MMO Blogging Tips

February 5, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Posted in mmorpg | Comments Off on MMO Blogging Tips
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blogI read Massively pretty regularly and stumbled upon this post where they try to establish how bloggers can establish a more firm relationship with their chosen game’s community and the studio through their community reps. They got in touch with 9 community managers and asked them several questions.

It seemed like a post directed at me. There’s plenty of advice for your average blogger. However, for me it just brought up a lot of questions.

Their first question is essentially, “Why are blogs important?” Well to me that’s pretty straightforward. Professional sites have something at stake when they try to tell you something. They’re there to make money. The impersonal announcement of something at Tentonhammer for instance, doesn’t insure there will be any insight, commentary, or criticism. Often they’re just re-posting public relations emails. Forums are a mess. For the most part you’re hearing from a very vocal minority. The opinions expressed are fractured and short. Very little is espoused upon at length. Most of the time it is a bitch fest. Not that blogs aren’t, certainly mine is a bitch fest. At least blogs provide a more coherent voice, a narrative that is more easily understandable. A forum provides an epithet, a blog provides a novella. I hope so anyway.

The second question is about building a relationship with their companies. The obvious answer, which virtually all of them give, is to straight up email them about your blog. Let them know you exist. Contact them on twitter, facebook (ugh) do whatever it takes to get noticed. Now for someone interested in a giant readership, getting feedback on your posts, getting into a beta, whatever, that’s an extremely good idea. I haven’t done this. One of the big reasons I only have one (hi jaimie!) or two readers is I don’t advertise this blog. I wouldn’t know how a single person ever finds this place. That’s because for one, I’m not confident in my writing ability, so I’m not even sure I want a plethora of blog readers poring over my blog. I’m also concerned about having too close a relationship with community managers. It would be nice to get into the Guild Wars 2 beta, or be informed of upcoming Old Republic tidbits directly, but immediately that puts me into a position where I’m kind of compromised as an unbiased voice. I’m sure that does not bother most people, as long as it improves their readership.

The next question is about furthering that relationship. Basically what I hear from their answers is be pro-active. All the things about life I tend to not do well. Be friendly and contact them often, let them know how big your readership is, pitch ideas at them, get on that PR list. Have an open and honest dialogue with your girlfriend, er, I mean readership and express their views as well as your own. Be professional, constant bitching and immaturity (there goes my chances at the GW2 beta) will not help you.

The last question in part 1 is about what not to do. Be professional also means, don’t be a douche. For instance, if I were to call the constant problems over at Runes of Magic a giant pain in the ass, that would probably be unprofessional. So I won’t do that. Also, if I were being professional I would not swear very often. If I’m blogging about a family game, I can’t get linked by a community rep to a post where I say douche. That will not happen. At least I don’t say fuck on this blog right? Don’t rage, sabotage, misrepresent, beg, threaten, harass, or otherwise be a douche.

There are various insights from these guys into what’s helpful to them, and how to get hooked in, and I suppose indirectly increase readership. There’s also a few mentions of the kind of things that get their attention, reviews, requests for Q/A, passionate commentary. It’s worth a closer look if you’re interested.

Thus far I don’t think this line of questioning is really helpful to me. I’m not sure I want that closer relationship with my favourite community representatives. I wouldn’t want to altar my writing style, whether it be rants, criticism, swearing, or constant bitching to be compromised by my wanting to get into the Guild Wars 2 beta. Anybody get the impression I want into the GW2 beta yet?

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