Speaking of community-building

linkedin-logoThere a Game Media and Fansites group on Linkedin, started by (pardon any inaccuracy) Jon Radoff of GamerDNA — I came to it through one of Sam Houston’s tweets a week or two ago. In Jon’s own words:

I thought I’d explain why I formed this group. Games in general (video games, digital games, MMOs, etc.) comprise a very large number of website on the net. But I’ve never really seen a community that’s geared towards the owners of these sites. I’m not looking to create a new place for learning about game news (you have ample resources for this), so you won’t see many people from the industry-side here… 

Instead, I thought there was a need for connecting and networking amongst site owners (to help catalyze more business opportunities), and exploring the professional issues and challenges around building traffic, syndication, SEO, link-building, monetization, ad networks, etc. 

Now, I’m not actually much of one for active networking unless it bites me on the ass or happens when I’m not looking — I always know I should, but I rarely remember to do it; and when I do do it, it’s usually by accident or what I’d call “being normal and friendly.” I’m not really about making money off this site either, but the plain fact is, I’m not about NOT making money either, and it’s wise to keep broadening one’s horizons.

I’d been hearing about LinkedIn for a while now and hadn’t yet gone to take a look, and I figured this would be a good opportunity. So if you think “Eh, this isn’t me, I’m not big/visible/important enough,” I’d say if I am, you certainly are. We blog. We can change the universe. We can save the cheerleader (though if it were up to me I’d have let the byatch die and the series would have been put to a merciful death only shortly after it jumped its 6th episode shark… but I promised I wouldn’t rant about Heroes. I hope none of you know where I live).

Among other things, I’ve found a few of my old UK friends on there — whaddaya know? Well, we all work, and we all use computers, so I guess it wasn’t really rocket science. I must be getting bloody old, because 10-15 years ago I’d have been all over LinkedIn like white on rice, and now I’m all “Meh, do I really need to be found? There might be people I don’t like there!” Answer to which is, so what? There’s also a bunch of people I might be able to reconnect with, which is pretty cool.

Oh wait, topic, staying on. Yes. If you blog and this seems even remotely interesting, especially if you haven’t experienced LinkedIn yet, go take a look: clicky the linkies. It’s not hard to get started, and it can’t hurt to be connected to more armchair developers (well, and there’s a few real ones in the group too *cough* Koster *cough*).

Since that place uses *gasp* real names, this is me.

10 thoughts on “Speaking of community-building

  1. I happened to join this, though I don’t rightly remember how now. Hmm *rubs chin* Possibly from Houston’s tweet? *shrugs* Not important. I see discussions, but I’m not inclined to comment on them just yet. I don’t quite know what I think of it, but if you’re subscribed now you MAY find me commenting on the discussions if they pique my interest. As it sits, I haven’t even really explored the group to see where peoples’ sites are linked and whatnot. I know I haven’t really experienced a surge in readers or anything from it.

  2. Oh I certainly haven’t either, though — call me stupid and naive — that wasn’t even in my thinking when I joined. My main reason, really, was that there ARE a lot of us bloggers out there and we all share at least a passion for games, even if we express ourselves very differently and have very different sites.

    That being the case, making a connection group for us can’t be a bad idea. What it’ll bring me specifically… probably not much, but that’s okay too.

  3. I’m on the fence about the group. In theory, I use LinkedIn for it’s intended purpose: networking related to furthering my career.

    I worry, a little, that there are still managers out there who would read my affiliation with a gaming group as a negative. There’ve been a tiny flurry of “Would you hire a gamer” posts and articles that seem to give my paranoia some merit.

    And then there’s reality: I joined LinkedIn years ago and still haven’t really updated my profile or ever used it beyond continually expanding my network (which has resulted in exactly zero job leads, probably because my profile hasn’t been updated).

    But at least I now know Ysh’s real name.

    Which leads me to wondering why so many bloggers use pseudonyms.

  4. @Pete – I think the pseudonym thing comes from forums. I never used my real name on forums, originally because using character names was how we identified ourselves to each other. After that I started using Ysharros because I didn’t necessarily *want* my real name plastered all over the place (eg WoW forums, SWG forums, etc).

    Now, it’s become a habitual way of identifying myself in the gaming side of my life — people got to know me as that, so that’s how it stayed. I’m comfortable with it now: it’s part of my overall identity.

  5. @Pete – You might update your profile; I’ve had several recruiters contact me through LinkedIn, and I only add people I honestly know (unlike some people who kind of friend everyone and their cousin.)

    But I agree with you about being on the fence – I’m not sure if I want my gaming identity (Lars @ mmomentofzen), my family & friends identity (Facebook), my professional identity (LinkedIn), and so on all becoming intertwined. Though maybe I’m just being silly.

  6. There is an option on linkedin to leave the group icon off of your profile. That would probably stop people like bosses etc noticing that you were in the group, if that really worries you. I’m not sure if there are other ways of finding out.

    @Ysharros: I’ve been thinking about this stuff a little bit too. I keep meaning to at least put a couple google ads on my blog. Gotta fund my revolution somehow…

    As far as posting under your real name, it’s pretty scary at first, but ultimately liberating. Instead of hoping that people will never find out who you are, you can just be right up front with it, though you may have to censor your opinions some when it comes to your job etc.

    For me, since game design is my career, my blog is really an extension of my career. It seemed silly to me to spend so much time and effort only to build up a bunch of social capital under a pseudonym. Your mileage may vary.

    As one example, though, I get a lot of hits on my blog from posts or discussions on linkedin where I’ve answered questions or given someone advice. Every little bit helps.


  7. @Mike — some very good points. That being said… I’m not actually concerned with traffic here. I know that sounds like the lady doth protest too much, but traffic isn’t my aim. (It’s nice to have readers though.)

    I’ve been Ysh to a lot of people — RL friends included — for some 15 years now, and to me it’s more a part of my identity than something to hide behind.

    Also, on the bright side, I don’t have a company I need to keep in the dark about my other activities. 😀 Right now I’m not even looking to get recruited, unless there’s a game developer out there with a burning need for a telecommuting can’t-code writer. I may well be moving back to Europe in the near- to mid-future, and my current work is geography-independent, which is helpful.

  8. Linked in is very good, however there is no beating having your own website and forum for promotion and exposure.

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