Merry Christmas/Yule/Hanukkah/your holiday celebration of choice from all of us at FULLSYNC!
It’s been another great year for games, despite the whole… you know. I’m getting kinda sick of writing about it now, and I’m sure many of my friends and colleagues would agree. Although it seems like most of the year so far has been utterly dominated by a lack of PS5s and Xbox Series Xs, there have been plenty of games to play as we all patiently wait for the next stage of the impending apocalypse.
But this isn’t about games. This is about the people that play those games. Specifically, the people that play those games and talk about those games on the FULLSYNC Discord server. I just wanted to extend a few festive words about FULLSYNC and the community we’ve made over the last couple of years.
The FULLSYNC Community
The FULLSYNC community has had a bit of an odd start, really. We originally ran our Discord server as a way of organising our contributors and sharing potential work opportunities. It wasn’t an “open to the public” kinda thing, and that was fine at the time.
As an experiment, we decided to move over to Guilded – thinking that adopting a platform in relatively early stages could pay off in the end. We attempted to get Partnered status with Guilded (which, obviously, didn’t work) but one thing became painfully clear throughout our time with the platform. Things weren’t changing. All the promise Guilded had was great, but the actual fruits of that promise were a long, long way in the distance.
Guilded was an experiment in both new media possibilities and running a more open community that anybody could join. But it became obvious after a while that the server just wasn’t taking off how we wanted it to be.
Long story short, we moved back to Discord, starting completely fresh. We made the server open to the public for the first time, and we thought that by doing this we’d know for sure if it was Guilded holding our community back or, well, us.
Our community’s fortunes haven’t exactly turned around – if you look at it in terms of sheer number. We’re still a small, intimate community who’ve gotten to know each other quite well after months together. I think some of us even like each other! Wild.
What we’ve learned about growing communities through giveaways
This seems like a fairly obvious lesson, but… don’t do it.
Twice now we’ve run big giveaways where one of the methods of entry is joining our Guilded/Discord server. It doesn’t work long term. It’s a really good way to fill your server with lurkers.
Another thing I’ve learned on a personal level is that even when it comes to free stuff, people are really, really lazy. Case in point: I ran an experiment with two giveaways we did this month. The first one all you had to do was react to the giveaway announcement in Discord for a shot at two months of Game Pass Ultimate. There was a decent amount of entries – basically, everyone who was active on the server.
The second one was for a £20 Steam gift card. But this time I made people DM me a picture of a slice of bread for a chance at winning. Only a small handful of people took part! Four in total. I wondered if I’d just totally overestimated the percentage of people who own bread.
This is really just a tangent though. My main point is this:
FULLSYNC‘s community is small and a little bit weird. We have a disproportionate amount of Scandinavians and nobody’s quite sure why (side note: If you’re taking part in a Secret Santa on the internet, chances are it’s organised by a Norwegian). Are we the biggest Discord server? Absolutely not. But having seen some of those servers in action myself (not naming any names) I have to say that size isn’t everything.
Our community is great (if not exactly PG at the best of times). It’s been a pleasure watching new faces trickle in and slowly become huge parts of the server’s chemistry over time. All this is to say – we might not be the biggest, but we’re funny, and that’s what counts. A massive thank you from the bottom of all of our hearts to the newcomers that have made FULLSYNC more than just an overly ambitious independent games site.
If you’d like to be a part of it, you can join FULLSYNC here.
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