Would be nice to more fully integrate community communication platforms with the league sites. Could owners opt into adding their Slack and Community handles on this page that would show up next to their team names on roster pages?
There are some tricky constraints here, so I’m going to walk through how I’ve chosen to deal with them.
Lots of teams have more than one owner. Not most teams, but a lot. Treating a team as the same as an individual person is not quite right. As a result, I built out User Profile pages. This page can be reached for any individual user by clicking on their username anywhere on the site.
- Claim team page and join league page have user names under the Commissioner column. I imagine this is the main use case for trying to reach a user you are not already in a league with. If you’re in a league with them, you have other options to get in touch, such as team to team messages and the league message board.
- Every team roster page has their ownership listed at the top
I could add team owner names in other places if it makes sense.
These profile pages let users put a bio, add their Twitter, and display their email address. It also as of today has a link to message that user through this community forums site.
I want to be very careful to allow every single individual to choose how much or little they want their contact information to be public. Because of this goal, grouping that contact information with team settings does not make sense, and these User Profiles are what I’ve landed on.
Profile pages make sense, as does the flexibility for owners to add as much information as they want, but I’d still argue we are missing an opportunity to further connect owners inside leagues by not even allowing owners to post their real name anywhere (that I know of). Ottoneu is nearly a dynasty format, which assumes owners will be playing together for a long time. The more they get to know each other and connect the better the retention rates should be. At a minimum I’d like to see the option to add owner names and also the addition of their Slack handle near the Twitter handle option on the profile page.
The Bio field is available for users to write free-form text entry about themselves, so that seems like a natural solution.
Since user profile pages can be seen by anyone, it really should be up to the individual on if they want to share specific details. Having a dedicated field for real name or Slack handle puts an undue pressure on actually sharing those things or joining Slack, none of which really matters in terms of playing in a league.
If anything, this is an argument to remove the Twitter integration, since that’s not a presence that is relevant to playing Ottoneu either.
Teams in leagues can message each other privately and I think that’s probably the best path forward in building relationships. There also might be an argument to making league message boards private, so users who aren’t in that league cannot read the message board. That might allow people in leagues together to speak more candidly. I’m interested in if anyone would find that valuable.
As a reminder, Ottoneu respects the “Display name” setting in your FanGraphs profile. If users really, really want everyone to see their real name, they can update their display name accordingly.
So I guess there are three ways to share your real name: update your FanGraphs display name, update your Bio, or message people you play with. The last option of the three seems like the best if you actually want to build relationships with the other people you’re playing with.
Oh and post on the league message board. Or message the league as a group in the community forums! Or on Slack!
There are really a lot of options, and I am not sure hoping that some database field will build relationships in the face of all these other options is the right choice.
At the end of the day, users who play Ottoneu have to talk to each other to succeed, and the best way to facilitate that is to give those users many options to communicate with each other. I think Ottoneu is not lacking for those options right now.
Maybe a better way to frame the underlying problem is:
Ottoneu is at its best when owners are active and engaged and willing to talk to everyone else in their league. What steps can the platform take to make it easier for owners to be active and engaged and willing to talk to everyone else?
I think that’s the problem you’re getting at @LuckyStrikes and I agree that any improvements on this front are super valuable to the platform. I am not sure optional real name fields are the answer, but I am definitely interested in more brainstorming. Players who communicate with everyone else in their league will always be the most successful, and that should be made really obvious to everyone who plays Ottoneu.
Having lurked for awhile before joining Ottoneu due to trepidation over the rules and procedures, I would argue that seeing the message boards was vital to understanding how the game worked from the outside. I also found it very helpful when deciding whether to pick up a team as you can usually tell quite a bit about the health of the league by the message boards.
Agreed. There are a decent number of leagues where the message board throws up a huge red flag if one is considering joining. And also in contrast there are boards that could influence you to jump at the chance to join.