First I would like to thank the person that gave us feedback on SimsFileShare. We’ll be sure to pass that on to them, although I’m not sure how much help it’s going to be to them. I think we were just as confused as you were (for so many reasons), if not more, when we were looking at your feedback.
We did get some feedback that we would like to address.
It doesn’t really feel inclusive to me. Like much of the community in general, it seems like another clique. I am sure that is not the intent, but the only people I ever see mention the festival, is people who have thousands of followers, everyone knows their names, and they are “popular”. Additionally, magazines are nice, but not all of us have great internet. Many of us have DSL connections that are poor with bandwidth limitation. Magazines sometimes do not open at all the same can be said for watching videos and streaming.
This is one of those times that we wish we knew who was leaving feedback where we could ask more questions. This feedback opened a debate among staff in an attempt to find some kind of solution, if it was even possible. We’ll get back to that in a moment.
First I want to talk about SimsFilmFest being inclusive. We always felt like we were the less clique-ish part of the Sims Community. There is no one place, really, that machinimators congregate on the web. Everyone kind of does their own thing and they bring their projects to SimsFilmFest every season.
Sims Community popularity is a weird thing and it’s really hard to define because the community is scattered over so many social networks. Someone might be popular on Twitter but no one on Facebook or Tumblr may know who they are. YouTube numbers are hard to judge by because someone may have 10k+ followers and none of them will come out to support the festival, but someone with 50 may have engaged all their followers to where they want to see what is going on during the season. We actually see stuff like this happen season after season. The Sims Community is fickle in general, and how that shows itself depends on the social network of choice.
Now, having said that all, if someone who is seen as “popular” talks about the festival, it’s going to be seen more than if someone not so popular with a lot less followers does. For the most part, the popular sites and vloggers that everyone knows pays us no mind. A few years back a very popular YouTube Sims Vlogger decided to talk about SimsFilmFest and build some hype, but got most of the details wrong. That is the one and only time I recall anyone with the kind of popularity that most people know who they are across all the social networks even mentioning the festival. Every great now and again SimsVIP will reblog something of ours, but for the most part, they don’t pay much attention to us either.
However, when we are talking about the festival itself, we promote everyone equally (provided they give us the materials to do so). We really don’t care how many followers anyone has. Ironically, the most popular person associated with SimsFilmFest doesn’t even make machinima, they make custom content. Tell me that doesn’t make things weird. Anyway, what would help make SimsFilmFest more inclusive?
We know that people have an issue with ‘unfairness’ because of the Viewers Choice voting for machinima projects. We have been talking about how to address that, and we have a few ideas, but it’s not something that we are ever going to do away. It’s part of what draws in our non-machinima audience. We wish we had a bigger non-machinima audience that would participate in voting and we are trying to come up with ways to attract those people.
Now for the second half of this comment. This is where we wish we knew who left this were we could ask a few questions because it seems odd that someone would bring up internet connection being an issue in being able to watch videos for a film festival. Promoting machinima is rather graphics intensive so it’s always going to be somewhat of a strain on poor internet connections. We don’t know of any way to lessen that strain.
I have personally talked to our web host about doing a YouTube type site specifically for SimsFilmFest where we can host the entries ourselves but that takes more storage space and resources than we have. It would also be rather expensive.
The bulk of the magazine content is going to be on the website with the magazine being more of what Rising Stars used to be, a more specific promotional tool. This means more pictures, more focus on the machinimas themselves as well as the directors and their past projects. The purpose of the magazine is really to be able to share things across the social networking sites easily as many of them aren’t set up to share articles.