Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

So here’s the deal. The Stephen King Fancast started as just a podcast and had a blog and a couple of social pages to support the podcast and act as a home base. Then people wanted me to start different kinds of blogs, to suit their needs, so there are a total of 3 blogs that all get, essentially, the same content. Then, I went on a short hiatus due to some issues in my personal life. When I got back on the horse, I decided to celebrate by starting a couple new social pages and a YouTube show that I had been bouncing around in my head for a while. Then I took on a blogger strictly to add content to the blogs and I am looking to grab up a couple more, if anyone is interested.

Some other developments have turned up, and I will soon stop production of a couple of other projects I was working on, the Alloy Podcast and the Generally Metal Show. I have done this because of those same personal things that have been going on in my life. I will not be stopping the Stephen King Fancast or Movie Club. In fact, I will be focusing on them more. I want to dedicate more time to working on this blog, podcast and movie club. The thing is, with all the new content that has been going up, there has been a bit more attention to these sites.

I am planning to re-brand this project. Since the focus of these blogs and pages is not necessarily on the podcast anymore, I am planning to change over to a general Stephen King Fansite, with the blog as the primary focus and the podcast and movie club as direct support for the blog. There are a ton of options on how to expand the site, and I am considering many of them.

First, would be a professionally hosted website. That would pretty much do away with the need for the landing page, the wordpress.com blog and the blogspot.com blog. What would remain would be the professional website, this Tumblr page (which would consist of random Tumblr Memes, videos, etc…), the Facebook, GetGlue, Google+, Twitter and YouTube pages, the iTunes and Zune pages and possibly some new stuff that I have been kicking around, but would be dependant on your feedback. The goal would be to have a total of 4 contributors (Myself, Luanne and two other people who are King Fanatics) all posting articles on the blog while I stick to the tech end of things such as site construction & maintenance and audio/video production, as well as some behind the scenes stuff like trying to get advance copies of books for reviews and other such things.

“What are some of these other options you have been kicking around in that thick, bald head of yours Matt? Are you considering shaving that go-awful beard I have seen in the SK Movie Club videos?” Absolutely not… the beard stays. However, I am always looking to stay ahead of the curve, rather than trying to catch up to it. So here are a couple of extras I have been considering to breathe new life into the Stephen King Fancast.

Mobile App: Something that I have just started tooling with is mobile app creation. So this new site would have complete mobile integration with iOS and Android Devices. I am sure that some of you don’t care about this kind of thing, but I have realized that I do a LOT of stuff with mobile apps and think that it is the next wave of computing. Just as there are people who don’t care, there are bound to be people who love this idea almost as much as I do. The mobile app would be some measly amount like 99 cents, and would allow you to read all blog posts, stream episodes of the podcast, watch episodes of the Movie Club (as well as trailers and other such things uploaded to the YouTube page) and communicate with the staff here via the social sites and email. I have already started looking into it, and it is something that I am completely capable of doing in the near future.

Our Own Social Network: I have seen other sites that incorporate this kind of social network into their sites (SModcast, Nerdist, etc.) and the users of the service greatly enjoy it. It would be by invite only, and would be exclusive to SK fans. This option can get expensive, but would be a really cool feature. You would be able to set up your own profile page that would have links to your Facebook, Google+, Tumblr and Twitter, as well as any site that you may run yourself. If you are a member of the Node, that is what I am thinking.

That is what has been going on here at HQ. I have been really bouncing these ideas around with my wife who provides great insight into all of this stuff. All of these things cost money, so whether or not they happen is dependant on you, the reader, listener and/or viewer. Do any of these things interest you? I was considering setting up a table at a local con to promote this site and podcast in April, but have scrapped those plans to put that budget into play for these other changes. If all these changes were to take place, the operational costs would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $700 – $800 a year, just to cover hosting, app creation fees and the social network. I would love to be able to pay my contributors for the great work they do on this site as well. Understand that I am not trying to get rich here. I do this out of love for King’s work and the privilege to have a wonderful group of people to discuss these things with. I simply want to cover the overhead costs of such a project.

The website is happening no matter what. That is something that needs to happen, because these pages are no longer just dedicated to a podcast. Remaining under that brand is not fair to Luanne, who does amazing work on the blog and deserves to not be the podcast’s sidekick, as well as any future bloggers here and the movie club. There are people who read this blog and don’t care about the audio/video portions. There are podcast listeners that don’t bother with the blogs or videos at all and there are people who subscribe on YouTube and aren’t interested in the blogs or podcast. I’m fine with that. However, I am a voracious fan, and when I find something, like a podcast, site or YouTube channel I enjoy, I want to immerse myself in it. I want to listen to their ideas on a podcast, read them on a blog, watch their videos, check-in on GetGlue and share this amazing new thing that I have found with other people I know that may also enjoy whatever thing. Nerdist is a perfect example of this. I also want to provide that experience for other people. I want one place where SK fans can find their favorite SK content, especially if it’s provided by other fans. That’s why there are links to other great blogs (Lilja’s Library, Talk Stephen King, Honk MahFuh, Tower Junky, etc…) and podcasts (Kingcast, Castle Rock Podcast, Radio SK, etc…) from most of our pages. I am happy to work with Bob from the Kingcast on projects, if he wants and I am always trying to help provide a platform for people making dollar babies or other SK related projects.

This is where you come in. I don’t want to provide something that people aren’t interested in. You don’t want a social network? Awesome. I won’t spend the time focusing on it when I could be doing something else constructive that you are interested in. I NEED YOUR FEEDBACK. Please tell me what you want out of this. Comment on this blog post, leave your thoughts on the social pages or send me an email. Links to the email and social pages are in the sidebar. Please offer up your thoughts and comments. I want your opinions!

-Matt

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3 comments on “Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

  1. I’m one of those people you described that would still consume the podcast primarily, but I bet I would “cross-channel convert” from time to time… Specifically the social network. I would also plunk down some money for a mobile app, if for no other reason than to suport you.

    Also, I would love to contribute to the blog. Let Luanne know I’ll be in touch with some ideas, but it might not be until after the holidays.

    Overall, I salute your vision to expand into a multi-channel fan experience. I know it will be successful no matter where you take it because you have a passion for The Man and his work, and YOUR fans appreciate all you do.

  2. I for one would be interested in a social network. What would it be like? Some sort of forum or like a Facebook-like website?

    And I’d love to become one of your contributors but my english is not that great and I’m not confident enough with it to write so many articles. Maybe in a near future, but right now I don’t know. I think I’ll stick with reading them 😀
    If you need a french translator though I could volunteer for that.

    As for the mobile app, I don’t use any portable device and my phone is old as balls so… Can’t be of any help I’m afraid.

    • Thank you both for your kind words. The social network would work more like MySpace, if either of you had a MySpace and recall that. You would have a profile, with links to whatever your pages are, friends, groups, event updates and so on. Just like you’re regular social networks, but a little dumbed down. It would be by invite only, so not just anyone could join. You would be able to import your status updates from Facebook/Twitter so people can see what you’re up to even when you’re not on the network at the time. You can also import your blog and Flickr feeds. So I guess it would be similar to Linked In, if you have one of those. You can’t really design your page, but you you can customize to a certain extent. My hope would be to mimic Google+, if I could have my way. I just think it would be cool to have a social network all to ourselves, meaning King Fans. One central place for fan related projects. People that run King blogs could join the Bloggers group and everyone could go to that group and find a list of King related sites to choose from, and interact with the bloggers in real time. As a person that does this myself, I would love to be able to get online and literally chat with people about their thoughts for site additions and new projects and whatever else. An authors group would be a great way for authors that are King fans, to get their name out there to other king fans, looking at you Jeff. I think it would be rad, personally.

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