Negotiating Between Consultation and Creativity

Two days ago, Ryan Arndt (@CertainlySocial), Community Manager for the IGDA, sent me an article called “The Web is a Customer Service Medium.” You can click the link and read it for yourself, if you’d like. In fact, I encourage you to do just that.  In the article, Paul Ford discusses the nature of the web, and the differences between it and other mediums, spefiically traditional print publishing. Ford suggests that every medium answers a question, and that in the case of the internet, that question is this: “Why Wasn’t I Consulted?”

Much of the article is about adapting for success on the internet, focusing on creating experiences that give people a voice and a feeling of that voice being heard. Ford draws a line between what I feel are two very important pieces of the internet. On one side, he references the content of the web. Whether it’s blogs, book excerpts, podcasts, or some other content, it’s usually an extension of some other medium, and old-school media frequently struggles to understand why publishing these snippets doesn’t generate a community.  Ford’s ultimate conclusion is that “The web is not, despite the desires of so many, a publishing medium. The web is a customer service medium.”

He’s right. This idea, the “Why Wasn’t I Consulted?” question, is the very reason that the job of Community Management exists in the first place.

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15 Minutes of Game – Episode 18

15 Minutes of Game LogoFollowing up on our last episode, we talk about what to do after you’ve been invited to a community summit. We share with you some of the stories we’ve collected about what not to do at a summit, and give you some advice about tailoring your coverage to ensure that you get invited back every time.

Download – Episode 18


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You can also “Like” us over on Facebook and check out our question of the day!

Nominate @15MinutesOfGame in the Shorty Awards!

15 Minutes of Game – Episode 17

15 Minutes of Game LogoSo you’ve heard all about these awesome community summits where community sites are invited to studios to look at games early, but you can’t seem to get yourself invitd to one. Well, we’ve hosted several of these events between the two of us, and in this episode, we’re going to talk a bit about how to get yourself invited to future events.

Download – Episode 17


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You can also “Like” us over on Facebook and check out our question of the day!

15 Minutes of Game – Episode 12

15 Minutes of Game LogoIn this day and age, do you really even need a forum to build a community? That’s the question that Jon and I tackle this week, straight from a twitter request. We each take a different side of the question, and hopefully give you something to think about with your own community building.

Download – Episode 12


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You can also “Like” us over on Facebook now!

Give it a listen and let us know if you think forums are essential to building a community.

15 Minutes of Game – Episode 10

15 Minutes of Game LogoThis episode is a bit of a hot topic! We discuss the comparisons between press and community sites. Having some experience on the inside of things as community manager, we spill the beans on some of our perspectives about how sites qualify as what, who takes care of whom, and what makes for a good community site.

Download – Episode 10


Subscribe via iTunes.

You can also “Like” us over on Facebook now!

Give it a listen and let us know what your first gaming system was!

Six Things You Should Read


On a couple of recent occasions, I’ve been asked to give advice to folks who were looking to get a Community Management job. One of the topics that tends to come up is reading material. There’s a ton of stuff out there about a varying range of social media marketing, community building and management, and so on. I wanted to share some of the reading material that I recommend to folks.

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The New Is Not For Me

I was pretty excited last night as word started swirling around about some awesome Twitter news. Ultimately, that news was that was getting a new layout and making it easier to view media in your stream. And profiles are easier to see now, too, it seems. Overall, everything looks great. They should be proud of their work. It’s a big step for the site.

My big problem is that all of these updates do nothing to help me better use Twitter the way I use it. For me, Twitter is information and conversations. I don’t need another site to go to. I need the information being transmitted across Twitter by the people on Twitter. gives me lots of new options for looking at replies, direct messages, and so on, but they’re all accessed through a new tabbed-like interface. I have to go to the site and click each tab individually to see what’s going on.

In contrast, here’s how I use Tweetdeck:
My TweetDeck Layout

I use TweetDeck to manage four twitter accounts and all of the information associated with them. To do this with the new Twitter, I’d be spending my days logging in and out, in and out. Constantly. And once logged in, I’d be clicking tabs left and right to view things like mentions, searches, etc. The amount of work that would go into browsing the information I look for would go through the roof. TweetDeck gives me all of that information in a single window. No window-dressing. Just important information.

Twitter has never been about media consumption for me. I use Twitter as a tool to enable me to have a conversation with the world. I don’t want Twitter to be more like Facebook. I want it to make it easier for me to parse the high volume of information I go through daily. Until then, I’m sticking with TweetDeck.

PS. I also manage the same four accounts and 7 (sometimes 8) columns on my TweetDeck app.

A Very Big Thanks!

Hey everyone –

I just wanted to take a moment to thank everybody who came out to the PAX panel on Sunday. It was great to see so many people in the room! I was really kind of afraid that about 10 people would show up, and it would all be people with whom I regularly talk about community… at length. But you all showed up, and it was awesome! So thanks for coming!

There were a ton of questions that we weren’t able to get to. Through the magic of the internet, though, we can keep the panel going! I just wanted to extend the invite to any of you that had more questions. Either leave them in the comments, or hit up any of us on Twitter and we’d be happy to keep chatting! You should also feel free to leave any general feedback you had about the panel. I think I’d like to do it again, and evolve it to be more useful based on your feedback.

  • Justin Korthof – @sixokay
  • James Stevenson – @JamesStevenson
  • Matthew Pruitt – @MatthewPruitt
  • Sam Houston – @SamHouston

Thanks again everyone!

Get Scrappy

As a community site competing for attention against major gaming press sites, you’ve got a lot less resources to work with. Instead of lamenting your miserable lot in life, you should be concentrating on being scrappy. What’s that mean? It means worry less about pomp and circumstance, and more about getting the job done effeciently and creatively.

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What Are You Bringing to the Block Party?

I want to share with you an analogy that has come up for me many times in the past few years, whether it’s during job interviews or simply when discussing my philosophy on Community Management with my superiors, peers, or co-workers. 

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