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MOD FanForce - Forum Romanum

Discussion in 'FanForce Communications' started by Corellian_Outrider , Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne FF manager Celebrations star 8 Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 1998
    So if we move on from the more administrative side of FF to the actual hear, the local chapters. What do you think should be required to be able to call yourself an official FF chapter? Traditionally it used to be that to become a chapter you needed three meetings, then you could choose CR (chapter representative). In order to remain an official chapter you needed to have three meetings/year and a yearly election of a CR.

    Now tied to these questions of what constitutes a FF I also think we need to discuss how much activity there should be on these boards. I think we are all aware of that forums are not the main communication channel on the internet anymore, at the same time it is only by being on the same platform we can have a global unity, and not the least if there is trouble outside of the forums it has proven difficult for the RSAs/GSAs to actually do anything.

    I have my ideas about how we could codify this, but I would like to hear from you first. I also feel that it is important that we come up with an answer to these questions fairly soon, since we have noticed that there is a renewed interest in meeting up with other local fans in the build up to the new films.
     
  2. Vesper2112

    Vesper2112 FF President & CR, Chattanooga, TN star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2003
    In the age of facebook, getting people to go to a forum may prove challenging. I can only really point to the 501st/RL (and other global groups) where the forum structure still seems to work. They all have local forums (or facebook) to discuss local things, but then you have the one "everything" forum where you get the melting pot from everywhere. That global forum seems to be a good place to discuss everything from policy, swag (oh, how people like their patches and challenge coins), costume builds, and cross-garrison events. I can see the forum here covers the general "community" talk for sure and maybe some of the other stuff as well. I know it would be awesome if we could have all the local stuff discussed "here", but those seems to have moved to facebook or individual forums. I think that's ok since that does seem to work for those other global groups. The issue may be that everyone's pretty much run themselves for so long that it might be hard to pull people back into a global forum.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that a lot of the members in my area seem perfectly happy to continue on as we have. We have a really good local presence, while I'm looking at a bigger picture of what a presence (global) we can have and how that would benefit us at the local level as well. It certainly would help new and smaller FanForce Chapters to have some nice Public Relations material to show off to help secure a fan table at a convention (for instance) rather than rely solely on a local Chapter building up their own history and resume (as it were).

    And maybe all we need is for the RSAs/GSAs to help us be the global presence we need by making sure LucasFilm/Disney know that we're out there. To me, that's #1. Where the other groups are designed to be costuming groups, we're a SOCIAL FAN group that anyone can join. Rather than rely on people finding us here at theForce.net alone, it would be super awesome to have StarWars.com point people here. If we can get us on their website, that would help. There used to be an open spot on there waiting for us (they had 7 groups listed and the 8th was blank), but it's been filled by "The Saber Guild". So they'll just have to make a new row to add us, but we really, REALLY need to be listed here. Seriously. That should be the number one thing to do right now. http://www.starwars.com/community
     
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  3. Wild Sidewalker

    Wild Sidewalker Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    I think that the forums are important exactly for the kind of communication we are engaging in now; public yet also specifically engaging of individuals actively interested and involved in Star Wars... from across the face of our planet! Facebook, while faster and more readily integrated into the electronic aspect of our lives, is structured to be more... excluding? divisive? It leads us to only engage with people we know. People we invite. It is not at all as a good a medium for being exposed to new ideas or engage new people as this forum
     
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  4. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne FF manager Celebrations star 8 Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 1998
    One thing I've been thinking about is to maybe have an annual "we're alive" month, it would be called something else. During that month we could have the elections for CR, and if that happened on the forums, it would be enough for a chapter to do that on the forum, but keep most other communication alive through other channels. What do you think of that?
     
  5. Wild Sidewalker

    Wild Sidewalker Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    I think that's a good example of how the forum can be employed and why they should be maintained. I wish there was a better mechanism to bring my attention to "what's trending" on the forum; if there is already such a mechanism, it doesn't pass my perceptive filter so to speak.
     
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  6. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne FF manager Celebrations star 8 Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 1998
    If I go back to my earlier post. What do you think is enough activity to be called a FF chapter?

    There used to be the requirement of at least 1 activity (real world) per year. For me I still think that's a minimum, together with an annual election of the CR.
     
  7. Wild Sidewalker

    Wild Sidewalker Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    One activity in the real world per year is definitely a minimum -- whether that is their annual banquet, annual signature event, or annual major fundraiser. Should there also be a minimum number of chapter meetings per year? Like at least quarterly?

    As to annual elections, that would seem to be a given. But that makes me wonder what other chapters believe, in addition to a CR, are the officers a FF chapter must have to be called a FF chapter? And, how long is it recommended that any given officer serve in their role? For life? Five years? One year? Should there be term limits when a chapter gets beyond a certain size?
     
  8. Vesper2112

    Vesper2112 FF President & CR, Chattanooga, TN star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2003
    We have elections every year for: President (mainly oversees the monthly meetings), the VP (keeps up with attendance and fills in for other officers as needed), Treasurer, Secretary, and Event Coordinator (which, for us, has really turned into a busy job since we do a lot of costuming). I'm the only original member left from the very start, so they've told me that I have to be the CR for life. LOL.
     
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  9. Wild Sidewalker

    Wild Sidewalker Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    In the real world, in addition to having been an officer among boards of directors and an officer in a variety of organizations, I'm a clinical psychologist. And, one interesting factoid I consider when I think about officers in a club, CR rep or other, are the factors associated with satisfaction and longevity in a marriage. Communication is always number one but the second most powerful element is responsibility. In the case of marriage, it means a division of tasks in the household such that it is seen that everyone is contributing in the house (it doesn't count for much what you do outside the house including holding a job that brings money into the house). Holding responsibility for the execution of tasks (doing the bills, housecleaning, waste management, repairs, etc) is associated with increased reports of satisfaction and longevity in the marriage.

    I think that is an important concept when considering our inclination to appoint anyone to an office for "life." While it may be satisfying for that person to be considered so valued, the club members who can then go on to never hold office are more vulnerable to feeling disconnected from the club which cannot only lead to dissatisfaction and growing inactivity but also termination of membership.
     
  10. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne FF manager Celebrations star 8 Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 1998
    I also think change in leadership is good, but I would rather that the individual chapters had that decision in their hands, than that we need to codify it as a general rule. I wouldn't mind allowing clubs to have their own bylaws and regulations, as long as they follow the basic rules that we set down. There is such a big variety in size and the way that chapters are organized that I think it would be hard to to be too detailed in how things should be set up.

    I'm thinking that this discussion will lead to some kind of charter, but maybe it should be in two parts, one about the official rules, and one with guidelines on how to operate a chapter?
     
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  11. Wild Sidewalker

    Wild Sidewalker Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Agreed! Particularly given that Disney will want increased assurance that FF will help protect the integrity of its now active and developing Star Wars asset and how it is portrayed by FF members, FF should establish a clear standard of conduct and quality through the establishment of official rules for FF chapters. But it is also good to have a subsection of less rigid guidelines which will allow for the flexibility needed given the various sizes and operational parameters of the different chapters
     
  12. PreludeRM

    PreludeRM FanForce CR, & Fanforce Council Calgary, Alberta star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2002
    I've been CR for the past 10 years and I think I'm the only one that comes back to the boards to check in and post. I've been told I can't step down. We do have a good core group that have been around since the start. At one point we were getting a charter in place as we were having a few problem members pop up here and there but they have went away and we feel we didn't need the rules. We have a Jedi Council (me and 3 other members) who make all the major decisions for the group. (If we do need to make a hard decision).

    As for how many meetings and stuff. I think at least 1 real world event every quarter to be active. Other wise the only real event coming up would be just the movie releases every year. We want it to be an engaging social group of SW fans not just a once a year thing. We still have a monthly meeting and have had one the last 10 years. We have actually just started up a 2nd monthly meeting for just our book club.
     
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  13. BobaChris12

    BobaChris12 NE RSA & North Ridge VP star 9 Manager

    Registered:
    Aug 30, 2002
    I am in favor of keeping the system the same as it has been in the past. 3 people at 3 meetings make a chapter official. From there, they should maintain regular posting here (i recommend weekly at a minimum). Quarterly get togethers or events will help foster bonds that will allow a chapter to grow.

    FF should set a basic set of By Laws, but allow each chapter to build upon that. Many years ago, there was an outline that many chapters followed, including Buffalo.

    Holding an election, whether formal or informal, annually will allow for communication. We could vote for the election time period, time of year, etc.

    It's ok if groups want to use facebook to communicate, but the more we can encourage chapters to use these forums, the better we look. Other SW groups are growing and are recognizable. I am growing seriously concerned that FF is slipping away.
     
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  14. Vesper2112

    Vesper2112 FF President & CR, Chattanooga, TN star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Similar to what PreludeRM said, I think when I said I was elected to be CR for life, it's in a joking manner as I'm the only one that ever comes to these particular boards.

    If FanForce got (back?) to the point where these forums were essential to being part of FanForce, that would probably change and there'd need to be an election for CR.

    So what would make these forums essential? Before I get there, I need to prelude my answer with some observations as to WHY I'll answer the way I will.
    Right now, all the various Chapters are off doing whatever they feel they need to do to keep their Chapters going. That's really it in a nut shell. Yes, FanForce (these forums) got us together initially, but once we were certified as a Chapter to where almost every aspect of being a Chapter was left to the individual cities, it's hard to come up with a compelling reason to come back here. I don't say that to be dismissive. It's not like there's much of a structure that all Chapters have to abide by, so the members (as it were) have nothing to vote on or anything to voice their opinion on. All that takes place at the local level. There's very much a disconnect with what the other Chapters are doing. I think it's really cool the way the boards here have been restructured, but it won't matter if no one's coming here.
    If we try TO FORCE (lol) people to post here to maintain FanForce Chapter status, then again... there needs to be a compelling reason why they would care to remain part of FanForce. Most Chapters are established enough in their own community to simply say, "OK, we're not <insert name here>: FanForce Chapter of <whatever city>... We're simply <insert name here>". What would change? I can't think of anything, really. I want FanForce to mean something. To be bigger than what our individual chapters are. Right now, I feel that's all we are... individual cities that have no country to answer to (or get support from). I know the members in my Chapter know that there is a thing called FanForce, but have no idea what being a part of that means. We have community. We see each other all the time. Star Wars is still a big part of who we are (even though we've expanded to other things). Members come and go and we're still here 10+ years later, so the main mission of FanForce was accomplished. What can (or should) the FanForce leadership do to try and keep us all together? THAT I don't know now that we've all been here for a while and got used to doing things on our own.

    With that said, I don't know if there's going to be a good way to try and force people back here, but if we were going to try and get everyone used to the fact that there is an overseeing FANFORCE out there that we can look to, here's a few suggestions:

    1. Get a FanForce logo that all the Chapters can use.
    Each Chapter can come up with their own, of course, but a unifying logo that can accompany it would make us all (imo) feel connected to each other and to something "bigger" than the Chapter.


    2. Get that logo on StarWars.com. If you go to their website, there's a button at the top called "community". Click that and scroll down until you see "fan organizations". Why aren't we on there? Considering that we're not a pure costuming club like most that are listed, we would be a very good alternative group for those that might not be into costuming.

    3. The leadership need to be in contact with LucasFilm. They have people that are there solely to communicate with the fan groups. They've ha several skyped meetings with the other groups already but they have no idea who to contact within FanForce. Our Chapter has been in contact for specific events, but to know about things that FanForce can be involved with, it would be great it we had someone (or a team) to be the contact people with LucasFilm. They can then pass that info down to everyone within FanForce. This would be an ideal thing to post on the forums here and get everyone worldwide interested since we'd have a direct line to LucasFilm.

    4. Merchandising. This may come later if we do see more togetherness happening, but just as the individual chapters have merch runs (patches, t-shirts, coins, etc), there's no reason why "FanForce" can't do the same. Wouldn't it be cool to go to a convention and see a recognizable FanForce logo on a shirt? Even if you're not in the same Chapter, you now immediately have something in common with that person.

    5. Convention presence. Some Chapters do this already as they promote themselves at their local cons, but maybe expand this a bit. Rather than exclusively focus on promoting your Chapter, maybe we push to promote FanForce in general as well. The leadership can maybe appoint a team to put together some flyers (or whatever) that the Chapters can print out for the tables. The CR's can also make a push here to not just man the tables with their Chapter members, but see who else may be coming from another Chapter and see if they'd be willing to do a little table-duty. This may also lead to FanForce dinners during the con. Or what some groups do (and ties in with the merch point above) Merch swaps. We have patches from several years ago that I'd love to trade for patches from other FanForce Chapters.

    6. Rules. I'm really only putting this here as I've seen this be one of the main reasons why individuals go to a "main" forum. OK, so the leadership comes up with rules that would apply to ALL the Chapters. Maybe it's what the officer positions would be. Maybe it's what those positions would do. Maybe it's a discipline procedure. Whatever... The membership wants to voice their opinion and BY FAR this seems to get people talking. LOL. However, because all those people are on the main site talking, it also gets them talking about other things. Costume building, community events, the movies themselves, the books, etc... So there's that.

    In conclusion: Again, it all comes down to WHY should the individual Chapters care about being a part of a global group called FanForce. I still think it would help establish new chapters as they would need the support from everyone to get up and going.
     
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  15. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne FF manager Celebrations star 8 Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 1998
    I think it's time to branch off on this discussion. I will start a separate thread about branding and the need for a logo.

    As for why local clubs should affiliate themselves with FF, I'm hoping that is what this discussion is going to lead to. If we can get a framework and guidlines up, it will be easier to unite around them.
     
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  16. Wild Sidewalker

    Wild Sidewalker Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    I feel that organizational identity or for simplicity, branding, is at the core of this thread. It is an essential issue not only for members ' sense of belonging to FF but also helping to distinguish us from the 501st and Rebel Legion. But, how that can be represented graphically by a logo definitely deserves its own thread.

    I feel what would lead a person to join FF, is a matter of how we brand ourselves; how we distinguish ourselves from the 501st and Rebel Legion. I think much of that has already been identified in this thread. That FF emphasizes social activity over costuming. Where 501st and Rebel Legion are known for setting standards for costume authenticity and act as a form of certifying body, FF focuses on helping fans find each other and be able to enjoy Star Wars fandom together. Moreover, 501st and Rebel Legion are by definition, exclusive; that is, you must identify as of the "dark" or "light" side respectively. FF can define itself as bringing balance; bringing together fans from both sides. Buffalo's FF success derives much from the diversity of our members and the freedom afforded by not having to essentially choose sides.

    But, I definitely agree with Vesper2112 regarding the relationship of FF to Disney/Lucasfilm -- particularly once we can establish a clear sense of our brand and, in particular, what makes it distinct and worthwhile, FF needs to have a strong link with Lucasfilm. Much of what we do in Buffalo always seems to bear a shadow lately of "what will Disney think?" We shouldn't be wondering, we should know. And, if we don't, there should be a clear and established communication link with Lucasfilm to determine their position and have that disseminated to all of FF. In addition to the FF global organization facilitating such communication being an attractive reason for a club to be an active chapter of FF, I think there is a degree of prestige that such a clear link, like the 501st and Rebel Legion enjoy, that would also make FF more attractive.
     
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  17. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne FF manager Celebrations star 8 Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 1998
    For your information. I'm going to a place that's totally offline until Monday, I'm not even reachable by phone. My plan is to start writing up the things we have discussed here and I've put a deadline for July 1st to present an idea of a charter, based on this discussion and the old rules. There are still some things that we need to agree on, but I think if we put everything up in paragraphs, then it will be easier to discuss the questions that we need to agree over.
     
  18. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne FF manager Celebrations star 8 Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 1998
    So here is the first draft, and it's definitely a draft, for a FF charter. This is where we can really go in and hammer out the details of the charter. Also I've wanted this to be quite general, and would like to create a separate set of guidelines that goes more into for example how the elections work, defining geographical areas and so on.

    Also I would like to announce that me and Corellian_Outrider has started to ask around for a new GSA, who would be responsible for establishing contacts with LFL. If you feel that you have anyone you would like to recommend, I'm very happy to receive suggestions by PM.
     
  19. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne FF manager Celebrations star 8 Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 1998
    Any comments?
     
  20. Vesper2112

    Vesper2112 FF President & CR, Chattanooga, TN star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2003
    I submitted this to our officers to get feedback. I should hear something soon. :)
     
  21. Wild Sidewalker

    Wild Sidewalker Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Personally, I think what you shared was a sufficient and acceptable general guideline for a FF charter. However, this is where ungathered work is less desirable to talking face to face; if I could know something of elements that you chose to not include and why in this draft I could better comment on how this document could be different than what you presented
     
  22. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne FF manager Celebrations star 8 Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 1998
    I would like to have a more detailed description of:

    How the elections work
    Responsibilites and expectations of the CR/RSA/GSA
    What to do in case of conflict in the club
     
  23. Skiara

    Skiara ~• RSA FFC •~ star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Johanna, I like what you've written. Just a little thought: Maybe it's better / more positive to say what we do and not what we don't do. I think especially of the crimination part. My suggestion would be "FF is open to everyone" or "FF is a place for everyone with at least a slight interest of SW". We can add the crimination part to the set of detailed rules, of course.
     
  24. Wild Sidewalker

    Wild Sidewalker Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Here's some grist for the mill:

    Elections:
    Held annually in October - per above, for offices as their respective terms expires: president, secretary, treasurer, event coordinator, publicist/archivist, conflict mediator, and CR.

    Elections for two-year terms - a single year is barely enough time to get in the swing of things or feel like you can complete a project. And, per below, I believe the commitment should be for six years total with a hold on committing to another six year cycle for at least two years.

    Election for an elect, acting, and past - for any and all offices in a chapter. I think they work best when there is a cycling of the roles. While some members may seem or feel best suited to a given task in perpetuity, "lifetime" appointments prevent many club members from taking more responsibility for club operations and thus undermines a sense of being a stakeholder in the chapter and then in turn contributes to membership apathy and even membership attrition. Thus, I'd recommend a cycle where an individual is elected as the "elect" and then works actively with the current "acting" so as to get OTJ experience for their term as "acting." After the "elect" has fulfilled two years in that role, they are automatically promoted to "acting" and the "acting" is made the "past" which they actively do for two years being available to the new "elect" and the current "acting" to provide advice and assistance as needed. Certainly any "past" could then maintain that role as far as being available to assist but should have to wait at least two years before running for "acting" again in that role; they would not be prevented from running immediately for a different role other than the one they just spent six years performing.

    Responsibilites and expectations of the CR/RSA/GSA:
    I have no idea what they do now so I guess I should read a FAQ on that. LOL So pardon any already published info to which I am ignorant

    CR - designated official contact with the FanForce leadership, specifically to the RSA. Responsible for disseminating Lucasfilm Ltd / Disney Star Wars related news and information from the RSA to the chapter membership as well as communicating chapter member concerns up to the RSA.

    RSA - designated regional coordinator of CRs. There should be at least one RSA for a minimum of 6 chapters and no more than 18 chapters. Responsible for promoting chapter activity by acting as a resource for news on Star Wars related activity in the region as well as facilitating the sharing of news on the activity of other chapters in all the regions with all the CRs in their own region. Responsible for disseminating Lucasfilm Ltd / Disney Star Wars related news and information to the CRs in the RSA's region. Also the RSA is responsible for meeting with the CRs in their region either via teleconference, Skype, or physically at least ONCE a year and communicating monthly or as needed by email information to and from the GSA.

    GSA - designated coordinator of multiple RSAs that represent a similar area of the world such as North America, Europe, Asia, etc. where at least 6 RSAs are present; the best synergy would be to have one GSA per Disney operational theater. Regions without Disney presence would be the responsibility of the closest GSA. The GSA would be the official liaison of FanForce to the Disney operational entity of that region of the world. Responsible for sharing results of discussion with Disney leadership with the RSAs in their portion of the world. Also the GSA is responsible for meeting with the RSAs in their region of the globe either via teleconference, Skype, or physically at least ONCE a year and communicating monthly or as needed by email information to and from Disney and the owner.

    What to do in case of conflict in the club:
    Each chapter should elect and official conflict mediator who would be responsible for establishing a reliable procedure for conflict resolution and then being available to the club membership to utilize that procedure whenever a member comes into a conflict within their chapter.
     
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  25. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne FF manager Celebrations star 8 Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 1998
    I just want to inform you that my computer has died, and that's why I haven't answered. I'm hoping to be back online with a new computer next week.
     
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