This has been on my mind for a while and only now am I speaking out about it. In recent months I feel that interaction within the community hasn't exactly been that great. This may be down to conflicting beliefs among users, differentiation of user preferences such as what they do and don't get involved with, Chat vs IRC, drama or maybe we're just lacking something completely. I don't attribute my concerns to anything in particular and no single thing is solely to blame. We may as well face reality - The Sims 4 could release at almost any time next year and we're likely to have a sudden influx of new users, more so than the typical TS3 expansion pack. I think now would be a good time for us all to put our differences aside and leave drama in the past so that we can discuss and generate ideas of how we can improve community interaction and by extension make this place more appealing to new users.
If anybody remembers, I started a discussion last year of a very similar topic. While only a few ideas were actually pursued, there were some very good ideas worth considering for this discussion that I'll list below. As this is a straight copy and paste from that discussion, I'll leave notes next to these community-suggested ideas where applicable. The ideas are as follows:
- More contests and games, such as in the off-topic forum
- Improving the Awards system to acknowledge a wide variety of things in addition to having an annual awards system
- Further promotion of the lesser used community features (such as contests, forums etc.) (note: this one has been floating around for a while. Forums have definitely improved but we can still do stuff with contests and such)
- Improving the user welcoming system either by reshaping the automated welcome message, having administrators welcome the users manually or something like that (note: I feel our current message can throw too much at a user so this one may be worth working with)
- More series-related engagement blogs, similar to this one
- Reviving/revamping Featured Content, namely fanon for engagement purposes (although everything seems to be lacking but if someone wants to propose something about this then feel free) (note: we've been taking baby steps with this and we're progressing but we still have room for improvement)
- Trying to get users involved with IRC and Chat (note: activity in those areas has definitely improved but perhaps there's more room for improvement)
As well as what's listed above, I have a couple of new ideas for community engagement myself:
- Building on the community's involvement with user blogs. I see a lot of interesting blogs here that go uncommented a lot of the time. We could definitely find some usage in opinion blogs and such. I remember this being proposed some time ago and nothing came of it, so it would be good to revisit it.
- Finding some usage with the wiki's YouTube and Steam accounts. I know there's not a whole lot we can do with them (I did try a out-of-the-box approach with the Steam group to almost no avail) but I think it would be good if we could find something to do with them even on a superficial level so that they're not written off as "pointless".
Forgive me if this thread seems overwhelming from the offset. We don't need to rush this and I feel if we remain focused we can get a lot done within the next few months. Right now the aim of this thread is to discuss how we can improve community engagement, suggest new ideas as well as amendments to the current listed ideas and so on. Don't be afraid to speak your mind in this thread. If there's something you don't like, something you feel we should change or something new you think we should go for then jot it down - you never know what could happen. </horrible attempt at inspiration>
I'll probably have more to add at a later time, but for right now there's one thing I do want to say. All the ideas listed above are good ideas and ones that we've discussed before, some several times. In my eyes, the problem isn't a lack of ideas, but rather a lack of activity towards implementing them. This isn't putting the blame on anyone, but rather saying that, maybe, if a user has a particular idea for building community activity, they should take a leadership role and forge ahead without having to worry about discussing it with the community at-large. I'm not supporting the idea of abandoning community consensus on things, but often people bring up ideas in this forum that die, not because they're bad ideas but because there's a lack of involvement here. Setting up the idea and then engaging users would probably work better. -- LostInRiverview talk ~ blog 12:59, October 13, 2013 (UTC)
- Picking up on what LiR said, I think another reason why community interaction is low is due to the fact that some users who come up with great ideas are timid to even begin a discussion as they think it is a really bad or wrong idea, or they feel that the community wouldn't pick up on it as they disagree with the idea. I have spoken with a few users who have came up with ideas and even though I told them otherwise, they appear to have no faith in their ideas. I just want to say one thing on this matter; there is no wrong or right idea. Every idea you come up with, it could be an idea that could possibly be used on the wiki. I myself have had feelings of doubt about some ideas I have came up with, but I push past the doubt and focus on the idea at hand.
- Anyway, back to Lab's proposal, I agree with it all and I really hope the community will take this on board and hopefully some great ideas will emerge from this. Of course, we do need some community input on the matter. Beds (parlare - da leggere) 10:04, October 14, 2013 (UTC)
Bumping because this thread has moved almost nowhere. I basically just want users to give their ideas in here, others can express enthusiasm over these ideas and then whoever can go and pursue their idea and so on, so you could say this is more of a hub for ideas than a formal discussion. I'm aware that TS4 won't be coming as soon as we anticipated but that doesn't mean we can't make changes as we see fit. Lost Labyrinth • (c) • (b) 23:56, October 27, 2013 (UTC)
This thread is, unsurprisingly, dead from lack of involvement. The issues here are still relevant, but should be brought up in new threads or in other forms. -- LostInRiverview talk ~ blog 02:53, December 18, 2013 (UTC)