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Members, what does "welcoming" mean to you?


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Guest Archaic Cyborg

To me it means more than a sibgular 'hey there!' from the staff. I don't want or need welcoming from the entire mob, but something a little more personal and related to my character is always encouraging to read! As an ex staff member, I can understand how draining it is to greet new players over and over, but making an effort helps the community.

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Fucking write with me.   Seriously, that is all it takes. Hit up my shipper, suggest pairs or plots or threads. Don't make me do all the work.    At least pretend you are intereste

Oooh this is a great thread. I have a lot to think about with this!   I suppose "welcoming" goes beyond just saying "hello" and more of making an active attempt at involving me as a prospect

If a site has to advertise as "welcoming", I won't bother even looking at it, because in my experience they aren't.

I'm not a huge fan of seeing this in ads, I'll admit. Just like people who call their site "drama-free," I feel like it's just going to be opposite since they feel the need to broadcast it. I know that's not ALWAYS the case or anything but... sadly, it's just been my experience. 

 

But for me, I regard a site as welcoming when they're happy to have me on the site and seem genuinely interested in my character(s) and ideas. I've been on a few sites that really made me feel welcomed but it feels like that was years ago. (I think this is my fault, however. I've become less friendly over time, too.) 

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Our ad used to say "Welcoming" And "Drama-free" and I find both of those things are not only heavily rooted in opinion but also something not worth advertising about. I even have trouble stomaching most of what I've written for my advertisement on a good day and I can't tell if that's because of the current advertising style on boards or if I believe that some things should just be inherent to all games.

 

Things I ASSUME about all games that fall under "welcoming":

1) First Welcome- either I show up and get mobbed in chat, or at least the staff sends me a pm. I'm not picky - I just want to know that SOMEONE noticed I joined. 

2) Friendly Atmosphere - this to me is in ADDITION to the first contact and really what makes a site "welcoming". Once I'm settled and ready with a character I fully expect someone on the board to reach out for threads. It doesn't have to be staff, but anyone that sincerely read my character and found some good instance of how to get me involved is perfect.

3) Maturity - This is a MUST for me. I don't expect boards to be "drama free" as there will always be miscommunication that can cause an issue. However, I expect there to be someone reasonable walking around to keep everyone else in check - either by example or with staff stepping in when things need monitoring. To me, this is just as important as the first contact in establishing if a site is "welcoming". I find "immaturity" to be unwelcoming to the max.

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To me, it's a little more than the simple meet-and-greet. Welcoming, whether a new or seasoned member, should feel like part of the group. So like, when someone drops into the cbox and goes "hey!" yet people keep talking without acknowledging them, that's not very welcoming.  When someone is trying to participate in a conversation but is ignored or spoken over, that's not very welcoming, etc. So on and so forth.

 

One time, I was looking to join a site but it was very hard to read. The site was white with a pastel blue (that was almost white) font, or white font on pastel blue elements, etc. It was so hard to read, that I couldn't without highlighting (and I don't need glasses - it was that bright/light/low in contrast). I commented that it was hard to read in the cbox, and the members just started to attack me by calling me a - a potential member for a new site - philistine just because I mentioned it was hard to read. :|

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"Welcoming" is a very nice word, but, as with many words we seen thrown around, it's basically just a word at this point, in my opinion. While every site should indeed be welcoming, for me, truly welcome sites would mean a few things, in no particular order:

 

- Members and staff alike acknowledge new members at an OOC level;

- Members and staff alike are willing to plot with them (this, of course, relies on the new person putting themselves out there too);

- Communication lines are kept open - aka, don't welcome the new member for a week or so and then forget they even exist (again, this relies on the new member actively being there).

 

Summing this up, I believe welcoming should be a progressive concept, meaning, the community takes its time and warms up to new people over time, rather than what I've seen in some sites I've tried to become an active member of - everyone loves you when you join, and then you have to go around wondering what the heck is happening, because you're trying to plot with people or find someone to help you with something, and all you get for your trouble is silence.

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Like Rune, just....write with me. That's all I want from an RP forum, people to write with. If you come up with ideas and are receptive to my ideas (within reason), I feel welcomed.

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In short, to me a welcoming environment is a group of people who are curious enough to get to know me in any way they can and write with me should I approach them about a plot that they'd be interested in. The member doesn't have to do back-flips, but being able to relate to the community on some level and collaborate efficiently is what I think all sites should strive for. Not familial - but friendly.

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For me, it basically comes down to two things. One) A welcoming staff team and Two) the ability to come into a RP site and know what's going on/acclimate quickly. I've joined some sites where they've been open for so long/so many threads have taken place that I can't seem to mesh myself into the already made community :/ 

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7 hours ago, Red Robin said:

For me, it basically comes down to two things. One) A welcoming staff team and Two) the ability to come into a RP site and know what's going on/acclimate quickly. I've joined some sites where they've been open for so long/so many threads have taken place that I can't seem to mesh myself into the already made community :/ 

 

Red Robin, I have heard this for my long-lasting site too. Ask the staff's help and they will be glad to help you integrate into an older story. It doesn't matter how long they have been open and how many threads had taken place; it matters where your character fits in this puzzle, and this the staff can help you with, quickly. This way you can give a chance to a long-lasting, established site which isn't going to vanish in a couple of months, and to make new friends in the process.

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On 3/27/2018 at 7:33 PM, SithLordOfSnark said:

If a site has to advertise as "welcoming", I won't bother even looking at it, because in my experience they aren't.

 

Pretty much. All sites I found that say they're welcoming are kinda just not. I've had my fair share of cliques over the years and am super picky about when a site claims to be user/newbie friendly.

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On 4/18/2018 at 1:51 AM, Elena said:

 

Red Robin, I have heard this for my long-lasting site too. Ask the staff's help and they will be glad to help you integrate into an older story. It doesn't matter how long they have been open and how many threads had taken place; it matters where your character fits in this puzzle, and this the staff can help you with, quickly. This way you can give a chance to a long-lasting, established site which isn't going to vanish in a couple of months, and to make new friends in the process.

I actually can see where @Red Robin is coming from, honestly.  Sometimes it isn't just how long the site has been open. When it's been open for an elongated period of time the members that have been around for an extended time frame are comfortable, have inside jokes, and talk a LOT in the chat about their personal roleplays and plotlines while not cluing anyone else in. I don't see a problem with this, coming from the stand point of someone whom has been on a site for an extended period of time. You want your members to be involved with one another, feel comfortable in the chat to talk about their plots, laugh and joke about their character storylines. From a new member perspective, from someone who can be a bit shy and find it difficult to integrate, if there's a TON of that going on, and it's all on me to attempt to push myself in there somewhere when I don't even understand the jokes or half of the conversation going on, it can be frankly overwhelming and slightly difficult to see passed. It's not a detrimental thing, because I am a full believer in allowing your members that freedom, that comfort, but I can also understand the new member perspective here.

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@anthrxmilkshake, my point is that if you the new one want to get integrated, you'll ask for the staff's help and you'll make also some efforts of your own. The others hadn't been together for an eternity. At first, they weren't friends, but they became in time. They will become your friend too, if you are interested and prove willing to stay. When you want to understand something, just ask and you'll get replies!

 

The main problem for some established sites is that people who DON'T WANT to integrate (but would rather want the community to flock to them instead) join, then complain about cliques and say they weren't welcome, when they weren't even trying. Or they pass from the start, due to the prejudice that "longstanding=clicquey", the opportunity to get immersed into an interesting story. Remember, even in long time soap operas like Dallas or Young and Restless, new characters arrived at a few episodes, and they became quickly an integrating part of the story! Your new characters can be like this too...

 

It is not a clicque, but the staff told you your character idea is more suitable for a second character, once you are already integrated into the story, than for a first one. They told you that your Navy man should better be French and get into the story, while you wanted him English and have no plot right now.  Or you created your character, you got recommendations which threads to join or what threads to open in some cases, when there is no one you can join and when me starting the thread for you isn't an option for a reason or another (otherwise I would start it), then you do nothing at all, waiting for... what? Who would know you if you don't write, don't chat in the c-box, don't do anything than lurk silently?

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"Welcoming" is, to me, an environment where I feel comfortable getting involved in group settings, and a site culture where members go out of their way to plot with newcomers.

 

I'm an extremely shy person, so if I make the effort to speak up in a cbox or a group chat, it seems like such a simple thing to be acknowledged and not talked over. I've left sites before solely because whenever I tried to get involved in group settings, people were talking about plotting with such insular wording that I couldn't make heads or tails of the conversation - and when I said "hey, I can't keep up with what's happening", no one made any effort to explain "Oh, [Characters] are in [relationship] or [scenario]". I'm not asking for everything to come to a grinding halt so that I can get involved, just that people don't go 90 mph and leave me in the dust.

 

As for site culture relating to plotting, I never expect the effort to come solely from other people. However, if I go out of my way to plot with other people, and then no one plots with me or replies to my thoughts (whether on the board or on messengers, however things are comfortable), then I'm going to feel extremely unwelcome. Likewise, if I suggest threads and it's like talking to a brick wall, I'm probably going to find somewhere that's easier to break into.

 

Short version: Welcoming, to me, is a community where group settings and character plots are accessible to new members.

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Welcoming to me is a place where I feel I can root my characters. There is an atmosphere that needs to be present though. Aside from site plot and lore, I need to feel that other members or new people will feel receptive to my characters. Since my characters are pieces of myself, if they aren't welcome, how could I be? The chances I'd open up to people, to interact and want to be there, goes down without this factor. 

 

At the same time, I wonder about sites that advertise as being "LGBTQ+ friendly". It makes me wonder about sites that don't advertise as that. Do people think that the site has to be advertised that way to make sure people who fit that category or are supporters, feel welcome? Does that mean that sites who don't advertise as being LGBTQ+ friendly, would turn away those individuals? Probably not, and yet people still feel the need to distinguish that.

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I've joined sites before where the staffers acted friendly and helpful when I was in the early stages of joining, but then afterwards whenever I wanted to suggest something in regards to the site or had a question that wasn't covered anywhere there, they were very curt and short with me, like I was bothering them. To say nothing of the very obvious cliques and other tripe.  So to me welcoming means I shouldn't feel like an intruder at your board. Staffers don't have to constantly be in my face, but if someone has questions/concerns, you shouldn't have this "Leave me alone, you idiot" attitude or go "hi" once and then totally ignore me/be snitty towards me.

 

And @rahzilla brings up a great point -- if it feels like my characters aren't going to be well-received someplace, then I'm out. There are characters from certain canons at my current forum that I'm not into, but I don't say that publicly or anything. People can play whatever characters they like. I treat them the same way I do members who play characters I enjoy.

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