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How Twitter can help a game designer

The 140 character maximum of tweets makes Twitter look like a haven for the ADHD and "sound byte"-mesmerized among us. Despite that limitation, it can be useful for certain purposes to a game designer.

This is aimed at inexperienced designers, and those who have not used Twitter.

At the suggestion of the Gamasutra editors I am including the slide text here so that you have an idea of what the screencast is about.  Please don't comment unless you listen to the screencast; this outline is not the text just as a book's table of contents is not the book.

How is Twitter useful to a Game Designer?
Dr. Lewis Pulsipher

140 characters per tweet . . .
The “word bite” nature of Twitter doesn’t lend itself to critical thinking
Which is at the heart of game design
But there are lots of really smart people on Twitter
And some who aren’t, of course
Twitter can help you find useful information
Sometimes it helps you understand other points of view than your own
And it can be good publicity for you and your games
You can do this in five minutes a day; or you can get sucked into a much deeper time sink

Especially for independent designers and small publishers
(This is why I joined Twitter, to publicize various projects)
New blog posts
New games or books
It’s one more antidote to the problem of “discoverability” (people can’t play your game if they don’t know it exists)
Retweets and favorites of your posts reach beyond  your followers
Get started now, because building up followers takes time

References to articles
Follow the right people and you can get references to useful articles on the Web
In a way it’s your personal reference service
Lots of heads (and eyes) are better than just yours
And you should provide the same to other people
(I keep track of useful articles, in part, by tweeting them to others)

Answers to questions
Got a design-related question?  Shoot it out (e.g. to #gamedesign) and you might get some useful answers
Questions about sources for something in particular – information, software, whatever – can also get useful answers

Source of quotes
I collect quotes that I might use in articles, classes, and books
Some people on Twitter are quite quotable, on occasion

Limited Discussions
Yes, you can conduct a (group) discussion through Twitter, it’s just strongly limited
Use hashtags (#thisisahashtag) to keep together
And it’s not private
Anyone can join in, if they notice it

Compare with Facebook
There are subject pages for books, games, shops, groups, etc.
Limited number can see your comments
Not limited to 140 characters
Better for discussions, less for publicity
Discussions tend to avoid the “anonymity = nastiness syndrome” because people are rarely anonymous on Facebook

Compare with Gamasutra/ GameCareerGuide
On Gamasutra you read news articles and blog posts, and comment if you wish
Much of the interest can come from the comments
I like it as a place to post occasional blogs (when they can be applied to video games)
GCG is fairly dormant these days
Not really for person-to-person communication
Video games only, of course

Compare with BGG etc
Boardgamegeek/Videogamegeek/RPGgeek can be really caustic or shallow, as is often true of forum-based communities
The Board Game Design forum on BGG is mostly wannabes and “look what I’ve done”; rarely useful beyond the ‘pinned’ discussions
Game Geeklists can be useful
I post my blog there (its home is on Blogger) because sometimes I get insightful (lengthy) comments
Board Game Designers Forum is also mostly wannabes and “look at me’s”, but occasionally insightful
All of these are better, for detailed discussions, than Twitter

Whatever discussion forums you favor, Twitter can have a place in your continuing education and your promotions

What I should have included in the video, but did not, is that Twitter can also provide some feedback about your blogs/videos, in terms of how many people favorite or retweet your tweet pointing to the blog or video.

I've just run across this article that may interest some readers:

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