Saracen's Fez
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As I said when I was campaigning for Speaker, I am keen that the MHoC do a better job of attracting new people, both from the wider TSR community and potentially elsewhere on the internet.

To be more attractive to new joiners, especially people who stumble across this part of the site when looking through TSR, or who see a bill in the sidebar and pop in, some changes are almost certainly going to be made.

This thread is for discussing changes that can be made. I'm particularly keen for people who have joined recently (or chosen not to join) to comment their views on what is good and not good about the House, as well as from those of us who are nostalgic for the MHoC of years gone by.

Please try to keep discussion within this thread and on TSR where everyone can see it and take part.
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PetrosAC
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#2
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- Enhanced Recruitment (@ the CT - let us advertise on the front page, in D&CA. You can help improve this sub forum by showing it to more of your site users)

- Scrap the Voting Review (I don't want to be stressing about reminding MPs to vote - the game should be fun. Instead, I want to be encouraging people to get involved in some debates, without the stress of needing to keep track of voting)

- Bring back "The Big Debate" (Have a fortnightly debate and vote on a big, controversial and current topic and get the CT to advertise it on the front page and on the side bar. I remember the Euthanasia debate in particular featuring a lot of Non-MHoCers)

- Introduce Simulated Elections, with a TSR Constituency so we still have a vote onsite (This means we have the best of both worlds, if you think Simulated elections could be a positive. We can encourage parties to focus on legislation and commenting on legislation and reward this activity with more seats. Sorry to make this slightly partisan, but Labour struggled a lot last term with activity, up until the last month or so, and have continued to struggle this term - perhaps they shouldn't have as many seats as they do? We also continue to have the advertisement that normal general elections have with a TSR Constituency)

I'll probably add more to this later, but here's 4 for now
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Jacob E2
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#3
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There needs to be a reward for debating, whether that be a prize of extra seats, a few votes on a bill, or someone else, there needs to be an incentive to debate. At the moment, the incentive is to join off-site communication and do nothing. I would not go as far as Petros' simulation because that would lead to arguments about Speakers' bias when deciding what modifier value to attach, and a purely quantatative formula would be very easy to game, leading to parties doing what it takes to gain seats regardless of the quality of what they do.
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CatusStarbright
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#4
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I would like it if we could somehow persuade the CT to relax the recruitment rules.

I have often despaired at the thought of having to come up with a new legal recruitment strategy. I previously ran an AMA in an attempt to get more external members interested, but that did nothing in the way of recruitment. The rules are far too stringent and it's frankly unfair because it is my sincere belief that this House desperately needs new blood all round.

I also do not think that a relaxation of the rules would result in external members being constantly bombarded with MHoC stuff. I imagine it'd be one, two PMs at most, most likely. People can choose to ignore if they're not interested, it's a simple as that. If they are, then that's great. Heck I was recruited via a cold PM! I didn't know this place existed and that PM opened my eyes to this glorious little world.

Action must be taken. I've known this for ages, but been paralysed by the rules. Maybe it's also been some aversion to risk, I confess; the stripping of two of our seats in January due to an (innocent) breach of the recruitment rules made me wary.
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Saracen's Fez
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#5
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My slightly unusual change would be to increase to 60 seats and scrap the review – that way there would probably be enough seats to go round in the near future, and parties' ability to pass anything would depend upon their ability to keep their parliamentary party engaged. It would also give people the ability to come and go without the charade of by-elections.
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CatusStarbright
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#6
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(Original post by PetrosAC)
- Scrap the Voting Review (I don't want to be stressing about reminding MPs to vote - the game should be fun. Instead, I want to be encouraging people to get involved in some debates, without the stress of needing to keep track of voting)
I query that this would be of benefit. I think that instead of engaging in debate instead of voting, MPs would simply not bother to look at all.
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Saracen's Fez
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#7
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What are people's thoughts on Brexit as a big debate topic? Obviously with Parliament in recess for the summer there aren't so many topical issues from week to week, so even though the GD prevents Brexit from e.g. being cancelled, it's possibly still the best topic.

As I say, I'll have a chat to the CT and TeeEff about what promotion might be doable surrounding that.
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
What are people's thoughts on Brexit as a big debate topic? Obviously with Parliament in recess for the summer there aren't so many topical issues from week to week, so even though the GD prevents Brexit from e.g. being cancelled, it's possibly still the best topic.

As I say, I'll have a chat to the CT and TeeEff about what promotion might be doable surrounding that.
Could be a good idea. There's a lot of discussion around what Brexit should and will look like and it's a complex, controversial topic.
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Jacob E2
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
What are people's thoughts on Brexit as a big debate topic? Obviously with Parliament in recess for the summer there aren't so many topical issues from week to week, so even though the GD prevents Brexit from e.g. being cancelled, it's possibly still the best topic.

As I say, I'll have a chat to the CT and TeeEff about what promotion might be doable surrounding that.
I like, Brexit, you like Brexit, MHoC likes Brexit. I am not sure if it is the best topic because Brexit hangover seems to be a thing. There is a thread on TSR relating to anything Brexit you can think of: Brexit has been overdone. I do agree with big debates, however. Maybe education policy excluding tuition fees or NHS restructuring. Something open to all but still unique.
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by Jacob E2)
I like, Brexit, you like Brexit, MHoC likes Brexit. I am not sure if it is the best topic because Brexit hangover seems to be a thing. There is a thread on TSR relating to anything Brexit you can think of: Brexit has been overdone. I do agree with big debates, however.
What do you suggest instead?
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Jacob E2
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#11
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
What do you suggest instead?
Maybe education policy excluding tuition fees, NHS restructuring, abortion or benefits. Something open to all but still unique. Alternatively, the politics could be dropped to focus on activity. If participation of new people is desired, the threads attracting most activity are about sex and sexual acts, this is consistent with common topics off-site.
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Saracen's Fez
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#12
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(Original post by Jacob E2)
Maybe education policy excluding tuition fees, NHS restructuring, abortion or benefits. Something open to all but still unique. Alternatively, the politics could be dropped to focus on activity. If participation of new people is desired, the threads attracting most activity are about sex and sexual acts, this is consistent with common topics off-site.
I don't think we'll be having a big debate on sex and sexual acts... :rolleyes:
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Jacob E2
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
I don't think we'll be having a big debate on sex and sexual acts... :rolleyes:
Debating slut shaming in society is a popular topic. It is a hotly contested thing in Student Unions across the country, it is even popular on TSR. In fact, it is propbably the most popular topic given how many forms it manifests in.
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Rakas21
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#14
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I agree that the success of the Mhoc requires the prohibition on cold recruitment to go.

I agree with holding period debates.

I am somewhat sympathetic to forcing larger seat by-elections to provide a bonus to parties doing well (though limit the by-elections to two per term).

I believe that we should hold a competition each month in which we track sub-forum post count, this competition will assist in driving some activity back onsite.

..

I oppose the abolition of the voting review. The point about priorities is far but misguided as evidenced by the amount of time most members spend off-site (they could be using that time more wisely).

I oppose simulating elections because i feel they dillute the will of the electorate albeit they do better reward internal activity. I also feel it would make the Mhoc on here too much like Reddit (we need to be different to thrive).

I oppose increasing to 60 seats. I see the logic but even before the drop-off i think that history has shown that 50 was a nice number for the Mhoc given our peaks and troughs.
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EagleKingdom
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#15
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I understand that this is an improvements thread for the MHoC but I think this should be said, on how TSR can improve itself for the better.

The loading time for TSR is beyond long and annoying. It takes at least two minutes or more for a page to fully load and function. It takes more time than it should to look through new posts and to post my replies. It honesty, it does put me off debating because of how long it takes to get through new threads. Another issue is the tool bar not appearing every time and the spoilers being buggy and not opening up when they are clicked on the first time.
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TeeEff
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#16
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This won't be a post to answer everyone's suggestions, this is more of a post to keep you guys informed of what my general PoV has been in the last six months.

I'm going to pre-face my post with two things:

1) I'm well aware it can seem like there's not much being done to improve the game, that it's been abandoned etc. I can reassure you this is not the case, if anything behind the scenes there is more being done to fix things and explore new ideas than ever before. Heck, whilst I'm technically an ST for both the Study Help and D&CA sub-sections, my SLs can attest to the fact that I've devoted almost the entirety of the last three months to trying to improve this place and keep it running, arguably to the detriment of my other responsibilities.

Often, it seems to me that there is a high level of miscommunication between the CT and the MHoC community and in no place does this seem more prevalent than the notion that nothing is being done.

This is most likely down to my lack of communication to keep you guys informed and for that I can only apologise. I'll see that at the minimum, a monthly communique is done by me to shed more light on things that are going on.

2) I think we can all recognise that those of us who use TSR primarily for MHoC are more close-knit as an MHoC community than as a wider TSR community. This is a simple effect from keeping the number of people we talk and discuss things with close and is one of the main reasons that MHoC is idiosyncratic, sub-forum wise, and is something everyone here has to keep in mind.




The general framework I've operated on with regards to improving the MHoC is that there are two things to address:

1) Technical issues that continue to impact user experience - this is TSRG/Developer focused and is important for keeping existing members here

2) Continued issues with antagonistic behaviour and general poor conduct in parts of the MHoC Community - this is Community focused and is important for both keeping existing members here AND attracting new members as well

In my view, both of these can only be addressed hand in hand, where one cannot be focused on at the expense of the other if either is to work at all.

Now to address each in detail,

It's my view that at present, I'm more able to handle and deal with technical issues. This is due to the role spec of an ST (where I don't deal with moderation) thus as a consequence, my role has generally evolved into one where I'm a conduit between you guys and the CT. I am more privy to what's going on at TSRG and therefore have more knowledge of whether technical fixes and suggestions are feasible or not.

Tech is clearly a critical aspect of MHoC. We obviously use more in terms of resources than any other sub-forum on the site (Heavy UG usage, Daily multi-user PMs, Heavy sub-forum usage, Wiki usage etc.) and combined with more issues seemingly popping up in the last year, this has been what I generally have put more effort in recently. After all, if the user experience of a game is bad there is intuitively less enthusiasm and excitement for it.

In my opinion, there's a lot of potential over the next few months to get things sorted. The CT know the list of things I've sent them, parts of which have been stuff you guys have talked to me about when I asked. There's a continuing conversation to see what can be done and how quickly so all I ask is that you trust us that we're persistently working to improve the experience from the technical side.

As for the MHoC community itself,

This is the area I have least influence simply due to the fact you're all individuals. It's not my role nor my place to boss you around and say you have to behave a certain way, to have a certain set of beliefs etc. Whatever change that emerges can only come from collective individual decisions.

Nevertheless, I think it's important to point out that whilst we as a community are more close and thus more tolerant of each other's remarks, our actions in the game etc. that it often doesn't reflect well for people looking at this place and pondering as to whether they want to join.

We've seen no shortage of people from outside the game wandering in to comment about how this place is a joke to them. Bills about having sex with animals, proposing a National Action party etc. will force people away and no amount of promotion can help that. There's nothing inherently wrong with discussing controversial topics if it's done in the right context, yet it's unfortunate that the context is often to score a personal point than to have a frank and intellectual discussion about it.

Further, the airing of personal grievances between members and general bickering that forces people out from the community does not remotely make it easy for people to decide to try this place. This is a game in the end but when things are taken personally, it stops being fun for anyone and pushes people away.

It hurts me when the first reaction of users when I bring up the MHoC is one of disgust/fear - partly out of a lack of understanding of the intrinsics, but primarily out of a distaste for what they see in the behaviour here.

I know this place, whilst often bringing out the worst in people, is capable of bringing out the best too. I wouldn't be going into my third year of STing this place if I didn't feel this place had given me something that I should give back to. I wouldn't be up at 2am writing this leviathan of an essay with a 5am alarm clock to wake up for if I didn't believe in this place.

All I ask is that we look at ourselves as well to see what we can do to improve this place. Finding loopholes and the 'thrill' of winning is something that will be part of any political sim but this can't come at the loss of intellectualism and basic dignity. You can ask what the community can do for you – but also ask what you can do for your community. There is plenty to be done.




Now to conclude,

Both the CT and the community needs to show a level of pragmatism about this place. There are issues with the site that the CT, SLs and I need to deal with to make this place better for you guys. A greater degree of transparency is needed to ensure you know you're being listened to. Equally, it is my hope that there's a change in attitude from a 'win-at-all-costs' aggressive mentality back to the intellectually stimulating discussions of old.

To give an example, more needs to be done to acknowledge the convenience of instant-chat functionality. I want to see a shout-box of some sort trialled for the main MHoC sub-forum (and possibly the party ones as well), but under CT moderation oversight that I know some here dislike. This is a matter of each side trusting the other to do the right thing.

Only when we all make an effort are we likely to improve the MHoC.
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TeeEff
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#17
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Now onto what you guys have suggested,

(Original post by PetrosAC)
- Enhanced Recruitment (@ the CT - let us advertise on the front page, in D&CA. You can help improve this sub forum by showing it to more of your site users)

...

- Bring back "The Big Debate" (Have a fortnightly debate and vote on a big, controversial and current topic and get the CT to advertise it on the front page and on the side bar. I remember the Euthanasia debate in particular featuring a lot of Non-MHoCers)

- Introduce Simulated Elections, with a TSR Constituency so we still have a vote onsite (This means we have the best of both worlds, if you think Simulated elections could be a positive. We can encourage parties to focus on legislation and commenting on legislation and reward this activity with more seats. Sorry to make this slightly partisan, but Labour struggled a lot last term with activity, up until the last month or so, and have continued to struggle this term - perhaps they shouldn't have as many seats as they do? We also continue to have the advertisement that normal general elections have with a TSR Constituency)
The main form of enhanced recruitment left that hasn't been done recently is mass-PM during General Elections. The MHoC is listed on the main D&CA sub-forum list despite it technically being a deputy of UK Politics. Further, there have been stickied threads advertising the MHoC in both N&CA and UK Politics for several months, the N&CA one was only recently destickied afaik. I'm not convinced that D&CA-focused promotion is lacking at all.

Big Debate - I'm very open to this. This used to be something that would also come into play for the other D&CA subs but given that there hasn't been any done recently to my knowledge, reintroducing it in the MHoC should imo be on the cards.

Simulated Elections - Down to the house on this but in my opinion, it cheapens the General Election (I base this on the assumption that the factors are basic randomisation and not affected by several different term-time parameters). When there is no actual need to convince someone to vote, there is little incentive to put much effort into it.

(Original post by CatusStarbright)
I would like it if we could somehow persuade the CT to relax the recruitment rules.

I have often despaired at the thought of having to come up with a new legal recruitment strategy. I previously ran an AMA in an attempt to get more external members interested, but that did nothing in the way of recruitment. The rules are far too stringent and it's frankly unfair because it is my sincere belief that this House desperately needs new blood all round.

I also do not think that a relaxation of the rules would result in external members being constantly bombarded with MHoC stuff. I imagine it'd be one, two PMs at most, most likely. People can choose to ignore if they're not interested, it's a simple as that. If they are, then that's great. Heck I was recruited via a cold PM! I didn't know this place existed and that PM opened my eyes to this glorious little world.

Action must be taken. I've known this for ages, but been paralysed by the rules. Maybe it's also been some aversion to risk, I confess; the stripping of two of our seats in January due to an (innocent) breach of the recruitment rules made me wary.
This is an area that I think has been one where miscommunication has been an issue. The guidelines say that you just need to ask the ST allocated to the place you want to post a promotion in before you put one there, something that I don't think is unreasonable. Nevertheless I acknowledge that a punishment for breaching the rules is always going to lead to risk aversion. I'll work on making this aspect of the guidelines more clearer and seek to relax both the limits and the likely sanctions for any inadvertent mis-steps.

(Original post by EagleKingdom)
I understand that this is an improvements thread for the MHoC but I think this should be said, on how TSR can improve itself for the better.

The loading time for TSR is beyond long and annoying. It takes at least two minutes or more for a page to fully load and function. It takes more time than it should to look through new posts and to post my replies. It honesty, it does put me off debating because of how long it takes to get through new threads. Another issue is the tool bar not appearing every time and the spoilers being buggy and not opening up when they are clicked on the first time.
As addressed above, this is one of the key areas I want to focus on. It's important to acknowledge that TSR as a whole is one of the largest forums in the world. There are millions of users and threads but it's not a custom forum stack. When you throw a plethora of site customisations on top of super-high scale, any vanilla forum software is going to struggle to handle it.

That's not an excuse though. It's a clear pain point for user experience and something I'm working on with the CT to improve on. I assure you I'm trying to do whatever I can here.
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EagleKingdom
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#18
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(Original post by TeeEff)
As addressed above, this is one of the key areas I want to focus on. It's important to acknowledge that TSR as a whole is one of the largest forums in the world. There are millions of users and threads but it's not a custom forum stack. When you throw a plethora of site customisations on top of super-high scale, any vanilla forum software is going to struggle to handle it.

That's not an excuse though. It's a clear pain point for user experience and something I'm working on with the CT to improve on. I assure you I'm trying to do whatever I can here.
Thank you.
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Connor27
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#19
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A few things would sort this place out:

- Lift the ban on cold recruitment PMs, people who complain about cold PMs need to stop being jobsworths for once in their lives and grow up, you’re always going to get “spam” (it’s not really) mail/emails in life so your TSR account should reflect this, not be protected from it.

- Introduce simulated elections with modifiers based on legislative output and debating in the main forum being crucial, although the current general election model is good, it doesn’t really incentivise people to debate and encourages great activity every 6 months and dead periods in between, under the simulated model, the general election would be a culmination of the 6 months’ work from all parties and would be a genuinely exciting affair, where the Speakership team would reveal the hitherto classified modifier scores and the seats for each party.

- Lower the seat number to 40 to ease the stress on parties to find arbitrary voting robots and worry about voting reviews; this allows leadership teams to actively encourage debate amongst their members more without being too sharp of a cut in seats.
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Saracen's Fez
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#20
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(Original post by Connor27)
- Lower the seat number to 40 to ease the stress on parties to find arbitrary voting robots and worry about voting reviews; this allows leadership teams to actively encourage debate amongst their members more without being too sharp of a cut in seats.
This is something I'd be much more keen on if we had better ways to engage non-MPs and keep people who express an interest but cannot get into a seat within the game. It seems to be accepted by a lot of people that to take part in the MHoC, you need to be an MP (which perhaps makes logical sense to a new member as well, because to take part in the RL HoC you do).

Only if we can do that is a reduction in seat numbers sensible IMO.
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