Focus on What Matters: An Opinion Piece
*For the love of all that is holy, this is a very opinionated opinion piece. please quit reading now if you are someone who gets their panties in a wad when I do these. Thanks*
I get a lot of slack from people who tend to say that my very loud opinion that feds should have fully managed websites. It’s to a point I truly wonder why these same people continue to follow eWscene at all. As I have always said, and will continue to say, my opinions are just that: opinions. But even I have an issue with some stuff I have seen recently in regards to feds that have websites. Well, one fed in particular, but I bet there are others out there with the same mind set.
Don’t think I’m picking on one fed, just using them as an example as they are the ones who have caught my eye today. Of course I expect some flack from some readers, but you are welcome to your opinions as well. All I ask is you read the entire column before judging.
Recently, one of our discussion topics [Why do you run your e-fed?] got a very interesting response from a newer fed out there. Here, let me post it for you:
I created the innovatorsofwrestling.com for a few reasons. Having been a fedder for more than twelve years, I’ve come to realise that good graphics are a scarcity in this hobby and some of the best results/most talented roleplayers work on sites that look like crap. I wanted to change that.
I designed the IoW because I wanted to fuse really slick, nice designs with wonderfully written results and a decent level of competition. I also wanted to create a fed that judges results based on who produced the better role-play – NOT who produced the MOST role-plays or the fact that your best friend was the role-player so he wins, or even giving someone a win because they’ve been in the fed longer. IoW is about quality and equality.
So I know my why and if people decide to join us, they’ll know it too.
You’ll notice I bolded some of it, I’ll explain that in a bit after I post an advertising post by the same fed today:
Hey there, folks.
Many of you may have already seen or heard about the IoW but very few will have heard from me directly on reasons why you should check us out and give us a try. So if you could spare a few minutes to read this, I’d really appreciate it.
First and foremost, if you’re looking for a fed to role-play in – I urge you to stop by and have a look. We’re in our infancy and have only just performed our first show, complete with comprehensive match results. You wouldn’t be joining somewhere festered with little cliques; in fact, you’d be joining somewhere in the early stages and helping it grow.
If you have specific reasons for joining an eFed – read on. Here’s what makes the IoW worth your time and effort.
1. Great Graphics
The guys over at E-Fed Rankings said this about our website graphics: “Not to blow smoke, but you create the best graphics I’ve seen in 17 years of eWrestling. It’s a matter of opinion, but I’ve seen the best and without question, yours will turn heads. It’s right up there with the zTw, fWo and PIW. #AllTime”. That’s an incredible tip of the hat in our direction and I can’t thank them enough for it. Ultimately, graphics matter. There’s something special about heading to a website and seeing your character looking dapper on the site. After all, you’ve invested time on your wrestler(s), so to head to your fed and see that the owner has invested time in great graphics that include your wrestler creates an excitement, certainly in my opinion. If nothing else, fedders DESERVE great graphics. They work hard and should be rewarded with pixelated eye candy. There’s plenty of that at the IoW.
2. Comprehensive Results
Now, I accept that we’ve only had one show, but it was a great one. More importantly, it was on time and it will ALWAYS be on time. That’s because I write the entire show on my own, from scratch. That enables me to keep a continuous flow throughout the entire event and means I’m only relying on myself to make sure they’re good and prompt. When I was a fedder, I HATED late results. I took it as a slap in the face when the fed-head would throw up half-assed results 3-5 days late. It shows a lack of care and insults the people who have chosen his or her fed to enjoy this fine hobby. At the IoW, you get out what you put in. The match with the most effort regarding role-plays will always get main event status. I reward effort.
3. Regular Updates/Interaction
I update the site on an almost daily basis, either with news articles, job opportunities, polls and graphics. There’s always something to do at the IoW and it’s what makes it stand out in my opinion. We’re also very active on Twitter, whether it be developing story-lines, hyping events, or just generally keeping our followers informed on the goings on at the site. You won’t come to IoW and find nothing to do.
4. Website Depth
Nearly every fed out there throws up a roster page and, in some instances, provide a link to the stats YOU posted. Not IoW. We give your characters a slick looking roster icon that links to their own page,complete with stats, match records, background, relationships and even theme music. If you have a tag team, they get the same treatment. If you’ve got a valet/manager, they get their own page too. The Champions also have their own page, revealing the records and all the information you’d want about each title. There’s regular news stories, complete with graphics and there’s about to be “M.V.P of the Week” (as voted for by the people of IoW) and “Highlight of the Night” (voted by the people of IoW about their favourite section of the show that just aired). I put so much of my own money, time and effort into the site for the members, because they deserve quality.
5. Healthy Competition
The members of the IoW are varied in terms of experience and ability, so there’s always bound to be a challenge for you. We don’t belittle people if their work isn’t of a “high enough standard” – instead, we encourage them and push them through angles, story-lines and feuds. Not that IoW is littered with average quality. The standard is good here and we want to add to it and improve upon it.
So, there you have it. I’m not forcing you to join; although if you check us out and decide NOT to join, you’d be missing out on the kind of fedding experience you deserve and that would be a real shame. So, I hope to see you all there soon! We only have SEVEN roster slots left, so if you’re reading this and want to join, come in soon!
The bolded portions are where in talking about the fed, in areas of which should be promoting why you would want to join their fed, it’s heavy on the graphics and website stuff. My main concern is that the #1 reason on both post to check their fed out is graphic related. Look, even I, the guy who preaches websites and graphics to anyone who will listen, has a problem here. You want to sell me on your fed, don’t focus on the website or pretty pictures.
(Not to mention the claim of being right up there with the fWO. I work with Travis and we disagree)
I am one who doesn’t know when to keep my opinions to myself, we all know this. You guys are probably used to it, right? So what did I do? Well, after the second time I see this focus on graphics and cringe, I take it to Twitter.
(Yea, I got a capture for you lazy folks)
Firstly, the person seemed to get offended quite easily by a simple question. Unsure why, I tend to ask legitimate questions before I make final decisions on how I should feel about something and more often than not do the replies not come off like this to me. Maybe I’m reading it wrong? Maybe they always do but I don’t notice? Who knows. Either way, his first reply came off very matter-of-factually instead of informative and understanding of a concern.
As for there not being a top focus, why did you number them then? Why is graphics the first thing you talk about? Give me more. How are your shows written? When do they come out? Why should I invest in your fed as a fan or potential handler? Yea, he briefly covers it, but why is that not the top focus?
The final comment from him, the one that inspired me to actually write a column is even worse.
@eWscene Also, writing is integral to every fed so almost goes without saying. I put focus on what makes IoW different.
This is where my head hits my desk. I’m happy that you took the initiative to have a website for your fed. Really, I absolutely stand by every fed needs to have a website. I’ve already covered that. There is also no denying that you have some awesome Photoshop skills. Seriously, they are pretty sexy graphics.
But I have yet to see where you are putting focus on what really makes IoW different. I took the time to read your first show before writing this. it was the only way I could make a fair assessment. Yes, you have a nicely written show of good length, but it was just that: A nicely written show of good length. You still color coded your results like most forum feds I see now days and just like most forum feds, you have nice looking images breaking up the segments.
The website? I can name plenty of other feds and eW sites whom use webs.com for their site. Not all of them pay a monthly fee for ad free and a few extra features, but it’s not original. In fact that’s an article in itself about my detest of webs.com and how they rip their customers off. Either way, good job swapping the colors and adding some images into their Patriotic theme.
(I still am unsure why they call it Patriotic. There’s no red, white, or blue even in the default setting of the template.)
So we got that the results are really good, but no different than many other feds, the website is an online customizable template, and the graphics are made by someone who obviously learned how to use Photoshop correctly. But why are you different? I see over 100 feds a day, and you fall into about 35 of them that are similar. So tell me, please, what is different?
Now, don’t get me wrong, IoW looks like it could be a good, fun fed. I’m not in it and haven’t poked around much more than skimming through the site and reading the results. Nothing really pops at me other than the person promoting it is focusing on the wrong things and doesn’t take kindly to someone asking about that.
(Jesus, Thinking about it they might really not like this column huh? Well, hopefully they continue to the end as I’ve asked before coming to a conclusion.)
Now, to the point of this entire spew: Focus on What Matters.
This isn’t just to the IoW, but to each and every person who wakes up one day and for whatever reason decides to open up an Efed. You will need to promote said Efed and gather interest. But how should you go about it? We have some good tips HERE and HERE. You definitely need to get your fed set up first, and then get ready to turn on that hype machine you have locked away in your parent’s basement. But what should you focus on when promoting?
Whether it be via forum post, ad boards, twitter, or an ad in the local newspaper you should focus on what makes someone want to join your fed. What do you have to offer in the core aspect of eWrestling that you do better than anyone else. Notice I didn’t say that you do and no one else does, because frankly it’s been done before in some form or another and the chances of finding something original now are slim.
1. The Writing
How are your shows presented? What is your promise to potential handlers for delivering shows? What should they expect all of the time? What is expected of them? This should always be your top focus. In no way should you EVER shrug it off as “writing is a given.”
You obviously haven’t seen some of the feds I have, have you?
Writing is horribly overlooked in a hobby based around text. It isn’t done correctly, it’s usually not fun to read, and nothing seems to ever pop anymore. Why should I join your fed if the writing is the same a ton of other feds that have been along longer than you? Make me a fan. Give me something to care about while waiting for your show to come.
Oh, and don’t be a douche and suggest your shows are any better than anyone else. They might be better than some, but I guarantee there’s always someone with better stuff than you. I don’t want to handle for an asshole, I’m enough of one myself.
2. The Atmosphere
What’s almost as important as writing? The atmosphere. I’ve already said I don’t want to handle for an asshole, nor do I want to handle for a control freak, someone who doesn’t talk to their roster, and so on. At the same time, I want to get along with others in the fed. How is your OOC atmosphere? What do you do to boost said atmosphere? Updating the site daily might help keep interest, but does it help keep moral high?
(Plus every fed should update their stuff regularly anyways, those who don’t are lazy.)
Hell, in some cases I’d put atmosphere higher than writing because I can’t write at my maximum potential if backstage is full of douche-bags or not buzzing at all.
3. Everything Else
This is the site and design, when it’s updated etc. To be honest, if I can find a forum fed that fully takes care of my needs for #1 and #2, I’d pick them over anyone who puts more focus on #3. If you know me well, you know I really dislike forum feds so this should show how passionate I am about people focusing on what matters.
So why the focus on the extra stuff today? Why are people getting upset when asked about something instead of taking that opportunity to turn the question around and provide a better look at what really special? Today’s incident was a perfect time for the fed head to take my question and shoot back with some more facts in a way that makes them look more interesting instead of making me not really care to visit anymore as I feel any opinion I may have will be met with a hostile tone.
Not to sound too conceited, even though it will, but if the person asking is someone who has a ton of visibility in the hobby, wouldn’t you want to positively promote your product in hopes to get some good press? I dunno, that’s just me. Either way, I feel they succeeded today and clicks from eWscene to IoW will top the list for the next day or two as people read this.
(No press is bad press, right? That’s what they say innit?)
I dunno, I just get tired really of seeing the same trends over and over, and in just a few months the fed ends up being a big flop.
(If that long.)
I’d rather see more people just give us the basics and kick out a good product. When they have surpassed six months or a year then they can start to boast a bit more, but not when you’re just first starting out. No, when you are first starting out you need to keep it simple, and to the point. Hype and pretty graphics only gets you so far.
Give me a year straight of on time, quality results, then maybe I’ll think you have your priorities straight.
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