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Jaxx

How do you keep members interested in your site?

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What do you, as an individual staff member or a team, do to encourage activity and plotting? How often do you run events or subplots, or add new IC or plotting features? I've noticed that many of the sites that I've been on in the past have died because people no longer posted. So I'm curious as to what other staffers may have done in the past, or are currently doing, to keep things interesting for their members. 

 

On my site, when there's a new character accepted, staff posts a short description and a link to their app in the announcements channel. Then we have a blind threading sign-up (where members submit characters to be randomly paired with a thread prompt), an NPC account run by staff that can be tagged to add a random event into a thread, and monthly announcements that feature a random character spotlighted with a little blurb about them and a link to their plotter. We also contact members directly if we think one of their characters could have a pivotal role in one of our ongoing or future site plots. 

 

So what do you like to do? 

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Some of the things you do sound awesome. I might have to steal them. But honestly i think its staff interest. While ever a staff is interested in their own site, and is still eager to play with members, then you site will be fine. Its also about knowing your members, and trying new things, some like events others not so much. Personally i try and keep it very open. Make sure members know this isn't just my story but theirs AND they can effect the site with their plots. If a member feels invested in the site i think that goes a long way to keep it going.

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Those are some very awesome ideas.  Definately will keep those in mind.  I have a hard time doing this right now, but also am taking a break from my time as a staff and just playing on sites where I am a member.  But these are great ideas and I will totally let the staff know about some.  We do the annoucement of new members already and I love it.  Makes you feel a little special.


 

 

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We do random thread partners and prompts for those who want it. I also have 6 characters that run the gamut of allegiances and morality, so when I'm reviewing an app, I usually include at least one thread I can think of for the player's character and mine so they can at least have something right out of the gate. When characters join groups, like the Titans or Arrow Family, I announce their arrival to the relevant Discord channel. Apart from that, there's not much you can do besides watch them write.

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I try to thread with everyone (not all at once, you have to maintain your energy levels) and if I don't have time for that. I show them that I am interested in their characters and their plots by talking to them about their characters in the discord. I also nudge them towards events and ask for any ideas they have for events. Some events are popular while others are not. The trick is to not get disheartened when things don't seem to work out (and this can be quite hard). 

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I really like the idea of a little announcement that describes new characters! I think that's great for any site. As far as blind threads go, I never seem to get a lot of success out of those. A lot of people will sign up for them, but not many will follow through making the threads.


One thing I do is hold threads/quest threads with an NPC account, kind of like how you mentioned. I could expand it and let people tag it! I think that's a good idea. That way if someone wants a little GM action in their thread, I could hop in and give them something fun to work with.

 

Really, I think a big part of it is just being active with your characters on the site. An active staff means an active site, I think. I'll admit site events are not my strong suit which is why I rely on my staff for help with that kind of stuff. I also think it helps to have a dynamic world where what members do affects the world and the trajectory of the plot.

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It seems to be the age old problem across the board. Sometimes we'll do things we think will motivate the dickens out of players, and it falls flat. Other times we just half-ass a something and they take off in a flurry of crazy. I've stopped trying to guess what will work and what won't. 

Currently I'm in "building community" mode, in trying to find the right players to join our new server and make it their own. Its a rough road sometimes, if only because it means a lot more work for myself and my co-admin. I can't wait until we have enough people, and new plots and development to sustain the site as it grows. You know... here's hoping! 😛


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At least for me in the sites I've been, the admins at least were decent enough in creating hooks for players to pick up. Normally this comes in the form of a calendar or rumor then I just have to ask them a little more details. Then maybe immediately get on it or at least do the prepwork for it or dedicate an entire shebang to it. Seems to work out for me to get excited and enthuiastic about getting stuff done so far but I know some people don't work well with it either so it depends on the players.

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On my site we do a ton of different things to try to keep people interested/get them excited. Events are always great, but we try to make all the events unique so that our members don't feel like they're doing the same thing over and over again. We've done rapid fire weekends, we've done post prompts (we aren't doing these currently, but it was fun to see how characters would react to certain prompts). We also try to ask members what they like out of a series of ideas, and let them vote for their favorites. The voting in particular is really beneficial because we know it's something that a good portion of the members are actually interested in. If they're already interested, they are more likely to get involved.


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@Sora I'm curious about rapid-fire weekends, how do these work ?

On LADV we've implemented a bunch of things that are already mentioned here - there are character announcements, we are working on events, and now we have a staff account for random thread events that allow us to either post a plot hook or to insert at random event in a thread at player request. 

 

We also now have an IC newspaper that serves as rumor fodder, but it's also there to update everyone on important events that people should have heard about.  And there's one staff member whose main job is to design plots for smaller groups of players with the overall goal of making sure each player has a hand in at least one of the plots.   

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@Let-make-nice There are a lot of different ways to do a rapid fire weekend. For my site we keep it pretty simple, we decide a weekend as a community and then people just post as much as physically possible. We've given rewards for members/characters that have the most posts at the end.  On one site I was on years ago they actually had an event linked to the rapid fire weekends. IT was a Percy Jackson site, and the rapid fire weekends were actually Capture the Flag games. 

 

So you can have non-event rapid fire weekends, or event rapid fire weekends. Whatever works best for your site. On my site, we are still struggling to find a specific event that works for all the characters on the site so until we find something an overall site wide, pull out all the stops and post up a storm, works for us. Hopefully someday we'll have a specific event to go with it though.


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