Shapeways, The Community

The Dizzying Demand for Dungeons & Dragons Dice

Ceramic Wombat recently generated quite a bit of traffic with his range of Thorn Dice Set with Decader when it was featured on Boing Boing then promptly, tweeted, facebooked and generally created quite a buzz online. (UPDATE: Doctorow’s stories “Makers” and “Printcrime” along with Bruce Sterling’s excellent “Kiosk” inspired Chuck to try rapid prototyping in the first place, so “I am especially happy that he likes my work”)

So what makes this item ‘go viral’ when others may be ignored? I am not initiated in the world of Dungeons and Dragons so I may be missing some major point, and please let me know if I do, but here are a few reasons these designs are working.

Firstly, the designs are highly original, a cohesive aesthetic among the entire group and really well realized, (read awesome)

Secondly, The dice are for a passionate niche group that is quite active online, and have a history of user group participation as well as physical, local networks.

Thirdly, they are social items, used in a social context of game play where people gather over a common interest that is reliant on the object.

Fourth, one image tells the story, perfect for the microsecond attention span of the online mind.

Fifth, Facebook, it is being shared via the Like Button on the Shapeways site, which shows up on everyone’s friends pages….

What can you take from this for your items to help them get exposure to others who are as passionate about your hobby/interest/game/sport/gadget/obsession as you are?

Is there an existing fan base of obsessives just waiting for the next cool thing to show off to their friends online and in real/physical life? Design it for yourself?them and let them know.

Iterate your designs until they are perfect and then take good photographs of them..

Submit your items to the blogs, forums and sites where you hang out (including Shapeways It Arrived and Feature This)

Like your items with Facebook, get your friends to, get your Mom to, get your Mom’s friends to and spread the word.  We have updated our Facebook integration to make it easier for you to share because it has become such a major force in the internet, make it work for you.

Oh yeah, in the time it took me to write this post there have been over 100 more tweets about the thorn dice,  over 1500 more hits to the Thorn Dice page on Shapeways bringing it up to a total of 70,467 so far and the traffic keeps rolling in with Facebook being a MAJOR factor in driving traffic….

Check out the Made by Wombat site for your D&D addiction.And Congratulations to Chuck…….

About me
Shapeways Designer Evangelist
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