Fomenting the good work
Posted 18 May 2012 - 03:48 PM
I often like to write big texts (in order to better express whole ideas), so i'm adding a small description of whats comming in the lines bellow (so that you can read only if you would like to):
In a forum community such as this one, whatever little could be done to actually incentive user help, can also be used in a constructive way to upgrade the overall experience of the whole community. The following are some ideas regarding the fomenting of user work and how it can be managed to separate the good work from the bad work.
======== Some ideas ========
1 - Sticky topics can be used to promote user work: good work = more visibility!
We now have a tutorials section on the forums (wich is great). How about hosting a competition to have users submit their ideas of a good "newcomers tutorial"? The user that is able to provide the best tutorial (The admins and mods could judge that) would be allowed to add a topic in the tutorial section to become a sticky!
The competition could also be set on a regular basis: Every two months, the newly submitted tutorials will be evaluated alongside the current sticky, and if one of them is judged to be better than the current, the old topic is released to open up space for the new winner.
The current best tutorial could also be included on the download package with a clear reference to who wrote it.
2 - Organizing a team of contributors can greatly improve the overall experience.
Creativity in the right hands is gold. AutoHotkey may be not only a tool to allow automation or programming, but actually a tool to magically allow dreams come true.
(ok, i think i got carried away :oops: but you get what i mean):
I got amazed by this idea a while ago. The script merely shows an inputbox in wich you type in a word and than it displayes an image related to that particular word on screen. It is oriented towards three to five year old children and the key reasoning is that it is fairly more easy to use than a web search. It also doesn't confuse the little children with so many different images, it simply displays one, and it is often an according one. So in it's nature, it may seem like a whole different type of magic in a childrens eyes. Simple ideas like that could often be the subject to great articles.
(This image was originally posted by tomoe_uehara)
Bringing up to the spotlight innovative ways to use AutoHotkey in its "magical form" is a task worth a special attention. Organizing a team of "contributors" to seek and post articles on innovative ways to use AutoHotkey and than appropriately heading user attention to those topics (with links on well designed banners) could vastly expand general interest in AutoHotkey.
The team could also be organized using the available forum tools. Two new user masks could be added: one for the regular contributors and one for a "contributors manager": a key user whose task is to review the articles that were written by the regular contributors and propose changes if needed. The new masks would also help the task by allowing contributors to be easily set apart from regular users. Someone doing a great work has to have some form of crediting after all :wink:
The "contributor manager" could also propose a replacement on the team if a given contributor is no longer suiting his position. The contributors team could also have their own private forum room for article proposals and article discussion.
3 - Organizing a team to improve existing documentation is a worthy goal!
I think this idea has been suggested in the past. Reviewing the existing documentation is a huge task (believe me, in the past, i have decompiled the help files to find out there is more than 250 html pages in it!), and that is probably why we never actually get a volunteer to come up and say "i will take the task!".
A team will have to be set up in case this task is to be set forward. And some of ideas i brought up on the contributors team could also be used. New masks (for user crediting) and a key user to review the upgrades, aswell as a private forum room to discuss improvements could come in handy. The reviewing manager could set a single page for each "reviewer" to work on a week schedule. Might take some time, but in the spam of a few months, the existing documentation could be greatly improved. Also, the help files that come on the download page could be updated on the same week or so basis. This is to allow the reviewers to actually see their work being actively displayed.
4 - AutoHotkey programmers are worth their credit too.
When a new user comes to the forum and asks a question, he often whants to have that question answered by someone who knows the language well enougth. And the best way to ensure the new user "sees" the credentials of his helping hand is to actually credit worthy helping hands.
I am proposing that a key user is chosen to have the task of "certifying" users who have achieved a high enougth level in AutoHotkey programming. The idea is that when a user thinks he has achieved a reasonable level in AutoHotkey programming, he can either submit one of his advanced scripts to or get tested by the "certifying" user to candidate himself for a different mask on the forum: AutoHotkey programmer.
The AutoHotkey programmers should also have their own forum room, where they can post highly advanced topics to be more visible to other advanced AHK programmers, in order to allow much deeper discussions. Their forum room may be visible to all users (not only the programmers themselves), but only certified programmers should be allowed to post to ensure the greater level of the discussion will be helping further extend this end of the AutoHotkey world.
5 - Helping someone (even when you are not a programmer) is also worth credit.
There should also be some form of "condecoration" for users who have helped a lot in the "Support" section. Users that answered more than 150 questions (or some other number) could be rewarded some type of badge to display on their posts. This is to further instigate users to actively help newcomers in the "Support" section.
Other badges could be earned for helping even more. A silver badge could be earned by a helping user who has helped users and guests in more than 300 topics and a golden badge could be earned by a well worthy user that has helped solve more than 500 different problems!
==== In General ====
Community management requires work. And when a community is serving a worthy purpose to their users, some of those users do get a wish to repay this somehow. The most constructive way to deal with that is to strengthen the bonds with those users by further improving their experience in the community in return for their usefull good work :wink:
By the way, the script i mentioned can be found here.
Posted 18 May 2012 - 08:25 PM
The AutoHotkey programmers should also have their own forum room
You could call it 'The VIP Lounge'
Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:18 PM
You could call it 'The VIP Lounge'
Investing some time into the deep studying of AutoHotkeys language and it's possibilities is certainly worthy some special attention, but don't forget anyone could become a candidate for the mask of programmer.
I'm still open for criticism/thoughts/ideas/suggestions. I've seen most of what i suggested here put into action for great results on previous communities that i was part of and can certainly point out some cases :wink: