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Ok, following "The 7 Essential Meta Questions of Every Beta" what should we have as our elevator pitch? We want the pitch to be creative, catchy, and descriptive. It needs to catch the eye of new comers, and let them know what the site is about. SE has some guidelines at Stack Exchange Naming for Dummies.

The Elevator Pitch

What is an elevator pitch? I only have a moment, so here’s an “elevator pitch” for the elevator pitch: “Who is the site for? What is it about?”

This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Imagine a user who will never read your FAQ and you have fifteen seconds to grab their attention. It should be catchy but descriptive. It should be thoroughly clear but painfully concise. Make every… word… count.

From this elevator pitch we will likely pick our name and motto (but not guarenteed).

I suggest you post one pitch per answer, then we'll up vote the ones we like best. If you downvote a pitch, please explain why in a comment.

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    $\begingroup$ A lot of the answers seem to be clever catchy taglines, rather than an elevator pitch. Something clever that needs explaining is too slow for this purpose. $\endgroup$ – trichoplax Sep 17 '14 at 21:47
  • $\begingroup$ Umm, most of these are just quick descriptions in my opinion. Which could be fine. Anyway, if you want to try and clarify something in the post, feel free. $\endgroup$ – DonyorM Sep 18 '14 at 1:38
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    $\begingroup$ Your question is perfectly clear already, I was just concerned about some of the overcomplicated answers. I see the votes have brought the least cryptic to the top, so I'm no longer worried. $\endgroup$ – trichoplax Sep 18 '14 at 14:00
  • $\begingroup$ To cite Godric Seer from below answer: "we are likely many months away from leaving beta when that choice could actually be made". Is this really the right point for a discussions like that? With less than 100 question, we are far from leaving beta... ever! $\endgroup$ – trejder Sep 18 '14 at 21:05
  • $\begingroup$ The question will not go away. And good ideas usually don't come on demand. So if we have this question, then any time anyone has a good idea can add it, rather than possibly forget it until someone asks later. It's not as if this specific question would eat up many resources. $\endgroup$ – celtschk Sep 21 '14 at 13:54
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    $\begingroup$ @trejder It is in "The 7 Essential Meta Questions of Every Beat". That's why I posted it. $\endgroup$ – DonyorM Sep 23 '14 at 7:18

11 Answers 11

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Making fictional worlds more credible.

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  • $\begingroup$ This one is my favourite so far. It says everything that needs to be said and doesn't leave a newcomer still wondering what it means. $\endgroup$ – trichoplax Sep 17 '14 at 21:48
  • $\begingroup$ So should we have the site name be Fictonia? $\endgroup$ – DonyorM Sep 18 '14 at 9:21
  • $\begingroup$ @DonyorM that can definitely be considered, but we are likely many months away from leaving beta when that choice could actually be made. $\endgroup$ – Godric Seer Sep 18 '14 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ I was somewhat joking. :) $\endgroup$ – DonyorM Sep 18 '14 at 13:51
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    $\begingroup$ I like that one. It isn't perfect, but certainly the best here. But "Fictonia" actually creeps me out! :] I'll personally immediately stop using this site, if it ever reach the point of getting such stupid name! :] Sorry, if I bring pain to someone, but for me "Fictionia" sounds good for emos playing "The Sims", than for real writers, screenplay authors and other professional worldbuilders. So... the question is, how much you were joking, DonyorM, and how much you were real? :] $\endgroup$ – trejder Sep 18 '14 at 21:08
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My suggestion:

"Building Better Worlds"

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    $\begingroup$ I like this because it sounds so familiar... wasn't it a sci fi company's tag line? $\endgroup$ – Liath Sep 19 '14 at 9:37
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    $\begingroup$ It was in one of the Douglas Adams Hitchhiker books as the motto of Magrathea, the planet builders. $\endgroup$ – Monty Wild Sep 21 '14 at 8:41
  • $\begingroup$ In that case I want to double up Vote! $\endgroup$ – Liath Sep 21 '14 at 9:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Liath, And here I thought it wasn't original enough... $\endgroup$ – Monty Wild Sep 21 '14 at 9:25
  • $\begingroup$ Weyland-Yutani : "Building better worlds." $\endgroup$ – Mazura Jul 10 '16 at 3:01
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Q: Who is the site for?

A: It's for builders of fictional worlds. Like fiction writers and game designers.

Q: What is it about?

A: What do you think about having a tail?

Q: Sorry?

A: How would having a tail change the way our world works?

Q: umm... I guess it would be kind of cool, but it might get caught in doorways, and we would have to cut holes in all our clothing. Why?

A: We talk about stuff like that. We discuss what happens if the world were just a little different.

It doesn't have to be tails. It can be gills, or twin planets, or FTL travel, or almost anything.

Okay, so maybe that's three or four floors, but this little exchange is, IMO, one of the best quick pitches we can give for the site, for three reasons:

  • World building is inspired by curiosity. I don't get the impression from the beta so far that anyone is asking questions because there is some significant external pressure for them to figure out if invisible aliens are possible, or if space lanes make sense. Sure, there could be users who are hard at work writing novels, designing games, story-boarding for movies, or even creating dungeons and dragons campaigns, and we want to attract as many of these users as possible. But I'd hazard a guess that one of the reasons the private beta has seen early success is because the discussion of worldbuilding is just plain fun, and if you can give a sense of that fun in the elevator, I'll bet that will be much more memorable and meaningful than some tag line, however catchy it may be.
  • Most people will definitely remember that kid on the elevator who asked them about human tails, or that red-haired girl who polled your opinion on invisible aliens, or that old dude who asked you what you think would have happened if the JFK assassination was unsuccessful. Even if that person only has a mild interest, these types of discussions are contagious (in my experience anyway), and the stranger may get off the elevator with some amount of curiosity as they head back to their cubicle. By the time they get there the stranger might ask their colleague about hive minds, which would be debated, and could result in a web search to settle the dispute. And before you even asked the question in the elevator, you knew what the first hit on google was going to be when they searched for it :)
  • There will undoubtedly be some people who just loose interest, or who just think it's too weird to imagine a world where humans have tails. They will squint their eyes at you and just say "I don't... know." and as they walk off the elevator they will spend exactly 5 seconds thinking how random that was and then proceed to their ordinary, uninteresting, and entirely normal lives, where nothing unexpected never happens. Ok, it might not be that bad, but this site is not going to appeal to everyone, and if they are not the least bit interested in your off the wall scenario you're suggesting then they aren't going to like the site, and we don't really want them anyway.

Worldbuilding is awesome and everyone here knows it. I guess this doesn't exactly replace the need for a shorter description, but if you've got 5 floors this is way better than a 10 second pitch and 20 seconds of silence. I haven't tried this on anyone yet, but I know from experience that some people love to discuss alternate realities. Why would you simply talk about your product, when you can give them a free sample?

Finally, let me quell a few doubts about my intentions: I'm not saying we should just open the floodgates and let every question that seems semi-interesting survive because its fun to talk about, I'm saying that there's raw interest in worldbuilding that, if carefully bridled by mods and experienced users, can fuel an inspiring and informative SE site for a long time.

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    $\begingroup$ It's a good pitch, but I'm not sure its an elevator pitch. I think it may be too long. But the idea is good. $\endgroup$ – DonyorM Sep 25 '14 at 2:39
  • $\begingroup$ @DonyorM I agree, but there are times where you're on a train, or waiting for a bus, or walking between mutual classes where you do have a few minutes to give a more enticing pitch. I'm just saying there are lots of times when you have the opportunity to say more than 1 tweet's worth and this pitch is for those times. $\endgroup$ – NauticalMile Sep 25 '14 at 2:54
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Want to know the implications of Facebook summoning Cthulhu?

Ever wondered what problems you would encounter if you walked at 40 miles per hour?

Want to tell colleagues how a werewolf-transformation really works?

Or are you just thinking about creating a planet completely made out of water?

Whatever you or someone else can imagine: WorldBuilding is there to show you how to make it work! ... Or tell you to use magic

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Building better imaginary worlds.

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WorldBuilding.

It's the place where you postulate the improbable and other people tell you that your postulation is either implausible or impossible.

And occasionally, magic happens.

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An online Q&A forum for science fiction and fantasy creators to get questions answered so their worlds can be made believable for their audiences.

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How in the worlds did you do that?

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Similar than some others. Original credit to overreactor's banner.

Worlds in Progress

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Deeper Backgrounds

Using knowledge of the world as it is to explore worlds that could be.

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In the real world, building real worlds away from the real world.

To clarify each part:

  • In the real world -- this is a real world web site, and the work being done by the people posting questions and answers take place in the real world
  • building real worlds -- emphasizing the use of various sciences in constructing a world, as stated in the Area51 proposal: [a] Q&A site for writers/artists using science, geography and culture to construct imaginary worlds and settings
  • away from the real world -- the worlds we're discussing are, to a very large extent, more or less imaginary; they are not our real world
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    $\begingroup$ That's a little too complicated. It may make someone think, but I'm not sure everyone wants to think... $\endgroup$ – Monty Wild Sep 18 '14 at 6:23

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