Since I’ve got a lot more free-time now, I’ve set several goals for myself that I can now attain. One of those is catching up on a lot of reading, online and offline, since for the past few months I basically had to unplug a bit from all the game news, community management articles, books, etc. It started this summer when I took over all the PR for gamerDNA’s relaunch, and then carried on through to the last couple months when things were still busy and slightly crazier. They used to call me “The Internet” at work because I knew so much about current gaming and tech news…and I don’t feel so internet-y any more. So anyways…I’m trying to fix that now, and I thought I’d create a blog post every once in awhile that shares some cool stuff I’ve come across in my internet travels.
BioWare Reveals Dragon Age’s “Massively Single-Player” Details – Stephen Totilo – Kotaku
Stephen Totilo has a really interesting article that goes into the details of the new BioWare Social Network that just launched recently. On the surface the social network doesn’t look a whole lot different than most other social networks powered by Social Engine software. The customization is in the rich features, though, and it sounds like BioWare has spent a lot of money tying the game to this social network. The features described in this article get my really excited about this game and definitely make me want to check it out…at least for professional research purposes ;)
The Future of the Social Web – Brian Solis – PR 2.0
Forrester Research published a report that describes what they believe will be the future of the social web. I happen to agree with a lot of it, and it actually describes a lot of what we built at gamerDNA. Relevance and reacting to what we knew about a member were two huge factors in what we built at gamerDNA. Definitely worth a read. Makes me think about how this would affect game community websites specifically (in house sites, like WoW Armory for example), and not just 3rd party internet consumer websites.
-This past week Twitter launched the List feature, which makes it so anyone can add a Twitter user to their own list, and that list can be shared with other people and even followed by others. This blog article outlines some ways that people could use blogs and should help you think about some cool ways you could use Twitter Lists at your company.
From Strategy to ROI Model – slide deck from Dawn Lacallade, Community Manager for SolarWinds
As I get ready for job interviews, I’m trying to read up more on some various community manager topics and generally see how people are doing things these days. I liked this presentation because it was very basic and didn’t skip over much as it explains the process of pitching and creating a Community plan for your organization.
Getting Started 1: Do you know what people are saying about you? -Fresh Networks
Fresh Networks wrote a blog post series/guide to help organizations “Get Started in Social Media”. It’s all pretty basic, but I liked the list that they put together of free buzz tracking tools. In the paragraph prior to the list, Fresh Networks says, “The best results come from using paid-for services..”. I can’t really say this is right or wrong, since I didn’t have experience with paid services at a large scale. I tried out Radian6 (the service mentioned in the article) at gamerDNA and wasn’t very impressed with it, but I think that probably has more to do with our scale at the time and the amount of conversations on the web. That and the price tag was pretty hefty for a startup like us.
If I remember correctly, it was roughly $5,000+ a year or more for the type of account we would need with Radian6. It would have been a huge waste of money for gamerDNA, so we decided not to spend that money. If you’re a larger company and/or have a large amount of mentions (to the point it is truly overwhelming and you need help sifting through it all), I suggest looking into these services. Radian6 and Techrigy are two services that come to mind, and I know or have met people at both and they’re good people. Hopefully at my next gig I’ll have the chance to check these services out – They’re doing some interesting stuff, if you’ve got the money in your budget.
The best buzz tracking services that would fit into this blog post are: Google Blog Search, Technorati Search, Google Alerts, Twitter Search. IceRocket search was basically worthless, bringing up posts that were (relatively) ancient, so it just turned into a waste of time when you checked your searches. I covered this last year in my blog post “Are Video Game companies active in Social Media?“.
I think I’ll cover this topic in a bit more depth in a blog post later this week. There are some decent new, free tools and services that can help you monitor your brand and interact with your community. They can get you a long way, with no money spent at all (besides time).
Microsoft Game Studios did some user research on gamers completing games and offers some solutions/insight into how game designers could help people complete their games. This is a pretty in-depth article chock full of data..even with references at the end! Worth checking out for sure.
That wraps it up for this blog post. If you have any thoughts on the above articles, I’m interested in hearing them!
Sam “QforQ” Houston