Social Media and Game Industry Web Roundup 11/1/09

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.



5 Ways to Use Twitter’s New List Feature for Marketers  – Influential Marketing Blog

-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).



Staying Power: Rethinking Feedback to Keep Players in the Game – Gamasutra

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!

Thanks,

Sam “QforQ” Houston

Community Manager looking for job

As of this past week, I am no longer employed at gamerDNA and I’m now looking for a new job.  Myself and five others were laid off last week, freeing up the company a bit so that it can operate at break even and continue to do awesome things.  A news article about the situation came out earlier this week with some quotes from our CEO Jon Radoff, if you’re interested.

Working at gamerDNA was an amazing experience and has helped my career in huge ways.  I’m very thankful to Jon and the rest of the staff for giving a (at the time) 20 year old from Ohio the opportunity to work at a video game internet startup.  I came on board in March of 2008 as the eighth employee, when the company was still meeting at Jon Radoff’s house and our desks were his dining room table.  I saw the company grow quite rapidly, move into its first office, change our name and rebrand itself, and launch GamerDNA.com in early June of 08′.  I remember the meeting that we had where we decided on the new logo, the awesome work of art from the super talented Sean Duhame.  Everyone was always involved and kept up to date on what was going on in the company, and I came to love our Wednesday “Lunch and Learns”, where the company would have lunch together and update everyone on the progress that we were making and any big news or exciting projects.

I’ve been to PAX twice now, I’ve been to BlizzCon, GDC and E3…all because of GamerDNA.  Two years ago it was just a dream to be able to go to those events (especially E3..such a video game nerd’s dream!).  I even had the pleasure of launching a website at E3 and representing the company in interviews for MTV.com and Current.TV.  Most recently I put together all the PR for our GamerDNA.com relaunch on Sept 2nd, which resulted in the most coverage GamerDNA.com had ever received for one launch.

GamerDNA gave me a huge amount of opportunities and responsibilities, and for that I am very grateful to Jon Radoff and the rest of the team.  What started out as an entry level marketing position (“Game Talent Lead”), later turned into a Community Management role and then ultimately my role as Online Marketing Manager.  It was a great ride.

If you haven’t yet, please check out yesterday’s blog post which included a picture of the product team at gamerDNA.  It was taken last week at our company party at Trapper Markelz’s house, and it shows a great group of guys that have become my surrogate Boston family.

So what’s next?

Now I’m interested in going to my next dream job, a Community Management job at a video game developer or publisher.  I don’t have anything lined up just yet, so I’m still looking and applying to various job opportunities out there.  I’m looking to take what I’ve done at gamerDNA, take all my passion for Social Media and Community Management, and turn that into a career at a game company.  That’s my hope, at least :)

If you’re interested in finding out more about all the cool stuff I’ve done in my time at gamerDNA and more details on my experience, please check out my LinkedIn Page: http://www.linkedin.com/in/samhouston .  I’ve updated it quite a bit and it’s basically a web version of my resume.  If you’d like to get in touch with me directly, please shoot me an email at Sam AT QforQ dotcom.  I’m willing to relocate for a new job, and I’m especially excited about CM roles that will give me the opportunity to interact directly with gamers, as well as work with press and represent the company at events like PAX.

Other things on the horizon are a relaunch of GameIndustryTweet.com with updated pages and a new look….and some time relaxing and catching up on all these video games I need to finish :).

Thanks for reading this far, if you know of any exciting Community Management gigs in the game industry – Please give me a shout!

-Sam Houston

What I did at E3: TweetMyGaming.com

Wow…I can’t believe it’s been a week since E3!  It feels like it was so long ago now, everything has been a bit of a blur and I’ve been pretty busy at work.  Lots of exciting stuff going on, and now I can finally talk about most of it!

First off, E3 was tons of fun!  It was a great chance for me to see some new friends (mostly people I met at GDC/on Twitter) and meet lots of new folks, as well as get an introduction to a different side of the industry.  There is a big difference between the attendance of GDC (students/developers and press) and E3 (markters/sales, press, and buyers), so it was really interesting to meet more folks on the marketing/sales side of things.

GamerDNA sent me to E3 to do all of our press interviews for a new project that we launched, called TweetMyGaming.com .  TweetMyGaming tracks all of the gaming conversations on Twitter in real-time, and shows you what the most popular games are right now.  It’s a project that I was involved with since day one, all the way from the conceptualization and finding a contractor, to the execution/product direction and then doing interviews with the press :).  It’s something that I’m very proud of, and I’m happy that I’ve been able to do yet another project around something I’m very passionate about:  Twitter and Social Media.

So far the project has been quite successful for us, with interviews going up on Kotaku , Joystiq , and Destructoid .  Destructoid’s article even features some quotes from me, as Samit Sarkar was kind enough to do an interview with me earlier this week.  It’s pretty good article, so I hope you check it out!

When I was actually at the E3 Convention Center, I did a number of interviews with Current.Tv and MTV Multiplayer.  These turned in to daily segments, and MTV Multiplayer has put up theirs:

MTV Multiplayer – TweetMyGaming Day 1 Wrap-Up

MTV Multiplayer – TweetMyGaming Day 2 Wrap-Up

MTV Multiplayer – TweetMyGaming Day 3 Wrap-Up

TweetMyGaming/E3 marks for the first project and event that I’ve had the opportunity to speak directly with the press and do interviews.  All the feedback internally has been positive, so I’m really excited and happy that I was able to do this for the company.  My hope is that I’ll get to do this more often, it was a lot of fun!

In the near future I may do a brief post about E3 and what I saw there, mainly with pictures from my iPhone.  So until then…see you around and thanks for reading my blog!

GDC 2009 – Coming Soon!

I’ve been long over due for another blog update..but I wanted to throw this up just in case I don’t update before GDC.

I’ll be at GDC representing gamerDNA next week and I’d love to meet up with as many people as possible. I’m not going to any panels(I have an expo pass, though), and I’ll be there Tuesday-Friday evening. If you want to meet up and talk, I’d love to, and while I’ll be in some meetings during the day I’m sure I’ll have time to meet up with folks, especially at night! :)

If you would like to meet up, please message me on Twitter via @reply or Direct Message at http://twitter.com/SamHouston

You can also email me (info is on my about page).

See you there!

(PS! Don’t forget about our GDC Tweetup on Wednesday! http://www.gdctweetup.com/ )

Introducing GameIndustryTweet.com

The past week has been a wild ride and I’ve been working hard on following up on my Video Game Companies on Twitter list in an effort to expand that service out to more parts of the industry.  The result of this effort is the launch of GameIndustryTweet.com .

GameIndustryTweet.com will be the centralized site for the video game industry and gamers to find their favorite game industry professionals on Twitter.  Right now the site covers Game Developers/Companies, Press, Public Relations and Community Sites that are on Twitter.

Every update to the site will be posted on the front page of the blog with a list of the new people that have been added.  This means that by subscribing to the GameIndustryTweet RSS Feed you will stay on top of all the latest people added to the list.

As for QforQ.com, I plan to continue to blog about Social Media and offer advice on how the Video Game Industry can best leverage these new mediums.  I encourage everyone to read my latest article on How to Engage your Audience on Twitter .  If you would like to know how to contact me please check out my About page .

Thanks everyone!  I hope you enjoy GameIndustryTweet.com !

Thank you very much! (There’s more to come)

Wow, the past 48 hours or so have been insane.  What started out as a blog post I was writing while bored watching Edwards Scissorhands has now caught on like crazy throughout the gaming community.  Yesterday I wrote a blog post about Video Game companies on Twitter and since then I’ve received thousands of visitors to the site, hundreds of new followers, and many many blog comments, Twitter Replies, Direct Messages and emails all requesting to be added to the list or thanking me for writing the list.

Continue reading

Video Game companies on Twitter

This past summer I made a blog post basically calling out video game companies for not being active in social media , specifically Twitter.  In that blog post you can find some tips/tutorials I gave for how to use social media, how to monitor, etc.   Please check it out if you’re interested in how I use Twitter at gamerDNA and how to use it to monitor your brand/company on Twitter/FriendFeed and blogs.

Luckily, since then a lot of game companies have signed up for twitter and they are using it for various purposes like personal use, advertising stuff they are doing(or worse..just using it as a way to post when they have a blog update via TwitterFeed integration), or even actively using it to interact with their customers/gamers and as a customer service tool.

Since things have changed since that August blog article and I haven’t really seen a list on the web somewhere of all the game companies on Twitter, I’ll try to start a list here.

Notice: Due to the popularity of this list I’ve decided to launch GameIndustryTweet.com .  If you’re looking for a list of Video Game Companies on Twitter please click here .

Please add me on Twitter to keep in touch and enjoy GameIndustryTweet.com !

Company I work for:

gamerDNA:

gamerDNA – Official Twitter account for gamerDNA

JRadoff – Jon Radoff, Founder and CEO of gamerDNA

SamHouston – Sam Houston (Me), Community Manager at gamerDNA

TrapperMarkelz – Trapper Markelz, VP of Product at gamerDNA

Duhame – Sean Duhame, Creative Director at gamerDNA

skio – Antares Meketa,  Social Media Engineer at gamerDNA

Colliny2k – Collin, Engineer at gamerDNA

FattyChubs – Stephen Sopp, Engineer at gamerDNA

Imran_Malek – Imran Malek, Product Specialist at gamerDNA

stealthbaz – Russell Miner, Engineer at gamerDNA