There are some really insightful posts here, thank you. And please keep them coming if you have more thoughts. It’s funny, when you’re deep in the creative woods (especially with AGP) it’s easy to overlook something as simple as “What is the forum for?”
you GUYS we can’t tell them that right away!! That comes after the blood oath initiation
Personally, I think it should come just prior to the branding ceremony, but I’m old fashioned.
I think it might be good to point people to resources. Like wikis and summaries and such. It’s easier now, since we have the book, but undoubtedly people will have questions. Especially about Secret Society, since that is a non-book entity.
Maybe advertising the discord might help, or otherwise explaining the relationship. There’s a lot of invisible activity that new members don’t see until they hit the right trust level.
I feel like at least hinting at that invisible activity would be really good, since the forum itself isn’t as active as for example the discord, and people might be afraid they are too late to join. When I just joined and saw how few topics had recent replies, I was worried about that as well.
Okay, so adding things that are mentioned in the Forum Primer to a welcome email as well, just to drive home some of the hidden and less traveled areas? Great point. Keep them coming!
I know this gets brought up a lot but some links to topics that are useful to those starting out. Low tier stuff that lets them get hooked, community initiatives (like the christmad exchange and mounty mail) to get them involved, and general information topics for when they want more. Maybe link the podcast as a way for those less able to read for whatever reason to be able to keep up?
I also think that explaining how the forum is laid out is important. Explaining that the purple topics are in world and in “character” where as green is out of world and you can let you’re metophorical hair down (or literal… you do you)
I’d say let’s people now that being confused at first is expected and provide them with he wiki and other material to help them. Just like a video game, the the “tutorial” is the biggest part of getting people to stay. You could, if you wanted to take the time, make 3 or 4 little mysterys that help introduce a person to TMP.
I totally came for the puzzles (and was a bit when BoB went crispy and took a bunch of pieces with it just before I got here), so I second this motion.
I’m not sure the puzzle solving would be as compelling for everyone if it’s not cooperative. I was excited to contribute to the puzzles because they were part of a greater narrative and community, and setting up puzzles as a tutorial could be more frustrating than intriguing (or at least it would be for me).
Honestly, the thing that got me willing to participate was the tangential, non-lore related stuff. I lurked for a week, signed up, and then side-stepped all of the narrative-related stuff for threads about Hogwarts houses and guild aesthetics. Once I had introduced myself around a bit in those topics I felt a little more comfortable getting into the narrative/puzzle/lore stuff.
Right. So. Community first. Lore and puzzles second. I’m feeling that.
I jumped in right as things were getting crazy with Aether and KS. So I got involved for the narrative and the game. But I stayed because of the community and the friends. There were a lot of folks who began participating in the TMP as a game, but left because (imo) they weren’t as connected to the other Mountaineers and so failed to form the attachment and interest to continue to interact. I feel it is important to get new folks linked to their guild mates and the social-creative aspects of the forums as soon as possible. Maybe by repping recent/ongoing creative projects and socially-lubricating parts of the forum.
I do like the idea of an ongoing narrative puzzle that only new folks get pieces to as they join, but I’m not sure how feasible that would be. I can imagine it in my brain, but logistics… you would know what you are capable of better than I.
Also, part of me thinks, and am not sure how scalable this is, but for now maybe people who introduce themselves on the welcome topic could get a short PM from their guild leader introducing themselves, because having a one-on-one hello that isn’t so “exposed” feels more personal, more friendly, and easier to get your head around. Even if it’s just to say “I wanted to reiterate “Welcome!” and if you have any questions or need help, feel free to give me a shout. Happy to have you here. Here’s a link to the forum primer!”
That’s been kind of a thought of mine for a while now. If it can’t be a guild leader then maybe a single welcome committee volunteer per guild?
I definitely 100 percent second a personal welcome DM. Lets people know that the forum is still active and gives a direct avenue to connect and ask questions without feeling like you’re bothering someone you don’t know.
Maybe even tweak it at some point and after, let’s say, general guidelines, add something guild-specific? And if you somehow haven’t gone through the guide, a link to it? I know it’s a bit of a hassle as an idea but I still believe there’s more to be told about the guilds themselves than what’s in the introduction. To make it not only personal but also inviting to explore on different levels?
This has all been really constructive and productive, everyone. Definitely keep them coming if you think of stuff but I just wanted to say you’ve been a tremendous help so far!!
I have kind of an odd suggestion. One of the big things that drew me to TMP was the multi-media aspect. Would it be possible to integrate that into some kind of welcome ‘hub’ page? I feel like the MAGIQ guide was a wonderful point of induction during TMP, but it might be good to have some additional content to explain the post-TMP world and all the things that went down.
I don’t know if something like that would be possible, but I thought I would bring it up!
Like a shuffling tarot deck where each of the major arcana introduces you to an aspect of AGP and TMP and the forum
Late to the conversation, but I am absolutely on board with the guild leaders reaching out. I remember when I first joined I had the likes of Bells, Rev, and Robert kind of guiding me into the fray. Having those familiar faces as I learned the ropes was really helpful, and is part of what makes Basecamp feel like home!