This year at the famous San Diego Comic-Con I was given a mission to seek out Felica Day and the other cast members of “The Guild.” Admittedly, I had no idea what the show was about or why it was important until I got to the booth. As it turns out, I’ve been missing out! “The Guild” is especially interesting because the show is an online series!
While I awkwardly got autographs from the actors that I didn’t know I tried to get in a quick word with Felica, both the creator and main character. She smiled kindly and asked me what I wanted to know. She told me that the show started out as being completely supported by its fans. This is pretty amazing, to have a successful television series or should I say internet series just from its fan’s donations! The show was posted on the WatchTheGuild website and their popular YouTube channel. Fortunately, YouTube was able to help “The Guild” reach its target audience online gamers.
The show itself is about several “gamers” or “guild members” that play on online multi-player war game. Some of its players even go so far as to make a living off the game they play. This does actually mimic real life, as thousands of people sit down to play games like World of Warcraft or Runes of Magic for hours on end and then sell valuable items such as gold or potions to other players for real money. While this is not the typical way people think of business through social media- it is an interesting concept to grapple with. Meanwhile, “The Guild” is a great example of a small business that made it to popularity by social media. “The Guild” was picked up by Sprint who sponsors the show and by Microsoft and XBox who now distribute it. Fecila Day has won “Best Actress” by the Streamy Awards, while “The Guild” won “Best Comedy Web Series” and “Best Ensemble” this last year (2009). Other awards include “the SXSW”, YouTube and Yahoo Web Series Awards in 2008. Felica Day can be learned from as someone who put together the three things she loved, acting, gaming and social media into something successful. I encourage those new to the social media scene to follow Felica Day and “The Guild” on Twitter and YouTube to see how these social networking websites can help you and your business!
One last thing to note about the business of social media is how willing people involved in it are willing to connect and share ideas with others. Felica was happy to speak with me, despite how busy it was at Comic-Con. The show’s website was also willing to share its success story in a way that was helpful and inspiring to other people who want to use social media to help their own businesses succeed. For me as a writer, it really helped show me how much impact it can have to put my work online, to use a blog and to have my own website. It was also further evidence how much having an active Twitter and Facebook account could help boost my popularity by trafficking my fans to my own website, or simply giving them a reason to trust me because they are familiar with my style and attitude. “The Guild” inspired me and I hope that it can for others as well!
Note: This post was written by Lemon Drop. She is a Square Martini Intern studying Communications and Literature Writing at the University of California, San Diego. She graciously assists the Square Martini Team with all things social media.