striking crimson.
After an encounter with a belligerent man harassing a woman, your efforts to intervene have landed you on probation, as that man was a powerful politician. This altercation also leads you transferring to Shujin Academy, your new high school; and lodging in the attic of the Leblanc Cafe, under the supervision of your new guardian.
As fate would have it, things can never quite become peaceful: at night you'll arise in the Velvet Room, and after a fairly austere introduction, you are informed of your "role." You'll settle into your new school the next day; but before you get too comfortable, something very strange happens: when you attempt to get to school again, alongside another student, the two of you arrive in a sinister and unnerving location where the school is meant to be. You've stumbled into the Metaverse, a mirror world where people's warped thoughts change the landscape. Here, cognition is key; what people think dictates how things work.
And if someone's thoughts are especially distorted, the Metaverse responds with the creation of a Palace - a counterpart to a location; inhabited by Shadows and dictated by how that person feels about the original place. This first one you come across is Shujin itself; turned into a castle by an absolutely vile and abusive teacher. A lone friendly resident of this world will instruct you of the rules of this place, especially the critical ability to "steal hearts." If you send a calling card to provoke the Palace owner, a precious "Treasure" will appear in the Palace. Stealing it will cause the Palace owner to acknowledge the damage they've caused, admitting their crimes. You'll use this to take down that awful teacher, as the school administration tries desperately to save face. This operation forms the Phantom Thieves, who seek to use this new power to bring hope to the downtrodden, like creating rivers in the desert.
This vision and purpose is where the use of crimson manifests; a color of anger and indignation, that's also suave and striking - a perfect match with the identity of the Phantom Thieves, and Persona 5 as a whole: when those with power are able to trample others under their heel, and apathy sets in as abuse and manipulation feels inevitable, the only recourse is to wake up, get up, and get out there; because that's the only way life will change. With your new abilities, you play the role of vigilante heroes, who take down the manipulative and help those in need, giving them the reminder they need that it's worth trying to control your life and fight for change. This is your method of reforming society.
Just about every component of the game supports your nature as the Phantom Thieves - your Personas are famous rogues, the Palaces all take the form of heist locations, like tombs and museums; the Social Links are now a network of Confidants that come to support your exploits in different ways; and the dungeons now sport a stealth system for your Palace infiltration.
The gameplay improvements bring out even more of the game's strengths; dungeon exploration is perfected, as you explore visually impressive and elaborately designed Palaces at a brisk pace, with fluid movement. The battles are streamlined immensely by the iconic battle UI; where instead of scrolling through menus - every action corresponds to a button. It doesn't sound like much, but the effect is huge, and it improves the game feel from great to sublime. Demon negotiation returns from Persona 1, 2, and SMT; the Shadows you fight can now provide items, money, or even join your arsenal of Personas, from a negotiation. They're as weird as always, so be prepared to play along with them.
While experiencing the game's many hours, and the different feelings within them, you are treated to what is likely some of Meguro's best work - the music of P5 is legendary. I've scattered many tracks throughout the post, and I think they're all excellent on their own; consisting of some of the smoothest and most invigorating music you can find, but what's especially impressive is how wonderfully they support the parts of the game they are found in - the music of P5 is a narration of the game in a way that few others match.
Just as the previous titles, P5 converges its art, music, gameplay, and themes exceptionally well; but P5 might even surpass them in that respect. Every single component is exemplary on it's own, but the way each aspect supports the other ones creates a truly incredible synthesis, and a truly sublime larger whole. A very short list on some ways the parts of the game play off of one another:
  1. The music sells the themes, with incredible songs composed of lyrics that detail the mood and emotions of a scene, resulting in some truly spectacular moments.
  2. The themes are relayed by the art, with the inspiration from comic books and grafitti evoking the images of underdogs and rebellion, so that the themes are constantly present, whether you're investigating Palaces, deepening relationships with Confidants, or even just equipping some new armor.
  3. The way you fight and traverse the Palaces resonates with the premise of the game, as you sleuth across the dungeons looking for a path to the Treasure, dispatching of enemies with maneuvers they never saw coming.
  4. Often times, many elements will be supporting each other at once. Upon sending a calling card, the tension rises to a fever pitch - executing your plans to topple corrupt individuals, as your signature theme plays while the Palace owner is getting increasingly desperate to stop you; the art selling each of the Thieves' unwavering determination, and the whole Palace set to absolute maximum security, reflected by alert level. These moments, and many more, are truly brilliant.
Persona 5 brings the series into the new age in an exemplary way, and is available on PS3 & PS4 for $20. I cannot recommend it enough, and it's essentially the perfect starting point for Persona, and even SMT as a whole. If you go into it with an open mind, it can easily become one of your favorite games ever, along with a franchise of many more.
I can't say for sure, of course, but I think some form of Persona 5 on Switch is likely. I hope with all my heart.
I hope this thread was interesting, and a good introduction!
Persona is such a special series, and I'm beyond excited to see more people experience it; and I simply can't be grateful enough that Joker is included in Super Smash Bros., among the greatest names gaming has ever seen.
It still gives me the dumbest smile just thinking about it.
...And you probably already know what I wanna say.
submitted by Reviathan to smashbros [link] [comments]

Which is better? 3200MHz CL16 (16-18-18-38) OR 3600MHz CL16 (16-19-19-39) [spec included]

Hi guys,
Which RAM offering is superior or are the differences negligible? Main use is PUBG which is highly responsive to RAM speed.
G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200MHz
G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin SDRAM PC4-28800 DDR4 3600MHz
PCPartPicker Part List
Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-8600K 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor $258.89 @ Amazon
CPU Cooler Corsair H100i PRO 75 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $109.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard Asus PRIME Z370-A II ATX LGA1151 Motherboard $139.31 @ B&H
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory $66.99 @ Newegg
Storage Samsung 860 Evo 500 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $69.98 @ Amazon
Video Card Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11 GB AORUS XTREME Video Card $1299.99 @ Newegg
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $1960.15
Mail-in rebates -$15.00
Total $1945.15
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-11-20 20:06 EST-0500
submitted by Jimoney762 to buildapc [link] [comments]

Looking to upgrade from Shared to VPS. What's the easiest solution?

I have an affiliate site that's starting to generate some decent traffic (about 500 sessions daily and growing) and revenue. It's currently hosted on a GoGeek Plan on Siteground (Shared). I must say I'm quite happy overall in terms of features and service but the site does seem slow sometimes. It's probably fine in general but I just want to make sure that I'm not leaving any money on the table by losing customers due to site speed.
I enjoy creating content for the site and I have a fairly good knowledge of Wordpress but I really have zero knowledge/skills when it comes to managing servers. I really don't want to take any risk with security or anything else that could jeopardize the site's income.
My maximum budget is around $50 / month.
From what I have read, here are my options:
What would you recommend?
Thanks
Edit - decision:
Thanks everyone for your answers!
I have decided to do the following:
If everything works smoothly with Cloudways then I can compare it to Siteground Cloud in terms of performance vs. cost and make a decision for my main site.
Feel free to pm me if you are interested in my experience.
submitted by cambronne to webhosting [link] [comments]

Subreddit Stats: Hulu posts from 2018-03-30 to 2018-08-15 18:37 PDT

Period: 138.30 days
Submissions Comments
Total 987 7535
Rate (per day) 7.14 54.12
Unique Redditors 782 2314
Combined Score 9733 17744

Top Submitters' Top Submissions

  1. 1083 points, 25 submissions: WarpSeven
    1. Hulu is getting a ‘Stop Suggesting’ button so you can hide its recommendations (162 points, 22 comments)
    2. Hulu passes 20 million subscribers, will finally offer offline viewing (132 points, 22 comments)
    3. ‘Jeopardy!’ Comes to Hulu in Quiz Show’s First Streaming Deal (100 points, 12 comments)
    4. Hulu Passes 800,000 Live TV Subscribers (88 points, 12 comments)
    5. PBS Is In Talks With Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, Etc. (77 points, 5 comments)
    6. Disney gets OK to acquire Fox movie and TV studios, and stake in Hulu (75 points, 17 comments)
    7. Disney open to bundling Disney SVOD, ESPN+ and Hulu together (58 points, 38 comments)
    8. Hulu: Average Viewer is Watching 10 Shows (52 points, 20 comments)
    9. Hulu is closing its Marin office, half the staff moving to Seattle (40 points, 0 comments)
    10. Hulu Major Exec Shakeup: Joel Stillerman, Ben Smith, Tim Connolly Out (39 points, 1 comment)
  2. 459 points, 20 submissions: Foobar789
    1. Hulu's 'Castle Rock' is a 'Stranger Things' for the Stephen King horror universe... (81 points, 27 comments)
    2. Is Hulu with No Commercials worth the upgrade? (63 points, 137 comments)
    3. With Comcast out of the running, Disney is all but ready to take over Fox’s properties and claim a 60% stake in Hulu, the “hidden gem” of the Fox deal. (55 points, 16 comments)
    4. Sep, 2007... Hulu is born. They've got a catchy name, and they're looking for beta testers in all the most popular sites: MySpace, AOL, MSN, Yahoo, etc... Go, Hulu, go!! (54 points, 19 comments)
    5. ‘The First’ Teaser: First Look At Sean Penn In Hulu Space Drama Series (34 points, 12 comments)
    6. The 75 Best TV Shows on Hulu Right Now (Great stuff here!) (28 points, 19 comments)
    7. Hulu Live is great, and the Live Guide works well, but... (21 points, 32 comments)
    8. What To Watch On Hulu That’s New This Week (21 points, 5 comments)
    9. What's new on Hulu for August 2018... Take a gander! (17 points, 13 comments)
    10. How to Watch Tour de France Final Stages Online Without Cable (14 points, 0 comments)
  3. 302 points, 8 submissions: HuluDeb
    1. You asked, it’s here: Live Guide available now! (100 points, 82 comments)
    2. 60 FPS UPDATE: More Channels and Devices Added! (77 points, 64 comments)
    3. JUST LAUNCHED: Our Spring update for mobile is here 👀 (36 points, 62 comments)
    4. New month, new records, new private beta invites (oh my!) (33 points, 21 comments)
    5. May top commenters, it’s your turn - welcome to private beta! (21 points, 17 comments)
    6. New month, new private beta invites (21 points, 17 comments)
    7. New private beta invites are here 👀 (7 points, 13 comments)
    8. Welcome to private beta, April top commenters! (7 points, 3 comments)
  4. 230 points, 5 submissions: 08830
    1. Hulu Inks Viacom Licensing Deal, Lands Exclusive Streaming Rights to ‘Daria’ and Other Shows (99 points, 30 comments)
    2. Hulu.com redesign launches tomorrow (63 points, 37 comments)
    3. UnReal Moves From Lifetime to Hulu For Its Final Season, Which Is Streaming Now (44 points, 1 comment)
    4. Hulu Live is now on LG Smart TVs (16 points, 7 comments)
    5. Hulu Live (kinda) integrating with Apple TV app (8 points, 1 comment)
  5. 202 points, 3 submissions: LooseSealLooseSeal
    1. Hulu, please pick up at least one of Fox's dropped comedies. (139 points, 45 comments)
    2. A lot of new features, including a "Stop suggesting" button! (52 points, 11 comments)
    3. Has anyone else used the new FXNow? It has the EXACT same design as Hulu. (11 points, 8 comments)
  6. 141 points, 1 submission: filmgeekvt
    1. Anyone else finding themselves spending far more time in Hulu than Netflix these days? (141 points, 73 comments)
  7. 128 points, 1 submission: NobodyByChoice
    1. Do the folks who keep redesigning the Hulu GUI never actually use hulu? (128 points, 41 comments)
  8. 126 points, 4 submissions: Paper_Coyote
    1. ‘Castle Rock’ Renewed for Season 2, Hulu Boss Talks Expanding Stephen King Universe (76 points, 17 comments)
    2. Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles” TV Series Heads To Hulu (34 points, 9 comments)
    3. WATE ABC Knoxville TN added to Hulu Live. (8 points, 3 comments)
    4. tvOS update 5.26 adds additional filters to the live guide. (8 points, 1 comment)
  9. 118 points, 1 submission: fizolu
    1. Video not available in this location (118 points, 202 comments)
  10. 109 points, 1 submission: anonRedd
    1. Rick and Morty Season 3 Coming June 23 (109 points, 8 comments)
  11. 100 points, 5 submissions: tsheley
    1. HBO for $4.99 for 6 months (86 points, 55 comments)
    2. Additional HBO Channels (7 points, 6 comments)
    3. HBO Add On (4 points, 4 comments)
    4. Seems all HBO Channels are now streaming live! (3 points, 4 comments)
    5. Has the skipping on the AppleTV app been fixed? (0 points, 5 comments)
  12. 98 points, 1 submission: pitchfork82
    1. MASH is now on Hulu (98 points, 29 comments)
  13. 89 points, 9 submissions: JustifiablyAwesome
    1. Anyone else excited about HULU releasing it's new original Castle Rock!??! (35 points, 9 comments)
    2. Disappearing NBC ?? (15 points, 9 comments)
    3. Live TV guide on FireTV (8 points, 1 comment)
    4. Any way to sync across platforms ?? (7 points, 6 comments)
    5. Problem setting shows to record via Live TV DVR (7 points, 4 comments)
    6. Hulu Originals releasing next month... (6 points, 6 comments)
    7. Hulu's "Castle Rock" premiers July 25th!! (5 points, 5 comments)
    8. Hulu Announces Strategic Reorganization... (3 points, 10 comments)
    9. Movies have no way to "stop recording" ?? (3 points, 7 comments)
  14. 88 points, 1 submission: sunny_duncan
    1. Save the last man on earth (88 points, 28 comments)
  15. 80 points, 2 submissions: Eradik
    1. Price change for Showtime Add-On (to 10.99 a month) (61 points, 24 comments)
    2. New iOS update adds new guide views, auto play clips, and more (19 points, 5 comments)
  16. 80 points, 1 submission: techt1m
    1. Hulu Pulled Rosanne.... (80 points, 88 comments)
  17. 75 points, 3 submissions: johnnyvisionary
    1. Hey Hulu, great job! (54 points, 27 comments)
    2. Is it possible to add uS men's national soccer team to my Hulu "teams" lineup? (15 points, 7 comments)
    3. Anthony Bourdain parts unknown (6 points, 1 comment)
  18. 74 points, 4 submissions: jmwebb22
    1. Hulu Live is underrated (57 points, 75 comments)
    2. DIRECTV Now adds NFL Network (10 points, 3 comments)
    3. Logging into Network apps with Hulu credentials (7 points, 2 comments)
    4. Hulu Grade (0 points, 5 comments)
  19. 72 points, 1 submission: RagsMaloney
    1. I wish Hulu would make clear which movies are uncut vs. recut for commercials (72 points, 19 comments)
  20. 59 points, 2 submissions: Archmagnus
    1. THANK YOU, Hulu! The CW is now LIVE!!! (44 points, 34 comments)
    2. Live Guide on Fire TV with 4K and Alexa Remote? (15 points, 16 comments)
  21. 59 points, 1 submission: DROG0
    1. Viacom's CFO Says They Hope to Be on Hulu & YouTube TV (59 points, 11 comments)
  22. 53 points, 1 submission: Uncle_Crash
    1. More Letterkenny please! (53 points, 21 comments)
  23. 52 points, 1 submission: shabuluba
    1. Spotify and Hulu Team Up for Joint $12.99 Subscription Plan (52 points, 34 comments)
  24. 51 points, 1 submission: Mitch2025
    1. Hulu needs to send an email to the "old" email account when updating it and not the new (51 points, 2 comments)
  25. 51 points, 1 submission: WinDateTadHam
    1. Letterkenny On Hulu, A Small-Town Comedy With Big-Time Laughs (51 points, 12 comments)
  26. 51 points, 1 submission: miggitymikeb
    1. Hulu has rolled out 5.1 Surround Sound on Xbox One and PS4 (51 points, 26 comments)
  27. 46 points, 2 submissions: itsabadbadworld
    1. Are you KIDDING ME!? (45 points, 16 comments)
    2. NBC NHL Finals Game 5 terrible? (1 point, 4 comments)
  28. 46 points, 1 submission: CarolinianRevolution
    1. Hulu Is on Track to Lose $1.5 Billion in 2018 (46 points, 23 comments)
  29. 46 points, 1 submission: Leo1037
    1. Hulu down? (46 points, 29 comments)
  30. 43 points, 1 submission: miquelon
    1. I binge-watched the original Kojak (43 points, 10 comments)
  31. 42 points, 5 submissions: dabadguycr
    1. I like the new Hulu Website but its really missing some key features i hope they bring with the full launch. (17 points, 8 comments)
    2. Is there any way to remove the Showtime stuff from Hulu? (13 points, 11 comments)
    3. Anyone else having issues with Chrome? I login then it logs me right back out. (8 points, 10 comments)
    4. Hulu Quality Keeps Changing To Auto on Chrome Browser (Windows 10). (3 points, 6 comments)
    5. I keep getting logged off whenever i try to watch anything. (1 point, 6 comments)
  32. 42 points, 2 submissions: xxxCRACKERxxx
    1. I love Hulu! (39 points, 15 comments)
    2. Live TV guide for 3rd GEN Firetv? (3 points, 0 comments)
  33. 42 points, 1 submission: mitstaguee
    1. Hulu, please let me build my own TV station. (42 points, 15 comments)
  34. 40 points, 10 submissions: vincent48895
    1. Local Fox MIA! (11 points, 6 comments)
    2. Solved! Incorrect Local Fox (8 points, 6 comments)
    3. Hulu on Apple tv4k (5 points, 7 comments)
    4. Streaming Quality Improved? (4 points, 16 comments)
    5. Permanently delete programs from ”My Stuff”? (3 points, 4 comments)
    6. Very Disappointed with Live TV! (3 points, 16 comments)
    7. Roku pause/rw/ff live tv function is better than ATV’s (2 points, 3 comments)
    8. YTTV World Cup Meltdown! (2 points, 3 comments)
    9. Apple TV remote tips (1 point, 4 comments)
    10. New Modem and Now Wrong Local Fox! (1 point, 8 comments)
  35. 40 points, 4 submissions: boozcruz81
    1. Does the $4.99 HBO end today? (18 points, 21 comments)
    2. Anyone else extremely disappointed that Hulu doesn’t have AMC? (13 points, 5 comments)
    3. Not all too impressed with the Fire TV cube app version. (8 points, 9 comments)
    4. So there’s a live guide on the Fire TV 1st and 2nd gen, but not the 4K? (1 point, 7 comments)
  36. 40 points, 1 submission: thepinkviper
    1. Anyone else having major buffering issues? (40 points, 25 comments)
  37. 39 points, 1 submission: EdAnt
    1. New Roku interface (39 points, 17 comments)
  38. 39 points, 1 submission: tacodesiac
    1. What is Thermostat Wars and why is it in the kids section? 🤔 (39 points, 9 comments)
  39. 38 points, 1 submission: black094
    1. Why tf are they taking off Aqua Teen Hunger Force????? (38 points, 25 comments)
  40. 36 points, 1 submission: cincysportsfan
    1. Fargo Season 3 is live (36 points, 7 comments)
  41. 35 points, 1 submission: Juan_Ball
    1. MAS*H is finally on Hulu! (35 points, 6 comments)
  42. 35 points, 1 submission: Nintendork316
    1. Future Man (2017): Sci-Fi / Hulu Original (35 points, 17 comments)
  43. 34 points, 2 submissions: Dlinefivenine
    1. Shows Automatically close near the end of a show (18 points, 2 comments)
    2. Hulu on Nintendo Switch is Much Better Than Chromecast (16 points, 3 comments)
  44. 34 points, 1 submission: PlayboyCG
    1. Does Netflix own the skip intro feature? (34 points, 13 comments)
  45. 32 points, 1 submission: dest64
    1. Originals (32 points, 10 comments)
  46. 32 points, 1 submission: rockstang
    1. Really impressed With Live Service (32 points, 23 comments)
  47. 31 points, 2 submissions: throwawayyyyyyyy888
    1. Hulu now remembers user name on Roku (19 points, 5 comments)
    2. Hulu Autoplay used to be the best (12 points, 6 comments)
  48. 31 points, 1 submission: buhoo115
    1. Castle rock (31 points, 19 comments)
  49. 30 points, 2 submissions: thoruen
    1. Feature request, mark as viewed. (28 points, 11 comments)
    2. My Hero Academia dubs disappeared (2 points, 2 comments)
  50. 30 points, 1 submission: Cluelessgamer44
    1. How do I disable this tiny screen that shows up after each episode (30 points, 8 comments)
  51. 30 points, 1 submission: FalconEVO
    1. Did anyone else notice that Hulu rather silently rolled out 5.1 on Xbox One? (30 points, 12 comments)
  52. 29 points, 3 submissions: Pre-Code
    1. Hulu Live on AppleTV & iPad. Sheesh! (15 points, 18 comments)
    2. Hulu Live Weird problems fixed? (8 points, 7 comments)
    3. PJ Masks wont go away! (6 points, 6 comments)
  53. 29 points, 1 submission: Hadfromthetown
    1. Thank you hulu! (29 points, 0 comments)
  54. 28 points, 1 submission: FrightFries
    1. Texas Chainsaw massacre 2 (28 points, 4 comments)
  55. 28 points, 1 submission: Xyot826
    1. Saw they brought the Matrix Trilogy to hulu recently. Go on hulu today and its gone (28 points, 12 comments)
  56. 28 points, 1 submission: alexanders8216
    1. Roku now has guide (28 points, 8 comments)
  57. 27 points, 1 submission: SMoonNY
    1. Local NBC (WKTV) added this week, CBS and FOX also available in Utica, NY. Goodbye Spectrum! (27 points, 4 comments)
  58. 26 points, 1 submission: Wile__E__Coyote
    1. ‘Light as a Feather’: Horror Series Adaptation Ordered at Hulu (26 points, 2 comments)
  59. 25 points, 3 submissions: mwalimu59
    1. Things I'm wondering about the forthcoming offline viewing capability (14 points, 10 comments)
    2. When seasons are added... (8 points, 2 comments)
    3. Buffering issues (3 points, 22 comments)
  60. 25 points, 2 submissions: Foxy-Knoxy
    1. Hulu has all Friday Night Lights Episodes Streaming Now (20 points, 0 comments)
    2. Hulu Passes on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (5 points, 2 comments)
  61. 25 points, 2 submissions: blahsi
    1. PS4 2.00 update - sound issues (22 points, 19 comments)
    2. NYPD Blue - All 12 seasons now available! (3 points, 3 comments)
  62. 25 points, 1 submission: YouSaidWut
    1. Small rant about Seinfeld in HULU.. (25 points, 28 comments)
  63. 25 points, 1 submission: cpne
    1. Live TV Guide (25 points, 3 comments)
  64. 25 points, 1 submission: evil_INDEED
    1. Poor buffering and quality drops all of a sudden (25 points, 9 comments)
  65. 25 points, 1 submission: human6742
    1. If I have Hulu with no commercials now ($13) will I have the same thing plus live TV if I switch to Hulu Live TV? (25 points, 26 comments)
  66. 24 points, 1 submission: Kanchome
    1. I havent been on hulu for awhile...so when did this happen? (24 points, 7 comments)
  67. 24 points, 1 submission: bound2upsetu
    1. "Just a moment while we gather what's new..." (24 points, 3 comments)
  68. 24 points, 1 submission: matthew_l_t
    1. beIN SPORTS (24 points, 11 comments)
  69. 24 points, 1 submission: thevatsavitsa
    1. When will hulu update its library of shows? (24 points, 10 comments)
  70. 23 points, 9 submissions: bdgofish
    1. Live Guide Review (9 points, 13 comments)
    2. Hulu Live on AppleTV 4 (3 points, 2 comments)
    3. Is my logic sound? (3 points, 5 comments)
    4. AppleTV 4k (2 points, 3 comments)
    5. Local Live Affiliates (2 points, 1 comment)
    6. My Live Streaming experience to date (2 points, 18 comments)
    7. Hulu live experience (1 point, 2 comments)
    8. Live Guide Issue (1 point, 0 comments)
    9. Espn live networks not showing up (0 points, 1 comment)
  71. 23 points, 4 submissions: JonyTones
    1. What Hulu Original do you enjoy the most? (15 points, 48 comments)
    2. If Hulu Live had the DirecTV Now guide (3 points, 8 comments)
    3. When watching live tv, our ruku restarts. (3 points, 2 comments)
    4. Recoding live TV (2 points, 2 comments)
  72. 23 points, 2 submissions: Jaques_Strappe
    1. NBC Sports California a Local channel in TN? (13 points, 6 comments)
    2. HulU commercial free and live TV (10 points, 8 comments)
  73. 23 points, 1 submission: JoeChronic707
    1. Hulu on PS4: Blinking Green on Screen during scene changes. (23 points, 8 comments)
  74. 23 points, 1 submission: SHOW-ME-SOURCES
    1. How to change the subtitle settings on Roku? (23 points, 5 comments)
  75. 23 points, 1 submission: iJerm
    1. The shield is finally in Full HD! (23 points, 7 comments)
  76. 23 points, 1 submission: jonsteinberg
    1. Cheddar Coming to Hulu (23 points, 15 comments)
  77. 23 points, 1 submission: kaybea4
    1. Comcast is trying to gain control of HULU via takeover. (23 points, 9 comments)
  78. 23 points, 1 submission: melvinmaya
    1. Streaming on Amazon Prime, Hulu and Netflix in August 2018 (23 points, 6 comments)
  79. 22 points, 1 submission: btcraig97
    1. 3 second Skipping (22 points, 49 comments)
  80. 22 points, 1 submission: morgueanna
    1. Beyond frustrated with my beta experience so far (22 points, 5 comments)
  81. 22 points, 1 submission: swr2000
    1. Can't login (22 points, 17 comments)
  82. 22 points, 1 submission: tarajack82
    1. My Hulu Live is not syncing correctly. Voice and audio is off. It’s only happening on Roku tv. Apple TV and Ipad works fine. Any solutions? (22 points, 7 comments)
  83. 21 points, 2 submissions: ShadsuX
    1. [US] Tron Uprising cartoon Expiring soon on Hulu (21 points, 5 comments)
    2. Hulu on Roku and some movies and tv shows are now showing No content available. (0 points, 2 comments)
  84. 21 points, 1 submission: 1isthenumber
    1. Considering getting Hulu with Live TV for my dad. His favorite is the Golf Channel. How easy is it to record most golf tournaments? What's that process like? (21 points, 18 comments)
  85. 21 points, 1 submission: Albert71292
    1. Old interface back On Roku Ultra (21 points, 30 comments)
  86. 21 points, 1 submission: badvegas
    1. Episodes out of order. My hero academia (21 points, 12 comments)
  87. 21 points, 1 submission: laserbot
    1. Remove "TV-MA" from the screen? (21 points, 17 comments)
  88. 21 points, 1 submission: lemonheader
    1. Watch on appleTV is full of junk (21 points, 9 comments)
  89. 21 points, 1 submission: mjpuczko
    1. Trying Hulu Live again (21 points, 23 comments)
  90. 21 points, 1 submission: xwt-timster
    1. Hulu no longer available on old Roku devices (21 points, 8 comments)
  91. 21 points, 1 submission: z06gal
    1. New to Hulu live tv and love it (21 points, 14 comments)
  92. 20 points, 2 submissions: Spikemuffin72
    1. Small annoyance... (19 points, 6 comments)
    2. Guide Update (1 point, 1 comment)
  93. 20 points, 1 submission: Ballpoint-Pun
    1. What’s the point of Cloud DVR? (20 points, 19 comments)
  94. 20 points, 1 submission: Bestmatsonearth
    1. Just got Hulu again. Anything good? (20 points, 66 comments)
  95. 20 points, 1 submission: KMDaddy
    1. Wings... (20 points, 4 comments)
  96. 20 points, 1 submission: LudensDude
    1. Any news on updated Hulu for AndroidTV? (20 points, 14 comments)
  97. 20 points, 1 submission: YourUrban
    1. Spotify and Hulu Team up for Joint Subscription Plan (20 points, 10 comments)
  98. 20 points, 1 submission: bakerfall
    1. Hulu Live when travelling (20 points, 10 comments)
  99. 20 points, 1 submission: chaotic
    1. New Hulu Live guide on Fire TV 3rd gen! (20 points, 8 comments)
  100. 19 points, 5 submissions: Leonardosmom
    1. Question on Hulu with live tv (8 points, 10 comments)
    2. Still trying to decide (4 points, 5 comments)
    3. CBS shows (3 points, 6 comments)
    4. Question on Hulu with live tv. (3 points, 2 comments)
    5. Hulu not working on my iPhone. (1 point, 3 comments)

Top Commenters

  1. akmcbroom (392 points, 182 comments)
  2. Foobar789 (377 points, 166 comments)
  3. jmwebb22 (350 points, 119 comments)
  4. JustifiablyAwesome (342 points, 184 comments)
  5. WarpSeven (304 points, 134 comments)
  6. anonRedd (261 points, 78 comments)
  7. bdgofish (235 points, 134 comments)
  8. Paper_Coyote (191 points, 60 comments)
  9. Nintendork316 (144 points, 63 comments)
  10. atan420 (142 points, 48 comments)
  11. Talrynn_Sorrowyn (137 points, 33 comments)
  12. filmgeekvt (129 points, 42 comments)
  13. undergroundmma (116 points, 58 comments)
  14. Kuckucksuhr (116 points, 38 comments)
  15. Fangadora (116 points, 1 comment)
  16. TheJackal8 (113 points, 56 comments)
  17. trexmoflex (105 points, 2 comments)
  18. miggitymikeb (102 points, 33 comments)
  19. NobodyByChoice (91 points, 34 comments)
  20. 197708156EQUJ5 (90 points, 31 comments)
  21. bryanesler (85 points, 33 comments)
  22. LooseSealLooseSeal (85 points, 28 comments)
  23. oddlygood (85 points, 27 comments)
  24. theescapeshow (84 points, 29 comments)
  25. Kougeru (82 points, 31 comments)
  26. Goweschon (81 points, 27 comments)
  27. 5ykes (76 points, 13 comments)
  28. ProgrammaticallyDot9 (75 points, 38 comments)
  29. sudifirjfhfjvicodke (73 points, 11 comments)
  30. vincent48895 (71 points, 39 comments)
  31. WagonsFullofBands (70 points, 21 comments)
  32. ClockworkSeraphim (70 points, 11 comments)
  33. tommytimbertoes (68 points, 44 comments)
  34. kirker187 (67 points, 27 comments)
  35. JonyTones (66 points, 24 comments)
  36. splsplinter24 (65 points, 4 comments)
  37. mreed911 (64 points, 20 comments)
  38. perfectviking (57 points, 22 comments)
  39. HuluDeb (57 points, 15 comments)
  40. logicbus (56 points, 27 comments)
  41. Nebor (56 points, 2 comments)
  42. johnnyvisionary (55 points, 25 comments)
  43. LucyKendrick (54 points, 3 comments)
  44. boozcruz81 (53 points, 18 comments)
  45. sgd1031 (51 points, 22 comments)
  46. WraithTDK (51 points, 17 comments)
  47. Pre-Code (50 points, 26 comments)
  48. rasta41 (50 points, 9 comments)
  49. Sunburn79 (48 points, 3 comments)
  50. enjoytheshow (47 points, 24 comments)
  51. stilesja (47 points, 18 comments)
  52. thankful_lotus (47 points, 18 comments)
  53. HulkSmash313 (47 points, 5 comments)
  54. BubbleFred (46 points, 25 comments)
  55. BeginningCranberry (46 points, 6 comments)
  56. SeaOfXbox (46 points, 5 comments)
  57. Izauze (45 points, 19 comments)
  58. DexterP17 (42 points, 19 comments)
  59. rabid_fiend (41 points, 19 comments)
  60. TeamStark31 (41 points, 11 comments)
  61. BlueGreenMikey (41 points, 1 comment)
  62. andyb0218 (40 points, 19 comments)
  63. llDasll (40 points, 15 comments)
  64. dadkingdom (40 points, 1 comment)
  65. Archmagnus (39 points, 29 comments)
  66. throwawayyyyyyyy888 (39 points, 16 comments)
  67. minnick27 (39 points, 9 comments)
  68. GreatScottTX (39 points, 7 comments)
  69. NCcoach (38 points, 18 comments)
  70. 5_on_the_floor (37 points, 24 comments)
  71. CocoaMotive (37 points, 3 comments)
  72. EyesLikeBuscemi (37 points, 3 comments)
  73. vyktorjonas (37 points, 1 comment)
  74. splintersmaster (36 points, 8 comments)
  75. Eradik (36 points, 5 comments)
  76. corectlyspelled (35 points, 6 comments)
  77. lonelypepperoni (35 points, 4 comments)
  78. 4_8_l5_l6_23_42 (35 points, 1 comment)
  79. scottISdead (34 points, 21 comments)
  80. strikeMang (34 points, 21 comments)
  81. pezzygal (34 points, 15 comments)
  82. Nobody_Knows_It (34 points, 9 comments)
  83. GOMPERxSTOMPER (34 points, 2 comments)
  84. Haddman37 (33 points, 25 comments)
  85. Y2Bogus (33 points, 24 comments)
  86. StuffSuch (33 points, 10 comments)
  87. PM_ME_THEM_UPTOPS (33 points, 8 comments)
  88. vitorizzo (33 points, 4 comments)
  89. read_it_r (33 points, 2 comments)
  90. kijib (32 points, 12 comments)
  91. MTAEGoslar (32 points, 10 comments)
  92. itsamilky (32 points, 10 comments)
  93. Matt_XY (32 points, 6 comments)
  94. heather80 (32 points, 2 comments)
  95. psufan5 (31 points, 25 comments)
  96. Dlinefivenine (31 points, 20 comments)
  97. thin_king980 (31 points, 8 comments)
  98. tsheley (30 points, 10 comments)
  99. alexanders8216 (29 points, 17 comments)
  100. teckn9ne79 (29 points, 15 comments)

Top Submissions

  1. Hulu is getting a ‘Stop Suggesting’ button so you can hide its recommendations by WarpSeven (162 points, 22 comments)
  2. Anyone else finding themselves spending far more time in Hulu than Netflix these days? by filmgeekvt (141 points, 73 comments)
  3. Hulu, please pick up at least one of Fox's dropped comedies. by LooseSealLooseSeal (139 points, 45 comments)
  4. Hulu passes 20 million subscribers, will finally offer offline viewing by WarpSeven (132 points, 22 comments)
  5. Do the folks who keep redesigning the Hulu GUI never actually use hulu? by NobodyByChoice (128 points, 41 comments)
  6. Video not available in this location by fizolu (118 points, 202 comments)
  7. Rick and Morty Season 3 Coming June 23 by anonRedd (109 points, 8 comments)
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[Table] IAmA founder of a reddit-launched website that was just named one of Time's 50 Best Websites AMA

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2013-05-28
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Link to my post
Questions Answers
I want to do the same but i keep holding myself back,How scary was the launch? It was honestly terrifying. I had spent so much time working on the site (some days sitting 8AM - 3AM on my laptop!), and I was really scared it would just flop.. It was like jumping into a swimming pool after months of training and not knowing if it was full of clear blue water or concrete.
At the time, I was using a shared hosting plan with InMotion Hosting for about $8.00 a month. It was even called the "Power Plan." As you probably can imagine, the server melted within the first 5 minutes of being on reddit.. That was a nightmare.
Overall, it was a really incredible learning experience that gave me a complete crash course on web servers, caching, CDNs, load balancers and a lot more techy terms I had never heard of.
I think the scariest part was that I knew how amazing of an opportunity reddit was giving me, but I was scared I wasn't capitalizing to the fullest extent. In the end, the reddit community was really supportive and I received a tremendous amount of useful feedback and insight. The exposure even snowballed into a ton of tech news PR!
EDIT: Had another thought.. :)
Thanks thats one of my main worries, I think i have a unique service and i fear either the site will melt (I'm using weebly) or ill get down-voted into oblivion.Thanks for the inspiration its time for me too man up grow a beard and get on with it. You'll never know until you try. Every person who visits your service is a tremendous resource for feedback and insight. Just make sure to have a direct way to collect thoughts from visitors. I've found that using Olark to chat with visitors is extremely useful in that regard.
And about the beard..
Who did you end up hosting with? We are looking into Pagoda Box or just using Amazon's EC2. I started with InMotion Hosting and had a really bad experience. We're now with Rackspace, and they've been excellent.
Thanks for the inspiration I'm still working on the beard but i think im ready to publish can i send you a link to see what you think? You definitely can! Feel free to send me a PM.
I noticed reading through your FAQs that you offer the ability to preorder successfully funded projects (keeping the makers with more revenue during the development process which i'm sure can help some of them). I think the biggest reason for the backlash is that project creators sometimes don't communicate properly with backers. As a backer of the Pen Type-A project, I saw firsthand just how crazy manufacturing a new product can get. Despite waiting over a year to receive my reward, I was completely understanding of the the designers CW&T because they kept me in the loop throughout the entire process. There wasn't months of silence only to hear about another screwup. They kept their backers informed throughout all the craziness. In the end, they delivered a beautifully designed product, and I'd back them again. To answer your question more particularly about Outgrow.me, at the moment, we generally don't process pre-orders directly through the site. Instead we direct customers to where they can place the pre-order. We're working on getting a pre-order system set up where your credit card isn't charged until the order ships. I hope to have that up sometime next month.
As someone with almost zero web dev experience other than modifying a bunch of Twitter Bootstrap templates, what do you suggest is the best way to learn web dev and launch a site for an absolute beginner? I've found Codecademy to be an incredible resource. Unlike many sites with tutorial videos, it offers a really interactive, hands-on learning experience. I think the best way to learn (and how I did it myself) is to use Codecademy while simultaneously working on a project. That way, while you're learning, you can actually see how it can be applied. At the same time, online communities like stackoverflow and reddit (/learnprogramming /HTML /csshelp ) are extremely supportive and can give you guidance when you get stuck.
Oh, and you can even read my Codecademy interview :)
To add on to his question a bit what programming languages do you think are most important to know? It really depends what you're trying to accomplish. After a basic overview of HTML and CSS, JavaScript and Jquery are essential to any web dev project. From there, I think Ruby on Rails is a fantastic programming language to learn. I've had a really great time with it thus far.
What percentage of your success do you attribute to your beard? A much larger percentage than you'd think! I usually interact with people via email or on the phone, but when I meet people in person I always see the look of surprise on their face. They do not expect to see a bearded Jewish guy in a tailored suit working in something as hight tech as crowdfunding.. Once we start talking though, the response I get is always positive, and I think people respect me even more for shattering their expectations.
TL;DR I try to capitalize on people's prejudices.
How much of the web development and technical stuff did you do yourself and how much was done by experienced programmers that you brought in? I'm planning on launching a site but I'm a bit nervous because even though I have a decent amount of programming experience my web development skills are still in their infancy (especially since I'm a back end guy and know almost nothing about frontend development). Also, what sort of technical stack are you using? Thanks for the AMA! I pretty much did everything myself from development to design to UI. At the start, I tried hiring developers on sites like Odesk to help me fix bugs. Looking back, I ended up paying ridiculous amounts of money to incompetent developers to try and fix things I can now fix within a few minutes..
I personally think that the right way to go is to launch and then bring on help if you need it. Once you can prove the concept, you should have a much easier time bringing on a second developer.
If you do need front-end help with design, try /Design_Critiques. That sub is very supportive, and I received a lot of incredible feedback there.
While it doesn't look like it at first glance, the site's written in PHP with WordPress. I'm in the process of switching over to a Rails platform pretty soon though (hopefully).
Why are you planning to switch to Rails Rails offers a lot more flexibility to build out custom features. A platform like WordPress requires never-ending plugins that make the site really bulky and sluggish.
How did you go about the actual reddit intro? (Link to your original intro post?) Here's the original reddit post.
Would you have done the intro any different? Something I regret is not initially having a way to capture the initial waves of visitors I received. At the time, I was so overwhelmed with getting the site up and running that I didn't have any social media setup or even an email newsletter. That was definitely a mistake.
Also, did you concurrently introduce yourself via email/TwitteFaceBook/etc... to other channels? (online mags, professional bloggers, ???) and if so what was or was not efective for you and why? At the same time, while we have now have a number of Facebook and Twitter followers, not much of our revenue is generated through social media.
It seems like once one has a site up and running you want to get the word out about yourself as explosively as possible, and I'm wondering if you explored other channels besides reddit. I definitely think it's important to be explosive about getting exposure before a competitor launches and steals your thunder. In my case, the exposure definitely snowballed from article to article. At the same time, reaching out to writers offered little return on time. It seems like you really need an "in" to get any attention with them.
Having read the original post, do you still feel that Twitter Bootstrap would have been your development tool of choice? I definitely think it's worth taking advantage of any resources that allow you to get up and running quickly. My only hesitation with Twitter Bootstrap is that you often end up with a very template-looking site. If you're looking to get started with Bootstrap, take a look at wrapbootstrap.
lastly I gotta ask - your comments about "not much $$$ from social media" (I assume you mean from AdSense of the like). What is your primary business model? Do you add a percentage/fee on transactions for providing a one-stop-shop for people so they don't have to scour around for the project developer's website? The primary business model is that we warehouse many of our most popular products and sell them directly to customers. You can check them out here. You'll notice all of these products have a little W in the corner, representing that we have them in stock.
How much has competition been a factor? I see on the site that it says "first marketplace". Has there been another sites trying to do what you do? If so, how has been reacting to the competition? I ask, because I plan on starting my own web service that currently has an up-and-coming competitor. Initially I was scared people with real development experience would come along and build superior sites, but that never happened. Don't get me wrong, there are at least a half a dozen sites that are trying to work in the same space as Outgrow.me, but none have been successful. I think the reason why I've managed to stand apart is that I focus completely on providing a great customer experience and a product of value to my partners. I focus first on trying to build something awesome and second on how to pay the bills. That's why Outgrow.me has close to 500 projects while the other sites trying to compete have closer to 50.
No matter what you do, you'll always have competition. I try not to look at what others are doing but to focus on what I believe needs to be done. While it is important to know what's going on in your space, it's sometimes more important not to let what others are doing turn you away from your core values.
Thank you so much for your response! Your advice really did help. I'd love to stay in contact and get your advice/mentoring in the future through the start-up process if that would be something you'd be willing to do :). It would be my pleasure. Just shoot me a PM anytime.
I always have a friends and family asking me how they can implement their business ideas on the web and smartphones. I usually recommend they learn how to code first and send them to CodeAcademy. Do you think learning how to code (even knowing the basics) should be a prerequisite for anyone starting a tech business these days? Do you think you would have had the same success if you didn't learn how to code and just hire some programmers? I definitely think it's critical to either have some web dev experience yourself or to have a co-founder that has experience. I never would have been able to succeed without it. When you hire a developer, especially off a site like Odesk or Freelancer, you're really at their mercy. You have no idea what they're talking about, how long things should take, what's possible, what isn't possible, and importantly what it should cost. That really limits what you're able to accomplish.
How many hours per week do you work on this idea? I probably work somewhere around 55 - 60 hours a week. I don't keep to much of a schedule.
For products that have already launched, do you hold inventory? I see some products refer directly to your merchant's website, how do you monetize on these items? We don't hold inventory of every product, but you can see the ones we have here. We don't monetize every item. Most of the outbound links have no affiliate setup. Our goal is to provide a great customer experience by showcasing as many projects as possible, instead of just the ones we can monetize. In the end, customers appreciate the wide selection, and that lets us take into inventory more and more products. Plus, it's nice to hear the sound of surprise when designers hear we'll showcase their project for free! :)
Great stuff and thanks for the AMA! Can you tell us what shopping cart software/plugin you use or used with Wordpress when you first started, and would you still recommend it? Finding a shopping cart that would integrate well with WordPress was a huge hassle. After trying dozens of plugins that didn't work very well, I tried to integrate Balanced Payments which turned out to be far too difficult for a complete novice. I then gave PayPal embedded buttons a try and that worked OK for a little while. The trouble was that it forced customers to checkout on a separate site..
At the moment, we're using WePay for our checkout and I highly recommend it. It's easy to setup and super convenient.
I've never heard of your site before and, by coincidence, was thinking the other day that there needs to be a "successful" kickstarter site given that kickstarter themselves doesn't offer that simple filter function. So your site is awesome. I especially like that you can filter "orderable" from "pre-orderable". The tile layout is great: a simple photo; description and price on hover! I'd suggest the following sorts: "date of orderable launch"; popularity (voting directly on your site??); sort by units shipped. I'm definitely working on the sorting feature. I'm thinking along the same lines as you, but to include sort by amount of money raised, number of backers, site popularity, and the like. I'll definitely keep your recommendations in mind, so thank you!
Did you email Lifehacker, Wired, and those other websites? I email about 40 sites about my iPad app The Photo Journal, but hardly heard anything back. Any trick to get featured? I didn't have any luck randomly emailing news sites. What I have had luck with is finding articles relevant to my startup and emailing those particular writers directly. Best of luck!
How many of these kickstarter projects have you tried? Follow up: which were your favorites? I've tried a couple hundred. Best part of my job! :)
Some favorites are the MaKey MaKey, Ostrich Pillow, Mason Shaker, Griz Coat and if you haven't played Zombicide or Cards Against Humanity you're really missing out..
Cards against humanity got its start from your website? Cards Against Humanity didn't start on my site but on Kickstarter.
Was it difficult to get a business license or tax ID? Do you recommend getting a PO box address to use? Also, are you drop-shipping or stocking inventory and shipping on your own? Great site by the way, made me wish I thought of this! Not at all. It's super easy to get a tax ID online, and I used Clerky to register my corporation. I'm currently renting an office and warehouse in Brooklyn, as we stock most of the items we well.
How do you make money? Many of the products on the site are ones we hold in inventory and allow you to purchase directly. You can see them here. You'll notice they all have a little W logo in the corner to show that we have them in stock and sell direct.
Thank you for the ama. can you talk about how you went about getting recognition? did you email editors? I have a startup that's launching at the end of summer and we're nervous about just getting our name out there. A reddit post can work wonders. In our case, a bunch of editors picked up the story on their own after seeing it on reddit. Another method I've found to be effective is to look out for articles relevant to what you're building and then drop the writers a message about what you're building and why you think it would interest them.
I'd like to say congratulations to you for your success. I'm in a similar position with an idea I'm in love with and now I'm just trying to gain as much knowledge as I possibly can to properly develop it. For my question, what was your target level of completion before launching? Did you try to launch already as fully equipped to handle everything as possible, or did you launch simple and then try to shift the site to the needs of the user base? How did you decide you were ready to go live? My target level was as soon as the site functioned. As soon as someone could visit and find some use for the site, I launched. I didn't wait until everything was perfect but worked to perfect it along the way. Looking back, I definitely see the tremendous value in building out a site while taking feedback from users. It allows you to include features people want and not waste time building features no one cares about.
Yeah that would be my thinking as well. It clearly worked out for you. I guess the only catch to that thinking is you need to make sure your site is good enough at launch to leave a positive first impression. I think that's why it's really great to take advantage of subreddits like /design_critques and /startups. That way you can get feedback before an official launch. Those communities are extremely supportive and offer excellent constructive criticism.
I find your site stylistically appealing, it has a very natural flow to it. Is the site's current form close to what you originally intended? Thank you! I designed it myself with a lot of hard work, so I appreciate the occasional pat on the back :)
The design and layout have definitely come a very long way. Because I worked on the design while the site was live, I was able to take feedback I was receiving from visitors and implement it directly. I never rolled out huge changes but instead rolled out small updates every day. That let me pull back features people didn't like and double down on the features people appreciated. The site is really a product of the Outgrow.me community.
So how do you manage to not work on shabbat? teach us all how to disconnect for 24 hours please in the restless world of tech/entrepreneurship I have to say that I'm never more at peace than on Friday night when I turn off my computer and cell phone. It's a complete sense of calm and tranquility. It's my one day to recharge my batteries and get ready for a new week. Jewish or not, I think it's extremely important to take some time off from the work grind and enjoy yourself and your family. You'd be amazed at the wonders it can do.
What are your thoughts on equity crowdfunding? In terms of potential, problems, etc. I think there's a tremendous amount of potential there. The trouble is that the SEC doesn't seem to be committed to moving forward on it. They still haven't even provided a timetable. It's hard to say what problems equity crowdfunding may run into before the SEC introduces the rules and regulations that the crowdfunding platforms will have to abide by. I'm optimistic though!
Where on reddit did you post it? In tech categories only? What do you think helped you the most at the beginning? I originally posted in /gadgets. Here's the post. Someone also posted in /shutupandtakemymoney before I was even ready to launch and that definitely gave me a huge needed push.
Are you looking into any new projects currently? Congratulations on your success! I've actually started on a few over the last couple of months! I helped my wife launch BabyBakeShop, and I'm launching VisuallyFresh (sneak peek!) sometime next week.
I honestly love working on new projects and brainstorming ideas. The hardest part is sticking with each idea until it's really off the ground and not just dabbling in projects..
How did you manage your time with the startup, wife, kids and work ? It seems to be hard to split the attention to a personal project when you have lots of responsibilities, at least for me. In the beginning, I definitely spent incredible amounts of time working. I'd be at my laptop until the wee hours of the morning, and that was definitely stressful to my family. It took time before I was able to adjust and learn how to manage my time efficiently. These days, I still spend a few days a week working as much as possible, but I also spend a few days a week coming home early to watch The Voice with my wife..
How did you come up with the name? I thought of crowdfunded projects as having outgrown their funding and now in need of a long-term home. When I picked it, I never thought the site would take off to the extent it did. I still randomly have better names pop into mind, but it's definitely too late now!
Which Codecademy courses did you take, and which ones were the most useful? I took the Web, JavaScript, jQuery, API, and Ruby tracks. I also used railsforzombies to get some more Rails practice.
How is the site supporting itself, ads, affiliate links, the shopping cart? The site has a shopping cart that lets customers checkout directly. You can see that here. If we don't have the product in stock, we direct you to where you can place an order.
I am trying to get a site off the ground at the moment. What do you think are the best moves I could make to get traffic to my site? What marketing did you do apart from reddit? I think it really depends on what kind of project it is. It's worth giving Hacker News a try. Otherwise, I think it's important to reach out to writers that feature companies in the same space as your site. Let them know what you're up to and why you think they should care.
How was your day? My day has been fantastic. After all the support reddit has shown me, it's nice to give back a little.
I know this is two days old, but how long did it take for you to go from your first Codeacademy track to the launch of your website? I honestly launched a site within a few weeks of starting on Codecademy. The site was completely terrible, but it was a start!
I'm a electrical engineer interested in learning web development. What specific resources would you recommend in addition to Codeacademy to help get me started in learning how to build a dynamic webpage? I'd recommend taking a look at edx, and Kahn Academy. I've also found that browsing tutorials on sites like Codrops is really useful.
I don't have any questions for you, just wanted to say this is the first time in a gazillion ages that I've spent this much time on any website just browsing and clicking and browsing and clicking. Nice work. Now where's my wallet, I have a ton of shit to buy ... curse you As a reminder, if you sign up to our newsletter on top of the site, you get 10% off your first purchase. Hopefully that helps a bit!
Its very cool to be able to put on the "orderable" filter and see what kickstarter has actually accomplished. Not much software yet, but lots of little gadgets I'd otherwise never hear about. Thank you! The site is definitely product oriented, although we do try to include video games and other kinds of software. We're partially reliant on visitors submitting projects to be added, so feel free to send over your favorites!
As a founder with no programming experience - what programming language and architexture did you choose for the website , When I launched, I had no idea about the sheer number of different platforms options. I went with WordPress, because it was one I had heard about the most about, and I figured it couldn't be too difficult (I was really wrong). The site is all PHP and is pretty much a fully custom theme with a lot of custom code in the backend. Choosing WordPress allowed me to be up and running quickly, but it's been a real nightmare when integrating new features and developing an API. We're in the process of migrating to a Rails platform, which I'm really excited about. It's hard to peg down exactly when the site started running. At the launch, the site was definitely a nightmare. Nothing worked. When people clicked buttons or links, nothing would happen. For the life of me, I couldn't even figure out how to float an element.. Over time, I fixed bugs and worked on the design. I'd say it was 3-4 months before I was somewhat content with how the site was working.
How long did it take for you to learn and make the site running.
Has the websites code changed after launch or you are still using the same code
Last updated: 2013-06-02 14:43 UTC
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