Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Social media, it’s not just a buzzword if you’ve been using it for more than a decade. We have.

Indie Movies and the Importance of Sharing

May 7th, 2010 by Janos Honkonen

One of the things that makes Iron Sky special is our direct contact with our fans and our activity all around the net. Especially so since all this is on a full swing even now, over a year before the film will come out! Our community has helped us in several ways, from giving us concrete ideas and materials via Wreckamovie to helping us finance the movie by buying merchandise or investing directly in the movie. This help is not cosmetic or a gimmick, it’s very important for us in a very concrete way, and we are grateful for everybody who has participated like this! The ideas are very valuable and the more financing we get from our fans instead of the business side of the things, the more we can keep our artistic vision in our own hands.

There is a third thing people can do that really helps us, but it’s something they don’t necessarily think of as being useful or important. Moreover this is something that’s very easy to do and also free. This something is SHARING.

When we publish something interesting on our blog, the website, Facebook, YouTube or other place we frequent, go ahead and share it to your pals in social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, forums you frequent and in your blog; Digg the article and submit it to Reddit, and so on. Also, drop in the link with the stuff you share, because those red dots on the map are very important for us.

Sharing is Caring

Why is this important? How is the fact that some guy or gal shares our teaser or blog entry to his pals in Facebook actually hugely useful for Iron Sky?

The thing is, publicity is enormously important for indie projects that are not backed by big money. When people think about movie publicity, they think about just getting people to the theaters when the movie is done – and that’s how it might be for the big studio backed movies. Those filmmakers can announce the movie, start producing it and then have the studio throw a few million euros for the marketing when the film is almost done. That’s really not how small or even multi million euro budget indie movies work, especially if it’s aimed for a wide theater distribution.

Indie movie makers need good publicity and buzz right from the moment they start making the film and trying to pitch it to production companies, distributors and people who finance the project. They must convince all those people that the idea is viable, it has potential and that there are people who are interested in it – and keep convincing them until the movie is done. For every Paranormal Activity there’s a dozen films that couldn’t get the buzz going. This is part of why indie projects seem to take an age to be completed: you don’t hear about big studio movies until they are almost done, but indie movies make noise right from the pre-production phase.

(Well, sometimes indie movies do take ages to make… )

Support Iron Sky

So, for projects like Iron Sky publicity not just about the amount of potential viewers: at the production stage it’s almost literal currency with which we can get resources and freedom to make the movie we want to. A project on the scale of Iron Sky can’t get by on crowd funding and the personal finances of the creators alone, although both of those are often extremely important sources of finance. Projects of this size must deal and co-operate with the traditional side of movie business to function – and man, those guys are all about “how much, with whom and how many times”.

Distributors, investors and other such parties are very interested in how much buzz and potential a project has, and these people love numbers and figures. When negotiating with them, website visitor statistics, teaser viewership amounts, numbers of Facebook fans and amount of demands turn out to be cold hard cash and at times the most effective bargaining tool. Remember those red dots on the Demand map? That’s like catnip to the business people. “Here’s our movie idea, and here’s our ready made audience that can’t wait to see the movie – so give us resources and free hands to do our stuff!” It’s also the matter of artistic integrity: the more there is buzz about the film, the less chance there is that they panic and start demanding changes that would make the movie more “commercially viable”.

Why Demand Iron Sky?

Don’t forget that Iron Sky is not the only indie project like this – check out for example Snowblind, The Cosmonaut, Project London and I’m Not Harry Jenson and give them a shout out too!

So, when it comes to indie movies, sharing is caring. Act now and join the fight for a new way of making movies: from fans to fans – with fans!


Why I left FaceBook

April 28th, 2010 by Timo Vuorensola

One of the things that I hate in life are impolite jerks. You know, the kind of people who just don’t give a shit about other people around them, and just steamroll on doing things their way, the way it suits them the best.

I just left FaceBook because that’s how I started to feel about the service, especially after its recent implementation of the Like-button. If you’re logged in to FaceBook, and go to a web page which has the new FaceBook’s Like-button, instantly FaceBook knows you’ve visited that site – without you necessarily taking any action on the site, whatsoever. For a much better article on the issue at hands, read more from here:

Philosophical Zombie


The Like-functionality is almost like those bonus cards or loyalty programs in the supermarket chains – in Finland, S-kortti, Plussa etc. They exist only for one reason: to get to know what people buy to know how to sell their stuff to them more efficiently. But unlike FaceBook, they at least have the dignity to claim that they are paying back something for you for letting them know your shopping lists daily – in the form of bonuses and/or discounts. And – more importantly – I can easily decide not to use the cards when I don’t feel like it.

When it comes to the Internet, I’m not comfortable with the idea of somebody being able to monitor most of the websites I visit. It’s my own personal matter where I download my porn, where I find my Torrents and where I go “anonymously” trolling just for the fun of it. And although the new “Like”-button is not completely rupturing my privacy on the Internet – and definitively, it’s not the first one to do it like that – it offends me the way they slide this feature out as if it was something cool and fitting to the world of social media, sharing is caring and all that bullshit – forgetting to mention that fact it’s just their way to dig out my website history to be able to push their ads and who knows what else. We all know FaceBook like any company out there – has an agenda, and they won’t be stopping to this.

The reason this saddens me is because I like FaceBook. I was among the first ones signing up to it from Finland, and I’ve been using it quite a lot for both professional and personal matters – and I still do. Iron Sky group, or page, or Like-thing or whatever it’s turning and changing into – has been, is, and will be a very effective way to communicate the progress of the film to our fans. Same goes with ZombieRoom’s and Wreckamovie’s pages. I’m the first one to admit that I’m trying to exploit FaceBook to the max, without an intention to pay them a dime – and I’m getting the feeling that’s exactly their plan, too. And that’s just not OK.

Quitting FaceBook over the Like-button was not the main reason – if it was, I wouldn’t be using Google’s services, or basically any other social network out there. The thing is, I just don’t like their style. FaceBook is like the hunkiest douchebag in the bar. You know the type, the guy with enormous muscles and fake tan and bleached teeth. He gets to act just as badly as he wants, but there’s still always people swarming around him. Sometimes big online services just go into that path and never come back, and I don’t need that kind of shit around me.

But FaceBook always gets the final word. You can’t never leave FaceBook completely. Not even if you die.

I’m still up on the Internet, without FaceBook – you can follow me over Twitter, and read our blogs at Zombie Room and Iron Sky, watch how I Trek, or reach me via eMail.

Also, please note that this has no effect on Iron Sky’s presence on FaceBook in any way – Jarmo has been the guy updating it regularly, and he’ll keep on doing that also in the future. This is just for my personal FaceBook account.

Facebook’s new Like button is a major clusterfrak.

April 22nd, 2010 by Jarmo Puskala

Frakkin toaster.

Let’s start with a warning. If you’re not interested in the latest developements with Facebook & social media, feel free to skip this post. However, for those of you who care, I want to explain why you won’t be seeing Facebook’s new “Like” buttons on Iron Sky’s sites right now. You probably ran into these on many other site already:

The idea here is, that Facebook wants to take over the world web by having people “like” anything and everything they encounter online with their familiar Like-button. This in theory makes it a lot easier for your users and fans to spread the word to their friends. And that’s awesome, because internet is about sharing and being social…

The problem is, that it’s all a huge clusterfrak right now. And as much as us working on Iron Sky want to be in the forefront of being social, we’re goign to wait a bit and see if they can sort this all out. Now, let me explain what is the problem.

Facebook Pages

We’re all familiar with Facebook pages. They used to have “fans”, now it says something like 12,137 People Like This. Those who like the page will receive updates from the page and can post comments. And for Iron Sky the page has become quite active, we get a lot of comments, suggestion etc. It’s all very social. On our website we have a box that shows the latest updates and where you can start following our updates.

The new Like button

Now Facebook wants every website to have a “Like” button. Administrator of the sites can use meta tags to control what the like button likes, for us it would be “Iron Sky the movie“.

Now it starts to get complicated. We would add meta tags to all the pages the like button resides where we would associate Iron Sky the movie with Facebook users who can administer it and it would show up in their list of pages. Then they could send updates to everyone who has liked Iron Sky the movie.

So, basically the like button creates something that works like a Facebook page, except it’s not a Facebook page. It’s meant to present the whole concept of Iron Sky the movie. Except it’s tied to the name and url I have for it after 10 people have liked it.

The clusterfrak

Now, if we were to add this new Like-button to our site, we’d also have the “Like” in the box that connects to our Facebook page. They would look the same to users, but do different things. One would have them receive updates from the “not page” and one from our “Facebook page”. Right now there doesn’t seem to be any way to connect these two, so we’d have to select between the two. If we’d want to use the “not page” it would mean we’d have to start building the community from scratch. Or we’d have to update both of them and people who’ve liked both of them would receive the same update from both.

So what Facebook has done is to duplicate the function of existing pages, but made it a lot harder to administer and harder to understand. To use both would be confusing to users and admins alike.

That is why you won’t be seeing the like buttons on the Iron Sky site today, or this week. I’m first to admit that Facebook Pages used to be completely useless when they first came out, but now they’re great and have made groups obsolete. Maybe one day the this new functionality will in turn make pages obsolete. However, right now it’s difficult and while I like the idea behind it, I don’t like the implementation.

Update 23.4.

If you’re still considering using the buttons you might want to readthis article. That’s pretty much it, this iteration is a stillborn and needs to be fixed.

Iron Sky, Digg, Darth Vader and Evil Hamsters.

April 14th, 2010 by Jarmo Puskala

Couple of weeks ago we released new concept art from Iron Sky. We thought it would be just a little “thank you” to our fans for their support. However, turns out that the internet is an unpredictable place.

Yesterday Steve Jobs‘ favourite gadget blog Gizmodo posted the pic. We posted it on Facebook and users dugg the article.

Once it passed 200 or so diggs it became popular and went on to the front page. That is pretty much the holy grail of traffic, bringing some 50,000 visitors to the Gizmodo during the 2½ hours an article typicallys tays on Digg’s front page. And amazingly, it didn’t even quiet down after that, but the with over 1000 Diggs the article was promoted to the “Top in all Topics” section, displayed on every page on Digg!

This morning we noticed Gizmodo had posted a follow-up article, answering one big question presented in the comments:

What if Darth Vader was a robot operated by evil hamsters?

What if Darth Vader was a robot operated by evil hamsters?

As of today the Gizmodo article has become one of the most popular on that site and has been read almost 170,000 times, with 40,000 of those continuing on to visit our site. We weren’t expecting a traffic spike anytime soon and that lead to our site becoming unresponsive for a little while yesterday, but our host Nebula handled it quickly and the server has been holding up well since then.

There are four big lessions in this:
1) The internet is unpredictable, we didn’t get on Digg when we spent months making the Iron Sky teaser, but one picture became hugely popular.
2) Never underestimate the traffic. Optimizing websites pays off.
3) If you like Iron Sky, let it show! It’s people who click “like” or “digg” or link to our websites that make it all the more popular. And then good things happen.
4) Usually if you Photoshop hamster-controlled Darth Vader robots you are strange, but if you work for Gizmodo, it’s your job. Apparently.

So thank you to all our fans, old and new alike! You’re awesome.