Interview with Doc at Sarcastic Gamer

23 12 2008

I recently had the magnificent opportunity to interview “Doc Adams”, founder of a highly successful community & blog located at www.sarcasticgamer.com. In this written exchange via email he was nice enough to divulge his experiences with his website as well as some tips for bloggers just starting out. Check out the full exchange below.

First off, Tell me a little about yourself

I’m Doc. Gemini. Gamer. Husband. Dad. Coast Guard Vet. I work in radio in Houston, TX.

At your site www.sarcasticgamer.com viewers can find relevant gaming news, what else can visitors expect to find?

Actually we really aren’t what I would call a news site. I don’t know what I would call us. It’s sort of a blog, mostly a community, flanked by some pretty killer podcasts. It’s sort of like gamer entertainment.

You were also recently involved in a charity event, tell us about that.

Extra Life was a wildly popular charity event that raised 115 thousand dollars in 24 hours to fight pediatric cancer. More than 1500 gamers from over a hundred different gaming communities participated. We’re FLOORED by the response we got… and have high hopes for the next one.

How did it turn out, how successful was it?

In so many ways yes. Monetarily the event raised four times what we had set as our goal. But more than that it raised awareness of the disease and gave a lot of people a place to talk about something that affects almost all of us in some way. All in all… a heck of a great event.

When did you first start sarcastic gamer? How did you come up with sarcastic gamer?

I was bored at work one day and just started writing some stuff. At about the same time I met the guys from GCN’s Video Game Show and Gamertag Radio. I started contributing a couple of little things to them, and when I saw the responses I realized that maybe there was a demand for that type of humor in the game-o-sphere.

From there, it snowballed into modern day

How long was it in development for?

It is STILL in development. Heh!

What was your motivation to start your site?

Boredom and the insatiable need to entertain people… or at least think I am.

What did you hope would come from this site?

I wanted to create an entertainment platform where the rules were whatever I wanted them to be. Thanks to my partners and staff that is happening. Sarcastic Gamer isn’t any one thing… Heck it might be something different to each of us. So… there’s your ambiguous answer. I wanted everything and expected nothing.

Did you ever think you would have been this successful?

Hoped for it… never expected it. Expectation is the mother of complacency in my opinion. But as thankful as we are for every member and listener we have, I also feel we have worked hard to earn their trust. Success is something we’re heading for. If we ever arrive we probably won’t even realize it, because we’re constantly shifting our goals to keep them ahead of reality. We can’t afford to get lazy.

How did you initially promote your site and gain traffic?

Parody Videos. We still haven’t spent a cent to promote Sarcastic Gamer. We take our ideas, produce them, release them, and sit back and hope Kotaku or Joystiq or GoNintendo will pick it up and like it. I think most of our community will tell you they found their way in by way of a parody song or podcast. The podcasts are sort of a self-perpetuating thing. Once you crack the top echelon you have a full time presence on iTunes… pretty much invaluable real estate. That in turn brings the peeps which rates the show even higher and so on and so forth. We worked hard to get up there, and continue to do so to stay there… because there’s always another show, or TV-network trying to knock you off.

How did you plan to set yourself apart from other sites?

Our people. Whereas most sites promote themselves, we usually promote the personalities of our podcasters and writers. This has its caveats but at the end of the day, if someone wanted to copy us, they’d have to hire us. Because there is only one… US.

What were your initial plans to monetize your site? Have those plans changed?

We’re in debt to our eyeballs but the future looks bright. We’ve stayed afloat with banner ads and an occasional podcast sponsorship. We do have HOPES to make enough to do this full time, but until then we’ll keep our day jobs and keep providing the service to our readers and listeners that they deserve. Their support is crucial. We also sell T-Shirts. (sarcasticgamer.com/store plug plug)

What kind of opportunities has this site given to you?

The chance to see some pretty neat things. I’ve been to Seattle to meet the folks from Microsoft Surface; I went to E3, Quakecon (twice), PAX, and CES this January. But the best “opportunity” is the most obvious one, getting to work with this incredible team of people. We’re like the bad news bears. We all have at least one position we play very well… When we keep that in mind and work to our strengths we do amazing things… every time.

What do you hope to gain from this site, would you like to make it a career?

A job. Yes!

At what specific time do you remember knowing your site had an impact?

I don’t think we’ve even begun to impact anything yet. Just wait. 2009 is going to be awesome

Your best memory?

Just before my friend Tori died of leukemia, the community came together and bought her a bunch of games and an Xbox, the money came in like 2 hours. Almost more than we could spend. She lit UP when she saw that stuff. I’ll never forget that incredible generosity.

What was the biggest mistake you made?

I never counted on having such an incredible team at my side. I tried to do it all myself for a long while. Learning to delegate and let eager folks do more… hardest lesson I learned.

What one thing did you do right the first time?

Choosing my podcast partners for the Red Show. No question.

Your advice to others sites trying to duplicate your success?

Good Luck! Work hard. Do what you say you are gonna do. Pray. Shore up your marriages… It takes a toll.

What are your plans for the future?

Just watch. Where we’re going… we don’t need… roads.

Again I would like to thank Doc Adams for taking time out of his busy schedule and agreeing to do this with me. If you would like to know more about his site or become a part of a wonderful community point your cursor to www.sarcasticgamer.com. Better yet help support their efforts and buy a T-Shirt while your ears consume their vocal melodies on one of many podcasts they offer.

In the future, if people respond in a positive note, I would like to make these interviews a regular contribution in this site. So, if you enjoyed this particular exchange of words in the form of an interview and have any ideas for future installments with somebody in the gaming and or blogging culture leave a comment below or contact me directly with your suggestions. In the meantime take a virtual stroll around and check out the other articles.

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