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Hosts Program
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Wyheree
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Jewell mentioned, she and I had grand fun during our tag-team nights. She'd greet, I'd serve drinks - and we'd swap halfway through the shift. That way, we both had opportunity to play in the room.

Hosting needs to be fun for it to work. The community needs to see hosts as a help instead of a hindrance. And once a host burns out, it's nigh-on impossible to find that spark again. As long as division exists between those who host and those who play, no program will work.
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Annabeth Caldwell
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking as a former host, I'm very curious to see what eventually comes of all this. I'd probably volunteer again. I enjoyed my time as a Host.

I do want to say this, warnings, at least the way I understood them, were always meant as giving the player the benefit of the doubt. It's easy in the heat of play to forget things like the filter, and accidentally skirt it without meaning to. Warnings were just meant to be a friendly reminder. I'm sure that could be abused or even misunderstood. I just thought I'd throw out that it wasn't the intention.

I will throw out one thing that I think might be helpful -- a "suggestion box." A folder or something similar where people could throw out ideas for themes or events that Hosts could incorporate into their shifts.
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Amaltea
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Annabeth Caldwell wrote:
I will throw out one thing that I think might be helpful -- a "suggestion box." A folder or something similar where people could throw out ideas for themes or events that Hosts could incorporate into their shifts.


We already have 2 for this: Playables and Community Events.
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Annabeth Caldwell
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Location: Rhy'din. :)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amaltea wrote:
Annabeth Caldwell wrote:
I will throw out one thing that I think might be helpful -- a "suggestion box." A folder or something similar where people could throw out ideas for themes or events that Hosts could incorporate into their shifts.


We already have 2 for this: Playables and Community Events.


I could be wrong, but those tend to be events or games that players are already planning on playing and inviting others to share the fun. I was thinking more of a general collection of "I wouldn't mind having X in the inn sometime soon." And then the Hosts could look at the ideas and go, "Hey, I can handle that one, sure!"

If I'm wrong, then cool. I'll have to check it out a bit more next time!
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Amaltea
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand what you mean, but I know the Community Events folder can be used to plan and advertise their events. Maybe a thread can be started for ideas/suggestions for events.
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Annabeth Caldwell
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amaltea wrote:
I understand what you mean, but I know the Community Events folder can be used to plan and advertise their events. Maybe a thread can be started for ideas/suggestions for events.


That would be a great place to put it.
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Lucy Mitford
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Joined: 07 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually don't think events are what is missing from the host program. We actually seem to have quite a lot of events thanks to the hard work and interest of so many people here who contribute time and energy to seasonal events, like Fright Night and the Yule Ball and Beltane, as well as just more discrete events like the new Rumor Has It bar opening, the Date Auction, the Governor's Cage Match, Fashion Week opening night, BoozeFest etc.

Further, events geared specifically towards new players are unlikely to help them integrate into the community, either in-character or out-of-character, since such events will single them out and have limited appeal to long-term players who are not necessarily interested in playing with people outside of their circle (as some in this thread have indicated).

To clarify and reiterate my comment earlier in the thread when I said that I think we lost a sense of place when we lost the host program---I think we lost the feeling of a familiar, local tavern setting where you recognize the bartenders, where some of them know your name, where they know your drink order, where faces are familiar, where if you're looking for conversation the bartender can introduce you to the new person who just sat down a couple bar stools down, or where if you just want to hang out with your friends you can grab a table or a booth or camp out on one end of the bar and just do your own thing.

The bar tenders, the hosts, that I remember being great, in the way that I think Jochin was describing and Mallory too, made the Red Dragon Inn a real breathing space just by working behind the bar and talking to those people who wanted to be spoken with. They put on their aprons, and wiped down the bar, cleaned glasses, dropped tips in the orphan's fund jar, picked-up messages from their cubbies, held items behind the bar for other characters to pick-up, helped people check into a room by having them sign a register, etc. It was a real place. And by creating this real space, they created opportunities for characters to interact with each other.

When I go to my local pub, I'm not looking for crafts nights, or a pie-eating contest, or anything like that. I'm looking for a familiar face who knows my name, smiles when they spot me at the bar, and occasionally introduces me to someone new. When the host program was working best, in my opinion, that's all it needed to be doing.

ETA: To make things crystal clear, I think a low key, consistent program like this will go a longer way to integrating and welcoming new chars and players than any mentorship-style or direct out-reach program will.
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Mallory
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ What Lucy said.

And as someone looking to volunteer, as interesting as many of these themes and other ideas are, it's not something I intend to do most of the time. For me personally, it's important to go into a hosted shift having a clear idea of the character's headspace, what's on their mind, what they might make small talk about (skimming the playables and upcoming events), and what they might do that people might take an interest in if things get slow or quiet. The last couple of points are things I picked up from other hosts in the past, both from seeing it put into practice and getting to hear about it from them OOC.

If themes are your thing or one happens to strike your fancy, cool. I've seen a lot of excellent shifts that have used them. And if we get a suggestion box up and running and people want to use that, that's cool too. But I don't think we should make use of any of these features a requirement, either.

What I think is a more important step to take first is this: while general consensus seems to be that moderation is not something hosts should do anymore, we need a post or policy update to that effect, something to preempt these misunderstandings if they arise, and something hosts and/or administrators can point to if something does arise.

Also, what do we do if a player IMs a host on duty about a particular problem? Does the host on duty simply link them to the admin contact feature? put it in a status report at the end of their shift? both? Or just point them to whatever post or policy update is out there clarifying that hosts are not there to be moderators?

And what are other intended volunteers' thoughts on posting status reports at the end of your shift (regardless of whether or not there was an incident during your shift)? Or are they irrelevant if hosts aren't going to moderate at all? Personally I don't mind them, and logging the numbers and commenting on activity can be useful metrics, but I'd like to hear other people's thoughts on that.
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Annabeth Caldwell
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Joined: 07 Sep 2015
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mallory wrote:
^ What Lucy said. ...But I don't think we should make use of any of these features a requirement, either.


Oh, I never thought of them as a requirement, simply as a tool that a Host could use if they wanted. And yes, Lucy's right, most nights just having someone there interacting with the players and the environment is the best thing. But sometimes when I was hosting I wanted to mix it up just a little. And for myself, I'd love to know what other players are interested in doing so that I'm not just catering to my own whims. Smile
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Xennoce
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mallory wrote:
^ What Lucy said.

Also, what do we do if a player IMs a host on duty about a particular problem? Does the host on duty simply link them to the admin contact feature? put it in a status report at the end of their shift? both? Or just point them to whatever post or policy update is out there clarifying that hosts are not there to be moderators?

And what are other intended volunteers' thoughts on posting status reports at the end of your shift (regardless of whether or not there was an incident during your shift)? Or are they irrelevant if hosts aren't going to moderate at all? Personally I don't mind them, and logging the numbers and commenting on activity can be useful metrics, but I'd like to hear other people's thoughts on that.


I agree with a lot of what Lucy said, so I'm leaving that there. :) But you bring up a point that's very salient.

What are we to do if there's a problem in the room, but HOSTs aren't given moderation powers? It would be nice to say, 'Oh, we're all adults and we can handle issues like adults.' but that's not the case. If it were, people wouldn't behave badly and we wouldn't need moderators at all. But it doesn't work that way.

I mentioned in my previous post: I feel that the guidelines/rules of conduct on this site need to be updated, but I think there's a bigger issue here. And if I'm wrong, please feel free to correct me, but: having a new set of guidelines is great and all, but it doesn't do much good if we don't have people to enforce those guidelines. Near as I can tell, there are very, very few Moderators that take care of the chat end of things, as well as moderate the site in terms of dealing with people that break the rules. I know that Amal, Xeno, and BW seem to be busy people who have lives outside of that site, which is fine.

But it seems to me that if we're not going to give HOSTs Mod powers, leaving the responsibility of turning in rule-breakers to the Mods? It might not be a bad idea to consider the possibility of maybe bringing in more Mods who can deal with and keep track of issues in a timely manner. But that's just my opinion.
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PrlUnicorn
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Xennoce wrote:

What are we to do if there's a problem in the room, but HOSTs aren't given moderation powers? It would be nice to say, 'Oh, we're all adults and we can handle issues like adults.' but that's not the case. If it were, people wouldn't behave badly and we wouldn't need moderators at all. But it doesn't work that way.

I mentioned in my previous post: I feel that the guidelines/rules of conduct on this site need to be updated, but I think there's a bigger issue here. And if I'm wrong, please feel free to correct me, but: having a new set of guidelines is great and all, but it doesn't do much good if we don't have people to enforce those guidelines. Near as I can tell, there are very, very few Moderators that take care of the chat end of things, as well as moderate the site in terms of dealing with people that break the rules. I know that Amal, Xeno, and BW seem to be busy people who have lives outside of that site, which is fine.

But it seems to me that if we're not going to give HOSTs Mod powers, leaving the responsibility of turning in rule-breakers to the Mods? It might not be a bad idea to consider the possibility of maybe bringing in more Mods who can deal with and keep track of issues in a timely manner. But that's just my opinion.


Some parts of the rules, like what words are still in the filter and either shouldn't be used or used and let the filter do its job, have been discussed and dealt with. There is a difference of opinion on what constitutes a PG-13 rating and what should be allowed within its scope. I digress.

Previously in this discussion, someone brought up how the RDI and associated RP rooms went to hell in a handbasket when the HOSTs were removed from the rooms. It wasn't just the removal of the HOSTs, it was also the removal of their mod powers. Sometimes, the only way to get someone's attention, despite sending them reminder after reminder of guideline violations and telling that their behavior is unacceptable, is to temporarily cut off their ability to send chat to the room. Case in point, the people still using the * in the middle of disallowed words or constantly and purposefully sticking the filtered words near punctuation to cause the filter to burp. That might or might not be the tip of the iceberg, but it goes right back to what Xennoce said about people that should be behaving like adults, " If it were, people wouldn't behave badly and we wouldn't need moderators at all. But it doesn't work that way."
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Sulissurn
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some suggestions to consider that may or may not be liked but for your community consideration:

Allow Hosts to choose if they also wish to become a Mod as well as Host

Recruit willing ex-Hosts (as staff and community know and trust them a bit more) to consider being ONLY chat monitors to appear DURING HOST shift. Said mod's sole purpose is to hang out, monitor, report, customer service etc, and if worst case scenario, mute/bump truly problematic player.

Recruit further "new" blood into staff team ?????

Hope for the best.

Honestly the problems now brought up about whom will monitor chat is the same issue as to whom will re-host the room. It all boils down to volunteering. I am not sure how well it would go, given how vocal we all are about Host's shouldn't have to Moderate at the same time, etcetc, because whomever volunteers to moderator will have the same restrictions Hosts run into. And still have to glue their eyeballs to the room.

Either way?
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BW
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The glitch that allows profanity into the chat by way of non-alphanumeric characters like quotes and periods and commas, does not exist in the new chat. So when Flash Chat is fully gone, and ProChat is the only one, this will no longer be an issue. There will no longer be any 'accidents'.
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Sulissurn
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BW wrote:
The glitch that allows profanity into the chat by way of non-alphanumeric characters like quotes and periods and commas, does not exist in the new chat. So when Flash Chat is fully gone, and ProChat is the only one, this will no longer be an issue. There will no longer be any 'accidents'.


That is AWESOME! I love the new chat!
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Reiko Souma
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll keep it short and sweet: bring it back, not having it was a big part of the reason I completely retired from RDI (among another unrelated reason). If people didn't like that the hosts were being permitted to help the admins enforce the rules by sending in-chat IMs with "no swearing," "PG-13, please," or however they were to do such a thing, then too bad. That's their problem to deal with by going to a site not suited for minors.

*Quoting me for replies won't help; take any grievance you have with my response up with me via inbox only.
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