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Andres' Blog

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GDA's place among Green Day fan sites/pages

Andres

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Having done GDA for 12 years now, it's amazing to think of how different, and similar, things are. GDA feels like a juggernaut compared to other fan sites. We just recently passed 100k followers on Twitter, 226k followers on Facebook. In the past 6 months we've had 1.2 million visits (2.4 million page views). 

While things are still pretty good, I can't help but look and wonder how different things could be. 

Back in 2004 when I started, before sites like Facebook and Twitter, there were a bunch of small fansites. It was fun competing with each other sites like greenday.net, geekstinkbreath, billiejoe.org, greendayvideos.net, GDUK, to name just a few. It was a race to see who could get news up faster. Who would grow the most, who could offer something new and better to fans. I loved it. I spent nearly all my free time working on GDA. Chatting with people on AIM, then the GDA Chat Room. It felt like a real community.

It's different now that most sites have fallen off, and GDA and GDC have grown so much. I mean, we have more traffic than the official forum (a point that someone on Green Day's team highlighted recently - "we know you guys have the community we wish we did"). The main problem now is that there aren't really any more fansites, so a certain type of competition is gone. There are fan pages on Facebook, fan-related Twitter accounts, fan Tumblrs and Instagrams. The main issue we have at GDA is the speed of getting content out. Even though it's not a lot of work, it's recognizably harder to write up a post and put it on GDA than it is to just copy/paste a headline and link and post on FB or Twitter. I also think there's a much lower threshold of quality that people want on social media.

Much of the last year has felt like trying to play catch-up to a harder medium. I can't help but feel like we're failing on two sides. We take longer to post stuff up AND we don't even get everything posted. Some things come and go and we never get around to it.

 

Both points were totally valid and we deserved the criticism. I really do appreciate honest and constructive criticism. So I took applications for GDA editors a couple months back but decided to hold off on bringing anyone new on the team. Of course, I was called out then as well for more than likely not promoting someone because I'm stubborn and like to do everything myself. Again, totally valid. 

 

It's hard for me to trust people to do a good job and make sure they don't fuck us over. Yes, I have terrible trust issues and it's leading to GDA being way behind other Green Day related accounts. This year even the official site/social media accounts have stepped it up. It looks like they hired some more people to manage the accounts and they get stuff out first and regularly. Since GDA kind of became the primary fan site, the only real competition I knew we'd have was with the official site stepping it up. And after 10 years, they have. 

So now I don't know exactly where to go. We need to do a better job, and I go through phases of being 'Super-Andres' who posts stuff, and works on code, and upgrades GDC, to pretty much disppearing for several days/weeks. I don't know how to balance that out. I get super excited about something and just go till I get burned out, then hide away for a bit till something brings me back around. 

12 years in, this whole thing hasn't gotten easier. Different challenges than we had back then, but still challenges none-the-less.


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15 Comments


Steven Seagull

Posted

 Me and Jane can run your FB page.

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Jane Lannister

Posted

3 hours ago, Steven Seagull said:

 Me and Jane can run your FB page.

Yeah, we apply as a team! 

Personally, I'm not too worried about competition from the official accounts, they'll crawl back away in a few months. However, I do think GDA needs more people so more news is covered. 

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bouncingoffthewallbja

Posted

I'm not really that active on Twitter, FB, IG anything like that, so I'm grateful there's a place like GDA and GDC where I can connect with other people who share a common interest in Green Day. @Jenn. made a really great point that a lot of people will keep using the same sort of social media if they can get everything, including the latest news, on it. I think that all that's needed is a couple of more people who are able to post the news, but to me, I'd rather keep reading the great quality articles a couple days later (like atm) with links/videos etc, rather than posts that are rushed for the sake of being the first to report it, if that makes sense! Don't worry, Andres! You and the entire GDA/GDC team are doing a fantastic job! :lol:

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Scattered Wreck

Posted

I think you've kind of answered your own question.  You do an amazing job, which is why I'm around two years later.  But you can't do it all.  This isn't your main job.  You asked for help a few months ago, hire someone.  You trusted others to help you before, what is one more person.

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Comrade

Posted

Best thing you can do is use the Sky News method. Get the breaking news out there as a Tweet, status, IG post and an attached short 50 word story that is easily shareable and then just update it later when you have more time/information/clarity. It means you can keep pace with and on social media with the demand for single line headlines and essence of any given story and means you're free to expand on it in detail and with qualit without pressure to be the first to pump it out there. 

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Andres

Posted

5 hours ago, Comrade said:

Best thing you can do is use the Sky News method. Get the breaking news out there as a Tweet, status, IG post and an attached short 50 word story that is easily shareable and then just update it later when you have more time/information/clarity. It means you can keep pace with and on social media with the demand for single line headlines and essence of any given story and means you're free to expand on it in detail and with qualit without pressure to be the first to pump it out there. 

That's a solid idea and one that we've never even talked about doing in the past. 

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Second favourite son

Posted

5 hours ago, Comrade said:

Best thing you can do is use the Sky News method. Get the breaking news out there as a Tweet, status, IG post and an attached short 50 word story that is easily shareable and then just update it later when you have more time/information/clarity. It means you can keep pace with and on social media with the demand for single line headlines and essence of any given story and means you're free to expand on it in detail and with qualit without pressure to be the first to pump it out there. 

This is like the 'more follows...'. style journalism, right?  It can be frustrating to not see much when you click through, but inevitably those are the sites I end up visiting - they offer news quickly, and speed is what people want.  Then, when more info is available, the site's already in my browser history, so every time I search for that story it'll direct me to the page I've previously visited, which has more than likely been updated since my last visit.  It also makes it feel like you're really following a developing, real-time story - so it might feel faster even if it's not.  I think this is a really great idea, and seems to be the way most commercial news outlets are going.

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Comrade

Posted

1 hour ago, Second favourite son said:

This is like the 'more follows...'. style journalism, right?  It can be frustrating to not see much when you click through, but inevitably those are the sites I end up visiting - they offer news quickly, and speed is what people want.  Then, when more info is available, the site's already in my browser history, so every time I search for that story it'll direct me to the page I've previously visited, which has more than likely been updated since my last visit.  It also makes it feel like you're really following a developing, real-time story - so it might feel faster even if it's not.  I think this is a really great idea, and seems to be the way most commercial news outlets are going.

Pretty much. It's a strong way to generate return traffic too - if you have that headline, or picture or 50 word story and you had it first, plus you then have at the end 'check back soon or more' people are relatively likely to go back to you (the original source of the story) than elsewhere. It's at the core of how online reporting works now, and the 'more as the story develops/as we find out more' also excited initial inaccuracies because it was hammered out so quickly. It's a win-win, so long as you're the one with the finger on the pulse. 

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AlissaGoesRAWR

Posted

On 12/26/2016 at 2:34 PM, Comrade said:

Pretty much. It's a strong way to generate return traffic too - if you have that headline, or picture or 50 word story and you had it first, plus you then have at the end 'check back soon or more' people are relatively likely to go back to you (the original source of the story) than elsewhere. It's at the core of how online reporting works now, and the 'more as the story develops/as we find out more' also excited initial inaccuracies because it was hammered out so quickly. It's a win-win, so long as you're the one with the finger on the pulse. 

My experience at the papers I've worked for though is that the full story never generates as much traffic as the initial post, which can be frustrating — you feel like you're wasting time writing a full story that only a fraction of people will read compared to the thing you threw together quickly.

I feel like there's no real "right" way to do it though when it comes to the balance between being first and being most thorough/accurate. It's definitely a trial-and-error experience until you figure out a balance that works for your particular news outlet.

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Comrade

Posted

Just now, AlissaGoesRAWR said:

My experience at the papers I've worked for though is that the full story never generates as much traffic as the initial post, which can be frustrating — you feel like you're wasting time writing a full story that only a fraction of people will read compared to the thing you threw together quickly. I feel like there's no real "right" way to do it.

That's true, you won't generate as much traffic because most people only want the core/headline, but by updating it later, you have the reputation for having the full story. One thing GDA has going for it is that the dynamics of a fandom readership will be different to those of a local newspaper though. But you're completely right, there is no right way, but so far as GDA building/maintaining kudos as the first, second and third port of call in a niche market it might be a useful strategy to keep up, rather than necessarily improving quality? 

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AlissaGoesRAWR

Posted

13 minutes ago, Comrade said:

That's true, you won't generate as much traffic because most people only want the core/headline, but by updating it later, you have the reputation for having the full story. One thing GDA has going for it is that the dynamics of a fandom readership will be different to those of a local newspaper though. But you're completely right, there is no right way, but so far as GDA building/maintaining kudos as the first, second and third port of call in a niche market it might be a useful strategy to keep up, rather than necessarily improving quality? 

Yeah, I think that makes perfect sense, especially since GDA isn't like a traditional newspaper in that news writers aren't typically calling sources for time-consuming interviews before publishing. That makes being faster even easier.

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DookieLukie

Posted

billiejoe.org lol

 

But seriously, what GDA and GDC have been able to do seems incredible and unlikely. Fan sites or forums aren't really a think anymore. Whenever I mention GDC to friends, people are just flat out shocked that fan sites are out there and active, especially for a band as old and out of the spotlight as Green Day. This place is a rare gem and almost a tribute to the internet of old, where sites like this grew like crabgrass. Andres and the gang should feel very proud.

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Andres

Posted

On 12/29/2016 at 6:54 PM, DookieLukie said:

billiejoe.org lol

 

But seriously, what GDA and GDC have been able to do seems incredible and unlikely. Fan sites or forums aren't really a think anymore. Whenever I mention GDC to friends, people are just flat out shocked that fan sites are out there and active, especially for a band as old and out of the spotlight as Green Day. This place is a rare gem and almost a tribute to the internet of old, where sites like this grew like crabgrass. Andres and the gang should feel very proud.

Very proud we've been able to keep them around. Also think there's a definitely a place for well-run fan sites. Problem is, most fans are terrible at running sites.

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HolidayContradiction

Posted

On 12/29/2016 at 6:54 PM, DookieLukie said:

billiejoe.org lol

 

But seriously, what GDA and GDC have been able to do seems incredible and unlikely. Fan sites or forums aren't really a think anymore. Whenever I mention GDC to friends, people are just flat out shocked that fan sites are out there and active, especially for a band as old and out of the spotlight as Green Day. This place is a rare gem and almost a tribute to the internet of old, where sites like this grew like crabgrass. Andres and the gang should feel very proud.

This is the main reason I've quit telling people I frequent a forum. What's my browser history anyone else's business anyway?

What I love so much about GDC is the community feel to it. Though I don't care as much what Green Day is up to anymore, I always have this site to fall back on when I come across something that does excite me, and the friendships I've made throughout my time here.

I like Comrade's idea of posting short updates on everything that is happening in order to expand on them later. The main reason I kept coming back to GDA was the knowledge that what they do post, is reliable! There is no unconfirmed rumours or fake news beside April 1st

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