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 15

15 Minutes of Game LogoToday’s show topic comes from an email that I recieved recently asking how best to go about extending your presence beyond your own community site. Jon and I discuss some of the best ways to do this both from the internal company perspective, and from the external fan site perspective.

Download – Episode 15

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What succesful ways have you found to involve yourself with other communities?

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

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

15 Minutes of Game – Episode 6

15 Minutes of Game LogoAfter much GDC-Onlining and Zombie-Apocalypsing, Six Okay finally is reunited with long-time collaborator and buddy-cop partner Weezul in this, the sixth episode of 15 Minutes of Game. So what’s up? Well, this time we answer a couple quick twitter requests, and spend some time talking about old school and new school community managers, and a little less time talking about social gaming and the like.

Listen: Episode 6

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Be sure to give it a listen and let us know what you think in the comments!

15 Minutes of Game – Episode 3

15 Minutes of Game LogoOur beefiest episode yet! This time around, it’s all about one thing – advice for becoming a Community Manager. It’s a question that both Jon and I get frequently, so we wanted to take a few minutes to answer the call.

Download: Episode 3

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So I Have This Website…

So it’s been a while since I posted much around here, but if you’ve been enjoying the little bits of advice I’ve been posting here on the blog, you’re going to want to stop by a little panel I’ll be hosting at PAX Prime this year. Details after the jump….

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The CM List

With online communities growing in importance every year, the videogame industry has been on the forefront of hiring dedicated professionals to reach out to their fans online. Below is a living list of Community Managers in the videogame industry, and links to where you can find them online. Given the growing nature of online community management, it’s inevitable that there are some people not yet on this list. If you’re a videogame industry Community Manager and you’re not on the list, please let me know in the comments, or send me a message on Twitter, and I’ll get you added!

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