Information Funneling

Discussion in 'General' started by Vismal, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. Ruke Unlimited

    Ruke Unlimited Senior Agent

    Actually, I think Santiak nailed it. It's clear that the forums need to be kept up to date with relevant information, however it's not always possible for the lead agent, when there is one, to be able to do that - for numerous reasons (in field, under timed pressure, etc...). In this case, I think it's important that the lead agent be the one to take command of the situation. Yesterday I was chosen to be the lead agent for reasons detailed above. Today when a second agent became necessary I found a good candidate for the position and chose him - no debate from the community. Should the situation arise again, the only thing I would likely change is that I would appoint someone who would be available to relay information to the forums from chat. However, that's not something that needs to be a group decision, it's something that should be appointed to somebody (or numerous somebodies) who will be capable of fulfilling the task.

    Another thing that I think everyone needs to keep in mind is that just like in real life, sometimes we're going to have to get behind one person and trust that one person is going to do whats best for the entire group. In these situations, it needs to be understood that while your opinion may sway that person, in the end either he or she was chosen by the group or stepped into that spot to get the job done. In these situations, while you may have justifiable reason to feel angry, keep in mind that there are dozens of other people who want that person to do different things, feel the exact same way, and that not everyone can be pleased with the results of a situation. I don't think I've met anybody in this community that will straight-up ignore somebodies opinion - even if they don't necessarily agree with it (or use it, as the case was today). Today was a good day, the mission was successful, and we've learned about some weak links in our communications processes. All around this was a success - let's keep this momentum in the future.

    As an addendum to that last paragraph, if you volunteer to step up and help out when someone asks for it, make sure you're up to the task. Zerosh did an excellent job today, and I want to give him major kudos. He did an excellent job keeping his cool when chat started falling apart, never jumped the gun, and helped me make the best decisions I think I could have. Even though in the end it seems like there was little danger regardless, I think his reasoning in the situation was and would have continued to be critical to the success of the mission. Bravo!
     
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  2. Conartist

    Conartist Gold Member

    Nice constructive thread :) This is why we are a great community.

    I do not think twitter should be a place to post our findings to. I specifically posted Gwen's letter from twitter to the forums because not everyone has twitter or wants to have an account.

    Everyone in the game knows the forums so all the clues we find should definitely be posted there. I was asleep when we got in contact with phoenix and found out that it would take 12 hours to get a bank account set up. When I woke up I went to the forums first which caught me up on several things but it wasn't til I got on IRC that I found out we were having to wait before we could do more. It would have been nice if someone had posted that to the forums which I think Bats did later on when more people like me came on the IRC not knowing anything.

    The forums became a bit too fragmented at one point though having both the Kickstarter Thread, Barbizon thread, Rosenberg Clinic, Msikas letters, and A Skim Livestream.
    When I noticed the email from Patch Hewlie about the livestream and posted it, I didn't know where to post at first. I chose Kickstarter thread to get things back to the original but updated Barbizon as welll to keep them in the loop that a clue was in another thread. It would have been nice to keep Kickstarter, Rosenberg and Barbizon together, though I see why it was nice to have a place to brainstorm. It just made it harder to keep up when things got rolling fast.
    The thread Msikas letters was made so everyone could quickly see what we had discovered and be up to date. I think that thread should then have been locked so we didn't start another discussion there. I generally think a locked thread with just clues, no discussion would be great for everyone to catch up quickly and then head back to IRC or the main thread for discussion.
    A Skim Livestream was again so people could get the info quick and get to the stream but if we had the locked thread for clues then that could have been posted there.

    Not sure how the actual moderation and posting of clues to a locked thread should be managed but it would be a nice feature.
     
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  3. Santiak

    Santiak MIA

    In regards to the fragmentation of threads: I'd very much like to apologize. Keeping those kind of issues at bay is my responsibility.

    I was preoccupied elsewhere, which is also why I didn't join in till a few hours before the event was over. I had been keeping an eye on how things were evolving, but had little time to think up any ideas on the matter, let alone trying to take in all the ideas other people had posted, which I would've needed to do in order to consolidate the threads in a meaningful way.



    As for posting/updating clues and progression made, I think we can go about it in two ways, depending on what level of commitment the initial poster is comfortable with.

    1: Whoever is willing to take on that responsibility can do so - but once done, no mirror threads should be created. If the person who starts a thread for an investigation doesn't want to maintain the OP with Progress reports, they add it at the beginning of the post, allowing someone else to start a seperate, locked thread, which will then be linked in the OP of the Investigation thread.

    2: The OP starts a thread, willing to maintain Progress Reports, and that's that. New progress is added into the OP.

    So, to give an example of doing "Mission X":
    • OP does not want to update original thread, names thread: "[Investigation] Mission X"
      • Person willing to do so, makes 1 other thread, named "[Progress Report] Mission X"
      • OP adds a big fat link to "[Progress Report] Mission X" in the [Investigation] thread.
    • OP doesn't mind doing both, names thread: "[Mission] Mission X"
    Beyond that, seeing as we have quite a few Moderators about, I imagine that they can step in and add updates to either thread, in case the OP is doing that most unlike-TBW thing of sleeping, sending the OP a notification in Convo when doing so.


    In any case, I believe that the issue can't be solved by brainstorming alone, and we'd need to test any ideas we have on a real mission - and likely expect things won't go over smoothly, despite how much we've excogitated on the matter.
    One thing is theory, another is putting those theories into practice - there's just a higher probabilty of finding the right path by having a rough idea of what direction to take, than going willy-nilly by trial and error alone. ;)
     
  4. Telamir Asecret

    Telamir Asecret Active Agent

    the problem I see with that is if for whatever reason the OP has to leave then we end up with 3 or 4 locked threads that may or may not ever get linked in the OP I do not have a better idea just bringing this up because I think it needs it
     
  5. Santiak

    Santiak MIA

    Which is when one of the Moderators step in.
    Either by adding the new progress to the OP itself (if OP was keeping a [Mission] Thread, and just went to sleep for a while), and if the OP of a [Mission] thread had to go away for an extended period of time, one [Progress Report] is established by someone willing to maintain it, and the first one made is kept - the rest are, as far as I can see, best deleted.

    It would, of course, follow that whoever assumes responsibility for a [Mission] thread, should be rather sure they'd be around - so not set one up just before they went on holiday, for example - if they aren't sure they can do that, they set up an [Investigation] thread, if they're the first to come across a mission, for example.
    The same would apply for whoever would want to set up a [Progress Report] thread. If they - for whatever reason - need to go for an extended period of time, a new thread is set up by someone willing to maintain it. And again, if it's only a brief absence - sleep, what not - Moderators could step in, in case substantial progress is made, and the need for an update becomes apparent.

    Although, looking back on my suggestion, is it becoming too cumbersome? Too complex of a system to put into practice?
     
  6. Zerosh

    Zerosh Sleeper Agent

    It looks good to me, we only have to test it and mayne polish some details

    Highlights Time!
    (I'll try to summarise what I've read)

    We need to ensure that the forums don't get left behind.
    We need a method to try to maintain a chain of communication in case that it's needed.

    (http://forum.blackwatchmen.com/index.php?threads/information-funneling.188/#post-2817
    http://forum.blackwatchmen.com/index.php?threads/information-funneling.188/#post-2823)

    To accomplish these objectives we have the following ideas:
    Roles
    (http://forum.blackwatchmen.com/index.php?threads/information-funneling.188/page-2#post-2833
    http://forum.blackwatchmen.com/index.php?threads/information-funneling.188/page-2#post-2842)
    If the situation ask for a few number of agents to step up and take the lead (like the past Msika incident), we can designate backup roles. This roles would be something like this:
    • IRC informant: This agent or group of agents up to a max (I'd say 5 agents) will have the responsabilty of maintain the chain of communication in the IRC chat in case the agent(s) on the lead can't.
    • Forum informant: Same as IRC informant but with the Forums.

    Reporting Technique
    (http://forum.blackwatchmen.com/index.php?threads/information-funneling.188/page-3#post-2872)
    Should an event arise, two thread would be opened. A first one called "[Investigation] Name_of_Mision_Goes_Here", where anyone can post, and a second one called "[Progress Report] Name_of_Mision_Goes_Here" where one person will have the responsabilty of posting every major update on the developing of the mission.

    Personal opinion:
    I like the idea of having backup roles, that way if you are on the lead you'll have to report back to few agents acting as backup, relieving some stress. These backup agents will communicate directly with the community.
    I especially like the idea of having two threads for a given mission, one acting as community hub and other acting as summary. That way we can theories on the [Investigation] thread and anyone left behind can quickly catch up reading the [Progress Report] thread.
    I'm also thinking of open a thread and post some Teamwork/Brainstorm Techniques. If I'm able to compile something that seems useful I'll post it.

    @Zargh, Don't worry too much. I know how awful is to feel like you are being left behind and it's perfectly understandable that anyone can get stressed and confused in the chaos of the moment, especially on IRC. I'm sorry you had a bad time.
    ^ The above commentary applies to anyone who felt like Zargh.

    @Ruke Unlimited, a million thanks for your words :). I think you also did a great job communicating with everyone, negotiating with Barbizon and coping with all the pressure. Nice work!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2014
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  7. Catalyst

    Catalyst Gold Member

    I would like to note that I too was in a similar trap: I didn't think to update the forums with my thread with Phoenix - and I would definitely support some dedicated agents that can handle moving data from IRC/Twitter/Voice Chat/Et Cetera to the forums.
    I can go on and on about how I was feeling rather stressed. I would like to give MAJOR props to @Anashel and the rest of the team at Alice & Smith. I got into this mission enough that I threw a ton of notes on the floor and made a mess when I realized I screwed up requesting a unit at 1031 - an address that I confirmed as non-existent. I managed to convince myself then and there that I might have gotten someone killed. When something makes me feel things, I know it's great. If I had the extra cash I would up my pledge even further.
     
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  8. Vallikat

    Vallikat Active Agent

    So I bet many of you didn't expect to see me here. However, no matter what you may think, I have still kept an eye on things here because I still love a good ARG. I have decided to make this account now specifially to respond to this thread. I promise to play nice.

    And now that I have come here to give my thoughts I am being called away for work. I will come back to this. I do see you have some good discussion on this already. I just had something else to add based on my past experience.
     
  9. Vallikat

    Vallikat Active Agent

    For the most part in a situation like this information funelling is a good thing. Not everyone should have all the information all the time. There should be agent or agents who know something the rest of you don't. I also think it is a good thing even if that person has their own interests at heart rather than the good of the community. Why? I think it adds to the realism of the ARG.
    In some cases the individual is selected by the puppetmaster and told to guard their secrets until "something" happens. Sometimes they are given less instruction or left to their own devices entirely. This is all part of the game you are playing and it adds an extra layer.
    Sometimes though that person does not act in the interest of the community. Also in some cases you're dealing with an individual who managed to acquire something important alone and therefore kept it to themselves. This is a concern because it makes things less fun. However, overcoming these things as a community also adds a layer to the game and gives everyone a boost for having surpassed this obstical.
    As to the question of how should information be deciminated to everyone. You have had some good discussion on this and made some good decisions about sharing.
    Sometimes sharing in too many places can be messy and difficult for everyone to accomplish. Therefore I suggest that it may be better to have one place (some part of the situation room perhaps) where all information is gathered and shared. I realize this means that not everyone will have access to all info at all times. But centralizing it may make it better to organize and control.
    Anyway that is my two cents. Take it for what it is worth.
     
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  10. Vismal

    Vismal Gold Member

    Well it seems a poll isn't needed; we all seem to be reaching the same conclusion regarding information for this type of mission (where the community has to work together to reach a goal, and has to put 1 point of contact to receive the mission critical information or have the mission progress further).
    Zerosh summarized it well. I'm pretty on-board with implementing it the way Ruke said: elected Point of Contact designates (from volunteers) an IRC informant(s) for the IRC situation. The IRC information will bring information from the community to the Point of Contact to assist in his decisions if need be, and relay progress in close to real-time to the IRC in the manner the Point of Contact chooses.
    And if I get this right; Volunteer(s) will setup 1 thread for new information pertaining to the mission at hand (no discussion, just info-dumping), and 1 thread for investigation of the mission (discussion).

    If community wants to reach out for help beyond the forums for long-term missions of this sort; we can reach out through Tumbler/Twitter/Other Forums. Our info-dump Thread will allow anyone to catch up on events for the mission and be able to join in the investigation immediately, ensuring better brainstorming.
    Seems really solid to me.

    And looking at Vallikat's input; for those other types of missions where the information is given in secret or acquired in secret; that's fine too. I'm sure the Puppetmaster will understand why those decisions were taken, at the detriment of the community, and those agents in question, when found out, will likely not be doing great with all the angry community afterwards - especially repeat offenders. Puppetmaster will most likely not give out the information to the same agents all the time, so this scenario is unlikely to happen all the time (unless a traitor cabal is formed from within! :O ). Again, I feel this isn't for this particular type of mission discussed, but another more insidious type that we'll encounter at another time. We'll have some similar discussion about it at that point I'm sure.
     
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