Let’s revive the Role Play Media Network

The RPMN, the social network for RPG bloggers, podcaster, vidcasters and their fans, which was created by Berin Kinsman, has seen quite a few ups and downs during its lifetime. When it was still new there was quite a lot of interest in this new network. Hundreds of members joined in the first few months, started forum discussions, made extensive use of the Ning chat feature or used the site for blogging.

But more recently interest in the RPMN has waned. There are still a few loyal members who are posting reviews and blog posts there, but aside from that not much is going on. Heck, even the spammers have stopped bothering.

But if you ask me, it’s a shame that it has come to this. A site like the RPMN could be quite a boon to the community, we just have to use it. So, what can we do to revive the RPMN? It has been connected to the life-sustaining machinery for too long. Let’s give it a proper kickstart, so that it walks on its own again!

My fellow Stargazer’s World team member Roberto kicked off things by proposing a RPMN-hosted blog carnival about “Social Media and its impact on RPGs”. In my opinion that’s quite an interesting topic and it would be great if some of you would contribute to the cause.

By the way, if you have some ideas on how to improve things at the RPMN, just let me know! Any advice is highly appreciated!

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

7 thoughts on “Let’s revive the Role Play Media Network”

  1. No community can be set up and let to run, the creators need to put maximum effort in to keep it running. I've seen this time and again. On 1KM1KT, it takes a lot of effort to respond to people you might never see again but fortunately there is a core of people who like the competitions and like a good bit of banter. There is a point – a critical mass – where a community can keep itself going but those people need a common purpose.

    As a community, you need to offer something that other communities do not. What does RPMN offer that isn't in another 100 places? Is RPMN just another forum to check?

  2. You're right. If you ask me the when just size is considered the RPMN should have reached that critical mass already, but what it lacks is a purpose. That's why I was asking for ideas.

  3. As I've said to Michael, part of the problem is that most people want to be passive content consumers, not active content creators. I saw it happen on the Star Frontiers revival site and I watched it happen on the RPMN — hands-off, "wind it up and let it go" management that counted on people who joined to automatically produce their own content, which didn't happen.

    Bill Logan started with a fantastic idea and provided a lot of energy in the initial stages, which made the SF revival take off like a rocket, but then he decided he was going to leave it in other people's hands. When he took his energy away, the rocket got stuck in low orbit. Now the SF revival site has hundreds of registered members but is still a core of several diehards and nothing else.

    Similar case with Berin. The RPMN has a similar feel, but it's less content being put out by a slightly wider core — reviews and announcements, little else. In both cases the vast majority of people don't want to contribute, they just want to read. Berin put a lot of energy into the RPMN in the first couple weeks, but once he'd wound it up he let it go and turned his attention elsewhere.

    The term "critical mass" has been mentioned multiple times, both here and elsewhere, in relation to this topic. It's apt, and I'm starting to think it's almost literal. In both Berin and Bill's cases, the reaction just didn't happen. The system required energy to be put into it, rather than having energy coming out of it. Having to constantly feed that kind of energy into a community is both draining and frustrating, because the point is to get that reaction and the energy coming out. It feels backwards to have to constantly pump the energy into the system.

    In both cases I was privileged to be a friend of the founder and part of the early stages. In both cases, I ended up walking away in frustration. I would much prefer something to be set up where only people who want to and will contribute will bother signing up, but I don't know how that could be done.

  4. Never heard of this network before.

    My first impression is that not much is going on there. Reading through the comments here this impression might be right – which would be sad, as there seems to be potential in RPMN.

    I joined to see if I can contribute to it's success but I guess a lot more people have to join and start to write before this can happen…

    Thx for making me notice RPMN

  5. I think the problem is that most people don't see the purpose:

    If I want articles to read then I goto the RPBN or my feeds

    If I want disucssion I go to my forum of choice (RPG.net in my case, but Enworld, TheRPGsite, WoTC) In fact I find there are far too many specialized forums, which fragments the community, and I have to sign up for each one, etc, etc.

    If I want reviews then I use google and read a whole bunch on the product that I am thinking of getting.

    I am subscribed to a number of groups and such on it, but I almost never get emails saying there has been something new.

    Of course, I also don't see the point of facebook, and its population is now greater than Canada or something nutty like that, so I could be totally wrong about all of this.

    Sorry if this is disjointed, I'm writing this on break from work on an essay that I hate, which is blasting my mind to bits.

  6. it would be cool if something like RPMN was THE portal for all things roleplaying. kind of a one stopo shop for all those things that canageek mentioned.

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