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Outpost 10F Forums / OTF v3 Ideas / Marketing
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polson
Member
# Posted: 30 Dec 2008 22:19
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So it's been muchly discussed that OTF needs a new marketing plan/team/project/process. At the moment there is no team currently devoted to this, it's more just discussion amongst TL's, however I think we should discuss it as a community.

Note - Kaela has that idea about making flyers we can post in our librarys, towns, internet cafes, ect, so don't forget about that.

Any other suggestions?

Are you able to help implement some of those suggestions?

Any interest in leading/joining a marketing team?

soka
Member
# Posted: 31 Dec 2008 01:12
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As I said in the flyer-thread already, easiest is to get people to hit the vote-links.
There is a link whenever you log out via the exit-button, maybe the red background should be changed ... or removed - it's already belonging there and people don't notice it any more, remove it and they will see something is different and have a closer look. Maybe make the background a random colour - should be quite easy to make.
Maybe we should look around and see which lists currently have a large amount of people using them - the ones we are linking to are probably a bit outdated.

Another thing is ... Even if people come here for the first time and find a deserted room they will most likely think this place is dead and not bother coming back. And let's be honest, at the moment it's empty for about half the day.
What I suggest here is that when someone wants to chat and looks at the personnel list and sees an empty room he just enters instead of just refreshing the list every few minutes waiting for someone to be in. There can be 5 people doing this and the moment someone just enters they all pop in.
This actually works, someone in the Senate suggested it and we senators did it for a while - the place got more crowded again suddenly.


Well, this is not really about a Marketing-team but not completely unrelated either I guess.

lzrman
Member
# Posted: 31 Dec 2008 03:40 · Edited by: lzrman
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I would volunteer to run the Marketing Team.

I am currently volunteering locally with our Winter Games Marketing committee on finding ways to promote our games via the web, that be facebook or online period.

Talking with Kaela, we kind of have a draft of a potential flyer and it should be concise and to the point.

Soka brings up an excellent point, during the day there is no one in the chatroom and on multiple occassions I see a new person enter the chatroom stick around for not even a minute if no one answers back.

What we need to do is branch off the chatroom and into the forums, maybe create a welcome sub forum where people can say hello I am john smith, or were we could perhaps welcome them.

maybe the red background should be changed ... or removed


Yes something needs to be done about that, I personally skip it and do not bother voting. Maybe we should invent some type of credits for a user for voting that they can spend on something? (TBD) on what they could spend it on.

Like chat time accumulates for top geek, we could have top voters of the month award?

One has to think, how do you market an online community that continually wants to grow? What age range do you want to target? What types of nationalities? What are we as a community willing to spend on advertising, radio, newsprint and/or flyers.

We could find out what time zone 's our membership lye in and target new time zones thus having people truly from all around the world.

shakeycat
Moderator
# Posted: 31 Dec 2008 04:10
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I think Soka makes the best point. The new person who enters the empty chatroom has already done all the leg work themselves, we just have to be there to receive them. A lot of interesting new or new-again people wander through! I'll make a point of "fishing" more often.

kaela_donos
Member
# Posted: 31 Dec 2008 04:16 · Edited by: kaela_donos
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i added an otf page to facebook! you can find it! We we could, if some one knows any otfers who can make facebook applications we should make one, i dont know what it would have on it though :/

I have been thinking about doing some adds, but as that tends to cost money and we don't have a budget :/ and i should talk to the admins about it first.

I also wonder about soka's idea, I have had kind of the same idea

having a group of fishers, call them something fancer though. people who agree to and make it a point to hang out in empty rooms. and while your fishing use a special tag line or have a special on side of dossy button (like the birthday button and the house) but this might be hard :/ hard is bad

Also it looks bad when the updates status hasn't been changed for over a month, which sometimes has been the case. even silly things shows that there are people about, we want it too look alive!

The reason i stayed is because i had a problem when i frist came in, something didn't work right i dont remeber what it was

Andrew maxwell him self responded to my help email with in 2 days. it was clearly a personal email not just, we have it one, and i was like.. oh, wow, it's a personal place it's not just a computer some where it has people! i dont know what that means to this or how it's applicably but... it is why i am hear

lzrman
Member
# Posted: 31 Dec 2008 04:35
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We should create a general inbox for peoples questions and have someone there to answer it within 24-48 hrs, this would give us a leg up on other communities.

christena
Member
# Posted: 31 Dec 2008 06:44 · Edited by: christena
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umm we used to have that.. it was the help box.. Jen ran it and I ran the Suggestion Box as well.. *coughs*Even though it was the suggestion box, I got alot of "help me" type things sent and it was checked every day and answered one way or another within a short time frame.

BUT

both of those things are broken and have been for a very long time.. basically why I gave it up..as there was nothing to do . I sent my personal email out there for suggestions and the like.. but didn't really get a good response with that. Not sure if that works now or not.
I miss the box, I really do.When i could get Department leaders to respond to me with answers..Iain and CeeT were always good for that, it was a top notch deal.
but heh...the response I always got when inquiring about the box being fixed was that it was on the back burner... too many other things going on to worry with it.. so I just didn't anymore.
Hope it gets fixed soon! Alot of things that came across my desk over the years, while being in charge of it, was stuff that were umm.. not considered(ie a auto refreshing chat..used to get loads for that)but there were still ALOT of good things to come of it. People stop suggesting things when they think they aren't being heard and with the help center and suggestion box down and broken.. you think they believe anybody is really listening? Sure you have the forums and stuff like that but..to me.. submitting it and knowing it's being sent on to people that have that interest..seems a bit more formal to me. Some call it red tape that we don't need.. but seeing how things have ended up around here... I'm thinking we need maybe just a bit of tape, don't you?

just my 2 cents.. maybe 3 If you agree, that's good.. and if you don't that's good too...just how I feel about it

soka
Member
# Posted: 31 Dec 2008 13:36 · Edited by: soka
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Nice to see people agreeing with me

I know the Suggestion-Box is broken ... but always thought the Help-Desk still worked ...

In that case maybe we should just link to an email-adress instead, even if it's risking spam. And for even faster responce, why not make it go to a mailing-list of 2 or 3 people, who then BCC the mailing-list in their replies to make the others know that and what they have replied.


But this is going slightly off-topic ... although it has to do with making people stay around.

soka
Member
# Posted: 31 Dec 2008 13:53 · Edited by: soka
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About giving people the job of lurking in the chat - if you 'have' to do it, it's too much of a forcing. They will feel they have to even when they aren't in the mood for it - and when someone enters and the only other person times out, it's not a good impression too.
I think the general population should just do it conciously, eventually it will perhaps become an automatic to do with some.

And I vote for less camming ... you see how many people keep lurking in the cam the moment an oldtimer enters - suddenly all kind of people pop in.



I'm not sure if this award-thing for voting would work, I'm not a coder, but I think it's complicated to implement.
Firstly, the link in the exit-screen, you click it *after* you have logged out, so it wouldn't register who clicked it.
Second, if you create some page where you can log in to click vote-links .. well, hardly anyone would do that I suppose (it's additional effort).
A possibility without having to log in might be to put vote-links on the chatscreen ... either replace the Support OTF-link (although voting would do that in a way too) or put them left and right of the chattop.
Of course you can count the clicks someone does but it's hard to make it only count when it actually voted - all those link-lists only register a vote from 1 IP/computer/whatever in a certain timeperiod, depending on the list once a day or a couple hours. Otherwise we'd have people cheating by clicking a lot of times just to get that award, which would make the whole thing pointless and a clicking-contest.

demonvamp
Member
# Posted: 31 Dec 2008 16:53
Reply 


Ah, if only we could go viral in some way. What do we have that could become the next cult phenomena...

Iain?

darth_balco
Member
# Posted: 31 Dec 2008 17:06
Reply 


What we need to do is kidnap some really rich person and use their resources to give OTF ad time during the Super Bowl and smear it on every freeway billboard.

Or convince people to use subliminal advertising for OTF in their shows and movies.

Or just make really funny commericals, Coors Light style.

lzrman
Member
# Posted: 1 Jan 2009 01:32
Reply 


Firstly, the link in the exit-screen, you click it *after* you have logged out, so it wouldn't register who clicked it.p
Sure it would, your exit message could have your id # / session# attached to the link Complex but interesting too!

Or just make really funny commericals, Coors Light style.

Who wants a Cold one?! I can just picture the women =P

We could have 5 links on top of the chat login
Vote 1 Vote 2 Vote 3 Vote 4 Vote 5 and once clicked the system would mark them out as clicked for day x and would not re appear them till 24 hrs after the click

richard_smith
Member
# Posted: 1 Jan 2009 03:01
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I will willing to help with this. I have a "slight" backround in marketing, but I might be of some help. I am also a copywriter and I make commercials for a living.

On a related note. I am thinking that our community could be more than a web community. I know of at least 4 other people in my area that visit this site on a regular basis, dispite my best efforts I have only met one of them. I would like to see more interaction, maybe to the point where we can start spreading the word. Maybe get together at events ie conventions and movies to hand out flyers or something. Might get more people in the door if we were a web community and more. Your thoughts?

lzrman
Member
# Posted: 1 Jan 2009 07:15
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So far looks like we have a potential team here.

Myself, Richard Smith and his 4 Friends + Kaela would make up a solid marketing team.

richard_smith
Member
# Posted: 1 Jan 2009 17:54
Reply 


Quoting: lzrman
So far looks like we have a potential team here.

Myself, Richard Smith and his 4 Friends + Kaela would make up a solid marketing team.


I can't speak for them, but as I said I would be willing and I may be able to count on one of them. Plus I would think we would want this to be as geographically diverse as possible. The other 4 people I mentioned and I we all live in he same City.

lzrman
Member
# Posted: 1 Jan 2009 22:10
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We would have to consider various language barriers and create for the culture the print.

lzrman
Member
# Posted: 2 Jan 2009 05:57 · Edited by: lzrman
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Not to be off topic or anything, why should we consider marketing OTF when projects currently being worked on being idle for 3 months? Do you not think before marketing OTF we get a handle on what we have for Version 3?

I don't mean to be a pragmatist but we should finalize what we are doing with the chats before marketing our chatrooms. If they are going to change some how in the future we should get on it before new people join, would show more update stuff.



Lzrman

shakeycat
Moderator
# Posted: 2 Jan 2009 06:41
Reply 


There was a marketing team years ago. The main focus there was product and not promotion, though plans were made for promotion. The product part was executed in the form of v2.

At this time, Maxwell gets interested in meta tags and search engine optimization. We are currently the first hit on Google for "Star Wars Chat" and "Star Trek Chat", and the second hit for "Lord of the Rings Chat". We also tried to optimize a huge web of pages, like the Library and guilds, trivia, etc. to create a bigger web with which to catch new patrons. It didn't work as we had hoped, and not everyone saw the importance of the meta tags stuck in the pages.

Our main problem right now is not lack of active marketing, but merely that people are not searching for a Star Trek/Wars/LOTR chat. Those that search will almost certainly come to Outpost10f, because of our high Google ranking. We just have to be there to catch them when they do.

Maxwell suggests we hook up an RSS feed (though we know little about RSS), so that members can be alerted when someone logs into the chat room. That way we can pop in and greet newbies, help them register and stick around for a bit.

A lot of OTF's marketing is out of our control. It's up to potential patrons to search for our keywords, and they will find us. We can always work to get more of our links out there, but if people aren't interested in our genres, they won't find those either.

With the current Clone Wars series, and upcoming Star Trek movie, interest will be going up, and we'll have another surge of new patrons.

lzrman
Member
# Posted: 2 Jan 2009 06:45 · Edited by: lzrman
Reply 


Well said, who needs marketing when we have TOP GOOGLE RANKings! =P!

I support this and as I was talking to Tanya about this, like we do with the Departmental Updates RSS, why not pull the values from the personal list, and have it so it looks like so.


+CL +Handle +Chatroom
+CL +Handle +Chatroom

And maybe with a possible link to +Enter Chatroom

soka
Member
# Posted: 2 Jan 2009 11:04
Reply 


Another thing ... not sure if it really is like that, but my impression by people regularly coming in as "hi" ..

I know we all are attached to the word Handle .. but I think it confuses people, they don't know that it's the name they are going to have in the chat. Maybe Nickname or something would be better.


And lzr ... rss-feeds only download every few minutes, depending on what you entered. Now that's not really a problem, but at least for me the timestamp is the time it downloads. So if I open the browser after a few hours and more than one update has been added they have the same time-stamp. Would be the same with feeds, you don't know which is oldest. Of course you could open the PL and see who currently is in but that wouldn't really change much.
Also I see the possibility of feed-flooding - unless it's somehow possible to limit that to CL1-2
yes yes ... I know, I always see problems with everything lol

babel
Member
# Posted: 4 Jan 2009 13:42
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We're not the first hit fopr 'sci fi chat room' which is what many people *might* be searching for. After all there are many sci fi franchises out there.

There were plans in place - don;t know if there still are - to have chat tops for different things like doctor Who. So as each one is up as a long-in option we could add those search terms. I bet, for example, you;d get a few Doctor Who fans.

Still think the way to go is make OTF a great place for sci fi gossip, news etc and publicise THAT.

babel
Member
# Posted: 4 Jan 2009 13:46 · Edited by: babel
Reply 


Quoting: lzrman
Well said, who needs marketing when we have TOP GOOGLE RANKings! =P!



Clearly we do because we are getting so few new members.

babel
Member
# Posted: 4 Jan 2009 13:50
Reply 


We have a kind of a vicious circle. Projects lie idle as there are no people to work on them. So to say that we need to decide what we are doing with our chat, the site as a whole etc, before we attract new people in . . my argument is we need new people asap otherwise we won't HAVE anyone to work on the things that need working on.

We don't have to make one huge sudden effort. We'd need to build up a programme aimed at increasing hits, visitor numbers, registered chatters. Maybe in time the chat will not even be the main focus of the site. I don't know. But we can start trying to get new people in, finding out what their interested and talents are and if they would be willing to help.

babel
Member
# Posted: 4 Jan 2009 14:22
Reply 


Re lurking in the spycam. Simple answer.


Scrap the spycam.

darth_balco
Member
# Posted: 4 Jan 2009 19:28
Reply 


Honestly, we just need to market ourselves as a chatroom. Scrap everything else but the chatroom. Get rid of the ranks, get rid of the teams, get rid of everything but the chat. Let's just make it a chatroom. No forums, no departments,no projects, just a chatroom.

We should try to market ourselves in a way that will also bring old members back. I like to believe we're in a generation of the internet that OTF just can't compete against. We got facebook, myspace, youtube, online gaming. A plain ol chatroom just can't compete against such. To try to mimic such those places to generate buzz will be a huge bomb and just be looked as nothing but a copycat. We'll never get the stream of new members that we did almost 4 years ago. Our best bet is to try to bring back old members who left because of something that angered them greatly in either the chat, department stuff, etc. Because let's face it, we have a hard time finding new members that stick around and the almost all of the ones that do, they end up getting banned because they annoy everyone and their mom to the point of insanity.

Basically, we need to market this place to remind people what it used to be and what it could be once again, a place to have a good time and meet great people. That's what drugged me here, wasn't the departments, the ranks, or all that jazz. That it was a fun place to chat and meet some cool people.

That's all I got to say, let's bring out the fun, while it's still there. And if we aren't willing to make that sacrifice to scrap everything but the basics, then we should end the ride. Because nobody cares about the departments, the spycam, the ranks, the projects, etc. People just wanna come and chat and have fun, a place to chill out.

lzrman
Member
# Posted: 4 Jan 2009 20:10
Reply 


Quoting: babel
Re lurking in the spycam. Simple answer.


Scrap the spycam.


Well Said!

Looking at the Spycam Stats:
27 - People this Month Have Visited the Spycam
73.28 Hours - Spent in the Cam that could very well have been spent in the chatroom.

david1
Member
# Posted: 4 Jan 2009 21:20
Reply 


*ahem* new star trek film comming out soon ....

... big chance to market this site as 'THE' place to go for info and such about it

any ho, im also on the "scap spycam" bandwagon. How does it "Benefit" the website?

majin_fett
Member
# Posted: 4 Jan 2009 21:27
Reply 


I think people forget about the new Lord of the Rings movies that are coming out.

david1
Member
# Posted: 4 Jan 2009 21:41
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do you mean the hobbit? or somthing else? .... either way wheres the mention of it on this site?

babel
Member
# Posted: 4 Jan 2009 21:47
Reply 


I mean scrapping the spycam would maybe concentrate everyone into the room . . just a thought.

Pat, know what you're saying but I can't see a reason we can't do a better job on other things like news updates. Dierna's been soldiering on her own for years, surely we could give her some help in that and provide more news info etc.

Oh and if we had a Doctor Who log in and avatar set (yes I'm working on avatars ) ther eis a hell of a lot of buzz about Doctor Who most of the time, you could capitalise on that as well as The Hobbit, the Trek movie etc and any other franchises we could think of

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