New Member Buddy System

23rd January 2016

I feel I am very approachable. I’m a friendly guy, willing to help whoever I can. But I am also the guy who runs the site and often people apologize for contacting me and “asking stupid” questions etc. That makes me feel bad. Contrary to popular belief, there are actually stupid questions, but it’s better to ask them than stay ignorant.

It seems that new members feel that shouldn’t bother me or interrupt me if I am on Steam Friend and the opposite is true. I love to hear from and chat with RTSL members – at the right time of course, but if I am on Steam Friends then that’s fine.

It occurred to me recently that plenty of other members help other members if they see a question or comment before I do. Often this is due to timezone issues but other times it’s because I am doing other things.

The site has got quite a few new members recently, but unless they make an approved comment with 3 days of joining their membership is deleted. This is to stop spammers and keep the database lean and mean. In addition, there’s no reason to be a member unless you want to sue the recommendation system, so at some point members will HAVE to have a comment approved.

So I would like to propose the following idea for your consideration.

I will ask for volunteers from existing members to become a new member buddy. This means allocated new members will be given their email address and encouraged to contact them with doubts or questions about the site.

When a new member joins and after they make their first approved comment, they will be allocated to a volunteer member for up to 6 months. During that time they will be encouraged to contact them with doubts or questions about the site.

The thinking behind is it that new members will feel more comfortable contacting other members than me.

A volunteer can have up to, say, 5 new members at one time.

I don’t expect new members will contact their “buddy” very often but even one or two emails that might not get sent would be good. Anything to help ease the transition from lurker to commenting member.

Of course, you could argue that a forum would be the solution and you might be right but I feel this goes deeper.

I don’t have any particular rewards in mind for the volunteer buddies but I would hope they could benefit somehow.

Please let me have your thoughts and we can decide together.

If you are curious, the featured image is The Astronomer by Johannes Vermeer.


  1. Zekiran

    I think this is a lovely idea. I personally don’t know much about code or whatever – but I do help out on the Steam forums where I can do tech help to run games or mods, and I enjoy searching for information that people seem unable to find. Definitely count me in if you feel I’m up to it. 🙂

    1. It was mostly you who inspired me when thinking about this. You are perfect for it. Consider yourself “Head Buddy”, if that doesn’t sound too weird.

      1. Zekiran

        heeeee 😀

        That’s fine, I enjoy helping, and being a tour guide.

        Speaking of: in the dropdown lists above? Can we get Gauge’s page linked directly in the Play list? Because I was a bit baffled that it didn’t appear with a link straight up there, where as the image bar and just below the images it does. I know it would seem redundant, but … same reason why I’d commented to the one person recently, how can someone have been on the site that long and not know what Maptap is? O__o

  2. good idea phillip … didnt you consider this a while ago ? … i also posted a idea on the “like” function but you have to be careful you dont turn a excellent site into a social networking site which would be bad
    you are a great guy .. after using PP and RTSL for many years ive discovered that,however many people can take some replies and messages the wrong way .. talking online takes away the personal touch of chatting and some messages can be taken the wrong way
    take care mate

  3. Hey there!, I make my account some days ago and i will like some help, Specially in the reviews.


    (English is not my native language)

    1. Don’t worry about your English. What help would you like?

      1. Sorry for answering late, I wasn’t home.

        I like making review, But i’m kind of bad at making them, So i will like someBuddy (Bad pun is bad) to give me feedback about them.

        Beside that, Knowing more people that like Half life is always good, cause none of my friends play this masterpiece (They are a bunch of casuals).

  4. Personally, to be honest, I think it’s a great idea on paper but really hard to execute. I certainly understand wanting lurkers to become regulars and, to be even more honest, I have no better ideas on how to accomplish that. However, I’m not sure every new member will want to be held by the hand by a regular. Maybe letting the Introduction thread be also a help/support system would work better for that purpose, rather than having a buddy.

    There’s also a possible matter of privacy. A lot of people give up e-mails while registering but treat it as a very confidential factor or use it for more important reasons as well, they might get upset if the address is handed to a random stranger who’s going to e-mail them about one site they registered to. I think if there was some sort of private messaging system on RTSL, it would work a lot better for the same purpose, as well as add a means of members to communicate with each other privately on a regular basis, inspiring a tighter community.

  5. “there’s no reason to be a member unless you want to sue the recommendation system”

    Sorry, but this might be one of the more hilarious typos I’ve seen in quite a while. I might be guilty of not contributing enough feedback in the recommendation system though…

    I do think that giving out people’s emails isn’t what most people who sign up for an account will want though. I agree with Mythos in his way of handling this idea would probably be a better way of handling things, but then again, how many people are going to register and then not sign into their account again, so you end up with the same problem.

Leave a Reply

Comment Formatting Guide

Well formatted comments are much easier to read. Please copy and paste the HTML Tags to use in your comment

  • HEADER: <div class="fix"></div><div class="sbe3">TEXT HERE</div>
  • BOLD: <strong>TEXT HERE</strong>
  • ITALIC: <em>TEXT HERE</em>
  • SPOILER: <span class="spoiler">TEXT HERE</span>