Ireland Town Social Game 

15 March 2011  
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If you’re looking for something fun, interesting, and challenging to get you in the mood for Paddy’s Day, then you might want to check out Ireland Town! It’s a social game on Facebook that I’ve been working on over the past 6 weeks in my role as Social Media Project Manager for Tourism Ireland.

Like all good things, it began on the back of a napkin in Bewleys when Brian conveyed to me his vision for a social game involving key destinations in Ireland. I took that napkin home, wrote it up into the shortest brief ever known to mankind, and shipped it out to a couple of trusty developers. Internally wincing at the turnaround time I was asking for proposals back, and the number of words in the brief, things happened, ideas got created and work began on Ireland Town in early February.

Betapond, who I’ve worked with on a couple of projects before, were the winning development team and they have pulled an amazing rabbit with fluffyness, brains and that can speak 5 languages – out of their hats!  🙂

Now we’re at the end of an exciting 6 weeks. You will be able to play Ireland Town yourself from Thursday (St Patricks Day) – but if you’re a fan of one of Tourism Ireland’s Facebook Pages, you will get an early start today.

My Role (as Social Media Project Manager on behalf of the client)

  • During the specification process, working on behalf of the client to ensure their best interests are being specc’ed out in the documentation and formal agreements for the project
  • Communicating timelines to all parties involved in the project internally
  • Sourcing content… while designers design, developers code, and the money people negotiate, someone has to come up with content ideas, and run around sourcing, signing off, and delivering.  For this project we have 31 destinations with 9 tasks at each one = a lot of content to come up with.  Luckily we also have our copywriters on hand to jazz up the language.
  • Wearing my design hat, feeding back client’s views to the developers.
  • While development takes place,  I turn my attention to preparing all the ancillary content such as creating the Facebook presence, with custom designed tabs, a schedule of content for the first 6 weeks, Twitter skins, etc.  Working with our trusty video editor on promo videos for Youtube.
  • Communicating progress throughout to the stakeholders within the organisation.  Ensuring their questions are answered, ideas are fed through into the development process, and requirements from them are clear.
  • Did I mention there are 5 non-English languages?  🙂

I Love My Job.

I love the start of projects where it’s all about ideas and ‘What Can Be’.  I love the middle of projects where everyone’s working together towards the same thing.  I even love the crazy end of projects where days are long, and work is a heady balance of calls to mobiles and landlines, 3, 5, and often 7 way skype chats, emails flying, last minute things being dropped in…

Thank You’s

  • To the makers of Basecamp, Dropbox, Skype, and Conceptshare – you are my saviours… Where would we be without you?
  • To Aileen, David, & Lisa – thanks for poring over the spreadsheets and injecting fun into them!   If you’re going to the Blog Awards this weekend, give them a big cheer – they’re shortlisted for the Best Sports & Recreation Blog.
  • And of course, last but definitely not least, to Heidi who always ‘gets it’ and manages to do cutesy but cool at the same time – A Massive Thank You Indeed. If you want beautiful design from someone who knows what you want more than you do – talk to CookieWeb.

Go on – play Ireland Town the newest social game on Facebook.  Enjoy.  And happy St Patrick’s Day!

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