1. Social Experiment: The Beginning

      written by Ray Benefield
      First of all I want to take the time to thank all of the readers out there. I am happy that you are reading and learning something (hopefully). You guys come back frequently to read what I have to say and I am honored. Today I want to try to convince you to spend just a little bit more time here than you normally do. My goal is to eventually turn this site into a place for all level designers to hang out, and maybe even farther down the road a place where game designers hang out as well. A community that discusses design theory would be a great place to chill for me. And I'm sure a lot of the designers that read these lessons wouldn't mind having other like-minded individuals to chill with. So today, I begin a social experiment that may take us in the right direction. Read on to participate folks... ;)

      The making of a community

      So there are communities everywhere on the internet. They all get together hang out and have fun. It is a place where you can make a name for yourself and share discussions with others. But with a community, people need a place to get together. That is where the social experiment starts my friends. That's right I have created a forum for readers of ReachingPerfection.com to get to know each other and hang out. But this forum will be a bit different from the rest of the ones out there. Many of us who have tried to find communities to be a part of have seen many communities fail. Their forum gives off the sense of inactivity and slowly and slowly, you no longer want to be part of that forum and just forget about it. So my goal is to avoid that.


      So what do I think the problem is with most forums? The active members are too spread out and even if there may be like 30 active members it doesn't feel like a lot because there are 6-14 different categories of forums to post in and some people only post in the ones that they like the most. There are LOADS of forums that you can typically see at a community. News, Introductions, Off-Topic, Media, Halo Discussion, Forge Discussion, Game Discussion, Site Suggestions, Staff Forum, Content Database, etc, etc, etc. When a forum first starts out they cannot afford to spread out their members like that. Members need to all be consolidated in one space to keep them active. I sort of started that by giving making the blog the centralized place for all readers, so now it is time to spread the site's wings and take flight.

      The Experiment

      I have created a forum with ONLY two areas to post in. The main area where you will be spending your time is what I call the "Spam Collector". The spam collector (SC) is a place where you can do ANYTHING. Rant, multi-post, make big letters, single word post, duplicate posts, etc. Why have a place like this? Because when you have nothing better to do you can post in that forum with whatever is on your mind. No restrictions at all. The only rule that I am going to enforce there is that if there is serious disrespect being thrown around, those posts will get deleted. Simple as that. Oh and you do not need to register to post either... you can just fill out the name part of the post without having to sign up and tying yourself down. The second area is "Introductions". This place is simple. Just register and introduce yourself and welcome/get to know everyone else that posts an introduction. Registration is easy, all you need is a password and email and you are done.

      Just the beginning

      This is just the start of a huge social experiment. Over time I will be trying new things to see what improves activity and makes a better community. With the current design you will always have somewhere to post and you guys won't be spread out too thin, making sure it won't feel empty. In the future I plan on adding more areas. The cool part is that regular forum goers will INSTANTLY notice the new area to post in and that area will instantly start to get traffic and not feel empty. Other experiments I have in mind is giving active members mod powers to lock and sticky topics. This means that 100 of 300 members could have mod powers to help improve the site instead of having a dedicated staff. This also lets people feel more needed and have more of a role at the site. And if you abuse the power, it is easy to take away. ;)

      Participate in the Experiment

      I hope you guys enjoy the place to chill and hopefully you guys will make good use of it. The forum will slowly improve over time. Let's just get it active first... sound good? So go spam away my friends. Have fun and make a name for yourself. Get to know each other. Remember the lessons on advertising, investment, nurturing, and reputation... keep in mind that you are making a name for yourself in this community. In the future you will be able to share your works with others here, and many more things. Right now this is a time to get to know each other and have fun. Follow the link below or the link in the top menu bar. See you guys on the forums!


      DriedMoss said...

      ReachingPerfection.com (RP) Forums:

      Motivation. Awareness. Consistency. Feedback. Eureka.

      Motivation - We are all here to motivate or be motivated by others. Our motivation may be to glimpse the site, discover the lessons learned, chill with the community that drives us up to better design practices, and any other motivations that cause the community to pass by and be exposed to RP.

      Awareness - Certainly your stopping will make you aware of the atmosphere within Reaching Perfection. Should you decided to contribute (which you had better), you will, at a minimum make others aware of your interests. Your words carry weight and the reward to cause other designer’s awareness of the design progress we’re making. Thus, the RP lesson roots spread and strengthen.

      Consistency - Consistent action and participation at the RP forums will continue to provide the site, community, and design theorists with material to grow. Arriving here is a choice to become part of a group that passionately strives towards excellence. We are reaching for clear understanding and constant progression of the design. Our perseverance will support the progress of pushing through barriers and leaping over challenging hurdles that the process of design presents to us.

      Feedback – Without feedback we are alone. Feedback prevents designers from standing in their map designed with limited understanding of player motivation and perspective. We are a community driven by the input of our peers. Too often a potential idea, map, or gimmick will be omitted or scrubbed due to zero feedback. As we wade through this growing tide of forum posts, remember to comment with some sense of direction (unless you’re chilling in the Spam Collector, where anything and everything is expected). We welcome good words on design.

      Eureka – That moment of discovery that a designer will experience here at RP, is one of the objectives that should be expected. With each new posting, registered RP member, and appealing comment we take another step closer the site’s moniker.

      Enjoy our designs. Share our experiences. Spread the word.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      They do not... so for comments about the appropriate blog post, just post over here. For everything else head on to the forums.

      Noklu said...

      So does the account there tie in with posts on the blog itself?

      Richie Burke said...

      you are heading in the right direction my friend.
      god bless.

      Prod said...

      I remember you saying something about this a few weeks ago, well about forums in general anyway. I'll participate, but you knew i would.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Yeah you better. I saw you post, but you didn't register. Grrr... lol. Maybe you will in time. I did learn that if you post anonymously and then register and post it will tie your anonymous post to your account. I thought that was pretty damn cool.

      Mitona said...

      interesting. ill have to be apart of this experiment.

      Null said...

      'The main area where you will be spending your time is what I call the "Spam Collector".'

      More like that's what XForgery called it and you took the name, but whatever you want to tell yourself.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Your right... my bad :P

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