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Post Posted:: June 26th, 2015, 7:23 pm 

Joined: July 5th, 2014, 1:57 pm
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Location: Arrethtrae
I once thought about PM'ing each newbie listed at the bottom at the "newest member" spot and just encouraging them to get started and saying I could help if they wanted. Of course, I also thought about going through the member list and PM'ing each old member that was no longer active and asking if they wouldn't please just come back? Maybe doing that to the new members, though, might make them think that someone actually cares that they get started and might help prevent all those new members that never do anything from disappearing. I'd be willing to help do that--say, do 5 to 10 PMs and then if I get something back within a few days or even a week I'll help them. If not, I'll PM somebody new and offer them help. If anyone else wants to do that with me, we could make some sort of way to keep track of who's been PM'd and by who. Maybe a google doc, or something like that?
EDIT: Do I need to get permission for that, or would it be all right if I started?

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Post Posted:: June 26th, 2015, 7:41 pm 
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I wouldn't suggest PM'ing people -- LV is fun for some people but it's not for everyone. It's really OK if people try it out and then move on. I wouldn't want anyone to feel they were being badgered; they usually get plenty of offers of help in the forum if they need it.

This discussion assumes that it's a problem to have one-section readers or disappearing readers, but I don't think that it is. It's just the nature of any volunteer effort or hobby, especially an Internet-based one and MOST especially when it involves recording your own voice. We're still growing and getting new readers, even if not all of them are able to stay.

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Post Posted:: June 26th, 2015, 11:57 pm 
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i would also not encourage a lot of pming. if you want to help newbies, post in their introduction threads and offer your help. it will probably be better to do as much as possible in the open forum, because you cannot be online all the time, you might not know everything, and if things are on the open forum, any future bc or dpl can see what that newbie already knows so that they dont waste their time explaining everything a second time around.

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Post Posted:: June 27th, 2015, 2:26 am 
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And, having slept on it, I do believe that one major factor that puts new readers off is yards of technical detail.

We have specific settings that are necessary, and yes, we sometimes need to explain noise-cleaning and things like bit rate, stereo/mono and even DC offset occasionally. But in my experience, if it needs to be done, it must be in plain non-technical language with a simple step-by-step guide so that you don't scare people off. Things that are second nature to us are like Martian to people who have never used Audacity before.

Ruth

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Post Posted:: June 27th, 2015, 5:10 am 

Joined: February 24th, 2013, 7:14 am
Posts: 1685
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Two thoughts.

First, some folks think they are OK with being told what to do and how to do it. That readiness to be "mentored" (or "badgered" as somebody put it) sometimes is associated in their minds with the need to endure difficulties as part of volunteering work. They usually take it in stride, once or twice, and then realize that the life can be simpler and easier without it, and that they can find some other place to volunteer. They drop out. They are not quitters, they just had high expectations, perhaps of themselves, and didn't live up to them.

Do we want to keep those? Sure. How? By giving them time to adjust, letting them take their own pace with learning. Some of those will still drop out. So? We're not here to make a profit and to retain every "customer" by any means possible, that's not what LV is about. It's not what volunteering is about either.

Second, there are few different aspects of LV that can be improved, but should they? If you ask anybody who's been here longer than a couple of days, they can probably give you at least three areas in which they can see an improvement (or several). Some (and probably many) could just as well live with LV as it is. With any new (or revived old) discussion we have about making improvements to LV, what goal is pursued? And you don't have to answer it in this case, just tell it to yourself, and try to be honest. Discuss it with yourself, trying getting to the bottom of it. What is the *ultimate* goal? Can it be accomplished some other way? Is the game worth the candles?

My experience shows that in a system that has existed for some time, the environment, the ecosystem and all the forces driving it, are usually optimal. It can be a local optimum, and a higher one, with significant work, could still be attained, but that usually means disruption of normal conditions for often a considerable amount of time, and with some intermediate losses of productivity (of which we still care, don't get me wrong).

IMHO the changes we make to LV, to its constituent parts, need to be very small and very gradual, and agreed upon by all. The indication that the change is too radical and too disruptive is very simple: you have people expressing their strong doubts and concerns. As soon as you see opposition, make a simple conclusion - the change is too radical to be risk-free, and let it go. Or let it sit. Don't try to fight the established order, it's A BAD IDEA(tm).

Just my take on it.

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Post Posted:: June 27th, 2015, 5:52 am 
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Quote:
I once thought about PM'ing each newbie listed at the bottom at the "newest member" spot and just encouraging them to get started and saying I could help if they wanted.

FYI, newbies can read PM's but cannot PM back until after they've made X number of posts. That was instituted after a newbie started spamming via PM's. So this idea might end up actually frustrating new members more than it helps!

It's a good out-of-the-box thought, though. I like the idea of responding to the introduction posts. Those are folks who have taken a first step to interact and would appreciate communication. :)

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Post Posted:: June 27th, 2015, 7:01 am 

Joined: March 29th, 2010, 12:28 pm
Posts: 309
RuthieG wrote:
And, having slept on it, I do believe that one major factor that puts new readers off is yards of technical detail.

Yes, but I'm concerned with the readers who have already jumped those hurdles, the 2000+ who record one PL okay! section and never record another. I remember it well, "That's it?" I said to myself. I was very nearly one of the +. I think it was catrose who asked me to read a part in "Phantom of the Opera" that hooked me...

"Someone heard me and someone wants me... I'll record another section."

What had happened? Cat looped back to me. PL okay! was like looking in the mirror and seeing no reflection. Cat's invitation was coincident with my disappointment which was accidental. Her invitation came at the optimal time for me.

I contend all new readers are in crisis at the completion of their first section. I recommend crisis intervention be designed into the system so that the feed back loop happens intentionally, but naturally... don't leave it to chance. The message we need to send to new readers at this juncture is:

"I heard you. I want you."

We are not bots or apps. ISpeak is PL okay! Not all readers should be encouraged.

Librivox, books read by living human beings with souls.

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Post Posted:: June 27th, 2015, 7:18 am 
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Oxenhandler wrote:
Yes, but I'm concerned with the readers who have already jumped those hurdles, the 2000+ who record one PL okay! section and never record another. I remember it well, "That's it?" I said to myself. I was very nearly one of the +. I think it was catrose who asked me to read a part in "Phantom of the Opera" that hooked me...


For me, after I had recorded my first section (in one of Phil's children's books), I had no clue where to go next until he said "You have a great voice for reading to children. Why not read more children's books?" I did that for a while and then started branching out (I guess I grew up...) Maybe some readers just need someone to guide them at first until they find their feet. My goal was one section per week. Hmmm... anyone who knows me can guess how that worked out. :hmm: :lol:
Lynne

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Post Posted:: June 27th, 2015, 7:27 am 

Joined: July 14th, 2010, 12:32 pm
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Location: Austria (no kangaroos ;))
Coincidentally, I was originally one of the vanished after 1 section people... I was waiting for my microphone to arrive and suddenly life got busy... new job, new flat and I let Librivox slide for a few months... and then I felt guilty because I had not finished my claimed sections and had not notified anyone... I think it took me a year or so to get over myself and come back ;)

I think in the smaller sub-communities (French, German, etc.) there is already a lot of support for newbies... we know each other and new readers are easily noticed... usually PLs try to PL their sections very quickly and give very encouraging feedback - also hints on where to look for projects or tips on what type of projects are currently running and not to try to do too much too fast (--> burn-out)... or at least that's what I have seen... but still, sometimes they never come back after uploading their first section - not even to pick up their feedback or do the edits... and some get hooked... :)

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Post Posted:: June 27th, 2015, 8:29 am 

Joined: August 17th, 2013, 8:51 am
Posts: 787
Location: Connecticut, US
Oxenhandler wrote:
I contend all new readers are in crisis at the completion of their first section.... I recommend crisis intervention be designed into the system so that the feed back loop happens intentionally, but naturally... don't leave it to chance.
Generalizations are dangerous. I did not fall under the first part of this comment, and I'd be willing to guess others don't either. And it's difficult to speculate on why all those 2000+ 1-timers didn't continue ... without asking them all (for example, some, who may still be here, may like proof-listening better).

I've always guided my life with "I'll try anything once; if I like it, I'll do it again; if I don't, I won't." I had absolutely no experience recording before joining LV (I did have some reading aloud experience with nieces/nephews). But I was quite interested, and knew I'd keep at it, and had a plan for recording solos. My first recording was a collaborative chapter (as suggested in the initial welcoming info.), and I've done some others since (and a couple DRs), but like solos best.

It's good the LV members like to give encouragement (and mentoring), but the informality works better for me. It's fine to receive it, but that doesn't motivate me ... the satisfaction of completing a chapter or entire book to the best of my ability* is the motivation to do more. I could easily have done 1 chapter, found it really didn't interest me, then move on. No amount of encouragement, feedback or mentoring would have changed my decision. (And it took me some time before I was comfortable listening to my own voice :) )

Likewise, no amount of "constructive" criticism (which often equates to negative criticism), would drive me from further recording at LV. If I want constructive criticism on my recordings, I'll ask for it. In fact I did exactly that in my first solo, once I had gotten 3 or 4 chapters under my belt. But I'm better at improving by reading the wiki, watching the videos (thanks Phil), monitoring the forums, and asking questions.

In summary, encouragement, mentoring, and (when asked for by the reader) constructive criticism are great options for those who want it, but it's not for all. A good start, IMHO, may be to leverage some of the good things the smaller sub-communities (noted in Julia's post) do. :thumbs:

Just one member's perspective,
Don

(* at whatever my ability level is -- thank you LV!)


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Post Posted:: June 27th, 2015, 9:02 am 
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I concur with Don - no crisis after my first section either. I was just happy I had that poem done and over with and could finally move on to other stuff... :lol:

Maybe that was because I had a plan already before I started recording? I had listened to LV recordings for about 6 months, and then I was lurking in the forums when I decided that "hey, I can do that too!" When I then finally plunged into the forums, I wanted to bring more science into the catalog, and so I did.

My first recordings after the poem were The sentence of the Inquisition on Galileo and his subsequent abjuration. I branched out from there, and since have read a number of fiction solos too, but nonfiction and science is still my main focus.

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Post Posted:: June 27th, 2015, 3:08 pm 
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DACSoft wrote:
Oxenhandler wrote:
I contend all new readers are in crisis at the completion of their first section....
Generalizations are dangerous. I did not fall under the first part of this comment, and I'd be willing to guess others don't either.
Don,
Thanks for posting this. I was formulating a similar response as I was reading but you said it better than I could. I agree completely. I started here for my own pleasure and really don't care if anybody listens or appreciates my recordings. I work at my own pace, and learn by reading and research and if anybody had started offering advice in the beginning I would have run a mile. But that's me. I just want to illustrate once more that we are all here and we all continue for vastly different reasons and those that leave, leave for just as vast a number of reasons.

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Post Posted:: June 27th, 2015, 4:35 pm 
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I am in it for the money. Perhaps we should play up that angle? :roll:

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Post Posted:: June 27th, 2015, 5:09 pm 
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Darvinia wrote:
I work at my own pace, and learn by reading and research and if anybody had started offering advice in the beginning I would have run a mile. But that's me.

That is also me.

Seems to me that people who want help will ask for it. People who want feedback will ask for it. People who want constructive criticism will ask for it.

Friends and family members of mine have signed up, recorded one thing, and then went on their way. It just wasn't for them. I expect that recording turns out to be not-that-fun for most people who try it out. It is WAY more work than anybody imagines, I think... And then, on the other hand, some people record a few things, leave for a while, and then return again and go NUTS -- I'm looking at YOU, Cori ;-D

(p.s. I activate about 30 new accounts every day. It's a good thing most of them never actually record anything or we'd be SWAMPED with newbies. The people who are enthusiastic and motivated and who find recording fun will always join us, and hooray for them!)

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Post Posted:: June 27th, 2015, 5:33 pm 
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kayray wrote:
(p.s. I activate about 30 new accounts every day. It's a good thing most of them never actually record anything or we'd be SWAMPED with newbies. The people who are enthusiastic and motivated and who find recording fun will always join us, and hooray for them!)

WOW ! 30 new accounts every day is a lot. we would indeed be swamped. 30 a day?! :shock:

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