Sup trick or treaters!
Happy Halloween! (I know it’s late, don’t @ me).
Ghosts, ghouls and lagging is now over, but fret not for I’ve got one last treat in store for you today. We’re gonna be talking about a horror phenomenon so unique that it spawned all kinds of craziness: Slenderman. But I’m not just gonna talk about Slenderman, no, that’s just too easy. So what we’re gonna talk about today is how YOU can be Slenderman! So am I saying that you can be a horrifying monster? (Well, I guess you can but that’s not the point). No, I’m saying you can be something far more impressive, so let’s have a gander.
Now there are all sorts of stories of where good ole Slendy came from such as medieval folklore or ancient legends. The reality is a little different but no less interesting. Slenderman was born on the Internet. More specifically, he was born on a 2009 message board thread for a photo shopping competition where contestants were told to “create paranormal images”.
Slendy’s pageant photos soon leaked through the pages of the internet and the seed for an urban legend was planted. Now I hear what your saying, “what’s the point Michael? What does Slenderman have to do with ME”. Well patience I say! We need to delve further into the story.
So while Slenderman was the chilling brainchild of one Eric Knudsen, the reality is that he was a collaborative effort. Many different contributors have added to the story and so the mythos of Slenderman was able to grow organically. Slenderman doesn’t have a linear story but rather and open world. His origin stories, abilities and motives would constantly change. He became a legend of the internet age. A story told across chat rooms rather than campfires.
At this point Slenderman was certainly growing, but in no way was he huge. Then Marble Hornets happened. In case your’e wondering, no it has nothing to do with sculpted insects. This was actually Slenderman’s first foray into motion picture (you should definitely check it out). This YouTube series detailed a mans descent into madness at the behest of the legendary boogeyman and was as popular as it was unsettling. For the first time Slenderman truly moved into mainstream consciousness as Marble Hornets amassed over 50 million views.
From there his influence reached new mediums from film to TV and of course games! Slender: The 8 Pages announced ole Slendy’s entrance into the gaming world. I remember how big this game was and importantly how popular it was with the fast growing gaming community on YouTube.
Now to bring this full circle, let’s get back to the issue at hand; what does Slenderman have to do with ME (bit self centered aren’t we)? Well… Slendy’s success is actually transferable. Yup that’s right! Whether you want to build a brand or a business, you can learn a lot from the Big Slend (and I am looking to learn these things as well).
Slenderman can almost certainly attribute plenty of his success to the community that built him. Now I know how much I, as a content creator, want to be able to control my craft. It’s natural right. If it’s something that we create, it can be difficult to give away any control. But sometimes sharing is indeed caring. Whether that means bringing in experts, involving your audience or taking in customer feedback. Slenderman created a devoted community because the community was given the tools to build it, so if Slendy had the guts to pass over the reigns from time to time… do you?
As I’ve previously mentioned, Slenderman has changed a lot over his otherworldly lifetime. Much of this is down to the aforementioned engagement, but regardless of the reason, Slenderman went through a lot of change. But it was this flexibility that enabled Slendy to become more than a simple forgotten page on the internet. Now from personal experience, I have a very good example of this. As a blogger, my stats saw a huge increase after I entered the Blogger Blitz: Black Sheep competition (cough cough… which I won… cough cough). This was something that I never would have seen myself doing when I first started GGAL. But despite being a little different from my usual content, it allowed me to meet some incredible bloggers including the competitions host, as well as really build more of an audience.
Suspension of Belief
Now this one might sound a little weird at first but trust me, there is a point. A study into Slenderman by Jeffrey Tolbert found something very interesting. People would be willingly to suspend their disbelief and forget that Slenderman isn’t real to become further engrossed in the story. So what can a budding entrepreneur or content creator take from this? Well in my opinion, this comes down to the content itself. You need to produce content that wills the audience to suspend their disbelief and disarm themselves. So whether that content is a blog post, a video or even a sales pitch, it is your job as the creator to convince your audience to buy in. Let them lose themselves in what your teaching, selling or showing. I think people are always willing to be convinced, you just need to bring your A game and do it.
Slendy says join him
So these are a few of the business tips that I feel can be picked up by the Slenderman story. It’s certainly a weird crossover, but I think it’s one that definitely belongs in the kooky world of GGAL. So this brings Ghosts, Ghouls and Lagging to a close. It’s been an exciting month, both for the blog and in my personal life.
But just because October is over, doesn’t mean that there isn’t loads of exciting content to be excited over. I have a brand new mini-series (or rather a series of minis) that is just around the corner called GGAL: Post-its. Also, The Games that Define Us (which I am taking part in) is underway so please check it out!
So that’s it from me today! What do you think about Slenderman? Anything in his story that interest you or does it just give you the hebejebes? I’d love for you to let me know!