This week: Bell Home Hub issues, #OpenWeStand, and eSports marketing

Happy Monday! I’m trying something new this morning, kicking off the week by riffing on some top-of-mind thoughts. The idea came to me last night, literally “what if I wrote a weekly blog post in the style of a newsletter, minus the newsletter?”

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This past weekend I changed my blog’s navigation setup, dropping the category menu and simplifying the primary menu. I had set up the category menu in hopes that I’d get around to creating a page for each topic (marketing, community, et al) but I never found the time. I also like the simplified menus on other personal sites a lot more than what I was doing on mine.

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When we moved to our new place in the fall, I opted to go with Bell as our ISP. We were with Start.ca on cable for the four-ish years prior. Start was great for customer service, but the network speed wasn’t.

An IT friend recommended giving Bell another shot. Apparently the new Fibe service was fast and reliable. I had nothing but problems with Bell in the past, but I went for them anyway and hoped for the best.

The Bell tech left us with the Home Hub 2000 modem/router combo. Network speeds were better than what we had before, but the wifi was a periodic issue. We dealt with it up until yesterday. All our devices had trouble connecting. After a slog of troubleshooting it looked like a DHCP issue with the router.

I finally gave in after spending a couple hours trying to fix the problem. I hooked up my old TP-Link router, disabled wifi on the Home Hub, added the router to the Hub’s DMZ passthrough, and updated the PPoE settings with my ISP credentials.

[ Related: Pseudo bridge mode on the Bell Home Hub 2000 ]

That did the trick. Our wifi performance is better than ever and speeds are close to what Bell advertises for our area. I don’t know why I waited this long to hook up the router, but I’m glad that I finally did.

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Internet access should be an essential municipal utility. We’re feeling that more than ever right now in the wake of Covid-19 shutdowns. Everything’s moved online. I feel like that was inevitable in the long run, but this pandemic accelerated everything by a decade. We’re going to come out on the other end with a new normal.

Businesses that move to the web will make it through this. Those who don’t adjust are in a rougher position. We’re leaning into this at GoDaddy with Open We Stand. It’s a movement to support entrepreneurs and main street businesses. For GoDaddy Pro, we’re ramping up our social presence by curating resources to help our partners help their clients adapt.

The FAANG crowd — Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google — are going to gain the most out of all this, I’m sure. Amazon is in a very strong position between their marketplace, AWS, Twitch, and Prime Video. I’d say Google is right behind, followed by Facebook. Microsoft doesn’t fit the acronym (FAMANG?) but between Microsoft 365, Teams, Azure, and Xbox, I’m sure they’ll be just fine.

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Speaking of gaming, it looks like Nintendo can’t keep up with demand for the Switch. We tried to order one a couple days ago and it’s sold out everywhere. I hadn’t paid any attention to the console until now, but with all the hype around Animal Crossing and the family-friendly multiplayer titles, I can see why it’s a hot commodity.

I’m squeezing in an hour or two of gaming per day to distract myself from work and the news. Most of that time is poured into Blizzard titles (WoW and Overwatch) since my PC can handle them without much trouble. I haven’t updated the hardware in nearly five years, though, so my rig chugs if I try playing Warzone on anything more than potato settings.

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Sticking with the gaming theme, I’m seeing more attention shift to eSports within the brand marketing space. Check these pieces from Quartz and The Drum, for example.

Most of the brands are the ones you’d expect: PC component manufacturers, accessories & peripherals, streaming equipment, energy drinks, gamer merch, etc. Major consumer brands are starting to jump in, too, but there’s so much more potential here. Personally I’d like to see more direct relationship between brands and streamers in the vein of the D2C + influencer pairings we see on Instagram.

eSports is an interesting beast in that it’s part NASCAR and part NBA. The machine matters as much as the person controlling it, a la NASCAR. And like basketball, anyone can jump into a pickup game with friends. You don’t need to be the best. And as eSports matures, with more money and attention, we’re going to see more tiers pick up: amateur leagues, semi-pro leagues, etc.

I’m excited by this as a marketer and as a player. I got my start on the web as a gaming blogger and forum admin. Though I haven’t written about gaming at any length in nearly a decade, I’m still drawn to it. What we’re seeing now with pro teams and full-time streamers echoes the stuff my friends and I geeked out over back in high school. I’d love to get a foot back into that space in some professional capacity.

I suppose I should start by upgrading my gaming rig. 🤔

Have a great week,

Andy

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