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User:Luciano/Sandbox/Lost users

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Note to community: This is a draft of a work-in-progress and has not been approved by admin. Until it is removed from my sandbox, please do not take this page seriously. It may undergo changes. Happy mapping - Luciano (talk) 09:56, 11 December 2016 (CET)

Hi, mappers!

Lately, our community has seen a substantial increase in the number of new users who join and begin mapping each month. While most users who join take the time to read the rules and begin mapping in the "blue" areas, per the current About page and FAQ, there are inevitably those whose enthusiasm and excitement lead them to map in inappropriate spots: reserved ("gray") territories, other user's territories, or else simply dropping neighborhoods or islands in the middle of the ocean.

Anyway, I think it's time to look at changing how we approach this perennial problem. Rather than mostly relying on the admin team to "police" these mapping mistakes, I'd like to see if we could get the community more broadly to take on some of the effort and responsibility.

Here are some steps to take to help the admin team deal with lost users.

Step 1

First, it's a good idea to be completely clear on the rules, yourself. If you decide to help us out, take the time to make sure you have read the rules on the About page and FAQ. It's possible there have been changes since you joined.

Step 2

Next, you need a systematic way to identify these new user mistakes. This is actually pretty easy, especially with the "recent edits" column on the OGF:Dashboard that I created a while back (the left hand column). You can scan the table for unfamiliar names, and if you see someone you aren't familiar with, check out their work (by clicking through on the changeset ID). If it's in some strange area, or some other user's territory - bingo, you have a lost user. This is the main way that the admin team identifies lost users. Another means is to open a neighborhood you're familiar with and use the "history" view of the map. You can see who has been doing recent edits, that way.

Step 3

So, you've found a "lost user." You will want to compose a message, using the OGF messaging system (but first, make sure some other user hasn't beat you to it - see step 6!). Below is a "boilerplate" text that the admin team uses to contact new users. We recommend using this text, with the blanks filled in. You can just cut-and-paste the below directly into your message box. Don't forget to add a Subject line, something like "Message from fellow OpenGeofiction user". If you add comments, always be polite. It has almost never happened that a new user has maliciously edited in some spot. Mostly it's because they are new and they don't know. So try to be helpful and kind.

Hi ____''<the username>''___,

I was doing some surfing of our world map and I noticed you joined Opengeofiction and made some edits recently. 

Unfortunately, the area where you began editing is not currently open to edit - ____''<explain where the incorrect edit was found and why it is against the rules>''___. You can't just edit anywhere you want in our world - we have some rules. As a collaborative community, I hope you can understand that we need to have ways to ensure users respect each other and hopefully create a coherent "alternate" world.

It is always advisable to read the rules of a website when you join it. Before jumping in and making more edits, please take the time to look at our [About Page](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:About_OpenGeofiction) and [FAQ](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Frequently_asked_questions). Editing for new users without assigned territories is limited to areas marked in our [overview map](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Territories) in "blue."

Thank you for understanding.

After one week of respectful editing in one of the blue territories, and you if you want, you may send a message to admin requesting your own territory (chosen from among the "green" territories on the overview map). 

Regards and happy mapping

____''<your username>''___ (assisting the OpenGeofiction admin team)

Step 4

Send the message. Take note of the changeset ID associated with the incorrect edit. You want to have a record of this.

Step 5

Finally, the most difficult issue is that when we contact new users about mapping mistakes, it's good to have some record of the conversation. Partly, this is because it's important not to duplicate messages, which is both annoying to new users and a waste of effort. So if we're going to have people from the community messaging other users about these kinds of things, we need some way to record that such messages are being sent so that everyone else can see what's being done. So take a note of the message ID of the message you've sent (e.g. http://opengeofiction.net/message/read/99999 *<- number at end is message ID*).

Step 6

Then, we've created the "Lost user contact page." If you send a message to a new, lost user, please record the fact of your message, the changeset ID, and the message ID in this Lost user contact page. This last step is a little bit bureaucratic, but if we're going to have the whole community helping out, it's good to be systematic.

Conclusion

Thanks for helping out! Happy mapping.

- the admin team Happy mapping - Luciano (talk) 09:56, 11 December 2016 (CET)