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Friday, May 07, 2004

Comments

CM Lubinski

Interesting question, but I think that any game developer would first stop to do an interview for a main stream gaming website (ign, even penny-arcade) before they'd think of going to a game-developement blog. Like you said, though very informative, there are very few game-dev blogs and even fewer that are well known.

Eric von Rothkirch

What will probably make this 'virtual tour' idea successful is that it creates a dialogue on the host site. Dialogues always get people thinking, and likely to mention the discussion to other people they know who might be interested. The idea is not just publicity, but grabbing peoples' attention and compelling them to get the attention of friends, coworkers etc. as well. Seems like this virtual tour thing is all part of Seth's big idea virus self-promotion. :)

Seth seems to have a pretty intuitive handle on networks and how to exploit the architecture of them to draw people in. Good for him. :)

G-Man

The reason this works for business books (or non-fiction books in general) is that those products are selling ideas. And people can discuss those ideas and argue about them. Games, like television shows, or movies, aren't really like that. In order for such a promotional idea to work, the people doing the promotion would need to talk about the design or technical aspects behind the production of the game, and I don't think that enough consumers care enough about that to make a difference.

It would be like someone on a book tour just talking about the fonts and binding process used or what his writing schedule is like.

Dave Young

What about people that want to get into the gaming industry?
What about casual readers that just think your processes are interesting?
How may people have to be involved in the conversation to make it "enough"?
The fact that there are few game development blogs means that the category is ripe for someone to emerge as the A-List blogger for developers.

Scott Miller

Dave, one thing I've noticed about the "A-list" biz & marketing blog authors is that they are relentless writers, updated everyday in many cases.

Also, many of these bloggers run one-person businesses, and so for them blogging can easily generate more contacts and business opportunities. The game industry is more populated by successful teams rather than individuals. In my case, I've got nothing to gain by blogging. I only do it because I like to discuss ideas and help people in this tough industry. I continually fight with the idea of dropping this thing because I just don't have the time. And as far as I know, I'm the only high level studio exec with a regularly updated blog in this industry.

J.

We might see such things in the game industry if the game industry was populated by people who knew the value of stand-out marketing and product development. As this blog has pointed out numerous times, the game industry's hallmarks are geared more toward me-too-ism and piss-poor management.

Scott, you're on a short list of game people who update their blogs regularly -and- talk about games, period. Jamie Fristrom works, Ben Cousins works, and Jason Della Rocca works, though he doesn't make games. By contrast, Greg Costikyan doesn't work on games, but he blogs a lot, and Dave Rickey got back to his column on Skotos only after he got laid off from his last job. Sean K. Reynolds has a site and talks about game design on his message board, but you can't call his site a blog. Jessica Mulligan hasn't updated her column in over two years, even after moving it from Happy Puppy.

To tear off the old scab, Scott, you might've been able to sell this stuff if you'd bothered to put it in book format.

Dave Young

Scott,
Although many run one-person businesses, I'd venture that many also hold down other full-time or part-time jobs as they build their name, which is why they blog. (I'll admit to it.)
It's my belief that by maintaining the conversation, you are a game developer that's "real" to your readers. Others are just names. Read the recent posts on John Porcaro's blog and Cheskin about meeting up in real life after reading each other's blogs.
I also contend that the 400+ bloggers at Microsoft are going to help the company be seen as a group of people instead of a monolithic single-minded entity. We'd all rather do business with people than with corporations.
Keep up the blog. You're doing the right thing!

Tadhg

Maybe it's a question of time spent vs exposure. I know for a fact that my blog gets a very tiny number of readers indeed, for example, despite having being linked to from a fair few places. There is a whole network of game-related blogs now, loosely linking each other, with some group efforts like GTxA and Ludonauts adding to the mix. With no reliable info on which ones are read by much of anyone, it's got to be a PR guy's nightmare trying to figure out which is worth it and which is not.

J.

PR guy's nightmare, maybe, but a journalist's idea of backrubs and cherry chocolate cheesecake. Yeah, the Internet's full of self-appointed experts, but if you can find their blogs, it's not hard to discern what sets apart the people who know what they're talking about. And you don't even have to ask them questions half the time, except for the ones that can't think of something to say unless someone makes a comment to start them off, which they must either refute or support.

Todd

I just found this post this morning via Technorati.

The Business Blog Book Tour was created for a number of reasons. First, biz bloggers are huge readers of biz books. They read between 2 and 6 books a month. They love keeping on the front edge of new ideas. And they love talking about those ideas on their blogs.

On the book side, there are about 1500 biz books published every year. PR is the main way people initial find out about books. There are alot of great books that never see the light of day, because there is no one writing about them.

So the Business Blog Book Tour was born. Authors get a free way to generate buzz about their book with people who really like talking about biz books. Bloggers get a way to create original content (which is going to become more important as blogging grows) and they get to talk with thought leaders.

As for Seth, I contacted him and asked him to participate. He was more than willing. That is another part to this. Lots of people still don't get blogs. Authors have to be willing to spend some time to understand how the medium works.

I just love the idea of people talking about things that are interesting to them. In the biz blog world, there is the Carnival of the Capitalists and BBBT. There have been short term events like Brand Week (at my site) and the upcoming PR Week. For folks in the gaming industry, find something that will provoke thought and start some conversations.

Thanks for the link and the great conversation here!

Todd

One more thing - if you ever do a gaming blog tour, count me in!

Gavan Woolery

If you want a huge audience, www.slashdot.org is the perfect "blog" (a moderated blog newsite of sorts). As for blogvertising be a successful strategy, I think it could definitely work if there is some sort of consistent linkage between blogs (for example, Ron Gilbert has a link from his blog to this one). There is much free advertising to be had on the internet, from game news/reviews sites to game-oriented blogs, which I think we will be seeing more of in the future.

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