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Times note read by staff count
A kind of indirect feedback and assurance

This is a bit of a crazy idea but I figured I'd throw it out there anyways. Just in case.

I know staff reads notes. Staff assures us regularly that they read nodes. Regardless, writing notes can sometimes feel like shouting into the void due to the lack of any feed back in the vast majority of cases. It is a theme I've seen come up a few times. We know in our head that staff reads notes and are assured that it is happening but the lack of any signs that this has or is happening sometimes makes it hard for one to FEEL heard.

I think the current situation is understandable. I think there are a lot of good reasons we don't want staff commenting on every or even most notes. Many players and few staff means it's a lot of time and effort I think most players would prefer placed elsewhere. Sometimes commenting might ruin IC surprised. Worse, commenting might result in staff indirectly influencing the way a player plays their character.

But during townhall I had this idea of a way to provide a kind of indirect feedback to players.

Add a count to every note that gets incremented every time a staff member reads the note (aka the body of the note is displayed to a member of staff). This number is then displayed next to each note subject when a player does @notes and when a player views a specific note.

So say player Alpha leaves a note. The times read counter is now 0. They read their note. Still 0 - they aren't staff. GM Bravo sings in and the reads the note as they catch up. The times read count is now 1. Three hours later GM Charlie does the same. Times read count is now 2. Two months later a staff member reads the note because in impacts a puppet. Times read count is now 3 And so on.

I think that such a count would do a couple things.

First, it would assure players that they are being read. We all know it in our heads but here the game is SHOWING you. It's been read, Four times!

Next, if I see it's been read four times and I haven't been told I fucked up, then I can feel a bit more confident that my notes are acceptable.

Finally, it might give players an idea of what topics they note seem to be most relevant. If they look at their notes and one has been read 20 times and most 4 times, then that kind of note might have been one of value to staff.

As a bonus, it's possible that such data could be useful on the staff side. I can think of a few ways one might use it to gather possible insight.

Again, kind of a wild idea but I thought I'd just throw it out there.

Not so sure about this one. Maybe it would just be helpful for staff to explain how notes are available and searchable by staff instead? How they might encounter them the first time and then how they might be consulted later. Some examples maybe.

I think a read count could lead to overanalyzing or jumping to conclusions about admin action or inaction. You don't know why a certain note is being viewed and I think it would damage ic/ooc divide if they had to report to the player why they looked or something. Or why they -didn't- look.

Maybe read count would be useful for staff but player side I think it introduces potential complications and opportunities for more misunderstanding.

Not to hijack a thread, but I'd rather notes had a comment function. That way staff can ask for more details or let players know that they've read the note if it's important, or communicate about scheduling if pertinent to the note.
Much like posting bugs and bug comments, note commends would be great for delated comms on a note!
The thought had crossed my mind too! There isn't much to hijack here anyways. The idea is rough and mostly unformed. Could be that what I suggested is just the spark that leads to something that might be better!

This is a cool idea! We wouldn't want to make staff feel like they have to respond or comment on *every* note though.
All notes get read by every GM and they'll already XHELP to chat as required, all seems a bit functionally redundant to what's already in place doesn't it?
As I said before, we all know staff reads all notes and are reminded of this periodically. But it still comes up as player concern every so often. So I am no trying to fix a problem of staff reading notes or staff being able to talk to players about notes. Neither of those are problems that need fixing.

With this I was trying to look at ways to improve the player experience, both for new players who might not know these things yet and older players who just feel better with some kind of feedback or confirmation. The fact that staff feels the need to remind us that they do read notes as often as they do suggests to me that there might be room for improvement here.

So my counter idea was just a way for players to get a comforting acknowledgement that their notes are read without staff having to do anything extra on their end once it is in place.

The comments idea does provide functionality beyond responding to notes via xhelp. As I imagine it, it is something staff can do right after reading a note. Maybe just @note-respond and it opens the note and lets you add a comment to it. Further, xhelp requires the player to be online while a note comment wouldn't. Finally, I imagine that staff needs to copy and paste xhelp conversations into notes to document that it happened while a comment to a note is self noting.

Regardless, I am not saying any of this is NEEDED. Sindome's worked for for over 20 years without any of it. Still, I wanted to throw it out there in case there was interest in anything like this from the player or staff side.

I'd find it reassuring to have this. I don't make notes often, but if I'm being completely honest, every time I do make one I have doubts as to if it will ever be read, and I'm curious what any thoughts or responses to them might be. I know that they're supposed to be read, but still.
Notes are read by all of the staff, I don't know how many times they need to say this for people to have the reassurance they want. You should @note significant rp, plots, and plans for your character. It's how staff knows what's going on, and can play off your rp. A times read counter is just going to have people obsessing over that number, when that energy could be focused towards the to your @noting. Staff are already under a lot of work load, let's not give them the added stress of a counter for our notes. It's an avenue for people to harass staff about their notes being read or not.