Facebook vs. own forum

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by kglarsen, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. kglarsen

    kglarsen New Member

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    I'm in the planning stage of a indie game (No need for a further discussion at this moment). My question is very basic:

    What experiences do you guys have with Facebook Pages vs. having your own forum?

    My initial thoughts are:

    At first I thought that having your own forum would be far the best option - almost everyone else have one. I'm currently active on one forum related to a indie game (Chart Wars), which has a pretty solid fanbase (As long as some updates are made....). So it seems like a good idea.
    But on the other hand: the internet is flooded with various forums and many indie games have their own forum, and many of them are more or less inactive - there are many explanations to that...
    But I began thinking: Do people bother anymore to sign up for forums and also be active forum members? I mean if you become a fan of 3-4 games, would you then register and be active on all forums? I'm beginning to think: No!
    This is where Facebook comes in handy. Here you have everything in one browser and one login. You can view the fansite of this particular indie game and be active there and then quickly move on to the next without much trouble.
    Furthermore it's more convenient for fans to recommend the Facebook Page and thereby the game to other Facebook users than if you use other channels.

    And if you compare Facebook Pages with a regular forum software it has more or less the same basic functions that you need - you want the fans to interact with each other, and you want to interact with the fans, vice versa.
     
  2. Mattias Gustavsson

    Original Member

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  3. Indinera

    Moderator Indie Author

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    I like having a forum better but why not go for both of them?
     
  4. DigitalDuffman

    DigitalDuffman New Member

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    I'd have my own forum but also link to a facebook page for facebook users too...

    Which reminds me that I need my own forum. Doh!
     
  5. michalczyk

    Original Member

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    In my experience, as an artist who has a website since 1996, fewer people bother with providing any user input. And the input they provide gets shorter and shorter. On my website visitors can comment on each image and the average comment length is few words long. In the late 90s comments were typically few sentences long. I know you asked about a forum but this is a general trend. The online content consumption is becoming increasingly passive - there is much more stuff to consume to bother with content creator interaction. There is simply too much stuff out there. Unless your game will become popular don't bother with a forum.

    I know of few artists who used to have a forum for a few years and eventually killed it mostly because it was not worth the time. Some people can be very needy and sometimes demanding. And there are always few bad apples that can rotten the whole atmosphere...
     
  6. Shaz

    Moderator Original Member

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    Unless you have something planned to get forum members in the first place, and then for them to keep busy with (the game itself, or a demo, or plenty of progress news), you're going to spend most of your time deleting spammers. ;)
     
  7. kglarsen

    kglarsen New Member

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    Again, thanks for the advise.
    I think we're going to lean towards a blog-like community, where the users can comment on almost every news, pictures, videos etc.
    Furthermore I'm planning on community interaction by exchanging modulation of the game, posting/commenting on diaries from their game and there if everything goes as planned, there will also be a competitive element on the website based on the game....
    So now I've leaked a bit of my ideas on the diaries and the competitive element - but what that exactly means... Well you'll have to see.

    Hint: check out Cities XL's website - they have a great way of building a community I think without a forum.
     
  8. Obscure

    Indie Author

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    Both - plus Twitter, Youtube and any other similar services you can find. Different people will use different methods to follow you and as an indie it is important to spread awareness as widely as possible.
     
  9. Game Producer

    Moderator Original Member

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    It depends. I have my own forum for Dead Wake game. The community has couple of important points to consider:
    - amount of spam (prepared to get some moderators & banning to keep the site clean)
    - amount of time required (running a community takes time)
    - server (slow community = bad thing... it's good to ensure that you have a proper host)

    I presume the same points might apply to Facebook too... so not really an answer.

    What I'm going to do is to get rid of Dead Wake forums and go with a blog + newsletter + twitter + youtube option instead.
     
  10. Ethan Damschroder

    Ethan Damschroder New Member

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    Not that I'm one to ask about this but I would think that your own forum would be preferable, for a few reasons.

    1) Facebook is a relatively personal thing where you talk to people you know face to face as opposed to people you have never met. (At least in my experience.) Since your name and face would show up as a member of the page it may push some people away from joining. Not to mention the fact that very very few people are ever active on anything they join on Facebook for more than a week. People usually join things and then forget about it twenty or so minutes later.

    2) You mentioned that one downside to having your own forum is that there are millions of them already. while this is true individuals themselves are not usually involved in too many so it really doesn't matter how many others there are.

    3) It looks more professional to have your own forum. (At least in my opinion)

    The only downsides that I can see are that if you want it to look good and run well then it's going to cost you some money and time as opposed to Facebook.

    Ultimately, I think that you have a better shot of getting active members if you have your own forum although whatever your game(s) is(are) is a much more important factor obviously.

    Once again, I'm no expert so feel free to disregard this.

    -Ethan
     
  11. mirosurabu

    mirosurabu New Member

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    Oh god Klaus, what are you doing here? D: d:

    Mailing lists are good way for direct marketing though they aren't that popular among indie developers (for whatever reason).

    Forums aren't easy to maintain and they aren't useful in the stage where developers don't have a game released.
     
  12. kglarsen

    kglarsen New Member

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    I was actually puzzled that you weren't here! I've made a whole bunch of new stuff for "the game" ;) check it out on the forums!
     

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