So I’m reaching somewhat of a wall in my resources for promoting the FWG and its current projects. I know there’s a lot of people interested in the guild that aren’t interested in forums, but I fear that these same people are also not ones to read the FA journals I’ve posted all that often.
If anyone has any ideas to help promote us or anything we’re doing or would like to do so themselves then that would be a big help.
When I get home from work I’m going to post a journal on FA concerning this so that maybe some of the people on FA who do read the journals will be inclined to help out.
Press releases to Flayrah (and other furry news services if any are still alive) might be appropriate in some cases.
I’d say, though, that you should push the forum as the “official” communication medium. People who don’t want to browse the forum daily (as I do not) will still be able to subscribe to e-mail notification on specific topics of interest. The alternative would be an e-mail list, which is rather redundant to a forum these days. (In fact, Google’s mailing list services have been merged to a forum type application so they can work either way depending on the individual subscriber’s preferences.)
BTW, the forum looks nice and spiffy and has a lot of potential as long as it doesn’t sink into political or religious arguments. ;D
I agree that the forum is a good base of operations for communication means. It allows me to simply link to the details of important news that I may post on the website, twitter, etc.
Thanks! I almost had a ‘critical thinking’ sort of board that would have had those things, but poetigress brought me to my senses. I’ve just seen so many forums with them that it was weird not seeing it on here. Definitely not needed, though!
I find twitter is a great way for me to monitor what is going on and keep tabs on different things. That’s part of why I like to so much. It however, doesn’t build community like a forum can. Forums though do have their issues, and they’re not ideal for certain types of communication. (If you have ever read anything about the people who created stackexchange.com, you’ll know they have this love/hate relationship with forums)
It takes time to build up a community. It also takes nurturing and attention to keep it vibrant and healthy. I think we’re off to a good start.
While I do plan to utilize twitter a bit more, I’d rather not turn it into a spam fest. Duotrope is a good example of something that I’m getting seriously annoyed with. Daily I end up viewing a wall of text that, no matter how interesting or important, I just don’t care to read anymore. A couple of posts here and there each day? Perfect. A wall of nine posts all pertaining to different subjects half the time? Not so much.
An idea I’ve been considering is to start up an IRC channel. It has the one capability that forums and twitter really lack; live group chatting.
While I agree we aren’t doing too badly right now, it’s not as much getting new people into the community we are having trouble with more than getting existing community members to come on and contribute. Some are fantastic and have really tried to be active/semi-active. Others…not so much. It’s about reaching out to them and saying that it’s worthwhile to have the community and to be a part of it.
One thing I liked about the previous use of the FWG Twitter account was in retweeting guild members’ tweets about their new releases, sales, giveaways, reviews, things like that, as well as sharing occasional links to things like helpful blog posts about writing. I’d like to see that return, so that the tweets aren’t solely FWG announcements, and that variety might help the wall-of-text aspect too (as well as being a nice member perk, with the retweets offering a little more help with one’s promotion).
I’m not really one for chat, but Twitter’s convenient for me because I can dip in and out as I have a spare moment here and there through the day.
I do agree with you in regards to retweeting important announcements from other members. I’ve been attempting to look out for things recently, but haven’t been able to as effectively as I would like. I’ve personally always dispised twitter and only even have one for my editing business because of the fact that it has a feed on my main page. I don’t read anything that’s posted on there nor do I go onto it unless I have something to post.
Keeping up with twitter feeds is…a challenge, to say the least. I’m getting better at it, so hopefully my ability will improve soon enough.
I know that not a lot of people would be able to do chats, but I know that some people would really love it. I just need to pick which server more furs use.
I was thinking about IRC, but I"m not sure people really use that anymore. Running an always on channel requires attention, and running events on IRC can be tough. Many, many years ago I did moderated chats on IRC, and it wasn’t easy to put them together and keep them running. Furry is a global community so it’s really hard to pick a time that is convenient for everyone.
One thing to think about, we could put together events at cons where members are attending, or at we could help sponsor the writing track at conventions. Many aspiring furry writers will visit panels during a convention.
There have been a couple of FWG meetups/panels at cons in the past – I think at Further Confusion and maybe Rainfurrest, but I don’t remember which ones for sure.
Early on, we also had an FA ad, which helped with people being aware of the guild generally.
As far as getting more guild members to participate in the forums, that’s the difficult part – from what I’ve seen (and from my own experience personally), a lot of the members tend to be pretty busy with their own writing groups and projects and blogs and cons and so on, and have less time to participate (and possibly less interest in participating) in another forum. While I don’t have any concrete suggestions offhand, I think we need to make sure that, while we’re welcoming to new writers and encouraging them, we’re also offering worthwhile benefits for guild members, and things that are exclusive to them, to make being part of the community worth their time and energy (and to offer more incentive for new writers to pursue guild membership).
I have VERY loose hopes of making it to some sort of decent-sized con next year for reasons such as this. If only travel and general living expenses during the cons didn’t cost so much…
I’d agree with putting up an FA ad (maybe one on SF too) but, to be blunt, I would not pay for it by myself. I had ideas in my mind of setting up one of those tip jar things or whatever donation-like services the internet had these days to fund advertisements or anything else we might want. I wasn’t confident (and still am not) that it’d provide a constent enough stream of money to use for these advertisements, but might as well mention it to see what you guys think.
I know that a lot of the more prolific authors tend to have quite busy lives as a lot of them have full-time jobs plus write plus go out to cons all the time. Makes it a little hard to commit to forums, though if they could at least pop in now and again it would really make a difference.
As far as extra incentives for guild members…I agree, but have absolutely no idea what we could use. Monitary benefits are obviously out of the question and I’d rather not limit a ton of community-driven projects to members only. That would give the guild the wrong reputation.
If you have any ideas concerning this final point about incentives I’d love to hear them.
A question that’s come up a lot in the past and hasn’t really been resolved is: what is the future of the leadership of the FWG? Obviously, we can all see that the reigns have changed hands in the last few weeks, but that doesn’t really address what the plans are for the future. There has been talk of modelling the guild’s power structure on SFWA – that would mean holding elections for positions like FWG president every year or so, depending on term length. Personally, I’d be a lot more comfortable promoting the guild if I had a better idea of the answer to this question.
As for the meetings at cons – yes, we had FWG meetings at both FurCon and Rainfurrest in the last few years. Generally, I set those up and ran them. It mostly involved pitching the idea to the people in charge of organizing the panels over email and then showing up to lead the meeting at the con.
The future is, at this point, what I make of it. I’m not saying I’m all that important in any way, and the main reason I personally took over the guild, besides the obvious reason of a desire to keep this community running, is that no one else seemed to express interest in taking it on.
I would love to keep with the guild as the guild president, if you will, and I’d support the structure of a voting system. There’s the small problem that more people besides me need to want the position. If I find that there are people who want to be in my position? Great, then I agree full well that the community should decide their own leader.
I’ve talked with a couple of people who expressed interest in helping me with this task, essentially my cabinet. I didn’t get the feeling (and they may message me to correct me if I am wrong) that they wanted to sole responsibility of the guild on their shoulders.
I’ve taken a lot of heat in this new position, like I expected I would. Like every leadership role, it’s impossible to please everyone. There will always be those people who are going to pick over everything you do with a fine-tooth comb and point out every flaw of logic and practice. It’s why people aren’t drawn to roles such as this.
Con meetings would be nice to have again. If anyone would want to take those on now, then I would be delighted. They wouldn’t be the best for making decisions about the FWG itself, but as far as promoting it? Perfect.
I do have one question conerning your last statement in that first paragaph. What does the leadership issue have to do with promoting the guild? It’s the endeavor of the guild and the community you’d be promoting; not its leader.
I’d be fine with a PayPal (or similar) donation button. Whether we’d actually get any donations is certainly the question, but I don’t think it would hurt to make it easy for people to donate if they want to.
Another option might be, if the anthology turns out to be something that’s sold to readers, to designate a portion of the profits from it (say 10% or something) to the FWG to fund advertising. Though that could get complicated, of course, because once money’s involved, then you have to have someone designated to handle the accounting, and there needs to be transparency throughout.
and I'd rather not limit a ton of community-driven projects to members only. That would give the guild the wrong reputation.
I can understand not wanting to limit every project, or even most projects, to members only, but I do think there should be some projects or features or what have you that are specifically set aside for members. (If that makes me elitist – well, I’ve been called worse.) Otherwise, frankly, it becomes kind of hard to see what the point of achieving guild membership is, other than just having one’s name on a list. (Not that the list is pointless – it’s at least beneficial to point readers to, when they say all furry fiction sucks and don’t know where to go to find stuff worth reading.)
That sounds good. I’ll make a separate paypal account and setup the button. I’ll put a link wherever I can.
I agree 100%. Definitely a viable option to look into. We can work on designating someone to specifically watch over the funds from that if the idea come to term.
I agree. If we’re able to get the anthology going, we can have some other projects dispursed exclusively for FWG members. There should be SOME sort of incentive for working towards being a member. Sure some people will feel good about being in a special group, but if that special group isn’t doing anything different/more than everyone else is the line becomes faded about even needing memberships. We’ll think of something. Defintely want to take this one step at a time, as I feel the new cement foundation for the guild is still attempting to dry.
This is a complicated issue, and I feel that I have already had my tone misunderstood once before in our communications. So, I would like to start by saying that my thoughts and feelings on this issue have nothing to do with you personally or with the job that you’re doing running the guild. So far, you seem to be doing a fine job. However, I don’t think that mitigates the necessity of setting up a well defined power structure that allows for leadership to change hands smoothly and in response to the collective voice of the guild members.
As for how this question speaks to whether I continue promoting the guild… Well, that may be a personal issue for me. I simply feel like I don’t know where the guild is heading any more. From my perspective, power changed hands from Duroc to you quite suddenly. If such a big change can happen that quickly with no warning or any say in it for the average guild member, then I don’t know what else might happen suddenly and without warning. And, given the current power structure, if I were to object to a change being made to the guild, my only recourse would be talking to you and hoping that you’re a reasonable person. You probably are a reasonable person, but that’s not really the point. If we put a clear power structure with regular elections in place, then anyone who disagreed with you about a fundamental issue would have another recourse – they could run against you in the next election or try to convince someone else to.
For now, you may be right that no one else would be willing to step up to the difficult position you’ve taken on. However, I think that one of the best things you could do with the power you’ve been given is prepare the guild for the inevitable time when you, too, will want to pass the reigns on. If we set up elections, you may well run uncontested for the role of guild president. However, then you would be the elected leader, ideally with a well-defined term length before the next election.