Hollow Earth

Some Tips for the Incoming Community Manager

In case you haven’t heard, Richard Watson (aka RAWA) has been appointed to fill the spot of Community Manager, a job temporarily filled by Chogon after Greydragon left. Recent community relations have been a sore spot for a large section of the Uru community and I think there are several simple ways RAWA can remedy that.
1. Communicate. Many probably wouldn’t care if it’s simply an inventory of Cyan’s refrigerator, just as long as some signs of life are coming from Spokane. Not just for the first few days of your employ as CM, but for the whole time. Get to know as much of the community as possible. Know your audience.You cannot afford not to.
2. Don’t be friendly. “Getting to know” is not the same as being best buddies for life. The fans are neither your friends nor your enemies. The fans are your clients, your patrons.
3. Reconcile. Just like patrons of a restaurant, you need to know what your fans want and find a way to incorporate that into what Cyan wants to do. Even if some people in the fanbase (or Cyan) are against it, you need to be able to say “this is what our fans want”. This doesn’t mean Cyan needs to put blood and gore into the games just because it’s popular. Common sense rules.
4. Go beyond Uru. Uru is no longer Cyan’s flagship. The surprising sales of Myst for the iPhone are evidence Myst is at least coming back to that role. Your fanbase is shifting back to Myst and, while an iPhone app is hardly a proper flagship, any ship that navigates you out of the storm is the right one.
5. Rebrand. Despite that success, Cyan cannot thrive through Myst Era tactics. Cyan needs to take a look at what it does well and translate that into a variety of niches modern gamers are going to recognize. Cyan needs to modernize its catchphrase. Myst won’t appeal purely on the “books that take you to another world” concept. People today have hundreds of games that take them to another world so that concept can no longer excite people as it did in the past. If you can find a concept or theme that directly ties into Myst or Myst-type games (such as the steam-punk theme) you can find the key to attracting a new generation to your products. If not, you face the prospect of your fanbase literally growing old and dying. With the old guard getting older and the new blood being discouraged by rigidity of your brand.

Good luck.


Filed under: Uru Community

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All posts are my opinion only and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of others.
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