Being an "ACTIVE" fan v.s. being an "INACTIVE" fan. Both are Welcome.
There were two huge controversies in the last week, and somehow BOTH broached the same (irrelevant?) question: is an active RCB fan "more loyal" than an inactive RCB fan?
I've been a community manager here for 11 months now (yes! it's almost my first anniversary!). I've spoken to so many fans over these months. Here's a look at some of their philosophies:
*** RCB follows Royal Challengers during Ranji Trophy?? RANJI TROPHY?? That's not cricket! Hmph. I only follow RCB during IPL & CLT20, the real tournaments.
*** I love RCB. Adore RCB. It's.. it's Bangalore! Vijay Mallya's team! It's ... i can't explain it. You have to be from Bangalore to get it.... RCB website? Why would I go to the website? .... They do what? Oh. That sounds kind of cool. I guess I should check it out.
*** I'm actually a Delhi Daredevils fan... but no IPL team has a fan club like RCB! I love the website! Does that make me an RCB fan? I don't know... I wish Delhi Daredevils would get their act together... But yeah.. I guess RCB is cool too
*** How many times do I check the RCB website? 5-6 times a day! I love RCB
*** [my personal favorite] Nidhi, I don't have internet access, what's happening on the RCB site today??
My point is, there's so many different kinds of fans. Essentially, from my perspective (as a marketer and community manager), there are 4 types of RCB fans.
1. The Always Active Online Fan - Ya'll are awesome. You're a huge part of the community, and RCB has recognized you by rewarding you through contests/give-aways.
2. The Not Always Active Fans - If I compare the number of page views on this site to the number of comments, the page views will be greater. Yes, I would love for all of the 90,000+ fans to comment on the site. But not everyone is into that sort of thing. Of the 7 fans who had an RCB themed road trip to Leh, how many are active on the site? (disclaimer: i really don't know the answer... but that kind of proves my point, no?)
3. The Not Really RCB fan - The most controversial on this list perhaps. The Delhi Daredevil fan i referenced above, and the CSK fan you might remember from the last few months. Sure CSK dude wasn't a 100% RCB fan. But if we had been more welcoming to him as a community, he would have likely converted. Hey, the DD fan I referenced is in love with RCB now. Think like a marketer - CONVERT THE OTHERSIDE. So what if they weren't 100% on the RCB side. Give them two weeks, they WILL BE. (evil laughter in the background). Seriously, there's so many people out there who are indifferent. My personal goal is to make them love RCB. And besides, a 60% RCB fan won't be invited to events like the Fan Summits. Maybe next year, when he's 95% RCB... heh.
4. The Fan who doesn't know about this site - We have only 90,000 registered fans. Okay, LESS, you all know we've been dealing with a few fake IDs for a while. The population of Bangalore is a couple of million. Plus RCB has fans everywhere! (Shout out to my fellow fans in the Middle East, South Africa, Van de Merwe's dad, that Scottish dude, Louisiana boy, Delhi peeps etc.etc.etc.). True story - there are so many fans that don't know about this website. Are we really going to vilify them for not knowing about this Fan Club> The best part about contests like FFC3 is that silent fans speak up, and everyone invites their friends (for votes * cough*) who then learn about this community.
We DO recognize, appreciate, love our super-active fans. But that doesn't mean we don't love our not so active fans, our less than 100% fans (ahem, as long as they're above 51%) and our ignorance-isn't-bliss-afterall fans.
So can we end this debate, and just be one big happy family?
P.S. Hats off to Gautam for inspiring me to put together a blog post after such a long hiatus. Fun fact: during FFC1, a fan who wasn't shortlisted wrote 1,638 words in total in all his comments arguing against the judging criteria. Now, in FFC3, Gautam wrote 1,999 words defending himself. The power of passion :)
P.P.S. NO @RagsTweets, I do not intend to count all the words you've posted in comments on this site. I do believe they're more than the words I've posted on this site!!
He, along with the fab members of the Fan Advisory Board, plot new schemes to engage with fans and trouble shoot their problems.
Feel free to write to him on firstname.lastname@example.org.