»A Pleb's guide to making GC not suck.

Discussion in 'Suggestions & Feedback' started by FoxtrotCentauri, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. FoxtrotCentauri

    FoxtrotCentauri Admin Admin

    Messages:
    81
    Ratings:
    +63 / -0
    Okay, clickbait title out of the way.

    Note: forum trolls need not comment.

    Below is a summary of the issues & challenges which GC needs to overcome if it is to continue beyond the next year or so. For those of you with an idealistic view of the world, let me be clear. GC is a business, and like any business, must adapt constantly to remain relevant.

    Prenote for aXed, the intended audience of this post:

    You are impossible to reach unless it is a head admin, or other member of staff in a perceived "high" position trying to contact you. Hence this post. I'm offering help for free. Help based on my experience founding gaming communities. Please show me, and the rest of the community that you are still a stakeholder here and at the very least acknowledge this feedback, if not the assistance being offered.

    Okay onto the meat;

    SEO

    I've examined the reach and relevance of search results for this community. The perception is not fantastic. There are two main reasons:-

    - Dated results

    Most of the search results for video and image content is from 2014/2015, and the content itself is not of high quality. I don't need to go into what perception this creates for GC, it is self explanatory.

    I would suggest that you encourage content creation by implementing a regular scheme whereby users can submit content monthly for consideration where the best monthly submission wins a prize. This can be in-game items or a discount voucher from the store.

    At this point, and given the activity within the community, the quality of the produced content is less relevant than creating recent content which appears within SEO and pads out the search results. The side effect of a bigger online presence will attract more players to at least try the server out. This suggestion costs you nothing however will be beneficial.

    - Forum metatags

    Only the first 5/6 results are relevant to this community. Fully implement metatags on the forum and allow web crawlers to cache this and fill the first few pages of search results with GC related content. The forums do not make use of meta keywords.

    In addition to the above suggestions to increase SEO, posts about guildcraft are also similarly dated. An effort to create more content about GC on other third party minecraft related websites will increase SEO however also should provide further reach, a tangiable increase in traffic to the site and minecraft server.

    Social Media

    Here is where GC is missing a big trick. GC doesn't have a social presence whatsoever. Just your personal twitter account axed, which is very rarely updated and doesn't do the job.

    The first step is to rename the Twitter account GuildCraft_aXed and make it the primary twitter account for the organisation. Then open accounts on any relevent social platforms and leverage whatever reach you have on Twitter to grow the social following.

    Regular postings on social media is absolutely vital. There are a number of ways in which companies engage with their audiences, however the main way to quickly grow a following is to have competitions or giveaways on the social channels, and advertise them on the main website (these forums). This only works so long as social media continues to publish interesting and engaging content. Below are two suggested tools which allow content to be scheduled in advance and posted automatically, so that content plans can be developed and pushed with ease.

    I can understand the issues surrounding who has control to social media accounts. Risks can be negated using tools such as socialsprout or hootsuite. These also offer the scheduling of posts for a more hands off approach when creating regular content to publish.

    The additional benefit of a strong social media presence is to provide ad hoc updates to the community for issues such as server downtime, or unexpected events separate from the website.

    Perhaps partnering up with other companies to provide giveaways is a good idea. Further to my general offer of assistance, I am willing to reach out to my industry contacts to see if something can be arranged, DM if interested.

    An updated brand kit would also be beneficial. However this involves financial cost and I'm not quite sure whether you are willing to spend any money in improving your social media presence.

    -Discord

    I know that you have plans to unify the several discord communities into a single server. Great idea, it removes the segmentation of the community.

    I am however very apprehensive regarding how the roles are going to be defined, and the structure of the server itself. Also moderation, I would suggest you implement modmail or similar bot. Nothing more to say on this matter, however if you want anything further on how this can be best implemented then please let me know.

    User Retention

    Minecraft is unique in the way that it attracts younger users, when these users become older they tend to move on. Minecraft on PC as a whole is a smaller market segment now than it was a few years ago, however it is still very popular. GC is failing to capitalise on anything to increase player counts and retain old members. This is called churn. There are as many retention schemes as there are ideas which you have to come up with. I love these kinds of brainstorming sessions however the community can also be asked for ideas. Here are a few suggestions from me:

    - Creating a group of players per subserver who are coached to welcome and settle new players who join the server. This is not a new staff role, rather a community of existing players who would meet whatever criteria is decided, and are willing to assist. This group of players can be incentivised through in-game rewards.

    - Create seasons on the servers, with a pre-announced specific start and end date. Periodic rewards for reaching certain targets in-game (not aided by p2w).

    - Create a referral program. Ask users to invite their friends (this can be tracked by discord invites, and linking discord ID's to MC names to track their playtime. These plugins already exist). After a user has invited x amount of players they are rewarded.

    -Rework the voting scheme, ideally implementing my earlier suggestion: https://www.guildcraft.org/threads/monetisation-of-the-server.79894/

    - Implement a schedule of regular events on every subserver. I will cover this more in another section later on.

    There are many, many more ideas which can be considered but I don't want to make this section too long.
     
    #1
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 2
  2. FoxtrotCentauri

    FoxtrotCentauri Admin Admin

    Messages:
    81
    Ratings:
    +63 / -0
    Community Management

    Community Management here is bad to the point where it doesn't exist. I am aware that there used to be someone in this position who has since left, however I was not here for those times so do not have a point of comparison.

    Anyway, a monthly newsletter doesn't cut it. Radio silence from aXed doesn't do anyone any favors. I will break this down:

    The content and quality (and accuracy lol) of the newsletters needs to be improved. If something is going to be delayed, you update the community. If something is not going according to plan, you get word out. Engagement with the community cannot be understated, this needs to be addressed and is potentially the most urgent issue out of this entire post.

    - Create a roadmap of features, updates and plans. Every few months, at my organisations we have an internal roadmap for 12 months, and publicly post the next few months every quarter once they are more defined. GC needs to do the same, to keep the community in the loop, and to increase retention.

    - Design a better system to collect feedback. There is very little overview of feedback at the moment, with several subservers, staff and community feedback, posts on the forums, posts under the newsletters, it's a disjointed mess. A system for feedback needs to be designed, or use of this subforum needs to be promoted and each suggestion read and at the very least acknowledged.

    Regarding feedback on Discord, if the head-admin doesn't like it, it doesn't get implemented. Some head-admins want to create their own vision for the server, and ideas which they do not like, but align with the community expectations are not listened to.

    Things need to be more democratic, suggestions and ideas need to be actioned, even if declined. Head admins are entitled to implement what is best, however complete autocracy is also a detriment and there needs to be the right balance, where ideas which are declined are fedback to the community and not just ignored altogether.

    - Improve the SLA for support tickets, have trusted staff action them. Response times are important, people wait days/weeks for certain issues, delegate more responsibility to key stakeholders and have these problems resolved quickly. Industry standard is 24 hours, it's not a difficult target to miss.

    - Use social media to communicate ideas more. change in-game messages to suit, whether it's an event taking place, an important announcement, or sharing of social media links.

    - Allow head admins (and aXed) to be approachable. I don't mean let them be spammed by DM's on Discord, but have a way where members can get in touch with them. Some staff are good at this, others are not. at all. An effort should be made.

    Shop

    Have a look at recent suggestions made. I would also suggest that you implement seasonal packages much like other servers do, a christmas package, valentines, etc. Whatever.

    It's also in my monetisation post mentioned above, however there are many improvements which you could make, such as selling boosters on their own, selling spawners, in game currency, etc.

    I have more to add but I only wanted to touch on this as it's more about monetising and retention than anything else.

    There is more to cover than the above, however I'm not going to write out a business plan without any commitment from the owner that changes need to be made. You can DM me on the forums and we can pick this up if you're interested.

    For all the others who have sat down and read this, thank you. I would appreciate any comments and feedback on what you think would benefit this community.

    If you're reading this, and want to railroad this post for your own amusement, I'm not interested.

    I'm at work right now so I may refine/add to this post once I have more free time.



    @aXed
     
    #2
    • Agree Agree x 7
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Pew Pew x 1
  3. Gunnu

    Gunnu Mod Mod

    Messages:
    644
    Ratings:
    +126 / -0
    Some A grade suggestion to be considered . Good job foxy.
     
    #3
  4. ThnxM8

    ThnxM8 Enthusiast Member

    Messages:
    137
    Ratings:
    +29 / -0
    Well done.
     
    #4
  5. GoDsDaD

    GoDsDaD Journeyman Member

    Messages:
    26
    Ratings:
    +11 / -0
    Completely agree with this (besides the walmart greeting party :)).

    This is info that normally comes at a cost so thank you for laying it out.

    With that being said in terms of social media, that will need some one to work on the content creation and curation be it through graphic design and photography (screenshots in this case). Any imagery will need some one to figure out brand guide lines, watermarking, what not to capture etc. I remember some said that there are reservations about pushing the server socially as there is a threat of it being black listed due to it not following Minecraft's EULA. I think before we think about implementing a marketing strategy this needs to be addressed and a work around needs to be figured out.

    Axed in my distant opinion is fighting fires rather than planing and executing a strategy - I heard from some where there are monthly targets for something but not evident in my opinion - So before thinking about socials the foundations need to be repaired.

    Community moral needs to be catered towards before anything else. A big part of that which was stated is being approachable, the more a boss "hides" the less respect they will get. It is easy to have a lack of empathy for some one that does not communicate or has distanced them selves from the community they are running.

    Cloak and dagger. I know a lot of people on disc have seen me use that phrase essentially meaning hiding something away. I keep on saying transparency and honesty is the best PR in todays environment. Keeping people in the loop makes them feel like they are apart of it all. Skyblock for example. Server was due to reset months ago, and we have had 3 official updates of whats going on and non of which were too help full other than saying "its coming please be patient" there should have been an insight into the cause of delay, progress updates on discord and possibly something to prevent the server from losing its frequent player base even the staff rarely go on any more. This will boost moral on this server and maintain a strong player base as they feel they haven't been neglected.

    Rather than using the "I got million to one things to do" as stated delegate

    Obviously Staff roles are all volunteer roles so its not exactly about cracking a bullwhip and telling people you must do this. However it is a choice to be staff and only those who are willing to go the extra mile should be appointed.


    So all very well saying delegate but what does axed have that can be spread out amongst other staff members. At the moment from my understanding, the servers are run in this format:

    Axed deals with: Buy craft, Developers/Developing, Managing head admins, Support tickets, Server/Website management and maintenance, Global rules, Monthly newsletter.

    Devs - Server/Web management and maintenance. - (wont work for free)

    Head Admins - Support tickets, Staff management, Discord management, Major appointed server maintenance and management, Server events/PR/rules, Change Logs.

    Admins - Server maintenance and management, Severe rule breaking (pa/mod abuse), Rule breaking - Bans/Mutes/Warnings

    Player admins - Minor server maintenance and management, Rule breaking - Bans/Mutes/Warnings.

    Helpers - Rule breaking - Bans/Mutes/Warnings

    Mods - Chat monitoring - Mutes.

    Builders - Map and structure design and build.

    I think Helper role is pointless.
    Mods should be able to un-claim on survival and ban max up to 24hrs.
    Admins should be able to restart servers.
    Head admins to be able to aid with some purchase tickets, like wrong server purchase but require screenshot dated evidence to validate. (leaving only refunds to axed)

    all in all, we could be talking to a brick wall and none of this gets regarded. but oh well worth a shot I guess.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
    #5
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  6. x1225x

    x1225x Quick Digit Member

    Messages:
    223
    Ratings:
    +148 / -0
    There were a lot of good suggestions, We don't see changes
     
    #6
  7. TheRagingCrafter

    TheRagingCrafter Ancient Poster Member

    Messages:
    735
    Ratings:
    +404 / -0
    it's all on the owner in the end ^^
     
    #7
  8. GoDsDaD

    GoDsDaD Journeyman Member

    Messages:
    26
    Ratings:
    +11 / -0
    Smh, wrong thread to post........but will take a look.
     
    #8
  9. Areeb

    Areeb Journeyman Member

    Messages:
    32
    Ratings:
    +15 / -0
    This is a quality thread. Lot's of information regarding a businesses standpoint. Good stuff.
     
    #9

Share This Page