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Teaching an old site new tricks

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Hello wonderful humans! 


Our board turns ten this year. Lately activity has been slow. We still have a few posts a day and a rad core group of players. I'm not worried about the slowdown, January was brutal for a lot of us and it's normal for activity to ebb and flow on any board. 


But I got to thinking: our board is (maybe?) the OG arranged marriage board. 99% of players are doing threads with their couples and that's it  It gets pretty boring doing the same thing over and over and that might be contributing to the slowdown. 


How could we shake things up without compromising our (very Dystopian) setting? 



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Ah, the possibilities for an authoritarian hellscape.

  • Someone in authority has a whim and poses it as a moral obligation: cue regular check-in threads, group events to a hobby nobody but this asshole enjoys, etc.
  • Someone has decided people are spending too much time holed up together, and picks on some sort of randomized (or not so randomized basis) groups of people to throw on an impromptu island. Is it a reward? Is it a punishment? Rote protocol? Is it one dressed as the other? You decide.
  • A disaster (natural? manmade? who knows) has occurred, forcing everyone into refuge points.

Point being: an event that forces people in a small space could shake things up. Doesn't have to be complicated - but it could be.

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By Wit & Whitby

[Plot] | [Rules] | [Wanted] | [Discord]

18+ | Victorian Era | No App | No Word Count |

PoC & LGBT-friendly | Newbie-friendly

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Do some events that focus on getting people interacting who aren't married to each other. An employees-only party at a major IC business, the local animal shelter requesting volunteers for an adoption day, a string of severe storms that have people stuck in supermarkets and parking garages together. 


Same thing with threads. Do a few that focus on friend groups - a handful of women doing a spa day, a handful of guys out shopping for a mutual friend, dinner after seeing a movie together. And family groups, things like birthdays and reunions and wedding receptions. 


I don't know what membergroups you have, but possibly something that is specific to a certain membergroup. Maybe there's some minor issue in the security systems so some of the officials get put into pairs or small groups to check things out. 


I've had lots of fun with the results from thread randomizers before. People submit their characters, and you use a random number generator to pair them off with a thread prompt that they can use, modify, or ignore at their pleasure.  


If you have a points or reward system, you could offer extra incentives for picking up non-romantic wanted ads. Or maybe remove or lower the posting/activity requirements for making a new character if it's non-romantic in nature. 


But before trying out ideas, I would try to figure out why people are only threading with their characters' spouses. There have to be other connections on the board like friends, coworkers, siblings, parents, kids, and so on - why aren't threads happening there? On any site, there will always be a few people who are far more invested in their ships than in any other type of threads. Yet an entire board doing that, arranged marriage or not, strikes me as odd. I'd see what the root cause is, because any effective solution will be addressing that, and will likely be less frustrating for your staff team in the long run if you're taking a targeted approach rather than throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. 

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