Community Challenge – Repeating Myself

Nothing quite tries my patience as much as having to repeat myself. Whether it’s someone who’s not happy with the first answer I gave them, or they didn’t actually read the answer they were given, I find myself repeating and rephrasing answers so much so that I almost used all caps today! That’s what really gave me pause to consider  – what is it about my communications that people aren’t understanding?

One of my favorite quotes is “I can explain it to you, but  I cannot understand it for you.”

So my challenge of the week is to ask myself a few questions that will hopefully lesson the amount that I have to repeat myself:

  1. What is the real question they are asking? (it’s often not as clear as it appears at first glance)
  2. How can I communicate the answer succinctly and clearly?
  3. How can I answer the question in such a way that indicates ‘end of discussion’ ?
  4. How can I explain it to them in a way that they understand it, since I cannot understand it for them?

So I’ll close with yet another of my favorite quotes, this one from good ole Albert Einstein himself: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

But then, that’s a whole other Challenge of the Week…

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Community Challenge – Offline

So this week was full of challenges both for myself and for my community.

We had two unexpected and two planned downtimes this week. That’s much more than usual, so the challenge for me was simply disseminating information as fast and as broadly as possible.  The challenge for our players was to be patient while we rushed around like crazy trying to fix it.

Social media is obviously the go-to resource when not only my game, but my website, are offline, but that has its own inherent problems too since the bulk of my players are underage for using those mediums.

So what do I do? Well I do have the option of our emergency game launcher page that contains the twitter feed – oh no wait, when the web site is down, I can’t switch to that, so that’s out. I can post – oh no wait, forums are down too, can’t do that. Huzzah! Fansites! Well my fansites beat me to the punch on posting the outage so that’s taken care of – and while I’ve done all I can, there’s still a flood of unhappy players who are confused that they’re unable to log in. Thankfully the outages where short (20 – 30 mins each) so in many cases they went unnoticed.

So in short, my challenge this week was not being able to communicate with the players when both the game and web were offline. I may revisit the error message that appears when the web is down and see if the Twitter feed can appear there, at least it can be read by all and updated remotely.

Anyone have any other ideas?

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See you at Digital Kids Con!

Now in their 6th year, Digital Kids Conference (formerly Engage!) 2012 takes place April 25-26, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA. Digital Kids provides companies the critical information they need to reach digital kids and connected youth through online and mobile technologies. Coverage will include social games, mobile and tablet apps, virtual worlds, social media and marketing and more.

Digital Kids Con

See you there!

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