PlayStation LifeStyle Interviews Jeff Rubenstein

Written by Sev1512

Recently, PlayStation LifeStyle had the chance to speak with Jeff Rubenstein of the PlayStation.Blog.  Jeff is Social Media Manager for SCEA.

First off, I would like to thank you on behalf of PlayStation LifeStyle and all PlayStation fans for the hard work and dedication to each and every one of your readers. What is the main goal for PlayStation.Blog?

(Jeff Rubenstein): The main goal for the creation of PlayStation.Blog is to bring PlayStation fans closer to those who create the games they play. My boss, Patrick Seybold (who started the blog a couple of months before I was brought on board), said in our first post, “we see it as a place where we can share with you our company’s collective insights, opinions and perspectives on all things related to SCEA, PlayStation and the industry we play in.

Do you feel you have achieved that goal so far?

To a large extent, yes. We’ve gone from nothing to hundreds of thousands of weekly readers. However, I don’t think there’s ever a point where we can say “Mission Accomplished.”

What are your goals for the future of the PS Blog?

Basically, we want to do what we’re doing now – only better, and more often. There are often posts that we can point to and say “Now *that* was a success.” This might come from making a particularly good announcement, or when a producer (like Warhawk’s Dylan Jobe) is particularly invested in the post, answering questions in the comments section. I’d like every post to be like that.

What has been the most frustrating moment you have dealt with while working on the PS Blog?

One of the more difficult days came with the launch of the Uncharted demo. Folks outside of North America weren’t able to play it, and were pretty vocal. Fortunately Naughty Dog was on the ball and had a solution very quickly.

How do you think the fans have responded to the PS Blog?

The fan response has been overwhelming. Our readership has started off strong – and over the past 6 months or so has leapt to incredible heights. Internally we set expectations on benchmarks like subscribers and video views – and all of them have been smashed. That puts a lot of pressure on us to keep the momentum going.

In what ways, if any, do you plan on expanding the community aspect of the PS Blog?

In addition to expanding our Blog audience, we’ve made the jump into Facebook a few months ago, and that’s been successful by any measure. I’m wary of spreading the audience too thin, or making them run around to every new website or application that opens up. On the wider PlayStation front, a number of studios and titles like LittleBigPlanet, Insomniac, SOCOM, and Killzone 2 have all established or continued to grow communities recently. We’re happy to send readers there whenever possible.

Will the PS Blog, eventually use the “portable ID” that has recently been implemented into

In one way or another, yes. We will be part of the “Single Sign On” process that recently took place on the PlayStation Underground and forums. We’ve just been working out a way to do so without alienating our current userbase. The last thing I want to do is say ‘from now on you’ve got to do it this way, and you have no choice in the matter.’

Will there be more developers participating in posting articles on the blog, similar to Metal Gear Mondays?

Absolutely. Since we launched Metal Gear Mondays in the Spring, we’ve seen Criterion (Burnout Paradise) establish a presence on the blog, as well as Capcom. We’re working on a number of partnerships as well. In fact, a number of household names working on blockbusters just came up in conversation today. Of course, with SCE’s huge stable of content.

Does the PS Blog work with all of Sony Computer Entertainment or is it specifically SCEA?
While we’re based at SCEA, we speak almost daily with SCEI, SCEJ, or SCEE when appropriate.
Will we ever see content from other territories on the PS blog?

That’s something we’re exploring currently. Again, trying to find out the best way to handle that, so that readers don’t get inundated with info that doesn’t apply to them.

If you could change anything about the PS blog, what would it be?

Actually, with our platform (WordPress) we *can* change anything, and frequently do. So wishful thinking + time = reality. I’ve got a great team here, and we’ll continue to refine the experience.

The PS Blog was a huge inspiration for me to create PlayStation LifeStyle. Do you think since the PS Blog opened, it has inspired other PS fans to create their own blogs?

Well thank you Anthony. I don’t know if this blog is an inspiration, per se, but maybe there are some good practices to learn from. Really, for me, the love of games is my inspiration.

Do you feel that fans truly understand Sony’s goals for the PS3?

I’d imagine that those who have purchased a PS3 and are happy with it certainly have.

Now for our signature “LifeStyle” question… What is your favorite food? I’m guessing Tacos, considering the King Taco event you hosted…

Well I do love a good taco, but most of my favorite foods are Chinese/Cantonese. I love dim sum, and go for at pretty much every week. You should try it if you’ve never been.

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions.

NP, thanks for reading!!

Sev and Jeff at King Taco.  Photography by LinuxGuru
Sev and Jeff at King Taco. Photography by LinuxGuru