Todd's Campaign Thread, Sept 2011

Most of you probably know me by now so I’ll spare any introductions. My campaign can be summed up into what we’ve done over the last term, and what needs to be done in the future. It’s important that our region maintains moving forward and keeps its collective eyes focused on a bright future that brightens with the inclusion of each individual. For that is what we are, a functioning region, not a functioning person or a group of people. But everyone in this region functioning together in some form, from the energetic roleplayer to the wrinkled governmental worker, from the skilled admin teammate to the casual regional message board poster. A single entity united under one thousand awesome minds.

Last term, I promised a significant reduction in drama, to bring more people to the forums, to establish community events, and to reaffirm this sense of community that was stronger years ago. Last term was not perfect, but much has been done. The drama that had strayed many from the region nearly nine months ago has been essentially eliminated. Programs to bring people to the forums have been established with results. We’re having a good debate contest, and a small roleplay week helped things there. A FAQ section has been useful and is still in progress. And while we did have issues with people questioning the endorsement cap, a public discussion and vote was held, which resulted in keeping the cap at the same number. If anything, the issues with that over the summer brought us closer. This comes with various RMB topics and conversation to keep us active and encourage new members to get involved. This all occurred over what has been an NS-wide decline in population numbers.

I would call the above a mixed success. It accomplished what I had set out for, but in many ways we can still improve by a lot. So, this term will be looking to build upon those improvements. Over the past week I’ve looked into successful feederite and userite regions and attempted to figure out what separates active regions from inactive regions or regions with noticeable problems. I came up with these three points:
[li]Forums and government are easy to navigate and easy to understand.
[li]A core group of players exist that work together to progress the region.
[li]There’s something for everyone to do at any given time, should they want to do something.
[li]There are programs to bring new members up to speed and become contributing members on the forums.
[li]There is a good connection between the forums and on-site regional page.
That list isn’t all-inclusive; it isn’t very detailed either. But it does give us a bit of a staging off point to figure out what we can improve upon in the region. A few specific ideas I had are:

[li]The creation of an all-citizen body. I initially had reservations against this, but if we setup something like a ‘city council’ or a ‘regional council’ where citizens (and maybe passport holders) can discuss issues in the region and brainstorm ideas or changes, that would be something a new citizen can immediately get involved in. They’d hopefully have their own forum but it’d be fully visible to the public. Also, it would not detract from what the Magisterium does - they create laws, and this council will have no power in drafting up bills or passing them into our law process. Ideally, the Magisterium could use the ideas from this council to draft up ideas and refine them instead of in the past where citizens (with or without the permission of the Provost) would simply offer ideas in the Magisterium and the Magisterium felt compelled to take action upon it.

[li]An increase in thematic, fun programs to bring people to the forums. The debate contest has been successful thus far and has brought people into the forums. We could use more of these to get things going. We’re lucky this time around because there are many more holidays and historically higher activity periods in these six months than the last six months. One idea is to have a sort of “Worlds Fair”. We had one of these (apparently) 5-6 years ago and it was pretty successful, though I believe it took place on another off-site forum. It involved different cultural explanations and education of various regions and helped us stave off isolation. I think something like that would be pretty interesting.

[li]A re-vamping of the office of tourism and university. Perhaps giving these departments officers would motivate more action to occur in those areas. While this was tried last term without much results, one was just appointed by the delegate. Perhaps we should officially recognize them as ‘ministers’. This will be something to discuss with the Magisterium and government much like the council. Perhaps we should hold elections for them. But why should we do this? Having someone in charge of both of these departments give them a mission and a single person to determine where we go with these departments instead of what has been to date nebulous departments that have had a history of highs and lows.

[li]Restoring our foreign affairs department. We haven’t gone on an embassy drive in a while, and establishing ties with other regions can and has attracted good people here. This will require us to have a more frequent newspaper (probably 1-2 months an issue would be satisfactory). Reaching out to other regions would pull in different people, different ideas, and would prevent us from becoming isolated, something I fear could be a potential problem if left alone.

[li]The commencement of a delegate mentoring program. Due to our laws, I cannot run next term. This is a good thing. The goal of this mentor program is not to create carbon copies of delegates past, but instead to gain an interest in becoming delegate and giving them the tools to get started. This way we will have more balanced elections, and more candidates who are ready to embark on such a responsibility.

Modest goals, probably, but ones that are definitely obtainable. It’s all about bringing more people to the forums and having more activity here. Other things such as WA voting, connectivity between the RMB, WFE, and the forums, and representation of the region abroad as well as reviewing any treaties will be continued.

These are all improvements, but do not settle the whole. In other words, simply setting up programs here and there won’t increase activity. If we are indeed a region and not a group of people or one person, we’re all going to have to come together as a region and work together.

Thanks. I’ll now yield the floor and stuff.

— Begin quote from ____

  • An increase in thematic, fun programs to bring people to the forums. The debate contest has been successful thus far and has brought people into the forums. We could use more of these to get things going. We’re lucky this time around because there are many more holidays and historically higher activity periods in these six months than the last six months. One idea is to have a sort of “Worlds Fair”. We had one of these (apparently) 5-6 years ago and it was pretty successful, though I believe it took place on another off-site forum. It involved different cultural explanations and education of various regions and helped us stave off isolation. I think something like that would be pretty interesting.

— End quote

I really like this idea.
It’s good to see you’ll likely be serving another term in office, Todd. I think you’re one of the best delegates TEP has ever had.

I like your First Idea, after elections conclude I think the Magisterium ought to adress this.

First idea reminded me of TP’s “People’s Congress.”

Well. What is your opinion on:

(a) the enforcing of the Regional Message Board Regulation Act of 2011;
(b) i. the qualities you look for in an Arbiter; and
ii. the qualities you look for in a Vizier.
© any reason you might use the Delegate’s veto;
(d) i. specific ways to restart the Foreign Affairs department; and
ii. your opinion on the granting of in-game and off-game Embassies.

Thanks for the q’s. Now let’s see if I can answer them ^____^

All things considered, I believe it’s been enforced well, but with some issues. The best we can do as a feeder region is set up our own standards and ask that recruiting regions abide by them. We passed that act to clarify a previous act, but the fact of the matter still stands: we put forth a set of guidelines and explain the consequences for abiding by them and not abiding by them. Most regions do in fact abide by them; maybe they don’t even read our regulations, but they are in-line with what we ask. Then there are regions that don’t abide by our rules. The Greater German Reich is one that comes to mind. They’ve been warned, but continue to post messages on our RMB under a variety of puppets. The best I can do with that is immediately suppress their adspam and try to ban that recruiter (which is a 15 minute window from when they leave the region, I believe).

It seems we should be able to do more. But we as a feeder region are limited by what we can and cannot do in the game. We can’t prevent people from posting adspam. The only, only thing we can do in that regard is get mods involved if they post two ads over a 24 hour period. That’s it. The rest is up to us. And while yes, we have what I believe to be a good standard in place, the best way to decrease the effectiveness of their messages is an active RMB. We’ve typically enjoyed that, but sometimes it’s been slow-goings. That’s why I encourage people to strike up a conversation and get some fun RMB topics going.

One qualm I have is we haven’t been reporting abusers like we used to in the Spam Warnings thread. That is probably the best way to make sure repeat offenders are caught in the act and a running tally of offenses can be kept. That will need to be maintained for next term.

Basically, here’s a few of them:
[li]The citizen has been in the region long enough to be familiar with it.

[li]The citizen is able to confidently take a stand, even if others don’t agree with them.

[li]On the flipside, the citizen is able to reach compromises.

[li]The citizen has demonstrated honesty and/or care for the region.

[li]The citizen can work in a team.

[li]The citizen is active or at least semi-active.

There are other qualities, but those are some of the main ones. I hesitate to list them all, because honestly each situation is different. That is not to say that those who have not been selected for the job aren’t the qualities stated above - like I said, each situation is different and may require different qualities based on the current makeup of the Conclave and the current regional situation.

This list is a bit easier:
[li]They are very trustworthy.

[li]They have a fair amount of influence.

[li]They’re active to the point where if there’s something wrong, I can count on them.

As stated before, however, each situation is different, and that’s not all that goes into considering someone for a vizier slot.

If I foresee any major problems/loopholes with the bill, or if I feel the bill is blatantly ultra vires to our Concordat. Sometimes if that’s the case I’ll ask the provost if I can speak to offer my opinion. Good time-saver.

I’ve thought about this one, and was secretly hoping I wouldn’t get any questions about this due to one small problem: I don’t know for certain just yet :slight_smile: . But maybe that’s a good thing - can’t be too rigid after all. I have ideas, though. Currently we have a newspaper crew, but it’s more or less a thankless and possibly overwhelming job. And yet when I look around at other regions, they tend to put out newspapers at a regular rate. What separates us from them? They tend to elect their folks who write up the newspapers, and give them a title for the job too, a sort of ‘Minister of Foreign Affairs’. What’s stopping us from considering this? It gives the writer an identity instead of just ‘the guy writing the paper’. They’d get their own office (newspaper forum) to set up the way they’d want. We’d be able to establish guidelines for the position, and perhaps for the newspaper in general (though I have to admit… kind of against newspaper guidelines as I like to see people be creative with it). We’d need to hash out the details for this, much like the tourism post thought about earlier, with the Magisterium. But it could be the missing piece we are looking for.

Secondly, we need to expand our embassies. Reach out to other regions, and find ways to bring their folks here. Like I said, the debate contest has helped, but I have ideas for other means to bring people in, stated earlier. Doing this not only can bring in more people with more ideas, but can also keep us from being isolated, which is something that led to our downfall about three years ago. I’m not saying we’re heading down that road, but if left unchecked it can become a concern we will need to address.

Third, we will need to get more issues out. We can’t just do a once-in-three-months timeframe anymore. We’ve been doing better, but now it’s time to kick it up a notch. Two months and any special updates would be an excellent goal to start with, as that keeps our embassy active and keeps us popular. There’s plenty to write about for each issues, I believe: from roleplays, to elections, to governmental activity, to RMB themes, etc. They also don’t have to be large walls of text - perhaps the model newspapers of the past are a bit foreboding.

I say all of this, and it’s all very well, but we’ll need people to help with this. And no one should feel alone here or that they have to do all the work. We have enough people here right now that can handle the responsibilities outlined here. I wouldn’t bring up those ideas if I thought otherwise. So, we will continue to work together and see what we come up with.

For off-game embassies, really, as long as they’re actively posting updates, aren’t at war with us, and look to be an active region, I am okay with them. I’m pretty lenient in this department as I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have a lot of embassies, again providing they’re active. In-game embassies are easy: if they have an off-game embassy here, they can request an in-game embassy with us and I’ll accept it. See, in any given week our region tends to get about a 3-8 embassy requests. I won’t approve of them all, because then what would that accomplish? It’d turn our embassies into nothing more than regional high-fives, and would lower the incentive to off-game embassies, which is something I tend to value more.

Hope that answers them all (sorry for the wall of text)!

Thank you for your response.

No prob. Keep the q’s coming!