August 31, 2013 | Filed under: business | democracy30019
I was replying to an email about democracy 3 today, when ti occurred to me to suggest the person who wrote to me ‘like’ the facebook page for democracy 3. For those interested, you can find the page here: https://www.facebook.com/democracygame. As of the time of writing, it has 540 likes. This is not a lot. On the other hand I could have sent him to the very sparsely populated Democracy 3 forum at my site, which is at http://positech.co.uk/forums/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=35. It currently has 139 posts.
I’ve been musing over whether or not that sort of decision makes sense. This is the kind of thing I lie awake worrying about :D
- Almost everyone has a facebook account. he can visit the page and click ‘like’ and that boosts the popularity of the game in the eyes of others. it’s simple and easy. He is MUCH more likely to do this that join my forums. In other words, this is less likely to be a waste of time.
- Facebook is always up to date and has no security flaws or requires any technical maintenance on my part. It also has features that forums do not have, and everyone knows how to use it. People are more familiar with facebook ‘likes’ and posts than they are forums.
- Facebook is viral. If this guy ‘likes’ democracy 3, then that gives me indirect marketing to all his friends who saw that like. Even those who have never heard of the game. In other words, facebook likes ‘leak’ out into the rest of the world for free. Forum posts stay where they are.
- I control my forums and my server. I have total freedom to do what I like there. I cannot have my forum ‘banned’, or have the terms and conditions change underneath me. I can also populate that forum page with banners linking to my main site, and promote my games there with greater freedom than I can within a facebook page
- I’d just be making the facebook page more popular and my own forum less so. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy if I start defining facebook as the place to go, which could kill off my own forum.
- People on my forums can be ‘marketed’ to for free by me. People on facebook, even those on my facebook page, will only see my posts if I pay facebook enough. Essentially, I’m building up their network for free, and then paying them for permission to talk to the same people I sent there in the first place. This is stupid in the long term.
The game is not even in beta yet (although it will be soon, I’ve even made the buy button for it!). So the traffic on both is limited. I need to get these decisions right NOW, not dither about them. The trouble is, I tend to dither and not make firm commitments.
Does the virality of facebook trump the ownership of developer forums? I’m suspecting that it may do, although that is horribly short-term thinking. ARGHHHHH.