It's not too often that we see community events on Gaia highlighted by staff. At least, it hasn't been that way in a long time. The small team at HQ seems to have most of their focus directed towards site fixes and features. However, a key component of Gaia's community has historically been partially concentrated in how users are able to make their own events and attract attention to them.
In June of last year, while still under Schofield's Administration, Admin Lead, Zero Omega, explained how users would go about receiving support for their user-run events. Zero explained that users should keep in mind that e-mailing staff is acceptable in the form of an inquiry, however, no guarantees would be made that an event would be facilitated.
It is currently unclear how lanzer's return will impact user marketing of their events. However, according to more vocal users in Gaia's Site Feedback forum, the type of administrative service required for a successful event is severely lacking, making these types of events very difficult to plan for. According to some users, the e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org is rarely maintained and communication is slow.
However, there seems to be a dividing line running down Gaia's community between users claiming the situation as one of either: 'entitlement' and 'expectation'.
Against Asking for User-Run Event Support
It seems that a decent plurality of the community feels that user-run events should be marketed by the users themselves and special announcements featuring these events should only apply to cases where the staff team seems acutely interested in what is happening.
This group of users feels that event planners asking for a special item or announcement are entitled and simply asking too much of staff. They see the team at Gaia HQ as undermanned, overworked people, who need to devote the majority of their energies in developing features or continuing to make fixes.
For Asking for User-Run Event Support
There also seems to be a good amount of users who feel that user-run events are a special part of the Gaian community that deserves a greater level of attention from staff. These users feel that many user-run events should be highlighted given the staggering amount of work that some users will invest into them.
This group of users feels that because Zero Omega made a promise to focus on this part of Gaia's community, users who invest themselves into developing large-scale events deserve the staff's attention and assistance.
With lanzer's return, it's unclear whether administrators are still just as committed to user-run events as Zero implied they would be this time last year. The staff seems to be inconsistently feeding both narratives equally which is creating some tension in the feedback and community discussion forum.
While we are not entirely sure how staff will ultimately address this dilemma, we wanted to open up the discussion. Do you feel that staff are understaffed, overworked and user-run events shouldn't be a priority OR do you feel more administrative emphasis should be put into them?
We'd love to hear your feedback! You can tweet us @gaiansunited or be sure to like our page on Facebook and join in on the conversation in this post's comments section!