How to Create a Better Community on AS: Discussion

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What kind on Roleplay Competition would you like to see in 2020?

1x1 Competition
19
48%
Group Roleplay Competition
3
8%
Both types running at the same time
18
45%
 
Total votes: 40
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loomis
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Re: How to Create a Better Community on AS: Discussion

Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:51 am

hello! :-) i'm here to speak on an entirely different topic, the group roleplays. you can look through every post on the yellow pages list and almost all of them have little or no activity, especially as it gets further from it's posting date. (2014) even after the thread was revamped, only two people have posted on it. i understand the anxiousness that people can get from a group scene instead of a one on one interaction, but i've noticed that sharing a collective bond for something can help people get out of their "one on one" mindset. now you can't make users act a certain way, but a few beginning group roleplays can start encouraging more, especially if it has friendly ( or commonly known) members.
i feel like encouragement (from staff and users) for more group role-play will cause members who want to meet others spur that behavior. instead of chatting with someone over pm or a thread (like the great hall), you can do so while writing and getting to know the various random people in your roleplay. i've seen it mentioned several times that the advanced scribes community is rather unfriendly, and i partially agree. more than two people being able to bond over a shared interest in the form of writing (which is what this site is meant for) will cause more users to know each-other & branch out. maybe even more user activity because people feel comfortable. i feel like that will cause a more friendly user base. it's sad to me because i haven't seen a single (active) group roleplay on this site.

plus, the activity of group roleplays and users interacting can bring more advertising benefits. people viewing the website will see users collaborating and sharing their love of writing. to me, that sounds like a great website to join! :]
instead, right now, i mostly see one on ones where not everyone is active, me included.
maybe this could be enforced by group roleplay competitions, and going off of astrals suggestion, with the individual prizes, maybe the whole group gets a badge or something?
i feel like the only con that can come out of this are "cliques." maybe disagreements, but disagreements are bound to happen, no matter the situation. if you have a website with a large community of users, then you'll always have drama somewhere. however, i've seen several users claim that there are already cliques on this website, so not much would change either way. this would be hard to "enforce" but the change would impact the website.

i apologize if anything is incorrect, i'm not extremely active on this site and have just mentioned what i've individually seen! this is my idea and opinion though lol, but hopefully you see where i'm coming from!
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Re: How to Create a Better Community on AS: Discussion

Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:51 am

      • i feel like part of the struggle for the site when it comes to group roleplays is that people don't really have the time to dedicate to them. a lot of the group rps that are made don't make it past the character sheets being established because there's not enough interest or people lose interest because they tend to take really long to get off the ground. when there's only two people to collaborate, it's easier to get things rollings. but when there's more, especially in situations where there's a lot of members, there's a lot of waiting involved for everyone to make a post. and a lot of the rps in that section are technically active. i'm part of a couple that the members all consider active, but they go slowly because posts are made only every month or even longer because people are busy with their lives. that's just sort of the reality of literate group rps. i don't think that there's much the staff can do to encourage activity in this section. the group rp competitions are fun tho and maybe it would increase activity in that aspect of the site a little bit if we had more than one a year.
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Re: How to Create a Better Community on AS: Discussion

Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:49 pm

I’ve never posted here before, but on the topic of group RPs, I think the only way that would make them more active is if the literacy rate was lower for JUST group RPs. If the minimum for a group rp post was more along the lines of a single paragraph (5-7 lines), it wouldn’t take as much time to make a post. 1 liners still not being allowing, no less than 5 lines (not sure the word count because I don’t bother with counting words). Maybe more than 5, but make the requirement less than what’s required for the 1x1s. It’s hard to have a group RP when everyone has to post such a large amount, even if they’re only responding to a single character in a conversation, or even a group of characters since you can’t control what everyone is doing. Like writing a novel with a group. One or two partners it works out, but any more than that is too many cooks in the kitchen.


As for people not replying, maybe have a button that will automatically send a message “sorry, I’m not interested in this right now”. Example being if someone messaged me about a topic I no longer want because I lose the muse or have a few already, I just click a single bottom (near the bottom, where it says “send” “save draft”, and that message sends. Takes 2 seconds maybe. Maybe more people would use that, since they wouldn’t feel the need to have to type out an awkward rejection?
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Re: How to Create a Better Community on AS: Discussion

Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:45 pm

We also feel the same sadness about the group RP sections not being as active as we would like them to be. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot that we can do to force users to participate in them more often or frequently. Many find it easier to collaborate with one, maybe two, people at a time and thus focus on 1x1s and small, private group RPs. I think you guys have brought up some interesting points and suggestions though.

With Pirate's statement, what I have observed align with what she's said. When I first joined this site, I was in high school and I'm sure that a majority of the users who joined during that time were as well. And of course, we grew up, went to college, started working, etc. So our priorities got shifted and in turn we're left with less time to indulge in the things we like to do. Group RPs require quite a bit of collaboration and it's certainly much easier to collaborate 1x1 with a partner. And, if you need to be gone for an extended period of time, you can tell your partner and not worry about falling behind in a RP or having people wait on you because you have a character that is important to progressing the RP along. A lot of people have a tendency to lose interest when things take too long to get going or if they have to wait long periods in between posts in order to post again. If they don't have to wait, they may return and have a lot to catch up on. It's a difficult thing to balance.

However, I do think this can also be improved if we have more new members coming in. I think it would help to liven up that area of the site up. We've been looking into ways to advertise more and hope to start implementing this very soon.

We could certainly try to encourage more activity via group RP competitions, however in the past we have seen that one or two groups stay dedicated while the other eventually falls behind because a member drops out or things slow down. I believe we've done the group RP competition two or three times and I recall there being issues of members not replying or dropping out -- in which then, the member had to be replaced so that each group had the same number of people posting. Though...the competition can always be tweaked and thought out even more to make this work I'm sure. This is definitely something that can be thought out.

In regards to lowering the literacy rate for the group RPs, I'm not sure if that would really work. AS is considered a literate site. It's an interesting idea that has been considered, but the overall minimal literacy requirement for posts is 300-400+ words per character. If we were to lower the literacy rate for only group RPs, it would be unfair compared to 1x1 and small group RPs.

Also! If you guys haven't seen the threads already, there are two very important threads put up. Please check them out!

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Re: How to Create a Better Community on AS: Discussion

Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:21 pm

so i was thinking on the subject of relaying information to all of the users on the site since some people have mentioned that they don't feel like they're informed about the goings on of the site (and therefore don't feel as involved in the community). i know that the staff has made attempts with the scrolling banner and the information posted in the sidebar. however, i've noticed in regards to myself, that since they are on every page in the periphery, i have become desensitized to it and don't really pay attention to it very often because the information is pretty static for long periods of time (which is no fault of the staff!), so i don't look too closely at it, especially since i look at the website every day. i also don't look at the board index very often because i keep my tab open to the "view my post" page and jump around to the various threads i am active on from there, so i don't notice when things are posted in the announcements section. being a part of the discord has helped because i am immediately notified when staff posts an announcement on there. however, i know that not nearly every user on the website is on the discord server. because of that, it made me think that maybe if there was a way to send a notification to every user when an announcement is posted, more people would look at it. i was looking at the "views" count on the announcements thread and there is a significant disparity between the ratio of users who have viewed the recent announcements (like the survey results and the resignation letters) compared to the total users on the site. i understand that the overall member total (6000+) is not an accurate picture of how many active members there are, but even if the number of active users was as low as 500 on average, that would mean that only 80% of users viewed the "house poll" thread and less than 50% have viewed the "resignation" and "changing of the guard" threads. and those view totals are inaccurate because multiple members could have viewed the thread multiple times, so the percentage is probably lower. i feel like if an announcement triggered the notification bell icon, then more users would see it. i know the staff have concerns about being too overbearing in their communications, but i don't think that function would be considering its sole intention is to inform all the members and keep them up to date. of course, i don't know if that is possible on the back end, but i figured i might as well put the idea forth since i haven't noticed it mentioned on here in the thread summary.

i also agree that it's disappointing to see that such a small amount of users participated in the survey, especially when it feels like there have been way more than that who have been voicing their opinions about changes they think should be made to the site. i can definitely empathize with the staff's frustration that so many people will voice that they don't like how certain aspects of the site are, but they won't offer any possible solutions or suggestions of what they want to see, even when there have been plenty opportunities to do so anonymously. they leave the task to the staff, who constantly ask for user input, and then when the staff makes a change in an attempt to make things better, a whole bunch of users get up in arms because that isn't the way they wanted things to change. i think that there has been a lot of blame placed on the staff that is undeserved. yes, the staff execute the changes to the site and are responsible for fostering community and keeping the peace, but it's also the responsibility for us as users to participate in the community. there's only so much the staff can do when the majority of users who want a better community aren't willing to put in the work themselves. is the staff perfect? no, they have their faults, past and present, because they are human. they are trying to make things better and listen to the users. we as users also have to take some responsibility for the changes we want. being a community means participating on the site, and the staff can't magically make that happen by themselves. i know i am guilty of not participating as much on community parts of the site because of how dead they seem, but if everyone thinks that way, then it will remain dead. those of us who want to see a better community have to commit to making it so ourselves and hold some accountability for the overall decline in activity. it's been mentioned that we need to attract new members to the site to encourage participation, but new users aren't going to want to join if the current members aren't willing to make the site a place they themselves want to be.
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Re: How to Create a Better Community on AS: Discussion

Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:12 pm

You bring up a very fair point in regards to ‘sidebar blindness’ and missing updates. Staff has been trying to update the sidebar more frequently lately. It is interesting that you mention the notifications for announcements. Actually I worked on implementing this feature a long time ago (right before I became an overseer again). However, we never enabled the feature because at the time we were talking to Ellimist about the issues we had with the search bar, and I didn’t want to risk anything.

Now that you reminded us of this feature, we will get it off the shelf and dust it off. I think that it will be a beneficial addition to AS, especially for announcements that people should be aware of. So thank you for bringing it back up! It is good to get feedback from the users as well.

Like everyone else on staff, I strive to improve the functionality of AS for all of the userbase, and often I find myself taking a step back because it can be hard to gauge what the users want. There is often a big difference between what I (or we, as staff) want for the userbase, and what the users actually want themselves. That is why we have been opening up surveys lately, because we are trying to improve. I know that in the past things haven’t always gone too well, but with the recent changes we hope that some of these things can be ironed out and avoided in the future. Please know that I (and the rest of staff) are listening to the feedback and wants to act on it where applicable. We want to make AS a place that everyone enjoys, but like mentioned it is hard to do that when it is uncertain how people would like for things to change. Hopefully some good changes are coming, and help us take a few steps forward into a better AS for everyone.
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Re: How to Create a Better Community on AS: Discussion

Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:55 pm

yay, i'm glad i could help! you are not the only one who's good at pestering, deer ;p

i am really looking forward to the changes coming and i hope other members will get excited as well, especially since i think a healthy channel has been opened here to talk things out in a judgement free space.
to the stars who listen
i'm pirate, unofficial as mom and high
fantasy trash. if you wanna talk dungeons
and dragons, faeries, or life in general,
hmu via pms or discord.

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Irios Atelis
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Re: How to Create a Better Community on AS: Discussion

Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:11 am

Is there a way we can opt out of these new notifications? I really just prefer not to have them pop up in my notifications bar and would rather keep updated at my own discresion. I'm not saying to remove them or anything, I'm just asking if we can have a possible opt-out?
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Re: How to Create a Better Community on AS: Discussion

Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:16 am

Irios Atelis wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:11 am
Is there a way we can opt out of these new notifications? I really just prefer not to have them pop up in my notifications bar and would rather keep updated at my own discresion. I'm not saying to remove them or anything, I'm just asking if we can have a possible opt-out?
Hi there!
There is not a way to opt out of the new notification system. While I can see why some people may dislike having them pop up in their feed, we see the gain as bigger as the inconvience that some may experience because of this. Please note that the feature will not be used for all updates or mentions. Only the ones staff deems important for everyone to absolutely be aware of will have a notification.
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