Proposal – Minister of Brickfilming Welfare

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June 20, 2007 at 6:22 pm #297356
Avatar of Legoman182182
Legoman182182

I think that would be the best option. As rev says, we should all be doing most of these things anyway.

You make a good argument Legoman.

All part of the service. :wink

I don’t see this as dividing the community into two parts at all. Just providing a little focus for moderators and sharing the load a bit.

On reflection, I think you are probably right.

I’m not suggesting that. I’m suggesting a new forum as a landing point for new members. There would be nothing forcing them there at all, no entry criteria, just an optional friendly starting point.

Whilst I not sure it would be necessary, I see what you mean. However, should every forum not provide a friendly starting point?

[quote]Thirdly, I doubt that you will find many experienced brickfilmers willing to be paired with new aspiring members.

No harm in trying though, is there? You never know![/quote]

Fair enough. It cant do any harm, I suppose.

June 21, 2007 at 7:54 am #297583
Avatar of Cometgreen
Cometgreen

I like all of your ideas, but I think it’s important we sit down and go through them, and start looking at them practically. From what I can tell, these are fresh ideas, and I think we all find them quite smashing, but we need to move past the idea stage and start talking about details.

Some are rather simple, and can be implemented immediately. It’s been suggested before to have a kind of ‘newbie’ forum, and I was just thinking of it again the other day (I couldn’t figure out where to move a thread about avatars, and thought it would be nice to have a forum for that). I think it would keep other forums clean and be a nice place for people new to the community-and perhaps new to internet forums in general-to learn about general etiquette and be directed to the proper resources.

I would like to know what you mean by welcoming new members and pointing out the features. An automated PM? It seems like we have a lot more people signing up than actually participating in the forums, so some kind of individual message to each new member would be rather wasteful. It appears Legoman already pointed this out, but I don’t think your reply answers it clearly.

The reviewing of lower quality films is another daunting task for anyone here. I agree that, in the old days, individual films would generally get more attention, but we’ve grown enormously since the old ezboard. A lot of members post a lot of films (we’re both reviewers, so we both know quite well how much [really, really bad stuff] gets submitted). This is one of the instances in which I disagree with Rev and think a separate ministry would be beneficial, as you could appoint deputies who are encouraged to take up this task. However, the argument could also be made that this should be the duty of the Review panel, who often has to go through these films anyway. Perhaps a more manageable plan is to ask members of the Review Panel to write some kind of critique for all of the films they watch, even those they reject? They can then post these reviews in the P&R thread. I know I try to include some kind of constructive criticism when writing the rejection note, but it’s never a full review and it would be better to post it in the forums.

Now, the mentoring system is where things get complicated and seem a bit too idealistic for me. We may have volunteers really excited to help out right now, but will they still be up for it in September? November? Next year? How would their work differ from what a newbie could get from the Get Started forum and from the rest of the community? I think it’s a cool idea and all, but it definitely needs some ironing out, and I am afraid it could cause some complacency, as Watson said. I can see people replacing “Check the FAQ” with “Check with your mentor.”

The contests idea also really needs some thought put into it. Will these contests try to accomplish certain tasks, like telling a story a certain way or animating a fight scene? How often will these be held? From your post, I got the idea that they’d be held often, but that’s not very practical and could stifle members’ own creativity. The best option might be simply holding one when it feels right, I guess. Moving on, what constitutes a new member? Is it based on their number of films, the length of time they’ve been a member, the quality of their films? How do we determine exactly what constitutes a newbish film and a higher quality film? I think it’s a cool idea, but I think we’ve had these kinds of contests in the past. I think the 24 hour contest was open to members of all skills, as well as your own EASTER contest. Having more contests like EASTER, perhaps just every spring and fall, would satisfy this idea nicely enough.

Again, I can’t deny that they’re good ideas, but I’m wary of them as of this point. I definitely think some of the ideas should be implemented, but with care and after a lot of thought has been put into them. Like Watson, I’m a little afraid that some members won’t bother to help out newbies as much any more, because they figure these policies are doing a good enough job. I’m also just not a fan of creating programs in which a small group tries to correct the problem; I believe it’s better to think of ways to encourage all members to improve the situation. I believe in creating incentives so the common member feels compelled to go up to a new member and help them out, instead of trusting a group to stay on top of newbie activities.

But hey, I think that these programs would help the community more than hurt it. I just think everyone needs to start asking questions and thinking of ways to make these work, instead of just hailing this as a cure-all. I also strongly suggest that we take this kind of initiative and creative energy and apply it to working on the Resources/Wiki. Streamlining our reference section, keeping it easy to understand and up-to-date, and filling it to the brim with content will produce far better results than a welcoming committee, imo.

Lastly (very lastly), I just want to say that despite all the recent drama and panicking, I think we should recognize that this community has improved in its welcoming of new members. We are a lot more popular these days and get a lot of new and young members, so I don’t think we’ll ever get back to the more personal welcoming users might have experienced four years ago. A new member won’t be absorbed into the community as quickly because it’s just so big and diverse. But it’s been a while since I’ve seen a string of lazy “Check the FAQ!” replies to someone’s post. I count three threads on the first page of Animation/Effects asking about how to make a minifigure jump, complete with real answers and devoid of anyone getting pissy about answering the same question again and again. People are welcoming new members, giving tips, and providing links to help them understand an issue. We are definitely in a better place than we were a year or two ago.

Cometgreen, who spent his only free time tonight writing this instead of set-building :evil

June 21, 2007 at 8:36 am #297589
Avatar of Smeagol
Smeagol

I like the ideas but I don’t see the need for a separate minister; most of these ideas don’t require additional “powers” in order to be carried out. (Electing a person to welcome people? Can’t anyone do this already? In my opinion, making an official position for this would sort of take away from the apparent authenticity of the welcoming.) As for reviewing newbie films in a positive light, stuff submitted to the directory should get this anyway; I know I always try to give a good explanation for rejections and balance it with positives and I believe that the majority of the review panel would do the same. The mentor system is a neat idea, but I don’t see how it could be feasible or more effective. As Comet said, it’s hard to make people stick to this and also new members often leave after a couple weeks anyway due to lack of attention span. I don’t see why it would be more effective to have one person deal with each new member than allowing for members to take advantage of the community’s collective knowledge through posting threads (though possibly in a newbie-oriented forum as you have suggested.) Additionally, I think most of the more experienced members probably get asked how-to questions through PMs a fair amount anyway; I receive a few of these a week (usually specific to how I did a particular thing in one of my own films) and I’m usually able to answer them without the need for the sender to create a thread about it.

-Smeagol

June 21, 2007 at 2:25 pm #297637
Avatar of richardfrost
richardfrost

Great posts CG and Smeagol. Do you mind if I answer these tonight, when I get home from work?

In fact, CG, if you’re reading this, why don’t you exercise your mod powers and splice these last two posts into my election thread and lock this one? Then we can deal with the debate in one place.

June 21, 2007 at 3:25 pm #297655
Avatar of BertL
BertL

I totally favor it.

June 21, 2007 at 3:36 pm #297664
Avatar of Trillspots
Trillspots

All discussion has been moved to richardfrost’s campaign thread. :)

-Trill

Edit: Or it will once I figure out how to splice topics together. (I don’t have time right this second.)

June 21, 2007 at 5:57 pm #297725
Avatar of Cometgreen
Cometgreen

I figured it would be easier to focus on the ideas presented here in this thread, and keep your MoD thread for general questions about the campaign. I know the two are closely linked, but given how many ideas you’ve presented, I think it’s easier to discuss them separately.

And yes, by the way, I do mind. If I don’t get an answer sometime this hour, I’ll assume you concede the point and intend to back out of the election. GET ON IT!

Cometgreen

June 21, 2007 at 8:11 pm #297790
Avatar of Dragoon
Dragoon

I have turned down a position on the review panel on more than one occasion, but I’d be glad to help with the task of helping out in the P&R forum, if you were to consider me for a deputy position. My only real limitation is that I would not download films of a completely unreasonable length:size ratio, since I am on dialup.

I would even change my avatar and sig back to Babar the elephant so I didn’t look like a potential evil menace.

Dragoon, not really sure which of the two threads to put this in

June 21, 2007 at 11:14 pm #297871
Avatar of saulgoode
saulgoode

For those who are wishing to have implemented some of the ideas put forth by Richard Frost, might I suggest that you create your own, unofficial “Brickfilms Welfare Task Force” (but find a better name :) ). Start a thread where volunteers are sought to pay particular attention to responding to newcomers (i.e., welcoming them and responding in a kind manner to initial stumbles), reviewing some of the less recognized films in P&R, even holding unofficial contests that might be restricted to newcomers or more limited in scope (such as the E.A.S.T.E.R. contest). As an incentive, you might consider recognizing distinguished efforts with an “employee-of-the-month”-type award.

Not every activity on Brickfilms has to be officially sanctioned by the site and it is admirable in many cases to just do it yourself. The BAMPAs and THAC have both proven to be assets to the community though they are as yet neither sponsored nor endorsed by Brickfilms.com. If RevMen likes what he sees happening and wishes to do so, he and the organizers always have the option of making such things part of the BF infrastructure — and if that never happens, it makes the activities no less worthwhile.

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