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General Forge Forums => Independent Publishing => Topic started by: visioNationstudios on October 31, 2008, 06:51:13 AM

Title: A Largescale Cross-Posting Idea
Post by: visioNationstudios on October 31, 2008, 06:51:13 AM
I said I was going to split this into a new thread, and so I have.  One of the marketing ideas that came up multiple times during my search here was the concept of "you link to me, I'll link to you".  Which is great.  At least, once you manage to "break in" and establish yourself.  I'm not sure too many of you would be extremely eager to link to a completely unknown publisher in exchange for limited exposure from their potentially under-viewed website.  Even amongst indie publishers, I gather there's still a bit of the "I don't know you" or "prove yourself to me first" attitude.

So, I've been toying with the thought of, how does one go about providing an avenue for promotion/marketing for the newcomer, while still greatly helping the established publisher at the same time?  And I came up with the thought of a co-op blogspace for indie publishers to post press releases on new products, provide updates regarding projects in the works, and all the while, linking to their own website.  A key to this would be to not allow links to third-party websites from the blogspace.  We're wanting to steer our customers back to our own sites, encouraging direct sales, right?  Once on the particular publisher's site, the customer could obviously be directed to the products available, in whatever format the publisher wishes for them to be sold.

This idea, at its core, is nothing more than a very very large version of the "you link to me, I'll link to you".  Only, instead of linking to individual publishers, each participating can link to this one site, providing exposure to many more publishers at once.  I think it would accomplish my original goal of helping the newcomer break in while still increasing sales for the established publisher.

I'd like to hear thoughts on whether people think this is a good idea, as well as any add-on concepts or potential red flags this may have raised.  I think I could provide hosting for such an endeavor, and with some help to get it up and running, it could prove a very useful tool for all of us to have at our fingertips.

Title: Re: A Largescale Cross-Posting Idea
Post by: Eero Tuovinen on October 31, 2008, 09:40:00 AM
Do I understand you correctly in that what you're suggesting is a community blog used for press releases? Something like (, but without the Gencon focus and more publishers? There's also been blog aggregators that focus exclusively on indie publishers, which has something of a similar effect., among others, already provides pretty good tools for doing something like this. The difficult part would pretty much be getting enough designers onboard to make it a destination site. Other than that, not a bad notion at all.

Personally, though, I think that getting worked up about linking procedures is by itself something of a red herring - links are cheap and simply getting to be part of a long list of links doesn't nowadays do anything to benefit an individual website. Quality content related to your presence is much more important; I'd rather take one blogger who revieved my product over a hundred guys who added me to their blogrolls. And when it comes to genuine excitement and endorsement, it's just petty to set up mutual advertisement deals: I link to whoever I think is good and pertinent to my reason for writing a piece in the first place, not to somebody who offers to do the same for me.

Title: Re: A Largescale Cross-Posting Idea
Post by: visioNationstudios on October 31, 2008, 10:05:28 AM
Yes, quite a bit like PlayCollective, and yes, without the GenCon focus and more publishers.  If the idea is out there already and I just haven't found it, I wouldn't mind just jumping onboard with what's established.  I'm not really looking for anything to claim as my own.  It was more the idea that intrigued me.  Hopefully more publishers agree.

Regarding the actual linking procedures, I don't know that it's nearly so bad as I may have made it sound.  And I'm not using myself as an example in the above post.  Truth be told, I've not been approached, nor have I approached anyone else on the topic of swapping links.  It just seemed like a more efficient practice to link to a clearinghouse rather than single sites.

Title: Re: A Largescale Cross-Posting Idea
Post by: Eero Tuovinen on November 02, 2008, 06:25:17 PM
As far as I know there is currently no such conglomeration in effect. Clinton R. Nixon ran a blog aggregator site a bit like this... rpgtalk or something like that. But that's history, so the closest one gets to this sort of thing now seem to be the news aggregators like and such. I imagine that if anybody set something like this up with the right tech, reasonable ground rules and assurances of quality, it'd be pretty easy to make it the default news source for the indie scene, especially if somebody (the anybody from above or somebody different) made a point of posting news that otherwise didn't yet reach the aggregator in the beginning.

The largest hump would probably be the fact that the great majority of indies doesn't most of the time have "news releases" so much as personal reporting on what they're doing - the business is so intermingled with the personal hobby that either you'd have to accept both as your content, or the guy might find it easier to take his announcements elsewhere. As things stand now, it seems that most people make their announcements on the forums they frequent, right mixed in with all other gaming talk that goes on.

Title: Re: A Largescale Cross-Posting Idea
Post by: David Artman on November 04, 2008, 10:50:47 AM
Yep, you could have this on Wordpress in about ten minutes, with permissions to edit granted to only CEOs/Presidents/Czars of indie publishing houses (i.e. one per house).

Guidelines are simple:
1) No NSFW, no profanity.
2) One post a day maximum.

Violate and you're booted for six months. Violate again and you are dead to us.

Frankly, it would take less time to do it than to describe it (here). Just do it and post everywhere about its existence. Let folks in who can prove they're a publisher (i.e. have a site, have references, have books for sale online, whatever). Start everyone off with Moderated Posts.

Actually, though, a proper CMS like Joomla would be better, but then you'd have to host it (GoDaddy has one-click Joomla setup, and is only about $4 a month) and you'd want a small crew of trusted folks to be the "Publishers" and "Editors" (in the CMS system), with "Authors" being moderated. That's more work, all in all, though--the WordPress is more of an accumulator/single-point-of-broadcast.