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anthrxmilkshake

The Community Feel

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Hey guys, I know for me it is incredibly important to be a part of a roleplay forum that has a sense of community. In fact, I've found myself recently surprised to find there's a surprisingly large amount of people who prefer to be left alone entirely as they join a forum. Which side of the fence are you on? How important to you is it that a forum has a chat system,a way to simply relax and be people? Do you feel it hinders the roleplay process, keeps people from actually posting on a site? Is it to much for you to have to be a part of a chat and a forum? Do you need the chat alongside the forum to feel welcome and an integrated part of the community and forum itself?

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I'm... indifferent, honestly. I'm perfectly cool with being on a chat, and all that, people saying welcome, asking questions, chat plotting, etc. But I'm not a particularly 'chat-oriented' person. I prefer to do my plotting and communication via forum and PMs.

 

But I don't knock anyone who prefers to act differently. I just prefer to interact in less 'real-timey' ways and have time to think about my responses before I send them.

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My personal preference is for direct plotting and planning via our chat. However, if someone else prefers to do it on the forum or via PMs, I will usually accommodate them. My caveat on both forms of communication is that it is fair and equal (i.e. one of us is not doing all of the work).

 

Our site provides a plot request forum for character stories. We also use a forum to track each episode's main plot. This planning thread is updated as events occur or as discussions in Discord add more detail for it.

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I think that community is a big part of what attracts me to RPing. Mostly because RPing can be rather intense sometimes so it's really nice in a figurative way to have some down time in the ooc forum with people that you get on with. The forum I'm on really focuses on being a family and we always love to have a natter most days.

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I love the community. I love it both online and real life. I often will get invited to join other sites and end up just loving their community too! I think this is what makes this such a great hobby and helps keep me passionate about it.

 

A lot of times we'll have a voice chat at least once a week if not every other week. They become your friends and when things happen you reach out just the same. I love to see the friendships forged and the sites that build from or inside our own. 

 

So yes I think it is super important and the best!

 

Now on the other side of that same coin I have had to learn to put my hands up and go 'Nope, can't be friend tonight, I need to post and write.' And both IRL and OL friends have come to accept this about me. I turn my phone off, shut my discord down, and get to werk. 

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I love community and discussions. I don't care if they are in real time or on the forum, as long as they exist.

 

Actually I would prefer a mix of both, because real time conversations are frustrating when nobody talks to you while you are online, but you wake up to 10 pages of conversation... all in your absence, then silence again while you are online. And I would love meaningful discussions more than shooting breeze. Talking about characters and plots, further ideas, exchanging resources, writing methods, challenges, etc. Talking about your country and what's significant in its culture, traditions, history, music, the differences in everyday life (social system, school system, health system). Learning new things.

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The community doesn't have to be constantly present and around 24/7, as I feel a lot of people seem to need/assume: they just need to be responsive to inquiries and be nice.  I want to WRITE with other people, not chat up a storm like mothers in a PTA meeting or the neighborhood church's annual "Easter Brunch with Jesus".

Spoiler

I believe these days a lot of people put undo pressure on admins and start-up forums that they need to be active 24/7 in order to catch a guest the second one shows up as a prospective member - to answer any and all questions immediately like an instant-service chat bot -- or else they get "Eh, you have no community", "Oh you guys are dead too bad x( x(", "Cool site bros, but I correlate your quality of community directly with how many members you currently have". 


The reason I don't like to be hounded past "Hey welcome aboard, glad to have you here, if you need anything give a shout we're all happy to help you get started" is mainly because of a deep-seeded red flag ingrained my soul: anybody who comes across as having an overzealous amount of energy and immediately wants to know about ME puts me in an automatic defensive mode. 
Less: "OOhh, Manic Pixie Dream Girl! "
And more: "Uh-oh, Mean Girls. As soon as you say anything they're going to go giggle to their buddies about the weird new kid and make fun of you while pretending to like you".

Obviously it's an initial bias that can be overcome, but figured I'd just share my initial reactions to being glomped with attention I'm not used to receiving on a normal basis. 

 

 

Ultimately though, I'm a just a weird minority case. I don't NEED the feeling of social acceptance to enjoy or start RPing. I'd prefer my ooc friendships to forge organically through common threading/character-interaction - the same way one might pop into matchmaking on Call of Duty, enter a random squad, and start chatting with your teammates while you're camping the objective and already working well together in the game. Or Here as a prime example: I didn't join because I started chatting with everyone in Discord and liked the people-people, I found interesting discussions in the forum's areas of actual purpose and have thus overtime forged a bond with all of you guys. 

 

Edited by CovertSphinx
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I couldn't conceive of starting a forum sans (discord in my case) because I have found that it helps RP. It is easier for me to rapidly discuss plots, get a gauge of people, and to quickly fact check. I also know that that aspect is important to plenty of people, and there's no reason for me to exclude it.

 

I also like to RP with people I like. 

 

But I don't need a strong OOC community. If I'm writing and our threads have a sense of continuity I'm pretty happy. I don't need a strong OOC community because I'm quiet and introverted in all aspects of my life. I do get overwhelmed and downright foul if I'm being too social.

 

Which is to say, I would probably be singing a very different tune if I felt lonely.

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Okay I've been bad for years about being an extremely private person with my real life. I'm working on it though? Like was mentioned before, I prefer my friendships with others to come organically. Usually when I start somewhere it's because I've been asked to help so I already know who's there. I've been timid about joining new places because of a forum that I was previously on telling me I'm "not their kind of people" which honestly really put me off. 

 

So community is nice, but not a major thing with me. I tend to like to ease into things and have someone there that I can contact somehow to answer my questions. So for me, chats are nice for once I get my bearings, let me get a feel for things on my own first.

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I definitely need a way to gauge the community, so a visible/active chat is a must for me. If I find the other members likeable/relatable, then it'll make joining, threading, and committing to the site that much easier. I also get lonely when I can't chat with others, or when I don't feel comfortable enough to chat with others. ;w; /Sociable Funny enough, I really don't need a chat on resource forums. Not sure why.

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On an RP forum, I definitely need that sense of community and I work hard to make it an integral part of how Tally runs.

 

It's not for everyone, but it's there for those who want it. We do have more "casual" members that don't need the more intense social side, and we love them just as much as the weirdos sharing memes in Discord and coming up with increasingly more hilarious plot ideas. As long as everyone is having fun, it's all good. I'd never pressure people to be involved where they don't want to, and there's always ways to contact me and my staff if they're not comfortable in the public chat.

 

For the most part, we're a social group that celebrates together, looks out for each other, and I consider them my excellent online family.

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Community is really important to me. It doesn't have to be particularly active, but it has to be there. I want to know the other players as people, too, and it's easier and more convenient for me to bounce around plot ideas and such in real time rather than using threads. ... I bet it's easier for the other person, too, as I can get pretty verbose and wordy at times while wandering off on completely unrelated tangents and forget the main point until after I hit post. Real time chats force me to stay focused.

 

On 04/04/2018 at 10:54 AM, Uaithne said:

I've been noticing over the past couple months how many people are stating that they have anxiety which hinders their interaction to the point that someone else merely reaching out to them is freaking them out. As an admin, it's hard for me to know what to do with that information.

 

Actually! This is an interesting point, because my anxiety gets worse without OOC interaction. Because without it, I can't really tell if I'm making an impact or if I'm even wanted on the site. It makes it feel more formal, almost, instead of being a fun hobby. Some people relax by just doing what they enjoy while shutting out the world, buuuut I already shut out the world too much on my own and I need the reminder of other people to drag me back down so I don't get lost ruminating in my own head. I'm sort of a weird case though, in that I find it much easier interacting with strangers than my friends sometimes.

 

I do get that sudden attention can be overwhelming, though, which is why I don't generally say hi or point out new members until they speak up first. If they do indicate that they want to be included in the bantering, I'll go out of my way to make sure that they feel included, but I don't want to drag anyone into it against their will. Some people might see it as being insular and cliquey, but I'd rather accidentally offend someone than accidentally set off an anxiety flare or panic attack.

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Community is important to me. It boggles my mind and frightens me that people don't like joining sites where they get bombarded with welcome. 

 

As a player and an admin I want an active community. It is difficult to keep friendships based only on the game - we have real lives and often chat gets sidetracked BIG TIME but to me that feels like a healthy community. I'm not big on talking about my personal life, but others are. I prefer to talk about my characters and their reactions CONSTANTLY. It helps motivate me, it helps me feel inspired and it helps me post quicker, but if someone wants to chat with me about work instead, I don't mind at all. In fact - I feel happier knowing that someone is around and that they want to talk to me for whatever reason.

 

Our game NEEDS a discord chat. We talk constantly. CONSTANTLY. I've noticed it helps too. People become more integrated, their characters more involved with chat. Not all interaction between characters can be posted and played on the forum. There's not enough time in the day. Some things need to be chatted and quickly skimmed over so you can get to the next good bit!

 

 

 

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