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Interesting ideas that should be taken into account.
There are several problems nonetheless, for example we don't know how many Advocates does Niantic have in mind, that would define the communities that could pick their own advocate (one for each country? that would be nice for Europe but terrible for USA, one for L4 cell? a huge mix of language in Europe, etc..)
There are too many players with too many accounts in Pokemon go, so if a group of abusers want to select one of theirs as the advocate, one account one vote would mean that they would have an unfair advantage over a person that uses only one account and the people that vote for him also use only one account. I wouldn't be surprised at all that such persons wouldn't try to take a role like this in order to further abuse the system from the inside out.
So at least it would require some double filter: people nominate themselves, Niantic picks a pre-selection looking at their activity in all the Niantic's games (including wayspots that they have nominated as well as their voting history) and then the community votes on them?
There is a little bit of a problem in your last paragraph: there are lots of problems concerning the coupling of Game accounts to a wayfarer account. So I'm two different wayfinders and I can't change this. So I'm not able to couple my Ingress and my PoGo Account to the same wayfarer account, since I had the following problem few years ago: there was a forced PoGo update, and after that update the phone didnt automatically log into my account, that was at that time only accessible by PTC. So the app forced my to create an PoGo Acc on my googlemail, then log out and log again into my PTC account. So when wayfarer was released I tried to bring my account to the same googlemail using my facebook acc and linking and unlinking and so on. The bproblem there: If I (un)link my Ingress Acc from any login method, than this action also happens to the accidentially created PoGo account ....
So .... if you want to look at the Ingame activity, than my Ingress activity is below average and the connected PoGo Acc hasnt even chosen a team, although my real PoGo Acc is level 50 ....
Anything that has to do with voting seems to me like recipe for disaster - multiaccounting galore. The Advocate position must already be tempting to any abuser out there.
That being said, I think it's a given that Niantic should preform "background checks" on any candidate as thoroughly as possible, as well as personal interviews.
I will be answering off my experiences from Wayfarer RE:PoGo.
Firstly, I have no experience in regards to the system and dynamics of the ingress models that you had aforementioned.
Secondly, I believe many of players are similar to myself in regards to the above and feels unable to make the comparison to provide an answer.
What would make you want to apply to be a Community Advocate?
What type of expectations do you, a forum member, have for the Community Advocates?
What type of potential Perks what do you expect as a part of a Community Advocate program?
Again, @NianticCasey-ING , I am responding solely based off my experiences RE:PoGo. Though I understand that the system encompasses both games, there should be some amount of distinction, and it shouldn’t be a revamp of the previous system that was in place. But a system that’s for players who weren’t influenced by the prior.
If the position is for a Community Advocate for Wayfarer, I would expect that person to know all the games that use the Wayfarer database, so they understand the issues that exist in each one.
I'm not talking about being top level in each one, but the person should have spent some time playing each game, otherwise they wouldn't know what to reply when a player from another game states something. Probably half max-level for each game is enough, so level 8 in Ingress, level 25 in Pokémon Go and level 30 in HPWU, something that anyone really interested in Niantic's game can achieve easily and that would provide them with a broader view of Wayfarer.
A person that has just reached the minimum level in Ingress or PGO to nominate won't have the same experience as someone that has been nominating and reviewing for months/years.
There is a balancing act to it though. For CAs, you'd want to have a good spread of people based on their "primary" game. I know a lot of PoGO players who have gotten and played a lot of Ingress (I'm one of them!), but still mostly play PoGO, but I've probably met less than 5 people who were invested in Ingress and then played PoGO and continued to afterwards. So if you try to gather players with certain requirements for each game, you might end up with most of the CAs who know the same one game really well, but the other games not so much. But making sure the CAs have familiarity with all the games is a good idea.
Yes, I'm talking only about some minimal knowledge about the games.
I expect that each person only plays one game, but they should help all the players no matter what game the other person prefers, so the CA should be aware of how that game works or we would end up with situations like some dialogs that people posted about issues raised with support and it seemed that the support person never played pogo even for one minute.
I would also expect a CA to be someone who is already an active participant in the Community Forums, whether it is in vetting appeals, giving guidance to criteria questions, and/or suggesting how to improve nominations (including being truthful when a nomination doesn't meet criteria).
Yeah, we wouldn't want someone telling people confederate statues are A-Okay
Many people might have been doing great jobs within their communities but they don't use the forums due to the lack of feedback from Niantic (or any other reason), so not allowing to take part in this new initiative doesn't sound good to me.
I agree, one of the biggest issues the reviewing community has is getting any new guidance changes out to the local communities, I feel it would be helpful if any community advocates had good local ties in their respective countries across various social media platforms so any important messages can get widely communicated.
The question about, how active wayfinders are backed up by the communities is very difficult. From my expierience its this way:
There may be big wayfarer communities in social media, where evrything is fine and hopefully well administrated, but only a small part of the persons you'll ever meet in real life.
In the local communities active wayfinders often get ambivalent feedback. There are the casual wayfinders, that ask you a lot of questions, and then there are lots of ignorant people, who see the active wayfinders as scapegoats for evrything and they resist any kind of explanation or advice. If wayfarer doesnt work in their favor, they blame the few active wayfinders, they might know, for evrything. Unfortunately these kind of persons is the majority ....
I’m usually a lurker and rarely post on this forum too. I’m carefully to watch this forum, I noticed only a part of Wayfinder comments here. But actually, there are many more Wayfinders than just the ones commenting here.
I agree “community advocates idea has to be implemented very carefully”. When I read other Wayfinder’s comments, some of them seem to have dictatorial thoughts, exclusive thoughts, assertive people, people who don't listen to others, people who don't communicate well, and people who don't understand Wayfarer's mission. Also, these people can be found outside of this forum such as Discord, Reddit, Twitter and other SNS. These are not suitable for community advocates.
When I watch other SNS, some of the wayfarer participants are having trouble. These include people who don't understand wayfarer itself, people who don't know how to use it (not only how to use Niantic wayfarer, but also internet), people who are at the mercy of others, and people who don't understand English well. In my opinion, community advocates should be the people who can bring all these opinions together and contact Niantic.
The ability to contribute to a more comprehensive criteria guide and to provide feedback on changes to the rating rubric would be my main motivation for applying to be an advocate. Wayfarer requires judgement and the ability to split hairs... the current criteria and piecemeal clarifications on multiple platforms and individual threads only causes confusion. I don’t come on this forum that often anymore because the discussion isn’t informative... it’s more flaming or people adding their two cents for the sake of it.
Also, a way to escalate particularly egregious cases of Wayfarer abuse would go a long way in rebuilding trust for experienced reviewers that want to contribute but are jaded. I consider myself in this category as someone who was a prolific reviewer but has been frustrated by abuse recidivism. I started playing Ingress to build pokestops for my community yet have been a local advocate for maintaining quality in Wayfarer submissions... it’s hard to keep going when you see abuse continue indefinitely.
Some form of responsiveness from Niantic so that our feedback is considered and heard. It shouldn’t just be a panel for the sake of saying it exists. Constructive discussion and feedback (even if it is critical but fair) should be welcome.
Advocates should have a track record of making meaningful contributions to Wayfarer both through submissions and reviews. If there was a way to assess what their contributions are to educating their local community, that should also be considered. Any panel should include players from all games that see the value of growing a high quality poi database that enhances the game experience for all.
Advocates should also be chosen for their ability to engage in respectful discussion. IMHO, this forum has become an outlet where the discussion on things that don’t fit into neat Wayfarer boxes becomes a tyranny of the prolific contributors. The constant noise generated by a few contributors across multiple platforms drowns out meaningful discussion. Advocates should be assessed on their ability to be judicious in their feedback, not the most prolific.
Wayfarer becomes complicated when things don’t fit into easy categories and have nothing about them that means automatic decline. I always based my reviewing decisions for these types of submissions on if something has a community gathering or recreation purpose, has historical or cultural significance in local terms, or is unique or quirky enough to catch my attention. Too many reviewers auto-decline without assessing the total value of a submission. If there is a path to getting Wayfarer back on track to this, I’m all for it.
What type of potential perks would you expect as a part of a Community Advocate program?
Quite honestly, I don’t care a lot about the perks other than maybe a flare on the forum to denote that a Community Advocate is responding with hopefully well-considered feedback. Or that there would maybe be a once a year small swag gift like a t-shirt —I’m not holding my breath on that but it would be a way to recognize that actual time and consideration goes into these initiatives. A badge in Ingress would be nice but I doubt that’s doable for Pogo.
I personally believe that reviewing should have been better rewarded long ago (ask me how many days of my life I have spent on OPR/Wayfarer) with XP, AP, or in-game items. I fear that would have created an even worse environment for auto-rejection.
I would just like Wayfarer to be less frustrating than it is now. I also hope this forum becomes a better place for actual discussion.
Finally came up with my response to the Community Advocates post.
Dinner with Hanke
I kid, I kid. There's already a lot of really great discussions above with points I passionately agree with and some I passionately disagree with, and we're into the "tl;dr" of the thread.
I think the big thing I want to make sure is really followed is that CAs, however implemented, may not "speak on Niantic's behalf" unless able to provide evidence of approval. There are already examples were moderators of other groups have said "per Niantic" or "from my private discussions with a Niantic employee" and then stated controversial opinion as Niantic fact.
Heck, I'd just take dinner. Doesn't have to be with anyone, just order me a pizza.
As others have mentioned, I'm not familiar with the Ingress Vanguard system, so I cannot make direct comparisons. However, here are my views:
Right now, I'm new to the community, so I wouldn't apply personally - not just yet, anyway. I think if I found myself able to contribute positively and actively to the community, and had built up a good experience of the dos and don'ts, I'd certainly like to use that wisdom to help guide and encourage others. Standing up for the integrity of the process and supporting others in making positive contributions would be my main motivation, over any potential rewards.
As I alluded to above, I would expect an advocate to have good knowledge and experience of the program, a familiarity with the community as a whole, and the time to be regularly active in the community, not just signing in and reading, but responding to and creating posts to help new and existing members with any issues, news or information regarding the community as a whole. It is crucial, as has been suggested above, that advocate selection demonstrates a diversity of users, including location and spoken languages, to help ensure all members can engage. I would also anticipate a professional, fair and completely non-judgmental and non-confrontational attitude - advocates should always be the pillars of, and role models for, their community and its standards.
Similar to others' suggestions, I think priority AMA questions, perhaps bonus upgrades, a boosted weighting to their reviews (where there may be conflicting decisions in certain cases), could certainly be considered. I believe an overall sense of recognition for their support and dedication in someway should be made. Perhaps they could be granted "tenure" of some kind (like a guaranteed positive rating, or a full pension and early retirement)? 🤓😉
As I said, I'm too new really to consider this position right now, but I do like the idea of an advocate program like this. Where I have partaken in, or indeed helped to establish, such programs in my real life in various educational and professional settings, I have found them to be very useful and successful in helping to build and nurture a community. Good luck with it. 👍️
Has any further thought now been put into this by the team?
NianticCasey-ING, April 23
(...) We are processing the lessons the Ingress team learned from the recent launch of the XM Ambassadors so we can build this program. Similar to the expansion of the support team, this was the first step in a possible launch of a similar program for Wayfarer.
Frankly, a big hurdle we still have to clear is our legal team's approval of such a program. I hear you on the benefits to such a program and the additional satisfaction/engagement it can offer to some of the most passionate Wayfarers. We're still working on it, but it is a bit further out.
1) What would make you want to apply to be a Community Advocate?
This is fairly straightforward, it would simply be the opportunity to offer a well meaning balanced level of support to the wider community, but perhaps with a specialism or specialist track, e.g. an advocate for the rural community.
2) What type of expectations do you, a forum member, have for the Community Advocates?
I think advocates should be fair and offer a well balanced perspective, and be familiar with the most up-to-date criteria and guidelines, with a good record of reviewing and communicating on the forum. Also I feel advocates should specialise in particular types of submissions such as rural vs urban. Finally, an advocate should have a limited amount of autonomy to decide the outcome of borderline submissions, with their overall ratings/performance able to be moderated directly by Niantic.
3) What type of potential perks would you expect as a part of a Community Advocate program?
The main perks could be:
I skipped this earlier. My answers are quite simple:
1) I would be motivated to apply for a community advocate role if I could have an impact on improving the Wayfarer system for both players and for Niantic.
2) My expectation for community advocates is that they will provide a stronger voice for Wayfarer reviewers and submitters. I would expect them to look for common themes and issues, aggregate the feedback, amplify the message to Niantic, and advocate for prioritization. I would hope that they would also provide a sounding board for Niantic on potential changes and improvements.
3) The main perq for me would be helping to drive systemic improvements to Wayfarer. I would be uncomfortable if community advocates received any "Wayfarer superpowers" or non-trivial personal benefits since I think that would lead to people applying for the wrong reasons. (I put T-shirts and other small swag in the trivial category.)
T-shirts! I like it, it does not confer game advantage but would still be a treasured token of appreciation. Maybe a character code for us Ingress folk because seriously I need to work on my collection. :)
Many people in my country are not good at English. In addition, due to cultural differences between the U.S. and other countries, it is difficult to convey detailed nuances, and there is a possibility that standards may not be conveyed correctly. I applied for this position because I hope I can be a bridge between the two countries.
Some people say that a POI has to be absolutely wonderful.
Others say that it is a game and needs a certain level of convenience. Of course, there is also the NIA's own view of wayspot.
I hope it will be a bridge not only between countries, but also between people, and between people and NIA.
We believe that people who have questions about wayfarer are basically dissatisfied in some way. So, I think you need to listen to them first and give them an appropriate answer to what they want.
Work closely with the Wayfarer team.
Select showcases in your area and comment on the candidates.
Then, trekking with the development team and other members.
Thank you niantic for understanding the problems that general public are facing. I believe it is a right step towards making Wayfarer a better place as it was during its launch for about 6 months or so, for both the niantic and the public if followed in right way. Following are my thoughts on the questions you have asked :-
Being able to understand the sentiment I would be easily able to communicate to the things that niantic wants without any obstruction while simultaneously understanding the problems that they face and communicating with the niantic directly for the same so that a clean message could be sent to both sides as general public wants much developments and same goes with niantic I believe on many issues, which aren't being able to get resolved with just forum as a platform.
The potential perk given should be ability to fast forward the progress of a right nomination or stop the wrong nomination right away from going further with the ability to send right messages to the submitters in both English and in local languages so they can improve their submissions and become a better submitters or reviewers. Also providing the ability to communicate to niantic for improving the review interface by giving suggestions as per the local community feedback for developing a better positive and right Wayfarer environment for both niantic and reviewers/submitters as it is supposed to be.
I expect a neutral and an exact niantic messenger whilst being able to communicate the problems that ground level communities are facing to niantic which would mitigate some or even lots of distress caused in the community being it towards the submitters or the receivers as after initial launch of the Wayfarer, it was working much more effective and efficiently but just within the 6 months around of its launch the problems started to crop up for both the submitters and the reviewers like wrong rejections or fake nominations which later likely caused distress and possible development of lack of knowledge or proper following of the things among the communities on the ground level. Lastly whomsoever you chose just make sure that they are more understanding and helpful for both niantic and general public.
Answer to 1st question and also answer to 2nd question is also same for me as my expectations are also same as I have from myself for the upcoming community advocate as well :- I want to make everyone follow the rules and regulations and would say to community to help everyone in right way with niantic mindset involved by my and niantic frequent communications and if anyone from community can't solve their problems then I'll let them talk to me, so that I'll provide them the solutions, I would also find solutions for the bugs and various community problems.
These are the same things I also expect from the upcoming community advocate as well so answers to 1st and 2nd question are same for me.
Answer to 3rd question :- The perk I want for the community advocate is if anyone from community faces a problem then he could talk to the niantic to resolve the problem regarding their nominations then it could also resolve the similar problems faced by the people sending nominations in the nearby area as they can also simultaneously get approved with the niantic approval.
I want some way to vet community advocates to ensure they are not buttheads. Not to be mean here, but a bunch of people on this forum seem to be power hungry buttheads, worried more about arbitrary rules enforcement than the reasons those rules are put in place. I don't want to be repped by anyone who is a butthead.
Honestly I don't interested with this, but
Where's @NianticCasey-ING ?
Hasn’t commented since June 16th. It is strange