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Thread: OOC: Reporters Program Update

  1. #1
    ARK Exploits Team Coordinator Funkmuffin's Avatar

    Exclamation OOC: Reporters Program Update

    While I am not the most visible ARK on Rubi-Ka, I am the new Reporters Program Coordinator. Most of you will only know me from my Reporter character posts- I am the Editor in Chief of all the papers. Xnemth, my boss in ARK Community Relations, has charged me with the administration and day to day operation of the program.

    The reporters program has been plagued with problems since its inception, and while I am not here to accept or place blame, I do feel the role playing community of AO deserves something better than what you have been getting. I watch these forums, and I see the complaints and requests of those of you that read the official releases and reports.

    This is why I am giving this update to keep you, the role player, involved and up to speed on where this program is going. I have noticed a fair bit of outcry on a few topics- Quality of writing, amount of content, and where the content comes from. I intend to address these here.

    Quality of writing:

    I will admit it, some of the articles posted in the past have not been of the quality that I myself would desire for the program. This is a double edged sword though. The reporter program is volunteer within ARK- no one gets paid to write these articles. As a result, you all have to understand the tax it puts on me to tell a volunteer writer that their content does not meet the par for the course. Still, I have seen some horrible articles posted in the past, and it is my duty to the AO community to only publish the best works.

    Within ARK, the application process for being a reporter has changed. No longer is it a simple questionnaire that needs to be completed to join the program. Now, ARK must complete a writing skills based examination to be considered for the positions.

    Everyone must understand though- The higher the standard on quality, the lower the amount of content that is published. Expect the bar to be raised.

    Amount of Content

    This has been a hard one. With the quality vs. quantity subject aside, it is very hard to find qualified writers who can devote a fair amount of time to content creation for the reporters program. This is why CR has done two things to address this issue- new Reporters positions in the Community Relations team and Direct Recruitment.

    ARK Community Relations has chartered four full time reporters positions, as well as two Reporter Guardian positions to create and maintain content for the reporters program. The way the program used to work was this: ARK who already had a position and responsibility in ARK volunteered to do reporters on the side. This had its flaws as they were already devoting a large portion of their time to their primary task and not the reporter program. Now, there are ARK being placed in positions where their only primary function is to write articles for the Reporter program with a production quota and advanced training on how to write well. It is our hope that this will create more quality content.
    CR is also doing what we are dubbing “Direct Recruitment.” We watch these role play forum areas regularly and we take note of who the exceptional role play writers are. We have selectively attempted to recruit some of these great writers into the ARK program to fill these new Reporter slots in CR. Please let me stress that this is very selective, so don’t be upset if you have not be approached my myself or Xnemth. Time and manpower constraints prevent us from asking everyone due to the amount of work that is required to induct someone into ARK.

    If you feel like you would enjoy taking the time to volunteer for ark and write for reporters, feel free to send X or I a PM on these boards. We are always more than willing to speak to someone who is willing to volunteer their time for ARK. Be sure to include a couple links to your writing on these boards on on fan sites for concideration.

    Where the Content Comes From

    I know that most of you are thinking “This ARK stuff is all well and good, but I miss the VoF and other player submitted news papers.” I know! That is the number one request from players out and about on Rubi-Ka and on these forums. For you that want player submitted news back, I have some good news.

    Right now, ARK CR is working in a number of areas to make this possible. We are training more qualified editors, and we are making tool advancements that will allow us to process a much higher amount of content so that in the near future we can once again accept player submitted news.

    This is a very, very big goal though. You have to understand the tax that editing, approving, and rejecting a large volume of player submitted news will place on our current infrastructure. Still, it is something we are working toward, and I hope that in the next few weeks I can tell you all that you can start sending your news in. I will say this though- not all player submitted news will be published. It is my intent to publish only the best tenth of news submitted, and I will hold players to the new higher writing standards that I hold my staff to.

    In conclusion, you can all use me as the point of contact on Reporters Program related inquiry. I hope that the steps CR is taking to improve the program add to the value of it to all the role playing members of the AO community, and I encourage your feedback in this forum.

    Great changes are happening in the program, but as they say Rome was not built in a day. I will keep you all posted.
    Exploits Information and what you can do to help can be found HERE.

  2. #2

    Lightbulb ...

    If there is anything AO Warcry can do to help you out Funk.

    Just let me know!

  3. #3
    Heads up to the various fansites on the reporter article mailing list....

    Appologies folks, we're having a bit a tough time getting the auto mailing tool working for this which means no emails have been sent with article updates as they happen.

    If you could please PM me the address you want these delievered to, I'll send them by hand till the tool is working properly.

    Retired ARK Xnemth

  4. #4
    The biggest disappointment with the reporters program for everyone I know has been the ignoring of ALL events on Rimor.

    There should be a balance; and particularly for storyline events a weaving of both dimensions. All we've gotten though is Rimor events totally ignored and some comments from ARKs about it you probably wouldn't want to face up to the light of day.

    we pay the same amount regardless of server and I among many expect the same amount of attention from the reporter's program regardless of the server I play on.
    Last edited by Sallust; Oct 15th, 2003 at 03:49:04.
    Clan Elder of The Pilgrims

  5. #5
    ARK Exploits Team Coordinator Funkmuffin's Avatar
    Sallust, you will notice an article on a Dim2 event Rooted in this forum as I type this.

    We have full time Dim2 people now, so you can expect a greater balance of coverage in the future.
    Exploits Information and what you can do to help can be found HERE.

  6. #6

    An appology and wonderful news :)

    I'd like to personally appologise to the players, not only of Rk2, but Rk1. The reporters program was quiet for about a month and some weeks, and that is due entirely to a choise I made.

    I have a personal goal for reporters where quality of content is concerned that I will not compromise on. During the SL launch, we had lots of story that absolutely had to be covered. While most of the articles based on this material were solid, I felt there was room for great improvement. Hence in the quiet period I worked at great lengths with the Reporters Coordinator Funkmuffin, and a number of members of both ARK and the player community to improve this program.

    The result is that at present, I have two ARKs dedicated to being reporters. That is their single function within the CR Department.

    One of them is a writing enthusiast who impressed me with his unconquerable determination to bring recognition and interaction to the player community. He attended a wedding, and then covered an event based on a player run storyline on RK2 yesterday... and this is only his third day as a fully trained reporter! You can read his first article on these forums.

    The other is a seasoned author with a great deal of work already published on non AO related topics. He's a family man who has made AO more than a game, it's something he shares with his children and wife. He hopes that through the reporters program he can share the AO experience with even more people.

    I was pleasantly suprised to see these two dive into "The Buzz" here and research player stories and events so quickly after completing their training. These two actively SEEK out players and stories rather than covering ONLY ARK run events. I truely am pleased with them so far, and hope that you will be as well.

    In addition to these two new members as dedicated reporters, the program still retains it's sizable staff of ARK's who work as reporters in addition to other duties. Having a core group of dedicated reporters, in addition to the efforts of 'part time' participants should provide a solid foundation at long last from which to maintain content production, and growth for the future.

    Once again, I certainly appologise to the community for this rather unannounced silence, it is NOT my intention to ignore or minimize your works, quite the opposite. I hope that this solid foundation for reporters demonstrates our commitment to you. Things will only get better from here.

    The future:
    As soon as we get two more solid editors, we're opening the doors of the program to YOU for player submitted materials. I'm very excited about the developments of late, and optimistic about what the future holds for all of us.

    Yours respectfully,

    Retired ARK Xnemth

  7. #7
    ARK Exploits Team Coordinator Funkmuffin's Avatar


    Quick Update:

    I have assigned one full time reporter to each Dimension. I am still hard at finding yet another full time reporter for each dim.

    I am currently training two new editors in an effort to reach our goal of accepting player submitted news.

    Expect to see more Greenies with Reporter names- they are trolling these forums daily looking for places to show up on both dims.
    Exploits Information and what you can do to help can be found HERE.

  8. #8
    Thanks a ton.

    I didn't miss the first reporter article from Rimor that I've seen... in a long long time of my memory (Since before the sentinels took over Tir a year ago).

    I'm not the only one noticing it either, I had a lot of offline tells during my brief check for messages yesterday.
    Clan Elder of The Pilgrims

  9. #9
    ARK Exploits Team Coordinator Funkmuffin's Avatar
    I want to appologize to all the people who have sent me PM's in the past couple weeks.

    Evidently, when they "hack in" our ARK forum accounts it does something wierd to the database and it does not show when I have new PMs on this board. I was checking the options page this morning and noticed that I had a few in my inbox that were not posted on the front page.

    I would like to remind everyone that the easiest way to report events and request coverage is the e-mail address in my signature block. We are working on getting a dedicated e-mail address for this purpose, but for now the general address works fine.

    Once again, sorry. I will attempt to check that inbox every day in the future,
    Exploits Information and what you can do to help can be found HERE.

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