RUL Friday Update: Reflecting on the Past (Part Two)

So, now it’s my turn to reflect upon the past. And it’s my turn to talk about some terrific community updates.  I know it is not Friday, but that’s not what’s important.  What is important is that you sit back and enjoy this (fairly lengthy) post.  You may even want to get a cup of coffee and a snack. Not cake though. That would be a lie.

… Four years.  I cannot believe it has been four years since I signed up on Ready Up Live. In retrospect it may not seem like a very long amount of time, but I’ll tell you what, these past four years on this site have been some of the best of my life.

A lot of things have changed here since May of 2010, many of which Rebel discussed in his reflection post.  And even though Rebel and myself signed up just around the same time, there are definitely still some things that I would like to reflect upon and some various community aspects that I’d like to discuss.  But, let’s start with that sentimental trip down memory lane first.

My first memory of RUL was when Greenskull released his Halo: Reach Beta Randomtage.  I actually had met a few people who were members of the site just before that and they convinced me to sign up, so I did.  And boy am I glad.  That first week of being a member I was welcomed with open arms, which I’m sure had nothing to do with the fact that I was the first active female on the site. Right?  But anyways, that first week I got the chance to play with Green and SourNotHardcore, who was the Community Manager at the time, and lots of other fellow RUL members.   During that time I would frequently be seen talking in the chatbox, even if I was supposed to be paying attention in my college classes. Whoops! I was totally addicted to the site, in the best way possible.

I had always felt odd among my group of friends at home because no one understood my love or passion for gaming, and I was still very much in a phase where I was trying to understand it myself.  I had always loved video games, but it wasn’t until I got Xbox Live that I realized just how much I loved them.  It was great to talk with and interact with so many friendly people that had the same interests and never once looked down upon me for how I chose to spend my free time with games.  Ready Up Live became my home away from home on the Internet. It was a safe haven where I could freely talk about my passions and meet other people just like me.

Within a few months of being an active member and helping during game nights, I was asked by Green and Sour to become their Events Coordinator; it was a position that was very short-lived, but for a good reason.  In October of 2010, Sour decided to change his role on RUL, and I was given a promotion to Community Manager.  I remember my shock and excitement when I found out and I couldn’t believe they were giving me that opportunity, which is something I still cherish and love to this day. All of you at Ready Up Live are the reason that I enjoy my job so much.

Even though things around RUL have changed over the years, one thing has always managed to stay the same, and that’s our friendly community.  As Rebel said, staff members have come and gone over time, but I know for a fact that our site would not be where it is today if it wasn’t for the contribution from every single one of our staff members, both past and present.  With our current staff, I am amazed each and every single day by not only their unique talents, but also their dedication.  It makes me happy to know I am surrounded by such caring people that are always working hard to make RUL the best it can possibly be.

 

Now, it’s only fitting that I talk about my own personal posse within the staff.  For almost three years I handled just about every aspect of community engagement on my own.  As RUL grew it became more and more apparent that it was time to shift things around in the staff and create designated groups that would work with a head staff member, so naturally we created a section for Community Staff.  Anthrax happened to be the first one to work with me and it helped us to realize just how important it was to have more people to help with frequent community engagement and events. Last summer we brought Velocity onto the Community team, and following that, Rez moved positions to work with us as well.  Looking back, I don’t even know how I managed to do everything without them.  I know I may be a little sentimental, but I really am so proud of the work they have done and it has been a pleasure to have a team to work with to make sure that your experience on RUL is the best possible.

Out of all the years with RUL, this past year has been the most crazy, awesome, and exciting rollercoaster and mainly because I finally got to meet in person so many of the wonderful people from here at PAX Prime.  As many of you know, I also had the opportunity to be a guest speaker on a Community Management panel at PAX, which was my first time with public speaking. Yes, I know I’m a teacher and I do that kind of stuff every day, but this was different.  And although I was nervous, I was excited and it was an amazing experience.  I remember right before the panel started, I walked out of the room and found all the staff members waiting in line to get in.  They immediately formed a circle around me and gave me the biggest group hug I’ve ever experienced in my life.  The love and support I felt from them was overwhelming and affirmed something I’ve always known— that Ready Up Live really is comprised of the most terrific people I’ve ever met.

I know, I know, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Riot this is a great trip down memory lane, but where are you going with this?”  Well, my point is that this community is what helped to shape who I am today.  And I can only hope that RUL manages to impact other’s lives the same way it has mine.  Each and every single one of you are a positive contribution to this community and I love that we have maintained a place that not only celebrates diversity, but embraces so many different passions that each of us has.  I hope RUL always has a special place in each of your hearts, as it does in mine. And I hope you all love knowing you have a home on the Internet that accepts you for who you are.

 

Alright, now that I’ve got all that emotional stuff out of the way, it’s time to talk about the present and other community awesomeness that is and will be happening.  As you all know, we started up the weekly game nights several weeks ago.  And even though I have not had the chance to make it to all of them yet, I have consistently been told how amazing and successful they are. This is terrific news and I hope you all have been enjoying them!  If you haven’t had a chance to make one yet, definitely try to because you will have a great time, I promise.

And speaking of game nights, now that Summer is fast-approaching I have an idea up my sleeve for a super fun RUL Night where your skills may or may not be put to the test against the staff.  And this may or may not involve winning prizes.  As details and plans get worked out, you will definitely hear more information. But, just know, epicness is in the works.

When it comes to community engagement, we try as best as possible to help the members get to know the staff.  We want you to feel like you can come to us with questions, or even just simply to say hello.  As a means to better help you all get to know us, we’ve decided to start something in the near future called “Ask Me Anything.”  Yes, this will be similar to what happens on Reddit.  It has not been decided how frequently they will happen or when they will start, but we will have threads with AMA’s where you can get to know a staff member and ask them [appropriate] questions.  So, start getting your questions ready from now!

Another community aspect of RUL is with our Social Media.  We are working very hard to create an even better and more interactive experience for everyone who follows us on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.  Thanks to our team here, we have been showing significant improvement on the social media front and we thank all of you who frequently respond or reply to the Ready Up Live accounts, because we love hearing your feedback and responses to what we post!  If you ever feel like writing to us on Facebook or Twitter, go for it! You may be pleasantly surprised with the kind of responses you get.

As many of you have noticed, our chatbox just got 500% more awesome thanks to Rebel and Drax who implemented new emotes yesterday.  Some are practical, but most are completely ridiculous in the greatest way possible. We hope you all enjoy them!  And we promise this won’t be the last time we add awesome stuff to make chatting in the chatbox even more fun than it already is.

 

Phew, that was a lot of typing. But, I hope you enjoyed reading about my journey with RUL. And I hope you are just as excited as I am about the future and upcoming Community projects that will be taking place.  I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for making this an amazing four years and for continuing to make Ready Up Live the friendliest place on the Internet.