Site Management > Site Support / Feedback

We need a Noob-friendly jargon busting intro to Freespace and HLP.

(1/7) > >>

Iain Baker:
Hi everyone!

As some of you may know, I am HLP’s new Social Media Manager. Before I get stuck in, I will be asking for everyone’s input, to make sure I represent HLP the way the community wants.

Look out for that post soon.

Once the social media side of things is in full swing we may start getting new members joining HLP, so it would be a good idea to make it easy for them. I am aiming to capitalise on the resurgent popularity of space sims, such as Elite Dangerous, Star Citizen, No Man’s Sky etc. to attract a fresh audience.

Some of our prospective new members may be much younger than most HLP veterans, my self-included (since I’m pushin’ forty). As such, they may not remember the days when forums such as ours were commonplace. Their experience of forums may be limited to Facebook pages and subreddits.

For such newbies the HLP forum could be a daunting place as it is huge, and comes with a number of rules and caveats, not all immediately apparent or obvious. I doubt many newcomers would be inclined to read through pages and pages of rules. In my own experience, inadvertently breaking these rules – by say, posting about a bug ‘in the wrong thread’ can bring down criticism from some members, who are not always especially helpful in explaining exactly what one should have done instead.

A new member may well be put off contributing entirely by such responses. If we wish for our community to grow, this cannot be allowed to happen.

I propose we create a new noob-friendly ‘Guide to Freespace and HLP for dummies’. This should explain in short and simple plain English terms what people should and should not do. This should also include a ‘jargon buster’ guide to explain some of the often-used but not immediately clear terms.

‘OP’, ‘FRED’, ‘Nightly’ ‘tables’ ‘stickies’ etc.

Note that this is my professional opinion, and should not be seen in any way as an indictment.

It is common for groups, businesses, sports teams, clubs, public sector organisations etc. of all sizes to become slightly insular after a time, as members soon forget what it was like to be the ‘new kid’. In fact, I do not think I have encountered one yet where this has not happened. Think of it as a ‘Universal Truth.’

See what I did there? 😉 Case in point. Most veterans would get the reference, a newcomer wouldn’t.

It is common for jargon to get thrown around by long standing members of groups/teams/organisations who forget that not everyone knows what it means. It becomes even more confusing when different groups with their own jargon try to talk to each other. I remember a rather comical episode in my past career where an engineer, who spoke ‘English-engineer-ese’ was talking to a school teacher who spoke ‘English-school-teacher-ese’. Since I ‘spoke’ both, I had to translate for them. I also had to translate the ‘English-bureaucrat-ese’ that came from my department to them both.

Thankfully this is something I am very good at, as is inducting and orientating new members.

I am happy to take the lead on this aspect, but I would need the cooperation of the rest of the community, its longest standing members especially, to be able to do it well. To help others, I will need you to help me, as I am by no means an expert in the rules of forums myself.

This whole post is another case in point which illustrates this perfectly. I have probably put it in the wrong place. Where then should this post have gone??? :confused:

Good points you've got there. :nod:

One small thing though is that you should distinguish between community references (in particular references to certain missions) and general forum language such as OP, stickies etc.

Also, I don't know what the exact target demographic of HLP is, as a significant part of the content creator (atleast the most skilled part) might have a different background than the players (but it's rather my personell uniformed guess).

General Battuta:
The only way to make this game's playerbase grow is a one click installer which configures everything so you can play it (which I believe Knossos is?) That is the standard people expect of mods these days.


--- Quote from: mjn.mixael on September 24, 2018, 09:42:50 pm ---Iain is motivated and has ideas. Oh, and he's actually doing things about it... which is more than I can say for most of us.

I heartily urge this thread not to continue down this discussion path and get back to discussing how to most easily get new people playing, discussing, and modding FSO.

--- End quote ---

Seconded. I feel like a new member, yet I have been here for 8 years already... I think highlighting the ease and awesomeness that is Knossos will help. Capitalizing on the large amount of content that it provides and ensuring that folks understandthat these are not 'just mods for a 20 year old game', but rather high quality content using an opensource, continually updated space-combat engine.

Similarly,  I agree that jargon buster is a great idea, as well as a quick guide. I am very excited you are excited for taking on this role, Iain, and I look forward to seeing your plans in action! I would be happy to provide more details or thoughts, though I think the role of Social Media Manager is in very good hands.

Nightmare has written a nice draft of a "Getting Started" section for the HLP Main Page.  I've uploaded some of it there already:

I'm currently waiting on Sandwich for some bug fixes before I'm able to upload the rest of it.  Unfortunately, this time of year is right in the middle of the Jewish Fall Festivals, which are to Israel what Christmas is to the USA, so it may be some time before he gets a chance to fix them.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version