As I sit here, sipping Nyquil like it's Gatorade and I'm Kobe Bryant in the 4th Quarter, I feel like writing my first blog in two years. Not sure how structurally sound it'll be, as I'm just hoping there are no awful typos. Today, I want to speak about something that's been on my mind for quite some time now. I've been wanting to write this for months, but never got around to it. This is my love/hate relationship with Twitter, and why I think it's killing the hobby.
First off, the title is misleading. I don't wish death upon Twitter. As I said, I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter. This goes back to when I relaunched UWL in May of 2014.
When I, with the support of my fiance (now wife), relaunched UWL I had one or two go to feds that I could contact about coming back and getting UWL up and running. But for the others, I needed to recruit. Twitter was my only route. Roughkut was, and still is, a wasteland. More on that later. At the time, I don't think eWZine was up, and there were just no resource places that I could go to. Because fuck EFK.
Through Twitter, I was able to find new feds to recruit. In fact, out of all of the eFeds that have joined the League since the relaunch of 2014, all but probably four or five were found through Twitter. A random #FF from a random person I randomly followed. I follow them. I check out their forums. I see they are our style. I contact them. Boom. New member promotion. That's how it's been. And it's been rather successful. There seems to be a spike in 'regional' promotions, which is what we seek exclusively, so Twitter has helped in that regard.
People affiliating with us and adding us to their #FF or just randomly giving UWL a shout out. It's helped in a big way. I've made a nice handful of 'acquaintances' through this system which has led to more eyes on my product. The product I work hard on in between two jobs and being a newly wed. So that is huge!
The ability to get hits to my website or forums instantly is nothing short of witchcraft and voodoo. I can post ANYTHING on my forums, and with zetaboards neat little 'Tweet' button, I can tweet a direct link to the new topic and I instantly have 20-30 viewers at once. How great is that!?
So why did I write a blog entitled 'Death To Twitter'?
Simple. It's killed the community aspect of efedding. Just take a look at Roughkut. I've been efedding since 2001, but didn't discover RK until probably 2005 or 2006. I can't remember anymore. My point is, before then, I was just in one small circle of efedders. Then I discovered RK and HOLY SMOKES! Look at all of these people enjoying the same hobby I am. It's when I fell in love with the OOC aspect of efedding. In it's prime, Roughkut had hundreds of members posting a day. Whether it was submitting news, adding their efed/wrestler to the revolutionary database, or just enjoying the John Tees question of the day. There was so much activity.
Today, there is a serious chance that Roughkut is shutting down. For good. Why? Because no one is using it anymore. Kut has made no mistake about the fact that he doesn't really care for the hobby and hasn't for quite some time. He's kept the place going for so long because of us. The people that still do care and use his site because it was so useful. But, while there are still a small few adding their names to the database, the actual community aspect is all but gone. And RK isn't alone there.
While Twitter was helping me recruit in the relaunch of UWL, it sure wasn't helping get people to post in the OOC area of the forums. Even today, 7 months into the relaunch, I'm struggling to get the OOC Community to thrive. And I point the blame at that damn bird and the @ sign.
I scroll through my Twitter feed and see more #OOC posts than in character tweets. I see three or four people tagged into a conversation that lasts hours, and even days. All with the #OOC mark. Instead of taking the conversation into a forum somewhere, they use twitter.
And I don't blame the people per say. I see why. It's just easier to use Twitter right now. Take the UWL for an example. As an interfed, we like to share news of the feds in the League. We have a section on the forums called 'Submit News' where you can post any In-Character news and we will share it on twitter, and even give it front page love on uwleague.net. But why go through the trouble of logging in, clicking the "Create Thread" button, typing up the news, and all that hard work, when you can easily just tweet it and get more viewers instantly?
Same for RK. Even the databases are struggling. Why would I waste time filling out the template of adding my new efed that may last 2 months or until whenever I get a new video game to play, when I can just tweet and tweet and tweet and tweet!?!
Because we're a community. I do a lot of help for the eFeds in the UWL, and for the most part, they genuinely appreciate it. The new surge of member promotions have answered my prayers and actually use the Submit News feature. In the past, it wasn't the case though. I feel like if I'm doing so much to help your fed that I am not in succeed, shouldn't you meet me half way and help me out?
My #1 goal, outside of helping each of the UWL feds succeed, is to make the UWL Community Forums the most active OOC Community in the hobby. Roughkut is dying. I hear EFK is pretending they never liked efedding. I feel like this is my chance to achieve my goal. But just like you need help to have a strong efed, I need help to achieve my goal.
This isn't a plea to join my forums and post for shits and giggles. It's not. It's a plea to post for shits and giggles in ANY feds forums.
Maybe it's just my old bitter ass not wanting to come to grips with this new 'Twitter Era' that we're in, but I think the OOC Community is vital to an efed, and ESPECIALLY to an interfed.
I'm sure other owners of interfeds (actual interfeds) can back be up on this. Twitter takes away a lot of what we try to achieve.
So this is why I hate Twitter. I'm not saying delete your twitter. Use it. Use this powerful tool to help your eFed or your wrestler grow. I love the idea of In-Character twitters for eWrestlers. It's fantastic. But don't forget to be a part of the Community. I see a small few eFeds who have an active OOC Community. ACE probably has the most active I've seen in years. Those guys give me hope.
At UWL, this is my honest goal for 2015. Make our OOC Community one of, if not THE most active/popular in the hobby. We have OOC games like our current tourney to decide who the best WWE Intercontinental Champion is. We have the Backalley Championship, which is a spam 24/7 hardcore title, amongst other things. So this is me reaching out to my fellow eNerds. Log into the forums. Embrace a conversation. You wouldn't believe how much the admin will appreciate it.
... Now I gotta go tweet this to get hits...