Direct new members to Round Robins

Hello Admin,
I notice that many new members - me included, when I first joined - find the long wait for their first postcards to be a v e r y l o n g w a i t.
Some post a message asking for ideas about how to speed up the process. Many members, me included, respond by suggesting that new members try some of the Round Robins.
Could Admin include a notice or a statement that new members first read when signing up to encourage them to browse through the Round Robins? This would serve a couple of purposes:

  1. Introduce new members to the larger community.
  2. Introduce new members to the incredible variety of interests and ideas to be found within the community.
  3. Encourage new members to participate in the many other opportunities within the community, while they wait and wait and wait for their first cards to make it through the process.

Thanks for your consideration!

4 Likes

Hi, I moved your topic to Suggestions, as it seems to belong here.

1 Like

A good suggestion I think. Unfortunately, and I can’t quantify it, I believe that a very large number of members have zero interest in something beyond “send a card, receive a card.” Again, just an opinion.

4 Likes

Just some feedback Helen - I steer new people to direct swaps, tags & lotteries while they’re waiting for official cards because they’re fairly easy to figure out & do as a newbie.

I’ve never done a Round Robin ever, in the 4 years I’ve been a member, because every time I go to look at what’s required, it seems way too complicated, unclear & just too demanding.

11 Likes

Exactly this!!

I’ve done RR in other forums but what happens here is completely overwhelming and confusing. I’ve talked to other long-term members who never do round robins either for that same reason.

The only exception to this is the Christmas postcards RR, which I think may be the only RR some members ever do. I think it’s for the following reasons (besides getting Christmas cards):

  • It has a distinct start and end. Sign-up deadlines are clearly marked in the TITLE and UPDATED as needed. I don’t see this happening in any of the other RRs.
  • The people involved in that RR are the only people in that RR. This may sound obvious, but going to another RR that’s been running for 3 years, is on group 936, and where people sign up and post messages to groups within that RR that you are not a part of…it’s all clutter that individuals need to sift through, especially if they are conscientious and want to do the RR properly. I don’t understand why RRs, like the Christmas one, aren’t limited to the group/season only, and when it’s done, it’s done. A new one gets started. That’s what happens in the tags and lotteries, and they are popular (at least for me) for that very reason.
  • Connected to the both points is that RRs seem to have ongoing signups, with no deadlines, so that you might have to wait a while for a group to get started, and in the meantime will be inundated with updates to rounds that you are not a part of. No thanks.

Note - I am aware that there is a monthly RR but it’s pretty much closed to new members since you have to have established yourself in other RRs, and I only notice that RR in my feed when signups have been closed, because for some reason I am never aware of when sign-ups have opened (not that I could sign up anyway).

4 Likes

I am not that new, but I tried for the first time to join RR a couple of months ago. What happened was that they all became ready around the same time and I found myself with ~40 cards to send in the 2 weeks deadline for each RR group. It was extra stressful

5 Likes

To me round robins look very complicated, that is why I never took part in one. And I think pointing newbies to round robins straight away could overwhelm the newbies.

6 Likes

I think it could be a good idea to send an official email to newbies (after a week or two after they signed up) to remind them of the options, something like “are you finding the wait too long? Come check the direct swaps and tags/ discussions at the forum to have some fun and meet other members”
I, too, wouldn’t direct a newbie to RRs.

5 Likes

I felt the same way when I was new. Although most are fairly simple, some are set up in ways that have confused new members at times.

3 Likes

Good point @cliffisde. When I first joined in 2020 I had no interest beyond official cards. But, as I waited and waited and waited thinking I’d never hear from anyone I started to look for other ways to communicate with other Postcrossers. So glad I did dig a bit deeper!

A great bunch of additions to direct members to! Thanks for adding to the conversation with these terrific ideas @LC-Canada !

All valid points @mooseontheloose when one considers the “newness” of the experience at Postcrossing.
Ideally, new members could be directed to ALL options for additional participation, when they sign up. Then, make choices based on the range of options available and potential connections to individual interests.

1 Like

@ieahleen This happened a couple of times with me; but, it’s not the norm. And, I learned to not sign up for too many at a time. :wink:

@RalfH perhaps a caveat suggesting that newbies check things out a couple of weeks after joining to avoid feeling overwhelmed?

1 Like

“I think it could be a good idea to send an official email to newbies (after a week or two after they signed up) to remind them of the options, something like “are you finding the wait too long? Come check the direct swaps and tags/ discussions at the forum to have some fun and meet other members”

Great idea @cleopatra-matta !
This could solve feeling overwhelmed as well as allow newbies to consider whether they are ready for a deeper dive.
And - BONUS - give an additional sense of community through the followup message.

1 Like

That could be a way, perhaps combined with making the round robins less complex.

1 Like

It’s confusing for those of us who’ve been around for a while too!

1 Like

In the years that I have joined or hosted Round Robins, I’ve tended to look for those that are moderated. Moreover, smaller concise ones are easier to participate in. A good example of one that I enjoy is the NA X Meets the World Round Robin. Typically, this one involves 4 North America members sending cards to 4 members from other countries & vice versa. For Unwritten cards, the NA Traveling Envelope is great.

The moderated ones are better I think because on occasion, a member will use a RR as a dumping ground, not send their cards, not send cards that don’t meet the guideline of the RR. In that scenario, after repeated infractions, the moderator will step in and block that person from further participation.

2 Likes

This thread is full of good ideas. And I think the issue can be expanded beyond that. I just started another thread which you might find interesting (and references this one) at Alternative for Helping Newbies (and not-so Newbies) Navigate the Confusion

And now I am wondering if the Admins read all these Suggestion topics because I don’t often see them weighing in on these threads. Perhaps they are already busy enough until they notice a specific problem and then go looking to see if other Postcrossers have done some thinking about those problems?

1 Like