As a follow-up to the Bloggers guide to EVE-related sponsored ads, here’s another guide for those wishing to get the best out of and for their blog. In this one, I will elaborate on the various social media networks that EVE players seem to most commonly use, and how you can use them to connect with your readers and gain additional exposure.
This is something that anyone can engage in, and I’d really recommend it. The Tweetfleet is a chatty bunch, and several EVE / DUST devs are on there too. We are furthermore joined by well-known faces such as Chribba, and CSM members like The Mittani, Whitetree and Trebor. Great place to stay in contact with the former EVE employees too.
Twitter is really quite easy to use. You can directly reply to people, or mention them in your tweets by putting @username in them. Hashtags are used to create search lists on topics. In addition to #tweetfleet and #eveonline, there are situational ones like the current #littlethings for suggestions on how Team BFF can improve our collective quality of life once more. These hashtags are not set in stone, so you can make up your own for personal us. They are also sometimes used it jest, or to express emotions.
For bloggers that use WordPress, I recommend using Twitter Tools to tweet upon posting. It’s got more features, but I use it only for that. Pro-tip: Enable the optional module to include hashtags. Other software may have plugins too. Worst case you can stick it on Twitter manually.
To get the best Twitter experience, I’ve found that the default interface is sometimes a bit too limited. I’m using Tweetdeck on PC & Android. Other OS / browsers / phones have tools as well, and Windows has several more alternatives to this.
With the pages feature, you can make a page for your blog without cluttering up your friend list. You will need an existing user account to create one, however you can totally bolt down the security of it. I’d discourage the creation of fictional profiles as this is technically breaking the Terms of Service. If this is enforced is unclear. It is possibly a grey zone as long as you don’t engage in spam or friend farming. But even those seem to require being reported before they get banned. Still, you are warned, I am not responsible if you get blocked.
With a tool like RSS graffiti, you can pull your posts from RSS. I’ve found this one a bit annoying to set up, but it works like a charm, and is used by a lot of big sites.
Other than that, your readers can like your blog, share your content easily, recommend it to friends, and you can use Facebook as your page and have additional status updates. Handy to inform people of that new blog skin or ask if anyone has suggestions and feedback.
A worthy addition or alternative — depending on personal taste — to your social networks and a currently seemingly favorite of the Tweetfleet / EVE as a whole. In some ways superior than Facebook, yet in other ways a little behind. [For those really wishing to know, my biggest gripe is that you cannot change who can see what you shared unless you delete and repost it, while ironically Facebook -- who pretty much copied the circles interface -- do allow this.] The nice thing about Google+ is that it allows fictional profiles. Possibly because they realized it is a drag to enforce, and anyone can be a fake profile on the internet anyway. Possibly why this is being adopted so well by the EVE community on there.
Recently, this network got pages as well, which integrate really well. There is, sadly, no way yet that I know of to do RSS pulls to them, so you will have to manually post it. I assume it is only a matter of time before we get this though. If anyone knows any current automation tricks, leave a comment, please.
One thing where Twitter and Google+ cross over is that it has hashtags. And, you guessed it, #tweetfleet and #eveonline are on there. You can save them as searches and interact through them if you don’t want to add people to circles. To promote your page and your blog, remember to include these when linking your blog posts.
Not 100% social media, but worth mentioning anyhow. I’ve only recently taken to this, out of a fear for the trolls / internet tough guys. I was pleasantly surprised at how it’s surprisingly constructive and positive. I’m staying well within the EVE sub-reddit however, so your mileage may vary if you venture beyond.
Being a place to share interesting links, I’d recommend bloggers to share the best of their posts here. General EVE guides, for example. Not everyone may appreciate that you post every last blog post to there, even if you think your latest roam report it really interesting. And while there are moderators on patrol, people can still downvote you all they like.
It is probably also nice that you do more than just push content on there. While Twitter may be forgiving of that, and Reddit does not explicitly forbid it, it’s generally frowned upon in communities because users are forced to ignore you if you are perceived as over-posting. Besides, it’s really just as simple as voting on the shared things, and voice some comments if you feel particularly inclined to speak up. Social media, after all, is about connecting.