Felicia Day's Success With The Guild Highlights The Importance Of Authenticity With A Community

from the keep-it-up dept

Just about a year ago, we wrote about how actress Felicia Day had turned her web production, The Guild into a big success, by building a community of fans, connecting with them, and then coming up with some interesting ways to make money from that, including a unique sponsorship deal with Microsoft. Reader tuna points us to a Fast Company profile that updates us on how the last year has gone, and it sounds like things have only improved over time.

One of the keys to the success is that she chose the sponsorship deal with Microsoft, in large part because it let her retain creative control over the project -- allowing it to remain authentic and true to what her fans wanted and expected.
As buzz built, Day and her company, Knights of Good Productions, signed with ICM new-media head George Ruiz. "At one point, there were 25 different offers on the table," Ruiz says, "including from some major studios and networks and even a director with several $100 million films."

Day turned down every one. "She said, 'George, don't make me take this deal!' " he says. So by the time Microsoft came calling, the agent had a new approach: The Guild is not for sale, but you can license it.

The Seattle-based behemoth bit. Microsoft pays an undisclosed fee to debut each season exclusively on the company's Xbox Live, MSN, and Zune platforms (season four debuted in mid-July). "There is a common perception about Microsoft," says Day. "Especially when we first signed with them, the fans had reservations." But she was impressed that it got what she was doing and didn't want to interfere. "Microsoft doesn't even give me notes [on scripts]!"
This is a key point that often gets lost in business model discussions. When we talk about different offerings, it's amazing how much people discount the importance of authenticity as a scarcity. We see it all the time with companies who want to sponsor something, and then have tremendous level of control -- losing all of the authenticity and, with it, much of the value (and, eventually, audience). It's nice to see a situation where a company (in this case, Microsoft) properly recognized when not to get too involved.

Filed Under: authenticity, community, felicia day, the guild


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2010 @ 8:04am

    Re: Re: Re: I think what's difficult...

    If it makes you comfortable you can alter your voice, it still be you but you can pretend it is not.

    Audacity has a plugin called "Autotalent" that you can use to sound ominous or like a Chipmunk, it also can be used to create different voices for different story characters.

    Also if you are like me and can't draw anything, I recommend buying a wacom bamboo to use it in Gimp where you can get some photo up, trace it and color it, it does work wonders, people will be impressed with your artistic skills LoL

    About your question "Maybe mixing in reading chapters/exerpts with discussing the settings of the book and/or it's themes/concepts would work well?"

    Can you make the discussion funny? If you can almost anything you do will work.

    I know you can, I see you do it here, but can you deliver on video? Have you other people to exchange ideas like a back and forth playground?

    e.g.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/filmriot
    http://www.youtube.com/user/scamschool
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voLCnyqW_E0 (blue vs red)

    Those are making money, they have something to teach to everybody.

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