A New Role at ArenaNet: Content Marketing

I’m pleased to announce that I have accepted a new position at ArenaNet as the Content Marketing Team Lead.

What does content marketing involve? Content marketing is about creating and curating engaging and relevant content for our fans. This can be achieved through social media channels like Twitter and Tumblr, live broadcasts on Twitch, live events/conventions, the website, and more.

While the title is new, I’ve been in the business of social media and community-focused content marketing at ArenaNet for years. When I started working at ArenaNet in 2008, one of my desires was to bring its fan-facing presence into the modern era of community engagement. I wanted to get ArenaNet involved in the conversations about Guild Wars 2 happening in rapidly growing, emerging social media spaces. I made business cases for and launched ArenaNet’s Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube channels for the studio and for Guild Wars 2. Since then, I have helped drive strategy for the company’s subsequent forays into social media. Our Global Community Team, located both in the US and Europe, has accomplished a lot through hard work and creativity. Through social media, we have reached beyond the core fans that traditional, first-party forum-based, old school community management was concerned with, to include fans further afield. Communities have and will always exist outside official forums, and videogame community management as a profession has been expanding its area of practice and interest to the world outside the first-party forum. From that perspective, social media and content marketing are expansions of the community management discipline.

Among my favorite personal milestones in community-focused content marketing includes building, from the ground up and through daily engagement with fans, the community on the Guild Wars 2 Facebook page. I guided its early growth and developed its cultural atmosphere, and I helped shape one of the most friendly Facebook communities for a videogame out there. Years later, our Facebook community is over 1 million fans strong, with loads of active, engaged, and welcoming members. I fondly remember meeting some of them at conventions, discussing the group and how we could make it better. I introduced them to developers so they could give feedback about the game directly to those working on it. Creating these connections with our community is part of what community management, social media, and community-focused content marketing are all about.

Another favorite milestone is developing the strategy for and spearheading the launch of the Guild Wars 2 Tumblr site, one of the best places to find Guild Wars 2 fan-created works. As a long time Tumblr user (since 2007), I was thrilled to bring Guild Wars 2 to a social platform that has experienced tremendous growth as a home for all sorts of fandom communities, including Guild Wars 2. Launched this year, our Tumblr site is a hub for showcasing the amazing talent and imagination of our fans and it enables them to connect with Guild Wars 2 through a shared passion manifested in creative works. I manage our Tumblr site day-to-day, and I’m constantly amazed at how creative our community is.

Because my new role is more of a strategic one, and one that is focused on social media and our other content marketing channels, I’ll be less active on the official forums. My team will be keeping up the great work we’ve been doing in social media and our livestreams and I look forward to the challenges and projects that lay ahead for us.

 

Guild Wars 2: Year One

Today is the anniversary of the launch of Guild Wars 2. It’s been an incredible year for ArenaNet. We’ve hit a ton of milestones, including 3.5 million games sold, which earned us the title of  fastest-selling MMO game  in history. Guild Wars 2 is the most regularly updated MMO game right now, with an average of only 18.9 days between each game release. Other MMO games release content a couple times a year or every few years, so Guild Wars 2‘s schedule is unique in this sector of the games industry. This rapid pace is a challenging environment in which to work, but it’s also been a lot of fun working with a great bunch of people. I’m looking forward to the next year, the years ahead, and the challenges they will bring.

2012 in Review

2012 has been an amazing year, filled with milestones, both professional and personal.

After five years of development, Guild Wars 2 launched. It’s been an amazing experience to help ship Guild Wars 2 to the world. Guild Wars 2 has racked up a lot of accolades this year, including Time’s #1 Video Game of the Year. Not too shabby.

Although Guild Wars 2 is the first full game credit under my belt, I’ve “shipped” numerous other projects, events, and initiatives whilst at ArenaNet. This past year has been filled with challenges and a lot of learning and I look forward to both next year, which will be my fifth year at the company (and sixth year as a professional community manager).

I was given more responsibility and was promoted to North American Community Team Lead, managing four other members of the Community Team. The global community management team for Guild Wars 2 is one of the best and brightest in this industry, filled with resourceful, hardworking, creative people who are genuinely fun to work with.

In 2012, I had one speaking engagement. It was at GeekGirlCon and I was on a panel at which I talked about misogyny and how it hinders women from participating in online and fan spaces. I have one speaking engagement lined up so far in 2013, at Emerald City Comicon—more on that when the event gets closer. I’m not sure whether I’ll be speaking at other conventions next year, but I would sure like to. Public speaking has been interesting for me, as I’m a generally reserved person. I think it has challenged me and helped me develop new skills, which is a good thing.

I volunteered to be a mentor to women seeking to get into the videogame industry. This was in response to Twitter conversation about why more women do not work in videogames. I was spotlighted at 1reasonwhy.net, which is a resource started by the person who sparked the Twitter conversation.

2012 has been a good year. Onward 2013.