Friday, August 22, 2008

Xbox Xperts Yes, But Social Media No?

I'm just doing my rounds around the web, and came across sheylara's latest foray as a gaming blogger. i'm glad for her and proud of her that's she's worked (and blogged) hard to be given the title as an Xbox Xpert. (if you must know, i do approach her for some PlayStation stories as well. - and she's been ever so kind)

here's the thing i don't understand though, she has a successful blog, and blogs about gaming on her blog many times, in some sense, that's sort of what you go to www.sheylara.com for. so why go through all the hassle create a brand new Xbox blog and in some sense, fragment both Sheylara and XBox's media channels?

i understand that xperts.com is meant to be a help channel for Xbox n00bs to ask Sheylara for help, but all i see on that blog are game reviews and contest details. No real help-line there.

so far, i'm guessing they're only doing this for brand enhancement, perhaps adding organic relevancy to searches.. but those are rather long term goals. in the short term, all i see is further fragmentation of the gaming channel to convey messages.

here are some key points.

1. I agree that having a page dedicated to help newbies is important, i think it serves as education and breaks down barriers to entry. just look at get satisfaction - however -

2. i don't know if this blog (or even using a blog as a channel) is the most effective way to communicate the message. here's what i mean, blogs tend to spark conversation, but the newbie needs information. shouldn't the proposed new media channel be somewhere along the lines of direct communication or customer service?

3. i'm also concerned about continued fragmentation of new media channels to a point where there is no longer a critical mass that makes social content.. well, social at all! (ie. if you're a digital strategists, blogs aren't your only answer, or the only product you can sell to clients who need a communications solution)

4. lastly, i think they've identified the need. i don't think they've met it by starting a blog, would a forum have better sufficed?

5. -update- i stand corrected, there are dedicated help channels, but feedback from XBOXers tend to come from comments. i think threaded conversations ala forum archtecture better serves the purpose of getting up-to-date help.

overall, i guess i was hoping for better use of a blog. as it stands now, i think Sheylara is more popular than the Xpert blog, it'd be interesting to see if one supercedes the other.

well, what do you think?

5 comments:

Ian Timothy said...

Wah lau....Got blown off for coffee so you can write blog post!

Hillary Chan said...

Moleskine bought over http://moleskinerie.com and hired the blogger to continue blogging there as usual.

XBox would have done better had it done the same, but they didn't.

Now, I wonder if Sony would like to buy Sheylara.com :D

Kevin said...

I think it's a good start. Social media is relatively new in Singapore so there are lots of incumbent forces to turn over before we'd see a matured landscape. For now I think it's vital for Sheylara to build a strong gamer personality, much like the adorable yet knowledgeable Katherine Fletcher on ChannelFlip Games. Sigh... isn't Katherine so fetching?

brian koh said...

@ian timothy: hahahaa, at least it was a good read no?

@hillary chan: that's pretty true! thanks for the link -) it was informative -)

@kevin: agreed, at least they're starting to experiment. anyway, with a force like Sheylara, it's mroe steps in the right direction -) hahaha, and yes, Katherine Fletcher is charming indeed. you have teh crush for her?

Suffian said...

Personally, I think Xbox should have set up the blog with multiple authors and aggregated relevant content from their personal blogs. The practice of creating a new places for people to say things they're already saying on their own blogs or websites is kind of lame. As for forums, I think that wouldn't work with casual gamers. I used to be a forum kid and I hated it when big brands created spaces for us. It's okay if they're guests or members, but don't build me a house and tell me to stay in it, just because you made it. Doesn't work that way, never did.