Jump to content
Karland

To capitalize on the population boom

Recommended Posts

Honourable Officer of Immigration, other Officers, Senators and citizens who have chosen to waste their time with this thread...

I'm not sure what tone to take with this thread, we're about to find out if I'm even logical in my thought processes, but I thought it might be necessary to voice my thoughts on the issue of all these new nations, and maybe that we should be doing something. Please think of this as a request to think about something rather than a formal request as such.

My first point is not a new concern - I've noticed this throughout my time here. Very few nations who sign up to our forum stay beyond the first few weeks. There are some who do, but then manage to disappear. There are those who take off after a few days of looking around. And then there are far too many who never return after the day they arrived. I'm using the 'Last Seen' feature on people's profiles. Most of you have had this experience in other regions, probably feeders and/or sinkers, and see this there too. You may not think it too much of a problem, but proportionately, we're probably losing too many nations like this. Think about it, who was the last newbie who stayed on, committed, after his first few weeks here, and is still with us today?

This is an issue now more than ever because few of the newbies we've had recently, have come on to the forums. Most of them have done what I've just described above. There are too few people staying and having a gander around the forums outside of the Welcome section. Kudos to Datford, New Kixjaq, and anyone else from the boom I may have missed, for staying on with us.

Have you also noticed people who make threads claiming to 'be back' after a hiatus? They leave again. Very soon; too soon.

There's no point in us rejoicing about our surge (which is falling swiftly as of late, might I say) without giving a thought to making the most of it.

So what's our problem?

We're not engaging enough. In my opinion, anyway. We're not making new members of the forum feel part of the community. There are too many 'more complicated' things going on, like Senatorial discussions and I'm sure nobody needs reminding of a certain appeal. We have to bear in mind a considerable percentage of new people haven't been playing the game for long. If they don't find the help they need here, then they will leave, and find a better region.

But that's just for those who manage to get onto the forum. If you go a step back, we get to the point where new nations join the region, but do not create a forum account. Felasia had a valiant attempt at 'naturalizing' nations. Unfortunately, this didn't catch on much. I am very guilty of this myself, for which I publicly apologise as I simply did not do it, using not understanding the new TG system as an excuse.

What can we do about this?

I'm glad you asked. I had a few things in mind.

  • Restart the Mentor Program
  • Refurbish the Welcoming section
  • Encourage more member-with-member fun
  • Naturalization

Restarting the Mentor Program

Yeah, we already have a thread. Yeah, it's not completely dormant. But no, it's not obvious it's still in use. No, I think new players probably may be deterred if they do see it. It lacks a certain sense of officialness, if you want a reason. I'd like to see the Program completely restarted, with a few people volunteering to be mentors. Of course, I myself would love to be the first. It might be nice to get to the point where you hear of a new player joining the forum and one of your immediate thoughts is either 'hope they've found the mentor thread' or 'hey, I'll take them under my wing'.

As well as this, abolish the old thread. As has been pointed out in a post in the thread itself, the thread is old and completely outdated. It needs to be archived, or deleted. If you're an anti-archivist or whatever, fine, I'm OK with keeping it there, but locked. A new thread is needed. If not, then really, is it useful using a thread where the first five or so pages are pretty redundant?

If you do have a stance against archiving, I guess you won't like the next point either.

Refurbish the Welcoming forum

(Referring to the sticky threads). By that, I mean we need to take out whatever we don't need and put in everything we do need. The Welcoming section is the newbie's first experience with the forum. If they don't like it, they're instantly going to be put off.

We have Tycho's guide to Equilism and NS as a sticky, and though it's full of wonderful information, it lacks all the details newbies need about what Equilism as a region is right now. The Forum Admins thread is, I think, outdated, but it shouldn't be too difficult to just edit the post. I don't even know what the point of the Sign In thread is.

For now, the E-Army recruitment thread seems to be OK in staying there. The only somewhat useful threads seem to be the current Mentor thread, which has some activity now and again, the Q&A, which is also not much used, and the FAQ thread we put together a short while back - but not even that is comprehensive as a full guide to a new member.

We need one or two more comprehensive guides for NS and for Equilism as a region. These will be the first threads new players read. They'll learn all the wonderful things about us as a community which has been going strong for so many years, and that we only occasionally bite our new players. From here their career in Equilism begins, and from hereon out they'll start having fun with the rest of the us. Speaking of which...

Encourage more member-member fun

Alright, this one's probably the one most difficult to justify as we have all sorts of game threads, several Bars (lol) and the role-plays too. The thing is, I'm not sure we're doing enough. Where other regions may have 'general discussion' forums, we have the Open Debate board, which isn't quite the same. In the regions I'm ambassador to, it's easier to have a place like GD to put aside NS/regional matters and just talk with region-mates.

Then of course, holding events, etc. We seem to have missed a few holidays from that public holiday act thing we passed in the Senate a short while ago.

Naturalization

Yeah, not much to say about this besides I think we need to do it more. Hold incentives, have competitions, etc. It's obviously not as vital as recruitment, though one might argue in our current situation they hold equal weight, but it's something I think the region could be better off by doing. More people on the forum is always a good thing. Plus, the forum is where we really need them. From the activity on the RMB, it's evident these guys would love to get involved!

Phew, he says, as he realises the wall of text he's just written. I didn't quite realise I had this much to say. I'd have gone ahead and started putting into place all that I've recommended here, but I thought this might be better as a regional effort - if you guys approve. There's every chance this is going to be shot down as me trying to point out a problem that may not be of similar priority (or even exist) to you guys. There are some things which would be infinitely more efficient and effective with assistance from veterans and moderators. In which case, I'd be happy to do as much as I can myself and hope it makes a difference.

So, what do we make of this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know Im rather new to Equilism, I wasn't part of the boom, but i was one of the nations you described to be here for a couple weeks then go on a short hiatus, come back, and... well i don't plan on leaving anytime soon...

But, I like what your saying. When I first joined in October (or whenever it was), one of the things i had problems with was integrating into the discussions that seemed too complex, or had been going on for years, because I felt they too much for a newbie to be joining into.

So I think it would be a great idea to bring this "Mentor Program" in (Or start it back up), along with the other things you suggested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with you entirely, Karland and implore you to take any steps necessary to get this going.

You're so right and this is so important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I support this fully, and will obviously sign up as a mentor.

I'll try to comment something useful when I'm more awake, but your right on most every count.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed as well - and this is something I would love to help out with over the summer, which for me will begin in two or three weeks, when my sixty pages of writing will perhaps finally be over. :P

Here are some very specific things I think would help a lot:

1) Departmental sign-up threads in the welcome forum, one per department. They should give a description of that department, what it does, who's involved, and how people can get involved. For FA, that might be a more formalized, "sign up to be an ambassador!" while for DA it could be a bit more casual, "post about interesting topics/RP/sign up to help plan events!" I know that I like to learn a bit more about potential ambassadors before bringing them in, so I've been PMing interested members a short little questionnaire and a description of what being an ambassador entails - that could also go in such a thread, and have them send their answers directly to the Officer.

2) In the Senate, a pinned thread with a legislative agenda that any senator can post in to have items added - whether they're serious ideas or off-the-cuff musings. The CM would keep track of the list, and mark items based on their status (proposed, in drafting, passed, rejected, etc). I think that would give new (and old!) members a way they can get involved in if they're not quite comfortable jumping into a 6-page thread on whatever topic is currently at hand - whether that's tossing up a draft for an idea on the list, or just proposing an idea and seeing the reception.

3) Redo departments, so that anybody can pop into the public subforum and know where they should post whatever their post is. Update stickies with the latest information, unpin unneeded or repetitive threads, and generally make the forums attractive and easy to navigate. Along with this, perhaps encourage more structure within the offices themselves, to give people a task they feel important doing. FA has Ambassadors and Deputies, but could add things like Update Writer, Image Editor, that sort of thing. Heck, if I had people interested in helping out, I could even add some more sections to the update, both humorous and serious. DA has to the best of my knowledge one deputy currently, but Hama could open things like Event Designer (either logistical planning or graphical theming), Interregional Coordinator, Naturalization Officer, Mentor, Game Guru, etc. So basically, rather than toss new members into the wild with "go post, young jedi!" and leaving them overwhelmed, we could be like "You like coming up with ideas? Okay, you're our new Game Guru! Go check out our current spam games and come up with some fun new ideas or ways to improve what we've got!" I think this would help people feel valued and that they can contribute something tangible to the region.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the hearty approval, guys!

Asta: You've gone a step ahead of what I was thinking of achieving in the short term, but those are the ideas I was hoping to move on to as I got this stuff into motion. The forum needs a bit of a makeover, probably structured around your third bullet point more than others. I'd support it entirely.

The Mentor Program, in its first post, says it was under the command of Domestic Affairs. I'm currently awaiting on Hama and if she may like to take control of a modern Program - as well as her opinion on the other points, of course - if not, then I'd be glad to take charge.

Edited by Karland

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bravo! Agreed on all points!

The Mentor Program would make sense under the new Home Office, and I'm just Hama would love either to appoint a deputy, and show all the young'uns their way around the forum. More people who know about our games and RPs, and seeing how large and rich our community is the better, I would even sign up to be a Mentor if need be... if only so I could call someone "My young Padawan :P"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There's no point in us rejoicing about our surge (which is falling swiftly as of late, might I say) without giving a thought to making the most of it.

Just to respond to this point, we were (or should have been; I was at least) expecting a sharp drop at exactly this time - 28 (and a few) days after April Fool's, when the nations and puppets who were yanked in start to CTE. We only went down about... 100 nations overall? I'd expect another wave to hit us at the end of the month, when the 60-day vacation period wears off, but I wouldn't take that as an indication of failure on our part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly, I think our numbers will still be at over 600 as our population at the beginning of zombie days was 330? and by the end we were at 615? even if those were all puppets which we know weren't, we've still rose to about 825 nations... even taking away the 285 possible puppets we got we've still seen an over increase of about 210 nations which is nothing to shirk at... so we'd still be look at over 500 natural nations which again is no small amount and is still something to capitalize on

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, we will have overall considerably more nations by the end than we did before, but I was referring to this sort of thing:

nq5oax.png

...which means more non-puppet nations are leaving.

Granted, a few of those probably were puppets. But I've still been seeing nations leave pretty quickly after joining, just like that. If we naturalised more then maybe a few more would stay, and we would have even more to capitalize on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All except the most recent one you shouldn't worry about - three are mine, and B Wolf was recently banned from TNP and was region hopping for giggles. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beep boop late as usual

I'd be happy to have the mentor program under the wing of the Home Office. It sounds like we should make a replacement thread for it and archive or unsticky the old one. I can make the replacement thread, but I'd need a little clarification on what exactly mentors are supposed to do, because I never had one myself :P I'll make a thread for signing up to be a mentor in the Home Office right now.

I also agree with remodeling the welcome forum. I'm not sure whether we should abolish the "sign in" thread entirely, since it's a low-impact way to make your presence known if you're shy of making an entire thread dedicated to yourself. But it does seem kind of redundant when people already do make threads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to take stock of our situation regarding Kar's excellent suggestions. Where are we now, what has been implemented and what's still missing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Mentor Program seems to have started up again...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I've been taking care of mentors, although it doesn't seem to be killing anyone that I haven't made a new sign-up-for-mentors thread, so maybe I'll just leave it. *goes to examine subforum*

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm hoping that by getting this year's edition of the EWC up and running we might be able to lure some newcomers on to the forum for that. Also, is it me, or has our population plateaued/gone in to slight decline lately?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm getting that feeling too. I'll plan on getting back to recruiting tonight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm hoping that by getting this year's edition of the EWC up and running we might be able to lure some newcomers on to the forum for that. Also, is it me, or has our population plateaued/gone in to slight decline lately?

And I've instructed Officers to clean up forums under their purview. *coughs meaningfully*

Yeah, I've been taking care of mentors, although it doesn't seem to be killing anyone that I haven't made a new sign-up-for-mentors thread, so maybe I'll just leave it. *goes to examine subforum*

Hurray for team effort! :D

The only reason that I suggested a new MP thread be made was to make the sub-forum look a bit tidier, as we have quite a few pages in the original thread and it's like from another eon or something, etc. but if it ain't broke, feel free not to fix it.

I'm getting that feeling too. I'll plan on getting back to recruiting tonight.

Might want to coordinate with Asta on that - not sure if her script is auto or not.

Regarding the aims of this thread:

Restart the Mentor Program - 'close enough.' Newbies don't seem to be deterred by it, so it seems fine.

Refurbish the Welcoming section - I have to admit I haven't succeeded much in this area. This is due to time constraints (which is responsible for other setbacks too) as well as a message to Tycho regarding his now outdated guide that has, of yet, received no response. If anyone could provide assistance with regards to updating his account of Equilism's history (2009 May, establishment of the Confederation, to present day needed) then that would be most helpful.

Encourage more member with member fun - Our newbies seem to be doing that awfully well by themselves :). I'm glad to see interest in the Uni & the EBC revived, though others are more responsible for it than I so I'm weary of treading on toes. And of course, Monk has just told us the EWC is back (a thread I'm about to check straight after this one) which is great.

Naturalization - I was hoping for more of a rota with this. Perhaps switch around recruiters and naturalizers, that sort of thing, if we have recruiters again as well. I'm perfectly happy doing either by myself, but as you may have noticed recently, my efforts have had to have been spaced out a bit.

Departmental sign up threads - Hmm, this was kinda already done, but I'm guessing Asta was asking for things a little bit more explicit per each department.

Legislative agenda in the Senate - Accomplished! (Thanks Kubrik.)

Redo the departments to make them look better & easier to navigate - I trust the Chairman's advisory to the Officers will mean this goal too will be accomplished soon.

Overall, I'd say not bad. But there's still work to be done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Naturalization - I was hoping for more of a rota with this. Perhaps switch around recruiters and naturalizers, that sort of thing, if we have recruiters again as well. I'm perfectly happy doing either by myself, but as you may have noticed recently, my efforts have had to have been spaced out a bit.

Absolutely, it's by no means the idea for you to carry this on your own. Maybe create a rota here in the Immigration Office? I'll promise the Officers will participate ;) and we could keep the sign-up free for anyone. Include a template for the message and we're all set.

Legislative agenda in the Senate - Accomplished! (Thanks Kubrik.)

It was a good idea, my pleasure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our recruitment script is entirely automatic. Every three minutes, it pokes NS and sends a telegram to the newest created nation in its database that it has not yet telegrammed. It is not impossible to recruit manually on top of this, but I have not figured out a good way to do this yet that would not involve wasted effort.

Here's my take on the population issue: When we started, our script was one of the very few out there, and we had a distinct advantage. We're now facing increased competition from a great many other regions, and it is to be expected that our success rate will diminish accordingly. Even in the absence of other scripts, though, there's a diminishing return to recruitment where the number of people who CTE every update will level out with the number of new nations you're bringing in.

We're still holding relatively steady, and that means that we're continuing to bring in new nations - what we need to focus on now is keeping them here and getting them active, so they don't just CTE in a month. Sending a naturalization/welcome TG is one way to do this, keeping the RMB active is another, the delegate sending a weekly TG with news and information is another, and so on. This is the thing to focus on now - what can we do to show people who've decided to give us a chance how awesome we are?

Being the 12th largest region, and the 3rd largest UCR, is neat and all... but I'd give up half our inactive nations in an instant in exchange for another few active forum members.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×