This is what I have come up with during my sojourn here and I would like to share some thoughts with you.
So I don't think that there are sane people who come to a place they don't know and don't like (yet) and begin helping it. And yet this is what we often expect our users to do. I heard many people say "This is not useful, would you mind helping/writing/reviewing/voting/cleaning-up, etc. instead?". Isn't it just absurd? Well, I know Uncyclopedia is supposed to be absurd! But the only way we can become a prolific place is with the help of our users. And I am sorry to notice that there are not many and it is not becoming better.
Now, I don't want to argue about the nature of other users' actions, about whether they are here to cause drama and to catch attention, or whether they are here to contribute. What I know is that it is perfectly normal for a person to want attention (but the more attention he wants, the less normal it becomes) and it is as normal to want to have fun. And what I also know as well is that a long time ago, Uncyclopedia had plenty of such users and many of them would end up being good admins and writers. So, the question is: is there another way, except for criticising and banning, to help a user become a member of our community?
- I hope so. Let's take a closer look at several (most common) reasons for which people come here:
- To vandalise the site, to make jokes, to write funny pages - for fun;
- To cause conflicts and disagreement, to criticise the community or the site itself, to introduce new ideas and projects, to develop their own ideas - for 'politics';
- To make friends and connections - socialisation through Web;
- To promote themselves, to get attention, to get everyone knowing about who they are and/or to like them - to be popular;
- To help this particular site after similar actions elsewhere - Uncyclopedia is one of their projects;
Analysis of users' behavior and the best way to deal with it
And now I want to analyse the best attitude towards these users:
- Users who vandalise pages are being told that what they are doing may be funny for them, but they can have a lot more fun writing funny pages or participating in funny projects. So users who cam here to have fun and actually know that they will be banned and unsatisfied will find here something that they have never expected: they are welcome members of the community even after their actions.
- Users who make jokes, are praised for being funny, thus they are happy here and they decide to stay. Their actions can later develop into writing.
- Users who write funny pages are praised, those who do write but do not seem funny, are also praised (they themselves have understood that their actions can be at the same time useful for the community and funny for themselves) and given new directions.
- Users who make conflicts are often those who want to control something, to have power, to look at how people will react in different situations: we should let them know that they are perfectly welcome to control something else, which would be interesting for themselves.
- Users who criticise others or the community should know that their advice is well-taken. If they are rude, then after knowing that their contributions are still appreciated, will become less rude, as they were impolite in the first place as they knew their criticism would not be accepted. Everyone should have a right to express his own opinion and know that others listen to them.
- Users who introduce new ideas/projects should be accepted in the same way as users above. They have a more developed understanding of themselves inside a community, they know that they want to have power and that it can be beneficent for others. If their ideas do not work here, they should not be told that, but rather should know that we will try to modify and integrate them anyway, therefore, as above, they are accepted.
There are plenty of points left but my essay is becoming boring and I think that you can apply the same pattern (everyone and anyone should be welcome) for everyone else. Apart from spambots, perhaps.
And now, let's see what we are actually doing!
- Users who try to have fun but are not beneficent are asked to be such: thus, they are told that they are not good members of the site. If a user is new, he is still not connected to the site in any way, and the best decision for him after what he heard is to leave.
- Users who do politics are told not to do politics because they are not admins. If they want and try to be admins, they are told to gain experience by being a useful member: something that they won't do, as they did not came here to help us in their own way, the way that we refuse to accept. So they leave.
- Users who are never beneficent in any way and who want attention are criticised. In exceptional cases - even banned.
- Users who have helped other sites are told that we don't care about what they did elsewhere, what is important is what they do here, which is very offensive in itself.
- I hope you noticed the difference. The thoughts I tried to tell you were that: a user will be an active and 'good' (you cannot judge) contributor if he gets what he wants and anyone should get our help, encouragement and appreciation.
- Don't conclude that we should provide every user with free entertainment, we should rather find entertaining aspects of useful activities and urge the user to be 'useful' because it will fit his own goals. I some of the examples above, you have also seen that sometimes a user's goal is to be useful, that is just he is useful in some way that we do not always accept.
- The above is not a personal attack against anyone, all the characters are fictional, any resemblance with real-life characters is coincidental, etc., etc.
- Is this a forum or an article or both or...? --RomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 23:24, October 19, 2013 (UTC)
- ↑ Notice that some of the vandals are just those people who know that they have problems with writing something funny; in this case, they should be helped.
- ↑ Note that if a user is of a kind that provides admins with new ideas, they are often told that their projects are not working for various reasons (as it is hard to have 'good' ideas in some area, if you are unexperienced in it). Furthermore, they are told that we have much old stuff and they can contribute there, which is exactly the opposite of what the user wanted to do, which was to renew the website with their own ideas.