Being warmly greeted upon your first rez is nice. Being helped by a mentor or other during that first awkward visit to IW is also nice. It is not only nice but friendly, at least to individuals. But what about when you move from being an individual to being an interest group such as a merchant, a landlord, aspiring content creator? Is IW friendly to your longer term interests or just in having you on board? After all, it is easy to be nice upon first contact when the individual is all but helpless. It is a different thing to be friendly when they mature and start to demand things from their environment and those that interact with it.
Are new content creators given an environment which promotes creativity? Are new merchants welcomed into a level playing field where they have as much chance to succeed as other players? Can you get answers to questions that are tougher than where is the freebie shop? Is the IW leadership team as approachable and informative as the community's reputation would suggest? These things go beyond being personable yet contribute to the sense of friendliness. While it is nice to be greeted, friends help each other in more meaningful ways than simply saying, “Hi, the freebies are in this direction.”
IW has several of the standard tools to assist the mature resident. The forums are actively monitored by residents and the leadership team and few questions go unanswered. Mantus is the bug tracking system which everyone can contribute information. There is even several blogs by community members where you can find helpful tidbits. All these things contribute to the feeling of friendliness and in fairness, have done an outstanding job to date. But as the grid grows, these efforts will not be enough.
Already I have noticed a decrease in the friendliness in the forums and blogs. Tensions over conflicting viewpoints have flared. Down right hostility comes though in some blogs while radical oppressive rules and regulations are being suggested in forum posts to force other members of the community to conform. Does anyone else have that feeling of Déjà Vu?
Things are not that bad really but they could be if they continue to trend in the current direction. A few simple things could make a huge difference and completely reverse the current trend. Things like thinking about how your message will be received and perhaps rewording to take the sting out of it. Or not abusively dismissing someones opinions or observations as being worthless even if you truly believe it to be true. The leadership team can make a greater effort to make sure all questions raised in the forums are answered, especially the ones the community is unable to answer for them.
What do you think? Is IW more or less friendly now that you have been a member for a while? Do you feel we as a community are trending in the right direction? Is the IW leadership team as interactive as they were when you first joined? Is IW making the transition from micro VW to mini VW smoothly? Your voice is important, let it be heard.