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October Newsletter and group changes - please read!

From: Jamey
Sent on: Sunday, November 6, 2011 6:36 PM

 MilCoG October Newsletter – Important changes to the group – please read!

Sorry for the length on this one but the group has grown quite a bit in the last few years. To make it easier to run I’ve made some sweeping changes to the way the group operates. Below is a list of changes that have happened or will happen in the near future in addition to the usual newsletter.


1.   I’ve added pages to the “Pages” section of the site. These include the general description non-members get when visiting our site, a Member FAQ, and some Rules and Guidelines. Be sure to check these out – won’t take but 5 minutes. Any suggestions you have I’d love to hear them along with any questions.  Some of what’s below is part of these pages.


2.       The group is no longer public. It is still open to the public (i.e. an open gaming group that anyone can join); I just made the group private so our member’s data cannot be phished from the site and to thwart other ill-intended behavior. This means people must apply to the group and get approved to join. I’ve added a couple questions to the groups profile to give us an idea of the interests of new members. Any feedback on profile questions is welcomed.


3.       I’ve changed the membership dues from 1 dollar a month to 12 dollars a year. When people paid for one month or other low amount Pay-Pal took 33%. I also wanted to start to deliver on the promise of some special events for paying members, which meant I actually needed to be pretty accurate with who paid when. That is a lot of work a month at a time, a dollar at a time, for such a big group and this change will make it much easier and much more accurate.


4.       As mentioned above I’m adding some paid-member only events next year and on. Initially they will look like Game-a-thons with all the trimmings. Regular Game-a-thons will be pared down as far as food and drink the hosts provide and rely more on member’s pot-lucking it. This has more to do with freeing up time and energy resources for my family than anything else.


5.       Due to an error in sign-making by my daughter the name “Game-a-thon” has been changed to “Game-a-ton”. It is more logical, since “thon” implies a length of time; specifically the longest amount of time one can endure and “ton” implies an amount. We game for the same amount of time each time but we game as much as we can during that time.


6.       These changes required I come up with a hard definition for member titles. “Supporter” is someone who has paid for a membership to the group. “Benefactor” is someone who is actively contributing something tangible to the group. Game types indicate someone who has volunteered to represent that game type for the group. If anyone has any questions regarding games of that type they can seek out or be referred to the appropriate individual; this may be helpful to new or less-outgoing members.


7.       Membership status on member’s titles will include the expiration date of paid membership. It’s the only way I could think of doing it. I’ve gone back in time (as best I could) and tallied everyone’s membership dues to arrive at each member’s current paid membership expiration date.


8.       Things are still casual around here. This stuff should have been done a long time ago. Carry on as usual. These changes are all about making the group easier to manage and the best gaming club it can be.

The latest con venture we are embarking on is running the board game room for the folks at MidWinter game convention. It is at the Hyatt downtown and reports are it will be attended by anywhere between 500 and 1000 people. I’ve been talking to Bob from Chimera Games in the Fox Valley and he is bringing his famous ding-and-dent table to this event.  I’ve scheduled meetups for each day we will be there so be sure to RSVP for the days are you going to attend. There are lots of details to work out yet but here is a sample smattering of info: we will have the Milwaukee Ballroom to ourselves for board games. I am planning to bring most of the MilCoG game library. There will not be an event grid, but rather a looser game reservation system for getting games together with others. The big 50 item plus raffle will be on like always. There will be a silent game auction again. There will be a math trade exchange this time. We are hoping for enough room for the Xbox Kinect events and the Live Action ElkFest events this time. Since this is in conjunction with the larping we may have a costume thing again. We are still gathering information and planning things out so stay tuned, but save the date on January 21st, 22nd, and 23rd.

I’ve started some discussion about another epic game day, a new member mixer, a video / computer game day, and some game days for parents. Please stop by the discussion threads and chime in!

We lost the 2010 Halloween Game-a-thon pictures and doesn’t have a backup. Boo! Here are the ones from this year at Dan’s Con of the Vale. They aren’t as good as last years but they are still fun to look at and show what a fun, easy, and active group we are.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming gaming season. Work travel has been tough but I am hopeful to keep up a little better than I have been with announcements and correspondence.

Thanks to all for making this not only the biggest gaming group around, but also the best! As Always any questions of comments just email me!


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