Al, the guy who lives past the Black Gate (Which one? If you don't know, don't ask.), posted yesterday about marketing the OSR. A very interesting post that led to an interesting discussion. The Bat (over in the Attic) also had some thoughts to add to the discussion. I think that the Bat is on to something with his idea of a collection of content producers pooling their monies to do some large scale (relatively speaking) advertising. The Fantasy Cartographic would certainly be interested in joining such a collective, if it came to pass.
It seems to me that the collective could do some things that wouldn't be very difficult or time-intensive to "spread the word". Here are some ideas:
First, an identity needs to be developed. Whether you call it the 'OSR' or 'The Renaissance' or whatever, pick a name and have someone design a logo. A logo is huge, in that it will become the visual focal point for our efforts.
Second, a website should be thrown together. The logo across the top. A few paragraphs on who we are and what the renaissance is all about. Then some links:
- One to 'Member Companies' which goes to a listing of the companies who contributed the fee as described by Rob Conley in his post.
- One to 'Other Companies' which goes to a listing of all of the other companies who have any relation to the OSR.
- One to 'Blogs' which goes to a complete listing of ALL the blogs out there who consider themselves part of the OSR.
- One to 'Handy Definitions' that would go to a page containing just that.
- One labelled 'Rosetta Stone' which would describe, in general terms, the different games and their links to the D&D equivalents.
You get the idea--obviously, there are many other things that can be linked to. Perhaps it also includes a news feed, similar to the 'This Week in the OSR'. The layout and design would be important.
Third, a link, incorporating the group's logo, similar to the 'RPG Bloggers Network' logo that any website, blog, gaming company, etc with an online presence can add to their site. The purpose of it would be to allow these people to show their support for or membership in the group. Once that starts popping up all over the place on the web, people will start to take more notice, just as they did with the RPG Bloggers Network. The link would point directly to the group's website.
Fourth, once a pool of funds have been collected, use it to purchase banner ads at RPGNow.com (and its affiliates), at ENWorld, and all of the other 'larger' sites in the rpg world. Use it also to purchase ad space in the standards--Fight On and Knockspell, Kobold Quarterly, and any other print periodicals that might be read by those interested.
Finally, as suggested by Raggi and others, purchase a booth at GenCon to sell our wares.
I have other ideas as well, but I think that those things would be a good start. I think that they would also go a long way toward getting the word out.