Flip to now and something like Facebook which allows you to nag, tease and keep up with the Jones' pretty much all day long. Other than that, it's also an incredible way to promote product by 'word of digital mouth' for want of a better phrase. I was incredulous to find out that a 4 month old 'page' for 'Worms' (a base for people to become 'fans' of our game) had something like 365,000 people as fans, from all walks of life, from all over the world.
Thats pretty stunning, it also reminded me of a conversation I'd had with John whilst we were in Seattle, or San Francisco, or between the two, in a car, up in the air, wherever, that we should be using the likes of Facebook more, to allow our players to become closer knit with our games, to interact more.
We've had forums for years and they're different kind of places, people hide behind silly names and troll (abuse) other people wantonly, in effect, these forums are ironically 'faceless' and I've yet to see much in the way of abuse on Facebook because in most cases, you can relate to a human being as you stare at their profile picture (as long as, say, they aren't wearing a horse-head mask).
So we've started building a Team17 Facebook page, with links to pages of our product past and present, we'll see how popular they get and how much they get noticed. They'll be accessible to the 175m facebook users (50m in the USA alone) and the standard interface means people are more likely to get involved and share images, files, comments and anecdotes with fellow fans. I hope it will be the start of something special and that the ball will keep rolling.
I certainly think that the days of dull, stale corporate sites are on the wane, so lets see how this goes, it might be pretty good once we tell people it's there too - as of now it's about 24hrs old and a best kept secret.
From there you can check a few of the game pages up there, we'll be growing those in due course, with many to include info from the horses' (or donkey's) mouth and exclusive shots, videos and items.