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Completing the PokéCommunity Challenge

Posted April 30th, 2011 at 2:59 PM by Mr Cat Dog

Just over a week ago, Patchisou Yutohru posted a blog post entitled The PokéCommunity Challenge: essentially a 'contest' to improve the quality and level of activity of those who participated until the end of April (which, for me, ends one minute after the posting of this blog). I responded that I'd participate, as long as a fair number of people. As of writing this, I have successfully completed the challenge, and below are my observations and findings from doing the challenge:

1. Welcome three new members everyday with quality welcome posts.
This was one of the ones that I was not looking forward to. I’ve been a member of a few forums in my time, but if there’s one area I’ve pretty much never set foot in, it’s been the Welcome area. But, once I got into the swing of welcoming people – and making sure they were unique for each person – it turned out to be quite fun, almost. If the newbies have any problems, it’s a nice feeling knowing you’ve helped them. If they just want to say hello, it’s nice just saying hello. I’m probably not going to become a regular in NU/W, but I’ll probably start popping in occasionally to say at least something.

2. Every day, talk to someone you've been interested in getting to know, but never bothered to start a conversation with them. If you run out of people, meet someone new anyway!
If I wasn’t looking forward to the first one, I was positively dreading this one. Offline introversion does not convert into online extroversion, and I’m awful at starting conversations… but by golly, this one was great! Some of my introductions sounded like I was Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, and some people, probably justifiably, didn’t respond. But the ones that did yielded proper conversations, to my amazement. Thanks to this, I think I’ve found proper new friends on this forum, which is a good thing. I don’t know how much I’m going to keep initiating conversations in the future, but I certainly won’t instantly retreat into my metaphorical shell. Try it sometime: you might make a real friend!

3. Every day, explore a new area of the forum you haven't been in.
This one was nice. Related to 4b below, it was good to get out of my comfort zone of the select few forums I post in. Most of the new ones were still gaming ones, but critiquing pixel work and general artistry is kinda fun. I used to critique fan fiction back in the day, and I guess the similar skill-set came back with a vengeance. I’ll probably end up popping in to a few of these new forums, and other people should start doing this too.

4. Get involved with Community Questions & Feedback. Offer your opinions on suggestions already existing.

I’d like to have done more of this, but there’s been a relative dearth of suggestions in comparison to questions and feedback. Still, issues such as username changes and, to a lesser extent, bringing reputation back (in OVP) are ones I do feel strongly about, and I enjoyed posting my opinions on these issues. If we want PC to become slightly more legitimate, then it’s good for people to voice their opinions on issues such as these, especially in the relatively open forum that CQ+F is.

4a. Get an idea on how to improve the forum and post a suggestion for implementing it in Community Questions & Feedback.
I was planning to do this one either tonight or yesterday, but then I got promoted so thought it’d be slightly weird to do so. While you may not see any suggestions or feedback from me in CQ+F, I have done this in the Staff forums. It’s mainly stuff on how to improve C&M, which I’ll get to work on myself. If people do have suggestions, do post them in there or directly to the forum moderator in question. I’d always want to know what people think of my forum and my performance to a certain extent.

4b. Give some feedback on how you feel about how PC runs. If you have something to say, say it! But remember to be nice about it and respect different opinions.
Same as above. The main feedback I gave was about the level of activity in C&M and the general segregation of many forum users, both of which could be considerably improved.

On a more general issue, feedback is good, on the whole; it’s nice to receive positive feedback on occasion… but, to be honest, it’s better to receive feedback on areas which PC can improve, rather than just a blanket statement saying PC is awesome and give a number rating, which – like star-ratings or grades for reviews – tend to distract from the actual content of the feedback. Constructive criticism is much better to help PC improve than wildly enthusiastic responses; don’t worry about being ‘mean’: we can take it, for the most part!

5. Talk to someone you haven't spoken to in a while. Reconcile your differences, if any, and explore a newfound understanding of them.
Lily (or LilyPichu, as I knew you way back when): it was nice to get reacquainted with you. We’ve both had long absences from this place, and we both seem to be fitting in quite nicely. Hopefully you’ll have as good a time here as I am; live long and prosper and any other Star Wars cliché!

6. Hold a conversation with members in the DCC in Other Chat.
I’ve been doing this one since I came back to PC. DCC’s almost my second home outside of Culture & Media! The more the merrier in that place. Come along, don’t be shy!

7. Get more involved with your favorite forum. Create new threads, report more, and reply to threads you haven't.
The new bold and blue nature sorta mandates this one on my part. But everyone should be doing this regardless of some silly challenge. Each forum thrives on activity, and if no one is creating new threads, then activity dies and the forum in turn becomes stagnant. Some forums don’t need this advice, but if you love posting in an underappreciated forum, then make sure you keep doing your part. Don’t be put off if your thread doesn’t get many responses; just keep on trying and, eventually, the atmosphere and activity in your favourite forum will increase.

8. Comment on every blog entry that's made from this point on.
DON’T. DO. THIS. It will destroy you, like it nearly destroyed me. I thought this was going to be the easiest one (ha!) but I nearly threw in the towel on So. Many. Occasions. when doing this one. If anything, this has made sure that when I do blog about stuff in the future (apart from my film/TV reviews, which I know NO ONE is going to read), to include at least SOMETHING to facilitate some form of discussion. If you want to use your blog as a status symbol, then that’s your prerogative; I guarantee that you’ll enjoy it more, though, when you use it to start up discussions and feel like you’re contributing to the community as a whole.

9. Someone posted something you REALLY like? Take the time to compliment them, and tell them what it means to you that they posted that in a VM, rather than complimenting them anonymously in a post comment.
I did this one time in OVP, but I’m not sure if I’ll do it again, to be honest. Rather than feeling good about myself, it just felt rather perfunctory. I’ve never done a post comment either, so this may explain my scepticism. In theory, this should be right up my street: it’s doing a nice thing for someone, and yet it feels strangely arbitrary. Other people’ll probably disagree, though. To each their own.


On the whole, this was a very beneficial experience. It pinpointed my weaknesses as a forum member and forced me to addressed them for a circumscribed period of time. Some of the lessons I've learnt I will hopefully put into practice in the future. Some of them I'll try to, but forget along the way. Some of them I know I won't implement, and to admit otherwise would be kidding myself. This challenge massively affected my posting style, as well as the quality of my posts to a certain extent, but I'm very glad I did it. Hopefully this challenge, and my results and analysis of the challenge, will help other members improve their own forum habits, and maybe - with a little bit of the trickle-down effect - there will be a change in forum habits. You never know... stranger things have happened!

Oh, and Nick, sweetie. Do I get a prize? :D
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  1. Old Comment
    s0nido's Avatar
    so that's why my blogs were full of your comments
    I was thinking of taking up this challenge, but I knew it was going to take a lot of my time up. >.>

    Okay, that's just me making up excuses. XD It's nice to know you got something out of it. I think I'll try this challenge next month (or this month if I have the time).
    Posted April 30th, 2011 at 3:05 PM by s0nido s0nido is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Vrai's Avatar
    Congratulations! ...I never saw an end date and just assumed it was a thing that would happen gradually, y'know? In that manner, I guess, I have excuses for never doing half of those things. I'm really glad I never tried to comment on all the blogs. I don't think it should be a responsibility to respond to all of them - the ones that catch your eye, your interest, and then keep your attention all the way through are the ones worth commenting on. Oh, and ones that simply need comments, too (like Syd's blog about the disasters that have been happening around her lately)... But yeah. Congrats on doing it all!
    Posted April 30th, 2011 at 4:03 PM by Vrai Vrai is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Incineroar's Avatar
    I noticed that I have done a lot of the things in that list. But, seeing as I am as active as ever, I don't see why I know tons of people nearly as many as I do friends on Facebook. I'm giving it a try and seeing what happens. But, there is only 1 hour and 58 minutes left, so I don't think too much more is going to come from me. Little old me.
    Posted April 30th, 2011 at 8:02 PM by Incineroar Incineroar is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Oryx's Avatar
    I said I would, and tried, but didn't get all of them. :[ Blog posts were the thing that changed the most about me, I never looked at those before.
    Posted April 30th, 2011 at 10:15 PM by Oryx Oryx is offline
  5. Old Comment
    fenyx4's Avatar
    Oh, I thought it was a month long...I didn't know it had said until the end of month. =_="

    Anyway, I was considering this, but with finals and assignments cropping up, I felt it wouldn't be feasible. Though the posted goals seem like decent guidelines to use in a browsing experience, and it would also help to welcome new users and foster community communication.

    I was wondering why I kept on seeing you pop up in every blog, Mr. Cat Dog. XD I remember glimpsing a few blogs where you were the sole comment on the page. I just thought you were being hyper-attentive to blogs or something for some strange reason, but now I see what the challenge entailed, pertaining to blog commenting; LOL. Blog commenting every day - that must have been grueling work, indeed, especially since a slew of users gained blogs from the Easter Egg hunt, and subsequently those "What do you think of me?" postings started appearing and spread, likely worsening the attempt for you, I would think. :cer_laugh: Those two factors alone must have spawned like 30-40 blogs. XD
    Posted May 2nd, 2011 at 8:39 PM by fenyx4 fenyx4 is offline

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