Riddle me this…
What *is* G.A.N.G. exactly? Who is “The GANG”?
To understand the spirit of the Geeky Antics Network Global (G.A.N.G.) initiative, it may be worth talking a bit about the origins of HorsePLAY! and how we have evolved. As we see it, HorsePLAY! is one of many brands and communities we will use to expand the network. We love teaming up with other podcasters, geeks, and content marketers..
…But, anyway, origins…
When Obi and I first started HorsePLAY! LIVE, it was three of us crazy geeks talking video games (we miss ya Soldierism), technology, and whatever else happened to tickle our fancies at the time. We had a very heavy focus on PC gaming, indie games, and MOBAs (League of Legends in particular). We’re still a very young podcast but in our few months of doing this together, we’ve evolved quite a bit. Now, HorsePLAY! is more about digital entertainment as a whole and we certainly have other defining elements in comedy, news, etc.
The beauty of starting any content is that you can run with a very vague idea and build upon it as you go along.; in fact, it’s best to just jump right in and not just over-think things into paralysis. As we do more HorsePLAY! episodes, our general ideas get more refined. We like to keep our content as raw and gritty as possible, yet we have a very deliberate direction for HorsePLAY! and GANG alike.
Don’t be afraid to dive in – the GANG is here for you!
It’s hard to describe what HorsePLAY! is in terms of categories (maybe you can help us when conclude this article) and main themes but we certainly know what we want to be in everyone’s minds. In simple terms, we see HorsePLAY! as a community platform for geeks to collaborate, laugh, and just hang out. That’s exactly what GANG is being built for as well.
HorsePLAY! LIVE has evolved to become the primary podcast platform for Geeky Antics. It is an interactive show focused on cross-promotion and community engagement, just like the rest of the GANG.
Certainly, there are tons of networks out there taking the gaming or geeky angle. Geek & Sundry, AllGames (one of our unofficial partners), PodGods, and VOG (Voice of Geek) come to mind. These are all networks we love yet they are missing a few things. These are the opportunities the major networks miss and we’d like to capitalize on:
- Creating systems to make it easier for people with great ideas to produce great content.
- Delivering multi-language content around the world.
- Building communities that are just as much a part of the creative process as the authors, producers, and hosts.
- Collaborating with geeks that have the same passion and goals we do here on GANG.
- Fostering a team spirit while allowing everyone to express themselves freely and authentically.
- Liberating content marketers so that they can have fun – for the first time or all over again!
The last two items are particularly important to us. All the big networks do a good job of branding and spreading influence; however, the individual contributors usually get the worst part of the deal. We want to guide creatives and geeks through the processes of content marketing while allowing as much freedom as possible to our contributors. We don’t want anyone to feel trapped or restricted while we provide such guidance.
GANG provides the tools, experience, and people to foster an environment of collaboration, fun, and results. It’s a team effort – for REAL!
All GANG team members and contributors have the option of producing exclusive content or syndicating. Regardless of the path chosen, we want this network to feel more like a family or, better yet, gathering place for friends and family. We’re willing to give almost anyone a chance. The only real rule is this: don’t be an asshat and please check your ego at the door.
Of course, things get tricky when monetization is involved. Everyone has bills to pay and nothing is truly free so we have plans for revenue sharing and building capital. Now, we recognize there is a fine line between sustainability/profit and selling out. Our hope is that we can stay authentic and have fun doing what we’re passionate, while being profitable. It’s a tall order but we know it can be done.
Another major pitfall we want to avoid is become elitist or too exclusive. We’ve found that many outlets refuse to give people a chance yet everyone has to start somewhere. Whereas most media networks/empires pursue established personalities to siphen some of their audience, we want to create mutually-beneficial scenarios where audiences, creatives, and platforms all win (win-win-win’s, as I like to call them). Establishing a good balance between being professional and casual will be a challenge in itself.
Whereas most media networks pursue established personalities to siphen some of their audience, we want to create win-win-win scenarios.
If you believe in team spirit and are tired of the politics in major media networks, GANG is the place for you. We can’t promise that we will never employ ads, microtransactions, or anything of the sort but we can promise that the art comes first. That said, donations and volunteering will be a big part of our sustainability and growth. Fundraisers are definitely on the horizon. Believe me, every contribution (creative, financial, or otherwise) goes a long way for our collective success.
So that there is our GANG manifesto. We know the specifics will become more clear as we grow our team and release more great content. Thus far, the response has been amazing. The support we have been getting has made the process far less daunting so we truly appreciate all the folks volunteering and rallying for us.
Now it’s time to introduce our team so far because a network, or any organization at that, is nothing without the right people supporting it. First, James Tarr, better known to HorsePLAY! fans as ObioneX2 (or just plain Obi), is a growing personality on Twitch. These days he is heavily into Arma 2 but he has also been hardcore into League of Legends, War Thunder, Hearthstone, Battlefield 4, Day-Z, and other PC games. Obi specializes in video production, particularly when it comes to livestreaming, which involves a balance of community engagement, overlay/scene design, and scheduling. His knowledge in these areas will help us establish the production value and timing necessary to create and build audiences in what are otherwise very crowded spaces.
Now for Mr. Ellis! Dakota Ellis has gone by many names, including DingleDorf and Asmodeus. He is a long-time clanmate – GO NOF – and friend. Kota is pretty new to online marketing but has been involved in forums, Twitter, Facebook groups/pages, mailing lists, and other projects. He’s also been a moderator and community liaison for small games like ARC/Spark and Babo. Our hopes are to groom him as a social media specialist so he can help us curate content and sustain our various engagement paths (or marketing channels, if you prefer).
Next up is James Fortengard, known by AllGamers as Yuri or Fort. James has quite the impressive resume, which boasts the ability to speak many languages and vast knowledge of comics, anime, film, video games, and more. Like many lesser-known online personalities, Fort never quite got the chance to strut his stuff on an established platform or network. He’s a tough cookie with strong opinions so we’re excited to see what we he can do once he is given a chance to do his thang. We already have several concepts for shows/podcasts so expect some new exclusives soon!
Then there’s Matt Bradford (@MattoMcFly on Twitter), who has confirmed interest in joining GANG but is super-duper busy (we understand, buddy). He’s currently busy with Guiness World Records, VGO (VideoGameOutsiders), AllGames Network, Games Radar, and Zombie Cast so he’ll be a guest host and blog contributor until we can all seduce him to stay for the long haul. Please show Matt and the rest of the team some love, guys!
Finally, there’s Andy Fewtrell a.k.a. Spathizilla, who works tirelessly to make sure servers are secure and up around the clock. He’s one of my oldest friends and one of the few people I can truly say I trust completely and consider a brother. I mean, that’s not to diminish everyone else’s efforts but this guy puts in the time and money, whereas most will just make promises and never follow through. He’s a guy that you can count on.. And it helps that he’s from England and has the awesome accent! Really, he needs to lend that to our podcasts (one day, we hope)!
But wait – there’s MORE! The GANG is the entire community over at GeekyAntics.. That includes YOU! Yes, all you awesome folks who donate, share, comment, listen, view, chat, etc. There is no us with you soooo.. Thanks for being YOU!
So that’s our team so far. We hope to introduce our new GANGsters as HorsePLAY! guests but, for now, expect some blog contributions here soon enough. Before we close out this GANG manifesto, I wanted to involve you all in the evolution of HorsePLAY! since it is our flagship show. Take the poll below and leave some comments. Let us know what your impressions of HorsePLAY! are so far. This feedback will help us produce even better content. Keep it positive and constructive. We will not feed trolls! *wink*