What makes a successful room on PS?

By shaymin. Art by asgdf.
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Hiya! So you're reading this for one of the following reasons:

  1. You want to find out on what makes a successful room on PS!
  2. You own a room, and want to improve upon it.
  3. You want to make a room suggestion that would hopefully get passed through.
  4. You're bored out of your mind and just want an interesting article to read (in that case, I hope I won't let you down there!).
So, that all being out of the way, we have quite a lot to go through! No worries though, I know that most people dislike articles that are longer than they should be, so I'll do my best to be concise with this information!


Part I: Room Creation

Please read this! It's super important (mostly because reiterating it in this article would be redundant)!

So, the link that I just provided you with is the foundation of what you would need to start up a new room. Naturally, this is the first step to creating a "successful" room. What you need to keep in mind is that a huge part of room creation is the fact that the room needs to separate itself from other rooms, and have an actual userbase that's interested in it! In other words, your room has to be engaging (obviously), about something that the PS audience obviously has interest in and that people would want to discuss, things of that nature!

Potential of discussion goes a long way when making a room! Audience also matters, as without an audience, you don't really have a userbase, and a userbase is what is going to keep your room alive. These seems like pretty obvious advice, but we do have room suggestions that unfortunately do not follow these basic things.

But now, with that out of the way, let's say that your room is made! Hooray! You've jumped through all of the hoops and hurdles and you're ready to get started with your brand new room!

Well hold on! Not yet, exactly. There's still a few things you need to keep in mind first.

Part II: Your Short and Long-term Goals for The Room

This one seems relatively easy on paper: "I plan to do X for my room as soon as it's made, and Y when Z happens down the line".

But you have to realize that there are many circumstances that would perhaps occur that would change these plans. For example, how would you keep your userbase entertained for the long term? Is the subject matter that you're creating a room about so entertaining/offer a rich variety of subjects so deep that it would keep the room alive for months and years to come? This is something that you at least have to give some thought over. What if a situation occurs where you are suddenly unable to lead your room anymore? Do you have any backup plans? What if, down the line, your userbase starts to dwindle? Do you have certain activities planned to catch interest?

To say "Oh, I'll just deal with it when it happens" is not an appropriate way to approach these kinds of dilemmas, because they can often catch you off-guard at the worst possible times!

That said, a good way to go about with this is pretty simple: be prepared for every/any type of situation that can happen. Obviously you can't foresee the future, but it's best to at least be as prepared as possible and have some back up plans just in case something goes horribly wrong in your room and you're placed in a predicament whereas you either think of something quick or risk the room dying, which just wouldn't do.

Part III: Your Leadership Team and You!

This is vital. The reason for this is that roomstaff is literally just about half of what makes a room (the other half being the userbase/community, etc). You can have a good community, but without good/competent roomstaff, it's going to (within due time) go down the shitter. I have to be blunt here. As a Room Owner, you have to be really careful of who you select as your initial staff team. Be sure to communicate with them frequently about room issues as well as promotions and the such (Smogon PM conversations are great for this). One of the worst things that can happen is having roomstaff that have absolutely no idea about anything going on in the room, and roomstaff that just arent in touch, period. Kinda sucks, y'know?

Also, this is pretty obvious, but as a Room Owner, you have final say in who you promote. If you choose to partner up with other Room Owners, be sure to follow up with them and get their opinion on who they think would be the best candidate. These things are pretty much a given, but I cannot stress enough that I've witnessed (and have been a part of) several misunderstandings that have caused some fallouts within staff, so please be careful about this! You and your leadership team essentially decide the direction you want to take the room in (as that is the responsibility of the Room Owner and, to an extent, the rest of their staff), so be sure that you want to take it in a direction that would most benefit the userbase!

Part IV: Promoting The Right People

This is more of an extension of Part III, but more in-depth! Here's a few things to keep in mind when promoting people to specific ranks in a room, because it really matters on who you promote, and I'll explain why!

(+) Room Voice
To be honest, I'd say Room Voice is probably the most flexible rank of them all. The meaning of Room Voice can change from room to room, but I think it's mostly universal that the + sign next to a user's name means that, in some way or fashion, they separate themselves from the rest of the userbase and/or accomplished something pretty major in that room/has made enough contributions in that specific room to warrant that symbol.
As flexible as Room Voice is, be wary of promoting users to this rank because it would mean that regular users would most likely imitate what voiced users do! They are the "role models" of the room after all, so it wouldn't do any good to promote any poor or subpar users to this position.
(%) Room Driver:
The first step in the roomstaff hierarchy! Room Drivers only really have the ability to warn/mute and use /wall when necessary, but symbolically speaking, this is rather important. This rank denotes users that have surpassed what was expected of them when voiced and are being "tested" (for lack of a better word) to gauge their capabilities in a staff position. You really should only promote people to this rank if they have done an outstanding job in the room with consistent presence, maturity, and intelligence.

And last but not least...

(@) Room Mod
Literally the most important rank in a room (not counting ROs as that's obviously important). Room Mods symbolize, informally speaking, the "top-tier" users in a room, users that stand out above all others and have proven that they are capable of leading the room in terms of discussion and have excelled in good judgement time and time again. Some rooms group Room Mods with Room Owners as part of a room's "upper staff" so to speak, which more than speaks enough for the meaning of the rank as well as the impression it leaves other users when you promote someone who actually deserves it vs someone who isn't qualified.
Room Mods can set modchat up to voiced and roomban as well as roomvoice other users. Again, these are commands that should be entrusted to someone obviously trustworthy and levelheaded.

In the midst of explaining all of this (which is probably obvious to most of you!), I wanted to stress how important it is to promote the right people in the right positions, because again, too many times I have seen negligent roomauth (or rather, just questionable roomauth, period). Whatever the case may be, make sure that the people you appoint your positions to (especially Room Mod and Room Owner) are people that are able to think through policy decisions in an objective manner and are able to have ultimate and efficient control of the chat.

Part V: Final Thoughts

Ultimately, a lot of what seems like a requirement to have a successful room looks like common sense that most people would follow, right? I mean, as long as a specific person isn't stupid, and contributes a lot, then they can get promoted, right? I mean, as a Room Owner, that's up to you. How you ultimately do promotions, how your staff operates, and everything of that nature is going to be in your hands.

The fact of the matter is that, when you own a public room, a lot, if not everything that goes on in that room is going to reflect on you. So make smart decisions and communicate often with your staff as far as who else would be a good addition to your staff team as well as future goals. If you mess up at a specific point, don't flip out! Chances are, other Room Owner just like yourself have found themselves into tight positions and had to make some crucial decisions to get themselves out of it.

If worst comes to worst and you don't know what to do, there's absolutely no shame in asking for outside help! Whether it be a leader or an admin, or perhaps the opinion of another moderator, every opinion counts, so hopefully that helps you decide on the best course of action to take with your room.

Good luck friends, and I hope that, through following this guide, your room(s) will be as successful as can be!

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