STF

Proposal: Ship Spotlight of the Month

Posted May 7, 2021, 7:09 p.m. by Fleet Captain Melissa Aragon (Fleet Commander, Foremost Fleet) (Melissa Aragon)

Posted by Vice Admiral Daniel Lerner (President / Procedures Guru) in Proposal: Ship Spotlight of the Month

Posted by Commodore Sharon Miller (Supervisor of Experiments) in Proposal: Ship Spotlight of the Month

Posted by Admiral Joe P (Librarian / TECH Chairman / VCmdt) in Proposal: Ship Spotlight of the Month
Posted by… suppressed (3) by the Post Ghost! 👻

I’ve been playing around with this idea for the last few years - maybe even during my last term as prez, but I think we’re are a good point to see if we can put some legs on it.

I have an idea that I’ve been calling Ship Spotlight of the Month.

I’ll start with what it might look like, and then why I think its a good idea, and then some discussion questions.

Each month, we would spotlight a specific ship in the club (not including the Academy ship(s), as that might be too disruptive/inconsistent with the training program, nor would it be useful for the goals of this proposal). There would be a set schedule that COs and FComms/QDirs/EAs would know. While that schedule can change, ships should have at least 2-3 months notice before they are the spotlighted ship so they can get ready. If a ship is too unhealthy for that month, we can skip/delay the spotlight while we work on those issues.

When the ship is spotlighted, the following will happen:
-The front page will have blub about the ship and an invitation to check it out
-Our social media (FB, Twitter) will make multiple references to that ship and/or events on that ship during the month.
-Characters from the ship might be spotlighted and/or referenced in-character on other ships.
-Something special in the newsletter
-Optional: the CO could allow people to RP guest characters on the ship for the month
—If this is done, maybe a side-sim where the ship is docked to allow for those guest characters during the month.
-If needed, the PDept will help with recruitment drives for that ship during the month
-Anything else that makes sense

This will accomplish a few things:
-Give members a chance to see what is happening on other ships in the club
-Maybe drive up interest in that ship if needed
-Allow different in-character interactions that may generate more fun/interest in the ship
-By focusing on some of our specific ships, potentially generate outside interest in the club
-Have fun!

Some some discussion points:
1) Is there general support for this idea or, conversely, a strong reason not to do it?
2) If we went ahead, who would be responsible for organizing it (keeping the schedule, making sure ships are ready, announcements, coordinating with CMM and other departments, etc.)? A new position? The PDept? CMM?
3)If we went ahead, are there other aspects of the ship spotlight that should be considered?
4) Have I missed anything with this proposal?

Daniel

Hi everyone,

I’m bumping this original post back up here as we’ll be starting to make a plan about this and I’d like to solidify what we’d like the spotlight to look like each month. As COs and FComms, what feels manageable to you?

Thank you,

  • Sarah, CMM

Bumping this, as otherwise, I’m going to have to decide what’s manageable for COs and FComms and I really don’t want to do that. :)

  • Sarah, CMM

Ok, so I just read this for the first time, and I’m sorry to say I don’t really find the idea as you’ve described it here appealing. As a CO of a ship, the benefits you’re presenting me here aren’t very interesting to me, yet you seem to want me to do more work. It kind of makes the whole thing a non-starter.

If we’re going to promote ships, then I think that it’s got to be something that’s relatively effortless for the people playing on that ship. Our ships ought to be appealing as they are; if they aren’t appealing as they are, then we probably shouldn’t be spotlighting them with the goal of attracting an external audience to our website. If we have to spend 2 to 3 months to “get ready” for something, that’s probably a lot of disruption that isn’t going to add a lot of value to whatever it is we all actually want to be doing that month anyway.

I personally also don’t really care that much whether my characters are spotlighted on other ships or written about on other ships. People either have a reason for people to write about my characters on other ships or they don’t; while I like references about other characters on other ships because that creates a sense of the club being an actual place in the galaxy, I don’t see a need to “astro-turf” this. It’s only clever and interesting if people have a natural reason to be doing this.

I absolutely don’t want to deal with “guest characters” on my ship, unless this is a highly structured and coordinated activity; all of my experience of this as the CO who has had to put up with it were headaches, and all of the times where I was dragged into being a guest somewhere else never paid off from a roleplaying perspective because they were generally unfocused activities with no real point.

So yeah, sorry to be so brutal here. I don’t like to say no to people’s ideas but you seemed despirate for any feedback at all…

Joe

As a current captain I do still find the ship spotlight idea appealing, because any opportunity I can take to promote and talk about my ship I will seize with both hands. However, in terms of how much work players could reasonably be expected to undertake in advance, here is where the balance might be a little more delicate.

In my opinion, asking captains and crewmembers to spend ‘two or three months’ preparing for a spotlight is way too excessive and makes the entire thing feel like quite a stressful burden right from the off. I would suggest reducing this to a single month, so at the commencement of spotlighting a ship in month A, you could, at that same time, announce who the next ship will be for month B.

As for what captains could reasonably be expected to do, I’ll go through your original list of events and comment on each in turn:

1. Front page blurb about the ship and invitation to check it out:
I would say this is the bare minimum that a captain should be expected to produce if they want their ship to be spotlighted. But I also feel like the description part of the ship profile could be used as a blurb - as long as all captains ensure that this description is as up to date as possible (which they should be doing anyway?)

2. Social media (FB, Twitter) references:
As a captain, I would be willing to prepare some small items for social media, if the CMM requested it? It might help here if we had some kind of guideline or template for the kind of things we might wish for captains (or anyone else) to write? But off the top of my head, it might be fun to do some ‘news headlines’ for events in the spotlighted ship’s current sim?

3. Characters spotlighted and/or referenced in-character on other ships:
In terms of individual characters being spotlighted, I guess this would be down to the individual players but just speaking for my own ship, I can’t imagine any of my crew turning down an opportunity to introduce their character to the wider club. But again, I think a guideline or template might be useful here? So perhaps if we, as a club, could agree on a set of ‘interview questions’ that we might want to ask each character?

The ‘referenced in-character on other ships’ part might be a much harder sell though, especially for players who don’t make connections between their different characters (although I know a lot of people do). Personally I wouldn’t insist on this part for my own crew (but also would not refuse if they had a particular passion for it).

4. Something special in the newsletter:
Again, as a captain I would be happy to write something for the newsletter if the CMM asked for it and I’m sure most of my crew would be as well? Once again, a guideline or template would be useful, or else providing ‘something for the newsletter’ more than any other features feels like such a vague request that I’m not entirely sure where I’d start? But just tying in with the social media stuff above, possibly some ‘news stories’ or other ‘opinion pieces’ around current events on that ship?

5. CO could allow people to RP guest characters on the ship:
To me, this one is the hardest sell and, just going from my own recent experience of having ‘guest players’ on my ship, it feels like something that might bring a few days, or even weeks, of excitement but could have the potential to fizzle out pretty quickly. Additionally, as someone who is in the process of planning a multi-month event for my own ship, welcoming guest players could actually become a hindrance if there is no organic way to welcome them into the current sim (and it isn’t a good time to return to base). So I could be tempted to give this one a pass, although of course other captains might still jump at the chance so…

Just my two pence worth.

  • Sharon

I wanted to add some clarification on five points:

1) I think there was a misunderstanding on the 2-3 month notice point. I agree it would be insane and a bad idea if 2-3 months of work is required by a CO. But that’s not the point of the notice. During a ship spotlight, there’s going to be a lot more attention on a ship than typical, and it will happen approximately once every two years per ship. No one would want to be surprised by it. Some COs may have no issue. Some COs may want to update or refurbish their MOTD for the event. Some may want to clean their rosters. If a CO is using the ship spotlight moment for a recruitment drive, they may want to take some steps about that. The idea is that we are not dropping this suddenly on a CO with little to no notice. It’s not that we expect 2-3 months of work to prepare.

2) When I mentioned the option of guest characters, I really meant it as as optional. That is, its the discretion of a CO. If a CO wants to use the month to allow guest characters, okay. If they don’t, okay. No one is pushing it or making it mandatory.

3) The Ship Spotlight will drive traffic to ship via social media, front page mentions, etc. Players can learn about the ship and incorporate it in the overall STF universe their character is in (there may be a mention of the ship’s adventures during a Starfleet update on another ship, etc). It is very much part of the exploration theme we are pushing that we think will help with retention. But ultimately, it is meant to be a fun, supportive and unique experience for a ship once every two years. If a CO thinks it will be a net-negative for their ship, then I guess they could opt out.

4) The goal is to make this minimally intrusive on a CO or FComm, and try to make this seamless with the general work a CO or FComm does, with the CMM coordinating the efforts. We’re not ‘desperate’ for feedback. The project is happening, and we’re beginning to look into what this all may look like. The feedback we would like is to find out type of activities is or isn’t manageable, and to what level the CO/FComms will be involved vs the CMM so we can start to make to see how we initiate the project.

5) My original brainstorm of ideas was just that: a brainstorm. If others have things they want to add, or things they think would should do/allow at all, we can discuss that as well, and CO/FComm input would be very welcome for that.

Daniel

As a CO and FC, here is my take and opinion

The front page will have blub about the ship and an invitation to check it out
I don’t mind writing a quicky about the ship for posting elsewhere.

Our social media (FB, Twitter) will make multiple references to that ship and/or events on that ship during the month.
Not sure what you would ‘reference’ as most sims are so slow, that in a month a couple hrs (if that) are all that would go by lol

Characters from the ship might be spotlighted and/or referenced in-character on other ships
Bonnie is an alt ship and out of time with the other ships. So unless referencing dead people of little to no consequence makes sense, I don’t see this happening with the Bonnie.

Characters from the ship might be spotlighted and/or referenced in-character on other ships
Again, we are out of time so couldn’t do that from another ship without serious repercussions or consequences to all characters involved (time travel stuff… ewwww)

Maybe a side-sim where the ship is docked to allow for those guest characters during the month
((See guest character comment))

PDept helps with recruiting
I can see the PDept choosing one ship a month to focus on to help recruit. Putting effort into that would be helpful to a lot of ships.

A spotlight is kind of a neat idea to highlight a ship. And perhaps an interview or two in the Newsletter to learn the staff and roster. But I don’t know how well the rest would work for alt ships, location challenged ships (Delta Quadrant) and self sim ships that wouldn’t have the structure to willy nilly add players for short terms.

Meli
Bonnie CO
Foremost FC


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