Promoting FoG

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Messaging Promoting FoG

Post by Tartra on Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:45 pm

Here's a list of what's been suggested so far:

External Promotion Ideas
- FoG RP to be linked to others
- Post Your Favourite Lines thread
- 'FoG at a Glance'
- Refining FoG's identity
- FoG's banner

Internal Promotion Ideas
- Stickied IC introduction role play
- Stickied OOC RP preferences thread (potentially based on/modelled after this thread)
- Using the Chatbox more often
- Role play ettiquette guidelines
- Information / Rules updates (just housecleaning)

-----------------

This is something I've had in the back of my mind for a while, and I got excited reading Sunwolf's idea so, before I start unintentionally hijacking his thread, I wanted to see if I could get a group collab going on promoting FoG - externally and internally.

This was what I said regarding Sunwolf's idea for a role play of 4 - 5 loyal RPers:

Spoiler:
[quote=Tartra]This is a nice idea and I wish you all the best with it. The question I have is how it'll be used in promoting. It'll certainly be a solid showcase, but where is it going to be shown? How long would it take? Would there be others written in different genres?

The site's maybe about 30 strong these days. I've been meaning to ask if we could look into getting new blood. This'd be great to have, but do you think we could come up with specifics to go with it? Would this get stickied/given its own section as a big 'Welcome to FoG' or 'FoG at a Glance' package? Because I think the 'Post Your Favourite Lines' thread definitely offers highlights, and that's ready to go while we wait for this to play out!

Edit: Maybe on top of this, there can be a full community role play. I have no idea how the logistics would work off the top of my head, but if it was something where everyone active user puts in a post, newcomers could see who writes in what way. It'd be an easy meet-and-greet where newbies saw exactly what the forum offers and could post their addition so we can see (and we'd have to be clear to say 'see', not 'judge') what they bring. It might make it faster to match up writing styles and - who knows? It could be a fun mini-initiation. (And since the FoG home style RP is Caligo, which I've never gotten into, we could make the community thing directly related to that. It could be a simple plot of a person actually arriving to the forum in an IC way rather than a casual OOC hello in the Greetings thread. And then everyone will have their link to some team spirit.)[/quote]

I really like Sunwolf's idea, but I'm especially interested in a role play for everyone who comes in to just add to and review; it'd have one post from every user to be like a writing style directory, and to add what I said in the quote, we could build a big User Breakdown section (or something - that's an extremely working title, and it's more of a sub-group of the Greetings and Introduction section). In it, we could have the community role play that everyone posts to, and in OOC greetings themselves, we could ask that newcomers fill out a quick template: favourite genres, possibly how many role plays at a time a person feels comfortable juggling... really fast, really simple, just to get to the meat of the 'Who are you as a role player?' question. It'd also clarify things later on. I know some people are constantly on the look out for other plots to get involved with who throw up a general interest check, but that gets bumped down over time. There could be a permanent collection of people saying 'Yes, I would like another role play, here is what I role play, here was my 'community role play' post (or some other writing sample), let me know if you're ever interested.' That's my idea for internal promotion.

My idea for external promotion is to follow exactly along with what Sunwolf came up with: a FoG role play we can link interested people to. I'd hope in the long run that we could do it for a bunch of genres, but just one would work great, and to repeat what I said in the above quote, I don't think we have to wait for that to finish. We've got a neatly budding list of lines we already think people would like! The Post Your Favourite Lines thread doesn't have enough love, but if we could all chip in our favourite exchanges or scenes and then mark them by genre, we can show what sort of snappy zingers, quirky hijinks or brooding atmospheres we encourage and respect. Everyone likes a good highlight reel (I hope), and it saves on having to trudge through a whopping sea of posts.



Please give your thoughts on this. What else can we do? Can we make all or some of these ideas work? Even if we choose to do something else, where do we promote ourselves?


Last edited by Tartra on Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Gadreille on Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:07 pm

I almost like the idea of a giant sticked OOC and IC, almost like a "mock" OOC where people post their characters for the Intro IC thread, but also where they put in their role playing preferences. Also, we could charge people with keeping their IC posts linked to their OOC post.

To keep it organized, we could link every member, alphabetically, in another sticked and locked announcement thread of sorts. That way it remains organized and easily edited by the staff.

This is just a super rough idea of how I was imagining it run; also, there is a lot you said previously that I didn't even touch on, but I'm sort of waiting to see what everyone else has to say before my brain explodes.
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Blade Barrier on Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:06 pm

We do have Caligo people. We even have a special section in our user profiles dedicated to it. However, we can all see that despite the effort put into Caligo, people just don't want to write about it. The last post was made over six months ago.

I think the problem with having a mass RP is just that like individual RPs, they don't appeal to everyone. I for one wouldn't have even bothered with FoG if I was forced to partake in a role play that I didn't like or had no intention of getting involved in. Even if it was just one post to show everyone what I could do. It feels like an unnecessary barrier to place between newcomer and site.

Also, not everyone likes to talk about their RP preferences. Some people are afraid of being judged, and others don't care to get that friendly with their peers.


On paper, I think it's a great idea, but in action, I think it would be combersome and irritating for any would-be-foggers. Sign ups for forums are already bothersome enough, why also put them through a "test" to see how they operate?


The best way to promote fog internally is by being a rolemodel. Participate in role plays (especially in ones made by new/inexperienced users) and be active in them. Don't stop posting for stupid reasons. Try to have fun in an rp even if someone you like stops posting or the plot makes a turn you don't like. Don't be a griever, make the best of it! I've always been able to turn unexpected turns into brilliant moments.

If you follow the above, then people will enjoy the site and start talking about it to other people and they will check out fog. They will see the glorious community, and they will quickly become regulars.

Sadly, most people on fog don't do this. They insist on joining the newest role-plays made by the site veterans, and stop posting as soon as they lose interest. Or they just have "more important things to do" and simply can't be bothered to write 1 lousy post for an RP they agreed to participate in. The worst part is nobody ever says they're leaving, they just up and join another. There's no discipline or courtesy. This creates frustration and confusion for the other role players that often leads to RP death. I wish I could say this cancer is exclusive to Fog, but it's not. It's been on every site I've ever been on.



TL;DR: Extra work for a new user will never equate to more users. All you need to do is create an atmosphere that everyone feels welcome in.
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Guest on Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:22 pm

I would agree with you wholeheartedly, Blade Barrier, if I knew how to make it work...

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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Spectre on Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:24 pm

WHat about also utilizing the chatbox more often? I'm beginning to make it a habit to get in the chatbox while i'm home and surfing FoG.
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Tartra on Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:27 pm

@Barrier: I see those as two separate issues. The latter of your post relates more to common courtesy amongst role players - which, pretty sadly, isn't that common - and that's something that should be addressed directly. I think it's odd that we have a code of conduct for speaking with each other and limits on what's considered acceptable, but no one's bothered to write up a list of... I don't know what to call it - 'Code of Not Being a Jerk'? Just a collection that I know people will look at and say, 'Well, obviously you don't just leave', but now it's something put in writing. Unfortunately, doing something like that begs the question of what the point of having it is if it'll never be enforced. In a kind of cruel but highly accountable world, we could tie reviews of the person (like eBay's feedback system) to a profile: five stars for communicating, even if it's only to say they're leaving, and one stars for just disappearing. Do NOT quote me on that - I'm not saying that's how I want it weighted, but that that'd be an example of what it could look like.

In other words, yes, internally, we should have a list of expected etiquette posted right along with the rules the mods put into the Greetings threads.

I don't agree with the first part of what you said. I don't think listing your preferences is more work than what new people voluntarily do when they first say hello, and saying hello isn't even a rule. I also find it kind of hard to believe someone that would be fine saying hello and often saying 'I read these kinds of books' or give some other blurb about themselves, and most people do, would be so adamantly against saying what they enjoy role playing. I think everyone does say it when they're asked, so it'd just be an upfront prompt to save everyone time: 'Hey, what do you like role playing? Be sure to mention that in the hello you wrote! By the way, how many role plays do you like to have at a time?'

As for the community role play, I don't think that'd be made mandatory, just strongly encouraged and offered right away. It's like a personal frosh week: you don't have to get involved, but it's a fast way to see who else is around. Again, at the same time the mods direct someone to the rules, they can be directed to that. A problem I personally had with Caligo was that I didn't know it existed until months later, and then a year later, I half-figured out what it was (an island thing? Still fuzzy, but getting clearer). This would be directly geared towards newbies: it comes with an actual explanation of what that is and it gives them something they can do to join in with the community outside of their role plays. That, on its own, is welcoming. It's only work if it's forced (You can't join unless you do this) and that's not what this should be. It's about giving them a chance to see what it is without making them dig to learn about it or miss it entirely.


Last edited by Tartra on Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Gadreille on Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:28 pm

I also agree with everything stated there, though I don't think it's reason not to continue discussing new ideas for increasing community participation. I've had several people give up and walk out on me in RP, but no matter how much I pleaded, begged or yelled, it didn't make anyone any more willing to write up to their word. Alas, I know I have been the culprit a few times, and it haunts me. Still, I am trying, through simple RP action, to keep fog going. I know days if be the only one on fog for a couple days. Thing is, few people stick around when things go stale.

Edit: what I am trying to say is I'd like to do more, because I've been doing as you have suggested already and it hasn't been enough to convince people to stick around.
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Tartra on Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:39 pm

Gadreille wrote:What I am trying to say is I'd like to do more, because I've been doing as you have suggested already and it hasn't been enough to convince people to stick around.

That's the problem I've been seeing a lot of. I understand the idea in being a role model, but there's two problems with that:

1) Everyone who'd be interested in doing that is doing that, and

2) No one knows who the role models are.

I know it's counter-intuitive to say 'do more work to become a user', but it's that work - that initial bit of team-building - that'll get people on the same page. I want to look at having everyone build common ground with one another right off the bat. That is community building, especially after it's clear that there's a very established group of friends at the center of FoG that actual opinions exist about, touching on how it's hard to break into. This is a step to reduce that effort. Once it's established, we can go from there, and then maybe no would see it as work, but as more of a focused introduction. We can't follow each other if we don't know bother to learn who everyone else is.
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Gadreille on Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:44 pm

That's true. There are a lot of new faces around that introduce themselves a bit and then I never see them IC. I never even get a chance to see their talents.
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Blade Barrier on Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:04 pm

obviously my pep talk about good manners wasn't for you two.

Also, you may freely disagree with me. But I never said this was a bad discussion, just that the idea felt weak (IMO)

Forums with lots of internet fights tend to have a smaller roster of newbies as well. I don't want to point fingers, but I have seen a few drama queens on here that can't wait to start something or over react to something else. So being a good role player isn't the only thing to do.

EDIT:

Gadreille wrote:That's true. There are a lot of new faces around that introduce themselves a bit and then I never see them IC. I never even get a chance to see their talents.

Perhaps they have simply decided not to participate in a RP, didn't like the community , or have joined one elsewhere.
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Tartra on Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:06 pm

Thanks, Barrier. That didn't feel like an accusation at all.
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Guest on Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:19 pm

I would really hate to have to lock this, so lets stop it now. Thank you.

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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Tartra on Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:23 pm

Ysopet, that's not necessary. Given very recent events, I simply ask that phrases like 'drama queens' and 'not pointing fingers' not be used. Their indirectness can be very easily interpreted in a direct way, and as a personal favour, I'd like to have that wording avoided entirely.

I don't think it's enough to just say we can disagree. This isn't about shutting down one idea. If you think it's weak, that's great! That's the first step to making it stronger. What would you (everyone) say needs to be changed or replaced to make it work?
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Blade Barrier on Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:31 pm

Understandable Tartra.

But you see, I already said why it was a weak idea, and you disagreed and offered your opinion on why you felt it wasn't valid. There's no point reposing what I've already said. You would be into a global forum RP as a way of making your RP preferences known. I think having a profile is enough though. I doubt any amount of debating is going to change our minds.

Interesting that you think people should stop using "drama queen" and its alternates. I on the other hand think that people should grow some thicker skin. if someone say drama queen, doesn't say any names, and it offends you (anyone, not just Tartra), well, hate to say it, but you probably are a drama queen. If you would pretend he/she's talking about someone else, or simply choose not to reply, you're bypassing a lot of tension.

Trolls feed on drama, so if some is intentionally trying to annoy you, not responding totally foils their plan and you "win" the "argument". I ask everyone to keep that in mind when someone says something that annoys them.

Maybe you can at least realize that this is how some others will look at the situation, as I realize with your points.

(Note: I'm not saying that we shouldn't debate ideas, but most of what this topic has is opinions and hearsay. also, after being on teh webz for almost 7 years, I can say that I've had virtually no luck changing someones opinion, regardless how sound my point was.)

I can agree with Tartra on one thing however, You did kind of jump the gun Ysopet. Seriously, this is what I'm talking about. One snippy remark and a mod barges into the topic, gunz a blazin, threatening to lock a topic. It creates a very uncomfortable atmosphere. Seriously guys, wait for the fire to start before you BBQ.
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Tartra on Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:40 pm

Blade Barrier wrote:But you see, I already said why it was a weak idea, and you disagreed and offered your opinion on why you felt it wasn't valid. There's no point reposing what I've already said. You would be into a global forum RP as a way of making your RP preferences known. I think having a profile is enough though. I doubt any amount of debating is going to change our minds.

The problem I find with keeping it in the profiles is that not a lot of people click on other, specific people unless they know that person already. When they introduce themselves, more people take notice of that 'hello' thread, and that would seem like the perfect time - when that newbie has everyone's attention - to throw up a quick list of what their RP interests are, along with the other interests they usually give. So yes, it should certainly be in everyone's profiles, but also front and centre when a person walks in.

Again, Barrier, this isn't about changing each other's minds. This is about growing an idea that everyone can get behind. This is brainstorming.
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Guest on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:16 pm

Anyways.

@Tartra: I really like your idea. Half the people who make intro threads do it as an IC character walking into a bar/invading a new land scenario anyway. I think it would capture a lot of people's attentions to have a mass RP as an "Intro" option. The only problem is if it's an ongoing plot and there are already pages of posts, people might find it daunting to read up on what is already going on. That was what turned me away from Emoria and Caligo. Too much homework. If you're going to do a mass RP as an "Intro/playfully offered writing sample" it should be just that. An RPed intro.

Like, I've seen boards where they have just a single thread as an intro thread(instead of individual threads like we have here, just one massive thread where there are a set list of questions for you to answer; you post your answers and quick "Hi, my name is ___" and people enter the thread to greet you). When someone new arrives here, we'll have them role-play as a character stepping into the room/terrain and get a role-played greeting from those already present. And then after everybody feels comfy, we leave the thread and go do our own thing on the actual forum. It's not something we cling to or hang onto or make a big, strict thing. It should be something fun to appeal to people who don't want to be engulfed by researching a board and it's members. A warm-up.

Something really loose and adaptable. If previous posts have us in a tavern or a club and then someone new posts themselves entering an army encampment, we don't go in there and bust their balls. The person who greets them would put on the appropriate attire and "salute" the new "soldier" or whatever. Just as an example. All current members are all characters already in the room, but our attire and the setting changes with the new person's introduction. Or it doesn't. It can be a multi-genre scaling thing. I make my intro as a modern party girl entering an apocalyptic city scape and Kalon rides up as an imperial elf to welcome me to the "New New World" and offers me tools on how to survive here(mixing his already set character in with the small world details I've created in my intro). I think it will be a lot more appealing to people if we stay far away from keeping things scripted or required. We want them to enter thinking "Holy shit! This place is fun!" We can keep the scripted stuff for when we get serious in actual role-plays and stuff.

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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Tartra on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:23 pm

I think that's the perfect outline of what an internal promotion, community-based RP would be. Exactly like Ten said, there's no homework for someone new to have to read up on.

Ideally, I'd like to see what Ten said and what Sunwolf said as two, strongly supported ideas for the 'here' and 'out there' face of FoG for people to use to jump in right away (Ten's being the 'here', Sunwolf's being the 'out there').

Reeeeeally would like to steal Sunwolf and grab an opinion from him. I'm referencing his thought a lot and I'm not sure he knows this thread exists. Laughing

So? Can we keep going from here?
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Gadreille on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:26 pm

PM him and drag him into it Very Happy

I think the important thing is to focus on the HOW. How will it be structured? How will it be run?
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Guest on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:26 pm

I do like the idea of the in-character introductions. A few new members try to do that already, so perhaps giving them an easier option would really get them going. And starting out "in-character" might be a better way at keeping them going on into actual role-plays instead of just disappearing.

Some new members might even just stick around in the intro thread until they get comfortable, which would be fine.

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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Christoph on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:30 pm

Let's all try to rein it in a bit and stay on topic. We want to be productive, not destructive. Smile As for my own thoughts, I'm not sure if I can speak intelligently on Tartra's second idea just yet. It seems okay at a glance, so I'll sit back and see where it goes. I wouldn't mind seeing a new "persistent world" project, though. That said, I've been mulling over the subject of site growth and recruitment for a little while, now. This seems as good a segway into that as any.

A while back, I worked for different RPing site, both as a regular mod and admin (I still show up there from time to time when there's a contest or event going on). The site had and still has plenty of flaws and shortcomings, but I will say this about it: it was much easier to recruit for than FoG and other sites I've worked with in the past.

I can sum up why in a single word: identity. The site has a strong, distinct theme and brand, for lack of better words. I could easily sum it up in a sentence and give someone a strong impression of what to expect and why they should join. It was easy to describe what made the site special. As much as I love FoG, it's quite a bit harder to do that.

I don't think we need to drastically change the site, mind. We first need to take what we already have an package and present it properly. For that reason, I think an "FoG at a Glance" page would be a great start. It's all about defining the Footsteps of Ghosts "brand" -- defining what makes this place special and shining a spotlight on those traits. FoG should feel like an experience that you can't get anywhere else.

We've got a lot going for us already: a kind, hard-working staff, an amazing and professional site design, and a great core of loyal members. While those things alone put us above most other RPing sites, we can't build a brand around them -- anyone recruiting for a site will say those three things whether they're true or not, lol.

On a related note, member retention is just as important as recruiting. To accomplish that, we need two things. First: we should keep member excited to be here and provide new and interesting things for them. Second: we must get them invested in the site. This is important because it makes members feel like they're working toward something, makes them less likely to leave. Accomplishing these two things may require some more radical ideas.

Thoughts?
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Tartra on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:33 pm

Structured? Very loosely, with a sharp emphasis on making room for newcomers. I'm familiar with the type of thread Ten described, but the only thing I'd caution against is the 'having other characters greet them'. I think it'd detract from the individuality of that newcomer, to have them swarmed (however friendly the swarming is) as soon as they come in like it's a normal thing. I say to leave it as just one post per person: one big thread where everyone looks at a 'And then I arrived, and then I walked into the distance to join the others' vague plot. All the greetings and feedback for that person's post should probably be kept to the Greeting thread they'd likely put up. In other words, I'd suggest keep this as a serious sort of thread to encourage the 'writing' aspect and subtly show a divide between how OOC is treated (huge welcome, FoG-style) and IC (as part of a story, uninterrupted by outside words).

As for how it'd be run, I think this is something we can do as a lead-by-example deal. With so many examples laid out before them, the next person would know the sort of atmosphere it's aiming for after reading one or two instead of forty. It'd most likely fall under an IC mod's jurisdiction though, so - um... Ysopet? Christoph? I think I'm talking about making more work for you.

Edit: In short, Christoph is right about FoG's identity. And he's right about any website saying those three things. I wouldn't want this to change the website, but certainly simplify it.

Member retention would be an internal promotion thing. What Spectre said about using the Chatbox more is a good start. Has anyone thought about having a scheduled FoG day or something? Like once a month? It'd give a chance for people to remember there's an active community and that might give us another chance to pull them back in.
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Guest on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:36 pm

That's fine. I would like something to make me feel useful here. And I most definitely agree with the more professional and less cluttered atmosphere. I wouldn't want it to end up looking like a chat box.

I think all of the mods, or at least the IC's, could start by posting their own, and then see where that gets us.

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Post by Gadreille on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:40 pm

I guess I am not understanding the layout of this. It's a board that has a giant IC, I get; does it have one OOC? How do we organise everyone's info?

Sorry. Questions! Questions that need answering!!!!
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Tartra on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:51 pm

Unless we get enough going to warrant its own board, I think this would be a big, stickied thread in the Greetings sub-board. Technically it's an Advanced role play, I think, but it should be somewhere that newcomers can see. The OOC would be the actual hellos underneath it in the rest of the Greetings.
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Gadreille on Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:00 pm

OH! Haha. Yea, I'm digging that. Not sure how we'd deal with the character creation, plot, genre, etc. Would us oldies have to make new intros?
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Guest on Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:01 pm

There would be no plot or genre or character creation really. Just a new member "walking into a bar" and issuing a greeting. Something to showcase their writing, in a sense, and view others intro's. Am I right with that, Tartra?

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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Tartra on Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:07 pm

Yes, what Ysopet said. I swung the Caligo idea around before maybe a bit carelessly because I know some of you have a lot invested in it. I brought it up because if you'd like to open a part of it as a 'swim to an island' rather than 'enter a bar' prompt, it might link everyone to a big idea we could then grow from. But that is an outsider's opinion. I don't know anything about Caligo other than that it started here, and other than using an island setting at first, there's nothing that'd have a connection to it. And this is me assuming islands are a Caligo theme. :/

FoG needs a theme, guys. Should it be a dark forest, tying it to the banner?
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Gadreille on Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:11 pm

I'm not going to speak for the entire community, but judging at Caligo's lack of activity, I'd avoid going that route. Tying to the banner would be very interesting.
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Tartra on Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:14 pm

That would be easier, too. The banner is the main visual of the forum, so it wouldn't be hard to expand on it if people like that idea better.
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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

Post by Guest on Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:17 pm

Yeah, the banner would be an interesting focal point. Not to advertise myself or anything, but the halloween story I wrote for the first Halloween contest was also tied to that tree. I think the idea of it would work wonderfully for FOG's theme. If you don't want to read it, The Dance of Death, its basically about a tree wherupon ghosts dance around to tell the story of their life, or death or whatever. Could be whatever we want, but the concept of the ghosts telling their story, using the tree as some focal point, might work.

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Messaging Re: Promoting FoG

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