On the 7th February 2008 we wrote a blog post celebrating 10 years of Loquax. In that article we looked back at some of the many logos the site had adopted during it’s first decade and concluded that neither Jason or Kirsty could “ever have envisaged that Loquax would reach 10 years old”. Ten years later we looked back at various old versions of the site’s homepage as by some miracle we hit the magic 20. We had further reflections with respect to the history of the site when Loquax came of age just one year later. Now we’ve hit 25 and I’ll be honest it’s quite hard to comprehend. How the hell have we managed to get this far? It was never by design because the original premise of Loquax was to act as a platform for further employment. We never ever intended to run our own business but the stars aligned and we ran with the opportunities that arose from creating a comping community. Now 25 years should be a time for celebration but for now we’re going to treat it as one of reflection.
Regrets? There May Be A Few!
Surviving 25 years as an online business is something to celebrate and be proud of, and make no mistake, we are very proud of the achievement. Over the years we’ve done plenty of things right and we’ve remained totally independent throughout. It’s hard to think of many online businesses that started in 1998 and 25 years later are still managed by the same team. Even more so when that team has worked apart for all that time. Myself and Kirsty, whilst in contact much of the time, have actually only met up twice since 2000! Whilst we can congratulate ourselves on 25 years there are things we most certainly could have done better. Loquax’s “closure” for example could have been a lot different. It was an absolute necessity for us to change things but perhaps we could have done it in a better way. Another thing we’ve not done is try and increase awareness of the site despite plenty of opportunities to do so. Social media feels like flogging a dead horse whilst we’ve never been able to build up to the dizzy heights of freebie and deal sites. Losing our mailing list (thanks firstly to GDPR and then UKGC rules) hasn’t helped our cause.
The Not Influencers
We’ve seen many things change over the years: websites, social media, bloggers, influencers etc. and yet throughout that time the Loquax team have been quiet in the background. That suits our style but it’s probably not 100% ideal in the current climate. Compers seem to like following compers who are well known and can be seen to be successful. That’s fair enough but it does make us question whether if we had won loads of prizes and became more known as “career compers” then would that have helped Loquax’s development and/or increase it’s profile. Of course we’ll never know and there’s zero chance of us writing “how to enter competitions” books or sticking our mugshots on the front of the website. There’s also zero chance of us setting up a Tiktok account or going full in with social media. That means we rely on our userbase to spread the word, something that we’ve actually relied on since day one. We have tried getting involved with other communities and helping compers where possible but that rarely works out well. Owning a comping website and having any opinions about comping are often not compatible in other groups. In truth we’ve never felt part of the wider comping community and perhaps that’s something we could have done better.
Actually We’ve Been Awesome
If the above two paragraphs represent what we perhaps could or should have done better over the last 25 years then actually that’s not too bad. Somehow we’ve managed to keep a website online for 25 years without it costing any user a penny. There have been thousands and thousands of compers clicking through the links on the site, hopefully thousands of winners, and most certainly a serious amount of prizes won. Actually that’s another for the regret file. It’d have been a good idea to keep some kind of record of wins, value of wins etc. When it comes to advertising, promotions, articles in papers etc people like to see that kind of thing. We’ve been fairly conservative when it comes to advertisers and whilst some in the comping love to point out we advertise bingo and gambling products we’ve always done it in a compliant and respectful way. We’ve also been very picky when it comes to who we will promote and even took the decision to drop sites like MyOffers. That said we are a business and we do have overheads including wages and a server so we do have to keep that in mind. And with that all said we’re still here and whilst other listing sites flounder, we seem to be ticking along OK. Without putting too fine a point on it – it’s a pretty awesome achievement.
To The Future
Whenever there’s a milestone celebration somehow inevitably puts “here’s to the next X years”. In our case “here’s to the next 25 years”. We know that’s just a line but there has to be a little reality check. In 25 years time myself and Kirsty will hopefully be long retired and not checking in on our duck inspired creation. Who knows what comping and the internet will be like in 25 years time anyway. The stark reality is that each year we get older that means the closer we obviously get to potentially not being to carry on. Either because those in charge have become old and knackered or the business climate is not conducive. For now things are OK and it’s business as usual. Our aim is to make some much needed improvements to the platform as whilst the front end of Loquax is fine, the back end has been battered after 25 years and needs a vital update. No doubt when we do release the new update the old adage of “if it ain’t broke” will be mentioned once or twice. But here’s the thing: Loquax has rarely been broken although we’ve come close to it a few times. The site has evolved and evolved and evolved, and by some quirk of fate that’s worked for it over an incredible 25 year period. So whilst we may have regrets, and there are a few, we can definitely say we’ve done it our way. And we’ll continue to do so as long as we can.