Tanks Encyclopedia is a resource that is aiming to become the first online Tank Museum. The site presents the tactics, battles, technology and evolution of tanks and armored vehicles worldwide from their origin through World War I, World War II, the Cold War and contemporary conflicts. Tanks Encyclopedia is currently comprised of more than 30 active writers, illustrators and team members. You can learn more at tanks-encyclopedia.com or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Today, Lucian Stan, Team Manager of Tanks Encyclopedia, speaks with us:
Can you give us the brief history on Tanks Encyclopedia, including how it got started?
Tanks Encyclopedia is a website about armored fighting vehicles from the whole planet since they got started. Actually the first vehicle we have found designed, scribbled is 1855. There weren’t even cars, there weren’t even combustion engines and people were already thinking of doing warry stuff, they had steam engines back then. The website is now seven or eight years old it was started by David Bocquelet, who is our main illustrator he started it as a search engine optimization teat and a place to put his amazing illustrations on. I came on about a year after that and offered to help him with his English and with his articles doing some proof-reading and since then the team has ballooned we’re currently at thirty or forty people doing writing of articles, editing, illustrations, colorizations, 3-D models, YouTube videos, social media, whatever we can – we’re actually doing a magazine right now which the second number should be coming out next month. So, yeah we’ve expanded a lot and basically the project took a life of it’s own from a point onwards.
What’s your role within the site?
I’m basically the guy who keeps the trains on time. I connect with everybody and make sure everybody coordinates to a point because we don’t a hard scheme we are all volunteers, we all work in our free time, when we want, if we want, and what we want and basically just keeping in touch with everyone and making sure we’re not overlapping, that we’re working together and what we can work together and everything that is vital functions.
So for example we publish three times a week and I work with a team to make sure we have what to publish every three day area, every time I make sure we get everything on social media, and all that ki9nd of stuff. I’m basically behind-the-scenes you don’t see me but if you do see me I’m doing the firefighting role, something has gone wrong and I have to fix it.
Have you partnered with any brands thus far, and can you tell us about how these brand partnerships work?
So on YouTube we have a modeling series basically one of our members is doing model kits and we have received some companies sent us some models to do for them and of course we are telling it’s from them thank you very much for offering we’ll still tell you if something is wrong because we are not selling our soul to the brand. We have worked with Italeri and I think IBG models until now we are talking to a couple more companies. We have also discussed ad partnerships with some gaming companies, with Bovington Tank Museum, which is I think one of the biggest in the world, and we also have a lot of authors are published book authors so we advertise their books. We say look this guy works for us you know his articles, they’re free you can read them, he made this book maybe you’re interested have a look”. And, yeah we’re working with publishers, book publishers as well this is mostly the area we can work in: museums, publishers, gaming companies and model kits.
Who is your target demographic?
No we’re not very high level again we’re all amateurs. There’s a couple of us that are actual historians there’s a couple of us who are book authors but the idea is accessibility to a large degree. So when an article goes through editing you will get weird terms or very specific terms at time and every time an editor will say what is this. So common joe who comes and read this article will see that this tank had a mantlet. What is a mantlet, tell me, show me, put a picture, say something so that this average joe can know what we are talking about. We don’t want to only talk to specialists or historians because then we’d have probably then zero audience. Yeah, we are talking to everyone who is interested in tanks and warfare in general and history, yeah. Or just people who want to come in and see the pretty pictures that also an option.
Have you had the opportunity to interact with Veterans that have firsthand experience with these tanks?
We have had Veterans come and leave comments. We have contacted them back because they sometimes come with some very interesting information and we want to find out more. So there are vehicles for which is not that much published or there’s just some things you can’t find out except if you worked with that thing. There’s some peculiarity that just don’t get in the writing so we often went aft6er Veterans and try to talk to them.
We haven’t done interviews per se until now. I don’t know if we’re considering it but basically any sort of this site project it has to have someone volunteer for it and just push it along because if you just add something and leave it in such a project it’s useless
What are some goals for the site as it pertains to influencer marketing or growth in general?
We would like to develop up to a point into was basically a place in which we would review kits, games, books, [and] movies. Tell people look this is good but it’s inaccurately from the story good point of view, this is historically accurate but completely boring, this is amazing so stuff like this would be our goal up to a point because there’s a lot of interest. So for example interest in tanks in the last ten years has been massively driven by games. So there’s games like World of Tanks, War Thunder, Armored Warfare there’s a lot of games that come and have tanks and you’ll have people that join one of these games, play with a tank, and then they wane to find out more and usually they just go and Google and we’re the second or third result. And yeah, we like to talk to these game people and tell them “oh you like that here’s something else interesting for you” or “here’s some information you might be interested in”. And yeah, going back in that direction we don’t I think we are playing with the idea of becoming a book publishers ourselves at some point but that’s really far off. Otherwise that would be our plan as you said as influencers. But yeah, basic idea is at the end of the day being historical is the end game everything else is a bonus.