In this article I will go over the basics for setting up your online presence in Amtgard. There are three main sites for your online presence in Amtgard, The Online Record Keeper (The ORK), the Amtgard Wiki (Amtwiki) and Facebook. Everyone who has played at least one day has an ORK profile. While it is not the most glorious or most used aspected of the online presence it is your core, it keeps the nitty gritty details of your Amtgard career in an easy to access place for everyone to view.
The Amtwiki is an important tool to situate yourself in Amtgard at large. It is a place that allows you to explain a bit more about who you are and to expand on your history with details that aren’t covered in the ORK. Then there is Facebook. Probably the most obvious place for your online presence.
The Amtgard Online Record Keeper
The ORK is a very important tool in Amtgard. It’s the way that we keep track of credits and awards. It’s important that your ORK profile is accurate and updated. While it is the responsibility of the various park’s Prime Ministers to keep track and maintain people’s records, it’s also the responsibility of each person to make sure their records are accurate. PM’s can make mistakes; awards can get missed and credits can be accidently entered incorrectly. When you contact a PM about a mistake make sure to be understanding and ask them politely to fix the problem the next time they get a chance. You may need to show proof of awards.
Aside from the credits and awards there is the option to upload a picture of yourself and your heraldry. It’s important to upload both. If you don’t have a heraldry, that’s fine, I didn’t have one for most of my Amtgard career but you should think about creating one. It will make things look more professional. In the meantime, if you don’t have a heraldry, upload a blank white image to your heraldry spot. It looks much more nicer on your profile than the default blank image.
You can also create profile pages for you fighting company and households. You can do that by going to you profile page and clicking on admin. Once there look for the tab “Player Operations”, click it; the drop down list will have the option to create households and companies. Once created you can write a description of the organization as well as upload an image. On top of that you can add your members. Once a member has been added it will automatically show up on their ORK page.
The Amtwiki involves a lot more work than the ORK but once you learn the basics it’s pretty simple. Here you can list your background and history in as much detail as you’d like. I won’t go into the specifics of how to set up your profile but you can use mine as an example. Once you learn to set up your own profile you can easily help set up profiles for your friends.
If you look at mine you can see that I have several sections for information, this will vary from person to person. You might not have a belted line or belong to a company or household so you don’t need to have those sections. It’s possible that you might only have your Biography to fill out and that’s okay. The longer you play Amtgard the more likely you’ll be able to fill out the other sections.
Your biography can include just about anything you’d like to add. At a minimum I would suggest adding your starting park, the various parks you’ve played at since you started and your current home park. You can work in any other information you might think is important to who you are. I tend to think that this page should be something of a biography focusing on you and what you’ve done in Amtgard than any kind of role-play centric piece.
You of course also want to add a picture to your page. I suggest a proper profile picture, one where you are easily identifiable. I don’t suggest adding a group picture for your page. The point of your Amtwiki page is you and you should be the central figure.
When filling out your Notable Achievements section leave it brief and in a bullet point format. If you want to expand upon those achievements use the biography section. The same goes for the Position section, simply list them in order. If there is anything you did in those positions that you’d like to talk about, use the biography section.
If you are part of a beltline you don’t actually type in your beltline. What you do is create a template for the belted line and then insert that template. It will auto populate with that information. Chances are that unless you are starting your own beltline that your beltline has already been created, you just need to find it. If you need to create a Knightly belt line template that’s a bit beyond the scope of this article. If you need help, please message me and I’ll do what I can to help.
You will also want to include links to your ORK Profile as well as a Facebook page (more on that later). To link your ORK you’ll need your ORK number. To find your number go to your ORK profile and look at the web address. The number at the end of the address is your ORK number. For example mine is 13081.
On top of the visual details there are a few technical background details you need to add to your page which you don’t see unless you look at the edit view; these are categories. It situates your page in the greater fabric of the Amtwiki. Such as adding which kingdom and park you belong to so you can be able to see your name in the various lists which are automatically populated when you tag a page with a category. If you look at the editable view of my page you’ll see at the bottom that I’m in 8 different categories, Blackspire People, Flame Knights, Blackspire Knights, Single Belted Knights, Knights of Amtgard, Knighted in 2014, Members of House Gravy, Silver Moon People. At the very least you will want to add the categories for your kingdom and home park.
Now that you’ve made sure your ORK page is accurate and your Amtwiki page is well fleshed out, it’s time turn your attention to Facebook. For some people there might not be anything you need to do different with your Facebook. It partly depends on what you want to do with your online presence. If you just want to be a guy posting in Amtgard related groups then you might choose to use your regular account without taking into account any other options. If you want to build up an online audience in a more blogger style persona then you need to think hard how you’d like to tackle Facebook. I will be doing this next section under the assumption you want to build up a more blogger like Amtgard centric presence, but even if you don’t want to, you might want to make some changes to how you deal with your Amtgard activities online There are two main ways you can tackle Facebook, a Fan Page or a second account.
If you like you can create a second Facebook page, one separate from your personal account. The downside to this is that you now have two Facebook pages to maintain with two separate logins. You may find that it’s annoying to have to log out of one account to log into another to check notifications and make posts. The bonus to this system is that you can create two truly separate identities.
The Fan Page System is something that the cosplay community has been using for years. It creates a place where you can post information separate from your standard feed. Unlike the Second Account option you don’t have to log into another account to post Amtgard related stuffs. It keeps all your Amtgard activities in a specific place and you can keep it off your main feed and let those who want to follow your Amtgard activities follow it on your page. You also have the added bonus of funneling new people to your new page rather than having to add Amtgarders to your Facebook account if you don’t want to. The main downside is that you can’t always post in groups using your fan page. You will still have to use your primary account. Even if you don’t want to be a blogger doing this might be something you want to look into.
The Fan Page is the option I went with. The years of people successfully using it in the Cosplay Community was more than enough to convince me that using a Fan Page was a good way to present myself how I’d like. It lets me focus on Amtgard content in a public way without making my main page public. You can create blog entries, articles, post pictures and albums and you can even tag your fan page in other people’s pictures of you; you don’t have to tag your main account in images! It also gives a place to send people to contact me that isn’t my main account. It lets me focus my main account on personal life things that I might not want to share with everyone in Amtgard.
Setting up a Fan Page is fairly simple. When on the browser version of Facebook you look to the bottom left hand column and under “Create” you click on the page option. This will bring up a few options concerning what kind of page you’d like to create. Click on the “Artist, Band or Public Figure” option and click on blogger on the drop down menu. For the name I suggest your Amtgard name without any titles. It’s more relatable if you don’t hard code your title into you name. Otherwise every time someone wants to tag your page they will have to include that title. You can change your name in the about section of the page once it’s set up.
At this point you can just follow the various Facebook Tips to set up your page. Your profile picture should be you in garb. In the About Section there is an area to add in your Story. Here you should write a few sentences about who you are and list your ORK profile. I also added my Amtwiki as my website.
You should also set up a username, you can do this in the About section of your page. You should use your name but if your name is already taken then try to come up with some sort simple variation of your name that people will recognize.
Once your page is setup you can start inviting people to like it. You also want to go back to your Amtwiki page and add in your Facebook Page address to the bottom page where your website would go.
You have your page but what are you going to do with it, it’s time to think about content. You can set up photo albums of your adventures or maybe your various projects. You might even want to create an album for each project and show the various steps you took in it’s creation. You might blog about your Amtgard days, or write articles to share. The sky’s the limit.
With your ORK, Amtwiki, and Facebook set up you have a solid foundation for your online presence. It’s up to you to take take it in the direction you’d like. You can branch out to other platforms too. For example if you take a lot of photos maybe instagram would be a good place to branch out to and of course there is also always twitter although there isn’t any central Amtgard presence on that platform.
You’ve put in the initial work but it’s also important to go back to your ORK and Amtwiki and keep them updated as necessary. It’s also a good idea that if you’ve learned enough to edit the Amtwiki to help keep the pages connected to yours updated. If the pages connected to your page are kept up to do it helps keep your page be updated and more relevant as well.
If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to post them.