I’ve been getting a lot of the same good questions lately, so let me see if I can answer them all here:
What is this new job? What’s your title?
The new job is community management on a large scale. Usually it’s done at the developer level; I’m going to be on the corporate level, working with a lot of developers within the Activision stable. Major Nelson was used as an example of something that works in a similar fashion– he’s really the inside guy at Microsoft, and he passes along cool info. It’s really about communication — the idea that there’s more to the company than what you hear, and they would like to find a way to tell people. So broadly, by being “the insider” at Activision talking to the gaming community, it’s community management, but I’ll be doing a lot of journalistic things — interviewing developers, writing articles about games in development, stuff like that. I’ll be blogging, podcasting, and creating videos as part of this, plus whatever else I can sneak in there — contests, puzzles, who knows what. This will be a two-way line of communication; the point is really to have a way to talk not to but with the people who are playing their games. You can see why I’m excited.
The title is being decided; “online evangelist” was suggested but probably won’t stick. (Some folks have reported that I’m moving to PR, which is technically true because I believe I will be part of that department, but I won’t be doing PR as you think of it.)
UPDATE 12/23: I believe my title is “Social Media Manager.” Sounds fancy.
What’s the new project called? What’s the URL?
UPDATE 12/23: The name and URL have been decided but not announced yet. I kind of want to have the site designed and a few elements in place before I go blabbing it much.
How does it feel to sell out?
Yeah, knew that was coming. Here’s my take on that: I have always liked talking with gamers, giving them info on what they want to know…now I get to do it from a different angle, one with more and better source info than I had before. Activision has been very clear that they do not want a puppet on a string; I’m expected to find the cool stories within the company, but I am not going to be expected to play only Activision games or anything silly like that. If I’m not a real gamer, this doesn’t work. I’ve played Activision titles since the 2600 days and many of them, I’ve liked. Not all of them are great. You know this. Activision knows this. And I certainly know this. So I’ve got a sense of humor about the sellout joke, but truth is, one of the reasons I’m so eager for this job is that they brought this authenticity/integrity thing up before I did.
So when do you move to Los Angeles?
Right away. We’re driving down to look at some places early in the week, then coming back, finishing up our pack, and will likely be down there for good by the 17th or 18th. Knowing this was a potential outcome a little while, Kat and I have been purging things we don’t need since September, and we’re already halfway packed. Boxes…everywhere.
Where are you going to be living in LA?
UPDATE: Found a place in Mar Vista.
When do you start at Activision?
Right after the new year. January 4 is the first work day of 2010 and I understand my cubicle will be ready.
Will you still be on KOXM with Ryan?
Only as a guest; I’ve recorded my last show as co-host. I’ll be launching my own podcast as part of the new project, so it’s not unreasonable to think we’ll guest on each other’s shows.
What about Palette-Swap Ninja? Will that continue
I think some people were of the belief that Palette-Swap Ninja was tied to OXM, or that it was a Future project. Nope — that’s just Jude and myself goofing around, and both KOXM and TalkRadar were nice enough to play our parodies on the air. But we have no desire or reason to stop doing that, and paletteswapninja.com is still home base for all those recordings, past and future. The last four months have been chaotic and I dropped the ball on my end of the deal, but I’m planning to get back to it once I get settled.
Anything I’m missing? I’ll update as necessary.