Social Media Head
Welcome to Smogon Social Media, where we create content and post Smogon related news to our Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Twitch followers! This thread serves as an introduction to the various projects that are either active, inactive, or have not yet come to fruition, as well as ways you might be able to contribute to them and earn the Social Media Badge
Art by Zephyr2007
Art by Zephyr2007
Smogon Happenings scheduling
This is the bread and butter of Smogon Social Media, facilitating the spread of news of suspect tests, council decisions, article and analysis releases, tournament signups, and more to our Facebook and Twitter audiences. The people with posting access to our accounts are all trusted individuals and is generally only given on a as need basis, with some of them being focused on specific content, such as tournament coverage.
Social Media spotlights
Our biggest and currently longest running project, the spotlights are short writeups of a Pokemon and a specific set, in a specific metagame, to highlight currently popular sets that people are able to try out for themselves. Depending on how many of these are able to made in various tiers, we try to have one of these every day. Social Media spotlights fall under the general C&C umbrella, with the writing, QC, and GP components, but have a focus on fast turnouts and streamlined to focus on a specific set and how it performs, rather than the more lengthy analyses that are broader in nature. Unlike other projects, this one has its own subforum where all sets are posted for people to claim and write. We also collaborate with the Translations project to provide translated writeups, much like they do with analyses, to our audience. The difference here compared to other translations is that we don't do retroactive translations to content that is already posted. To contribute with translations instead, the Translations subforum and the various language hubs are the place to check out.
Team of the Week
Similar to featured RMTs, Team of the Week aim to provide our audience with an up-to-date team every Thursday for a different metagame, but with a smaller writeup that's more suited to social media. While OU is featured at least every month, the other tiers vary greatly and are picked to highlight as many of them as the stability of the metagame allows for. The process usually goes that Estronic posts the schedule for the upcoming month, where we try to reach out to players or builders that are able to provide a team and a writeup to us. The writeup is then GP checked and a graphic is created with the team members.
#triviatuesday and Who's That Pokémon?
Our two weekly trivia series, on Tuesdays and Fridays respectively, where we take a more casual approach and give our audience some trivia to answer and engage with. #triviatuesday has a broader trivia scope, focusing on trivia that's everything from recent tier shifts and placements, mechanics, stats and movepools, and other Pokemon trivia that's competitive in nature. Who's That Pokémon? is our spin on the classic anime silhouette guessing game, where post art zoom-ins, rebuses, or stat distribution as the hint for people to guess on.
Tier Shift and Tier Usage graphics
With the help of Marty providing us with early stats, I create graphics for the monthly tier shifts to visualize and announce what has changed after a month of usage. These generally get a lot of reach and interactions, and serve as a quick way to inform our audience of changes and the state of our various metagames. I've always preferred to do these myself and will most likely keep to the same format, as I have a pretty good workflow for them and is able to create them relatively fast.
This is probably the black sheep of Smogon Social Media, which I've kept pretty dead ever since I was made in charge of it in 2017 or so. Go back 4-5 years or so and the channel had frequent contributors and series running on it, such as various commentated tournament coverage, "Don't Use That, Use This!", Smogcasts, and and assortment of showcases and analyses. This was where I personally got my start in social media, creating graphics for various videos. Here's the problems that I saw with our Youtube as a concept, that has led me to keep it shelved:
- Lacking quality and uninspired: A lot of the series that weren't straight up tournament coverage were simply narrated slideshows, often with very basic graphics and no real animations of any kind, not really taking advantage of the visual media. Coupled with poor microphone setups and people narrating straight off of a script, this lead to a pretty stark contrast compared to our written analyses and articles, which through QC, GP, and HTML were of a much higher standard. This is not to fault anyone involved, it's just that it's a much harder medium to produce content in with a higher technical barrier of entry, through hardware, software, and knowledge of both.
- Lack of incentives for contributors: While all other content you can contribute to on Smogon don't really have many other avenues and ways to monetize them, where rewarding them with recognition and badges have been the norm throughout Smogon's history, the same can't be said for Youtube. Why contribute to Smogon's Youtube page, when you can just create your own channel, have complete control over it, and make actual money off of the content you make? This is already what big youtubers like blunder and aim already do, as well as smaller ones like Finchinator and BKC.
While similar in nature as Youtube, our Twitch channel has been more active and is easier to create content towards, as it's all focused on either tournament coverage or Smogcasts. The most recent projects we've made are the Smogon Gameday and the Smogon Charity Bowl, focusing on covering various official tournaments and our large charity livestream tournament to kick off the launch of the Isle of Armor DLC and support the Black Lives Matter movement respectively. While I like hosting these and getting people to commentate games have been relatively easy, I don't really want to spearhead this myself with getting stuff organized. If people are willing to take over such and also have the capabilities of hosting streams themselves, this can easily be revived.
Our previous longest running project, our giveaways every Saturday where the giveaway team bred/SR'd/RNG'd competitive Pokemon, cloned hundreds of copies, and distributed them over GTS to our audience. This also included artists to create stunning pieces of the giveaway Pokemon in question, as well as a graphic made by myself to house the art and information of the giveaway Pokemon's stats, movepool, and more. With the move to a new generation and new hardware, the technical capabilities of cloning Pokemon and distributing them were made more difficult, coupled with the waning interest of the team members, led to the project ending with Generation 7.
One of my passion projects, the Replay Vault is a short video series where I highlight funny, impressive, or otherwise notable replays throughout the years, edited together with some nice visuals and music. The audience is also encouraged to submit their own replays to have the chance of being featured in a future edition. While I ran this weekly all by myself for a few months, the selection and sorting for good replays to feature left me drained. I do want to bring this back, but I'd need to leave the sorting and selecting to people that are more knowledgeable than me, as I only want to create the videos themselves. I'd also give them moderating powers so they could delete posts and tidy up the submissions thread as we go along.
Usage Stat graphics
A graphics project that highlights what Pokemon are popular on the ladder, as well as stats of the abilities, moves, and items they most often use, as well as common teammates and their checks/counters in the tier. It also has the benefit of being created through Google Slides and therefor not requiring an image editing program. Once more, it's a project that I don't have the time to spearhead myself anymore, but should be fairly easy for anyone willing to take over, where it's easy to ask knowledgeable users in the discord server for good Pokemon to feature from their tier and what checks/counters exist for them.
Technically an inactive project, our Instagram pages (yes we had two for some reason, where I could only gain access to one of them) were fairly shortlived platforms that tried to utilize this mainly image based medium for Smogon content. As Facebook and Instagram are pretty connected noawadays, cross-posting is made a lot easier nowadays instead of giving people direct access to the account. There's also the option of utilizing stories, which also exist on Facebook but are way less interesting there, which have some interesting applications that have yet to be explored. It would also enable us to reach audiences that don't frequent Facebook or Twitter with news and the content we produce. Me and Mysterious M were working together on this for a while earlier this year, but a busy irl came in the way for them, so it left me that isn't particularly knowledgeable about Instagram as a platform and its strengths/weaknesses. Similar to Youtube, this would require a lot of planning to get off the ground, but I'd once again be willing to lend a hand, make sure it runs smoothly, and provide with resources that are needed.
New graphics/video focused projects
While this fairly loosely defined, I believe there is opportunities to be explored that highlights avenues that currently aren't, such as this CAP project showcase from the past or short infographic videos on recent events such as tournaments, suspect tests, and more. While I'm knowledgeable in creating graphics and interested in animating videos, my imagination is fairly lacking and could need someone more graphically inclined than myself. This is fairly low priority, but something I'd be down on working on.