Selection process of the Players Committee

We received over 250 applications from users wanting to join the players committee. It was my job to reduce this number to around 30.

The selection was mainly made up of a few main stages…

Stage 1 : Application

I spent a night (and morning) going through all of the applications one by one, giving each one a score out of 5. Players who scored 4 or 5 moved on to the next stage.

I rated these people based on several things.

  • Uniqueness. I think it’s very important to get a wide mix of players involved in the Committee, with varying skills. People showing these skills or abilities in their application scored highly. It’s also important to pick users who have a wide range of play styles, so we can try to get all of the voices of the public in to one small committee.
  • The length of their application. Of course length is not everything (in most cases), but a long application shows that they’re serious about joining the committee and that they’re willing to put the time and effort in. It also shows that they’ll put more detail in to their responses when discussing future changes / updates.
  • Writing skill. Although not massively important, users who spellchecked their application got a big thumbs up from me. Proper writing techniques show intelligence (usually), and again that they’re willing to put in the time and effort.
  • Charisma. I tried to pick people who I, and the other potential committee members would get along with. This is where the ‘Tell us a bit about yourself’ came in to practice. Friendly people certainly did well.
  • Age. Most people started off their application with “I should be picked because I’ve been playing for 2,000 days”. This was probably detrimental to their outcome. I tried to select players of varying days to reach the whole spectrum.
  • Subscriber Status. In the end, subscriber status wasn’t a big deal to me but it did result in a small boost in some circumstances. Players with excellent applications who didn’t have subscriber status still easily made the cut.
  • Post count & IRC activity. I needed to select users who would be active in the forums and IRC so ongoing discussions can continue without fault for as long as necessary. It’d be very difficult to have a conversation with someone if they only checked the forums once a day. It’ll also be very good having the majority of the committee in IRC at the same time for discussions and/or a chat when I pop in.
  • Application layout. This one’s very simple, I asked at the bottom of my post “Using underlines for the question, and your response below each one”. Users who didn’t follow this obviously were not paying enough attention and fail to read a simple line of text. The ability to read what I have to say and take it all in will be very important in the committee.

Stage 2 : Activity

Although I was looking for a wide range of users in the player committee, I had to make a choice. I could let users in who only logged in a couple of times a day, but I’d never hear from them or be able to discuss anything with them. In the end, a very high level of activity was important. The ability to get in touch with any of the committee members almost any time of the day is a massive plus.

I rated users on their activity by once again giving them a score out of 5.

For example… This user rated 1.

inactive player

And this user rated 5.

active player

Players who rated 4 or 5 moved on to the next stage.

Stage 3 : Reading of the Committee Rules/TOS

Believe it or not, you were actually being timed when that little screen popped up which asked you to accept or decline (these rules/TOS are now up in a blog). We ran a number of tests before this was launched. An average person could read the entire thing in around 45 seconds if they were reading quickly without taking any of it properly in. It took around 80 seconds to read it thoroughly.

Users who took this amount of time to read the page showed that they were very interested and serious about the player committee, and of course users who took 3 seconds by instantly clicking accept were automatically expelled from the selection process.

In the end, it was decided that anyone who took over 48 seconds would move on. This allows the fast readers who were taking in the information to continue forward. I was very happy with the people who stayed on the page for over 2 minutes, thoroughly reading it a couple of times.

Stage 4 : Review of remaining applicants.

All remaining applicants were checked over again to make sure we had a good mix of users, I.E. people who both liked and disliked previous updates. Applications were also re-read to make sure we didn’t miss anything and other previous stages were checked once again.

Stage 5: Where we are now…

There are now 28 people remaining. These people will be accepted in to the committee and will go through a month long trialing process. We will be removing up to 8 users who are unfit to continue in the committee. Whether they are not active enough, or are simply unable to fulfil their duties as committee members.

Even after the trialing process is over, we may remove or replace committee members if we think they’re unfit to continue.

Once again, thanks to everyone who took the time to submit an application, I really enjoyed reading through them all.

- Chedburn

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