Advice on organizing local wars

Discussion of past, present, and future water war events.
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SSCBen
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Advice on organizing local wars

Post by SSCBen » Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:28 am

Saw this post by Daniel Beaver at Nerfhaven:
Daniel Beaver wrote:The steps I would take are:

1. Post a thread of Nerfhaven. Which you've done already, good work ;)
2. Post a comment on r/nerf. Also search through the post history for North Carolina and Durham to see if anyone else has posted about it, and message them directly.
3. Search Facebook for any local nerf groups. If one does not exist, create it. You want the group to have a very generic and searchable name, so that people can discover it - such as North Carolina Nerf, or Durham North Carolina Nerf. Once a group is created, people will start stumbling on it and sending you messages, so be sure to respond to those.
4. If you know even one other person, host a war and post the event across multiple social media outlets. You may actually have some randos show up, people who saw your event but never messaged you. The majority of people online lurk, but they are real and present.

There is a lot of diffuse interest in nerf wars out there, and so you have to take actions to coalesce it into a community of people who are actively engaged. That's where you have to just "fake it till you make it", host very tiny wars and post invites and information on a lot of online social platforms. Eventually one person will come, and then three, and then six... and at some point you'll actually have a local community of people who are actively participating. The only way to do that is to apply some elbow grease, and to believe in the project even when it seems like you're spinning your wheels.
We can learn a lot from Nerfers about organizing wars. The community wars are nice, but require a lot of commitment that can be hard to find. One way to build a local community could be starting a regular local war series, say every Sunday afternoon when the weather is right, advertising it consistently, directly contact people in the area who might be interested, telling those who attend to ask their friends, etc. I don't know where I'll be living this summer but once I get settled, this is something I'll be looking into.

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SEAL
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Re: Advice on organizing local wars

Post by SEAL » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:02 pm

Wow, looks like Nerf Haven also took a nosedive in activity. Although in that case it's probably just because nobody likes to post on forums much anymore. It sucks because the quality of conversation is always so much better than on Facebook or Discord or whatever.

Agreed that nerfers are better at organizing wars (just due to numbers), but I would argue that the way they're organized leave much to be desired. They choose quantity over quality. That said, I've brought up doing more casual, party-like wars every month, but right now nobody seems to be interested in doing anything. I am currently working full-time while also going to school, on top of other things, so that's why I haven't been involved lately, but if there is still enough interest left, it probably would be a good idea put something together.
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marauder
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Re: Advice on organizing local wars

Post by marauder » Sun Mar 01, 2020 1:53 pm

The irony of the drop off in forum interest is that reddit is hugely popular right now and reddit is basically a bunch of forums.

Many of us were interested in doing multiple casual wars, but we all live far away. SEAL is 3 hours from me, Scott is 5, Storm is 6, etc. That is a long ways apart to do something casual or sour of the moment as much as I'd like to. Organizing something local among your friends does make sense though. Ben, please let us know if you end up starting this.

FWIW I will be back in the US by May 1st and ready to fight.
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SSCBen
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Re: Advice on organizing local wars

Post by SSCBen » Sun Mar 01, 2020 3:53 pm

SEAL wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:02 pm
Wow, looks like Nerf Haven also took a nosedive in activity. Although in that case it's probably just because nobody likes to post on forums much anymore. It sucks because the quality of conversation is always so much better than on Facebook or Discord or whatever.
Yes, NerfHaven is not what it used to be. I'm not sure why forums have slowly died over the past 15 years. I'd guess a combination of social media being popular and smartphones making detailed posts more difficult have contributed, but I don't have any hard data.

I think for NerfHaven specifically, they lost a lot due to other places being seen as more welcoming.
SEAL wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:02 pm
Agreed that nerfers are better at organizing wars (just due to numbers), but I would argue that the way they're organized leave much to be desired. They choose quantity over quality.
While there are many flaws with typical Nerf wars (particularly the open terrain they tend to prefer...), they do regularly schedule them. I'd rather go to 5 decent wars than 1 great war, personally. This is particularly true if the travel time per war is much lower for the 5 decent wars than the 1 great war.
marauder wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 1:53 pm
The irony of the drop off in forum interest is that reddit is hugely popular right now and reddit is basically a bunch of forums.
Yes, this is amusing. I think social media has the advantage of being a "one-stop-shop" so you don't have to check 10 different forums for your interests. Instead you get all your interests in one spot.

Unfortunately it doesn't seem that the water war related subreddits get much traffic:

https://www.reddit.com/r/supersoaker/
https://www.reddit.com/r/waterwars/

Maybe if we posted there consistently we'd see more interest, though. I'll give it a shot once I get organized later this year. It would be easy to start trying this when making updates to SSC so we can get an idea of what works and what doesn't before organizing a war.
marauder wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 1:53 pm
Many of us were interested in doing multiple casual wars, but we all live far away. SEAL is 3 hours from me, Scott is 5, Storm is 6, etc. That is a long ways apart to do something casual or sour of the moment as much as I'd like to. Organizing something local among your friends does make sense though. Ben, please let us know if you end up starting this.
Will do.

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