Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Moving On...

... to Wordpress.

I've had my blog here for several years now, but I think it's time to move on to Wordpress. I've been using Wordpress more and more for work and it's just really easy to use and features tons of handy widgets. I'm sure blogger offers most of those same abilities, but it just seems easier to move on to Wordpress.

You can continue to read my blog here:


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Community Management: Thou Shall Not Lie

I recently attended SIEGE 2010 in Atlanta, GA and one of the reoccurring themes I was pleased to hear from public relations professionals, marketers and community managers was the importance of “being genuine with your users.” This includes not only being honest when you’re caught red handed, but also means you have to be open with your users about potential issues.

As Sanya Weathers recently explained, sticking your head under a blanket and hoping nobody notices your mistakes isn’t good community management. You have to be open with your community: apologize and address the issues. Expanding further, it’s not enough to just address the issue; you have to honest about it too. Trying to cover up your mistakes with excuses and lies is only digging yourself deeper.

To anyone that has worked in community management, this probably seems like a no-brainer. Unfortunately, some companies find it easier to fabricate a story as opposed to trying to explain their way around mistake or uncomfortable situation. It makes sense that the temptation to lie would arise. After all, you don’t want to reveal something that could tarnish your company’s image. But lying to your community is actually significantly more dangerous than telling the truth.

You think you can lie and get away with it? Don’t count on it! Never underestimate your community. Your most hardcore users are watching everything you do and somehow manage to find even the smallest, most secretive updates to your site. And in this time of exploding social media, your secrets will spread like wildfire through Twitter and Facebook they’ve come to light. You can’t contain it. The obsession and dedication that you typically value from your community will be the very thing that brings you down.

There’s always a chance that you’ll be able to get away with your dishonesty, but is it really worth the risk? Of course not. It’s disrespectful to the people that you depend on for your product’s success and it’s setting you up for drama if (or when) they find out. When your secrets come to light, you risk angering your community, damaging your reputation and losing users.

One of the primary duties of a community manager is to handle communications with your user base. This relationship is necessary for helping you gain feedback about your product and keeping your users informed. A community manager needs have earned the respect of the community, be able to relate to the users and talk to them at their level. If your users don’t trust your community team, then your community manager is totally worthless to you. Even a small lie can severely damage the relationship between your community team and users, so I can’t emphasize the importance of honesty enough.

Everyone knows that some information can’t be shared with your community. Your users might not like it, but they understand the concept of confidentiality. However, there’s a big difference between withholding confidential information from users and outright lying to them. Whatever you CAN tell your community, you SHOULD! There’s no need for secrets. As an added bonus, having an honest and open community team allows you to control the release of information and keep rumors and exaggerations at a minimum.

Lying might seem like the easy way out of a tough situation, but being honest, apologizing and admitting to your mistakes is the best way to keep the trust of your community. Not to mention, if your company truly values their users, then the least you can do is be upfront with them. A good community manager should be able to handle a community crisis and should be empowered with the ability to be truthful when these situations arise.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

StarCraft II Choices

I finally started playing StarCraft II, which is obviously an amazing game. I'm addicted to playing and loving the new units and story so far. Anyone that knows me probably also knows that the original StarCraft is my favorite game of all time.

Although, I admit I have one complaint - the choices. As an RPF fan, typically I love being offered alternate paths and having the freedom to impact the game, but this isn't really one of those cases. I hate permanently missing out on a potential upgrade just because I chose to research a different upgrade. As a strategy game, shouldn't I be given both options and allowed to strategically decide at the time which best suits me?

I'm also not a fan of how the story progresses. I don't really need several options about which mission to do next. I'd much rather KNOW which mission comes next both story-wise and difficulty-wise. Giving players the option to jump around and choose how they progress just seems to break the story up. Ideally, I'd like to have various options about how to proceed, but I want enough direction to make a decision about how to do it.

Still, I'm not done with StarCraft II so I'll reserve my judgement. And either way, I'm thoroughly enjoying the experience so far.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ipad Gaming

I admit, I'm not big on mobile gaming. Sure, I have a cell phone just like everyone else, but I use it primarily for talking and texting. Aside from the N-Gage I had years ago, I've never done much mobile gaming (boy do I miss Pocket Kingdom...).

That's all changed recently because I've jumped on the bandwagon and purchased an ipad. It surprises me to say this, but it's a handy little device that I'm finding myself using constantly. And of course, it's great for gaming. Whether you're competing for mayorships on foursquare or downloading an addictive casual game to play during your spare time, the ipad is great for gaming. Of course, I'm sure an iphone is is great too, but I haven't sold out that much just yet...

Although not quite a "game", Foursquare is my favorite so far. I'm sure it's much more convenient to play on an iphone, but I'm still very addicted. Robot Unicorn Attack is a surprisingly fun, high quality game that I downloaded right away - you can also check it out free online here: http://bit.ly/d4am53. I keep meaning to try out Pocket Legends as well - a full MMORPG for iphone and ipad. And it seems like tons of new games are coming out all the time. I'm also having tons of fun with Angry Birds.

Definitely plan on exploring some more games on my ipad. Any suggestions out there? I wish they'd port Pocket Kingdom!

Edit: ZOMG!!! I just discovered Battle Bears and I love it! Violent, hilarious and addictive. Check it out if you have an iphone or ipad. http://www.battlebears.com/

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Worst Starcraft General

I adore Starcraft. It's among my favorite games of all time... if not my #1 fav game ever. Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to play SC2 yet (been too busy), but I've seen a ton of hype for it. I'll correct that soon enough, I promise.

I recently came across this SC video and it totally cracked me up. For those that have spent HOURS playing SC like me, you'll get a kick out of this. Seems appropriate right now with so much SC hype. Enjoy! (caution, vulgar language!)


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Lifetime Free Realms Membership

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Free Realms from Sony Online Entertainment. As you can imagine, I was pretty thrilled when I found out that they were going to be offering a lifetime membership to the game for only $29.99.

Membership gives you access to member only items, marketplace discounts, access to all job classes, and upgraded home, monthly membership packages, and more! It's a great deal, so don't miss it if you're a Free Realms fan.

Unfortunately, I haven't had much time lately to spend in world. At least now when I return, I'll still be a member and will have accumulated all of the monthly membership goodies. And for only $30. Woot!

More info here:

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Prince of Persia Movie

So I went out and saw the recently released Prince of Persia film. I'm sure you've all seen the commercials and all the gamers out there are very familiar with Prince of Persia.

I'm not a film critic, so I won't go into any huge details here. If you're a hardcore PoP fan, you might appreciate seeing the popular game brought to life on the big screen. The value of the film probably ends there, though. The acting is bad and the whole thing comes off as very cheesy. Some of the action sequences were neat, but dragged on with over the top action and not enough use of the sands of time. And I have to admit, action films definitely lose something when there's no REAL violence.

Unfortunately, everyone knows videogame movies have a reputation for suckage. Overall, PoP was far better than the Street Fighter, Super Mario, Alone in the Dark and BloodRayne films, but inferior to Silent Hill or Mortal Kombat. Not a bad film. Not a good one either.

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Friday, March 26, 2010


I was recently encouraged to check out zOMG, an MMORPG attached to Gaia Online. I can honestly say, I've become pretty hooked.

zOMG is very easy to pick up and play for just a few minutes at a time. It loads fairly quickly, doesn't require any big downloads, and is free to play. The mechanics are also pretty easy to get the hang of, so the learning curve is quite small.

Another thing I love about zOMG is the character customization. There are just SO many ways to customize the appearance of your avatar with different clothing, hairstyles and accessories. If you're familiar with the Gaia community, your zOMG avatar is the same one that you use on their forum.

zOMG is still in Beta, but it's a very polished game. The environments are beautiful, the sound effects and music help bring the cartoony world to life. I definitely suggest you give it a try!

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

RPG Heroes Are Jerks

Here's an absolutely hilarious video from College Humor about how RPG Heroes are Jerks. Think about this next time you start rummaging through a peasants home in search of gold and potions.

Very funny - must watch! Thanks to Bethblog for posting this and bringing it to my attention. :)

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Monday, March 22, 2010

City of Eternals

So lately I've been checking out City of Eternals, a vampire themed MMORPG.

City of Eternals is free to play and connects with your facebook account. You can post updates of your progess to facebook (which your friends will probably hate), invite friends to join, declare your facebook friends as your minions to complete special tasks for you, and connect with City of Eternals players through facebook.

It's a fairly casual/social experience, so there isn't a lot of RPG depth. If you're hardcore, you might be disappointed. But so far I've found it to be an interesting adventure. It's easy to pick up and play for just a few minutes, you can customize your vampire in numerous ways, and it's free to play. Enough depth to keep me interested, but still light enough to not wear me out!

I will admit, I've run into some bad slowdown and bugs, but the game is still in Beta.

I'm a n00b, though, so there's plenty more to explore. Check it out for yourself at www.cityofeternals.com.

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