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Greeting Tips

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Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:10 pm
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Rosendorn says...

Those that frequent the Welcome forum have seen members post on countless threads, each post telling something a little different than the others. But, have you ever really asked what makes a good greet?

Here are some general guidelines when welcoming a new member on YWS. They’re rather simple but, if you follow them, they will make your greets the best they can possibly be.

1- Don't overload the new member with rules. Nate has already said the rules in his welcome PM to new members, and they can figure out the rest on their own. Just say hi, some stuff about YWS, and treat the member like an old friend. We don't want new members to get the impression YWS is a maze of rules.

2- Ask questions if a new member hasn’t given a lot of information about themselves. Often, people just don’t know what to put in their welcome post. If you ask questions, then not only do new members feel like YWS is an including place (which it is) but they open up and become more active. Sure, a lot of times new members don’t answer questions, but when they do, they give the site a feel for them and the answers to those questions gives room for other people to come in and talk to them. In short, it’s a faster way for new members to get integrated into the site.

2.1- If the member has told some information about themselves, then the above point still applies, but in a new way. If a new member says they like Jane Austen (random example), ask them what their favourite book by her is. If they’ve stated their favourite genre, ask them what their style is usually like. New members giving information doesn’t mean you don’t ask questions, it just means you should make your questions more specific.

3- Don’t copy/paste your greets. Each new member is just that, a new member. They deserve your full attention, and that means writing out a new greet every time. You can copy some lines from past greets, but don’t do the whole greet exactly the same. New members should feel like you’re taking the time just for them, not simply churning greets out.

4- Be sure you’re not repeating what other people have said. This ties into the point above because if you are taking the time to hit reply, you should want to talk to that person. That means skimming the greets above yours and seeing if there's some little bit of advice you can add. If not, just say hi! Bits of advice include where to find Clubs, the Knowledge Base, or how to Storybook. These little insider tips give new members a more welcoming feel to the site. It also acts like a secret between friends. Little tidbits of information like that are not only appreciated, they make new members feel less lost. Take what you know about YWS and tell it to new members. It will save them some bumps while they get the feel for the site.

5- Mean the line, “If you have any questions, PM me.” Members will take advantage if they have questions, especially it they’ve posted in the mass welcome thread where asking questions isn’t so easy. After all, if you’ve greeted a member, that means you’re open to talking to them. If somebody asks you a question about how to find a certain forum, you should write out a step-by-step guide. Or if they ask you how to write a review, you should link them to one of the many articles in the Knowledge Base, give them your own tips, or both! And remember, there are no stupid questions. Answer a question, no matter how simple, with a smile.

6- Offer critiques. I know that sounds weird, but offering a critique on an author’s first work lets them know they really can ask anybody for help, on anything. And, if you notice somebody who has broken the rules, don't be afraid to send somebody in a light or dark green name a PM. They're the mods, and it's their job to contact members about any rules they've broken.

7- Smile! Always sound happy in your greets by putting in emoticons or line squiggles in, although don’t put more than five or ten in one greet, depending on the length (unless your name is nightowl. ;)). New members want to feel welcome, no? And nothing makes you feel more welcomed then somebody giving you a tour with a huge, real, smile on their face.

8- Praise YWS! Whether you’re the first to post on a Welcome thread or everything has been said but you still want to greet that new member, say how YWS has helped your writing.

9- If you want to hold a conversation with a new member, go ahead and post a comment on their wall. Welcome threads get buried rather quickly, and it can get annoying to see a really old thread continue to get posted on as two members have a conversation. Even if you just want to ask something about their interest, go for it!

Hope that helps you when figuring out what to put in a greet! They don’t look that hard, but doing them well, with a smile, can be challenging. To give a quick recap:

1- Treat new members like old friends. Don't overload them with rules.
2- Ask general questions if the member hasn’t said anything, specific questions if they have.
3- Write out a new greet for every new member.
4- Make sure you’re not repeating what others have said. (Expanding on an idea is fine though).
5- Be open to answering questions.
6- Offer critiques on member’s first work. (If it’s not your style though, you don’t have to review it)
7- Be happy when greeting! You want to do this, remember?
8- Praise YWS
9- If you have a lot in common with a member, start a wall conversation with them.
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

Ink is blood. Paper is bandages. The wounded press books to their heart to know they're not alone.

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Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:55 pm
Blues says...

Ooh, number 6 is a good idea. I've never done that when I've greeted someone...

What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.
— Albert Pines