Announcing the JC Focus Group

Discussion in 'Communications' started by KnightWriter, Oct 17, 2003.

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  1. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 9
    Fate, perhaps you could rephrase the question(s) for me. I'll do my best to answer them, unless you were just making a general comment about things :).
  2. Krash RSA Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2000
    star 5
    Will users from different forums be choosen at random or will the ones who seem to have the most to offer be invited?
    Yes, I'm curious about the selection process for this "focus group" is going to happen.

    BTW, I'd like my access to Mod Squad reactivated...if I am still "invited" to participate in that forum as well!
  3. FateNaberrie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2000
    star 6
    It wasn't really a question KW, I was more commenting that the Focus Groups still serve a somewhat Advisory purpose though they are clearly not a "new AC." Thanks for the offer though. :)
  4. Genghis12 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1999
    star 6
    As I said earlier, Fate... "right." Even with the new changes, these groups will most definitely be advisory to us Mods.
  5. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 9
    Instead of being "advisory", the primary aim of the Focus Group is for discussion of ideas and the resolution of various conflicts and issues that come up in any number of forums. Concerned members can come up with their own ideas via PMs and then take it to a Focus Group to discuss things in an open setting with the relevant moderators (and any other moderator who is interested).

    I think we're going to be as open as possible with the selection, provided that everyone is constructive with their contributions. We want the Focus Group to be a place for constructive, thoughtful discussion. We can get ideas by asking members in private messages, but it's more difficult to discuss things with multiple members in PMs. With that in mind, the Focus Group will allow for that discussion. When it's over, the focus group is disbanded and we move on.
  6. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    Yes, I'm curious about the selection process for this "focus group" is going to happen.

    I can see this happening two different ways. One is a moderator could decide there's a need to discuss a specific issue, for example, if I wanted to open a discussion on how we could find more peaceful ways of resolving the canon wars that are too prevalent in the movie forums (which would be a good idea for one of our first focus groups, btw). I might either handpick some movie forum regulars from both sides of the issue and ask them to join me for the discussion, or I might ask publically if anyone with ideas for improving the situation was interested in helping out and admit them to the group in the order in which they volunteered. I prefer the latter idea, but either one can work.

    The other situation I could see leading into a focus group is a Comms thread on a specific issue that was leading towards some good ideas. We could invite the participants in that thread to participate in a focus group. Overall, I think it's better to leave Comms discussions in Comms where any passerby can participate in them, but there may be times when the productivity of a discussion is being hampered by people trying to bog it down. In situations like that, it would be helpful to move the participants who are actually putting ideas forward into their own focus group.
  7. yodahs-daddy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 5
    Instead of being "advisory", the primary aim of the Focus Group is for discussion of ideas and the resolution of various conflicts and issues that come up in any number of forums.


    SO instead of being one council for the whole JC, it's different focus groups for different forums, right?
    So those groups can focus on just that forum?
  8. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    They wouldn't necessarily focus on a single forum. The idea is more that we'd like to narrow down the large, difficult-to-tackle question of "How can we improve the JC?" to "How can we improve problem X."
  9. yodahs-daddy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 5
    The idea is more that we'd like to narrow down the large, difficult-to-tackle question of "How can we improve the JC?" to "How can we improve problem X."

    So it would be one group of people?
  10. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 9
    It can be one or several groups of people.
  11. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    There can be as many focus group threads going on simultaneously in the forum as needed, but we'll ask each of the posters to try to stick to their area of expertise (the group we asked them to participate in) as much as possible. Of course, if someone saw another group there they were interested in and asked to be added to that one as well, I think we would also consider that. In general, we want the FG to be as accessible to interested parties as possible.
  12. deltron_zero Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2002
    star 6
    I guess I can see why one would desire the ability to have "focused" discussions with a limited number of people. But it seems to me that these focus groups would be much more beneficial if everyone could at least read this forum, and thus we could have "mirror discussions", either here or in another designated place. That way we would be allowed equal say in the issues being discussed, as well as the opportunity to respond to the points being made by those in the focus group. Of course that might just expose the pointless and extraneous nature of these focus groups, and we wouldn't want that.

    Please, the JC is not a democracy, everyone knows that. Let's not go pretending it's an aristocracy either. The final word will always come from the ownership, but if anyone can have input into how this place is run, then everyone should be allowed the same input.
  13. yodahs-daddy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 5
    Ok got it. :)

    1. Members of the Focus Group can range anywhere from 2-12 people at any given time, and are brought into the Focus Group by asking the moderator in charge of the Focus Group to begin a discussion on a particular issue. Moderators can also request Focus Groups to work out issues in their forums.


    So if you ask a mod to begin discussion over and issue about "Problem X" then you will be brought into the FG? because you have asked the topic to be discussed? and what you think should be done to dea with it?

    It wouldn't be any certian people all the time then would it?
  14. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 9
    If we left it open, would we end up having parallel discussions on everything here?

    Edit: Also, I'm pretty sure we'd have to VIP anyone in a Focus Group if the forum was read-only.
  15. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    What if we made it a private board, but reposted the entire text of the discussions after they were finished? There must be some way to get around the technical limitations of snowboards, if people decide that the FG ought to be publically-viewable.
  16. deltron_zero Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2002
    star 6
    If we left it open, would we end up having parallel discussions on everything here?

    Only if we felt like it.

    Also, I'm pretty sure we'd have to VIP anyone in a Focus Group if the forum was read-only.

    Personally, I don't see that as a big deal. And I figure the less we make "VIPship" a big deal, the less people will be jealous of something as silly as e-status.
  17. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 9
    That's a good point, deltron.

    Overall, I'm uncertain, but I think the general feeling to this point is that it was meant to be a private forum. Whether it will remain that way in the future is a little less certain.
  18. -_-_-_-_-_- Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2002
    star 6
    These Focus Groups will have great potential to better serve the JC, more so than the current AC can.
  19. Porkins in a Speedo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 6, 1999
    star 5
    i get the feeling that this is something a lot of people are misunderstanding-

    there is no permanent 'roster' of members for the FG as there was for the AC. don't approach it along the lines of the advisory council when you're trying to picture it. forget the advisory council, it's no longer present.

    the FG could be described as a mechanism for people to use for the purpose of having private discussions with mods and other members about issues that concern them. think of it as a 'group pm'. it is not possible for a person to have a private conversation with more than one person at a time with pm's.

    if you have an issue that you want to discuss with a small group of people in private then you should contact the person in charge of the FG and request it. if your request is granted (based primarily on relevance, pertinence, and substance) then you will be taken in, and possibly joined by a handful of other members, and then be able to privately discuss the issue with mods and members. OR, the administration could create a focus group themselves and invite people to privately discuss it with them.

    so, don't ask how you become an 'FG member', because there is no 'FG roster'. the formation of a focus group is determined by necessity and requests. every discussion is different and therefore the basis for participation will be different everytime.
  20. Porkins in a Speedo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 6, 1999
    star 5
    deltron, the main reason why it's going to be on a private board is because of the benefits privacy has for discussions in life. people are more inclined to speak their mind and will be more focused when they know they don't have all eyes on them. would you feel more comfortable and open if you were having a conversation with someone in front of a live audience? most people wouldn't. it's basic pyschology that people are more likely to be open and comfortable when in a small, private group.

    and for the purpose of establishing credibility in my understanding of the FG, yes, i helped create it. and the ONLY reason i say that publicly now (for the first time) is so that i can help explain the FG and have the credibility to do so.
  21. jediknight88 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    I think that this is a great idea and would love to help out in anyway possible. Just let me know. This is a good idea. I would like to participate.
  22. deltron_zero Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2002
    star 6
    I understand what you're getting at Pie, but that just doesn't seem very practical to me. Unless one is going to be able to pick and choose every member of their focus group, and everyone who has access to the private forum, there are going to be people there who they don't know, perhaps even a majority. And if they are that freaked out by having their opinions read by "outsiders" or strangers, I doubt they would be a member of this very public online community in the first place.

    But I want to restate that I do see what you're getting at. There are probably people out there who would feel uncomfortable speaking their minds and being entirely honest in front of an "audience". And unfortunately, if the forum were read only, those people would probably be discouraged from participating in the focus groups. But I personally see that loss as minimal, and in this case far outweighed by the benefits.
  23. Darth Ludicrous Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2000
    star 5
    I doubt the new FG would discuss things so sensitive that an audience couldn't watch, and besides, just look at the senate everyone over there is honest with a full audience and all participating.
  24. Porkins in a Speedo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 6, 1999
    star 5
    but deltron, the FG isn't a policy creating body or an 'advising' body (as the AC was). it's not necessary for everyone to see what is said, just as it's not necessary for everyone to see what a person talks about with a mod in pm's.

    Unless one is going to be able to pick and choose every member of their focus group, and everyone who has access to the private forum, there are going to be people there who they don't know, perhaps even a majority.

    i know exactly what you mean, and that's an area that still needs some fine-tuning.

    And if they are that freaked out by having their opinions read by "outsiders" or strangers, I doubt they would be a member of this very public online community in the first place.

    that's a bit of an exaggeration, isn't it? no one is gonna freak out, but they may very well be less inclined to speak freely when they know everyone is watching. and i personally think openness, focus, and free speaking are critical to maximizing the potential of ANY discussion.
  25. farraday Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    Some points I'd like addressed as specifically as possible.

    The mod connected to the discussion will be in charge of picking the users for the debate correct? The users will not get to decide who gets to take part? The mod squad in general will not be able veto a person?

    Will users be limited to one focus group topic or can the mods relating to two different topics invite the same user to discuss both topics simultaniously?

    I'd also like to suggest the mods include the topics of dicussion currently under discusison by focus groups in the MS updates to give people the chance to express their desire to join to the mod in charge.
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