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Josie

Ways to encourage guest participation in your site!

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Catching a guest's interest and getting them to interact with your site is key in gaining new members. What are ways you can encourage a guest to participate in your site without first having to sign up- outside of the usual (cbox, advertising, help forums)? Have you ever seen an idea that worked really well in getting guests to interact on your site? Why do you think it is so difficult to get guests to interact? As a guest, what kind of things would get you to interact on a site? Why do you think previous attempts to get guests to interact have failed?

 

This is something I've been consistently struggling with, and so I'm always trying to think of unique ways to get people involved! In the past, we had a Minecraft server that was open to anyone and we did actually have someone join up once with us while we were in a gaming session. They turned out to be kind of a griefer, but I would still encourage guests to play with us even so. The downside of this is that not everyone has Minecraft, so of course only certain people can participate.

 

My communities also often watch a lot of TV shows and movies on Rabb.it, and out of all those times we've only ever had one guest join us. I've wondered if maybe the links to the session could be made easier to access or more prominent, since they're usually just posted in the cbox... which for us isn't an issue, since we're not chatting there when the movie or show is going.

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Honestly, if a guest doesn't take the effort themselves, nothing you do will get them to linger longer than they normally do.

 

A site itself will catch their eye, no amount of 'Hello guests!' 'Come check us out here!' or 'Look at this thing!' will do it for you. 

 

It's a matter of luck, persistence and having your shit together enough to warrant a longer look.

 

But I'm also a pessimist.

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It depends on why the site wants the guest to participate I suppose. 

 

I've had some opposite outcomes where we had a guest or three interact a LOT and take up most of the admins and other players time but never do anything more than just turn up to 'Be Entertained'. 

 

I'm really interested in how to convert guest interaction into actual IC activity :)

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There seems to be a bit of a misunderstanding! 

 

The topic is: What are ways you can encourage a guest to participate in your site without first having to sign up- outside of the usual (cbox, advertising, help forums)?

 

Exclude talking with guests in the cbox as an option. What can be done in order to get guests more involved in the site outside of those areas?

 

For example, I have seen some sites have an "open roleplay" week or something like that, where anyone- even guests!- are allowed to roleplay on the site without having to post an application or something. Has anyone ever tried this before? Have you ever joined in on such an event? I have been in on such an event before in the past, but I was already a member of the site. It didn't seem to be very successful in getting guests to participate, though the idea was very fun! I suspect one of the reasons why it might have failed was due to a lack of awareness of the event taking place.

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One thing I have been trying is showing that the admin has an interest in their members. It's not a direct Guest recruitment, but I've been on sites where the admin/mods greet new members by posting in their introduction thread (which is fine) but they copy and paste the same greeting for each new member which makes it impersonal, and doesn't make the interest seem genuine to me.

 

The idea is that if a the admin sees that the admin is interested in their members, then perhaps the guest will feel welcome and decide to join. I am looking forward to seeing what ideas people come up with because I may try some of them out.

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I had a thought about this yesterday but was too tired to write up anything about it! Basically, on my forums we have these monthly activities called Weekend Quests! The Weekend Quests started off as an experiment to help try and build a sense of community among the members. They're not unlike scavenger hunts, in the sense that you have to do a series of random tasks and then are rewarded for completing them! They are easy things to do and don't really require that you spend a lot of time on them or use any skills, like graphics or coding.

 

I wonder if opening those events up to guests might get people to participate too, just for some silly fun... though I would have to find something to reward the guests with too. Hmm...

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23 hours ago, CovertSphinx said:

I'm with @Rune on this one. Mainly because guests won't know about any of these "events" unless they happen to wander by at the right time.

That's true, but also not true! I suppose it depends on the amount of effort you put out there to advertise that an event is taking place. It's not uncommon for sites these days to have tumblrs, Twitter pages, or even Facebook pages. Those are all good ways to get the news about an upcoming event out there, and we know that they do work- otherwise people wouldn't start buzz blogs before a forum opens!

 

But on that note, tumblr pages, twitter, and Facebook are good ways to get guests to interact with the site too I suppose...

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3 minutes ago, Elena said:

I did participate in open events and I organised one on a site. 

What kind of events were they that you participated in? How did you find out about them?

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I organised on "Beat to Quarters", for a great battle, the possibility for guests to join with NPCs for a battle. It was advertised on the site and I also approached several people I knew who wanted the experience of having a character die. It went so and so, both because of the participants who posted a few times then left and of the organisers, given that the administrators (I was a moderator there) got slower, swamped in real life problems, in that period.

 

I had fun on an anniversary of "Keep the Magic Secret", an Arthurian RPG, where it was a masquerade party that anyone could join. And I joined it with a character who had the same playby like Guinevere, so the confusion ensued and hilarity. I learnt about it advertised on RPG-D. And I learnt about other such events which I couldn't join, the same way.

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On 11/28/2016 at 2:55 PM, Gothams Reckoning said:

and we know that they do work- otherwise people wouldn't start buzz blogs before a forum opens!

 

But on that note, tumblr pages, twitter, and Facebook are good ways to get guests to interact with the site too I suppose...

 

 

Buzz Blogs? I must be getting really old, what in the world are these and how do they function in supplementing a site?

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On 05/12/2016 at 0:26 AM, CovertSphinx said:

 

 

Buzz Blogs? I must be getting really old, what in the world are these and how do they function in supplementing a site?

 

I'm using mine as a lazy codex and a place to summarise events on the forum. Not so much of a dedicated buzz blog (though I should buzz with it closer to opening) but it might serve as way to attract to interest from outside the usual RP sources?

 

I've seen other sites (namely @Gothams Reckoning) use it to highlight IC quotes, post amusing OOC quotes, announce events, publish fanfic about the site and so on.

 

To the original question though! I'm thinking seriously of using jackbox games (Linky) as a community bonding thing. They're just games styled after quiz shows but they can be played from your phone and only require the host to own the games. Participants need to go to jackbox.tv and enter in the room code that you give them, and then their name to participate. There's a limit on the number of players, but there is a lot of audience participation as well and the upper limit for audience is effectively limitless. I imagine it's a bit of silliness that you can advertise in the cbox for any guests that might be poking around.

 

When I get it, happy to host a session with the folk here to try it out! I haven't played it before (or hosted) but I've seen it streamed a few times and thought it looked like fun.

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This is honestly a super interesting thought that Gotham's brought up - I've never considered anything like this, myself being a frequent guest on sites between advertising and just looking for something. I tend to join myself if the plot and options are to my liking, though the idea of guests-as-NPCs for interaction is absolutely gold! If I can figure out how to implement this on my own site, I absolutely want to!

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