What It's Like Being A GameSkinny Intern: An Overlook To End Of Beta Phase
If you think that this internship was all rainbows and puppy dogs, this post might disappoint you. If you think you can guess what team ended up on top, this post will show you just how deviously unpredictable this internship is. Just when you thought things would start to get more quiet and uneventful, writing articles on GS has never needed so much focus, time, and work.
But it's absolutely worth it.
You know how people say that the things that are most worth it take the most work? There's a good reason for that. This internship has been in a testing phase of sort (so I guess Beta is a very fitting name). In a lot of ways, the team at GameSkinny has been learning as much as we have.
If you are one of those awesome people who read my first post about the internship, then I must warn you. This one is a summary of the whole damn thing, and although I know I should be good and make it short and sweet I just can't seem to do that. So here it goes.
Recap of Weeks 2-3
In week #2, a lot of teams were loosing members or not able to keep up. Katy had an all team pow-wow on Skype that resulted in many changes. In week #3, we were almost devoured by a swarm of hungry zombies until my team ended up combining with Omnicron's remaining members to form Omegacron.
We don't look exactly like this, but it's pretty close.
We have gone from having to write 1 article per day, to 2 articles per day (35-40 per team, per week), to 20 articles (per team) per week. People have dropped out. There's been regrets. Tears. Ice cream condolences. Maybe a little booze.
And once more very, very little sleep.
Each week, everything is a little a different. Although this means you need to adjust again, it also means that the mechanics behind the internship is evolving and improving. Katy and others from GS listen to what we think about different aspects of the internship, and consider changes based on this. That's the mark of something that is going to not only be fun, challenging, and informative but also pretty damn awesome.
So where do the teams stand?
Omnicron won during the 2nd week, and Omegacron won last week. It's still up in the air for this week and for the overall win. Guess you will just have to wait patiently and find out.
Officially, the team roles for the internship are:
- Social Media Lead
- and Team Lead
In this phase I was Editor. In addition to this, every member was required to write. Previous to starting this, I had no writing or editing experience so attempting to do both was certainly new. Editing was a challenge because not every person finished an article at the same time of day, or informed you at the same time. The way we have been working it for this phase was we would look over posts after they had already been submitted. As a result often if something was published while I was at work (8am - 6pm) it was very likely that I wouldn't have a chance to look it over. On the other hand, both while in Omega and now in our new team (Omegacron), I had team members who were willing to try to help out in looking articles over.
Fortunately, GS now has a new plan in the works that will enable us to group edit within GS' website itself. In my opinion this seems as if it will be much easier to do. I like the idea of being able to just go into an article and change whatever needs to be fixed in order to make it up to par with good grammar and writing standards. The new system will be a lot like how Katy and editors currently edit now. We will be able to also add notes where we can explain any changes we made, or offer suggestions if we don't want to actually do specific edits ourselves. Because of the nature of editing someone else's article, I feel like this is important in order to make sure that everyone involved is happy with the outcome.
I think that having a Team Lead is an important role for these internships, as long as the person assigned as Lead is appropriate for the task. In my own team, we had a responsible person assigned to this role who would constantly be in touch, and always try hard to make sure we were following the goals and rules set up by Katy and GS.
As far as the position goes, intern groups need someone who is able to keep on top of everything, offer help and suggestions, and make sure no one is slacking off. They are a lead after all - so they should have leadership and management skills. I also feel like given the range of ages that the internship allows, it's important to have someone older in this position.
We "officially" had a person assigned to each team in charge of social media strategy, but in reality on my original team this person quit the first day. I feel like even as the weeks progressed there really wasn't any specific plans besides the normal idea of everyone to post to as many social networks as possible. Katy also encouraged and advised us at times in this aspect more so than anyone else, which makes sense since she has the experience. At the beginning, I made some stabs at it suggesting images attached to our posts and other ideas. It's hard to judge what to do, what is actually affective, and what is a waste of time without much past experience. Even with being able to see what views actually come from social networks, you still can't determine what strategies lead to those views. On the whole, it appeared as if the best sites to accumulate views were Reddit and N4G, although I personally had some activity on Google+.
The biggest key to social media I have found is that word precisely - social. When you interact with others in a network, you create a base of people who will then react to things you post. It seems to grow from there. The downside of this, of course, is that this all takes a lot of time. So say goodbye to your hopes and dreams of a tan this summer, unless you have a hotspot (great investment).
Well, in all honesty this position didn't really seem to have any other responsibilities than everyone else in the group.
Just kidding. Or am I?
You can't get any better if you don't try and put the work in.
I have learned a lot during the Beta phase of this internship, despite it feeling like it went by in a blur. It's amazing how much info you need to keep track all day long, every day. At some points I felt like my brother when he talks about the stock market (and I vaguely smile and nod at him). How your abilities hinge on how well you can keep up to date on every little scrap of information that is out there in order to make good quick yet knowledgeable decisions on what to buy and sell. He explained it wasn't just about watching the market; it was about watching and knowing all the news behind the companies. Before it seemed to me that all the time he spent constantly checking up on things, and reading about companies had to be way too stressful and boring.
Well, finance still is boring (hopefully he isn't reading this). But games? For me I now find the whole industry more interesting than ever before. It's exciting to check my Feedly, Twitter, and other social networks on what's going on for the day. Every morning has started to become a routine. Coffee - check. Oatmeal - when I remember to eat. Skype - eventually it will load. Gaming news - absorbing. Work that I get paid for - in 10 minutes (err I mean... check!).
Goodbye Beta phase, onto the Bastion phase...
I have enjoyed working with my now (current) team, Omegacron, very much. We seem to work well together, produce articles quickly now and efficiently, and enjoy chatting to one another. Unofficially, of course, we are a transformer. Which is the real reason on why we are so rad.