Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, Stan!

What Does It Mean To Be An Industry Leader?

by Stan!

When WotC bought TSR in 1997, one of the first things Peter Adkison impressed upon us all was that he believed Wizards could be BOTH a supremely successful company AND a leader in the hobby games industry. That WotC could make a strong and growing profit and AT THE SAME TIME help grow the other companies and teach them how to make more money for themselves. He saw WotC as an evangelist for gaming as a hobby and leisure-time entertainment ... and was HAPPY when our actions helped other companies to grow stronger. He was close friends with the CEOs (not to mentions designers, artists, editors, and general staff) of MANY other hobby game companies and was HAPPY to help them both professionally and personally. Peter was, and remains, and Industry Leader ... and, as a result, under his management, WotC was a leader, too.
I recommend reading the whole thing.


Majority Report

We added a "Report" button to ourWorld this week. Players may now report naughty-doers directly to me and I can evaluate the report and take whatever action I deem appropriate. Usually I do nothing, sometimes I add an extra filter to the person's chat (and send an Email explaining this), and a few require full account deactivation. Of course, there's a catch.

Prior to the Report buttong we got 5-10 'reports' via Email per week.

Since yesterday I have received about 3000 reports with the new button. 90% are useless. Most are too petty to bother with. If we muted everyone in ourWorld who was marginally rude, we'd not have any members at all! Many are completely incoherent. There's room for improvement in the system. The funniest are personal attacks meant for the target of the report, sent to me by mistake. One such report was so profane that I had to take action against the reporter. It included in it the threat of being reported. Oops.

That's not to say it's not working. I've found and taken action again several players who were clearly violating the Code of Conduct. Really bad actors, trust me. The Report button provides info the players don't see which allows me to take action without taking anyone's word for it.

The system just needs refinement. We launched the Report button with too little friction (it's too easy to do) and with too little explanation about what it is and isn't for. No biggie. We'll refine it into an even more useful tool, and then I'll really be the man with the ban...hammer.