The first Who to Follow was published on this site in January, and it’s been an exciting ride. The last six months have been great, so I thought I would take this opportunity to call a huddle and talk to all of you about how to bring you more of what you want.
I’ve been reviewing some data that can tell me a little bit about which installments you’ve enjoyed the most, and I have noticed a few trends I want to break down, and then I’ll give you, the readers, the opportunity to weigh in to make sure your interests are represented going forward.
Trend # 1 – Installments about Creators Are More Popular
My expectation was that installments about more popular members of the community would be more popular. The reasoning was that people with the most Twitter followers would have the most people feeling validated that they were already aware of or even following popular players. The desire for the community to hear more about people they were already aware of puzzled me, but the comment sections time and again reflected a desire to hear about players who were already very popular—at one point, a few widely read writers were dismissed as “nobodies,” which blew me away. I initially thought people would want to hear about people they hadn’t heard of before.
The data doesn’t lie, and even though the comment sections reflected a vocal minority’s desire to hear about popular players, the installments that were overwhelmingly popular were about “doers,” meaning cosplayers, card alteration artists, podcasters, and people who brew new decks. Playing Magic and playing it exceptionally well is very impressive, but the data seems to indicate that what GatheringMagic wants to hear about is people creating—doing cool, Vorthosy stuff. That’s great news! The articles I was having the best time writing were the ones you were having the best time reading.
At some point in the very near future, I am going to do a second installment of one of those topics you all loved so much—here’s your chance to pick which one. I’m interested to see if this poll indicates the same favorite that we saw when you voted with page views.
Trend # 2 – Popularity Nearly Follows Chronological Order
My first thought was, “Great, this series is getting worse,” but there were major exceptions to this trend that indicate this isn’t the case. What this says to me is that people are going back through the archived articles and reading older ones as they discover the series, and people are rereading their favorites. I think that’s also great. I hope this retrospective will give you all the inspiration to find something you like that you may have missed in the archives.
Trend # 3 – Wizards Employees Are Very Popular Here
I’ll readily admit that when I wrote “Heroes and Monsters,” I wasn’t following Ethan Fleisher and Tom LaPille. Those recommendations came not from my own Twitter stream, but from recommendations by Gavin Verhey and Trick Jarrett. My write-up of Gavin and Trick was very popular in and of itself according to your mouse-click voting, so it’s not a shock that people recommended by Gavin and Trick would capture your imagination in a similar way. I hear you loud and clear.
Trend # 4 – You Like GatheringMagic Writers
So do I. I’ll do more of them in the future—even though you read their articles, you may not know that there are compelling reasons to follow them on various social media. That or you really just like reading about GatheringMagic writers. Either way, expect to see more of that.
Trend #5 – Articles with Fewer People Covered Do Better
This seems counterintuitive, so I am probably chalking this up to the fact that I used to cover fewer people; now I cover more, and you’d have more time to read and reread the older installments, which happened to have fewer people profiled. There’s no real way to draw a conclusion from the data, so I’m giving you all a chance to vote here, and let’s figure out the magic number once and for all.
Trend # 6 – Wondering Which Installment Was Most Popular?
It was “Financiers,” and it actually wasn’t close. Is it because it’s one of the oldest? Is it because I found a ridiculous picture of Ryan Bushard (every picture of Ryan is ridiculous, but this one was extra ridiculous)? Is it because, despite being a site that loves all things Vorthos, there is still a strong desire to hear about all things financial? I can’t answer that, but what I can suggest is that if you’re clamoring for a “Who to Follow – Financiers, Part 2,” who am I to deny you?
What We Can Expect in the Next Six Months
You can expect continuations of previous installments, new themes, incorporation of your feedback, and more of what you’ve come to expect and love from this column. If you’re not inclined to write detailed feedback in an e-mail or in the comments section, at least take a few seconds to take the polls in this article. Your feedback isn’t about taking guesswork out of this process for me, it’s about making your preferences known and tailoring this experience to you as a readership base. I look forward to the next six months being even better than the first, and I thank you for accompanying me this far.
This wouldn’t feel like a true installment of Who to Follow if I didn’t find at least one person for you. This is someone I think is fantastic value to the community, but since he mostly plays Magic Online, doesn’t write, and is relatively new to GatheringMagic, I haven’t found a smooth way to put him with anyone else. The best course of action was to give him his own Who to Follow since he is peerless in the sounding-like-Barry-White game he has come to make all his own.
Where You Know Him From: Brainstorm Brewery, Monday Night Magic
Current Title: Podcast Host, Magic Online Financier
A mystery wrapped in an enigma, few know his real name. He keeps most of his personal information a secret after life in his neighborhood ground to a halt from women showing up at his door en masse to get a glimpse of the velvet-voiced podcast master. Contributing his knowledge of Magic Online finance to each episode of Brainstorm Brewery—in addition to keeping things on track—Marcel tweets. When he’s not tearing up the world of MTG finance, he’s tearing up some barbeque or hitting up some of the Bay Area food trucks for some gourmet cuisine.
Spellskite is 11 tix and rising on #MODO— Marcel (@MarcelMTG) July 1, 2013
He’s among the best sources of Magic Online finance updates I know, and if you’re not following him, you’re missing out.
Hunt master is 6.30 on MODO #wow— Marcel (@MarcelMTG) June 29, 2013
That does it for me this week. Take my surveys, and make sure your voice is heard as we embark on the next six months of Who to Follow. As always, I’m your guide Jason Alt, and you can follow me on Twitter @jasonealt—or just tape notes to bricks and throw them through every window in America until you get my attention.