How should we promote this site, when we reach public beta.
So the SEO team has come out with some specifics for how they could help promote. What is the best way to reach the RP community?
Mulling over this...
One of the keys to the success of a expert Q&A site is to have good answers not just from random humanoids but from recognized experts.
Therefore one of the biggest things we could do to promote this site is to get game creator/designer/publishers to have a presence here to answer questions.
I would suggest a specific campaign designed at personally inviting industry figures here - I am not sure what we can offer them besides the opportunity, initial rep bribes? But come up with a compelling pitch to get them to come here and answer questions re: their game systems.
Then the mooks will be lining up, we won't need to lift a finger to attract them.
We should get a promotional business card template that has the name of the site, a link, and a mission statement.
Who here attends conventions? Take some cards with you. I don't know which cons I can afford next year but Gencon and Magfest are possible options for me. Mention the site to anybody interested, hand some cards out.
Got a local hobby store? Ask the owner/manager if you can leave a stack of cards there or perhaps post a bulletin on their message board. (Physical board and/or online message board.)
You can even start as small as just mentioning it to your play group. Maybe if you are the GM, offer a 100xp referral bonus. ;)
I've got a friend over at d20source.com, I'll see about getting him to look at the site and make a post once the beta is public.
EDIT: He's made a post about us! http://www.d20source.com/2010/10/got-an-question-ask-rpg-stack-exchange
I will post it on my blog too, and between all of us it should get spread via the RPG Bloggers Network. And I think we have a better chance of not stepping on the toes of the Big Purple and ENWorld if we scope this thing right, and have it be a good Stack Exchangey expert Q&A site and not a general chat forum using different software. You don't have to be all things to all people to be newb friendly. Heck, in the FAQ we should have a list of forum sites for people that want to go hobnob.
Beyond that, Google should do the work for us - hell, half the time I end up on Stack Overflow it's because I was searching for something and they got the answers.
I would really like to hear from people with more experience on the big RPG forum community sites, by which I mean ENWorld and RPG.Net -- how would they feel about links to this site showing up in discussion threads over there? I sort of feel like that would be stepping on toes, but my instincts could be wrong.
It's a shame we just passed Origins and Gencon. I would have organized a get-together at Gencon. If anyone is going to Dragoncon, we should absolutely do a meetup there. Other fall cons of size/importance?
When we roll around to spring, I'll do a meetup at DDXP, although that's under a thousand people and way past public beta. I am being optimistic that we'll make it to the next stage, however.
Edit: you know, a general Stack Exchange meetup at cons would probably get people who know about the other big SE sites but don't know about us.
I think we could use a separate question to collate a list of bloggers and/or podcasters to talk to. I don't know how to do that, really -- I tend to feel awkward. Might be that natural word of mouth in blogging will work fine, since Zachary and R.S. are bloggers and brought a lot of people into the commitment phase. Heck, I'll blog about it, not that anyone reads my blog.
Speaking of blogs -- if you don't normally enter a URL when commenting on blogs, using the URL here might be a decent idea. I wouldn't comment just for the sake of getting the URL out there, but if you were going to comment anyway and you don't have your own site to point to? Might be on the verge of spam; please downvote this if you think it is.
Anyone have any experience with getting URLs noticed on Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, etc? I bet it's really hard.
Use your own personal flair! (follow that link to find your own!)
The simple one is at
.png but check out the flair page for more options.
You can use it in your signatures and have it link to your user page (which is the default) or to the site homepage.
Minor thing, but worth doing: put the place in your signature on forums.
This will definitely get a mention on my podcast. It's not big, but we've got word-of-mouth appeal.
Hm, here's a big fat promotional mechanism: this place makes a superb support site. Let's say you're Bob Small Press. ("Hi, Bob!") You want a place where you can answer customer questions, but you can't afford to/don't want to put up your own forums. Dealing with spam alone is a pain.
So you come here. You actively answer questions. You're going to be rated highly if you do a decent job of it; you'll also benefit from exposing your game to people who don't play it already. You could publicize the URL as the official support channel.
I am not Bob Small Press, so I don't know for sure that'd be attractive, but it seems logical. Famous last words.
(Inspired by Jared Sorenson's sudden run of answering Freemarket questions.)