Why Trolling is More Popular Than Ever

Why Trolling Is Bigger Than Ever

If I was responsible for marketing internet trolling as a product I’d be pretty happy with the growth I’ve seen. I’d be looking at a product that started as the preserve of usenet posts and bulletin boards, spread to social media and is now dominating the news every day. When the topic of conversation isn’t online trolls, it’s professional trolls masquerading as journalists, bloggers or presidential candidates.  Trolling is a profession now. It’s possible for someone whose only skill is a unique insight into being annoying to “annoy upwards”, generating more career success the more awful they become.

I manage online communities professionally. It’s my whole gig. Anyone who works in online communities knows how you’re supposed to deal with trolls. You’ve probably heard it too, whether you currently work with communities or not.

Don’t Feed The Troll.

Don’t give them what they want. They want attention, and if they’re starved of attention they’ll go somewhere else. Does it work? Yes, absolutely. Every time. It’s almost impossible to continue a campaign of annoyance against someone who refuses to acknowledge that you’re there. So why does nobody do it? Why, when we have more things to look at than ever, do we continue to feed the trolls?

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Early Access Community Mistakes

…and How to Avoid Them

Early Access Community Mistakes

Community is vital to Early Access. It’s what keeps your customers interested through a long dev cycle, provides a way for them to give feedback and makes them more likely to recommend your game to a friend. If you have a problem build or make an unpopular change, your community is the place to communicate with your fans and help to patch things up.

Even veteran developers like Damon Slye have made the mistake of underestimating the importance of community. The Kickstarter for a remake of his hugely popular flight-sim Red Baron underperformed despite a large potential audience. Slye himself attributes this to a lack of community:

“We didn’t build a community before we launched the Kickstarter,” he says. “We didn’t present it very well.” (via Polygon)

Early access success isn’t just about early sales, it’s about maintaining momentum up until launch. If you’re going to bring players back time and again for new builds to keep giving help and feedback, you’ll need to make them feel like a community rather than customers.

This can be easier said than done. Building a great community is a tricky business. There are common traps that even astute developers fall into in the rush of putting together community strategy:

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Gaming Community Bingo

Welcome to the magical world of Gaming Communities. It’s a treasure trove of members with peculiar superpowers that makes for a diverse forum. This bingo card was specially created for community managers in the gaming world. Print your own copy and cross out each archetype as you encounter them on your epic adventure into the world of people talking about videogames. Keep reading for more information on these archetypes:

Gaming Community Member Bingo

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What We’ve Learned About Support Communities

What We've Learned About Support CommunitiesOmni-channel support is here to stay, and support communities  are one of the most popular manifestations of this trend. Support communities are similar, but distinct from, other forms of social customer service. Using Twitter as a source of support for instance, can be useful in giving your customers a simple place to find you (a place where they’re already spending time), but is still based upon the customer receiving help directly from you. The strength of a support community is in giving customers a place to support each other, and an SEO friendly format that allows these answers to function as a knowledge base.

We recently performed a study on customer support community forums to measure their impact on businesses. These range from large name brands to smaller, more specialised communities. This article contains a list of insights that we’ve gained both from the study and our years of experience as a provide of support forum software. We’ll list some of the great results we’ve seen from support forums, and give a little advice on  how your community team can compensate for some of the problems that arise.

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Infographic: Customer Support Communities Study – Q3 2015

Customer Support Community Study

In August, we audited 250 discussion threads across 25 customer support communities to find out how customers were using support forums, if they were providing the promised benefit, and how we might improve our software. This study did not consider the numerous benefits of a customer community to marketing or other company departments. The communities were both B2B and B2C and included leading companies in the following verticals:  high tech, gaming, consumer durables, retail, and Telcos/ISPs. [For the full infographic, please scroll down]

Here are the results: Continue reading