Hugo Pinto

Innovation, Strategy, Technology, Data

Community management as a service – how the developer of flappy bird could have avoided a meltdown!

The era of the apps is producing us some new funny and at the same time macabre episodes – the most recent one: flappy bird! A game that went viral, reportedly making $50.000 per day in advertising, and the developer deleted it from the apple store and google play.

Screenshot from the game

Why? Because there’s a market opportunity for digital marketers that hasn’t been explored properly – and that is community management as a service.
The game is a huge hit – addictive and infuriating are the most common adjectives used – so with the digital and social media channels connecting the individual developer with the users, you get all the feedback in a raw format. That’s the first job of a community manager – Listen.
It’s a very stressful job because of the huge spikes you are facing, especially in a mobile gaming market, where reviews, feedback, bug reporting and many times stupidity can generate fast-spreading rashes that tear through your digital channels, and spread like wildfire (this is why the google-bought platform name is so good!).
So after that comes the filtering process – what to reply to – and many times the most important one – what to ignore! So being bombarded with heaps of messages that included death threats (ignore part), the developer, Dong Nguyen [https://twitter.com/dongatory] decided to act in a way to stop that backlash – and got himself into a bigger problem – the responses became even worse. Decision 2 from a community manager – decide how to react to the community.
No witty responses, no funny reaction, just negativity (sounds like preaching, but web is about evangelising the good examples!), which generates – more negativity! So more threats, more fuss and no game which was definitely proving to be a smash-hit of the annoyingly-addictive games of late…
Decisions 3 of a community manager would have been – let’s put this into perspective: create a best-death-tweets ranking voted by your community! That would have been a smash hit! Or play with this: flappy bird lips meme! So many creative ways to spin this off, that the only reason for Dong to do this is come back with a bang, re-releasing the app!
So if anyone shares my vision, come along, and let’s create a SaaS for freelance community managers (I’m sure the current platforms are good enough) to support solo developers, and the community to support the marketplace who don’t have the time or money to pay consultancy fees!
But please wait for the current flappy bird iphone auctions reach ridiculous values – like this one going for $100.000 on e-bay!
Simple gameplay is the best weapon in mobile gaming

The thing I love the most about working in the digital age, is the digital natives – they can always surprise me!

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