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Community projects

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:52 am
by Dot Matrix
Over the past couple of weeks at the weekly Kitely Community Meeting, there has been discussion on what might be termed community projects. Here's an attempt to synthesise some of my own thoughts on community projects, as a possible starter for wider discussion, comment and ideas.

What is a community project?
I'd define it to be a long-term project involving several members of the community, possibly with different skill-sets and interests, working together to produce something that might of use to a wider subset of, if not the whole of, the Kitely community.

A community project works towards solving a perceived need within the community.

Who and what might involved in community projects?
First and foremost, volunteers! This is a voluntary activity.

Volunteers are self-selecting. They will only take part if they want to.

Involvement in a project needs to be its own reward -- through being enjoyable, or through learning new skills with others, or through a sense of pride in achievement, or through building good friendships with others, or ...

What can be problems in community projects?
Project burnout
Hurt feelings
The expectations and demands of the wider community can become a burden, especially if they are not within the original scope of a project.

Community projects/events of the past year (Please forgive me if I've left any out!)
Weekly Kitely Community Meetings
Kitely forums
Google+ Kitely group
Kitely Plaza
Murder Mystery
Two concerts
Kitely Welcome Center stages 1.0 to 1.4
The April/Great Hunt
Events calendars/boards
Various ongoing literary events (story telling, poetry)
Metaverse tours

Possible community projects for the future
Kitely Welcome Center 2.0
Events, Concerts, Parties -- including their promotion
Gridwide Hunts
Welcoming newcomers to Kitely, and helping them to settle here
Forum search tool
Sponsored land for artists/others

One more thought
At the moment discussion on community project development mostly takes place in "Feedback and Suggestions". Would it be helpful to have another subforum within "General Kitely" for "Community projects" to keep things focused?

Re: Community projects

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:32 am
by Marstol Nitely
I vote yes for a "Community Projects" classification.

Re: Community projects

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:08 pm
by Serene Jewell
I vote yes for community projects subforum also. We're lucky enough to have a lot of folks willing to volunteer. There should be a designated place to organize.

The list of upcoming possible community projects is pretty exciting. Lots of potential in there for people to contribute, learn, and have fun.

And thanks to all the volunteers!

Re: Community projects

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:13 pm
by Freda Frostbite
I also vote yes to the subtopic. Good idea!

Re: Community projects

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:46 pm
by Johnny Magic
I vote yes. Sounds great!

Re: Community projects

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:54 am
by Dundridge Dreadlow
Dot Matrix wrote: Project burnout
Hurt feelings
The expectations and demands of the wider community can become a burden, especially if they are not within the original scope of a project.
..well said Dot, for those not in the know, the above hits VERY HARD, especially when people don't realise how much time it takes, or has taken, and how much extra UNPAID WORK is involved to "change it a little" or completely, "why not just.." or "redo it over better". This is supposed to be FUN people ! There is no fun in doing something ordinary.

As someone who has been involved in a good deal of these and put in a a HUGE amount of time to making something, that isn't the bit that hurts the most, it's when people don't take ANY TIME to look at what has been done, or simply NOT CLICK things that have many, many, many hours of scripts behind them.

Just to let you know... a lot of the scripts and systems I've been working on... KWC, Portals, Featured World Boards, Events Boards and in-world publishing systems, Simultaneous web/Forum/in-world publishing and displays, in world communications, in world computers, in-world computer controllable devices, April/Great hunt, Murder Mystery(and the role play system that goes with it), Interactive talking NPCs.. this is NOT a simple "change this bit in the script" 10-line thing - It's all connected.

On the whole, I love working on these projects, especially the community ones, and people have been overall friendly and supportive :D Only a few (and it's usually the same few individuals with radically different viewpoints, ideas and backgrounds) have made some of us feel under constant attack. The pressure of having someone want "something else" after a hundred hours of work, discussions and hard choices make people leave projects, and sometimes not to return, and frequently to retreat into an alt with a lower profile. I also have to deal with people who say "what the heck are you doing in there, you aren't making any money" and also the thing "someone pays me to spend large amounts of time in a building where I have to do stuff that isn't Kitely". I'm lucky if I get 5 hours sleep a night. If you want <insert extra time consuming feature here> maybe offer a few hours pay at a proper rate. Hint, look up the high end of someone who does the same job, then realise one person might be doing the job of three people. (Apologies for the rant, I am fully aware it is only a small vocal minority. Personally I want to hear your ideas, I just don't want to /facepalm. )

Overall though: Thanks to everyone for their kind words and support, it is what makes these and other projects worth doing. Your support makes it worth while. Community projects are a great experience seeing and helping ideas grow and working with good people.

Just do me one favour, CLICK ON STUFF, and maybe look a little harder and slightly deeper..

Try it out. That's what it is for. Go ahead, scratch the surface. Notice a few details, you know you want to.

Community projects section - YAY. Great idea, a big YES, I'm there :D

Re: Community projects

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:28 am
by Ozwell Wayfarer
I think you guys did a fantastic job. You cant please everyone and you shouldn't even try. I know how much hard work goes into the smallest seemingly insignificant things and from talking to you all I know how much dedication you put into it.

For future community projects, I will always happily chip in with building and landscaping. Thats pretty much all I am good for :D

I do think our meetings (the ones I have managed to attend at least) have been a bit heavy on the serious. It would be nice if we could have a once a month gridwide goof-off where we all meet and just chat about stuff that we dont have too much emotion invested in ;) .

Re: Community projects

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:40 am
by Marstol Nitely
Dundridge, I told you and Dot how awesome I think you are (haven't said it directly to Paislee, Min or the others, but include them please). I realize how much work and how much of yourself you put into this project for months. We are very lucky to have someone as skilled as you willing to put in so much time and effort to help make Kitely a better place. Dot's organizational skills and ability to wrangle creatives are amazing. I admire Paislee's ability to build incredibly beautiful worlds and do it so quickly. I think I said it before, but I'm going to say it again, because it warrants being repeated, THANK YOU.

I read the last meetings notes (most of them anyway). I do understand why you and Dot may have felt unappreciated, but the people who were making suggestions haven't even been active in Kitely for that long, and one was brand new, so I don't understand how it can be the same people all the time? The people making suggestions were asked for feedback and that's what they were trying to do. They don't know the history of the welcome center. I'm pretty sure that at least one of them didn't even know it was a second incarnation. They were not trying to intentionally upset you.

People were not trying to criticize you personally. I don't know of anyone who has been to either of the Kitely Welcome Centers that isn't properly impressed. You done good. Pat yourself on the back and accept the pats that others are giving you. Don't let the small stuff get you down.

Re: Community projects

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:57 am
by Ilan Tochner
The "Community Projects" forum has been created in the Communities section:

Re: Community projects

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:00 pm
by Dot Matrix
Thanks, all, for the feedback. :)

Here's a bit more on the potential problems of taking part in community projects, since it might help to be aware of some of the things that could hit volunteers.

If the project is independent of Kitely, you're OK to take it where the individual team members want it to go.

However, if the project is a key development for Kitely, as the Welcome Center is, then as Kitely's perception of outside feedback changes the brief will need to change. That is what happened over the last couple of months, with the opening to the hypergrid.

The original conception of the KWC was to encourage exploration of Kitely, not to have everything "IN YOUR FACE". That is very much in tune with the building philosophy of many of the original core team members who developed the KWC. However, it was not meeting expectations of hypergrid and other visitors, so there was a request for a change of direction. This was uncomfortable for several of us -- we had to compromise, to do our best to meet the requirements while still trying to hold true to our own conception of the KWC. In a way, you lose "ownership" of the project. And, yes, there were several rants in private. Poor Ilan!

This pressure builds over weeks. It's not just one single meeting, one single person's public feedback, but a drip drip drip effect. It eventually can wear you down. If you can, it is better to hand over before you get to that point. And you need to constantly remind yourself that the project is Kitely's, not your own.

One more thought: Volunteers can back out when noisy, demanding, persistent feedback is pushing them in directions they don't want to go. They can ignore it, retreat into an alt for a quieter life, relieve the pressure. Those options are not open to businesses.