Some thoughts about Wottergate
by, 9th September 2010 at 05:12 AM (3168 Views)
EDIT: Made minor correction.
Just before I start, I'd like to remind everyone here that IRL, I'm a marketing and consumer behaviour academic and research student. Thinking about these kind of things is quite literally my job.
Okay, so...I gave myself a little thought exercise earlier today.
If I was in the marketing department for The Pokémon Company, and I had been given the direction to leak some information to get discussion and hype going in the non-Japanese language markets, how would I do it?
Before I tell you what I concluded, let me walk you through my thought process.
There's a number of tiers of Pokémon sites, but only the top 3 are really relevant as far as this goes. The examples given for each are not by any stretch exhaustive, they're just meant for illustrative purposes.
The largest Pokémon fansites in the world.
eg. Bulbagarden, Serebii
The largest sites within non-English languages, the largest sites within specific niche's, large generalist sites.
eg. Filb, Smogon, PokéBeach, PokéCommunity, PokéGym
Established sites with medium size followings.
eg. PokéCharms, PokéJungle, PokExperto, Legendary Pokémon
Now, if the objective is to generate discussion, there's four things you do not want.
1. A site with too much credibility.
2. A site with too little credibility.
3. A site that's notable enough that people will see it and pass on info.
4. A specialist niche site
What it boils down to is, basically, if everyone out there will trust the website you've leaked to at their word, that diminishes the amount of discussion you'll generate.
That might sound weird, but let me explain. Essentially, if everyone believes the info is true, the only discussion that will happen is on if these things you've leaked are a good thing. So with Wottergate for instance...if these Pokémon designs are any good or not.
On the reverse, if everyone believes they're false, you get no discussion at all.
Get something in the middle though, get someone who enough people are willing to believe, and you'll get a lot of
discussion going all over the place.
Notability is pretty obvious, but it matters for a lot with credibility as well. More notable sites tend to be considered more credible just by virtue of their notability.
As for why you want a generalist site...a niche site that's appropriate for your info is going to be too credible. A TCG only site reporting on a TCG leak? Too many people would believe it instantly.
Now, ideally in this case we'd go gone for someone in the upper-middle tier, but there's a problem here. They're all too credible in the fandom, and/or they're too obscure to English language fans, which would make pushing word-of-mouth difficult.
Upper tier has the same problem. Bulba's credible, and while Serebii has had issues with his credibility on a few things in the past, he's generally going to be accepted at face value unless a lot of other webmasters speak out against him.
So, that leaves the mid tier. Here...there's not a lot of suitable candidates either. PokéCharms and Legendary Pokémon would be backed up by Bulba if they got a leak, so they're too credible. PokéJungle is known for posting a lot of rumours, so they're not credible enough.
That leaves PokExperto.
He's surprisingly suitable for this kind of purpose, I have to admit.
1. He's had information early before, so there's some level of credibility there, and some level of plausibility that he might get something again
2. There's been several instances of PokExperto posting information that later turned out to be false or a hoax, so his credibility isn't perfect.
3. He's not that well known outside of Spanish circles, meaning that the credibility he does have isn't immediately obvious to the English fans.
4. A good number of people in the US speak Spanish, and machine translations from Spanish to English aren't so bad that people wouldn't understand updates being posted.
5. The webmaster does speak English, so he can communicate well enough with other webmasters.
So, where does that leave us?
....doesn't change a thing to be honest. Plausible doesn't mean likely or that it did happen, just that it could happen, and it's not completely illogical for something to happen like this.
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