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Re: Community projects

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:06 pm
by Ilan Tochner
Thank you Dot, I moved this thread to the new Community Projects section of the forum and made it sticky.

Re: Community projects

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:19 pm
by Freda Frostbite
Ok I guess I need to speak up. Dun and I have had a very brief conversation since the last community meeting which I left early and sent out a note to everyone who attended and a few who have attended previous meetings. I will paraphrase what Dun said to me because I have not got his permission to share. Most of the note was about a tech issue he is trying to fix on the calendar boards. That part is only relevant to this conversation in that it is yet more evidence (for anyone who needs it) that he is working his virtual fingers to the bone in Kitely. He also made it clear that his comments above were not aimed at me (which I find surprising) and that he thinks I have been helpful and friendly. He also commented that I run a LOT of events (which I do) and that he finds poetry "incomprehensible." (That makes me sad and I offer to teach a class for him and others.)

My response was as follows: "I have tried to be helpful and friendly. I have reached my limit with people acting like anyone who does not understand things as they do is stupid. Twice, in the community meeting, I have been made to feel like I am seen as an idiot. Once, by you. I won't tolerate that. My guess is you have no sense that your comments or attitude might be seen as insulting, so you are forgiven. I try very hard not to take it personally when techies such as yourself look down on those of us who are less experienced. I also try not to look down on those who find poetry incomprehensible. Fair enough?"

I am now going to respond to his post above.

If you are worn out and have too much to do and feel unappreciated, why do it? Seriously, if I felt as you have described above, I would not lift another finger for the Kitely community and would in fact focus entirely on my own work in and out of virtual worlds. Actually, I HAVE felt that way. I used to be very involved with one community in SL I am no longer a part of for all of the reasons you describe above. It took me a couple of years to reach my limit with that community, but I did and I left it. And twice in Kitely I have volunteered when volunteers were asked for. Both times the work I did was tossed. I accepted it graciously and moved on, but it did tell me where I stood and how little my efforts were appreciated by some (definitely not by all). It informs all my future choices and interactions with the greater Kitely community.

Now about the actual meeting. I was one who refused to tour the welcome center. I did so for three reasons. 1. I have toured it previously. Twice with the communities group and several times on my own or with a friend. 2. Tours take too much time and we were already VERY late starting the meeting. I am happy to give some time to community activities and meetings, but not to have my time wasted. 3. If one needs a tour to understand what is available in a welcome center, then it is too complex and complexity is not very welcoming for most people. (Sorry to put that so baldly, but that is the truth.)

I think the KWC is a wonderful, wonderful build. It is beautifully done and some of the scripting is damned elegant. It is a good representation of what is available in Kitely. I believe it is a wonderful community center and hope it will be used as such. If we can get it to not crash when we are all there, It is a great setting for meetings, could be for classes and community events. It could also be a great resource for getting to know Kitely. What it is not is basic enough to work as a welcome center for the masses. Some of us really do need LOTS of plainly worded signs and notecards and a fair amount of hand-holding when we come into virtual worlds, even some of us who have used other VWs before.

I recently joined Inworldz because my work as a publishing poet/author took me there. There are a lot of things I do not like at all about Iz, but one thing they have nailed is the handling of community newcomers. Seriously, go make yourself an av and spend 30 minutes being a newbie on Iz. Never go back if you hate it, but go see what they do that we do not. They will pound us in a competition to keep new members if we don't learn to be not just as good at greeting new people as they, but better. We can do that! But we have to meet people where they are, not where WE are.

Ok hate me, if you must, for saying what needed saying. Unfriend me at your leisure. If you think I must not be terribly bright because I found Kitely terribly confusing when I joined or because I did not know Artemis was a bot for a week after meeting her or because I need lots of words and charts to make some things clear to me, then please keep that to yourself. It will not be well received.

Re: Community projects

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:28 pm
by Constance Peregrine
Not being much involved I don't know the specifics, but just see an overall broad brush strokes kinda thing.

I would only suggest that if someone volunteers that it might be best to look at it in the light of being as altruistic as possible and if something does not get done, or an idea does not get used, then the giving was originally done in good spirit, and all is well, regardless.

There is almost always going to be ego involved, regardless, it is just the nature of things.

For example, I have volunteered at our neighborhood food pantry for some years now, off and on, as I can, and less and less, but I still do it when I can.

They offer, as a perq, that all volunteers can have their own personal box of foods, hand-picked, where the regular lined up folks have to take the pre-prepared boxes that is the main focus of what us volunteers do...getting those boxes filled and the attenuatimg matters associated with making all that as efficient as possible. All that little behind the scenes stuff needed to make the final product, the food boxes for the people, ready to go in order to help them move thru the line as quickly as possible.

However, in this small group of volunteers there are what I have always called in my decades of various volunteering, the alphas...those who like to take charge rather than be those who just take the orders. Those people naturally rise to the top of the pecking order.

Of course, it is not really the rest of us taking orders, as if we do not like something we can either accept it as necessary to get the job done, based on our altruistic reasons for being there to begin with, or we can leave or stop going at all.

And always, always, the natural order of such things lends to a pecking order than does not change in any real regard until someone steps down in their authority role.

As I have noted here also in past community projects. To my thinking it is simply the natural way such things are done.

Anywho, though it does not matter related to Kitely...Freda, while you like the way inwz inculcates newcomers there, the fact is that their retention is horrible, and for all sorts of reasons there is no point in going into, and would change the focus of my other main comments. All one has to do is simply do the math on the total reported accounts to their actives to see this clearly. And they know this well.

But what Kitely, and many other grids, mostly of the commercial type need, is not only enticing them to come take a look, but even more so in some regards, give them enough reason to stay, and spend a few bucks, or Shekels, or Rubles....


Re: Community projects

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:36 pm
by Dot Matrix
One of the best ways of helping newcomers to feel welcome is to have friendly individuals there to greet them and to offer help if it is needed -- I think Freda and Prax were among those to point this out at the meeting on Wednesday.

That might be one of the projects that could be taken forward, to organise a set of individuals willing to help newcomers, and to find some way of getting notification that one's services are needed. It's not one I can do -- I know I simply don't have the skills or the motivation to see the task through. But there will be others who DO have those skills and who are motivated enough to do it.

A reason why I suggested yet another tour on Wednesday was that over the past couple of months the interactive signage and information embedded in the KWC has changed substantially, more than once, and comments at the meeting suggested that not everyone realised that what they were asking for was already covered in one way or another.

Another reason was that I hoped to demonstrate a way potential greeters could support newcomers in various tasks such as finding places to visit (not all newcomers realise you use the Kitely website to search for regions) or creating a particular kind of world (e.g. Premium vs. Fixed Price). The boards are designed to open up relevant web pages with appropriate options already clicked, so helpers could stand by the board the newcomer needs to click, be sure that the newcomer has found the right web page, and talk them through the process.

Re: Community projects

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:12 pm
by Deuce Halsey
Wow! There be drama here. There have been a few points raised in the preceding messages that I would like to chime in on here.

1) I certainly can sympathize with Dundridge's attitude. It's really terrible when you're trying to help but you don't think your contributions are appreciated. Altruism is nice and all. But the simple fact is that we always do things because they make us feel better in some way. That doesn't mean that we have to get money, goods, services, or even a "thank you" for our efforts, although obviously those things can really help, and are sometimes necessary. But if you're engaged in a volunteer effort that is not expected to pay your bills in any way, then the most important question at the end of the day is "Does doing this job make me feel better?" If the answer is "Yes", than chances are you will continue with the effort.

A few months back I wrote a first draft of a document called "Getting Started In Kitely", which was designed to help newcomers to the Kitely grid get established and find the things they needed to get started out here. The document was eventually abandoned in a nearly-completed format and as far as I know it has never been used for anything. Disappointing? Sure, but that didn't stop me from helping out as I could when Dot asked for help with the new KWC updates. The last time I checked my little box of generic t-shirts was still available Free to Copy somewhere in the new KWC, so I did eventually make a positive contribution to improving the Kitely experience that was used. Will I help again in future? Certainly, to the extent that my particular talents can be helpful.

2) I can also sympathize with Freda's attitude. It can be hard if people are using techno-speak that you don't understand. I'm afraid I have been an offender in this area at previous meetings although I try to do better. The problem is that at its heart Kitely is a technical thing. Very advanced computer hardware and software technology related to cloud hosting and virtual worlds are what make Kitely tick. So occasionally the conversations about updates to Kitely can go all technical. These conversations are not meant to intimidate anyone, but we techies do sometimes have questions for Ilan about the technical side of things.

When it comes to literature I have wide ranging tastes that encompass both fiction and non-fiction. To give you an idea how big a nerd I am, I spent a summer beach vacation a few years ago doing some light reading like you do. But in my case the "light reading" was a book called Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway. This is a very dry and technical history book about the famous WWII battle told from the point of view of the Japanese. This is my idea of fun summer reading. Meanwhile I'm afraid that I have never been able to just read and enjoy poetry. In fact I cannot remember ever reading poetry when some English teacher didn't have a metaphorical gun to my head. My apologies, but I just don't get poetry - I'm a prose guy.

I certainly understand that lots of people do love poetry and that's good. The world needs poets. But the world also needs historians and computer nerds. I will remain a computer nerd who loves to read history books (and other types of prose as well), and I'll leave the poetry to those who are so inclined. I think it's great that poetry enthusiasts are finding a home in Kitely - I will just never be able to get personally involved with such a group.

3) The meeting this past Wednesday. I cannot really comment on what happened since I was not able to attend despite my best efforts to do so. When I first arrived right around the scheduled start time there was horrendous chat lag and then a couple minutes later I got disconnected. When I finally got back in it was just in time to see almost everyone else at the meeting logout or disconnect before I was disconnected again. At this point I decided to wait a while before trying again in the hopes that Ilan and Oren could fix whatever was wrong.

I tried a third time maybe 20 minutes later and I was still lagging and chat lagging but at least I seemed to be staying connected. But then just a few minutes after my third arrival they decided to embark on a tour of the new KWC. Since I was having tremendous trouble with lag just sitting still the idea of trying move around with a large group of people who were also moving around just seemed pointless so I logged off at that point and moved on to another activity.

I hope they can get these connection problems fixed with their new updates. If we can't organize a weekly meeting for 20-30 avatars in the KWC, how can anyone expect to host anything approaching 100 avatars in a Kitely world?

Re: Community projects

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:34 pm
by Ilan Tochner
Hi Deuce,

We've spent the last couple of days tracking down the source of the issues we experienced during the beginning of the meeting and we'll be rolling out fixes for what we found early next week. There are interactions between complex systems in play and sometimes things that worked during development, and are hard to reproduce in the QA environment, start behaving in unexpected ways in the live system.

Re: Community projects

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:35 pm
by Dot Matrix
Deuce wrote:A few months back I wrote a first draft of a document called "Getting Started In Kitely", which was designed to help newcomers to the Kitely grid get established and find the things they needed to get started out here. The document was eventually abandoned in a nearly-completed format and as far as I know it has never been used for anything.
Deuce, I'm hoping that the document "Getting Settled in Kitely" might be developed as part of the documentation project. It's a good one.

Re: Community projects

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:54 pm
by Deuce Halsey
Ilan Tochner wrote: There are interactions between complex systems in play and sometimes things that worked during development, and are hard to reproduce in the QA environment, start behaving in unexpected ways in the live system.
After a 27 year career in working in a systems software and operations environment I certainly understand that problem. There are are always problems that crop up in systems under load that don't happen during testing, no matter how well the tests are designed. I hope that your new changes take care of the worst of the connectivity issues for Kitely worlds under load.

Re: Community projects

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:08 pm
by Ilan Tochner
It was a regression, we improved performance in one system and that caused a problem in another one. There are sometimes problems that are hidden by inefficients in other systems.

Re: Community projects

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:00 pm
by Paislee Myrtle
After reading through the thread so far:

From my armchair point of view the thing that connects us all is that each one of us wants Kitely to be a smashing success. I've been here in Kitely for some time now and from the beginning it has felt like home. Others have expressed the same sentiment. People volunteer when a project means something to them and they hope to support its success. We may have different ideas on how to "get there", but we all want the same thing - A thriving virtual world that meets the needs of its expanding community. Volunteering can be difficult at times (especially when deadlines loom and one feels overwhelmed), but we keep working on a project because we care about Kitely's future and feel good about results of our work.

We all have different perspectives, personalities, and strengths that color our conversations and expectations. Viva la difference! Kitely would be pretty boring if we all had the same ideas.

Community projects are the glue that can bring the community closer together. :-) It's a great idea to have ideas out in the open for a variety of projects so individuals can gravitate to pursuits that they are comfortable with.