Final Case Study – FableVision

An Introduction to FableVision

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FableVision is a transmedia studio from Boston, Massachusetts. The studio was founded by children’s author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds (Judy Moody, The Dot) in 1996. FableVision creates animation, games, apps, websites for organizations and companies, and their clients include PBS, The Jim Henson Company, Toca Boca, and The Boy’s and Girl’s Club of America.

FableVision positions itself as a company that creates with “positive storytelling” at the forefront of everything it does. Their mission statement is “stories that matter, stories that move.” They use an “all ages approach,” and primarily create content for children. They brand themselves as a company that knows how children learn and interact with media.

Social Media Presence Overview

 FableVision uses a variety of social media platforms: 

Analysis and Evaluation

Blog

http://www.fablevisionstudios.com/blog/

FableVision’s blog focuses on news about projects, and there are several interviews with staff and partners, such as an interview with Mia Doces from Committee for Children, an organization they’ve partnered with on a game that teaches anti-bullying skills. The interview demonstrates the great work the non-profit organization does and promotes the new game, but it also shows the quality of relationships FableVision has with its clients, which could help FableVision acquire new clients.

There are about 2-3 blog posts a month, and there is a like and comments feature on the blog, with a few likes for every post.

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/FableVisionStudios

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Fable Vision has 2,227 followers on Facebook. Their posts are a mix of text, photos, and videos, and the posts are frequently links to the blog and newsletters, as well as news about their projects. All their posts have a brief text component, but there is always an image attached as well (usually from the linked page). Recent posts include a post about the release of the new project by the intern team and an announcement that one of their films will be shown at a film festival.

Their pinned post is a cute animated video that explains their design and development process to clients.

There are about three Facebook posts a week. Some posts have around 5 likes, and some posts have 20-25 likes. Several posts have a few positive comments. There are not many replies back from FableVision in the comments.

Twitter

https://twitter.com/FableVision

FableVision has 6,950 follows on Twitter. The content on Twitter is a combination of text and pictures, and a lot of their posts are interacting with others. Sometimes it’s just tagging colleagues or partners in posts similar to what they might discuss on Facebook, and they often retweet people talking about FableVision or people discussing similar topics. There are lots of tweets from conferences and seminars they attended or are promoting their appearances at.

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Their Twitter posts feel very friendly and casual, and include calls to action and hashtags to increase engagement. FableVision also heavily promotes International Dot Day, a social media day about creativity inspired by Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot. They use hashtags #DotDay and #MakeYourMark for these posts.

There are two or three Twitter posts a week, with a few retweets in between. It seems that they are more active during #DotDay activities to promote the event.

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/fvstudioboston/

Instagram

FableVision has 561 Instagram followers. They post photos and videos, often with a good description and hashtags. Some of the content is promoting their projects, and the videos even include trailers of their games. They also share fun photos and videos from around the office and during parties they’ve hosted at their office. When they post art from their team, they tag the Instagram account of their artist, which I think is a great touch. They post 2-3 times a month and have lots of likes and comments from their followers.

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/fablevision

FableVision has 2,147 YouTube channel subscribers. Their videos include trailers of projects, overviews of projects, behind the scenes videos, intern projects, short films, and animation reels. There are not too many uploads recently, and FableVision last consistently uploaded videos three or four years ago.

Their latest video, a short called The Reflection in Me has almost 3,000 views and was posted last month. It is starting to make the rounds at film festivals, so it’s number of views is likely to increase. Comments are disabled for the video.

One short from 2015 has over 50,000 views, and another from 2011 has over 300,000 views. The age of these videos is certainly one factor for why there are more views, but it is possible the consistency of updates in that era led to a regularly returning audience. Perhaps YouTube was not the primary channel for many of the videos with fewer views, as these were made for commercials or other organization’s uses, and they are on YouTube as portfolio pieces.

Vimeo

https://vimeo.com/fablevision

FableVision’s Vimeo page has 90 followers. While similar to YouTube, this channel seems to be more of a place to show process videos of projects and final cuts. Many videos include the stage of the project in parentheses, as in (final cut) or (animatic). There are also several tutorials for FableVision Learning’s Fab@School series of products. There is also a Dev Diary series for their game Zoombinis, which is not on the YouTube page.

I suspect that Vimeo is used more as a place to host videos that will be used elsewhere, and is not necessarily a destination. I’m inferring this from the type of videos posted here, and my experience with using Vimeo this way at a job where I needed to host training videos for our company website.

LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/454677/

There are 1,237 followers of FableVision’s LinkedIn profile. The posts here are similar to Facebook with links to their newsletters, blog posts, or other websites where they’ve been featured. But FableVision also posts more information about industry seminars and conferences than they do on Facebook or Instagram, which is appropriate since LinkedIn is more professional and business oriented.

There are about two LinkedIn posts a week, and each post receives a few likes.

Summation of My Analysis

Their social media brands share a common voice, but they modify their posts for the platform they are posting on. Posts are most often about their projects or spotlighting their staff. Their audience would appear to be potential and current clients who would be impressed with their portfolio, image, reputation, artists, and designers.

Digital Footprint

The first hit when searching “FableVision” on Google is FableVisionStudios.com. The next hit is FableVision Studios’ Jobs & Internship page. The third hit is FableVision.com, which is a land page where you can choose to go to the Studio website or FableVision Learning, another of their brands that focus on software in schools.

The rest of the hits on the first page bring up their Facebook page, their YouTube channel, their Twitter account, and their LinkedIn profile. These are all very good results for someone seeking more information about FableVision.

After the first page, there are links to resellers of FableVision products. There also are a number of articles about the company and Peter H. Reynolds, such as a profile on New Boston Post.

A quote from Mr. Reynolds in the New Boston Post article states their philosophy.

“We create animation, mobile apps, interactive experiences for museums, publishers, and especially for organizations doing good in the world,” Reynolds said. “We are a decidedly biased company when it comes to whom we’ll work with. We seek collaborators who are trying to make the world a better place for every citizen no matter what age.”

FableVision’s reputation throughout the articles written about them leaves a digital footprint showing Mr. Reynolds’ ethos in effect.

Commendations and Recommendations

FableVision maintains a consistent tone and a steady flow of posts across most of their social media platforms. They are fun and cheerful, and they use lots of images, which they should as a company who prides itself on its art.

Their video presence needs to increase its frequency. They have some great new videos, but the audience might not be ready to see those videos if smaller videos have not been posted regularly to keep them engaged as a top channel to look to for new content. I think that for new videos they would need to decide if YouTube and Vimeo were used as portfolios or as a way to keep clients and associates updated with the everyday happenings at the studio. Whatever they decided, it should be in service of promoting their services as an animation and game development studio.

To improve their social media presence and digital footprint, they should continue to cross promote with their clients and partners. It is great that FableVision shares strong relationships with their partners, and it would be very effective for their future clients to see those relationships through social media.

FableVision’s digital footprint is consistent with their image and branding, and it shows they have an excellent reputation and a long history.

References

Case Study #3 – The Young Bucks

OVERVIEW

The Young Bucks are the professional wrestling tag team of real life brothers Matt and Nick Jackson, and they have tremendous social media presence. The success they’ve had in professional wrestling is owed as much to their social media prowess as it is to their superkicks.

Their Facebook page is at Facebook.com/TheYoungBucks, and they have 54,741 likes. On Instagram, Matt is @mattjacksonyb. He has 1,625 posts, 125K followers, and follows 216 users. Nick is @nickjacksonyb, and he has 1,426 posts, 109K followers, and follows 284 users.

Matt and Nick have separate Twitter accounts. Matt is @MattJackson13, and Nick is @NickJacksonYB, and both their display names are “The Young Bucks.” Matt has 178,000 Twitter followers, follows 754 users, and has 19.4K tweets. Nick has 167,000 followers, follows 593 users, and has 16.5 tweets. Matt joined Twitter first in April 2009, and Nick followed soon after in July 2009.

ANALYSIS

FACEBOOK

The Young Bucks profile picture on Facebook is a photo of Nick and Matt flexing in their matching entrance gear: custom printed tights and jackets covered in a pattern of their own faces and with tassels on the arms and boots. It’s intentionally garish. The cover photo is their finishing move – the “Meltzer Driver.” The finishing move was named tongue-in-cheek after influential wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer.

The About Page includes their email, their Instagram and Twitter accounts, and a link to their website YoungBucksMerch.com. They list their affiliated promotions and factions, including that they are the Elite members of popular faction The Bullet Club. Their bio is simply “we’re a real life brother tag team that travels the world to wrestle.”

Most of the content are photos, and they post videos from their YouTube series “Being the Elite.” Being the Elite is a hybrid show that is part road diary/part comedy series where they tell ongoing stories with the other Bullet Club members. It’s an example of how pro wrestling blends fantasy and reality, and it also is a way for them to tell a story across all the different wrestling promotions they work with. Without YouTube, all of the catchphrases and memes the Young Bucks have popularized may have never taken off.

Many of these episodes are centered around their social media celebrity, such as a recent episode where they promised to release Kenny Omega’s private Twitter DMs if they hit 100,000 YouTube subscriptions while Kenny is uncomfortable with the exposure (parodying some recent WWE controversies).

Popular posts are photos with fellow Bullet Club/Elite member Kenny Omega (an incredibly popular wrestler with New Japan) or posts about their recent deal to sell Bullet Club shirts at Hot Topic stores. A photo of the Young Bucks reclaiming the ROH Tag Team titles received 3.3K likes and is one of their most popular posts.

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Their posts gets dozens of comments with fans leaving praise, posting fan art, and sharing selfies they got with the Young Bucks at local shows. Matt and Nick will answer questions about merch availability or when they will return to a town. The comments are overwhelmingly positive. Surprising, because wrestling fans can be real jerks sometimes.

TWITTER

MattYB Twitter

Matt and Nick’s Twitter profile and cover photos are similar – the profile is a shot of them individually, and the cover photos are of them together, although Nick’s cover photo includes Bullet Club Elite leader Kenny Omega. Both their bios mention they are wrestlers and Bullet Club Elite members. They include links to Facebook and their website.

The Young Bucks shine on Twitter. They frequently engage in Twitter chats with other wrestlers that build and continue storylines. This is vital for independent wrestlers who are not on cable TV every week.

One of Matt’s most popular tweets says “I’m a YouTube character 1st, Wrestler 2nd. Get it right. Wait. T-shirt Salesmen 2nd, Wrestler 3rd. Wait.” This may be a popular tweet because it recognizes how important social media is to their success. They aren’t necessarily the best wrestlers (subjective art form), but they draw a crowd, get clicks, and make money.

Another of their most recently popular tweets is a GIF of an extreme Meltzer Driver they performed in honor of Dave Meltzer’s father who had passed. GIFs perform well for them because they show off bite sized clips of their matches in an easily digestible and shareable format.

Most tweets are original. They retweet each other and the other Bullet Club members, but they favor quote retweeting over replies to display comments to their audience. They tweet 3-5 times a day, usually to comment on something in the wrestling industry, promote merch, or discuss the latest “Being the Elite” episode. Their dominant tone is humor.

They answer practically any question posed to them (especially if it is “where can I buy your shirts?”), and join many conversations that tag them.

Comments on Twitter are a little more negative than Facebook. More traditional pro wrestling fans think the Young Bucks are “killing the business” by not taking the art of wrestling seriously enough and doing too much comedy and acrobatics

Recently, they have extra heat from fans of the WWE tag team The Revival after the Young Bucks and former-WWE wrestler Cody Rhodes started an “F the Revival” meme (#FTR). The Revival’s slogan is “No Flips, Just Fists,” which is surely a reference to the type of wrestling traditional fans would prefer. This makes them a perfect feud for an indie team like the Bucks. Twitter gives the opportunity for these two tag teams to interact with each other in a way that WWE would never allow otherwise.

INSTAGRAM

MattInsta

Matt and Nick’s Instagram profile pics are shots of them in ring. Matt’s profile links to their website, while Nick’s links to his Twitter account. Both bios state that they are husbands, fathers, and pro wrestlers.

They post the usual photos from their matches, merchandise photos, and “Being the Elite” screencaps. However, they also post a lot of pictures of their wives and children, which are barely mentioned on Twitter or Facebook. I suspect they see Twitter as a way to be in character and Instagram as a way to be themselves.

Many of the photos with their kids are taken while they are shopping. It’s interesting that these photos are in mundane moments, and I wonder if they document these times because they learned to appreciate the small moments since they are on the road so often. The image they present on Instagram is that they caring fathers who love spending time with their family, which fits their image as a team of brothers.

One adorable Instagram post is Nick’s daughter performing a superkick, It’s too sweet!

All their posts have very high like and comment activity from their audience. Their Instagram posts also tend to have between 5,000 to 10,000 likes. Twitter likes were not often more than 1,000, so it’s interesting to see how Instagram’s engagement operates in such a markedly different way, especially since there are fewer followers on Instagram.

CONCLUSION

While Instagram leads in raw “likes per post,” The Young Bucks connect with the fans best through Twitter. They chat with their fans, it’s the best place to see when they will be performing next or catch highlights. It’s also a way to follow their “fiction” when you can watch their real time interactions with other wrestlers.

The Young Bucks are an example of how social media can be used to circumvent the barriers of an old industry to make a name and a career. Many wrestlers have followed their lead, and a rich social media reputation can lead to bigger opportunities when fans demand their local promotion give them the chance to see the latest trending wrestler with their own eyes.

 

terribleminds: Analysis

Overview

For this case study, I am analyzing the blog “terribleminds” by author Chuck Wendig. This blog typically covers writing advice and promotion of the author’s books. The blog’s URL is http://terribleminds.com/ramble/blog/

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Analysis

The header of the blog is the terribleminds logo with a short bio of who Chuck Wendig is and what he will write about on his blog (he is a writer who will talk about writing, pop culture, and family). He also notes that the site may be not safe for work because of language. The top left of the page has a button that pulls down Wendig’s detailed About Me page. This lists notable books he wrote, as well as some of his upcoming books. His bio also tells his work history in screenwriting and game writing. It then closes to show where he lives with his family, and some flavor about his character.

Above the logo and this bio is a menu section where you can select the pages for the blog, free stories he has written, merchandise, a bibliography of his work, a list of his upcoming appearances, and his comment policy. The right-hand side of the blog features a search box, a field to subscribe by email, and covers of his last three book releases where readers can click through to find more information about the books. The bottom of the page includes small links to his Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr accounts. Wendig is very active on Twitter, and always links to his blog with tweets.

Many of Wendig’s articles are about writing advice, and this certainly includes his most popular posts. His site doesn’t list the most read posts, but googling “Chuck Wendig blog” shows two likely popular posts: “So, You Wanna be a Professional Writer? Some Considerations!” and “A Very Good List of Vital Writing Advice – Do Not Ignore.” His posts sometimes include a photo of himself or a close-up photo of an object like pens or toothbrushes. But usually the images used are of books he mentioned in the article.

His blog titles are generally compelling in the sense that he often seems like he is shouting at the reader, such as one post titled “A HOT STEAMING SACK OF BUSINESS ADVICE FOR WRITERS.”  He also posts flash fiction prompts, and those posts will always be structured by “Flash Fiction” and the prompt, such as one post titled “FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE: THE SUBGENRE SMASH-AND-GRAB.” Wendig also makes space for other writers to write advice articles and promote their books. These post titles will always be structured as “Author: Their Title” so you know it is a guest post. By including guest posts and this community content, Wendig has a new post almost every day.

Wendig’s writing style is conversational and peppered with swears and colorful euphemisms. Reading Wendig’s blog posts often feels like being a bartender asking the drunk customer for advice. Wendig is intelligent and funny, but I think sometimes his style goes over the top. I like Wendig’s Twitter presence, but I don’t read his blog regularly unless a post is trending and seems like a must-read. Reading his blog sometimes feels exhausting, and I often feel like his point is lost in the jokes.

On the other hand, a list of 25 tips for writers where tips number 12 and 13 are “Eat Bees” and “Don’t Eat Bees” helps to keep the post fresh and different from other advice blogs, and it helps to poke fun at the idea of there being a one-size-fits all list of instructions for writing success.

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Wendig’s blog reminds me of a film critic who blogs for Birth.Movies.Death who goes by Film Crit Hulk. His gimmick is that he’s the Incredible Hulk and writes very insightful film critique in ALL CAPS. It certainly makes his writing stand out, but it also makes it nearly impossible to read. Wendig’s style is similar – the constant barrage of swears and bizarre metaphors clutter the writing.

Wendig has a loyal audience and comment section. The community is active on every post, and he encourages community activity with his Flash Fiction Challenges. The fun atmosphere of his comments section is maintained through heavy moderation by Wendig. He has a comment policy page where he explains that he has a strict “no jerks” policy, and he has no hesitance to mark annoying or mean posts as a spam.

Conclusion

I think Chuck Wendig engages his audience well with his blog, and has clearly developed a following. His conversational and loose style allows him to speak directly to the reader and makes his advice more interesting than an old grammar textbook. However, this can also make his blog off-putting at times, and it may not be for everyone. His blog is also a successful platform for selling his books since readers satisfied with his writing advice would be interested in his work and fans of his work would be interested in his writing advice. His blog and social media presence has built up his brand well to make him a very popular writer.

 

Pro Wrestling: A Better Date Night than the Theater

Most pro wrestling fans have been marks (wrestling slang for “fans”) since they were kids. Especially if they are kids. But my wife and I took a different path to fandom.

Three years ago, on the day of WrestleMania 31, my wife and I were driving home from an award ceremony at her grad school when we noticed all the LA comedy podcasts we listen to were talking about WrestleMania. It was held in San Diego that year, and a lot of podcasters were going for a laugh. We couldn’t escape it on social media. My wife suddenly asked the immortal question: “how do we watch WrestleMania?”

We signed up for a free trial of the WWE Network and promised each other that we’d cancel after WrestleMania…unless we ended up watching every month. And wow, do we watch every month.

The moment we became fans for life.

That first WrestleMania created an obsession that hasn’t faded. It wasn’t long before we watched Monday Night Raw each week and went to live shows. As we found a community of other fans online, we learned about independent wrestling and discovered New England has an awesome local wrestling scene.

I only watched a little wrestling when I was a kid, and my wife never watched. Because of this, everything we learned watching wrestling, we learned together. It became a collaborative obsession and an unique bond in our relationship. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon became #relationshipgoals.

It helped that we got into wrestling just in time to see the “women’s revolution” unfold. A new generation of talented female wrestlers were hitting the ring, and neither they nor the fans would stand for two minute “bathroom break” matches. We watched women like Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, and the Bella Twins break the glass ceiling on TV every week. At indie shows with companies like Beyond Wrestling and Chikara, we watched wrestlers like Kimber Lee and Heidi Lovelace go even further as they took the fight to the men in mixed gender matches.

Aside: I really want to watch GLOW, Netflix’s new show about female wrestling that released today, but it would be a real heel move (wrestling slang for being a bad guy) if I watched it before she got home from work.

We also learned that wrestling had a little something for each of us. I got into wrestling video games, digging through bargain bins to find the legendary N64 game WWF No Mercy. She binged the Total Divas reality show. But it’s the live events that became our favorite part of pro wrestling because we enjoy that together.

I always tell people that going to a wrestling show is like a cross between a sporting event, a rock concert, and live theater. A wrestling show has unbelievable athletic feats, pyrotechnic spectacle, and compelling characters and drama. Every time my wife and I go to a show, we see something that we’ve never seen before. We’ve seen things we never thought possible. The way a match blends reality and fiction evoke emotions unlike any other forms of storytelling.

Every show is a different experience. Sometimes it feels like an arena concert and sometimes it has the air of a punk rock show. We’ve watched wrestling in the legendary Boston Garden, baseball fields, bars, and elementary school gymnasiums. We’ve sat in the nosebleed section, we’ve watched matches with our hands on the ring apron, and we’ve had to abandon our ringside seats as a 300 pound man dove towards his opponent cowering in the crowd.

Selfie party with wrestler Heidi Lovelace (now WWE’s Ruby Riot) at a Chikara show.

My wife and I have been together since high school, and I love that even after 15 years we can find new hobbies and fandoms to share. Discovering wrestling in our 30s is even more fun because it was unexpected.

But there is nothing as unexpected than watching an undead bride bite the ref, escape the ring, and pour drinks at the bar while the heroine tries to protect the crowd. That’s a thing that happened. We saw that live. And we saw it together.

Rachael Ellering faces off with the evil corpse bride, Su Yung.