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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
    I'm back, with a brand new computer as well.

    I really like everything that you have written Wild Sidewalker , especially when it comes to the description of the different positions. As for how many chapters the RSA is responsible for, that might be a bit tricky now when it's a bit unclear how many Active chapters we actually have. The idea of no less than 6, but 18 as a maximum is good though. It is important to remember that some regions are geographically bigger than others though, so having an RSA meet up life with all chapters might be impossible, even if that was the general idea with the size of the regions from the start.

    Elections.
    I think a formalized process is needed, with a set timeframe for nomination, Q&A, voting and transfering of the positions. I had a suggestion written up, but it was on my old computer, so I'll see if I can reconstruct it.
     
  2. Cobranaconda

    Cobranaconda Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Just jumping in because I'm bored. Stick a brief intro in too. I'm Cobra/Krv/Glen and I used to be the CR for FFUK's Southern chapter. Now I live in Japan and there's like nothing here organised.

    I honestly felt then, and I still feel now, that Fanforce in the USA has a lot less in terms of problems than other places, mainly due to the fact that the US tends to have many people in a close radius to make meets quite possible. In South UK I was dealing with like 10 people in a huge area trying to get them to come somewhere relatively cheap and convenient. I imagine it's far worse in places that have entire countries as Fanforces, or whole physical regions (remember BeNeLux?).

    Also, in the digital age forums are old hat. People could be perfectly inactive on the forum but still be having the required meets. I think membership of the forum is pretty much pointless by this stage.

    Hate being a downer but oh well.
     
  3. Wild Sidewalker

    Wild Sidewalker Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
  4. Adrian_Skywalker

    Adrian_Skywalker Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Aug 11, 2004
    I joined Los Angeles fan force 2004 and made friends with some really cool people. FanForce to me, means getting together with family/friends who enjoy Star Wars and gather to enjoy everything about this franchise. Celebrate Star Wars with your FanForce! Let's bring it back - Los Angeles!
     
  5. DieWompRatDie

    DieWompRatDie RSA: SouthWest US star 4 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Any updates on this front?
     
  6. Skiara

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

    Registered:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Obi-Anne stepped down from GSA and RSA, so we need a new discussion moderator for this. Means, no updates atm. Sorry.
     
  7. DieWompRatDie

    DieWompRatDie RSA: SouthWest US star 4 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2008

    Are there plans to hold elections/appointments for a new GSA? What is that process like? Who would be in charge of it?
     
  8. Corellian_Outrider

    Corellian_Outrider Admin FF | Curator: Art&RPF | Oceania RSA | CR NSW star 5 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2002


    There are no plans at the moment for a new GSA but there will be notification for when that will happen.

    Thank you also for providing feedback and material for going into the Charter. It will take a bit longer to bring it together.
     
  9. Wild Sidewalker

    Wild Sidewalker Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Let us know how we can help; I think Fanforce provides an important fan niche that is unlike the other costume-driven organizations.
     
  10. Obey Wann

    Obey Wann Former RMFF CR & SW Region RSA star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jan 14, 2000
    As a long time member of FF (since the 1999 UBB days), and RL (since 2002) and 501st (since 2005), I firmly agree. Fan Force provides a niche that none of the costume-required organizations will.

    I might not get to as much FF stuff as I'd like, but I am so glad that the Rocky Mountain Fan Force is as strong as ever.
     
  11. GreyJedi

    GreyJedi Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 16, 2002
    Sticking my nose in as a long-time member (2002). Secretary for the now-defunct San Diego FanForce 2002-2006. Recently Legion Commanding Officer of the Rebel Legion (2014-2015). And I've never had a Skype conversation with LFL, only phone calls.

    FanForce needs to get the word out that they are NOT a costuming organization and that membership is family friendly. The costuming groups require members be 18 and older for membership, so leaves out teenagers. I call FanForce my "gateway drug" because it connected me to the collecting groups, the costuming groups, the R2 building groups. There are plenty of people out there who want to meet up with fellow fans but don't necessarily want to costume - as frightful as that might sound to many.

    Rebel Legion also has publicity and marketing issues, we are constantly lumped with the 501st. For the first time ever, Rebel Legion was invited to start a blog on StarWars.com and talk about our place in SW fandom. I would highly recommend that FanForce also start promoting itself to potential new members. SDFF died because we couldn't recruit enough new members who were passionate about keeping the group alive. Those of us from the beginning were burned out and we needed new members to step up, but it didn't happen. Keeping the excitement growing is hard and those few who take on the thankless officer positions at the local level get tired of being the only person working for the group.

    A unifying logo and related swag can go a long way in getting members excited.
     
  12. ObiJuan70

    ObiJuan70 Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 1, 2001
    Hey everyone, John Laurel here, Founder of the San Antonio FanForce in 2001, member of the 501st Legion for a decade where I was the South Texas Squad Leader, Executive Officer for 2 years and Garrison Member Liaison for 2 years and was a webmaster for Michonne Bourriague and Shannon McRandle for a few years.

    During my time in FanForce, we would meet at a local comic shop on a monthly basis where we would discuss all things SW and of course catch up with one another, our own little Family reunion so to speak. We created some Great memories together and we even attended some of the Prequel premieres together. We also did some charity work in which we raised money for a local Children's shelter, before the Dark times, before the Empire :D (or when I left to put more time in with the Legion).

    I agree that FanForce needs to appeal more to the family unit as a whole, we had a few kids that were a part of our FF Chapter that weren't of Legion age be able to attend some events with us and have a Great time.

    Social Media has blown up to Epic Proportions, I remember being on here long before Myspace was around, but now that you have Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Lord of the Sith knows what else, forums have kinda fallen on the wayside for some. I think there are those of us that still have a strong connection with our FanForce chapters and in order to revive them and have The FanForce Awaken, we need to see who is here and those of us willing to work with one another to help this Worldwide fan group get back in the game.

    I agree with GreyJedi on the Logo but am kind of on the fence about Swag, that was one of the reasons I left the Legion to begin with, when you have Swag and try to make it exclusive to your members, you get trinket chasers, the whole "Elite" status thing that happened with the 501st is what turned me off, for someone to mod their armor to be as close to "Movie Canon" as possible just to snap a few pics and then change it back to make it Troopable only to get some status on your forum name and trinket was just absolute comedy to me, I always thought that if you're going to go for that status that you should have to wear that armor with those movie canon mods for an entire year THEN you earn the title. But all that just for a special coin or a rocker patch just seemed too silly to me, and in my mind causes a unified group to slowly fracture and create cliques.

    For those of us still here or for those of us who have come back, we should try and work together on creating recruiting materials, event ideas, and use other types of Social media to connect with one another, and share what we do on here. There are people that want a place to come to where they can vent out their theories of Star Wars or share their Love for these movies with others that don't want to have to wear a costume, I am willing to put forth the time and share ideas or help wherever I can.

    Episode 7 comes out on my Birthday so I am SUPER STOKED!!!

    Take care Friends

    - John
     
  13. hyperspace_police

    hyperspace_police Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Hi! I'm the person from the Arkansas Fan Force. I was the last and suppose I'm the current chapter rep. We are attempting to become active again. So, I need some help getting back from being a force ghost. And could use some help growing our group to the active entity we once were.

    Thanks,
    BJ
     
  14. Vesper2112

    Vesper2112 FF President & CR, Chattanooga, TN star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2003
    I know what's below seems like a lot of words and all, but it's only because I really think we could have something here and I'd love to see it work. However, I'm not really seeing anything happening, so this is probably going to be my last post about it unless this gets moving in some real way. I'm hoping, but I'm not going to worry about it anymore... However, just in case, I spent some time going over all this today... Seems like it's stalled a bit since Obi Anne stepped down.

    Going back to Obi Anne's original post about strengths/weaknesses/etc...

    I agree that out biggest STRENGTH is that we are all-inclusive, community based, and our primary focus is on social gatherings. We want Star Wars fans to meet other Star Wars fans in person. There's a million groups out there that can be internet only groups. We're all about helping fans find other fans from the same area.

    Our biggest WEAKNESS: I was going to say that "defining who we are" and what sets us apart from the costume groups (beside the obvious no costume requirement) and other internet only groups, but I think we know that's what we're about. So I think the biggest weakness we have right now is that we've been operating as a bunch of individual chapters for so long, it's going to be hard to bring everyone back together. I'm not sure "making rules" is the best way to try and do that. Sure, I think "FanForce" needs unifying leadership and formalizing the rules we already have should absolutely be done. If I was to be asked "how can I start a FanForce Chapter?", where can I point them at that doesn't involve digging through a forum? I really think we need a website to showcase the things we do and to answer how to get involved, where to go, etc. I don't think the forum is the way to go anymore. I hate that as I like the forum format, but although these forums are full of people talking (which is great), but how many of them belong to a Fan Force Chapter? The forum as it is now is a great extension of FanForce, but if social (physical) and community is the priority, then we need local people talking to other locals. Facebook (for now) is by far easier to do this. I'd strongly encourage every Chapter to have a facebook presence and to really try and push the global FaceBook page (especially if we don't want to do a website).

    Another WEAKNESS is something that's been mentioned several times, but might as well put it here since I'm already a bit wordy.. BRANDING. We need a FanForce logo that ALL chapters can use. Something that ties us all together. Then that logo (and a link to the website OR facebook page) should then get on www.starwars.com ASAP. Tons of people go there every day. If there are fans looking for a club to join and all that shows up are costume groups, prop makers, and saber duelists... BAM! We're the catch-all. Not everyone can join those other groups (without effort, anyway), they can ALL join FanForce.

    Not sure if this counts as a WEAKNESS or not, but being owned by one person could be if that person ever decides to close up show. I don't know Philip Wise, or even how active he is in this group, but having an "owner" prevent us from doing anything? I really don't know. Same with the non-elected GSA/RSA positions. I'm certainly not trying to stir anything up as I think we all want to see FanForce grow and succeed, but I haven't exactly seen a big push or sense of urgency from the current leadership. I'm happy to see activity, but you have to admit... it's pretty slow. We knew this new movie was coming out a looong time ago and I think we may have missed an opportunity to pull people in. Locally, the chapters may be fine as they may have come up with ways to draw locals in, but all I can do is speak for myself here... I found theForce.net because I was actively looking for a club. Even back then (after Episode II came out), it took a while before we could get even 3 people together for a meeting simply because we had to wait for enough local people to find theForce.net and also want to form a club. I think it's safe to say that a new Chapter to be formed under those conditions is even less likely now. Which brings me to my next point...

    OPPORTUNITY: We have an opportunity to fill that void of non-costumed clubs already out there. I'm actually surprised that another group hasn't formed to do this already (or if there is, I don't know about it). For established clubs, this may not be a concern, but we want other Chapters to form. We know the fans are out there. We just have to let them know there's a club they can join. So how do we get the word out globally? We need the local Chapters to help promote at conventions (as one example). Yes... be there to promote the local group, but we have to let people know that they, too can form a group under the FanForce umbrella. We HAVE to have support from the RSA's (who in turn need support from the GSA's) to make this work, though. That means the GSA's will need to be in contact with Disney/LFL so we're all aware of developments (since LFL seems to be EXTREMELY involved with the other groups - which we're completely left out of right now) and that also helps legitimize ourselves as an LFL approved group. I can tell people this all I want, but I have no way to prove anything. We NEED, NEED, NEED to get on the Star Wars site and listed with the other clubs. Who of the GSA's is going to do this?

    THREAT: In my opinion, the biggest threat is what we're all seeing already. The local chapters are all individuals that doesn't need any direction from anyone other than themselves. We all live in a bubble and no one cares what the other Chapters are doing (or even is aware they exist).

    I know this is long-winded already, but I'm trying to cover everything in one place at one time....

    ROLES OF THE GSA/RSA/CR:

    GSA:
    * keep in contact with the RSA's
    * Mediate issues that the RSA's can't resolve.
    * point of contact with Disney/LFL
    * promote FanForce on a global scale

    (that last bit is vague, I know. I'm thinking this should involve coming up with universal flyers for every FanForce to have available at conventions (or wherever), branding, merchandise (if it ever gets to that point), and anything else that would help promote the club. I don't mean they all have to DO the work, but they should be the ones to arrange for it to be done and make sure it gets done.

    RSA:
    * keep in contact with the Chapters they represent and help as needed
    * hold collective meetings with the CR's during the year (would make for great brainstorming and would help connect people to other Chapters)
    * report to the GSA's

    CR:
    * announce any events/meetings on the forum or facebook.
    * pass along info from GSA/RSA's to their Chapter
    * attend meeting that the RSA's hold (which probably will be via Skype or some kind of chat room)
    * ideally do follow up reports on the events/meetings they have

    How to form a FanForce Chapter: Seems how it is works, so I don't have a strong opinion on adding anything else to it.
    How to maintain FanForce Chapter status: open to discussion... For sure there should be something happening within a year, but I'd rather downplay this some since we don't want to make a big deal how to NOT be a Chapter anymore.

    Obi Anne posted an initial draft of a global FanForce document with articles (page 1 or 2 of this thread). Here's my two cents...

    Article 1: fine with me

    Article 2: How formal do we want to be with this? Not sure I'd have registering on the forum as a requirement unless we want to keep a list of people. Being a member of a social club should be casual. If we come up with a set of rules that people have to abide by, then ok... but that might also keep people from "formally" joining. I'd rather keep it casual. As long as the individual Chapters are keeping up with their group, I don't think we need to make people register here. That should be optional, in my opinion.

    Article 3: I have a concern about the owner not really being active in his own group (at least that's my perception). The CR's are elected by their Chapter. The GSA's/RSA's aren't, so if things aren't happening, what recourse do we, the membership, have? It's not like we can simply choose to elect someone else, so we're kind of dependant on the GSA's/RSA's to do what their title descriptions are. If not, then I can't see why the individual Chapters will care and just go back to being individuals...

    Article 4: Like I said before, I'd like us to focus on how to KEEP Chapters active and downplay how to become inactive. Yes, there should be guidelines. I think the meetings from the RSA's with the Chapters would be good here. Or maybe the CR gives their RSA a quarterly or annual report on their Chapter. I like the meeting idea better (maybe a few times a year so there's more chances to get in one one in case someone's busy and misses it).

    Article 5: I doubt we can get people to do the elections on this forum. Most don't come here anyway. If it's strictly a local election (since there isn't voting on GSA's and RSA's), then I don't see a need for it to be done "here". Also, I'm not sure why October is the designated month. Again, since there's no "changing of the guard" in the GSA/RSA positions, it's hard to see this as a global event that needs to happen. All our elections happen at our monthly meeting at the beginning of the year. Can it happen in October? Sure... I guess, but we're SWAMPED in October. We did (not lying... look at the event thread in Chattanooga) LOADS of stuff that month. Putting an election in there would almost be a secondary thing for us. Doing it early in the year when it's slower works for us as doing it in October might work well for others. I don't think it matters much when they happen as long as it's once a year.

    And I just want to reiterate that I don't necessarily have an issue with the current GSA/RSA set up. No elections? Fine... but if we want to try and pull all this together and be a collective group, then those people will have to make sure they do their part. We all want this to work, and I bet there's plenty of people who would love to help out, but if it's not open to others then the GSA's and RSA's HAVE to carry that load on their own. Is there a list of who all the GSA's, RSA's, CR's are? Who maintains this list? Who determines who should be a GSA/RSA?

    Question to the current GSA's/RSA's: What do you feel your role is in all of this? You were all appointed the job for some reason. What do eel you should be doing to make all this work?

    I just feel that we're all just spinning our wheels here hoping that everyone will just "find" us and it be like it was 12-15 years ago and everyone just maintain themselves and just have the feeling that there are other Chapters "out there". That's not going to happen and it doesn't work anymore. That setup has caused us all to drift apart and the Chapters still standing are probably all perfectly fine just being a local group only. If we want to fix this and be a collective group, then SOMEONE in the GSA/RSA group needs to get this ball rolling in a real way since it's essentially all on them (so it seems, anyway). This forum stuff is way too drawn out with the limited number of people that's said anything. Time to act.

    Either that or we decide that it's just too much trouble to try and establish this group on the scale of the bigger groups, shrug, and go back to just worrying about our own Chapter. I'll be honest... the only reason the members in my Chapter are even aware of "FanForce" is because I keep reminding them. It's just a big disconnect since they don't see us as being part of something bigger. Can we be? Yes, but not if all we ever do is talk about it...

    Help us, GSA's... you're our only hope...
     
  15. Vesper2112

    Vesper2112 FF President & CR, Chattanooga, TN star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2003
    (and I know Philip Wise is the owner of not only this, but other sites as well, so his role in FanForce is probably non-existent).
    Which is why it's even more important that someone actually be over FanForce if it's not going to personally be him.
     
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  16. Skiara

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

    Registered:
    Nov 5, 2002
    I agree with most of what you posted, Vesper. There was a time when meetings had to be announced at the main page, but this got forgotten. Sadly. At least in Europe, FF chapter worked together and had annually meetings (Europe-wide), but with loosing members it got paused. So I guess, this will get revived when Europe gets more members. But nevertheless, it would make sense to inform each other about any activity that happens. Like within a thread at the CR board and RSA/GSA could link meetings to the main page again.

    Sure it's a bit like bringing up rules, but that are just the ones of the old times or a bit tweaked.

    I also believe, if CR, RSA and GSA have a clear job portfolio then FF gets more active again, because then no one can think that someone else shall do it.
     
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  17. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Hi All.

    Never saw a link to thread before, till stopping by FFUK and seeing the banner advert.

    If you are advocating a person to be in charge of regional, continental, or the FanForce to help champion or organise things, you may be on to something.

    Long before I had even heard of TFN, I ran a small but international club called The Moons of Yavin, with the aim of keeping SW fandom alive, and allowing fans to connect with each other, and I can attest that really only a minority of fans are active in the sense of being willing to organise things, rally other fans, or even doing things like fanzines.
    Rather than standalone meets, I would often attach them to an existing science fiction convention weekend, so if we ran out of things to do, we could join the other thing.

    One of my friends still organises an annual picnic in London for our group of SW friends.

    The rise of the internet in general, and Facebook, social media, etc. has conversely not been a great help, though if you get the right person to utilise assets like Facebook, progress could be made.

    I have no actual problem with the current presentation of FanForce, though compared to the number of, for instance, UK fans visible on the JC, it is not the easiest thing to be aware of the existence of the side project that is FanForce.

    There are inactive FanForce forums. Is there a mechanism to reactivate them once three or more relevant members are located on the site?
     
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  18. Vesper2112

    Vesper2112 FF President & CR, Chattanooga, TN star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2003
    I imagine that once a Chapter becomes inactive, they'd have to essentially start over (3 people doing 3 meetings). Once that happens, sure... I'd think that Chapter's forum could be reactivated (or created if everything's already been archived). However, I don't know who does that part of the maintenance.

    I wholeheartedly am advocating for someone (or a team) to be in charge of FanForce. As you said, there are many people who would love to be in the club, but not necessarily be the ons to help organize things. I see this in our local club as well. We have the basic positions (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Event Coordinator). We have yearly elections because history has shown that even people in those positions fall off every once in a while or don't really do the job they signed up for. I've no issue with anyone that has to step down because they don't have the time anymore. However, if it comes to that, someone else should be able to fill that spot. The local Chapters can simply elect someone else, but we can't elect the RSA's or GSA's. I know some clubs who have the originators be in charge with no elections and have it work. They started it and they have the vision of what that club should be and don't want it to potentially move away from that vision with new leadership. That's fine. If the GSA's here were active enough to keep us on a path that is in line with what Philip Wise wants, then that's ok too. At least we (the membership) could decide if the club in that form is what we (as individuals) want or not and either work within that system or walk away. Right now, I don't know that any of us really knows what Philip Wise or the GSA's want from FanForce or where it should be heading. That's why you see all the frustration with the CR's trying to help but feeling it's not going anywhere. We've lost so many Chapters due to not having a sound structure in place. I think there are more Chapters out there are still active, but they have long since quit coming here for anything. It'd be nice to try and bring them back into the fold for unity sake and to have us all feel like we're part of something global rather than us all work in our own little bubbles all the time.

    I agree... Facebook hurt the old forum structure. It's way too hard to get anyone to leave facebook to look at a forum (even though it has a much better structure). So if that's how it is, then we have to roll with it.

    What I'd like to see happen is we (everyone here) get whatever structure we want in place. How to join, any additional rules that all Chapters should abide by, determine what the chain of command is (for lack of a better term)... We should have all this in place before we start pushing "FanForce" out there. After all, we could promote FanForce all we want, but if potential new people come to the forum or even the facebook page, where do they go from there? Sure, we can all tell them it takes 3 members to be at 3 meetings to start a Chapter, but who should these new potential members be talking to? Who approves the new Chapter? All that needs to be in place. Again, it would be cool to have a website to showcase activities or meetings that the Chapters do. Something that prospective members can look at and see what we're all about. It would also serve (in my opinion) to legitimize FANFORCE to those that may have never heard of us. For instance, if a Chapter asks a library if they can hold meetings there, a website might be an easy place for that library to go look at to see that this isn't just a few individuals, but they are part of a PROVEN group of people (which I hope makes us trustworthy in their eyes). ;-)

    So yes, I feel the local Chapters are doing fine and will continue to do fine, but we can help new Chapters by simply continuing to do what we've been doing BUT have an organizer help show people all this to bring in new Chapters all around the world. As I said before, Disney/LFL has a team that talks directly to the fan groups, but we have no representation there. I think a few of us have talked with them on an individual basis (to get approval for certain events), but all that shows them is that we're a bunch of individuals and not a unifying group. There's no reason we shouldn't be listed as a fan group on www.starwars.com, but again, I think at this point we need to get our ducks in a row "here" before we push to try and bring in new people. The worst thing we can do is get new people to come here and not be able to help them like we should.
     
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  19. Radu Jedi

    Radu Jedi Jedi Padawan

    Registered:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Hello, I am Radu Jedi, and I am a fan Star Wars
     
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  20. Vesper2112

    Vesper2112 FF President & CR, Chattanooga, TN star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2003
    You're in the right place! :D
     
  21. Lord_Kosh

    Lord_Kosh Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 20, 2005
    I once heard a CEO of a big organization (charity organization, too) tell all of us on a committee that the plan was to structure us like the government... to which I thought, are you kidding? Not long after implementing this "plan" they uncovered the flaws in it. So I worry a little when we talk about doing things like other organizations...namely 501st and RL. But I am happy to read that people are at least bouncing some ideas around. :)

    I'll try to keep this brief...

    A more rigid structure of rules and charter can certainly have good aspects. Elections can be good as long as people don't get too hung up in the politics (pun intended), or let them divide the group. I like the idea of keeping things positive on what we do rather than what we shouldn't do, in terms of a FanForce charter. Positions, especially those that talk with Disney/LFL and keep us up to date are positive aspects of a more formal structure. If nothing else, knowing who to contact...or that Disney/LFL knows who to contact to reach us should be essential moving forward, especially with new life to the Star Wars universe. I also like the idea of a FanForce logo that all chapters could use and act as a banner to bring us together. However, I would like to avoid us getting bogged down with endless procedures (like the Republic) to where we are more worried about the procedure of keeping procedures than about the overall mission of the group. The more processes we have, the more we will have to have methods to enforce or manage those processes. And even the elected members have personal lives to live. Overall, I think it comes down to two main points, communication and getting involved.

    Communication:
    Social media can be great, but I do not believe they kill the forum. As others have mentioned, Facebook, for example, is exclusive by nature and one must be invited to join the page. If you can have a truly public page, you would have a difficult time stopping spam and troll like behavior. You might also have the clutter of multiple discussions all on the same page, ads, and unrelated topics to filter through, especially if you only have a few minutes to scan the pages, not to mention other distractions.. It can certainly be a useful tool to help facilitate certain lines of communication, but I don't think it should be relied on as a substitute for a forum. Sure, it might be a good way to publicize events that are happening or to encourage new members to join the community.

    Are Forum software packages absolutely perfect? No, and they can be overwhelming without proper organization... including search and filtering options for boards and topics. However, there are plenty of controls to help moderate and structure the topics. You can go right to the topic yo want without paging through so much unrelated posts. And there is something to be said for a one-stop place to be able to find everything about Star Wars, including but not limited to costuming events. People have stopped checking it as much, but I ask you to consider this chicken and the egg question: Are people not checking the FF boards because there are no new posts or are there no new posts because people are not checking the boards? We need active posts on the forum (for each chapter or region) to drive traffic back, and the traffic to justify posting new topics. So how do we do that? Every area is different, but basically, you need things to do that are not idle.

    We also need to get Disney/LFL to know us better as a international group. Sure, they know to look towards the 501st and RL (as well as FanForce) when they have costuming needs or events. They need to know that we can fulfill other needs they might have for Star Wars... and we need to know what those types of events are. How would they want to promote Star Wars? Is it only costumed characters appearing at various location (book signings, sporting events, etc.) or do they have other ideas? Things that we might be able to help them with that may not have anything to do with a costumed character. Video game or product beta testing (or accuracy proofing), collecting showcases, character naming contests, D&D-type tournaments, radio discussions (where a costumed character would be pointless), fan fiction, Star Wars tailgating parties, amateur costuming camps (since we "can" help with that too), or whatever...? {I'm not sure I know what they are, but if they have interest in doing things like this, wouldn't it be nice if they knew that we could help them with such promotions. They may not even think to ask groups like the 501st and RL since they KNOW they are all about costuming.

    For members of the forum, perhaps we should try to PM inactive members and see if they are (still) interested in any type of events in the area. Maybe they haven't been back and became inactive because they had no one to talk to. Maybe a "topic of the day" post should be added for each region/chapter to help drive traffic as members return to the site more frequently to see what it is. Members could post responses, or take turns adding to the existing topic. Perhaps while they are there, they will post new ones as well in their favorite sections. Things like local events for the chapter are certainly welcomed. I stress that they should not be limited to costuming events. Meetings, game nights, SW book clubs, dinner or movie get-togethers, collector swap-meets, etc. {In fact, just talking about it makes me think I need to go add a topic to my local boards.

    Getting Involved:
    This boils down to "things to do" and can start with posts in the forum to see what is going on and get to know members of the group. But, to bring it home to most people, it seems to me that it would would have to "convert" to some type of event attendance. This shouldn't be mandatory, but definitely encouraged. If members are inviting and interested in making newcomers (or those that took a while to return) feel welcomed, maybe they will be more involved. Charity events and costuming are great, as well as chapter "business discussion" meetings -- but if it we could include various social activities more often, it may help get people to come out and be part of the group. Scheduling will always have its pitfalls (like herding cats), but at least making the effort would help others feel the group is still active. And an active group more likely to attract new members than those that (appears to) remain stagnant.


    This is just my opinion, and I look forward to seeing more.
     
    Vesper2112 and PreludeRM like this.
  22. Negotiator1138

    Negotiator1138 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2016
    Being new to the Fanforce, I'm not quite sure what this means to me, but I'm willing to participate in anything I can. I'm just happy to be here!
     
  23. Lord_Kosh

    Lord_Kosh Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Welcome Kenobi1138,

    Well, as a new member, what types of topics would interest you? For example, are you looking for fan fiction stories, roleplay games, costuming events or building, humor, charity events (perhaps in costume), collectible news, things going on near you, etc.?

    So perhaps another way to ask is what would you want to see here that would keep you checking the forum (a.k.a. "the boards") regularly? Sure, every day might be too much depending on the rest of your life, but think every few days or maybe weekly for normal activity. What sort of involvement (forum or in-person events) would you prefer, assuming that life allows for such time? What makes or would make this a great place to return often, other than "Star Wars" aspect itself?

    {These questions will hopefully help you think about how and what you would want to do within this community, but are not meant to box you in to any specific question or response. I think it would be nice to know what newer members would find useful, as well as what "older" members might want or remember fondly.} :yoda:
     
  24. Negotiator1138

    Negotiator1138 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2016
    I am sorry that I never got to be too involved in this, but I am now leaving Australia for America, it was fun while it lasted though, take care mates!
     
    Wild Sidewalker likes this.
  25. Darth Basin

    Darth Basin Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Hi. I just want to say Fan Force in the North East US seems dead.