2021 'Shroom Director Election

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Hooded Pitohui

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Hooded Pitohui
Once again, the time rolls around for our annual Director Election! You can find information on the process right here. Do you think you have what it takes? You have until January 8th to post your campaign, so plan accordingly!

We wish the best of luck to anyone who decides to run. I hear we have some interested candidates already! As a heads-up, Roserade and I are not running this year.

This thread will serve as a question and answer thread for anyone who posts a campaign, and, should more than one ticket campaign this year, will serve as the debate thread, as well.

Please do not make any posts in this thread which are not related to the Director Election,, but, so long as your posts are on-topic, fire away with your questions for candidates!
 

Shmaluigi

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Expecting The 'Shroom? TOO BAD. THE 'SHROOM.

I'm excited to announce on behalf of @Ninja Squid that he will be running for the position of 'Shroom Director this year! Why am I making this announcement? Well, I'm tagging along as Sub-Director!

Please be sure to check out our campaign plans here to see what we're cooking up. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments regarding our campaign, please feel free to let Ninja Squid or myself know. We'll be happy to talk with you about whatever your thoughts are.
 

Hooded Pitohui

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Okay, Waluigi Time and Ninja Squid, while I'll likely have some more specific questions about your particular plans as this goes on, I want to start with a simple, broader question.

You discuss outreach via social media and NIWA, but I'd like to focus on just folks within our community for a moment. Within the community, you discuss welcome policies, and you mention a particular sub-board to centralize 'Shroom content on the forums, but I'd like to ask something a little more fundamental, a pre-cursor step, if you will.

What do you two (NS and WT) think are effective ways to get people interested in The 'Shroom? Before someone can send in an application and get a welcome message, before someone is going to look at the paper's boards or any sub-boards, they're going to need some kind of reason to think "hey, I should check out this 'Shroom thing". In other words, how do you get people - and this isn't entirely hypothetical, because there's people who are active on the forums regularly or regular wiki editors who aren't looking at the paper - to want to take a look and start reading, and from there to start writing?

There's no right answer, mind you. I just want to take the chance to hear what you two consider most important, what ways you two would try to take people who are in our community, but maybe not engaged with projects like Awards and the paper, and try to get them to a place they're interested in those projects?



Oh, and a second question, particularly for NS, but WT can answer too, if he wants. NS, do you feel prepared to help the AC and Awards Staff put together the Community Awards and Community Awards Dossier next year? You mention collaborating with the Awards Committee, so I assume you are, but I have good reason to confirm that with you! Do you have any concerns, comments, questions about those responsibilities, or do you feel pretty well set for the moment (there's always more time to talk about them, naturally)?
 

Shmaluigi

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Okay, Waluigi Time and Ninja Squid, while I'll likely have some more specific questions about your particular plans as this goes on, I want to start with a simple, broader question.

You discuss outreach via social media and NIWA, but I'd like to focus on just folks within our community for a moment. Within the community, you discuss welcome policies, and you mention a particular sub-board to centralize 'Shroom content on the forums, but I'd like to ask something a little more fundamental, a pre-cursor step, if you will.

What do you two (NS and WT) think are effective ways to get people interested in The 'Shroom? Before someone can send in an application and get a welcome message, before someone is going to look at the paper's boards or any sub-boards, they're going to need some kind of reason to think "hey, I should check out this 'Shroom thing". In other words, how do you get people - and this isn't entirely hypothetical, because there's people who are active on the forums regularly or regular wiki editors who aren't looking at the paper - to want to take a look and start reading, and from there to start writing?

There's no right answer, mind you. I just want to take the chance to hear what you two consider most important, what ways you two would try to take people who are in our community, but maybe not engaged with projects like Awards and the paper, and try to get them to a place they're interested in those projects?
Good question, I'll answer this in two parts since you kind of brought up two different aspects of this. So to start I'll focus primarily on forum users. I think one of the most effective ways is to kind of meet them halfway and reach out to them if they show interest in something that might work well with The 'Shroom - like if they want to review things, or if they show particular interest in a topic you could encourage them to write a Pipe Plaza/Strategy Wing section about it. Even just a general nudge if you recognize someone who seems like they would be good at it, like when I asked Flygon if he had any interest in writing for The 'Shroom when I recognized that he seemed like a pretty creative writer. I think stuff like that works great, it's a lot easier to get people interested when you reach out to them and say "hey, I see you're interested in this, I think readers of The 'Shroom would really like to see this" or just identifying someone who seems like they would enjoy writing and letting them know their contribution is welcome. And I think if you write for The 'Shroom you're more likely to want to read The 'Shroom too if you don't already, I can speak from experience on that.

Aside from that, I think community events are a good way to get people interested. I've noticed that things like 'Shroomfests and Photo Contests tend to bring in users who aren't actively writing sections (whether they still read The 'Shroom or not is a different story, that's a bit harder to know unless you ask). So I think there's value in having more events like that, and a decent variety of them, that will hopefully get people more interested.

(And yelling into the void about The 'Shroom on occasion never hurt anyone)

Moving on specifically to wiki users who don't use the forums, that's... more difficult, unfortunately. The social aspect inherently isn't really there, so the best you can do (at least that I can think of) is just to randomly drop by someone's talk page, but you don't have the benefits of meeting people halfway that I mentioned for forum users. It's kind of like just dropping by someone's ask thread to shill for The 'Shroom - it's a little bit aimless, and you don't really have any "hook" to grab onto. (And of course there's the pitfalls of targeted shilling and all that.) So I'm afraid I don't really have a good, effective answer on this half, unfortunately. I think 'Shroom Spotlight is a good start, but I'm not sure how effective that is since I see a decent amount of people who read Spotlight each month and nothing else, which is better than nothing I guess, but I can't really think of a good way to bring people over to the rest of the paper from there if they're not really interested. (But man I'd love to get Moe-Eye writing for The 'Shroom someday)
 

Dimitri A. Blaiddyd

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Thank you for your questions, Pitohui!

You discuss outreach via social media and NIWA, but I'd like to focus on just folks within our community for a moment. Within the community, you discuss welcome policies, and you mention a particular sub-board to centralize 'Shroom content on the forums, but I'd like to ask something a little more fundamental, a pre-cursor step, if you will.

What do you two (NS and WT) think are effective ways to get people interested in The 'Shroom? Before someone can send in an application and get a welcome message, before someone is going to look at the paper's boards or any sub-boards, they're going to need some kind of reason to think "hey, I should check out this 'Shroom thing". In other words, how do you get people - and this isn't entirely hypothetical, because there's people who are active on the forums regularly or regular wiki editors who aren't looking at the paper - to want to take a look and start reading, and from there to start writing?

There's no right answer, mind you. I just want to take the chance to hear what you two consider most important, what ways you two would try to take people who are in our community, but maybe not engaged with projects like Awards and the paper, and try to get them to a place they're interested in those projects?
Personally, I think engaging with community members is one if not the most effective way to get people interested in the newspaper. If we look at the last two years, 'Shroomfest has been a prime example of what can be good ways to get people interested, mainly because of interactions. When I say that, I mean about us being more active and directly involved with the community, since I think that it makes us more invested with members.

That is why I believe that to continue interacting with members with activities such as 'Shroomfest, Art Gallery or Trick-or-Treat is the way to go. Investing with the community is important, and creating a variation of activities that can be interesting for a broader audience is a significant aspect of what will keep the 'Shroom being successful in the future. Ultimately, users will tend to find the newspaper being an enjoyable experience, and it is very likely that they will want to get more involved in one way or another.

Another example is by reaching them directly if they have been showing interest, or displaying an idea that can have the potential of being a good section for the newspaper. Sometimes, getting a little push or encouragement can make all the difference. Waluigi Time here is a good example of that actually! Last year, he had an idea for a Fake News section but was not sure about applying, that is when you and I went and encourage him to apply and look at him go now!

Shilling has been used to get people invested with the newspaper, and while I think that shilling can be put to good use, I think it is important to be cautious with that approach, and not go overboard with it. I think some users may also want to get invest with the newspaper at their own pace, and if we get them to interact with the newspaper in one of our various ways, then I think it is already a good start!

Overall, it is all about making The 'Shroom a fun experience for everyone in the community. After all, The 'Shroom is a community newspaper.



Oh, and a second question, particularly for NS, but WT can answer too, if he wants. NS, do you feel prepared to help the AC and Awards Staff put together the Community Awards and Community Awards Dossier next year? You mention collaborating with the Awards Committee, so I assume you are, but I have good reason to confirm that with you! Do you have any concerns, comments, questions about those responsibilities, or do you feel pretty well set for the moment (there's always more time to talk about them, naturally)?
Absolutely!

It was actually part of the reason for why I decided to apply for the Awards Committee this year has I never had any prior experience with it, and considering I wanted to run again in the Director Election this year, I wanted to get more experiences with the inner-workings of the Awards Committee, since I was lacking in that regards. At this moment, I don't have any concerns or comments. If it were during last year's election, things would have been different, but after getting more experiences with the inner-workings of the committee, I am more comfortable with what are these responsibilities. I may eventually have comments or questions when we will have the occasion of discussing Awards matters with you and Perch though, which would be natural of course, but for now, I'd say I feel very well with what are the responsibilities.

I must say that I am actually excited at the opportunity of working with the Community Awards Dossier, hosting the Community Awards, and working with you and Perch as it was fun working alongside both of you with The 'Shroom under both of your directorship. I believe this will be a great experience and I am very much looking forward to it!
 
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Bluminescence

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I have a question: how do you plan on maintaining the Shroom? Do you have any significant changes you want to make to it, or are you mostly content in keeping it the way it is, and just handling the duties?
 

Shmaluigi

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I have a question: how do you plan on maintaining the Shroom? Do you have any significant changes you want to make to it, or are you mostly content in keeping it the way it is, and just handling the duties?
Good question! We do have some changes planned, but nothing really major for now in my opinion. The 'Shroom is doing pretty great already, so we're mostly focused on improving and expanding what already works. One area that we're focusing on is internal quality of life changes, so those won't really be noticeable to the casual readerbase, they're specifically for the staff and writers. Some of our plans for that include improving communication between the staff and writers, adding a welcome policy for first-time writers, and ensuring deadlines are going out within a reasonable timeframe.

On the more visible, public side of things we're hoping to get feedback through surveys/polls from some of the casual readers who may not interact with The 'Shroom otherwise on the Boards, Discord, etc. as well as experiment with expanding our audience through outreach to other NIWA communities and use of social media accounts. We'd also like to expand writer outreach by moving 'Shroom-related Fan Creations threads to a dedicated sub-board for easier access and visibility.
 

Dimitri A. Blaiddyd

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I have a question: how do you plan on maintaining the Shroom? Do you have any significant changes you want to make to it, or are you mostly content in keeping it the way it is, and just handling the duties?
Thank you for your question, Blof!

When it comes down to significant changes, Waluigi Time has already explained what we want to do, and I feel like I would simply be repeating what he has said, but I will give some information about what we want to accomplish. Our goal to put it simpler, and what should be expected from us. This year, our focus will be to make improvements, quality of life changes and building on what has been working under Pitohui and Rose during the last two years. To sum it all, we want to continue attracting new readers and writers, improving communications between writers and staffers, and giving the newspaper a welcoming nature.

We wish to make of The 'Shroom something that feels fun and meaningful, and to make this possible, we find it important that the newspaper is easy to engage with. It is very much about the writers and readers to go and think that this is a fun activity, and a fun group of people to communicate and share with. To make them feel that what they are doing is worthwhile and that we are grateful for their support. Our plans for 2022 are aimed at making this possible. This is how we want to maintain the newspaper.

However, when it comes down to our calendar and management, we are not planning on doing more than the already steady amount of activities that was done during 2021. Thus, 2022 should not be any bigger or more massive than 2021. The current workload is more than sufficient right now, and we are not interested in making this overwhelming for our staffers and ultimately asking from them to do more than what we are already expecting from them. From my very own perspective both as a candidate for the Director role and as a current member of the 'Shroom staff, I find it extremely important to keep this being a healthy project for everyone involved, and having a team that is motivated and happy with what we are accomplishing together.
 

Shmaluigi

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Bringing back a Shroom debate classic, to all parties involved:

What is, in your opinion, the most fun kind of cake to bake? If you have never baked a cake, you can substitute another baked good. If you've never baked at all, you can base your answer on what you imagine it to be like.
I'm very happy these disclaimers are here because I fall into the latter category of "literally never baked in my entire life". Honestly, I'd like to try it at some point, if nothing else, out of curiosity for how it would turn out at least. It's not really something that's ever been on my priority list though (maybe sometime this year?).

Actually, now that I think about it, I have melted Rolos and put M&M's on them, but I don't think that really counts. You can count it if you want, though, I won't stop you.

If I were to bake something though, I think it would be more fun to make cookies (nothing really specific in mind) than a cake. Partially because I'm more partial toward the end result, but to me it feels like there would be something satisfying about making a lot of smaller things and going through the same processes with each of them, you know? (I'm not sure what this says about me as a person, if anyone can figure it out feel free to let me know lol)
 

Dimitri A. Blaiddyd

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The nomination period is now over, which officially means that I will be your Director for the 2022 term!

Thank you so much for your support and for allowing WT and I the wonderful opportunity of taking care of your community newspaper throughout 2022. This means a lot to me as I have been looking at the position for a while now. Honestly, I am amazed that this is really happening. It is so exciting!

First, I want to give my thanks to those who gave me advices and supports during the entire development of my election campaign this year. To Hooded Pitohui, Roserade, Goombuigi, Superchao, and Waluigi Time in particular. Your help has been invaluable, and I could never thank you enough for helping me achieving this goal. I am grateful to have people like you around in this community, and it's so fun working and chatting with you. Again, thank you SO much! ❤

To you Waluigi Time, thank you for accepting my invitation. I am very much happy having you around as my Sub-Director, and I know you will be great in that position!

To everyone in this community, I hope to see you among our writers in 2022, that you will continue supporting The 'Shroom this year, and that I will be able to meet your expectations as your Director. We are planning a very fun year ahead so stay tuned for what's coming next.

Let's move forward to a fun year together!

 

Dimitri A. Blaiddyd

Prince of the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus
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Bringing back a Shroom debate classic, to all parties involved:

What is, in your opinion, the most fun kind of cake to bake? If you have never baked a cake, you can substitute another baked good. If you've never baked at all, you can base your answer on what you imagine it to be like.
Thank you for the question, Meta!

Actually, this was a question that I had answered during last year's election, and ultimately, looking at it, I would say my answer would be very similar, so I believe that rather than making what would pretty much be a copy paste version of that answer, I will send a link to it, since it is still relevant.

However, a particular cake I did this year was a layer-cake for my mother for her birthday, and I have to say that I had a lot of fun with the yellow coloration since it is her favorite color. She liked it, and that's what was the most important to me after all!

Around Christmas, she bought me various baking pans that I have yet to try out, but I do intend at getting the opportunity to try some of these pans this year. One of them is for making mini bundt cakes, and I feel this is the one I feel more interested in trying out. Mini cakes are absolutely cute!
 
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