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Community management.

Kiphere's Avatar


Kiphere
02.28.2012 , 09:20 AM | #1
This isn't about the game, this is about the community. The following responses to this thread will make my point for me so I won't cite any examples

MMO forums are, generally speaking, cesspools of insanity and whining. However, they don't have to be that way. Paying some one to actually 'work' the forums as their job can go a long way towards helping keep the community a little more civil and a little more beneficial to both the developers and the customers. It's worked in other forums and it can work here.

I know you have some folks who work with the community and post, and I know you have moderators that issue warnings and deal with locking/deleting threads but it really needs to be stepped up. I've got some community management experience from previous MMOs both on official forums as well as decent sized unofficial community sites so I thought I'd share a few 'tips'.


As I said dealing with forums should be 1 persons full time job and it should be broken down into categories.

1. Policing. Locking/deleting redundant threads and redirecting people to a single thread to consolidate feedback. Monitoring these consolidated threads and making sure they stay on track by deleting obvious troll posts and attempts at derailing the thread with off topic discussion points. Actually posting a 'response' to the thread occaisionally to bring it back on topic goes a long way because as soon as some one sees some "official" text in that special color they latch onto it and start talking about whatever that person mentioned. Even as a forum moderator you can post something obvious without having to release official details or 'take a stance' that could be held against you later. The politics are easy to manipulate once you recognize how the mass of forum goers deals with things.

2. Community Support. You have a lot of people posting things in various forums like guides, consolidated "issues" threads for classes, or other resources. They go out of their way to make the info available. The moderators of the forums should be supporting those people by assiting with maintaining their sticky threads. Editing/cleaning them up, etc. Also as part of community support as a moderator you can make reports to the developers based on what you observe in the various class/crewskill/pvp forums. The little nooks and crannies that the developers probably dont' have time to monitor as closely as some one who was 'working' the forums full time. I used to write these up and called them "perception reports" You basically take the top topics from each forum "Troopers" "PVP" "Crewskills" etc and write a short report on that portion of the game and how the players are currently responding. It helps the developers keep their finger on the pulse of the community without having to weed through the morass that is the forum.

3. "Presence" this is the most important part. By having an active moderator, even if they are nothing more than a moderator you have an active 'presence' on the forum. Some one who talks to the community in an almost social way not official. They become the communities 'representative' to the developers if they play their cards right and help bridge the gap between customer and company.


You guys have some good forum folks already. I'm not knocking the job that Gonzo and crew are already doing but more of a personal touch and dedicated presence on the forums would go a long way towards turning this mass of posts and text into something more valuable to both the community of gamers and the developers.
Kiphere
Giradda The Hutt

Averran's Avatar


Averran
02.28.2012 , 09:30 AM | #2
Hello Kiphere!

We have an entire team of Community folks that regularly engage in many of the activities you describe now, though we may not always stick out in the sea of posts you'll regularly find on the forums. Should you have any suggestions feel free to send us an email at communitysupport@swtor.com.

We know that the community is always looking for developer participation on the forums and one of the best ways to keep up-to-date on developer posts is through the Developer Tracker.

You may also be interested in our blog feature where developers will give their thoughts on aspects of the game, clarification on issues and server related messages like patch notes or maintenance times.

As community moderation isn't an appropriate game related topic for discussion here on the forums we are going to close this thread. Have a great rest of your day!