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the guest of honour: are site awards detrimental?


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Yeah, definitely not a fan for the popularity contest deal. That, and if I'm being 100% honest, the whole nomination and voting cycle is just one more thing to eat into mine/my staff's time, and I'm plain not about that life. Same goes for even randomly selecting OTMs, especially given most people don't seem to pay attention to OTMs past the first day they're announced, or if its one of theirs/their friend's characters. Plus, I honestly have the worst memory possible and when I've done OTMs in the past, they're usually a few days late which I always feel crappy about.

 

What I am down for, however, is at least somewhat automating the process. I know there's relatively simple scripts out there that will pull a random character off your member list, and display a new one each time you open a new page or refresh the one you're on. That way, everyone gets equal opportunity. Unless I have another staffer willing to handle manually doing it, I'd rather just set the script and forget it, or do away with the whole thing. They're a great idea, but I'm just too scatterbrained for em...

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I don't love it for reasons already stated, but I definitely appreciate that the good feelings they inspire in people who get them are worthwile!   Instead, I'll put out a call a few times a

Definitely not a fan of "of the month" type spotlights. I think encouraging an atmosphere of celebration all the time (we have compliment threads, or calls to tell everyone a thread you really love th

I’m going to preface this by stating that this discussion refers to of the month and other similar awards on roleplaying sites specifically. Having such awards on directory sites and non-roleplaying s

OTM Always felt like a popularity contest. It pits members against eachother causes jealousy issues. 

 

On Lochland the closest we come is asking people if we can interview their character in the Lochland Times newspaper. We also offer everyone a chance to participate with monthly questions their characters can answer and turn in. 

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I think there's nothing better than getting validation for your writing/characters/etc. than the old fashioned way of just letting people organically compliment you. You don't need some little award to prove that you're good at what you like to do, and if you feel uncertain or wanting of validation just ask the people you roleplay with what they think of your characters.

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I'm not a fan of "of the month" awards as they do quickly turn into a popularity contest very quickly. In the new site I'm currently planning, I am thinking of making site achievements for people. Things like "completed 10 topics" or "reached reputation level 4". I think something along those lines is far better than "of the month" as it gives players something to actually build towards and gives them a reward for their activity, and taking part in the site.

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You know, really I have to say that random or organic is really the best to try to help ensure people don't feel slighted.  In the group I help run, we don't have anything like this, and I doubt we would impliment it, as it would be quite a bit of time to maintain, and the community is meant be a safe place to right.  Feelings of being forgotten, shunned, overlooked, well that can help feed into block or loss of good writers.  So, really to each their own, but 'of the month' sort of things just aren't all that appealing to me.

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I think it was always more negligible than detrimental. At least for me in the sites I was, I was fortunate enough to have a group of active peers in chat who spoke enough about characters of interest which became the more obvious of the months to me. The official OTMs? Obviously admins or admin favorites. I only bothered with staff/contributor of the months just to see the direction the site was headed to and the upcoming projects to expect on the site.

 

The only time I felt negatively towards OTMs was the first and last time the site made an "of the year". I wasn't the only one who felt it (apparently a huge backlash from other players although I only joined in on the gossips to learn more about the drama) where the admin/contributor of the year included the one admin always going on and on about her PCs and contributions to the site in chat (her PCs also won the year awards by the way) and another who had nothing but seniority to his name (he joined the site in its early days) and the only things he ever did as admin was announcements and shilling his own lets play videos. These two over two others with undoubtedly the biggest contributions to the site. One was in charge of one of the more active subforums and does nothing but actively contributes to and participates in his players' PCs personal plots because he actually had an interest in them and another single handedly responsible for the site's magic system which was always being tweaked. These two didn't win because they never bothered to join chat (a good idea) and also stayed away from the admin politics because they rather stick to their own thing.


So yeah like what others here have expressed, its nothing but a popularity contest so as I've said to me its more negligible than detrimental since there is no reason to participate and there isn't any bad consequences to ignoring it.

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I am personally not a fan of "Of the month" awards. It just turns into a popularity contest which feels a bit pointless in my opinion! I think instead of those kind of stuffs - I'd prefer to see want ads for a plot or a character! It's an open invitation to the new members that may be interested and gives them an easy in instead of trying to create a character from scratch with no established connections whatsoever. 

 

Kind of off track there but yeah! I don't have anything against awards, it's just pointless for me to feel invested in them if I am on a site that features them! 

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The information posted before I think is incredibly valid and makes me rethink some things we've been doing as a site. I do think that sometimes site awards do highlight members in a positive light. I definitely don't like the 'voting' aspect where names are put up and then voted and ultimately 'chosen' in a popularity contest. I really enjoy just giving members a chance to just write in names of characters, threads and quotes from threads that they enjoyed. I think that helps prevent members from just voting blind - but of course it's never 'fool proof.' I just honestly hearing about threads and quotes that the members are enjoying! Causes me to go and read something I may not have.

 

I think this is an underlying thought from the one time I got an OTM on a past site where I just felt special and seen. I dunno! 🙂 

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I think detrimental may be a bit of a strong word, but, the OTMs becoming very popularity contest can be a problem in the community for sure. It's a neat idea, because everyone likes to feel noticed and it's always cool to have that going on.

 

But the thing is that rping is about rping, and the popularity contest aspect can get in the way of that. 

 

One variation that I've seen that I like is random spotlights and rotations for characters and quotes because it's a good way to disperse information about the site and encourage knowing a bit about other characters which can encourage interaction. But when it's just already the "most popular" ones it doesn't really help with that so it just seems... unhelpful. And can encourage clique behavior. 

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24 minutes ago, Yume said:

One variation that I've seen that I like is random spotlights and rotations for characters and quotes because it's a good way to disperse information about the site and encourage knowing a bit about other characters which can encourage interaction. But when it's just already the "most popular" ones it doesn't really help with that so it just seems... unhelpful. And can encourage clique behavior. 

 

This is something that we do on our Tumblr actually. I like to feature every character and I just run through the list. When a new character is created, they get added to the end of the list (or replace staff characters and I bump ours down depending on how close the end of the list is). I find that it gives every character equal amounts of exposure. Is it perfect? Nope. But it's something I like to do because who knows if someone will come across the tumblr and like the sound of a particular character.

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Personally, I think it's a REALLY slippery slope, and you have to be careful what sort of monthly awards you give and how. I think "characters of the month" could be done relatively drama-free by choosing randomly, as has been suggested, or simply asking for privately-submitted non-self nominations, and only one nomination be required to be featured in the group -- So it's kind of like, "Hey, somebody/somebodies think you're the bees knees," but it doesn't become a competition.

 

That said, in a game I ran back in the day, we did a regular "kudos" meme where folks would give shout-outs to players/characters/threads/etc that they thought were awesome, and over time it came to my attention that it made several players anxious or feel really rotten. Hell, it made me feel pretty cruddy if I personally didn't get a mention, or I got fewer/less effusive kudos than others did, and that's as someone who knows better and was trying to stay objective. It really did start to feel like a high school popularity contest and could be just as bad for morale as it was good.

 

(So I basically just talked myself out of that concept in the first paragraph, lol. It's possible you could still do it that way, with the anon submission aspect, by taking care to be aware of who ISN'T getting mentioned much/at all, and submit them yourself.)

 

Also, I think "thread of the month" or anything to do with "ranking" actual gameplay is a very bad idea. That intrinsically assigns value to those folks' creative endeavor, which I feel isn't fair in this setting. IDK about everyone else, but while I love writing and aspire to professional writing, I don't RP for others to make a public judgment call on my writing/characterization/plotting quality. We're all coming from such different places and looking for different things out of this creative hobby we do together, and it's honestly impossible to quantify so that it could be genuinely fair.

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On 7/27/2020 at 3:21 AM, BlackPhoenix said:

I’m going to preface this by stating that this discussion refers to of the month and other similar awards on roleplaying sites specifically. Having such awards on directory sites and non-roleplaying sites is an entirely different kettle of fish and I think completely separate from this discussion. So the question is: what do you think of such awards on roleplaying sites?

 

Personally, I’m not a fan of your standard Of the Month awards such as Character of the Month or Member of the Month where roleplaying sites are concerned. A lot of my prior experience with these is that it turns into a popularity contest with the same characters showing up over and over again.

 

Perhaps more importantly than that, members with characters that are not the tropes people like at the moment often find it difficult to even get nominated and they have little to no control over it.

 

Now with that in mind, I do reward people on my own site for being in the top six posters for any given month. Based on a combination of how much they write (words) and how often (posts) members will be acknowledged for contributing to the site in a way in which they can control. This isn’t so much an award, however, as a ‘thanks for contributing’.

I really appreciate this topic, because I'm quite new to running a forum specifically with award systems. I want to state that I have been running a forum with my husband for more than 3 years now quite successfully without any rewards at all. Our group certainly isn't large, but we've been with the same group for quite some time and are gaining new members rather decently. 

 

However, we have had some serious fun with the award systems, but as a collective staff team, being 4 different people staffing, we decided that "member of the month" or "character of the month" wasn't quite the idea we wanted to have in our community. It seems like a very unfortunate, and too often, clique thing to do and the same characters and members could end up being repeated several times over with no new or different style characters getting a highlight. 

 

I am curious if there are other means of creating a system to have this type of award, but without it being based on "votes" from friends and such. 

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I'm not a fan of otms either. for pretty much the same reasons as everyone else in this thread has listed. I decided to not implement them on my sites (present or past) because it is definitely a breeding ground for hurt feelings, bruised egos, and exploitation -- and that's in addition to it simply being a popularity contest (either ooc -- where the player themselves is just really vocal -- or ic -- where the character the player created is really well-loved either for their appearance or for their story -- I've seen both!). It's much safer and much more courteous to players to simply not spotlight any otms and encourage rp with any/all characters around the site.

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I’m not a fan. Even when you’re chosen, it’s awkward and honestly puts pressure on me. I don’t like it as an admin or a member. 

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