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I've become totally addicted to SingSnap and first want to say thanks for all the hard work and dedication of the staff here. The community's been a real blessing to me and I love hanging out here.
I've spent many, many hours in chat so consider myself fairly well versed in the way it works at the moment. I would like to suggest the creation of a newbie-friendly chat room where they can be directed to first before going into the main room to explain the inner workings of an SS chatroom. Let's call it The Paddling Pool just for the sake of it.
Why we need this.
I've seen many come into chat for the first time that are completely lost and still none the wiser after being in the room a while. I include myself in that. It pains me to see how confused they are so I wanted to come up with a suggestion that would perhaps alleviate that and make joining in more easy.
Some newcomers just run away within a few minutes because it's so intimidating. Some are a bit braver and will ask to try to get help. However at times the room is so busy-and I'm not criticizing the chat admins here who do a stellar job overall, it's simply down to the volume of traffic in the chat room at peak times- that one of two things happen:
1) the request goes unnoticed completely because of the scrolling speed.
2) There's too much chattering going on for the newbie to be able to follow instructions easily. Many a night I can't keep up when it scrolls so fast and I'm used to it. So imagine being new and you're given Part A of an instruction on one line, then there's ten lines or twenty of chatter between that and Part B. It's no wonder they get totally befuddled.
Even worse, what about when Part A and B are split by an enthusiastic round of ccccccc's! Part A's gone in the blink of an eye before the new person even realizes it was meant for them.
I imagine that they are left feeling frustrated and like a fish out of water. Not exactly the best way to grow your chatroom base. Enter the Paddling Pool.
What The Paddling Pool needs and the differences.
A few admins and/or experienced chatroom members in there specifically to help anyone new that needs to come in and learn the ropes.
At least one person ideally would be able to do a sc for them or to ask someone else who can to come do it.
It has to be small. A smaller room has many advantages: mainly that it's a quieter teaching environment. It would be much easier to teach them the room's dynamics without a fast scrolling screen there to scare them into leaving.
I don't think just giving first-timers the newbie link is the best solution in a busy chatroom like the main one because 1) they first have to spot it and 2) then have to go away and read it on their own. To me that gives the impression that we're telling them to come back when they know what they are doing. They have no-one there to hold their hand and talk them through the steps in a more practical, hands-on way. I've noticed that quite often they appear to get the link, leave to read it and you never see them come back in. I'm fairly sure that's why. It's too much for them to take in by themselves.
What The Paddling Pool needs and the differences. (cont'd)
When the first timers aren't in there, The Paddling Pool could run like a normal room generally- we sing, we chat, we laugh and have fun. The room needs though to be different in two main ways. As I said, small matters.
1) A low room capacity.
Let's say 10 for argument's sake. If it hits that eighth member, then one of the regulars or admins needs to jump ship to the main room or elsewhere temporarily to ensure there is always space for a couple of first timers to come in. That could be agreed on a rotational basis or just whoever volunteers to do it at the time.
2) If a new person comes in they get helped to find their feet before the next singer starts.
It would be much quicker and easier to do it that way rather than attempt to explain it over all the ongoing chat and with singers changing every few minutes. Even in a small room that's distracting. A copy/paste list of basic instructions, posted somewhere on this forum so any member could pick it up that wanted to help in there, wouldn't take long to share and go over. It would be far less overwhelming for newcomers and also make them feel more welcome.
Why would SS members want to help in there ie what's in it for them?
Because they are community spirited and like helping, for one. I've never been in a community with so many nice people as SS so I don't think it would be difficult to man it. And sometimes you just feel the need to be in a less busy room. So why not help somebody while you're there?
The Paddling Pool's helpers have the added benefit of being in a room with a fast moving list most of the time. As it's so much smaller, the list would be shorter in there (and that's why we're all here after all, to sing our lungs out!).
Newcomers get the benefit of a less busy place to learn in that doesn't feel so overwhelming. There's plenty of time to get to grips with how the chat room works and by the time they leave they feel a connection to at least a few members.
The top reason why chats fail to blossom and retain new members in my experience is that newcomers arrive and feel isolated because everyone appears to knows everyone else. In this setting, those involved (I hope!)would be creating an especially welcoming, cosy environment where it's okay to be new and have to learn. We all did once. And the newcomers leaves with the positive impression of SS because they got to know a handful of friendly folks that day. Will they tell their friends? You betcha.
It benefits both new and old chatters
Going into the Paddling Pool first helps not only them but all the SS chatters enjoy their time here btw. Having a separate area keeps the main chat room flowing with minimal disruption.
To be able to enter that main chat room already primed with the basics means the newcomer's confidence is boosted - they are ready to rock and roll and jump right on the list. Nothing has to stop or slow down in the main room while they figure out the settings, how the list works, how to listen, send a whisper,or wait for someone to see they need help. Both regulars and newbies merge seamlessly (or as seamlessly as you could hope for!). The chatroom runs smoothly and speedily transitions from one singer to the next.
All is right with the SS world. :) May even be a rainbow overhead. ;)
So that's my idea. I've only been here myself a few months and am sure it has many flaws, gaping inadequacies and maybe even impracticalities that you guys can come up with. Please do voice them. I'm just throwing the idea out there. But in some shape or form, I think it's sorely needed. And I'd be the first to volunteer to pop in there on a regular basis to help out.
The main room frightened the life out of me the first time I went in and I nearly didn't go back. I'm very glad I did because I've met so many fantastic, caring and talented people that I practically live there now. However if there had been something like The Paddling Pool, I'd have been very grateful to go there and dip my toes in the water there first without worrying about making a fool of myself in front of 30+ chatters if I got it wrong. I would have felt much more connected and confident about joining in.
That's it! Thanks for bearing with me. :) And I'm sure you could come up with a better name too.
What a very well thought out and composed suggestion! I think your idea has a lot of merit and contains great insight and ideas and I see no fault with the general concept behind it.
I think it would be really great if we were able to offer more than one chat room and have it equipped with the people and tools to make it a success.
There are a couple of things though that make this idea a little less than feasible. First and foremost, probably the most important thing, are volunteers/people to work the room. As it stands, our goal is for our main chat room to have an admin or two present 24/7. Since we're unable to hire people for this endeavor, we rely on volunteers. As the person who is in charge of keeping the chat room running, I can tell you it is extremely difficult and trying to keep one room running 24/7 - it would be an absolute nightmare to do more than that.
I think what would happen is, we would start this and eventually it would run out of steam or just end up being empty. I've been around the site and involved for close to six years so I have an idea of how the community works.
Chat is definitely not for everyone. Whether it be personalities, speed of conversation, etc., but the room has always been consistently busy for the past 5 years so it's not really a matter of not getting enough new members.
At this time, I don't know if we have the ability or desire to 'expand' chat just because it suits the site at the moment.
With that said, if we do choose to expand the scope of the chat area, I think what you suggested would be the perfect first step... So I thank you very much for bringing forth this idea and planting a seed of inspiration for improving the newbie experience. If you have any ideas to work within the 'current' framework - please pass them along! =)
Hi Novella thanks for replying. I knew it would take someone with more experience round here than me to know if it was feasible or not and appreciate you replying so fast. I'm more than happy to pitch in an idea anytime I think it may help. :)
there s already lot of private chat rooms that are not even used the way it is now............ i personally sang live in chat room live for lot of years , but the one on ss not at all since 4 years that i m here
Sorry but not sure what the point of your comment was there, flatduck.Any private chat rooms I've been invited to are there for invited friends to pop in and out where they feel like it and catch each other outwith arranged times, so aren't occupied 24/7. I don't understand what their usage or non-usage has to do with this.
any private chat room specially if it is your room you can sing all night and have friends singing ................so all my comment was is that your allowed to do exactly what you post if you have your private chat room have friend that help out other newcomer.................
Ah I see, thanks for clarifying that.
now you can just go start your chat and get that great voice singing may be i can go listen
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