I haven't been part of the community for too long, but I am still surprised to hear that the sponsor chat has had a lot of negative vibes. Maybe it is something that happened in the past, but I've heard people say they are intimidated to contribute and be part of the chat group, and I normally only see regular faces as part of the group. I know that, from the outside, a sponsor only chat can appear very clique-ish, and it can be intimidating to join a community already well established. However, I think with a few key guidelines, anyone can become a regular member in the part of an established community chat group.
So, based on my experiences in the past month and a half, I have compiled a list of some of the Dos and Don'ts for surviving the Sponsor's Chat (or any chat room you wish to frequent):
Do be comfortable contributing to the conversation. It is important to put yourself out there and talk! It may be overlooked the first few times, especially if a chat room is moving quickly, but the more you make comments and contribute to the conversation, the more that the regulars will take note and respond back.
Do start your own conversation. Sometimes there is a conversation going on that you just don't feel like contributing to. Don't hide behind the lurker list - start a new conversation! Ask a question, or share something newsworthy that you want to talk about. Odds are, someone else may also be thinking and willing to join in with what you want to discuss!
Do make sure that you come back frequently and stick around outside of scheduled events. Don't just stop by for the weekly embedded stream and run away when it's over. We like seeing people coming back and chatting during random times, it shows us you are trying to establish yourself as the group. Make sure you come around whenever you can and stick around, it helps us get to know you, and it helps you get to know us!
Do follow the generally accepted code of conduct for chat/forums. This means making sure you are posting appropriate content, making sure you are not spamming or swearing excessively, harassing others or making other uncomfortable. In general, make sure you aren't a dick, and you will get along just fine. It takes time to feel out a chat, so be RESPECTFUL of everyone, and you will do just fine! Once you've established a chat, than you can start trolling your new-found friends!
Do not pick fights! I think this is very important. There is a HUGE difference between discussion and argument, and it's just not worth it. It is easy to hide behind a screen name and harass/yell at people, but it's not worth it. You are welcome to share your opinion, but be willing to listen to others as well. If you can't listen to what others have to say, than take your opinion somewhere else. Some key things not to discuss in a group chat: Religion, Politics, War, and anything that may cause others to get angry or you to get angry. You can always make your own chat for a specific controversial topic! (thanks MatchWinner for this fanatic guideline suggestion!)
Do not harass mods/staff members in any way or form. Yes, we get that certain chat groups are lucky enough to see C&C, but there is a reason for that. The C&C are in the chat because they want to have fun, not because they want to be harassed for job opportunities or asked why/who they are dating. Remember, the mods and C&C are humans, they are game fans, and they like to talk and have fun. Treat them like anyone else, with respect, and they will stick around and talk with you - ask them why they are dating someone, or if you can get a job at RT, and they will run away screaming and you will have a very aggravated group of chat members blaming you for your actions.
Do not get frustrated and throw a fit if you are ignored. Because odds are, you aren't intentionally being ignored. If you are new and post 'Hey Chat', don't be upset if no one responds. Engage yourself with the discussion, ask questions and join conversations...don't huff and puff and run away if you are missed. The more you post, the more we will see you - just don't spam...that's a one way ticket to being kicked from the group.
On that note - DO NOT SPAM. I can't stress this enough - don't harass the chat with 20 posts on after another, don't use all caps, don't use obnoxious colors, don't cover the chat with image after image. In general, don't be annoying for not purpose. If we are having a conversation as a joke, sure you can post images, but if you pop in just to spam, don't waste your time. We have active mods for a reason, and we are trying to have a discussion. There are better ways to get the attention of the group.
Do Not stick around if you aren't comfortable. I think this is the most important rule of them all - if you aren't comfortable in a chat room, don't stay! This doesn't mean don't try - you should always try. But if the chat room doesn't reflect the values you support or isn't giving you what you need, don't stick around and torture yourself. Find another chat, or better yet, try and create your own! Certain rooms aren't for everyone, and it's okay if you don't fit in. That's the beauty of the group system here at RT - you can always make your own and work hard to get others who support and love the same things that you do!
Do you have any other suggestions for surviving a chat? Please reply with them below!