Some months ago I was quietly, unceremoniously added to the MWM Public Relations Department. Prior to that point I was just another backer wondering where my money went to. Like others on the forums I offered criticisms and complaints, mostly regarding communication- I’ve left my forum name unchanged and posts unedited so people can go back and read them if they’d like.
Someone at MWM certainly was reading it though, and they said to me “Oh yeah? Let's see you try it.” (Not really, they're much more polite than that. That's what I would have said to me).
Since joining the team I noticed a number of issues where communication was concerned. There would be mixed messages on the forums and social media, a PR nightmare. Different devs would attempt to answer the same question with different answers. Internally there would be unwanted input between different departments. Reluctance to call out mistakes or flaws. Virtually no discipline. Discussions getting taken personally instead of constructively.
A lot of it explains why we, as backers, have had so much trouble getting the information we wanted. But I’ll circle back to that. Instead I want to point out that these problems all come from one root cause. This is an all volunteer group. These people aren’t doing it for money, they’re doing it because they have a passion for it. Of course they’re going to treat a lot of what they’re working on like a personal project or take comments personally- they’re working on it in their personal time, some of them handling multiple departments almost single handedly.
As a matter of fact, despite promoting me to be officially in charge of what we’re calling Live Response, we still see MWM devs posting mismatched info on the forums or jumping on the Facebook and Twitter accounts to try to handle things on their own. They’re so used to doing the work themselves and not having help, they’re having trouble putting it down. Further evidence of how passionate they are about this project.
That said, viewing things “from the inside” has surprised me, the amount of work getting done and progress being made. I was shocked to see how close City of Titans really is. As they adjust to having myself and others joining and helping out, we should see productivity increase even more.
With all that in mind, we move on to the real reason for this post. Improving communication. Internally, changes are being made already. More visibly, this week’s Update is in a FAQ format. We’ve spent a good chunk of time rounding up important, relevant, or frequently requested information for this update. I personally pushed to include a number of details that I think will go a long way to making people feel better about the status of the project.
I’m looking for responses to this post with other relevant, important questions in order to make for future Official Updates of the same nature as this week’s. What’s your ideal FAQ? What would you ask? What questions should have been answered that haven’t been yet? What’s hard to find as a newcomer to the site that should be easier?
I can’t guarantee every question posted will make it into an update or into the upcoming FAQ page, but I want that feedback regardless.
PR Team, Forum Moderator, Live Response Team