NoobIT was a Dutch RuneScape fansite built together with other RuneScape fanatics. The website provided guides, calculators for in-game activities and forums to meet and discuss other players.

From Fansite to a Community

When I was in high school, I was a big RuneScape fan. After school it was not uncommon to find me playing the game with friends. I can still remember those school days day dreaming about what I would be doing that same afternoon in the game. If you have never played RuneScape it is probably difficult to imagine what it must have been like, but I can promise you that it was a true adventure. A Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game in which vast landmasses could be explored, skills could be leveled up, and lore unlocked.

On some day I was browsing the internet and I discovered this small RuneScape fansite called NoobIT. There was not much on there, but I saw potential and I could not stop myself from messaging the website owner. When I sent him a message in-game he was excited right away, I was the first one to approach him about the website and he felt like this was a huge step in the right direction. Not long after we started to collaborate. At first, I started writing guides and translating the RuneScape news posts written in English to Dutch. The collaboration was good, and the increasing activity boosted traffic; when the other website administrator was losing interest, I took over his role as community manager.

For an upcoming RuneScape fansite, community manager was not necessarily managing a community, it was growing one. Three important steps had to be taken. First, recognition by Jagex, the company making the RuneScape game. Recognition would mean that NoobIT would also be ranked, promoted and supported by Jagex; they would provide teaser images for upcoming updates and a forum where discussion with other fansite owners was possible to organize collaborations. All greatly improving traffic. Luckily, I had met someone working at Jagex before, so this was as easy as asking her in the game and it was done. The second important step that had to be taken was to retain this increased traffic. Opening Forums was the solution. A platform where visitors could sign in to engage in interesting discussions and contests. Lastly, the best way to retain visitors was by having guides for most RuneScape content on the website, since this also drove most traffic. The forums played in handy, we set up a system in which new guides could be forwarded and put online on the live website. Without any promotion, this feature turned out to be surprisingly popular.

In the height days the website reached about 50 visitors daily and about 500 unique visitors monthly. Besides there was an active community on the forums of about 70 users.

As my interest in the game faded, so faded my efforts on NoobIT.