Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Internet, Social Media, and What the Hell is All This For?

So what do I have under the LotFP banner?

There's this here blog. There's the LotFP: RPG Facebook page. There's my Twitter. I've got the LotFP website, plus there's the LotFP message board.

That's a lot of social networking interconnectivity mumbo jumble blargle gargle, and I feel I'm not using it all very effectively. And I can't just declare what's effective, because really, it's all about you guys and whether you actually giving a flying fornication.

Basically, I want to know how to organize my information so that people can easily find it if they care.

I thought this discussion might be valuable to have in public because a lot of you out there are publishing stuff and frankly aren't doing any better managing your stuff. :P Maybe if someone who knows what the hell they're doing has sensible things to say, we can all benefit.

So I'll throw out how I see each of these things, and you tell me whether I've got my head up my ass.

The LotFP Site: The store is connected through there, and I need the store, but I kind of feel that the rest of the site is rather unnecessary. The news section in particular is a problem. It's a pain in the butt to update TWO regular news feeds with paragraph-plus length, the blog gets far more hits, but fixing it so the site news page just reposted the blog won't work either since I do frivolous and non-news stuff here.

LotFP Message Board: It allows LotFP topics to be started and maintained by not-me people in a place where people would expect to talk about LotFP topics. I think that's useful. (I do try to stay out of "this is what I'm doing/houserules" conversations if I can because my point of view is already out there enough, and who needs my Hammer of Officialness chiming in on their own campaign setting idea?)

LotFP: RPG Facebook Page: You might have noticed that I'm not linking every review or discussion concerning LotFP here on the blog anymore. I'm putting them all on the Facebook page. It feels like just a lot of unnecessary posting noise to have them here, I think they'll get lost in the wind if I put them on Twitter, I don't update the main site's product page with reviews anymore because there's no indication anyone ever looks at those pages - and it's an awkward format for things like WrathofZombie's and the Alexandrian's multi-part Vornheim posts. But I don't know that the Facebook page is the best place to put the reviews, since their main value is convincing on-the-fencers, and why would on-the-fencers be going to my Facebook page?

Twitter: Fuck if I know what to do with it. Random flashes of "insight"? zzzz. I don't think I'm biologically capable of condensing an idea into 140 characters. Maybe I should get a smartphone and let everyone know when I'm in the bathroom, or at the post office, or having a wank. Seriously though, I think its main value is being subscribed to the Twitter feeds of important/interesting people who actually know how to use it. Maybe I'll do "flash discounts" a couple times to see if anyone actually looks at the darn thing.

This Blog: This gets the eyeballs, but I don't want to just flood the thing with repetition (Look, a Review! Another Review! Oh hey, guess what? ANOTHER REVIEW!), and while it's tempting to use the thing for pure advertisement (the subject line gets into a lot of blogrolls...), obviously that's unavoidable sometimes. Obviously the blog is the best place when I've got a good lengthy frothy rant, but of the things I want and need to communicate, what belongs here? I already think the sidebars have more ornaments than Christmas trees...

My personal Facebook page: I don't know why you guys want to friend me there. I mostly make fart jokes, complain about my dog's balls and his propensity for resting them on my feet and pillows, and other such nonsense. Any gaming items I put there is because I want my non-gamer friends to see them. :P

So what the hell do I do with all this?


  1. I have twitter. I have no idea what to do with it. I have sent one tweet that says, "I have a twitter account." I can see it being useful for people like politicians and celebrities who are in the business of having other people know what they are doing (if you are a politician, it's probably best to avoid the pron in your tweets just to be on the safe side... unless you are in Italy I suppose... bunga bunga!).
    Facebook is mostly for my s.o. and my family She loves it and posts pictures of our dogs or the garden or whatever else is going on. I occassionally stop in and say, "I agree with her."
    I like the blogs just as a notebook/public diary/ etc. It fulfills my "social networking" needs which probably means I'm a pompous caveman.
    My website just has samples of my artwork for potential clients. The content is not dynamic which means, webwise, I'm waaaaaaaaaay behind the times.
    I don't do any forums much anymore. I read some posts on specific topics I may be interested in, but too many forums become places where the argument matters more than the content.
    I follow the LotFP blog which is where I find out everything about what you are up to... but, as explained in my 'web habits' up above, I don't think I'm typical... your having forums and twitter feeds doesn't hurt me, but I don't follow them either... but maybe other folks do.

  2. I don't know how generally representative I am, but here goes:

    1. Your comments about the website ring true; I only use the site for the store, and instead check this here blog when I want LotFP updates / news.

    2. I do not visit the message boards or the Twitter feed. I believe I am a fan or liker of your LotFP Facebook page, but I rarely look at that either. But FB would be the next most likely place I'd go if this blog were unavailable or didn't exist.

    3. I think you shouldn't shy away from referring readers to LotFP product reviews on your blog. Many other bloggers do this, and such posts are easy to skip over if properly titled anyway.

    Lastly, and somewhat tangentially, GREAT WORK on the Grindhouse Edition! I am enjoying the hell out of reading it right now, and will write up a review in the not-too-distant future (as if it needs another one).

  3. I find Twitter useless except for posting links to web pages.

  4. I think everyone who follows your gaming doings, follows this blog, so I'd make it the premier info dump! It's an entertaining mix of opinion, rant and advertising (both the blog in general and the individual posts themselves.)

    I don't do facebook.

    I check out the forum on occasion, but there's not a lot going on there, so only do so about twice a month.

    Since you opened the webstore, I kind of forgot about the separate LotFP webpages.

  5. Forgot about Twitter. Something else I don't do.

  6. Your blog is the main thing. I check it daily.

    I do notice the review links of FB and check the majority out.

    I occasionally visit your forums but they're a bit quiet. Maybe more authorial presence would stimulate conversation. But most discussion seems to happen in the comments on this very blog anyway...

  7. This is what I think...

    The LotFP Site: Keep this strictly business, links of reviews, "official" updates, and what-not on this site. Some folks that are not part of the blog-circles and want just the facts want to go to a product page, that's what that site is there for. Just the facts. don't expect comments or anything, send them to the forums or your personal blog.

    LotFP Message Board: Message boards are their own beasts, keep it. Check up on it frequently, and chime in whenever you want. Have a moderator or someone start a new thread on the forums for each of your new blog entries.

    LotFP: RPG Facebook Page: I hate facebook. I deleted my facebook account about 3 or 4 years ago, so that's all I have to say.

    Twitter: All your new posts on the LotFP site and your blog should be broadcasted on twitter. I get "important" twitters sent to my phone, I only read blogs when I get a chance to sit on a computer. I don't have a fancy phone.

    This Blog: This is your heart and soul on the interwebs, do whatever you want on it. Doesn't have to be about gaming either. Keep it real.

    My personal Facebook page: It's the only way some of the kids know how to contact people on the interneuters, so I guess you'll have to keep it. No one talks to me anymore because of it, their loss --- i guess.

  8. I think, in my opinion and from what I've seen, that the blog is the main thing: it's where everyone goes to, for all of us.

    As Rev says, I'd keep the LotFP site for updates and reviews, with mentions on the blog for anything major. The forum is fine as it is, although the activity there isn't huge.

    I don't bother with Twitter, although I do have an account that is linked to my blog. I have Facebook, but its friends only, and I seldom use it (although I am a member of the LotFP group and check it out when I am on FB).

    Linking your blog to the RPG Alliance, or the RPG Bloggers network for greater distribution.

    In the end I think it all depends on what audience you are targeting: if it is just for the niche market we belong to, then what you're doing is probably fine. It you want a larger audience, then despite what I've just said, then Facebook seems to be the way to go: although you'll want a page on it rather than a group. It's what all the major corporations and film industry people are doing.

  9. I agree that facebook is a POS and useless unless you want to keep up with family, friends or try to get fired from your job because some asshole you know posts a picture of you at a stag party that you do not remember. Twitter is useless. Anything posted to twitter is already here. I do not need to know that you updated something, as I log in here daily to check for myself. The MB and Blog are Key and the Website a must in order to establish yourself as a business not simply a gaming nerd that likes to talk about gaming.

  10. This is all new to me. I only ordered my copy of the grindhouse edition last week and thanks to an impending postal strike in my country I have no idea when I'll get it. As a new arrival though, I think I can give you a fresh perspective.

    I like the LotFP site. For me, the product section of the page was way more effective than the store. I like the layout and the reviews attached to the product descriptions really helped convince me that I need to order some other stuff to go with my new boxed set. Had I hit the site before the store I probably would have ordered it all together.

    I agree that the news section is redundant. You could just use your blog for news and have the news tab redirect there.

    The message board is great! I love that there is a community of people attached to this game. It adds to the energy and makes Weird Fantasy a more organic, growing thing. A many-tentacled monster of old-school roleplaying. Definitely added value.

    You are right, your facebook fan page was the last place I went and only after I had ordered my copy of LotFP. It's a terrible layout for viewing older reviews since they don't attach to specific products. It's a good way to keep in touch with people who are already in though. I don't know much about twitter. I don't use it myself, but as I understand it you can link it to facebook so twitter posts the status updates from your fanpage. Even if it isn't helping at least you wouldn't need to do any extra work to use it.

    The blog is great. For you it is an especially good tool because it presents what's happening with the game and your personality. Let's face it, LotFP is basically your take on D&D roleplaying; the game filtered through your personality. The more you we see the more we'll buy into what you are doing.

    You can do what you want with your personal facebook page. The way I see it, that's your online space for you and your friends. That said, you have intrigued me with your description of your dogs balls and what he does with them. Maybe I'll send you a friend request after all.

    I hope this helps!

  11. Oh, one more comment. You could always forward the main (i.e. to THIS blog. And keep a persistent page for the "just the facts" type of stuff.

  12. Twitter is really good for attracting random nerdrage from self-declared social media geniuses who like to tell you how stupid Twitter is, mostly I guess, because some celebrity they don;t like has a twitter account.

  13. I agree with Zak on the fact that celebrities use twitter very well. In fact social uprisings and community think tanks on a variety of topics use it very well. My comment about its utility concerns how it would serve the author. I do not see any further benefit from its use as the blog and MB house most of the dialogue. It seems redundant and the author self admits that its utility escapes him.

  14. I was only aware of this blog. I had no idea you had all that other stuff. Twitter is stupid, celebrities I don't like have twitter accounts.

  15. How this applies to the RPG market I'm not sure:

    In my other life I use Twitter quite a lot. I'm geographically distant from where my nominal career has its hot-spots. I get to learn stuff from peers who are on a whole other level to the local talent. I have to sort through a whole bunch of tweets from people that have a social media role at a BigCo somewhere.

    If you don't want to have to do idle chit-chat with people on Twitter then it's not for you.

  16. I don't think Twitter is the way to go if you want to reach the OSR crew. They're WAY too curmudgeonly.

  17. There seems to be one thing we all agree that it'd be OK to kill, twitter. (then Facebook! heh.)