Roy Hui, an engineer and prolific entrepreneur, founded MMGN.com in 2006, creating the largest video games community in Australia.
With millions of users each month, MMGN provides the latest social news, reviews, videos and discussions - encouraging communities of gamers to ‘learn, play and connect’. Learnings from MMGN feed directly into Roy’s digital agency, MyMedia, which generates bespoke creative marketing solutions for businesses including NovaFM, Sensis and Auspost.
Prior to branching out on his own, Roy spent five years working for Telstra. “It was such a valuable experience for me”, he explains, “I worked across all different aspects of the business – development, testing, management, leading offshore teams and working with different people. If I’d have left university to pursue my own business, I wouldn’t have had the same experiences. Having that background helped give me the confidence to go to big businesses and be able to speak their language”.
During his time at Telstra, Roy starting working on MMGN, building on his gaming passion. “I wanted to build an online community for users to talk about games, play with other people and learn the latest about games”. He then used the same platform for other businesses, creating online discussions amongst people for what they were interested in. “Everyone is passionate about something. As long as you provide them with a platform to vocalise their passion, traffic and people will follow”, he adds.
When he founded MMGN, there weren’t easy ways to communicate with businesses, especially as Facebook and Twitter didn’t yet exist. He created user generated blogs and the facility to upload photos and comment on them - and that’s how his online communities were created. With the advent of social media sites, conversation generation became easier. Discussions are shared across these platforms, bringing friends into the mix to participate, as well as original users.
“Every business needs a community and a voice so that they can talk to their customers” says Roy, and MMGN developed systems to improve the communication in each community. For example, for every new photo uploaded of a video game, users are rewarded with points; they’re given more by interacting and commenting on a photo. In essence, users are rewarded for helping to create a community.
The more positive contributions to the community you have, the higher the points you have. “We take those leaders, the top 10% displayed by their points, and we give then an extra level of community – for us to communicate with them directly. Our culture is to be open, happy and friendly – and they in turn influence the rest of the community through their behaviour, which is really beneficial for us”. For other businesses, Roy implements the same technology – adding gamification and interesting content, which in turn creates a positive engaging message and investment for the brand.
“We see a lot of businesses rewarding for the sake of rewarding, which I disagree with. It’s not a sustainable thing to do long-term. We like to echo with motivations that are valuable to the users of the system. They stay with us because they seek companionship, camaraderie, want to be validated for what they do and purchases they make. I don’t want to provide rewards for achievements, just for the sake of it”.
Roy has largely implemented processes and technologies so that his gaming business is automated and requires little effort to run. He then uses the research and insights from MMGN to provide a better service for his MyMedia clients.
It may sound straightforward but Roy’s the first to say he’s not getting too comfortable where he is. “We always innovate”, he explains, “and build our technology from the ground up every year”. Staying aware of new developments, competitors and meeting potential contacts to make business introductions is also key. “It’s important to look at changes in the world and adapt to them”, adds Roy, “I turn around to see who’s around me all the time”.