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Corvus

Dear players... what would members like to see from admins/staff?

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It's my first time admin-ing/running a site ever and it can be hard to navigate the mire sometimes. Our site has been open for 8 months or so now (!!!) and I'm still learning stuff. So, what would members like to see from staff? How can we best support and help y'all? What are some horror stories regarding staff? Good stories? 

 

Thanks!

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The two important things about staff, in my opinion, are:

 

1- Follow your own rules - a few exceptions can be made, for example, staff may need to have more characters because they may need one in every faction, or have more time to post during events. But stick to the rules a regular member has to follow as closely as you can.

 

2- Have fun. Otherwise you'll get burned out and not want to run the site anymore. 

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Shady McShaderson

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I've not been a member in sometime, but I would always be seeking a relaxed atmosphere. I love a chill vibe so any kind of drama or stress is off-putting for me. So like Runa said, be friendly and positive! You always want to be approachable so that if anyone isn't feeling great, or has something to say, they won't fear any backlash or hard feelings.

Even posting this speaks to me, it says you're willing to always be improving for your members! That's great! 

 

Advise I'd give is to enjoy yourself and your community! Maybe gaining feedback from your own members would be a good idea?


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I think at this point when it comes to staff, I'd just take staff who actually follow the same rules they expect their players to play by more than anything else and on that same note, staff which are able to enforce the rules on their fellows (a.k.a. other staff). As Rune pointed out, staff are just members with more responsibility. Unfortunately a lot of people join staff just for the prestige and benefits as I've observed. I've even seen staff make a separate set of rules (at least the ones who aren't shameless to go behind everyone's back outright) which will inevitably set a mentality for a class divide (e.g. off site harassments through mediums other than the sites are only enforced when it happens to a staff member, not even in their staff capacity or anything to do with the site but if its player to player off site it isn't the site's problem)

 

To follow up with the above, the staff I like are the ones which genuinely took up the post to help better their player's experience. No I don't mean staff which cater to everything the player wants so don't mistake what I said but essentially, players will be able to tell staff who are there to help them from the rest and at least for me, I'm a  lot more comfortable with them. I'm even more comfortable going to them with anything than my own buddies on staff too actually to illustrate how much better I see them as compared to the rest.

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Although I'm in the position of running my own site now, the reason I did it was because I ached to see certain things from staff that I just wasn't getting on other sites. As a member, these are the things I wanted to see and what I try to do now on my own site:

 

  1. Be honest. I've had too many experiences where staff on the site I was a member of either lied directly to my face, misrepresented a situation, or simply lied by omission. There of course is a way to be honest (as in, you can be honest and upfront without be tactless or rude, and you can be frank about when providing information would be inappropriate). Just tell your members what's going on. Don't be evasive, don't twist words, don't misrepresent. 
  2. Be relaxed and approachable. At the end of the day, we're all just nerdy adults writing collaborative fiction. No one is any better than anyone else, and just because you own/run the site, that doesn't make you superior. Yes, as an admin you have certain privileges members don't have, but you also have responsibilities to those members to be just, y'know, available. And nice.
  3. Be prompt when responding to member issues. There is an understanding here that everyone has lives outside of the site, but as an admin you should be responding to your members' needs in a reasonably expedient matter. Even if that means just saying, "Hi, I'm currently busy and cannot handle this issue right now, but once I am available I will take care of this," or, "I'm unavailable, but [username] would be happy to help," or, "I don't know how to fix this but I'll figure it out for you and keep you updated." A lot of the time, I find people are extremely understanding if it takes you a while to solve a problem as long as you let them know you are indeed trying to solve it. Allowing your members to feel heard is what helps keep them endeared to the site instead of feeling like they're just a small little grain of sand buried on the beach. 
  4. Don't play favorites. Cliques have been a huge issue on multiple sites I've spent time on, and it's just not super cute. Your friends are awesome, yes, your RP partners are fantastic, but everyone who joins your site deserves your attention, not just your personal group of buddies. 
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I agree with 90% of the above statements. I haven't been a member in a while but what everyone is saying is pretty accurate of what I look for. 

 

Being approachable is incredibly important. But don't be put off if people aren't super eager to plot with you. I've had more than one member tell me they were really nervous to ask me things when they first joined because "admins can be scary". Just be chatty in your site discord or cbox with everyone and remain up-beat. If you do have a few shy ones, they'll come around. If you utilize shippers, try to post in them. They're a pain in the butt, however, for those that feel uncomfortable coming to you for plots or even taking you up on that "sure just dm me!" it'll be a relief for them to know you actually do want to plot with them and aren't just being nice. 

 

Have fun and do things on site that are fun. I'm a crazy event admin. I love my events. I like hyping up my events. And they tend to go really well. But don't over do it. Sites can be stressful, especially when you're reaching that one year mark and you want to make sure it survives. Take some time to step away from your site and also have mods who can help you with general site clean up. A nice fresh looking forum is pleasant for everyone. 

 

Your site has been alive for eight-months, so clearly you're doing something right! Also, try posting this on your site. Get member feed-back on things they might like to see. 

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On 7/27/2019 at 9:54 PM, slowsadmariachi said:

One of the worst RP experiences I've had by far was a site with a single admin and several friends making up the majority of the players on the board, who obviously talked outside of the discord channel they created for their game. That's not a bad thing, but it would show up in general/plotting chat when my friend and I would want to do something and would be denied or firmly dissuaded based on a conversation we were never a part of, or on a thread we weren't involved in. It was very off-putting and often left us feeling stupid about something we could never have known about without reading every single thread on the site.

 

Ugh. Having personally dealt with this as well, I fully agree. And when I’m embarrassed I just take off. I’m sure a lot of people do the same.  

 

Another thing: if you do need to address something game breaking, do it privately. I remember I was on one site where the admin was telling me all the mistakes i made in front of everybody. I left without responding. That’s also why I hate open apps. Nothing is more of a turn off than seeing admins nitpick at an app publicly. 

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