Friday, October 06, 2006

Other Folks Talking about Community

There's been quite a bit of this lately. Actual commentary to follow, no doubt:

Ron Meiners on Community Managers, on Terra Nova

Raph Koster follows up

Scott Jennings talks about forums

Raph Koster, on the same subject


At 5:39 AM, Blogger Garthilk said...

Here are a few examples of why external boards do well.

First, when moderators do moderate, it creates a situation where it's the players vs the people that run the site. Instead of the players vs the developer. This is good because it reduces tension with the developers and community. I know it's hard to realize, but it does. Also, it promotes the strength of the sub community. When sub-communities are allowed to thrive, players who gravitate towards niches can still find themselves having their views expressed, without being drowned out by 500 other posts telling them they suck when a single board is used. Having the communities in the hands of the community allows it to police itself. Not to mention the costs involved. Why pay one or two, or several people tens of thousands of dollars a year just to moderate?

Also some developers really like the idea of being able to interact with specific groups of people. A developer could go to a general game board, or one dedicated only to spell casters. So one can address and speak to a large audience, or a small group with specific interests. Being able to focus your communications has more impact.

Also, when players are allowed to form their own groups, niche or otherwise, they will invariably create social bonds with the others in their group. This is one of the tenants of why grouping is encouraged in MMOs I believe. These bonds, will become invariably more difficult to break should a person decide to unsubscribe. Vs, one large board where those groups have more difficulty forming, if a player who isn't able to locate their group, or find their way. That player will have less barriers to unsubscribing, than one who is able.

Thus I believe are the reasons for keeping the community responsible for the forums.

That said, forums are still a necessary evil. They are just one tool in the CM's toolbelt.


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