In this ongoing series of articles, we probe the minds of some dAmn's channel founders to find out what makes them tick, how they've made their room a success and what tips they can provide to budding channel owners.
This month we have`cooley
1) First off `cooley
, can you tell us a little bit about yourself!
Well, my full name is Ginger Cooley. Ive been a member of deviantART (dA) for seven years. Early on, I noted a lot of the art on dA was created digitally, so in 2005, I purchased my one-and-only Wacom Intuos 3 digitizing tablet. (:devkhrainos: even fixed if for me a couple of years ago, so I could keep using it!). °matteo
supported my early works, and as I became more active on dA, I found the support/resources I needed to hone my developing digital art skills. In 2006, I got my first Daily Deviation (thanks to `oedalis
), which gave me a lot of confidence in both my art and the community on deviantART. I wanted to get more involved, and in 2007/2008, I became the Gallery Director/Moderator (along with `skifi
, and after `briteddy
resigned) for the new [at the time] anthro gallery. This is also around the time I established the #IamAnthro
chat room, to create a hub anthro community members interesting in networking with each other.
Outside of dA
I work full time as an administrative assistant/technical editor. As a part time student, I am earning a masters degree in Cultural Resource Management (archaeology). Prior to my current studies, I was a student of photography, which gave way to my bachelors degree in Photojournalism and Public Communication. I spent my first college years at Digipen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Washington studying 3D animation for video game design. (I developed a profound appreciation for animation, but it wasnt my cup of tea.)
2) When did you first discover dAmn, and can you remember the first room you ever chatted in?#devart
was the first chat room I visited, but only briefly b/c it was a little overwhelming. I cant remember being active in many other chats early on. However, `Marker-Guru
and I formed a now-defunct chat room called #modsquad
. This was where I learned how to manage a chat room, which served as my foundation for running #IamAnthro
. I also spent time in #botdom, b/c I liked the people there and they helped me with a bot I used in #IamAnthro
3) What prompted you to create #IamAnthro
? Did you feel dAmn was missing a room on a specific topic? Did you think other rooms weren't catering to a user's needs? Tell us all!
As I already mentioned, the anthro gallery was fairly new at the time I created #IamAnthro
. Thus, we had few events or places to chat, despite a thriving group of artists who submitted to the gallery on a regular basis. As the anthro community grew, so did the chat rooms. However, many of the chats focused on only one of the many facets of the anthro community. I wanted to create a place where anyone in the anthro community could pop in and chat about their mutual interest in anthro-themed artwork, without subscribing to a particular sub-genre or in some cases, ideology.
Around the same time, I created the Anthro Challenge recurring contest - which thanks to the diligence of numerous volunteers and contestants is still running today. We struggled to find a way to spread news about the contest, as well as answer all the questions regarding the event whilst in its nascent form. Therefore, #IamAnthro
served a secondary purpose as the place where contestants could quickly find the answers they needed, so that they could still complete their entries before the contest deadline.
4) When you created #IamAnthro
, did you promote it, and if so how?
I promoted #IamAnthro
in every way I could think of. Being a gallery director definitely had its perks, b/c I could post the latest information about #IamAnthro
and the Anthro Challenge in all my news articles and monthly newsletters. The chat even had a brief stint as one of dAs featured chats, which I greatly appreciated. We hosted numerous chat events, such as Role-play Day which became so popular, we later formed a separate chat room, #OfficialAnthroRP
for those who didnt want to wait until Saturday to role-play with their anthro characters. =Kirona
currently runs the role-play event and has created a group, #Anthro-RP
to manage it. (I urge anyone interested in role-play to check the room/group out.)
5) Have you ever held any contests or events in #IamAnthro
in order to generate more exposure and more traffic? If no, why not? If yes, what sort of events / contests?
Looks like I got ahead of myself when answering the earlier questions. To summarize, here are some of the events we have hosted in the past, and some of which still carry on today: Random Quiz:
At designated times, moderators ask random anthro-themed questions, and the first user to respond will win prizes such as points, subscriptions, and devwear. We still host this event. Ask `lost-angle when the next one will be. Role-Play Day:
Every Saturday, we hosted a role-play scenario, where people could participate with their anthro characters. This event has been moved to a 24-7 RP room called #OfficialAnthroRP. =Kirona is now in charge of it, and the related group, #Anthro-RP. Featured Guest:
On occasion, we feature a well-known anthro artist as a special guest and welcome our members to ask them questions. We still do this on occasion, though no special guest has been scheduled in the near future. Anthro Educate:
This is part of the dA-wide Education series. No Anthro Educate events are scheduled at this time. Discussion:
Discussion is when one of our moderators introduces a [sometimes] controversial anthro-related topic and opens the floor for discussion. No discussions are scheduled at this time. Suggestions:
We are always open to suggestions for improving #IamAnthro
, the Anthro Challenge, and the :devanthrcommunity: group, which the chat is intimately tied to.
6) Do you have any advice for new room owners? Should they collaborate with existing rooms? Should they pester their friends to help promote?
My advice is to talk with people who have experience moderating other chats. They are generally level-headed enough to offer solutions to common chat problems such as trolling, profanity, etc.
Chatroom managers should be intimately familiar with dA chat rules, and whatever additional rules one has set for the chat enforce them well and keep the drama to a minimum. Also, chatroom managers should make themselves available chatters outside of the chat. If the manager run into trouble with another chat visitor/member, most of the time he/she can find a solution (via the exchange of notes) without having to bring out the ban stick of doom.
I definitely think new chat owners should collaborate with existing rooms. Finding chats that have similar topics can help garner new chat members and facilitate the exchange of ideas. (Though dont go stealing people from other chats!) I love to goof off in #IamAnthro
, but I also try to be professional
when it comes to managing the room. I will remind everyone that I learned most of this the hard way, and it was not fun.
7) Has the Groups platform aided you in managing your chatroom? If so, how?YES. #IamAnthro
is directly tied to #AnthroCommunity
. We didnt have groups when I was gallery director, so things like the chat, the Anthro Challenge, and the role-play event didnt have an easy-to-access hub that connected them all together. Having the community-relations sponsored anthro chat room, #IamAnthro
, tied to the community-relations sponsored anthro group, #AnthroCommunity
, has been one of the best things to happen to the anthro community. We have a growing audience at #AnthroCommunity
that can easily find anthro news, chat events, dA-wide activities, etc. by visiting #AnthroCommunity
. We should all be thanking ^Katmomma
for their work creating the #AnthroCommunity
, b/c we wouldnt be able to tie everything together like we can now.
8) Anything else to add?
founded the group, #IaAMod
to aid in managing #IamAnthro
. It has been a wonderful tool for keeping track of visitors, members, seniors, and kicked/banned users. It has also served our volunteer staff well, allowing them to easily find information they need to moderate the chat as fairly as possible. If you are an #IamAnthro chatter, I suggest watching the #IaAMod
group b/c we post all chat rules and chat-specific policies there.Id like to thank all the volunteers who helped create and currently maintain #IamAnthro, #OfficialAnthroRP, Anthro Challenge, and #AnthroCommunity.
Thank you `cooley
and everyone be sure to check out #IamAnthro
If you are the founder of a chatroom and would like to be interviewed for the "I Came, I dAmned, I Founded" articles please contact the MN@ at #MN-Volunteers.