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Entry #2

How to Be a Better Newgrounds Ambassador

2013-12-08 23:18:23 by squeakytoad
Updated

1360104_138657343333_ngambassador.jpg


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Food123Food123

2013-12-08 23:25:54

big pic

squeakytoad responds:

http://xkcd.com/1273/


VicariousEVicariousE

2013-12-08 23:49:19

That was a hell of a lot more insightful, than I first thought (while waiting for the image to load). Hope Tom sees this. It's kinda lost on me, since I don't associate with any other site other than NG.

In the 1950's, the first generation of hipsters asked the mainstream American (well, it's from 'On The Road', Jack Kerouac), "Wither thou goest? Wither thou goest, in thy shiny car in the night?". Nowadays, I ask, "Why is social media so socially limited? Why is it all exposition and no heart (or pants)?" Everyone wants a simple thing to click on or search, and just sit there. Others want to shout at the world, but there are too many who want their 15 minutes of fame.

Anyway, it's the less than meager ad-rev that's the issue for the (remaining) artists here... very few ad companies want to sponsor here, because of the adult/controversial content being mixed in. If Mr. Egoraptor or hotdiggedydemon suddenly swore off YouTube and released their content to NG exclusively, then we may see a turn for the better. Tom's talking about making NG PG-13, and spin the adult hentai and gore to another site... I think he bought the name to the new already....

Great info-pictorial, definitely food for thought. O_o

(Updated ) squeakytoad responds:

If I had more time, I would've added a portion on the attention span of most internet users these days. For instance, the fact that most users of sites like Reddit, Tumblr, and Buzzfeed would rather watch several captioned GIF clips than the actual video. So much traffic is driven after people have scrolled through a series of images, identified one they find entertaining, and asked for the source video.

Of course, it would be rather ironic making a comment about keeping things concise in a post this ridiculously long.

I think it's more than just ad revenue. It's the potential for developing a following that will produce revenue. Whether you're selling DVDs or running a Kickstarter, you need an audience. Back when an average front page video would get anywhere from 25k - 250k views (with the great stuff getting 250k - millions), Newgrounds was a great place to build that fanbase. Now it's tough to scrap together 25k views for most movies.
That's why I'm encouraging fans to get more proactive. Tom and his crew have greatly improved the site over the last few years. We need to get back all those fans (and the artists will follow and then more fans will follow them) that departed around 2009.


VicariousEVicariousE

2013-12-09 00:11:36

Time and evolution of the internet and its corresponding techo-toys, have not been on NG's side. Smaller devices for smaller attention spans, I guess... Our strength is we're between deviantArt and YouTube, Kongregate and Soundcloud... there's just too many user submitted content sites out there! The adult stuff is definitely a factor, sad to say.


HyptosisHyptosis

2013-12-09 00:23:42

All very good points. Well done, thanks for reminding me I need to do more to help out around here. I love this place.

squeakytoad responds:

Your level of activity is already impressive, my friend.


ImpendingRiotImpendingRiot

2013-12-09 00:26:15

The biggest problem (I think) is there's this idea out there that Newgrounds is somehow antiquated and irrelevant. Anytime I've seen a NG link on Reddit, the overall sentiment is "that site is still around?" or nostalgic quips of, "I used to go there. Does anyone still go there?" Yet as you pointed out, tons of talented people are still emerging here and massively popular people are still posting here. For some reason, there's a disconnect.

squeakytoad responds:

Advertising - crafting your narrative, creating media opportunities, developing branding, and managing outreach. Most start-ups with lean staffs overlook this. Marketing communications doesn't seem important at first when you're small, new, and building momentum.
Since Newgrounds doesn't have a CMO, grassroots promotion is the way to go.


BlordowBlordow

2013-12-09 00:45:10

once youtube dies next year, people will be comin back to newgrounds.

squeakytoad responds:

Funny or Die, College Humor, and Cracked are retaining exclusivity with most of their content, hosting most of their video on their own servers rather than YouTube. Their aim has been to drive more content to their own websites.
Newgrounds sponsored a lot of native artists back in 2005 - 2008. It was known that you go to Newgrounds to watch their series. If more of these favorite sons would set up shop here as "part of the team," that would help. There needs to be that crowd incentive though.

http://digiday.com/publishers/funny-or-die-youtube/


FrozenFireFrozenFire

2013-12-09 00:51:31

Haha thanks for the plug?
I've always supported NG :)

I just don't have a popular outlet to share stuff yet. My YouTube has less subscribers than my NG account does Followers. Tumblr doesn't do much. Twitter doesn't exist.


squidlysquidly

2013-12-09 00:53:35

I think the redesign also is a big issue. As it stands, Newgrounds just looks... messy. As if it was just a flash portal.

But it isn't.

We need to change the sentiment, I think Newgrounds can be looked at in one of two ways:

1. A site where teenagers post really terrible animation
2. A site where the likes of Lucky Day Forever and Abobo's Big Adventure come from.

Another part of it is that NG is associated with Flash, and Flash is associated with antiquity. We really need people to start putting their newgrounds page FIRST under those amazing funny youtube videos (that everyone forgets are made in flash) THEN their tumblr and whatever pages.

Also, it wouldn't kill you to put Newgrounds in the front of whatever app you did. Remember Castle Crashers? Newgrounds was front and center. Everyone paid attention, everyone recognized the name, and site visitation was booming.

Edmund McMillion put Newgrounds in the front of Super Meat Boy, but not infront of the Binding of Isaac. If he had, well, just imagine how many people have bought that game (well over a million) and how many hours have been put into it (all of my friend have at least over 50, I personally have 90-something) and we're talking about a LOT of exposure.

Last.fm was popular because bands promoted their last.fm page. Newgrounds can become re-popular if game developers and animators promote their Newgrounds page.

squeakytoad responds:

You bring up several very valid points. I think Tom and crew are putting a lot of thought into where to go with the design. I've seen Tom mention that he doubts the efficiency of this complex layout, especially as most wisdom points to simplifying in Web 2.0 (hate that term, but can't think of how else to identify this era of the internet).
They're currently developing a mobile version that should do wonders for the site's visibility.

As for the popular perception of Newgrounds, see my response to ImpendingRiot about the need for taking control of the brand's reputation. It's probably going to have to be a grassroots effort (the reason behind this whole post).

As for exclusivity of native artists, see my response to Blordow.


squidlysquidly

2013-12-09 00:57:38

My last post in short: Newgrounds.fm

I'm not kidding, let's hype up the profile aspect and re-hype the exclusivity. Get Tumblr folks to put this up on their tumblr, logo up top, Niel Cicierga, Edmund McMullen, Egoraptor. Come on fellas.


ForNoReasonForNoReason

2013-12-09 08:20:23

This is awesome


InformisInformis

2013-12-09 08:40:23

Only patron of web animation? What about Steven Lerner from albinoblacksheep.com?

squeakytoad responds:

I never really followed that site aside from the occasional link. Did Lerner sponsor a lot of artists? If so, I misspoke in this post.


TomFulpTomFulp

2013-12-09 13:02:05

Tweeting this!

One thing that I've become pretty sure of with Twitter is you actually CAN'T make the front page of Twitter unless you are in one of the default auto-subscribed subreddits. So for example, if someone has a funny cartoon, it should be posted to /r/funny, or if it's a weird cartoon, /r/wtf. I didn't realize this at the time when we started pushing our subreddit, but I think you could have 3000 upvotes on the NG subreddit and it would still only be seen by subreddit subscribers. So yeah, people gotta do that xpost thing where they post to both our subreddit AND the default subreddits. Any reddit experts want to confirm that?

(Updated ) squeakytoad responds:

Thanks for the tweet.

I could've expanded on that, but I didn't want to take up too much time talking about just Reddit, as there were a lot more ways to promote NG.
But yeah, you're kind of right. The front page for most users who aren't subscribed to any subreddits will consist of links from only the default subreddits. However, these defaults are all very mainstream categories. While the "Ultimate Showdown" might do well in r/funny and "Metal Gear Awesome" might do well in r/gaming, most content on NG is too "niche" for Reddit and would just be a waste too put there.

Newground's users, as much as many of us used to complain about their general tastes, really do vote for content based on its quality (while view count is more influenced by source material, the quality generally dictates the score, awards, and front page presence). On NG, you might see a Daily Feature about an animated scrotum or an animated Bible story, because NG users can appreciate its artistic merit. That's why I love this website still. Side by side on the front page you'll see a clip about Pikachu farting lightning next to a serious short examining media addiction through visual poetry.

On Reddit mainstream default subs, "score" is entirely based on the topic's appeal to the user.

I chose to give advice that creates the highest potential for increased traffic to Newgrounds. If you're subscribed to a sub, Reddit knows you prefer that content. So your personalized Reddit front page features prominently the currently trending content from your subscribed subs, if it's doing even moderately well.
Let's look at the latter two samples I cited for how to use subreddits right. If you follow r/FFXIV (which 40,000 people do), when you log into Reddit, you'll see the FFXIV-related link with around 100 votes above general links with thousands of votes on YOUR front page (front pages are different for all users depending on your subscriptions, with a mix of your chosen subreddits and the top material from the default subreddits). If you had put that track on r/music, it would've never been seen by anyone. But it came to the top of r/FFXIV.
Likewise, that Walking Dead parody is remarkably obscure. It doesn't just parody a cult TV show but a single episode. You have to follow the series AND have caught that episode in its week of airing to get the short. It would've gotten downvoted on a general sub.
But now, the 150,000 people who follow r/TheWalkingDead would have seen it on their front page since it was on the subreddit's front page.
Obviously not even close to all of them click on it, but it's more successful at driving traffic than if it had gotten immediately buried on a much busier unrelated mainstream default.

The problem with r/Newgrounds right now is that nothing even gets voted on (especially in an early enough time frame to even matter). No matter what subreddit, if it doesn't get at least ten votes within the first few minutes and fifty within the first few hours, it's not likely even subscribers will see it.
The issue is that right now the subreddit is way too spammed. It needs a moderator or two who can clear out self-promotion and junk. It's like the portal would be if no one voted during judgment.
So even those that are subscribed never follow it (also, most of your subscribers probably check Newgrounds first anyway).

By the way, if you want to search for content from Newgrounds posted on other subreddits, use this URL: http://www.reddit.com/domain/newgrounds.com/

I'm not a big fan of Reddit, but I had to learn its workings due to the amount of chatter it gets in the advertising field, especially from those obsessed with social-media-related guerrilla marketing.

EDIT: And in case you can't tell, I love what the new blog format allows me to do.


aba1aba1

2013-12-09 13:07:14

Good post man and I actually do try and share newgrounds things all the time and encourage people to join. Newgrounds is one of the best sites on the net and I consider it to be the best arts website. I just wish it was more popular. I have been with newgrounds for 8 years now and it has changed a lot of over the years and it only gets better.

One thing I do plan to do is give newgrounds the beta demo for my indie title exclusively because it is the best site for sharing that. I would go as far as to say newgrounds should work at picking up indie developers and make it the online spot for indie gamers.


deathinkdeathink

2013-12-09 13:10:44

Great post man... As for audio, there are some great musicians on this site. People really need to fav the one's they like and give them more support. Give those guys up votes, most are better than any main stream musicians, in fact NG musicians are about the only contemporary music I listen to.

squeakytoad responds:

I didn't mean to disrespect the audio artists here. I wasn't trying to detract from how great the audio portal is (I'm a big fan of a lot of the musicians there and their content) but was pointing out that audio links get spammed up and down the subreddit. Most of what you see are those track icons, crowding out all the art, games, and animations. It hurts the audio creators too, as the good stuff gets lost in the mess of spam.


DonkeysBazookaDonkeysBazooka

2013-12-09 13:49:52

Didn't expect that plug, but damn, I am flattered! And yeah, you got it man. I hear people saying Newgrounds is dying, but there is no reason that needs to be true. It's primed to make a comeback. And I want nothing more than to see that happen. There is literally no better site on the internet that accommodates this kind of artistic collaboration.

squeakytoad responds:

Keep doing what you're doing. I'm really enjoying the series, and I see you picking up a lot more followers the more you develop it.


PsychoGoldfishPsychoGoldfish

2013-12-09 18:12:54

If this old ass, deprecated, POS website could support modern things like gifs in comments, I would have posted a slow clap gif, but instead I am just going to leave this snarky comment and hope the terrible people that program this site see it and weep.

squeakytoad responds:

And I would respond

<a href="http://seriously.com/dammit.gif">Links don't work either.</a>

or

[url]http://www.ThisIsReallytheMostBasicFormattingNeed.com/HowArchaicIsThis[/url]

Bastards.


BowzBowz

2013-12-09 19:09:44

I'm flattered by the shout out! :D thanks
Newgrounds is a great place for Art, Music, Animation and a collaborative community. It just needs more exposure and incentive. Youtube has been pissing people off lately. Now could be a good time to get peoples attention.

squeakytoad responds:

Let's see if Newgrounds can rise to the occasion.


Sexual-LobsterSexual-Lobster

2013-12-10 03:23:05

If I could offer my two cents, NGS should enable ads on videos. I have no idea how hellishly complex or expensive to set up that may be, but it would provide an incentive for a lot of flash animators who no longer work entirely in flash to upload. And other animators too, I suppose.

squeakytoad responds:

I might be remembering incorrectly, but I think they experimented with pre-roll ads at one point.
I agree with you, but they'll probably have to be careful about how they implement them to avoid ruining the already fragile user experience on a site that can at times be, unfortunately, a little messy and, certainly for new users, a little overwhelming.
They'd have to limit who could enable them and certainly use the kind that allow for skipping after five seconds. I remember when YouTube made the huge mistake of making users watch full ads for videos that were shorter than the commercials. There was a lot of user outrage that pressured them to change it to the current system.
The advantage of the flash-based ads is that you don't have to watch them when your video is ready to start. Of course, many viewers are watching on mobile these days and, as you said, many animators aren't creating in flash anymore, so this system is already a dinosaur.


PotentApogeePotentApogee

2014-01-07 18:35:33

Insightful, easy-to-read, concise and generally just a real eye-opener. Thank you for this, Squeaky!

More people need to take notice of this post. Like today, I referred a YouTuber to a piano melody on the Audio Portal (made a while back by a musician named Troisnyx) that appeared on one of the games she played through on her channel. Not only did she thank me, but she proceeded to make an account to simply comment on Troisnyx's music. 'Tis a good feeling, knowing that the person you recommended found something wonderful here.

Anyway, I thank you again, and I'll be certain to step up my game on sharing sweet NG stuff around. Take care, man!

-Potent


ZJZJ

2014-04-01 19:36:56

Stumbled onto this today and I think it's brilliant. Very well done.


Josef-EliassonJosef-Eliasson

2015-04-26 07:18:31

JJ JJ


WhirlguyWhirlguy

2015-05-05 11:23:00

This is very inspiring! I don't have a reddit, but I kind of want one now.


curiousbotanistcuriousbotanist

2015-12-28 12:51:50

Thank you, this is very helpful. Its also re-assuring that someone else wants more people to know about Newgrounds and to help it stay independently owned


1000BucklesofVictory1000BucklesofVictory

2016-05-26 21:42:15

Agreed. This poster is a great promoter for NG, the more attention it garners the better. Definitely will check some of those guys out. Thank you for your post.