Welcoming New Contributors to the Community – Suggestions

Gary Gary
We want to welcome more of the new people, who are signing up everyday, to the community. We want them to feel welcome and comfortable participating in the community, just like most of you feel. So the idea to welcome them here on the community forum came up among staff and was green-lighted by the big boss. So, this was an EF decision. We were trying out something new, with the best of intentions.

Some of you, in the worst way possible and by setting a negative example of how concerns are handled in the community, suggested that this idea of posting multiple threads may not be the best idea. A private message or separate thread would have been much more considerate. Way to make people feel welcome, by telling them that they are not worth a thread and that it’s just clutter. The assumption that these new contributors do not want to be welcomed just illustrates the problem even more – they are being disregarded, treated as if they have to earn a welcome by doing reviews and posts. What you do not know is that several of the new people we welcomed have reviews in the works.

Our overall goal here is to allow new people the chance to be a part of our community, and eliminate the negativity that often intimidates and pushes them away. Yes, we are 100% sure that people feel unwelcome and intimidated – we’ve heard it many times, and that must change. So we are doing something about it. Here is a thread for you to suggest actual ideas and not just criticism. So what are your suggestions?

I thought this poll might be useful – it is public voting, and hopefully everyone who has an opinion will share it here it.

Thanks!
Answers (public voting - your screen name will appear in the results):
No one should be welcomed to the Community
Everyone should be welcomed in their own thread
Daily Thread, welcoming everyone that is new that day
Carrie Ann , Gary , Victoria , El-Jaro , ~LaUr3n~ , LicentiouslyYours , Hannah Savage , J's Alley , Jenn (aka kissmykitty) , MuffysPinguLove , Annemarie , ToyTimeTim , Alan & Michele , Elodie , kck , Sammi , Dragon , Maiden , Holly (Woman Tribune) , ♥ Amanda ♥ , Airen Wolf , Heartthrob , AVDisco , PassionQT , Sexy Machine , Avalee , Rainbow Boy , Valentinka , YoungGun , streetshark182 , Woman China , bobowaxer , *HisMrs* , zracer , Emma (Girl With Fire) , cec578 , kendra30752 , Silverdrop , tooshy , svalentine;) , animepanda89 , jessi2 , Kissy
43  (49%)
Weekly Thread, welcoming everyone new for each week
Miss Cinnamon , Sir , Adriana Ravenlust , Splendwhore , tim1724 , Epiphora , Gardenvy , Jul!a , Kayla , Tori Rebel , Keeshia , *Ashley* , LikeSunshineDust , Andromeda , sexysweetieshan , P'Gell , Pleasure Piratess , petite-n-sweet , dv8 , REDRUM , zeebot , ellejay , bluekaren , Selective Sensualist , C4ss , Miss T , Southern Lady , guard083 , Incendiaire , freud13 , padmeamidala , amenti , Ayumi , charmedtomeetyou
34  (39%)
Post a welcome thread when each person’s 1st review is submitted.
Sera , sixfootsex
2  (2%)
Other (please explain below)
DONOTSHOPHERETHEOWNERISPSYCHO , Sundae , Saraid , Darling Dove , Rayne Millaray , Red , DeliciousSurprise , bradav
8  (9%)
Total votes: 87
Poll is closed
05/11/2010
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DONOTSHOPHERETHEOWNERISPSYCHO DONOTSHOPHERETHEOWNERISPSYCHO
I admit, I'm a bit anal retentive about things with a mild case of OCD, but to me forums are for discussions.

Perhaps there could be someone specifically designated to write welcome letters to new members to the community. Sort of like they do at Fetlife or other communities. A little letter in their community mailbox and e-mail(if they provided one) telling them 'Hey! We're so glad to have you!' followed by a run down of some basics about Eden Fantasys. How to use different features, links to helpful information on EF, and directing them to people they can contact with whatever questions/issues they have in the future.

If anyone else wants to welcome new contributors they can see who the newest folks are by looking on the community homepage. They can shoot them a personal mail or leave a comment on their profile.
05/11/2010
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
Nicely said, Gary.

I personally don't like the individual posts, think a daily post would be much nicer and easier to manage with less clutter.

But I absolutely agree that complaining about them - especially voicing those complaints ON a welcome thread - was in very bad taste. Way to make that person feel like never coming back, guys!

I remember being told, once upon a time, by some of the very contributors who do the loudest complaining on the forum now, that I should shut up and send a private message, stop making drama and complaints on the forum. I think, perhaps, it's time for some of those people to take their own advice.

A private message or two to find out why this was being done and voice your concerns would have been a much nicer way to handle it than thoughtless comments were. As Gary said, we've simply proven that we are NOT welcoming - and that sucks.
05/11/2010
Miss Cinnamon Miss Cinnamon
After a bit more pondering, I'm changing my vote to "Daily" instead. My original thought was that a Weekly thread, along with the Rumble and Roundup, would be a nice weekly feature. However, considering the fact that we have approximately 40-50 new contributors joining us each week, it would be far better to have a daily thread, featuring 5-7 new members at a time.
05/11/2010
~LaUr3n~ ~LaUr3n~
Quote:
Originally posted by Carrie Ann
Nicely said, Gary.

I personally don't like the individual posts, think a daily post would be much nicer and easier to manage with less clutter.

But I absolutely agree that complaining about them - especially voicing those complaints ... More
I agree. A daily or weekly or even just one all-mighty thread is best.

I wasn't bothered by it enough to complain. I simply had just noticed and thought it was cute. I was surprised to see a thread at all and also think it was in poor taste/thinking. But after it being brought up as an issue, and thinking about it, I thought of the long term amount of threads. I welcome people on their reviews and their profiles. I plan to continue doing that thread or not.
05/11/2010
Victoria Victoria
Quote:
Originally posted by Carrie Ann
Nicely said, Gary.

I personally don't like the individual posts, think a daily post would be much nicer and easier to manage with less clutter.

But I absolutely agree that complaining about them - especially voicing those complaints ... More
A-fucking-men. I am so sick of the negative complainy bullshit from people who do not even contribute here - if you only come here to criticize and complain, but never have a kind word or a positive comment, please leave. The good people here don't deserve to bear the brunt of your boredom and bullying.

That being said, we DO have a lot of AWESOME community members - and I am so grateful that they have consistently made others feel welcome and have shared their knowledge for the greater good of this community. There is no other adult site that is this welcoming and all-encompassing, and that is worth nurturing.
05/11/2010
Sundae Sundae
Quote:
Originally posted by Carrie Ann
Nicely said, Gary.

I personally don't like the individual posts, think a daily post would be much nicer and easier to manage with less clutter.

But I absolutely agree that complaining about them - especially voicing those complaints ... More
I can see how that was in poor taste on a welcome thread, so those posts have been copied over to the other thread that was started to discuss the topic. I'd suggest if you wanted to create a new thread for that member or delete those posts, then that would work. To me, there was a question of where to start a new thread, especially once discussion had begun there - it's hard to make it migrate sometimes.

Just on the point of PMs - I think there is a valid point to be made about their use, yet often I find myself hesitating when it comes to using them. I don't want to send one to find that I'm the only one who is bothered by an issue and embarrass myself. At least if you post a comment in an open forum you can get a discussion going on the topic and get a feel for what others think on the topic as well. There are situations in which this is definitely not appropriate, which is fine, but sometimes it's hard to know which way to go. It's not a matter of wanting drama and to create friction, it's just an easier way to gauge public opinion, at least in my mind.
05/11/2010
~LaUr3n~ ~LaUr3n~
Quote:
Originally posted by Victoria
A-fucking-men. I am so sick of the negative complainy bullshit from people who do not even contribute here - if you only come here to criticize and complain, but never have a kind word or a positive comment, please leave. The good people here ... More
Also agreed. I don't know why it was necessary to make a complaint thread in the first place. I never saw the original one that was transferred over or whatever, but if you are enjoying the community, people wouldn't be bothered by this kind of trivial stuff and negativity isn't needed.
05/11/2010
Saraid Saraid
I think if people will inclined to welcome the new members, a post on their profile would be nice. They would even be more likely to see it than a post in the forum. Also, it would keep the forum free from clutter while still welcoming everyone.
05/11/2010
Jenn (aka kissmykitty) Jenn (aka kissmykitty)
While individual threads for members are a nice touch, it's also true that having so many individual threads could overrun the community and cheapen the welcome. Therefore, I think a nice compromise would be to have a daily welcoming thread. This way, new members are still individually mentioned and welcomed, and the forum is kept tidier.

I also agree with what both Gary and Carrie Ann had to say. It's fine to disagree with things that are being done, but is it really appropriate to voice those disagreements -- and invite others to do the same -- on a thread that is for a new member? That gives off the wrong kind of vibe about the EF community. :/
05/11/2010
Gary Gary
Quote:
Originally posted by DONOTSHOPHERETHEOWNERISPSYCHO
I admit, I'm a bit anal retentive about things with a mild case of OCD, but to me forums are for discussions.

Perhaps there could be someone specifically designated to write welcome letters to new members to the community. Sort of like ... More
I agree about using the forum for discussions... this would hopefully stimulate discussions by getting people talking to each other.
05/11/2010
Hannah Savage Hannah Savage
Quote:
Originally posted by Saraid
I think if people will inclined to welcome the new members, a post on their profile would be nice. They would even be more likely to see it than a post in the forum. Also, it would keep the forum free from clutter while still welcoming everyone.
This is exactly what I meant to say in my response to other's complaints about individual threads. I am sorry if what I wrote came across negatively, and I apologize very much for that. (Note to self: Finish coffee before posting on the forum)

I think it is a nice idea to have a welcome thread, thank you Gary for suggesting this.
05/11/2010
Sir Sir
When I saw Mr. Sauce making those threads, I knew immediately "Alright, they're up to something!" It was fairly obvious, as it's never been done before.

But I do feel that a weekly forum post would be best, with links to their contributor profiles so that we can easily click them and comment to give a warm welcome! I like the idea of a newsletter email, though. That would be nice. (Not necessary, though.) The amount of new people coming to the community is way too much to make a post for every single one! So I do feel that it would be better to do it weekly, simply because it will get more people looking at it as opposed to daily forum posts with the individuals that joined that day.
05/11/2010
Alan & Michele Alan & Michele
A daily thread is a nice idea, because it sort of draws the new members into the forum too in a roundabout way. I also agree with what Saraid mentioned, but that's where those of us who have been here longer should just take it upon ourselves to make them feel welcome as well.
05/11/2010
ToyTimeTim ToyTimeTim
Quote:
Originally posted by Victoria
A-fucking-men. I am so sick of the negative complainy bullshit from people who do not even contribute here - if you only come here to criticize and complain, but never have a kind word or a positive comment, please leave. The good people here ... More
I could not say it better myself! Hale Victoria!!
I thought it was way immature of those that posted negative comments on those welcome threads.
I hope the new members don't get the wrong idea from our few bad seeds.
05/11/2010
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
Quote:
Originally posted by Jenn (aka kissmykitty)
While individual threads for members are a nice touch, it's also true that having so many individual threads could overrun the community and cheapen the welcome. Therefore, I think a nice compromise would be to have a daily welcoming thread. This ... More
Exactly. How "worthy" are these copy and paste welcomes anyway? Not very.

A thread once a week, maybe.

I mean, how many people have even replied to their welcome threads? I haven't seen a single one. We all KNOW many of these people won't stick around.
05/11/2010
Elodie Elodie
I could see the point the people who thought the threads were a bad idea were trying to make. They could have been more tactful, but everyone messes up at times.

I like the idea of a daily thread. For individual welcomes, posting on the new members' walls would, I think, be the best route.
05/11/2010
Splendwhore Splendwhore
I'd have to agree that an individual thread for each new member is a bit cumbersome. If we are proceeding with announcing all new members, I believe a weekly thread would be the best option. I can understand wanting to welcome each person to the community and make them feel at home.

What do you think of the idea of personal greeters? Advanced members who volunteer to send private messages to each new contributor, just saying hello and letting them know that someone is there who cares and wants to help, should they need it. We could have two or three people who manage this, and to be fair it could rotate once a month so that everyone shares in the responsibility. Thoughts, concerns?
05/11/2010
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
Quote:
Originally posted by Adriana Ravenlust
Exactly. How "worthy" are these copy and paste welcomes anyway? Not very.

A thread once a week, maybe.

I mean, how many people have even replied to their welcome threads? I haven't seen a single one. We all KNOW many of ... More
Perhaps new contributor involvement and retention was the point behind the posts?

Not every attempt works but making the attempt is pretty damned important.
05/11/2010
Sir Sir
Quote:
Originally posted by Splendwhore
I'd have to agree that an individual thread for each new member is a bit cumbersome. If we are proceeding with announcing all new members, I believe a weekly thread would be the best option. I can understand wanting to welcome each person to the ... More
A lot of people, sadly, do not have their message system already open. They have to activate it first. Perhaps getting rid of the activation for messages, THEN allowing already established reviewers who would like to be a part of this greet them would be best.
05/11/2010
Darling Dove Darling Dove
My personal opinion is that this should be handled how other forums handle it- with a separate welcome forum that is not mixed in with the other topics. Now yes, there IS category for welcome threads, but when you view the forum, all the topics are mixed. One way to fix this is to just allow people to choose which topics they see 'mixed' and then they can go to other topics separately.

Another way would simply be having a separate welcome page all unto itself. There is NOTHING wrong with welcoming people- but almost universally across the internet, this is done separately from the normal topics, because when it is mixed in, the welcome topics have the potential to drown out other topics on the forum.

Typically, on other forums with a welcome area, people do go and welcome the new members, I think the issue here is people feel as though their normal topics are being intruded upon. To me personally, it is confusing, but I think it is largely an organizational problem rather than an actual problem with new members.

Organize it better, so that avid forumgoers and other forum users have a choice as to what they see on the forums, and I really don't think anyone would mind if everyone has a welcome thread I know that seems like "shoving it aside" but every other forum I am on with a separate welcome area still gets plenty of posts in that area, so I don't think that would happen at all.

EDIT
I would just like to say
Back when I joined, the older contributors personally messaged every new member. It made me feel much more welcome in the community and I was surprised that someone cared that much, even though it may have been a copy and paste message. I do think that having threads to welcome people is a good replacement for personal messages, since the volume of new users is too much to personally message people anymore and automated welcome messages simply do not have the same charm as a warm welcome from REAL people- copy and pasted or not.
05/11/2010
Juliettia Juliettia
Quote:
Originally posted by Adriana Ravenlust
Exactly. How "worthy" are these copy and paste welcomes anyway? Not very.

A thread once a week, maybe.

I mean, how many people have even replied to their welcome threads? I haven't seen a single one. We all KNOW many of ... More
I have to agree with this.

Copy and Paste Let's Welcome threads are too impersonal and makes me care less. It almost seems robotic rather than friendly. I think that a thread once a week announcing all the new people who have joined will be enough.

Perhaps you should have a system to prompt them to take the traditional message board feel and have them announce themselves (like the staff does) and a bit of what they would like to share. How they found EF, what interested them, their hopes, if they like ponies.

I would care then and most likely be stoked that they themselves took the time to extend themselves and say, "Hey you seem awesome? You like ponies? I don't, but we can still get along. I look forward to getting to know you a bit more."
05/11/2010
TitsMcScandal TitsMcScandal
Um, call me rude all you want, but I think they are annoying to look at. Bitchy? Fine, I'll be the one to step forward on it.

Yeah, it's a nice thought, but I sorta think, most of these people won't stick around.

If you want to welcome them, I'd say weekly. Only because it is less to look at in the jumble.

People are throwing forward the idea of greeters [a la FetLife I'm assuming]. I'm a FetLife greeter, and while the majority of our letters are cut/paste it is still from a real person, which is what people recognize and appreciate. It's not some bot. You wouldn't believe the amount of thank yous we get. So those of you who say that the cut/paste welcome idea is too robotic and people won't like it, I beg to differ. I would recommend this option over all the others. Heck, I would even volunteer to greet, if it meant that it would keep our discussion board clear for discussion.
05/11/2010
Kayla Kayla
While the idea is nice, and I'm definitely for new member retention, I'm also wondering why it needs to be done on the forums. I'm all for a weekly one, if that's what everyone thinks is best, but for the most part, when I just started, I never checked the forums. I honestly probably didn't even know the forums existed. So I never would have seen my topic. Now, if someone messaged me or something, I would have been e-mailed, and I would have noticed that.

I'm also wondering what constitutes a new member as well. Are these people who are signing up for accounts to make check-out easier for purchases or are these people signing up for purposes of using the forums/reviewing? 'cause if they just want to purchase, I doubt they check the forums honestly.

If anything, I completely vote for weekly. It'd be nice to have a one-a-week thread welcoming people although many won't probably see it. Greeting someway where the person is e-mailed, or it's personal to just them, is honestly more along the lines of my vote. But if you guys have done the research and whatnot and think it will work, I'm for weekly posts.

As it stands, individual posts currently have these pros and cons:
Pros:
Welcomes members to the community
Makes EF look like a much more welcoming place

Cons:
Will allow members to post-spam on this topics to improve their ranking
Clogs up the forums and pushes the thought-out topics down
May make other new members, who write topics, feel unaccepted because no one noticed their post
Looks a little spammy - especially since we get so many new members a day

So I think we need to find something that maximizes our pros and minimizes the cons. (Of course, I'm against the daily posting, so my list may be biased.) I'm either for private greeting or weekly greeting. That minimizes the problem.

Either way, it was a great idea to start welcoming new members, and I'm excited that EF is attempting to get more of the new members to stay.

(If this came across bitchy, it was not intentional. Honest. I'm not much for confrontation.)
05/11/2010
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
Quote:
Originally posted by Carrie Ann
Perhaps new contributor involvement and retention was the point behind the posts?

Not every attempt works but making the attempt is pretty damned important.
Then wouldn't it be more effective to send a PM (or perhaps a generic e-mail upon joining) to alert them that the forums exist and allow them to make their own introduction post?

The fact is, most people don't even know the forums exist. We have to get them here, first.
05/11/2010
Sammi Sammi
I think a daily thread is the way to go. A daily thread will feature a smaller number of new contributors, and will be more welcoming, I believe, than a large one once a week.
05/11/2010
Luscious Lily Luscious Lily
I'm really undecided about which way to lean at this point (hence why I haven't voted yet). I do have one thought in favor of a weekly welcome thread, over a daily one: a lot of us don't get on every day. I'd like to frequent the welcomes and say hi, but if it's daily it would be easy for them to be missed. A weekly one will be seen by everyone who comes by even once a week; each individual member gets more time when people are looking at that list and saying hi. (I don't know how many new people are joining each day, though. This may be impractical)

A thought to address the "what if they don't know about the forums and never seen their welcome" bit: set it up so that anyone welcomed has that thread added to their email alerts. It can be turned off later if they want, but this way they'll know about it!

I really like the idea of greeters, and I would volunteer to be one, especially if they were on a rotational basis. Personal welcomes had been phased out by the time I got here, but I kind of wish they hadn't. They do a lot to make a person feel welcome, even if it's a person copying and pasting.
05/11/2010
Dragon Dragon
I wonder what the heck I've been missing....

My current commute ends in 2 1/2 weeks. Maybe my life will return.
05/11/2010
Holly (Woman Tribune) Holly (Woman Tribune)
I think a daily welcome thread would be the best route to go here, but ONLY because Eden Fantasys has so many people joining every day that a weekly thread would be way too long and not everyone would get the amount of attention they would have if there was a daily thread.

I think the idea of a separate thread to welcome each new person who signs up very much cheapens the welcome they receive and it looks way too much like an obligation being fulfilled. As someone mentioned, you could automatically have something go to their inbox here welcoming them and giving them a rundown of what Eden Fantasys is all about, but I've received several of those from basically every forum I've ever been a member of and do you know how many of these messages I've actually read? Very, very few. I consider them pretty spammy and again, an obligation. It does not make me feel welcomed at all, it makes me feel like the webmaster just turned on the function that automatically sends a private message. No warm or fuzzy feelings of welcome there.

When I first joined a few different reviewers wrote on my wall and on some of my first reviews welcoming me to the community and saying they wanted to hear more from me. That right there made me feel welcome and happy to be contributing to Eden Fantasys and that worked just fine for me and kept me coming back.
05/13/2010
Rayne Millaray Rayne Millaray
What about a volunteer greeting committee rather than cluttering up the forums? That's how quite a few websites I belong to handle new members.
05/13/2010
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Total posts: 58
Unique posters: 41