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Guild policies - A record of lessons learned

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Leonardo
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And that's a great approach!! :D

LOL I may have stepped on your toes here....I posted there without thinking, sorry

Andros
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I love your energy Julee! :D

Yes, the added value to our services will help us in the long run. :)

Great initiative regarding wanting updates for the contest. The inter-guild relations are limitess, especially since we are an information sharing guild. As long as the other guilds are not stagnant guilds, there is new information for us to talk about. :)

Kalypso: #85553

Marten
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I've updated the original post of this thread with a summary of the lessons learned and with links to the beginning of each lesson's discussion.

Leonardo
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Not a Guild Policy, but still a Lesson Learned:

When we need to put out content quickly the best way is publishing on the Website. Creating Special Issues generates problems of not being able to include long things, they need a graphical dress and other things that slow down the production of the real content.

Lunanne
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I think the Special issues work better then a website, I've heard many people say they downloaded it to read later or on their e-reader. It was late and the nex ttime it might be useful if the people working on it had more time but overal I don't think the Special issue a failure.

Leonardo
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Yes I know...but it would have had even more success if we were able to publish when the news was still "Hot"; all the delay was created by the need to adapt the interviews to the "Newspaper" format

Lunanne
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I still don't think it would work that well, many people don't really like our website and it is currently not really suited to post longer articles imo.

Apart from that I think it could have been done faster , if there had been more active feedback from the guild. The inactivity here worries me. 

Polgara
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The fastest way would have been to directly publish the interviews, but it was a good decision to make a summary although it took time. Those who want to get more information can read the interviews and the others have a good quick overview over the development. Especially for those it´s a very good source.

A website would just have been one more among many others and I don´t like to read long stuff on a monitor. So I think in this case the special issue was a perfect solution. Next time it might be different.

Marten
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Drupal has the capacity to define special print, e-mail, and pdf layouts that have a distinct look and feel apart from the website itself.

For future consideration, perhaps the GoMe could make it easier for people to save offline copies of articles that are published on the website.  These copies might not have all of the love and care that goes into a full newspaper, but if you design a common and re-usable layout for publishing articles to PDF, the GoMe website should be able to build the document following your prescribed format so that saved and printed articles have a nice feel to them.

See http://drupal.org/project/print .

You might also ask Sophia to consult on this idea (maybe it's a nightmare to implement, I don't know for sure!).

 

Leonardo
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Thank you marten! I already used that modules on another website but I never noticed it was possible to customize the PDF layout separately from the website layout...this can be a good idea, we just need to actually make the style.

Lunanne
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Those wouldn't have the same qualities as a special issue. A special issue has articles/summaries of a particuliar subject combined in one easy to read document.   Articles somewhere in a website are harder to find in the first place, harder to find back etc. etc.  I don't see a problem with special issues so I don't see why it would need solving. 

Leonardo
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The point of this is not the "shape" of it. It's the "time". The GoMe is seen only as a slow turtle if we only publish this kind of things

Lunanne
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And I think we will be invisible if we don't because we can hardly spam all forums everytime there is an interesting article on our website. Apart from that I think we can do it faster next time because of the lessons learned this time. 

I don't think this is a problem only the special issue had(we only made /one/) the magazine has it too. The thing is , if people think us a slow turtle they are right, we are very much a slow turtle right now. The only thing that happens fast is putting news on the frontpage. I highly doubt we can be called "active" because we show slightly more lifesigns then the Maintainers.Honestly the special issue could probably have been published (at least) a week earlier if I had not been waiting on feedback of the guild.

This is more a question of how much we can do with the /active/ guild members we have. And I doubt publishing articles in a different way is going to change anything about that.  Because those articles still need to be edited, proofread etc.

Marten
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I did not intend to prolong or enflame an argument.

I agree with Polgara's thoughts.  How you want to publish news is going to be situational.  Sometimes, a special issue may be appropriate.  Don't rule it out.

Now that you know the effort necessary for the special issue, and some of the challenges that can arise (such as difficulty getting feedback), the next time you have special news to report, you'll be able to better predict how long it will take to put together and the impact it may have on other projects, and make a more informed decision.

The PDF/Print module that I mentioned won't solve all problems.  It only answers one need that was mentioned, for people who want to save or print articles and read them away from the internet.

Theremin
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I agree with Leo that if we need to put content out quickly, it needs to go on the website. We discovered when we were publishing the news;etter/newspaper that attempting to release breaking news via this method wasn't really feasible, and so the magazine focuses on in-depth articles rather than news of this sort. I agree that it's nice to be able to archive an "issue" for reading later, and think Marten's suggestion of having a pdf downloadable copy of the stories is an excellent one.

I agree we can't "spam the forums" (although I disagree that what we're doing is spamming) every time there's an "interesting article", because what some may find interesting, others will not. We need to either announce every article we publish on our page, or none of them. We announce every magazine we publish (as we did with the newsletter/newspaper). "Many people don't really like our website" (and by conjecture will refuse to visit it) tells me nothing. There are many websites I don't really like for various reasons- I still visit some, I don't visit others. If we are consistently providing up-to-date news not available elsewhere, people will visit our website.

Our guild is just as active as it has ever been since I joined, and comparing it to other guilds activities is, in my opinion, irrelevant. We don't write ages, we don't debug code, and we don't welcome new players into the cavern. To say we are barely active is unfair to those who contribute what they can to our guild. We won't attract or retain members if we try to shame them into doing more. I have enough pressure of this type in RL, I don't need it here.

I don't see the magazine as having the same problem. We do set deadlines, and to date we have yet to meet an actual established one, but I understand that others commitment level and availability may not be what mine is. I put some excessive demands on my writers/editors, and sometimes it's just not possible to meet them within the established deadline. I think for the purpose of "breaking news", we need to (as almost everyone has indicated) publish it quickly on our frontpage. In the time it takes to produce an issue with breaking news, the relevance has waned.

Lunanne
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Theremin wrote:

I agree with Leo that if we need to put content out quickly, it needs to go on the website. We discovered when we were publishing the news;etter/newspaper that attempting to release breaking news via this method wasn't really feasible, and so the magazine focuses on in-depth articles rather than news of this sort. I agree that it's nice to be able to archive an "issue" for reading later, and think Marten's suggestion of having a pdf downloadable copy of the stories is an excellent one.

which would mean that people have to download all the documents separatly , we already had critcism of people about the fact that the whole  interviews weren't in the issue, they didn't want to bother with downloading two extra pdfs...

 

Theremin wrote:

"Many people don't really like our website" (and by conjecture will refuse to visit it) tells me nothing. There are many websites I don't really like for various reasons- I still visit some, I don't visit others. If we are consistently providing up-to-date news not available elsewhere, people will visit our website.

Many people complain that it is hard to find anything on the messengers site. For a newssite, especially if we are going to have longer aticles somewhere this is not good. Especially the books and their structures are considered bad, so if articles are going to be on our site, I would stay away from that option.

Theremin wrote:

Our guild is just as active as it has ever been since I joined, and comparing it to other guilds activities is, in my opinion, irrelevant. We don't write ages, we don't debug code, and we don't welcome new players into the cavern. To say we are barely active is unfair to those who contribute what they can to our guild. We won't attract or retain members if we try to shame them into doing more. I have enough pressure of this type in RL, I don't need it here.

I don't want to shame people into working, but honestly I wonder how many people check the "Recent  Posts" once ever day/two days. And respond to something. imo that shouldn't be very stressful at all. Just sharing of ideas and opinions about things. You may say as we are not actively working on anything right now that that is rather hard, but this didn't happen either while I was working on the Special Issue. 
Also , the "Stil Alive" topic is not meant to shame people into working. I was honestly wondering who was still around because the forums were /silent/.

 

Theremin wrote:

I don't see the magazine as having the same problem. We do set deadlines, and to date we have yet to meet an actual established one, but I understand that others commitment level and availability may not be what mine is. I put some excessive demands on my writers/editors, and sometimes it's just not possible to meet them within the established deadline. I think for the purpose of "breaking news", we need to (as almost everyone has indicated) publish it quickly on our frontpage. In the time it takes to produce an issue with breaking news, the relevance has waned.

The last magazine took /six months/ to make as I remember that was not the original deadline we had in mind. 

Apart from that the Special issue was not meant to be breaking news, it was meant to provide background information to the breaking news. 

Marten
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Nev'yn has requested that I repeat a post that I made at the MOUL forums.  Here it is.


 
Some of us can get a bit upset at times because we care a lot, and that's a good thing (the caring part, that is). But there has been a whole lot of fussing lately over things of rather mediocre importance.
 
In light of that, I offer these 3 tips to remember.
 
1. Just because someone makes a suggestion doesn't automatically mean it is self-serving.
 
For example, when there is a drought and someone suggests to conserve water, it seems like there is often SOMEONE who rolls out the accusation, "You just want us to conserve so you can have more for yourself!". Don't be that guy (or gal).
 
2. Our perspectives are always colored by our experiences, and often we don't have all of the facts.
 
Sometimes other people do the craziest things. And we think to ourselves, "That person is crazy!" But think back to the proverb about spending a day in another person's shoes. Maybe if you had the perspective and experiences of that other person, it wouldn't seem so crazy.
 
3. It's easy to forget this is just a game.
 
It hurts to say that. Even I think to myself, "But it isn't 'just' a game." I'm very attached to Uru; I have been with it for over a decade. Yet it is just a game. No matter how I feel about it, and no matter the great things it may have done in our community members' lives, the city in which I live is bigger than this; my country, bigger still; and then there's the whole earth, which begins to exceed my ability to comprehend its very size... and you know the earth, as Carl Sagan once reminded us, is itself a mere mote of dust floating in the great universe. Now THAT is some perspective.
 
I suppose I can summarize all three of the above points as "Don't lose sight of the bigger picture."
 
Every day in our world, there are both wonderful and terrible things that happen. While we may bicker over events in a game, or our cell phone reception, or the rising price of a cup of coffee... there are so many other more important things in the world with which to concern ourselves.
 
Uru is a place to escape from our real-world worries, for a little while. If we're getting torqued out of shape over KI number conspiracies, alleged name claim-jumping, and bots paging us unexpectedly while some bugs are being worked out... that's kind of missing the point of why we're here, isn't it?
 
Thank you for reading and considering this.