The next instalment of the quest for success is to deal with getting new members in to our community and making them feel included. As stated previously Iím gin to use the VHL as a bench mark in this seeing as we do a good job including members in discussions and trying to make them feel like a part of the league. The thing we must realize is the difference between joining a league and joining the community. They are separate entities, and must be treated as such when new people join
As I wrote in my previous episode we are very much doomed if we expect to depend solely on the players from the ISL to build our league as history shows someone will just create another and like sheep they will follow. This means we need new blood here, from wherever. Whether it be from the hockey crowd or the graphics crowd or out of thin air, the fact remains that we need new people to get involved in the league. Through posting, creating media, simming whatever, they need to be doing something other than hiding in the corner afraid to anything because we react with hostility.
To showcase the difference between the ideal welcome and the ISL welcome Iíll share my experiences which show a serious lack of effort on our part to get new people to get active. When I joined the VHL I was confused about everything, with it being my first sim so i did not know a thing. Within days I got the system down, in contrast without Amich I would have gotten frustrated and quit the ISL.
It is not enough to say ďwelcome to the leagueĒ when a new person comes along, its bland, not informative and shows a complete lack of passion. If the person is new to the system and is greeted like so, I hardly think we will be able to get them to integrate into our sim community. Instead we should create a system where we not only welcome them to the league with open arms, but create a bridge between league noob and new poster. I have a few things that can really make a difference in keeping noobies.
1. Start a conversation. Their player from Penn State? Talk about how useless Joe Paterno is. From Utah? Talk about how the BCS agreement keeps schools from evolving into bigger programs .Anything really works, itís not hard to take a minute out of your busy day to try and make someone feel welcome through inviting them into a discussion.
2. Answer Questions. If they donít have any, they clearly arenít trying hard enough. Leave your SN or invite them to personal message you any questions they might have. Itís not hard to answer easy questions and whatís obvious to you, isnít obvious to others.
3. Sarcasm. Always an effective way to get someone involved. If they are intending to stay active and you post a mindless quip in their direction, they will probably respond which is the point. Donít be an asshole, but show some personality.
4. Start awkward conversations in their thread. Doesnít help, but can be funny. Talk about fleshlights, a rash you have, or a porno you watched yesterday, only the strong survive this type of introduction.
Just remember when you first joined a league, what would your initial reaction be to Jab being Jab or the stupid fights that we have. From the inside those things are normal, but from the outside, weíre fuckheads. I donít want to change my ways on the forum, so instead of giving them the wrong impression that were a bunch of normal people who just happen to like Madden, turn them into fuckups like us. Change sucks, and itís unnecessary, but if we can trick them into joining, we have a bigger chance of making them stay.just put your coolfaces on and pretend to be human when posting in a new personís thread. Otherwise, this is the internet, put your hardhats on and start waltzing.
Next episode will be on how to hate without hating and creating a league community through violence, exclusion and simulation football. Strap on your helmets, weíre going into the belly of the beast next.