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Hosts Program
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Sulissurn
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The spirit and the idea of an RDI host evolved into, and I agree with it being said here, to interact and get the RP going.

But I also want us all to think about that.

Why did we, a collection of role players, need someone else to shoulder the burden of getting us to write together?

Someone to watch the room for rule breaking? Sure! But someone to be there just to hold our hands and go, "ok, now yoooou say hi to this person and yoooou say hi to that person..." I dunno, call me old and crusty and grumpy and unicorn princess queen kitten, but I kinda think having our RP handed to us on a platter is not helpin' the situation. Not to mention those darn new kids on our lawn.

That's our damn job as a community member, plain and simple. If you want to rp, you need to rp.

I for one, (as Ex-Host Risa Jones) am happy about the decision, because no host can include 10-35+ people at all times. No host that I have watched over the years, myself included, could RP to every single thing in the room. No host can truly carry out their own personal story lines without someone getting accidentally missed (I have seen this so many times.)

So in the end, I like it. People were finding it stressful. The more people not having a stressful RP experience, the happier the RP people.



This Opinion Was Brought To You By An Old Person That Hasn't RPed In A Few Years And Should Be Taken With a Grain of Salt ©

As long as people can point out anyone that pops up behind the bar now is not officially affiliated with the website and moderator/admin team, that is, keep on keepin' on.
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Senka
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never interacted with the hosts much. I do know there were some though that really depended on the hosts to kind of get their feet under them and get RPing.

Personally, I always preferred my character being able to get their drink rather than waiting in line, flagging down the tender, waiting 20 sends for other people to be answered, etc.

Then again I know at least 2 hosts who really really loved what they did and were really sad when it went away.

I am in the neutral zone. If they come back, cool. If they don't, cool.
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Mallory
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JewellRavenlock wrote:
I've been a Host for two different stretches of time during two very different periods for this community.

I agree with Jochin that we likely need a program like this more than ever. The smaller the community gets, the harder it is to break in and find engagement. Without engagement quickly, how many people are likely to stick around?

Not everyone needs the Hosts, but if there are people who still do, and I think there are, then I think we need them.

I do want to address this problem though:
Quote:
I understand some Hosts have had not so positive experiences with being hosts. I'm sorry if you were disrespected. I'm sorry if RP became more of a job because you didn't enjoy hosting. But there should have been open lines of communication when this started to happen. There should have been a frank or not so frank discussion on DM on this before it got to the point that the program was axed before anyone knew it was in jeopardy.


You're absolutely right. We should have had that discussion.

I had some poor experiences as a Host. Plenty of players missed, what I thought was, the point of having a Host in the room: engaging people in play. If my character missed a drink order from someone currently engaged with a group of people (you know, while I was busy interacting with someone who didn't have a group of friends hovering around them already), I got flack for it OOC. As if the most important purpose for a Host being there was to serve a drink IC.

If the Hosts come back? I think their purpose, their role, needs to be very clear to everyone. And if people complain that the Hosts aren't doing something they think they should be doing (but that action is not outlined in the Host Role Description) than they probably should be told flat out to quit their bitching by whoever they complain to.

On the topic of the role of Hosts, I agree with Mallory:
Quote:
I'd love to see the host program return in a different mode: limiting their responsibilities to reaching out to new players and in-character engagement.


Maybe I'm wrong, but we seem to be existing well enough without Hosts "policing" the community. (I really do mean I might be wrong on this one. Maybe I just haven't been in the Inn enough to see any problems?).

What we do need are people spearheading interactions. Making new people feel welcome. Helping to foster engagement. This could even extend outside of the chat. The Hosts on DM were the original event planners! I don't mean to restrict event planning just to the Hosts by any means (our community of players does an awesome job on their own), but if their goal is fostering play and engagement, there are several avenues to make that work.

The suggestion of having an NPC bartender (or several!) is great. I think it'd work even better along with a resurrected Host program. It would fill in the gaps for when the Hosts aren't there or even when there is a Host but they're very busy.


a) All of this. Very well said.

b) I am willing to put my time and energy into the new host program, assuming a revival occurs. Iím very into what Amal is describing so far, and I agree with Sal that those who support the idea of bringing hosting back should step up if they have the time and energy to do so.
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NorseLady
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to see an updated/newer version Host program return to the DM site!

I think having a Host to 'tend' the bar is a nice touch to the RP experience, and if a drink order is missed a courteous and respectful IM can be sent. Honestly, if the room is busy an order is bound to get missed every now and again. Certainly we can be mature about the situation.

Personally, I enjoyed interacting with the Host 'tenders', and made sure not to hog their time if the room was busy. Common sense folks.

I also miss those Hosted events that took place in the RDI or in the SEB. They were a joy for me, brought interaction between characters, gave characters something to talk about the next day/week/etc, or in Shy's case she usually wrote something about it in her journal. I gratefully thank those Hosts who were willing to hold them in the past! No, I do not expect that to be a requirement for the position. I think if a Host wants to add that to their shift, then more power to the player!

I think anyone who enjoys/enjoyed being a Host, has the time and energy to be a Host, and has the temperament to be a Host should let Amal know!


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Last edited by NorseLady on Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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darling
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not big on the hosting program personally, but I also don't mind if it returns reinvented.

I see previously it was mentioned a host got flack for missing someone's drink order (but the person in question was busy with a group of friends and didn't need a helping hand story-wise). I think that may be because if a host is present, most writers don't feel free to treat the RDI as it is normally (i.e. self-serve) without disrespecting the present host - so maybe allow the idea that there are also NPC assistant bartenders and servers?

That way, if the room is crowded, it could help not weigh down the host with obligatory surface interaction and they can focus where they are needed. Then a more established group can just vaguely say another bartender or barmaid filled their order. It could be Bess, or it could be anyone. This also prevents writers from feeling like they're in a queue waiting on the host in order to move things forward.

I never liked acknowledging Bess at the MT because I didn't like that NPC, but I also didn't mind if other people used her as long as they didn't mind if I preferred to say some nameless, interchangeable bartender or serving girl filled my character's order. Letting people decide individually helps them feel they are involved in shaping their own character's world instead of adhering strictly to someone else's idea which was what Rhydin was all about on AOL, I believe.

Just an idea! I'm not attached to it, I simply wanted to add to the discourse.
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Peaches
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really understand the need for a host and I never have. To me, it always seemed a bit more about policing or a need to be popular. Sorry if that sounds crass or rude.

The whole theory that a host is necessary to be involved and get others involved doesn't make sense to me, either. Why can't you as your character do that with out a moderators title such as a host? If it's about being more open to people who are new or on new characters, then it should just be up to those people to interact if they want, right? Isn't that the whole point of FFRP?

I'm not saying that people go out of their way to not include others but sometimes you're in the room to write with certain people, or maybe you're feeling especially anti-social, or maybe your character is a brooding type who just sips tea and thinks everyone smells.

To be fair, I suppose, I've had some pretty awful scenarios with hosts. I feel like the majority of the ones I have encountered attempted to abuse some form of power, but I also just feel like it's silly to insist someone be there at these times to make things more inviting. I don't mind the "self serving", either, because that in itself opens up the possibility for interactions when your own character can offer drinks, return to the patron side, bump into people, etc.
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darling
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peaches wrote:
The whole theory that a host is necessary to be involved and get others involved doesn't make sense to me, either. Why can't you as your character do that with out a moderators title such as a host?


I honestly had the same thought, but couldn't decide on how to phrase it tbh. Thinking about it, I felt like if certain writers wanted to go the extra mile to make sure newcomers felt welcomed and included, why they couldn't do it on a character of theirs or make one - I wasn't sure why it needed the title of host attached. When I first started writing online as a kid, I came up in the member chats and not the RDI chats. No one official welcomed me, but kind and interested writers included me and made me feel like I was part of it all.

Not to argue or disagree with anyone who feels differently, with all respect.

I forgot to add this to my previous post but another idea - for those that don't like the hosting program, maybe space it out some? That way for those that don't want to participate, it's not all the time like it was for awhile there in the past.
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Sira
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have written three separate, long-winded posts about this, but I'm just going to say this very simply:

I feel that RDI's strong point is a sense of community. Which I think the host program brings. I do not think hosts should be babysitters, enforcers, etc. However they can be guides, facilitators, and an opening point.

Guys, so maybe you like to play intrusive characters. I'm an extrovert. I have extroverted characters. You need to be downright forceful sometimes to break in. Maybe you are comfortable with expanding your play group. Others may not be. This is a conversation I have had with players here who have struggled to get traction--not everyone is a friendly player. There are players who openly state they won't play with people they don't know--and don't get me wrong, I understand why.

But the truth of the matter is that you have to remember the people behind the character, too. It's not easy for everyone to forge connections here OOC which absolutely 100% play into how people are received and reacted to IC.

I have recently run some community events. Without the help from the few folks I'm actually comfortable contacting privately I would have never been confident enough to get them off the ground.
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JewellRavenlock
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sira wrote:
I have written three separate, long-winded posts about this, but I'm just going to say this very simply:

I feel that RDI's strong point is a sense of community. Which I think the host program brings. I do not think hosts should be babysitters, enforcers, etc. However they can be guides, facilitators, and an opening point.

Guys, so maybe you like to play intrusive characters. I'm an extrovert. I have extroverted characters. You need to be downright forceful sometimes to break in. Maybe you are comfortable with expanding your play group. Others may not be. This is a conversation I have had with players here who have struggled to get traction--not everyone is a friendly player. There are players who openly state they won't play with people they don't know--and don't get me wrong, I understand why.

But the truth of the matter is that you have to remember the people behind the character, too. It's not easy for everyone to forge connections here OOC which absolutely 100% play into how people are received and reacted to IC.


This this this so many times over!

If we want our community to ever grow, even just a little, we absolutely have to be open to inviting people into the community and making them feel welcome. This isn't necessarily about our veteran players that already have an established circle to play within (though it can be used by them too).

It doesn't matter that we shouldn't have to do this. Yes, maybe it involves more hand-holding than we think we should have to give. It probably does. Most of us survived without hand holding, am I right? But if we are interested in this community surviving (and I am still very interested in that), then it needs to happen.

It's not about "We shouldn't have to hold their hands!"

It's about "We need to hold their hands, so let's do it!"

Are we seriously going to trust to the goodwill, motivation, and complete selflessness of random players to hopefully reach out and help new people? Involve them in interaction? Really? Because as Amal pointed out, that's not happening.

"Someone will draw that person into play, I'm busy writing with my friends." If that's the attitude we want to have? Then that random someone who is going to draw people into play shouldn't be just left up to hope and circumstance. It should be a Host.

If the general community doesn't want to step up and be more welcoming, that means we need Hosts even more than I thought.

And if you personally don't need the Host? Continue to do your thing and let the Host help the people who do need them.

ETA: I think the other thing we're missing here is that wanting a Host program is selfish in a way. I want a Host program to make sure there is someone, even if it's me on certain nights, looking out for new people so I can enjoy my play without having to always worry if I'm being welcoming every single time I play. "Oh, Host Jane is here? Cool, she'll handle greeting that new person and interacting with them so I can continue on with my awesome scene." The Host program delegates the responsibility to people willing to take it on.

It's also selfish because I like playing here and I want the community to survive. I think this is a way to help it survive.
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Delahada
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are all good responses. What Iím seeing is a lot of people agreeing that we donít need babysitters and hall monitors. What we need are mentors who are willing to be the welcome wagon. I admit Iím too old and crotchety, like Suliss, to be that person. I would like the idea of a mentor (host) program more if it came less with the assumption of ďa person of authorityĒ and more of a customer service concept. Someone there to help new people? Great!

I donít have an answer for Jochinís question, though. How do we make tbe Host program enjoyable for Hosts? I donít think we can. I think there are just people who come pre-equipped with a helpful disposition who actually want to take on that role, but they are rare. I know Iím not one of them. Iím utterly and unapologetically selfish in that regard. I just want to do my own thing. I donít at all worry about whether or not some new name in the room is actually new and boy maybe I should cut them some slack and have my character say hello.... No.

I have to agree a little with Jewell there. Hosts, or something, would be great for that purpose, taking the burden off the rest of the community. Iím pessimistic, though. I canít imagine the number of willing volunteers to be high. However, my opinion has changed. I wouldnít mind seeing the Host program returned IF it were less policing and more social service. I just fear for the burnout that comes with enduring overwhelming expectation. I donít wish that on anyone.
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Sulissurn
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JewellRavenlock wrote:


If the general community doesn't want to step up and be more welcoming, that means we need Hosts even more than I thought.


No. It means we need to take a good, long, hard look at our freakin' community members / each other and stop saying, "that's a great idea, I sure hope somebody (else) does it!" We need people that are willing to try--they don't need a Host / RDI / Keeper tag. Leaving it all up to one or 5 people is wrong, both for trying to run this website full of us opinionated passionate RP weirdos (She said, including herself, lovingly) and trying to keep us wrangled into interacting with one another.


Quote:
ETA: I think the other thing we're missing here is that wanting a Host program is selfish in a way. I want a Host program to make sure there is someone, even if it's me on certain nights, looking out for new people so I can enjoy my play without having to always worry if I'm being welcoming every single time I play. "Oh, Host Jane is here? Cool, she'll handle greeting that new person and interacting with them so I can continue on with my awesome scene." The Host program delegates the responsibility to people willing to take it on.

It's also selfish because I like playing here and I want the community to survive. I think this is a way to help it survive.


And again I point out, anyone can still do this without an official tag. Putting the pressure on select, hard working few seems completely bass-akwards from what the whole idea of a community of people, especially people who are supposed to be imaginative and creative, is supposed to be.

This is our playground. If someone's tossing garbage everywhere and everyone's complaining about the smell but nobody using the playground is willing to pick up some--how long do you think that playground will last, even IF they hire someone to clean it? How long before whomever is hired gets sick of having to do the same thing, day in and day out, over and over again, while everybody continues complaining about the stink?

Again, though, I am already to point fingers and laugh at myself, as this is coming from someone who lurks now, and doesn't play / might log in during Christmas and then leave again for a year. There's a reason for that, though, and one of the major parts of it is this feeling of frustration as to why a select few people are expected to carry the weight of being responsible for all of us, when it is those of us with the mental, physical fortitude and time off , whom should be responsible. Yes, US the most vocal, and YOU the one that loves the site but lurks and won't touch an OOC post because most of the time we like to set it on fire and then pee on it afterwards. (She said again, with much love.)

In the end though, I suspect the admins will do what they feel is right for them and this site. I do not doubt that they listen to us and take into consideration what we are saying, asking for, and whom is saying what...but...they will not be able to ever please everyone, they just have to make sure the majority is satisfied as well as their own wants and needs and go from there.


...And I think I blew enough hot air to fill a balloon. Time for me to peace out <3 Jewell, you obviously know I love your face. Just keep swimming. See you probably at Christmas! xD Or new years!
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Amaltea
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Way back in 1992 when I found AOL and bumped into the RDI I remember jumping behind the bar and bar tend (no RDI tag, no nothing) and RP and have fun with whoever was in the room. Then the actual host would come in and I would just go back to being a regular player. Took years for me to become an actual RDI. This is something people can do today. At any time.

I know how difficult and stressful it is to be a Host. Back then was different, there were lots of trolls that needed to be attended to. Sometimes I had a hard time getting in my shift because the chat was full. Sometimes there were 2 RDI rooms.

Here is not the same. We don't have that kind of player that would randomly come in the room to disrupt the chat. We have a filter to make things easier, but to this day some insist on ignoring and then get angry when they are called on it. This is one of the things the Hosts used to enforce, because even though you (collective you) want to be treated like an adult, you still insist on being a child. As you read this you might not like it, but it's the truth and it needs to be said.

You asked for a list of words you are not allowed to say, we gave you that list. Still insist on using words that are not on that list. Still get upset when called on it.

No, we cannot please everyone. That's true. But just like your parents had rules, just like your building/house/whereveryoulive has rules, just like there are laws for things you cannot do, we have rules. They are not that many and seriously, not that hard to follow them

Ok, I'm going a bit off topic here, but it's because I want to make a point. The Hosts used to police and babysit, because of this reason, and people decided to disrespect the Host instead of following the rules. Or decided "I'm not going to play when there's a Host in the room because I can't curse."

I am not talking about this because I want Hosts to come back to enforce our guidelines. I'm talking about this because it needs to be said. So that everyone know the reality of how things are/were. Hosts were treated bad for doing their job.

New players do not feel welcome. The new Host program - if we decide to call it a Host - will be different. You (again, collective you) might not need it, but this is not for you the older player. I can see a new player coming here and feeling confused by the size of this site. They go in the chat, not feel welcomed, and never come back again. You might be happy playing with your group, and that's fine. No one is forcing you to interact with other people. This is why we need people willing to do this.

Once again, as I'm writing this, there are 14 people in chat. All of them in the Lobby. Which is understandable at this time of the day. But when I see the same numbers at 9 PM, then I feel we have a problem.

What I envision is a group of people that once in a while - a schedule of their own - will have meet and greets. To be in the chat and create play that everyone can participate in. To serve drinks if that's what they want to do. The objective is for them to bring people to the chat to play. Something they can put on the schedule and new players (current players too) can see it there and come in also to participate.
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Delahada
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amaltea wrote:
Once again, as I'm writing this, there are 14 people in chat. All of them in the Lobby. Which is understandable at this time of the day. But when I see the same numbers at 9 PM, then I feel we have a problem..


I donít understand how this is a problem. People are signed in. Sometimes they just donít want to play, or donít have the time to play, but still want to be present. Maybe chit chat a little, out of character, with whoever else is virtually hanging out and just chilling.

The Lobby has the potential to be a welcoming gateway to new people. (I know thatís often not the case.) Sometimes people are just hanging out hoping people will come along and say ďhey, want to play?Ē With AIM on its death bed, weíll need this OOC room more than ever.
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NorseLady
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sulissurn wrote:
Quote:
This is our playground. If someone's tossing garbage everywhere and everyone's complaining about the smell but nobody using the playground is willing to pick up some--how long do you think that playground will last, even IF they hire someone to clean it? How long before whomever is hired gets sick of having to do the same thing, day in and day out, over and over again, while everybody continues complaining about the stink?


Solution: The ones tossing the garbage STOP tossing the garbage.

I've no problem with acknowledging how much that type of childish behavior annoys me and dampens my desire to RP.

Nevertheless, I still want to see a new Host program return. A friendly face behind the bar in an 'official' capacity to welcome characters, imo, is a perk to this site!

Also, AMEN to what Amal wrote!


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JewellRavenlock
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sulissurn wrote:
JewellRavenlock wrote:


If the general community doesn't want to step up and be more welcoming, that means we need Hosts even more than I thought.


No. It means we need to take a good, long, hard look at our freakin' community members / each other and stop saying, "that's a great idea, I sure hope somebody (else) does it!" We need people that are willing to try--they don't need a Host / RDI / Keeper tag. Leaving it all up to one or 5 people is wrong, both for trying to run this website full of us opinionated passionate RP weirdos (She said, including herself, lovingly) and trying to keep us wrangled into interacting with one another.


Quote:
ETA: I think the other thing we're missing here is that wanting a Host program is selfish in a way. I want a Host program to make sure there is someone, even if it's me on certain nights, looking out for new people so I can enjoy my play without having to always worry if I'm being welcoming every single time I play. "Oh, Host Jane is here? Cool, she'll handle greeting that new person and interacting with them so I can continue on with my awesome scene." The Host program delegates the responsibility to people willing to take it on.

It's also selfish because I like playing here and I want the community to survive. I think this is a way to help it survive.


And again I point out, anyone can still do this without an official tag. Putting the pressure on select, hard working few seems completely bass-akwards from what the whole idea of a community of people, especially people who are supposed to be imaginative and creative, is supposed to be.


I think in an ideal world? Yes. This. All of it.

I'd love to see the community as a whole (myself included) step up and embrace new people, be more welcoming, step outside of our boxes (circles or pentagons) and help a new player out or draw in someone who is struggling to find interaction.

That would be so awesome!

I'm not holding my breath though. Do you blame me? I'm becoming a realist.

I think a Hosting program in some form is just the more realistic and workable solution. Is it putting too much pressure on a select few volunteers? Probably. I think that also means we should have a brainstorm session to see if we can avoid that, you know? How can we make this workable for as many people as possible? How can we both welcome new people without burdening our volunteers?

It's basically the same question that Jochin and Sal both asked now.

I thiiiink Amal might be on to something with this suggestion:
Quote:
What I envision is a group of people that once in a while - a schedule of their own - will have meet and greets. To be in the chat and create play that everyone can participate in. To serve drinks if that's what they want to do. The objective is for them to bring people to the chat to play. Something they can put on the schedule and new players (current players too) can see it there and come in also to participate.


It could be something like a new citizen mixer (does that make me sound really outdated?) twice a month. Do it in conjunction with the RhyDin Welcome Center. Kind of like a singles night only.. I guess not really at all. But it goes on the calendar, new people are pointed to it in other ways, advertise for it in the playables (including adding an OOC note), volunteers are on hand that night to staff it and help new people and each other out.

Not new but have a new character? Bring them out for the first time that night. Trying to get back into play? Show up and make some new IC connections.

It actually could be fun! And if we're not trying to staff the Inn every night or even several nights a week? Several volunteers can work together on each "mixer" night, which makes it more enjoyable and helps prevent some burnout.

ETA: I LOVE YOUR FACE TOO SULISS!
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