Pronoun for Minister of Engagement

Fellow South Pacificans,

Today, I am launching my campaign to serve as your next Minister of Engagement. I believe that I can deliver a clearer vision for the Ministry of Engagement, and I hope to earn your support to do so.

A Focus on Integration

Today, the Ministry of Engagement consists of various teams and projects. Some of these, like unified presentation standards or the graphics team, are mandated by the Charter. Others, like the cards project or the wiki project, have remained in place across the terms of multiple ministers. For all the tasks and projects that the ministry currently concerns itself with, it lacks a clear policy objective and a clear plan for achieving it.

My policy objective is simple: to integrate new players into our community. I’m well aware that, on paper, this falls short of the responsibilities of the Minister of Engagement that are listed in the Charter. I believe it’s time to look beyond that outdated list of responsibilities, and you should be comfortable doing the same if you vote for me.

Integration is, ultimately, the most important role for the Ministry of Engagement to fill — recruiting and welcoming new members is critical to the health of our community. And by establishing a clearer focus on integration, the ministry can shed the unnecessary weight of tasks and projects that don’t serve any policy goals.

As Minister of Engagement, I will establish a specific focus on integration.

Finding Our Story

Focusing on integration, of course, only so much — that focus also must be turned into concrete action. Instead of proposing specific ideas in isolation, I believe that we can approach integration more effectively by developing and implementing a well-defined framework that guides those ideas.

Our integration programs face a couple of key intrinsic challenges. Firstly, information is unreliable. All the surveys, case studies, and personal experiences in the world will ultimately only highlight the stories of those players who are already ready and eager to engage with our outreach. When it comes to the ‘typical’ new player, the best we can do is an educated guess. And secondly, attention spans are sparse. There is a vast number of ways to play NationStates, and an equally vast number of ways for a new player to get confused. We can’t take the attention of new players for granted when they could easily be answering issues, writing factbooks, or collecting cards, for example. Instead, we must find effective but succinct modes of messaging.

Integration is like telling a story. You can give someone a wealth of well-written, easily-accessible informational resources, but it won’t make a difference if you don’t give them a reason to be interested. For instance, new players are often drawn to NationStates because they are interested in creating a nation of their very own. They might be drawn to issues because they are interested in shaping their nation’s laws. They might be drawn to factbooks because they are interested in forming their nation’s history. And they might, hopefully, be drawn to our community because they are interested in political gameplay with other players. That’s the story we’re trying to tell, and our messaging needs to reflect it.

As Minister of Engagement, I will ensure our integration processes maintain a consistent message.

Pathways to Engagement

A good story is never static. Rather, it flows from one event to the next, carrying the reader along. Similarly, our integration messaging should carry a sense of directionality and fit within pathways to engagement. To tell our story convincingly, we ought to know how that story ends and how to invite the reader to follow along to its conclusion — after all, we’re the ones writing that story. In other words, we ought to strengthen the links between telegrams, dispatches, and other modes of outreach and facets of community participation like joining the Assembly, participating in SWAN, and so forth.

What do robust pathways to engagement look like in practice? I believe in a few simple principles.

  • Start simple. Long and complex messages are easily lost in the deluge of information that new players receive. We just need to focus on the ways a newcomer can get involved.
  • Appeal to specific interests. Not everyone interested in writing legislation is interested in being an ambassador, just as not everyone interested in being an ambassador is interested in being a soldier.
  • Introduce the forums. Our forums are set up with a natural onboarding flow with things like the ‘Get Involved’ wizard and Coco’s interactive tutorial. A greater emphasis on joining the forums serves as a gateway to getting to know the community better.
  • Emphasize community. Explanations only go so far. I have confidence that newcomers will find our community to be welcoming and helpful, and the sooner we introduce them to it, the better.

To implement these pathways, it’s worth re-examining our means of outreach. We should rework our dispatches, telegrams, and World Factbook Entry to include specific calls to action that invite newcomers to join our community while phasing out a mindset of simply making more information available.

As Minister of Engagement, I will build robust pathways to welcome new members into the community.

Conclusions

I’ll close this campaign with a few brief notes.

I apologize for the late timing of the campaign. It was a busy weekend for me concerning real-life obligations, and I was also debating whether I’m the right person to serve as Minister of Engagement right now. Ultimately, I decided that’s a decision better left to voters.

With regard to potential conflicts of interest, I do not hold and have never held any positions in other regions. Here in the South Pacific, my main nation is Esfalsa. I’m a commander in the SPSF, a legislator in the Assembly, and of less relevance, a map editor for the modern tech Pacifica roleplay here on the forums.

In the interests of full disclosure, I joined the United League of Nations as Cordia around October 2018, with the intent of becoming more involved with the region as a community for GA resolution authorship; ultimately, I did not involve myself in either of those pursuits.

What do you think about the idea of merging MoC and MoE?

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Not gonna lie, I think it’s pretty useless to discuss MoC-MoE merging in campaign threads. Pronoun won’t have the power to change anything, nor will he even be involved in any kind of merge in this term. Overseeing a merge would be the responsibility of the first Minister of domestic affairs after the merge, which could be anyone.

What are your plans for the outreach department?

It’s a symptom of poor planning behind our current pathways to engagement. It doesn’t make sense to have people join our Discord server, and then message them about how they can get involved. It makes more sense to give people a reason to care about our community, and then invite them to join our Discord server to get involved in that community.

Overall aligned, even mentions certain things I’ve noticed and offers solutions to them. So, interested in certain approaches and further inquiring. I’m sorry if it appears too demanding, though it really is just two questions (bolded for tldr) with context given.

This has been noticed though the solution which came to mind was changing the W.F.E. and discussing possibilities of what would be a more efficient replacement with the Delegate.
The outline of a more approachable W.F.E. was just aesthetically clearer, just for informatory reasons presenting what I had in mind:

  • [Introduction, Guideline for new players]
  • [SWAN:] WA explanation, SPCG & Further information]
  • [SPSF:] GP explanation, SPSF structure, Further information & Joining
  • [RMB:] Likely the first interaction newly foudned nations have.
  • [Forums and Wiki:] A rough sketch to present both as extension which regular ‘residence’ is encouraged to use for additional communication
  • [Discords:] But including all of them.
    • Government (Assembly & Offices) and TSPRP information.
  • [Cards:] Trust.

This is an adequate solution which procedurally precedes the W.F.E. change. Implementing a draft W.F.E. change was difficult considering dispatch complexity.
Implementing more than the incumbent term added Briefing alongside Assembly and Cabinet dispatches should maybe be considered as well, though it would also be minimal (ex. “showcase” of a nation). But I’m interested in what you think about a dispatch revision.


Oh and for some reason I strongly agree with the first part of this statement,

It’s an informative-communicative nerf when not on the main Discord, though a manageable one.
I recall saying that the government structure was a bit too complicated due to it operating on three different domains (NSite, Regional wiki, Main Discord) and it really is for newly found nations. Thoughts?

To put it briefly, our dispatches should focus on specific areas of interest and how to get more involved. An extensive dispatch system doesn’t help with that, and can often serve only to distract newcomers with an overabundance of information they have no reason to be invested in.

I don’t think the issue lies with different domains per se, but rather trying to promote all of them to newcomers at once. Our government can and should continue to use the platforms best suited for particular needs, but they aren’t all intuitive for new members and they don’t all need to be. Our forums offer an interactive tutorial, a user-friendly wizard for getting involved, and a community that actively greets new members — and that makes it the best gateway we have into involvement with the community.

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