FM Fanboys blog, which is penned by the talents of Julius, Game or FM Fan boy on twitter and tumblr what you call the one guy that runs this site all depends on the time of day it is, Melissa at weekends. FM Fanboy has recently come back and with a bang with a very strong attack on the Football Manager community and the lack of diversity entitled “Every Patomine Has to Have a Villian”.
Finding it difficult to leave a comment on the tumblr page (found out because of silly IE at work), what better place is there to spotlight the blog and adding my own thoughts to the topic, than my own blog. I whole hearty agree with what this post is getting at, it is not a new problem and it is not a topic that I have shyd away from myself in the past. The article and his views are summed up well following paragraph:
How does another site dilute the quality of other fansites? – Well I’ll explain. Go visit three fansites, any three you like. All of those fansites offer you the same thing; some average articles, a few uncompleted facepacks, a mega useful team guide of Real Madrid and they all have the same members.
This is correct, few people are actually trying anything new. I have tried, much of my effort has gone into trying to change the thinking of fansites that I interact with on a daily basis, even those who even recognise the problem for themselves but always revert to type of the FM community and never actually doing anything about it. They setup a forum, spam it with the usual rubbish crowd sourcing posts that have already appeared before and thinking that the member numbers and activity are the most important things on the site. This I beg to differ on a measurement of success, it is a bit cliched but “content is king“, produce good content be that good forum posts for discussion, good articles or any given area of Football Manager that you choose to concentrate on. Just look at FM-Britain they have cornered the market for FM tactical advice, something that many FM players and Google searches are looking for. They may not have the most active forums, but it is full of intelligent and engaging discussions on tactical matters which shows by the numbers that have rushed to download the ‘Tactical Thermos 2010′ eBook and the foundations they are laying to make a reasonable amount of cash on the back of it.
So where does FM Pundit fit in to all this?
I hope that you are not judging me too harshly yet as the site has been up and running for only two weeks now. But the whole reason that FM Pundit is here is to try something new, to move an FM community blog forward in terms of what they are capable of. You notice that there is no forums attached to the site, this is because I want the content I produce to be at the centre of the discussion, for it to speak for itself and engage with an audience instead of you being talked at. I hope to corner the market in what is something that has lacked in previous years on the FM community, but discussion about aspects of the game, help and commentary on the game I have so much love for that I choose to dedicate a vast amount of time to.
I don’t just expect the community to come to me, but I try make a conscious effort to go where the fans are, if that is Facebook and Twitter you will find me there and in time I will look to appear on your home corner too, instead of trying to get everyone to my party. Seeing me around everyone’s forum shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing, I am a big advocator for sites to come together even if it is just an attempt to bring the conversation to one place. But while there is forums out there I hope you will see in my activities getting involved with topics that are unique and there to be discussed instead of telling you what my last win was.
FM Fanboy is right when he says that the community is killing itself, it is made up of a small percentage of the game players and with a market of over a million plus people, if you want a successful and diverse site then shouldn’t you be looking to bring new consumers to view your product? Instead they saturate the small market within. Getting out there to where these people are is key, if they are on Twitter engage with the their, if they are on Facebook gather questions and answer with them, share you knowledge and information and trust will be gained. They maybe on another forum or blog entirely, but reaching that audience is key if you want to keep your community alive here. This is part of the big plan of Football Manager Pundit, it’s early days at the moment and once I have been able to concentrate on getting quality blogs stocked onto the site, I will be making moves to promote the site in various ways (not just random advertisements shouting come here!) to reach that potential market. Guest blog posts at unconventional blogs, use of more social media and just basically getting to more home corners.
FM Pundit does not differ itself on features or competitions or even trying to gather as many members as possible, I infact hope to actually produce good content enjoy doing so and interact with the community within as well as those that have yet to venture the Football Manager Community walls, engaging in a social web that we live in as well as talking about the game I love. This is what I feel sets FM Pundit apart from the other sites around and hope to continue to be at the forefront of what a blogging site in the Football Manager community can be.
Just look around you site owners, you are being left behind in what is the new web where we have more power to market ourselves then ever, more potential in our hands then we ever had and plenty of people willing to share their knowledge. Look at over blogs, communities and sites in other areas and you will hopefully see where the FM community has been going wrong over the past few years, in its lack of forward thinking, over zealous and lack of innovation.
FM Fanboys can be found on Twitter @FMfanboys and is promising to blow our minds with his latest projects, so please do follow and keep up with his latest goings. Join the debate on Twitter @FMpundit or leave a comment below or at FMfanboys. What do you want to see from FM Pundit and most importantly the Football Manager gaming community?