Warrior Cats
 of the Forest

Subtitle

News

New Member Experience Survey Response

Posted by Ember on March 26, 2018 at 2:05 AM

Last week, River, Alien, and I sent out three surveys. The second survey, written by River, regarded new members’ experiences and how we can improve their time getting to know the roleplay. The responses we received were generally positive, but there are a few areas that we can work on.

Generally, members had a positive experience as a new member and were satisfied with the current support systems. They thought the rules were clear and the answers they received to any questions were satisfactory. A few common complaints about navigating the website arose, which will be discussed in more depth in the response to Ember’s website navigability survey. The members who responded to the survey were almost universally pleased with how the moderators and I enforce minor rules.

The biggest area for improvement is in making sure that new members’ voices are heard. There was a wide range of responses from feeling as if they were ignored to feeling like they were immediately included, both in-character and out-of-character.

Solutions to these problems come in two forms: website-based and community-based. Website-based solutions include things like making the New Member Guide and other relevant guides like the Roleplay Terminology Guide or Frequently Asked Questions more prominent, or reorganizing the History Page. These solutions will help everyone, not just new members, and will be discussed more in the website navigability survey response. Community-based solutions are things that I can’t implement on my own, but rather will need the help of experienced members. Here are a handful of things that older members can do to make new members feel more welcomed on the website:

Out-of-character

  • Post welcome messages on new members’ profiles
  • Greet new members directly in the chatbox, respond to their comments, ask how they’re doing, if they need help, etc. Even a simple “Hi [new member]!” helps.
  • Reach out to new members and ask to roleplay with them, maybe even set up fun scenarios
  • Encourage new members to participate in plot planning
  • Post comments on new members’ art
  • Chat with new members through their profiles or private messages

In-character

  • Respond directly to new members’ posts
  • Have your characters approach theirs
  • Help to bring new members into the main plot or into your characters’ sideplots

If all of us make an effort to reach out to new members with these strategies, I expect that the number of members who feel left out when they first join the website will fall. Each of these suggestions are easy to accomplish and - if helping people feel more welcomed isn’t reason enough - members who I notice doing these things are more likely to be considered for leadership positions.

One possible new system is a newbie-oldie mentorship system in which new members are paired up with an experienced member who they will take under their wing, seek out in-roleplay, and check in with periodically until the new member is more fully integrated into the roleplay. This system obviously needs to be thought through, with more formalized systems of signing up and expectations of what mentors would do, but do you guys think this could be a viable system? Any criticisms or suggestions?

Note: if you're having trouble posting a response to this blog entry, message your response to me and I'll post it for you.

Categories: Other

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

You must be a member to comment on this page. Sign In or Register

3 Comments

Reply HarmlessPoison
4:26 PM on March 26, 2018 
I'm liking the sound of this! The chance of new members staying will definitely increase due to how they're feeling about the website, especially if we invite them and put effort into making them feel acknowledged. Although, I have both concerns and recommendations for this method.

As we all know how Webs acts (errors and glitches occurring frequently), this will decrease the amount of older members coming forth to help newer members. It limits what we're able to do, even if it is the simplest things, such as commenting on another person's profile or even private messaging someone. I realize this is beyond Ember's control but nonetheless, it'll affect how everyone reacts to this strategy.

On a side note, I've thought of solutions for some of the errors:
- Cannot post on Character Updates, a profile, etc. : Download the mobile app, Puffin Web Browser, and use that browser to post your reply on the site.
- Private message unable to send : Go to the member's profile and click 'Send a message' in the Actions, right below their profile picture. (Note: It sometimes may or may not work.)

Despite the upcoming challenges we're bound to face, I believe that this idea will prosper as long we, as a site, work together to fulfill everybody's needs. To help, I've thought of one more way that anybody could participate in to support this. I would suggest more but I think Ember has listed everything that seems fit:
- Be somewhat active in the Off-Topic chat : Since that's where new and unregistered members usually appear, they'll have the chance to interact with members already familiar with the site. Of course, you don't have to frantically check new messages on it 24/7 but it'd be nice whenever you have the free time to.

Please share any of your thoughts! I'd love to hear what everyone thinks of what I've suggested!
Reply Spirit and the gang
5:59 PM on March 26, 2018 
I think that the oldie-newbie mentorship is a great idea! For one, it will give the new members an opportunity to ask questions without feeling uncomfortable. It would also bring us closer as a community, and one of the things I love most about the site is how friendly the community is. It could also establish connections between old members and new members. Maybe part of this could be that the owners of leaders try and establish mentor-apprentice pairings between the members participating in the oldie-newbie system?
Reply Ember
11:54 PM on March 27, 2018 
Poison-
Webs' glitches will decrease the number of older members who can participate, but as-is its common for only a small handful of members actively welcome the new members. If we could increase that to 10 members, it would make a big difference.

Cool, I'll add those fixes to the Glitches Guide when I get a chance.

Spirit-
That could certainly work. I plan on being a little stricter about leaders reassigning mentors in a timely fashion, so paired with your idea new members should have more active mentor-apprentice pairings than in the past.