I think that we need to reduce restrictions on Divisions, divisions may not be active all the time but they could attract new members with similar interests, I think that the biggest problem with TSU if I’m being completely honest is that there isn’t a lot of information available. With regards to “making the site mainstream” we can reach a reasonable compromise by trying to improve member retention, As Lt Sophie pointed out, thousands of dead accounts won’t solve the problem we need more active members. To be entirely truthful with you I find that most of our efforts are on recruitment, rather than retainment, something that is critically, critically important.
I don’t know why people need to form splinter groups and radicalize, with respect there are hundreds and hundreds of forums where you can discuss politics, that is what makes TSU such a unique and welcoming environment
I think to retain new menus we need to create things like guides, reduce restrictions on creating divisions and do more to reduce the “mysticism” around TSU….. ie making guides, handy pamphlets etc with the history of TSU, maybe question and answer sessions could help….
Being that I write training materials as part of my day job, I am SO THERE!
There are lots of tools we could use for this ranging from videos on services such as youtube etc. to presentations on services like Prezi. What will be required to facilitate this is some rationalisation around how we handle messaging and how members “join” the TSU (admittedly that is rationalised though not necessarily clear).
Simply, if we do create additional guides etc. they need to be saying the same sorts of things.
Alongside that, are we too centralised? Should Divisions be more like cells or their own networks to some extent? I don’t have the answers to that, but how we operate as an organisation says a lot about who we are and how we want to spread, or even retain membership.
I have some time off coming up and may well get to work on a few bits and pieces in this space.
Yep, Totally Agree, I think more needs to be done to keep current members thought :/, why not introduce a “years of service” section or a “service record section” with different rewards/badges for “years of service” given to toy soldiers and a yellow jacket esque award for those who have rendered years of service (say 5 years or more)
Being really quite blunt, I think that the yellow jacket award recognises exceptional soldiers but, that’s just it, it only recognises the MOST exceptional soldiers, things like rewards for years of service would recognise the efforts of ALL soldiers, just saying.
I think that awards should be earned, but maybe we should have more “formal” awards like the yellow jacket title, maybe things like a “Long service medal”??? or “badges for X no of invasions” or badges for no x of posts, that people could include in their titles… idk I think by doing that it would introduce more incentives whilst keeping the Y.J title relatively lucrative and desirable… just a thought
Well, looking at what the TSU already focuses on, which I can only presume are its strengths out of sheer amount of practice, it seems our primary activities include the invasion events and the production of media for use on the site, as well as some participation in online gaming. I don’t have much experience with organized convention events or other such invasion-related activities, but I have watched the ebb and flow of online communities for a time, so I guess I ought to share what I think in that regard.
What I usually tend to see is, websites that present some material or another that gives people a reason to visit the site regularly without having to first register tend to attract a lot of activity and general discussion. I know I’m more likely to speak up somewhere that builds a sense of familiarity with me first. Not to mention, said material acts as a “hey-look-at-this” thing to point new people towards, and as a focus of discussion.
Conversely, forums that *only* offer discussion among members tend to slowly dwindle if they ever take off at all, and to me can sometimes even come off as looking like some sort of recruiter’s club where the only thing to do once you join is talk about ways to recruit more people. Clearly not an impression of fun being being made! I’d say the TSU homepage avoids that well enough, with stories and the various divisions, each focused on their own activities, as well as the Bandcamp link that was up there before.
I do, though, think directly promoting that stuff could get people to stick around longer and pay more attention than simply telling them to join, so I guess I’ll do that when I try to get the word out. Eventually, it might be worth looking into a proper indexing system for stories instead of just a tag on the blog so that it’s easier to get an overview of what’s been written or pick out a particular series. Incidentally, I skipped over Tales from the Bunker posts the first few times I saw them, since before paying enough attention to actually read one, I presumed they would be actual status updates on the site.
As for media/propaganda I could make, there’s a few things going through my head, so most details should probably wait until I’ve started making some of it or at least discussed it elsewhere. Two ideas that stick out to me in particular for whatever reason are making a comedy duo of characters for slapstick/philosophic dialog purposes, and some Bunker-related game tiles/sprites (from scratch or based on appropriately licensed material from opengameart), both with the intent of inviting collaboration on them. Maybe a chatbot? Chatbots can be fun.
Anyway, one thing I’m wondering is the amount of pop culture reference accepted in TSU entertainment material, since there’s a noticeable contrast between stuff that was on the doctor’s website and in his music, like mention of specific candies and toys, an entire song dedicated to the television show Land of the Lost, and a poster specifically made in response to the Got Milk campaign, as opposed to TSU material I’ve seen that, so far, neatly keeps itself contained to the world of the digital bunker and its inhabitants. If there’s some kind of policy, I’m fine with that, but I figure it’d make sense to have some things that look outward at the world we’re trying to enjoy. That, and I want to draw dumb crossover stuff like a bunkerbot in a boxing match with one of the robots of Equius Zahhak from Homestuck.
As a disclaimer, I probably have no idea what I’m talking about but I love taking part in these kinds of conversations.
Social media itself has a larger toll on online communities as of late. Essentially message boards are dying out with twitter/instagram/snapchat accounts being more used. Of course I’d love for the message board to pick up in a big way but it seems like it’ll be an uphill battle. Our strongest tool that we can use is our community itself and I don’t mean just by recruiting.
I would love the Pinecone Broadcast to return in some new format since Dutch has his own projects taking up his time. I’ve just now begun podcasting so I probably wouldn’t give us the most polished sound but I think it’d be fun. What I would love is something that puts attention on our community and what we’re currently working on. When I spread the word about TSU, I pitch us as a creative community and I think we should be broadcasting our own members and what they’re currently doing. As someone who is trying to create on a daily basis, the hardest part is getting the word out there for people to check you out. I love the WRITE division because it gives me a platform to put my work out into the world and I know that could attract new members. Besides, it can help us get to know one another better.
I agree with the sentiment that we should be bolstering ourselves up with things like accomplishments/award honors. We are all a little vain and like to see our names pop up in positive ways. I’d also love to see what Danov can cook up!
I love this place though. I think as long as we all work hard and do everything within our ability to get the word out then we will attract some awesome people to join us.
I really enjoyed my take on the uniform, and so far most people have really liked it, though 1 person thought it made me look like a nazi, said it was the armband.
Though the website is mostly dead I have to say the discord server is really active. I can log on most any time of day and there will be a couple of people puttering around.
I have to say this, and it may sound harsh but radicalizing seems like a very bad idea and in doing so would really make it seem like a cult. It would also end up driving a lot of people away. Because to be honest radicalizing would mean politicizing, and I come here to get the hell away from all of that garbage. The Toy soldiers are about fun and radicalizing isn’t fun, its work, lots and lots of work. If anything we are more of an artist and geek collective. And really the only reason it isnt more active is because in todays world most people have to work to extremes in order to survive and unfortunately either don’t have the time, the money, or both in order to be active in the community outside of small things like posting something on Facebook or chatting in the discord server on their break.
I think the place to start is to start small. Get your friends involved. Make your uniforms and go to cons, march in local parades, go play dungeons and dragons in uniform at your local game store. If you do art, post it to Instagram with a toy soldier watermark in the corner. Thats all that really needs to happen.
Honestly the biggest problem I see is that getting the word out their quickly and effectively costs a lot of money, and nobody wants to foot the bill themselves so they have to raise funds somehow. Either by collecting donations or selling some sort of product. But that is time consuming. And I have found its easier to get someone to buy something than spend time on something.
Unfortunately people don’t have time for clubs in their adult life.
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