Author Topic: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - OVER!  (Read 3433 times)

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #60 on: January 06, 2019, 02:32:46 AM »
I am pleased at how this election is going! When the elections process was created, I was hoping it would one day reach levels of this quality. But there is always room for improvement. Speaking from my personal experience, I will advise the candidates that leading The 'Shroom is unexpectedly time-consuming! There's a reason the turnover rate is high for the position.

Given that the term "fake news" has been weaponized into a synonym of propaganda, do you think it is appropriate there still be a Fake News section? It could do with a more creative name. Furthermore, do you think this represents and opportunity to delve further into real news? If Rolling Stone could shift into politics under Hunter S. Thompson, why not The 'Shroom? I believe the issue of social media should be more prominent. IMO there should be a Social Media Team dedicated to the 'Shroom, with the Director and Sub-Director stepping in when necessary. A daily update on Instagram and Twitter could be a great goal to work towards.
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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #61 on: January 06, 2019, 10:22:17 AM »
Given that the term "fake news" has been weaponized into a synonym of propaganda, do you think it is appropriate there still be a Fake News section? It could do with a more creative name.

While it’s true that fake news has become an important term in the news as of late, I don’t think that anything necessitates a change in the name of the Team. While the problems that are referred to by the term “fake news” will undoubtedly persist and the term has had an extended period of popularity, it’s still likely that it will eventually fall out of favour with the media as other news and events create new buzzwords and focuses. In light of that, it would be a premature decision to change the name of Fake News at this moment for the reason of avoiding conflation of our Team with the journalistic fake news.

Honestly, I view the simplicity and directness of the name Fake News as part of the Team’s charm and general feel. While it focuses on entertainment in general, even today most of Fake News’ sections feel like something you could actually find in a newspaper. It’s been a part of The ‘Shroom’s identity as the Mario Wiki’s own newspaper. Calling it Fake News captures that important element of the Team and has a very direct feel to it that reflects the history and humour of the Team. Though many sections have since been renamed from “Fake X,” they still retain a sense of humour befitting of their original names. That's not exactly a hard "no", though. The possibility of renaming Fake News ought to be considered if people feel like it could be beneficial and there are creative suggestions. If we were to look into altering the name to something more creative, though, I would imagine that decision would start with the Fake News Director. They would be the most attuned to Fake News’ needs and have an idea of what could improve the section, so they ought to be the one to propose a change like that. As a fairly large change, it might go through some discussion with the Staff as a whole at that point, as well.

Furthermore, do you think this represents and opportunity to delve further into real news? If Rolling Stone could shift into politics under Hunter S. Thompson, why not The 'Shroom?

I don’t believe The ‘Shroom should move to covering actual news except as it can be worked into the structure of The ‘Shroom as it already exists. The ‘Shroom grew out of a Mario-focused community and has always been primarily focused on entertainment. I believe that it has, with this focus, cultivated a identity which has made The ‘Shroom a unique publication which reflects this community and fills a niche that few other publications share with it. To continue cultivating this identity and keep The ‘Shroom on a track of its own, I feel that the focus should remain on entertainment and there’s no need to significantly expand our coverage of real news. That said, there are places where we have accommodated and can accommodate real news within The ‘Shroom. Yoshi876 once worked his Monthly Thoughts into Critic Corner to provide readers with a little window into news stories of the month, and we certainly welcome coverage of real news events that impact the world of entertainments. Perhaps someone wants to write a section reviewing up-and-coming indie games in Critic Corner and can keep us up with news of rising stars in the indie world, or perhaps someone wants to make a Take Cover tribute after the passing of a singer or the release of a new album by a musical group. We do have ways to incorporate real news into The ‘Shroom, but there’s no reason at this time to expand our focus on it.

I believe the issue of social media should be more prominent. IMO there should be a Social Media Team dedicated to the 'Shroom, with the Director and Sub-Director stepping in when necessary. A daily update on Instagram and Twitter could be a great goal to work towards.

While we are committed to expand The ‘Shroom’s reach on social media and making more use of it as a way to attract new readers and communicate with our readers, we don’t feel that there’s a need for a social media team at this point. The ‘Shroom is a monthly publication, so reaching a point of daily activity on social media doesn’t seem likely unless we move towards having additional content and activities prepared exclusively for social media. While that’s a possibility, that takes the focus away from our writers and the paper itself, the two things which should always be our primary focus when promoting The ‘Shroom. With the amount of content we have and our vision for social media and The ‘Shroom, we feel that one person is capable, with input from other Staff members when necessary, of running The ‘Shroom’s social media. Assembling a whole team for that purpose could lead to a situation of too many chefs spoiling the soup when there’s not enough to justify having that many people managing The ‘Shroom’s social media.

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #62 on: January 06, 2019, 02:44:15 PM »
I am pleased at how this election is going! When the elections process was created, I was hoping it would one day reach levels of this quality. But there is always room for improvement. Speaking from my personal experience, I will advise the candidates that leading The 'Shroom is unexpectedly time-consuming! There's a reason the turnover rate is high for the position.

Given that the term "fake news" has been weaponized into a synonym of propaganda, do you think it is appropriate there still be a Fake News section? It could do with a more creative name. Furthermore, do you think this represents and opportunity to delve further into real news? If Rolling Stone could shift into politics under Hunter S. Thompson, why not The 'Shroom? I believe the issue of social media should be more prominent. IMO there should be a Social Media Team dedicated to the 'Shroom, with the Director and Sub-Director stepping in when necessary. A daily update on Instagram and Twitter could be a great goal to work towards.

These term "fake news" while the same in writing is quite different in spirit. For the Fake News in The 'Shroom, these sections are meant to imitate articles you would perhaps find in a real newspaper. No writer or member of staff seeks to mislead any person into any denial of fact as it is understood the section is for entertainment with amusing situations focused around the Mario series or otherwise. While we can see the reasoning we do not believe fake news needs to be renamed as our readers understand the mission of The "Shroom team.

Except for individual sections created by users who wish to cover it, The 'Shroom should not move into covering actual news. The paper should remain Mario focused as it is a project of a Mario-centered community. Though at the same time we do wish to offer the writer considerable leeway on what they wish to contribute and encourage them to imagine up various new sections or remaster old ones which have not been featured for some time. Our mission again is to work to entertain our readers through the assortment of articles and activities the writers offer. If any user does wish to cover these is would be best done in Critic Corner where they are to offer their own opinions of stories. As for the paper as a whole, I would argue it would be best for us and the Mario Wiki community to continue our focus on entertainment.

In terms of social media, we do believe in the importance of continuing outreach by The 'Shroom in an attempt to bring in new readers and writers. However, given the current size of the publication, it would be counterproductive to devote an entire team to this pursuit. Instead, we wish to have a singular staff member work on running the various accounts across the various social media platforms. Their job would be to announce releases and various events as well as serve as a bit of a Public Relations representative if the need arises. Perhaps if we see great growth over the course of this year or the next few it may be time to devote an entire team to the social media cause.

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #63 on: January 08, 2019, 01:37:02 AM »
In your opinion, what are the three most beneficial changes to the 'Shroom past directors made over the course of the 'Shroom's eleven-year history? They don't have to be from different Directors or anything, and I'm not asking for a ranked list, just "this this and this".

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #64 on: January 08, 2019, 01:40:10 AM »
Hey everyone! I hope your respective campaigns are going well!


Questions to both candidates:

- As you have already stated that you do not intend to change the 'Shroom's line-up of teams. Do you think there are improvements than can be done for the existing teams? If so, what kind of improvements?

- Where do you see the 'Shroom going under your direction in the future? And after you complete your one-year term?

« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 02:33:19 PM by LudwigVon »

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #65 on: January 08, 2019, 11:58:35 AM »
We'll have answers to your question up later this evening or early tomorrow. Thank you for your patience.

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #66 on: January 08, 2019, 05:22:02 PM »
In your opinion, what are the three most beneficial changes to the 'Shroom past directors made over the course of the 'Shroom's eleven-year history? They don't have to be from different Directors or anything, and I'm not asking for a ranked list, just "this this and this".

This is a surprisingly difficult question! With that in mind, I’m quite glad you challenged me to answer it. In order to come to the best answer I can give with full faith and credit, I reflected for a bit on my perceptions of The ‘Shroom and dove into the Archives (reading plenty of Directoral Addresses and Director Elections) to see what I could come up with. There has been so much that’s changed over the years, some of it through gradual processes, so it’s hard to choose three events with more significance over the others. That said, let me begin by presenting the informal list I worked with as I gathered my thoughts for this question before delving into my three picks in no particular order and explaining them.

Quote from: Pitohui’s Working List
-Section of the Month (May 2011 - SMB)
-Overhaul of the Sign-up page, creation of the Manual of Style (SMB -  2012)
-End of the Single Page Format (and increased emphasis on Teams, SMB and various, over time)
-Creation of Statistics Manager Position and altering of EIC (SMB- 2011)
-Applications for Core Staff Positions (Perch- 2014)
-Maintenance of the Archives and Decision to host images on the Wiki (SMB and various, over time)
-Centralizing Applications (SMB - 2015)
-Integrating The ‘Shroom with other community functions (e.g. Spotlight and certain Pipe Plaza sections for Wiki, Community Awards and Awards Announcements, Forum games and events, Poll Chairperson Election, Poll Committee Discussion, and Awards Analysis with Poll Committee).

Moving into the three points I’d like to select and discuss in detail, we’ll begin with the creation of the Section of the Month system in May of 2011 under SMB. What I want to emphasize with this selection isn’t so much Section of the Month at the moment of its creation, but what the decision to institute a formal Section of the Month process represented and led to. By implementing Section of the Month, SMB and the Staff at the time created an opportunity for The ‘Shroom to recognize the dedicated work of its writers, to reward outstanding sections with acknowledgement. The details have changed since that day, with us now having a Section of the Month for each Team, a Staff Section of the Month that fulfills a closely related yet different role, The ‘Shroom Achievements, and the End of the Year Awards, but all of these tie back to the idea of giving our writers recognition and positive feedback. I know from my personal experience and my conversations with other writers that these small gestures of acknowledgment can be greatly meaningful. It’s not that a writer’s name needs to appear on any of these for them to continue contributing and working to improve, but it certainly goes a long way in making writers feel welcome and comfortable and helps provide motivation to continue submitting high-quality content. If we want writers to continue to feel like a part of The ‘Shroom, it is important that we continue to offer these forms of recognition which started with the formal Section of the Month process established by SMB.

My second change I’ll point to may not have had as visible of an impact, the establishment of the Statistics Manager position and the merging of the duties of the Editor-in-Chief into the position of the Sub-Director were of great consequence to The ‘Shroom. The Statistics Manager has made possible the detailed preservation of The ‘Shroom’s history and enabled us to properly record and acknowledge the contributions of writers and growth of the publication over the years. In addition, the position has taken on important internal duties (such as assisting with the End of the Year Awards) that have made the work of The ‘Staff far more efficient. Changing how the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) position was handled has also been a part of the more professional trajectory of The ‘Shroom in the past few years. This paper has undoubtedly become more professional in appearance and content, and our standards for our writers have increased. The EIC becoming more so responsible for fixing major errors in style, coding, or grammar than having a duty to extensively edit sections which were not up to the standards of The ‘Shroom has allowed us to gradually increase our expectations of writers while continuing to offer support and assistance to writers as they improve.

My final selection would then be the increased focus on The ‘Shroom’s Teams, which, if it must be tied to a specific event, one could tie to the elimination of the single page format. Having these Teams to provide both writers and readers with some expectation of what kind of content appears in The ‘Shroom enhances the paper’s professionalism and gives the paper a solid structure that will make thinking about future improvements and the future direction of The ‘Shroom easier. There are other benefits, but the structure they provide underlies them all.

I would almost include the last option on that working list, because it's been extremely important, but it has been more of a gradual process than a single decision by any one Director, so I wasn’t certain it was in the spirit of the question.

Thank you for the question, Perch! LudwigVon, I appreciate your questions and ask for a bit more patience as I find time to thoroughly answer them. It may be a day or so, but I will answer them as soon as possible. Thank you both!


EDIT: To provide answers to LudwigVon without doubleposting.

Thank you for your patience, LudwigVon! These may not be the most comprehensive answers, but we've prepared answers to your questions that we feel satisfied with and should give you a clear idea of our thoughts. If you want any additional clarification or more detail, please let us know and we'd be happy to oblige.

- As you have already stated that you do not intend to change the 'Shroom's line-up of teams. Do you think there are improvements than can be done for the existing teams? If so, what kind of improvements?

We do feel that there’s room for improvement with the existing Teams, primarily in terms of working on emphasizing the unique identities and roles of each Team. Much of the growth and development of the Teams in the past has been driven by each Team’s writers and respective Director. Our hope is that, by providing readers and writers alike a clearer vision of what kind of content each Team covers and what one should expect to find in a given Team, we can provide a framework that will allow that growth and development to continue. That’s more or less the vision behind establishing the “Mission Statements” which we refer to in our campaign. We want to have a discussion about the identity and coverage of each Team and really delve into the issue with the Staff so that we can have a solid idea of what the Teams are and clearly communicate that to readers and writers. They’ll, in turn, have an easier time finding sections and Teams which play to their strengths and interests and coming with up with new ideas which can continue to push individual sections and our Teams in new directions. We feel like this project, though simple, is ultimately going to lay a good foundation for future growth, development, and improvement of the Teams.

- Where do you see the 'Shroom going under your direction in the future? And after you complete your one-year term?

Under our direction, our hope for The ‘Shroom is to maintain and improve. The ‘Shroom has come a long way in its history, and we plan to keep those structures and policies in place which have made it a more organized and professional publication. That said, we want to focus in on a few areas of improvement that we feel will be beneficial for The ‘Shroom’s long-term success and growth. A Staff with greater regular communication and engagement in internal projects will certainly enhance the quality of projects like SSOTM and alleviate internal issues that have cropped up during our term, but we also hope that it will, after our term, make it easier for new Directors and Staff members to become comfortable with their new positions and lead to the generation of new ideas for The ‘Shroom’s overall development and for projects and events. As we examine each Team and think through what each Team covers and how sections should be organized in light of that, we might see some sections moved, altered, or even split as we reevaluate what sections belong in each Team. While that might result in changed for readers or writers, we believe that it will provide everyone a better framework and a clearer idea of what The ‘Shroom is so that they can better approach improvements and additions in the future. We can of course also say that we hope to have a large and jubilant milestone issue 150, and we hope to host a few events for readers to participate in throughout this year. Honestly, though, the answers to these two questions are very closely related and this answer is going to feed into the next one. Much of what we expect to or hope to accomplish this term is discussed in our campaign or has been discussed throughout this debate, so I’ll move towards focusing on your second question with the rest of this answer.

A year can bring many surprises, so I can’t say yet whether or not myself or FWD might run for the Directorship again at this time next year, but whether it would be us running for a second term or someone new, what we really hope is that our work in our one-year term lays important foundations for The ‘Shroom’s long-term success. Codifying the duties of Staff members in the Staff Board, making those duties known to potential applicants, and having a highly engaged Staff to support new Staff members and Directors is going to make whoever might enter the position for the 2020 term feel much more comfortable and give them the opportunity to hit the ground running rather than spending extensive amounts of time trying to earn their duties and establishing connections with each Staff member. As mentioned above, clarifying the mission of the Teams will build off the structure the Teams themselves have given to The ‘Shroom and provide a structure which future Directors, Staff members, and writers can use to continue to improve The ‘Shroom and work towards making it a more professional publication. Increased social media outreach and a more formal process for rejecting applicants and providing them with useful feedback will hopefully ensure a steady stream of new writers, some of whom will be interested in taking on bigger roles in The ‘Shroom and may become Staff. We want to continue to attract people to this project who enjoy their work and have the desire and capability to take on more, after all. We may not know exactly where The 'Shroom will go after our term would end, but it is our aim that we leave it in a position where it will continue to grow and improve with ease. In summary, we expect that The ‘Shroom will, after our term would end, continue to maintain the positive momentum and solid structure it has now, but will be equipped with additional structures and foundations which will bolster its future growth and development far beyond our tenure. We want to, after all, put systems in place and make changes that we truly feel will provide benefits over the long-haul.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 05:57:36 PM by Hooded Pitohui »

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #67 on: January 09, 2019, 10:59:26 PM »
Hey everyone! I hope your respective campaigns are going well!


Questions to both candidates:

- As you have already stated that you do not intend to change the 'Shroom's line-up of teams. Do you think there are improvements than can be done for the existing teams? If so, what kind of improvements?

- Where do you see the 'Shroom going under your direction in the future? And after you complete your one-year term?
Thank you for your patience, getting back into classes has had Geeky and I a bit constrained for time until we get back into a routine. Here are the answers to LudwigVon's questions. Geeky will be answering Perch's questions in a separate post soon.

1. There are always improvements that can be made to any project, though they don't always necessarily have to be big ones. We would really like to work with the directors on creating team-specific manual of style requirements as opposed to the more umbrella character and image requirements that are currently in place. We believe this more individualized approach will really help up the quality of the teams as a whole. Beyond this, we cannot say that there are any notable improvements to the teams specifically we would like to see.

2. I think it is better to answer these questions in conjunction than as two separate entities.

We see The 'Shroom at the end of our term being three things: timely, efficient, and community focused. At the end of the term, the issues will be released earlier in the day, kinks in the release process will have been smoothed out, there will be an increased dialogue among writers and staff, there will be a greater number of guest sections especially in the special issues, and the number of readers will be up. To put it simply under us we see information flowing smoother and quicker within The 'Shroom which will aid in the submission of team pages and the monthly release. Staff activity will increase especially in terms of outreach to new audiences increasing overall interaction with The 'Shroom. To clarify the meaning of interaction we mean seeing more readers, greater participation in Section of the Month, and new writers having joined The 'Shroom.

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #68 on: January 10, 2019, 12:56:02 AM »
In your opinion, what are the three most beneficial changes to the 'Shroom past directors made over the course of the 'Shroom's eleven-year history? They don't have to be from different Directors or anything, and I'm not asking for a ranked list, just "this this and this".

Hi Perch!

Thank you for being so patient with Raregold and I. As Raregold has stated we're just currently trying to back into school and we haven't quite gotten into the swing of things. However, we're doing our best right now to keep up with the questions we've received. Thank you so much for your patience.

One of the three beneficial changes that we think was important was the Shroom' focusing on teams and how it had essentially led to the reconstruction of the Shroom's layout. Previously The Shroom' was basically a mess of link that could be found at the top of the page of the Shroom' which had made it look cluttered. With the transformation of establishing a setup of sections, it had allowed for a director to be able to set up an easy flowing assortment of sections. As a result readers and writers could easily navigate.

We had found was the need to improve the quality of writing that was found in the Shroom'. The quality of the sections found back then could need some improvement. With the allocation of the manual style for the Shroom' had really helped improve the quality. Given the manual style, writers are required to double check their sections before they were to make the final decision to post their work.

While there had been an established professional setting the Shroom' there was a major addition to the Shroom'. That had been an added relaxed approach that the Shroom' had thrived in. This had also allowed for those that had wanted to join the Shroom' to feel comfortable with sharing their creations. It also led to a mutual feeling of cooperation, and an easy type of relationship between writers, staff, and readers.

Thank you so much for your question!

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #69 on: January 12, 2019, 07:01:57 PM »
Nominations for 'Shroom Director are now closed!

Therefore, the Raregold/MsRetroGeek and Hooded Pitohui/Fun With Despair tickets are the only ones that will be competing for 'Shroom Director.

The election will close in six days, specifically 144 hours from the time of this current post. Get your votes in before then!

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #70 on: January 12, 2019, 07:11:15 PM »
God, I can't wait for my Killing Game to end already so I actually have time to catch up on some stuff here. Remember kids: hosting one of those things only brings eternal death to your personal free time.

I am pleased at how this election is going! When the elections process was created, I was hoping it would one day reach levels of this quality. But there is always room for improvement. Speaking from my personal experience, I will advise the candidates that leading The 'Shroom is unexpectedly time-consuming! There's a reason the turnover rate is high for the position.

Given that the term "fake news" has been weaponized into a synonym of propaganda, do you think it is appropriate there still be a Fake News section? It could do with a more creative name. Furthermore, do you think this represents and opportunity to delve further into real news? If Rolling Stone could shift into politics under Hunter S. Thompson, why not The 'Shroom? I believe the issue of social media should be more prominent. IMO there should be a Social Media Team dedicated to the 'Shroom, with the Director and Sub-Director stepping in when necessary. A daily update on Instagram and Twitter could be a great goal to work towards.

Actually, this whole "Fake News" type deal was something I did give some thought to.  I don't think we really need to change anything about it though, because the name aside, there's literally a description of what the segment is underneath it on the main 'Shroom page, and if someone still thinks it's propaganda after that, then that's probably their own fault for not reading.

I definitely don't think we should go into real news at all beyond the couple segments you could sort of call "gaming news". Real news carries a lot of real-life problems, controversies, and generally tends to attract a more... aggressive and hostile group of people than I'd like to have as an audience. I especially don't want the newsletter at all falling under any kind of political banner, because that'd probably bring a decent amount of unwanted chaos.

Finally, we do have plans for social media engagement that we've talked about before in this very thread! So don't worry about that stuff.

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #71 on: January 14, 2019, 10:40:08 AM »
All of the answers so far in this debate have been well-thought out and articulated; and while I do appreciate this level of commitment and detail, you aren't always going to have a couple of days to make a statement, or answer a question. Therefore, I would like to challenge all of the candidates (both Director and Sub-Director) to both answer this one on their own, and answer this question as soon as it's read, or at least as soon as you can after reading it.

What do you feel like is your greatest strength if you are to be elected to run The 'Shroom? In turn, what is a weakness or concern that you have for yourself? Please be as honest as you can, for both questions.

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #72 on: January 14, 2019, 11:30:22 AM »
All of the answers so far in this debate have been well-thought out and articulated; and while I do appreciate this level of commitment and detail, you aren't always going to have a couple of days to make a statement, or answer a question. Therefore, I would like to challenge all of the candidates (both Director and Sub-Director) to both answer this one on their own, and answer this question as soon as it's read, or at least as soon as you can after reading it.

What do you feel like is your greatest strength if you are to be elected to run The 'Shroom? In turn, what is a weakness or concern that you have for yourself? Please be as honest as you can, for both questions.


As requested, I’m answering this question as quickly after I’ve seen it and honestly as I can, Rose.

If I had to select my greatest strength that I could contribute to The ‘Shroom, I’d say it's dedication. Now, that isn’t something that's unique to me. There's plenty of other people who’ve been a part of this project who bring forth their most dedicated effort and have committed a great deal of time and energy to it, and I do believe that Geeky and Raregold would bring the same dedication. That said, when I commit to a project, and some of you who know me know well that I am cautious and careful in terms of what I commit to, I will put in the full effort required to complete the project in the most thorough, professional, and complete manner I can. It’s a part of how I’ve approached everything in life, from academics, to personal projects, to whatever undertaking I become a part of. I may not always get it right at first or do the best job that anyone can offer (I make plenty of mistakes and have rough starts), but I do not put less than my full effort into what I do. Of course, I don't intend for anyone to take my words alone in that regard. I offer my works so far for you to examine and use as a means to evaluate how much faith and credit you feel my words deserve. While I could point to organization and management, an emphasis on ensuring members of a group are getting along well and are comfortable, or other points that I feel like I could offer something to The ‘Shroom, my most honest answer to this question would be full dedication to a thorough and complete project.

As for my weaknesses and concerns, it's likewise true that I have a  number of weaknesses and deficiencies in my skillset. I could point to my own failures of outreach, for example. Many of you on Discord know that I tend to rarely speak in public in servers. My extensive conversations tend to be one-on-one, and, in almost all cases, initiated by the other party. I’m not great at being the first one to approach people. Now, it's true that that aspect could make it more difficult for me to, as we’ve talked about, bring the Staff together with the feel of a small community. This is an area where I myself am going to work on improving my ability to approach other people, as well as an area where I know that FWD possesses a complementary skillset that's going to greatly contribute to that particular project. But, while that's important to recognize and discuss, I don't think I’d call that my biggest weakness. Honestly, my biggest weakness, and the one which I carried in the back of my mind as I considered running for The ‘Shroom Director, is that idea generation is one of my weaker points. I’m much better at building off an existing framework, taking ideas and refining them and fleshing them out, than I am at coming up with wholly new concepts or taking things in new directions. That’s not to say I can't come up with new ideas or identify areas where change is needed or would be beneficial - I’d say that I’ve incorporated some of those in the campaign, even - just that I recognize that breaking new ground and working outside the box, if you will, is an area in which I tend to struggle more. I more often listen for the ideas of other people, aim to work with them to really refine them and dig into their merits and flaws, and then work to implement those ideas in an effective manner.

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #73 on: January 14, 2019, 12:06:55 PM »
All of the answers so far in this debate have been well-thought out and articulated; and while I do appreciate this level of commitment and detail, you aren't always going to have a couple of days to make a statement, or answer a question. Therefore, I would like to challenge all of the candidates (both Director and Sub-Director) to both answer this one on their own, and answer this question as soon as it's read, or at least as soon as you can after reading it.

What do you feel like is your greatest strength if you are to be elected to run The 'Shroom? In turn, what is a weakness or concern that you have for yourself? Please be as honest as you can, for both questions.
Honestly? Flexibility, varied experience, and the sheer amount of nothing I have to do all day when I'm not working. Stuff like running KG has taught me first and foremost how to adapt to pretty much whatever wild nonsense gets thrown at me, and how to completely bust my balls working on something if I have to get it out in a certain timeframe. My Night 1 KG accounts in the game I'm doing now totaled out to being about 11k words, and I still managed to toss my life to the wind and crank that out. I have absolutely no doubts that if push came to shove and Pitohui was unable to put an issue together, I could do it.

It can't be worse than KG, after all. 11,000 words.....

As for varied experience, I've been on the moderation and administration staff for community after community at this point, but I think I've already largely mentioned that stuff when I was talking about our plans to expand the 'Shroom's community engagement, so I'll shift gears to another fact about me that a lot of people DON'T know. For a period of time, I was a writer and editor for a legitimate gaming news site, the kind that actually gets review copies and E3 tickets and all that fancy stuff. Guy I worked with met MatPat once, and dude's a real dick, but that's besides the point. I'm not gonna link the site here because that'd be doxxing myself and I'm not THAT stupid, but in general I do have experience with news-related things on a far greater scale than even The 'Shroom, which is why I have absolutely no hangups about going into this, and am confident that I can at least deliver the same level of quality as I did back then, when it was like, an actual job thing.

As for my weaknesses, honestly not gonna lie I'm depressed to hell, sometimes worse than that, and sometimes that really kicks me in the ass when it comes time to actually do stuff. I can usually force myself to get it together and do what must be done, but I'm well aware that poor mental health is definitely something I struggle with from time to time, and by acknowledging it, I'd also like to acknowledge that everyone has their own issues, their own drawbacks, but ideally, we can make The 'Shroom a place where we can rely on one another enough to where someone can be allowed to take the time to deal with their issues without the month's newsletter suffering from it.

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #74 on: January 14, 2019, 12:28:19 PM »
All of the answers so far in this debate have been well-thought out and articulated; and while I do appreciate this level of commitment and detail, you aren't always going to have a couple of days to make a statement, or answer a question. Therefore, I would like to challenge all of the candidates (both Director and Sub-Director) to both answer this one on their own, and answer this question as soon as it's read, or at least as soon as you can after reading it.

What do you feel like is your greatest strength if you are to be elected to run The 'Shroom? In turn, what is a weakness or concern that you have for yourself? Please be as honest as you can, for both questions.

Perhaps at this time, the greatest strength I can offer the 'Shroom is availability. As this point outside of a few hours of classes each week I have relatively few commitments and much of my time is spent with filler activities such as walking around campus or just listening to music. If an emergency were to come up, I have no doubt I'd have ample time to address it and get the problem solved in a timely manner. While other more personal aspects do come to mind, I think what The 'Shroom needs most from me is responsiveness which is something I can easily offer.

As for my weakness, I'd say I have trouble making decisions on my own at points. I like to have input, but there likely will need to be points where I have to go ahead and make decisions while many people are unavailable. When the time comes I might just freeze up and use time I don't have to try and process and think through an event. As a result, I would likely be left unsure of both myself and my choices which could be very damaging to morale.

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #75 on: January 14, 2019, 01:11:10 PM »
All of the answers so far in this debate have been well-thought out and articulated; and while I do appreciate this level of commitment and detail, you aren't always going to have a couple of days to make a statement, or answer a question. Therefore, I would like to challenge all of the candidates (both Director and Sub-Director) to both answer this one on their own, and answer this question as soon as it's read, or at least as soon as you can after reading it.

What do you feel like is your greatest strength if you are to be elected to run The 'Shroom? In turn, what is a weakness or concern that you have for yourself? Please be as honest as you can, for both questions.

Hi Rose!

Thank you for the question. I think it's definitely important to think about your strengths and weaknesses and reflect on how you can make yourself a better person.

I would say that one of my greatest strengths is, I'm someone who really likes to listen to what someone has to say.  Regardless of whatever it may be, I want to make sure that if someone approaches me I need to be ready to listen. I've sometimes been approached by others who are currently not doing well in life or may want to open up to someone about something. I strive to always listen to whenever someone just needs someone to talk to. I will also sometimes go out of my way to try and talk to someone if they really need support. I believe that it's important to always try and talk out situations instead of just trying to take to them. If I do become Sub-Director for the Shroom' I want everyone to know that I can be someone who will care not only care about a section but also about the person behind the writer.

One of my greatest weaknesses that I definitely still struggle with today is I am honestly really self-conscious. I honestly always feel like my accomplishments don't compare towards others. I always feel like I should be doing more in my life when I compare myself to other people my age. There are people my age who have a stable job, who are currently married and those who have started a family. I sometimes doubt myself when I receive letter's from my school stating that I've done a good job. I've also doubted myself a few times on whether my running mate chose the best candidate to be his Sub-Director.

However, I want to do the best for him and I promise to do the best all of you. Thank you for your question, Rose.

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #76 on: January 14, 2019, 04:16:58 PM »
Hey, all! It's nice to see some competition in an election around here. Good luck to all four of you in the next few days.

All of the candidates have written about why they are qualified and capable for handling this project, and I do not doubt for a second that whichever duo wins, The 'Shroom will be in good hands. My question is, why do you want to be the Director or Sub-Director here? Feel free to write about personal motivation for running, or just requote something you've already said if this question has already been addressed. Thank you for reading.

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #77 on: January 14, 2019, 05:22:37 PM »
This one's going to require some imagining.

What would your reaction be if you won and it turns out the job is nothing like you expected it to be? Like, imagine a hypothetical horror scenario in which you show up to your first day and you learn the staff board is mostly empty, everybody is unmotivated and uncooperative, getting consistent feedback is incredibly hard, nobody can give you a manual or any helpful tips, but you can't let anyone know something's wrong and are expected to get out the next issue on release day.

How would you handle a dire scenario like this?

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #78 on: January 14, 2019, 05:42:30 PM »
We've asked a lot about your plans if you win. However, I'm curious: for both sides and both ticket members on each side, what are your plans going forward this year if you don't win?

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Re: 2018 'Shroom Director Election - VOTING AND DEBATE LIVE!
« Reply #79 on: January 14, 2019, 06:32:06 PM »
Hey, all! It's nice to see some competition in an election around here. Good luck to all four of you in the next few days.

All of the candidates have written about why they are qualified and capable for handling this project, and I do not doubt for a second that whichever duo wins, The 'Shroom will be in good hands. My question is, why do you want to be the Director or Sub-Director here? Feel free to write about personal motivation for running, or just requote something you've already said if this question has already been addressed. Thank you for reading.

Honestly, I’m running for The ‘Shroom Director because I want to help out and feel that this is an area in which I’m capable of doing something useful in the community. I’ve said in the past that I want to give back to this community, and that’s been my motivation for doing everything from Poll Committee to making Awards Presentations. The ‘Shroom Director has to, as do users in other positions of leadership and responsibility in the community, put a great deal of time and energy into the project which they oversee and contribute to. I have the time, energy, and, motivation to hold the position and I feel that I could do so in a competent manner that enhances and grows the publication. If I felt any of those elements were lacking, I wouldn’t have run. But, since those things are true, I see an opportunity to offer what I have towards fulfilling a need of the community.

That’s the big underlying point, but it’s not quite the simple. There are other elements, here, of course. While I knew as I started writing for The ‘Shroom that I would eventually, when I felt qualified and felt like an opportunity existed for me to help out, aim for a Staff position and later the Directorship, one of the reasons I’ve chosen to run this year in particular is because I’ve received encouragement and support from a few people in the community (including a mutual support between myself and Raregold - we’ve kept in close communication about our plans to run for Director for quite some time). In addition, there’s a lot of personal history with The ‘Shroom (which I briefly touch upon in this answer) that leads me to want to be a part of this project at its highest levels. Finally, I wanted to run because I’ve heard a number of good ideas and criticisms that I felt I could implement or address. I haven’t spoken to everyone, to be sure, but between writers I spoke to in preparation for this, some of the Staff members I’ve been in regular contact with, and people like FWD, I’ve received a great deal of quality feedback that I thought I could at the least put out there for contemplation during the debate and campaign, if not work to make use of it as Director.

This one's going to require some imagining.

What would your reaction be if you won and it turns out the job is nothing like you expected it to be? Like, imagine a hypothetical horror scenario in which you show up to your first day and you learn the staff board is mostly empty, everybody is unmotivated and uncooperative, getting consistent feedback is incredibly hard, nobody can give you a manual or any helpful tips, but you can't let anyone know something's wrong and are expected to get out the next issue on release day.

How would you handle a dire scenario like this?

In this type of worst case scenario, I can say from prior experience that my first reaction is to pick up as much of the work myself as possible. I don’t claim that this is the best approach - it has its issues and difficulties as well as its positive aspects - but it is the one which I have resorted to as aspects of projects have fallen apart in the past. If the Team Directors were refusing to do their duties and, despite attempts to reach out to them and talk through the issues, gave no indication that they intended to do so, I’d go to the writers. I’d try to give them a few days before release, at the least, but I would ask them to send their sections to me directly. I’d apologize to them for the inconvenience, of course, but I would have the sections to put together the Teams myself if the release neared and the Team Directors failed to do so. With as many sections as I could get, I’d put together the Team pages. I’d take a similar approach to the SOTM results and other information I would need from the Statistics Manager, going directly to The ‘Shroom’s poll account if necessary to do so. I’d make as much of the first issue happen and happen correctly as I was able to (I would imagine I’d have the support of FWD as well, but we’ll cast that aside for the worst-case scenario hypothetical situation). In absence of advice or assistance, I’d put in as much time as necessary to figure things out. I’d play around with old pages on the Staff Wiki and examine the markup of those on the Wiki proper until I had what I needed working, cross-referencing as extensively as necessary. I’d look back at precedent (particularly old February issues) to look for as many things that I should be aware of and need to accomplish. I’d figure out how to use the social media accounts and update the Archives, using what exists as my guide and using it as a model and adapting it as needed. For what I cannot do on my own, such as SSOTM and the Director’s Notes in the Teams, I would continue returning to prod Staff until we received a satisfactory minimum. A few nominations and votes wouldn’t be ideal, but it would get us by. Similarly, if we could get three or four Director’s Notes, FWD and myself could reasonably fill in for the month in two or three Teams. This is all, of course, working within the parameter that we “can’t let anyone know something’s wrong”. Long story short, I would do everything I could, in a very literal sense, to get the February issue out.

But, after that... I also know from experience that simply stepping in to fix every problem yourself in a project that should be worked on by a group is untenable, unprofessional, and ultimately detrimental to the project. I’d work with the Staff (to the extent they cooperate) to find out what happened, why things were the way there were, and what the underlying issues are. Then, with those who would cooperate with me and assist me, whoever they might be, I’d work to identify structural changes and changes in personnel that would need to be made. I can’t speak to specifics in a hypothetical scenario, but from the sounds of the broad outline, changes would need to be made. Figuring out where those changes needed to be made and working to make this changes with expediency and some restrained professionalism - to simply toss out a huge chunk of Staff at once without good reason would prove counterproductive and might give the impression of a crisis - would be my primary goal as Director. If that would require sacrificing some of the campaign goals, I would do so while recognizing that I would be accountable and would have to explain my decision to focus on other areas within The ‘Shroom to the community. Over the first few months of the term, though, I would envision me continuing to pick up the extra work where necessary to make sure the issue’s are released in a timely and professional manner and are of the highest quality they can be, but doing less extra work each month as we overhauled the internal structures and oversaw changes to Staff to get a group that was interested in working as a group in a competent and effective manner.


Perch, as for your question, I appreciate it, but I’ll have to ask for a little patience before I can answer it. I only set aside the time for those from TPG and Edo in this batch, but I will get to it within the next day!

EDIT: Changed instances of January to February because I apparently forgot we aren't in December
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 06:39:15 PM by Hooded Pitohui »