Secret Santa Discussion thread!

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Secret Santa Discussion thread!

Postby Smack Santa » December 11th, 2016, 10:05 am

Once again the sign ups may be closed but the party continues in this years discussion thread!

This thread's purpose is discussion, questions and general hype and excitement! Please feel to field any remaining questions for this years Santa team in this thread!

In the meantime here are a few announcements!

*Assignments are almost all sent out, if you still Haven't received your assignment we apologize greatly for the delay and you will be receiving it soon!

*A navigation button has been added to the top each year's including this year, to help navigate through previous the previous Secret Santa sites. A big thank you to eishiya for their help with this, and the only site that has not had the navigation buttons added is the 2014 site, which hopefully will corrested shortly!
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Re: Secret Santa Discussion thread!

Postby MasterComic » December 12th, 2016, 8:45 pm

It seems like the SS is getting smaller every year. Three years ago we had 100+, then two years ago 75, and then last year around 50...
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Re: Secret Santa Discussion thread!

Postby mitchellbravo » December 12th, 2016, 8:49 pm

That's true, MC. So far I haven't had the same recipient (or santa, afaik) two years in a row, but I wonder how much longer before it comes down to that (unless the team has some structure in place to keep that from happening).
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Re: Secret Santa Discussion thread!

Postby JoKeR » December 12th, 2016, 9:34 pm

Well, time is the only currency which can't be restocked and runs out constantly. In the beginning have the people plenty of it, but with every passed year they have to re-evaluate where they want to spend their time on ... I think that's the real horror of becoming a grown-up.

I didn't participate as Secret Santa because I have too much own projects I want to spent my time on. :mrgreen:
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Re: Secret Santa Discussion thread!

Postby Chris chris » December 12th, 2016, 9:53 pm

i haven't been too active on the forums on the account that i have fully succumbed to pregnant brain. Its joked about a lot but quite truly a thing. (I've completely forgotten things I was doing/suppose to do because of it.) But also its uncomfortable to sit at my computer without kiddo giving me a good kick in the ribcage.

that's just an excuse though. I wanted to participate because I have drawn in 8 months........... my color pencils are dusty.
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Re: Secret Santa Discussion thread!

Postby SUGauthor » December 12th, 2016, 11:52 pm

Maybe we could find ways to increase the total number of participants for future years, such as opening the sign up thread earlier or advertising it more on the site.
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Re: Secret Santa Discussion thread!

Postby eishiya » December 13th, 2016, 10:07 am

SUGauthor wrote:Maybe we could find ways to increase the total number of participants for future years, such as opening the sign up thread earlier or advertising it more on the site.

Currently I think it's mostly forum users and lurkers that sign up because the news aren't very visible on the site, and forum usage is going down because forums in general just aren't as popular as they used to be. The site redesign features the news more prominently, and if we beg hard enough and make the graphics for it, Admin can even feature certain news items in the spotlight area, which will be noticed by many more people.

I definitely agree about opening up sign-ups earlier, but I suspect the issue is that it's hard to remember about SS back in October when preparation ought to be begin xP

And while I'm on the subject of things that could be improved:
  1. I'd like to see people's interests play a bigger role.
      SJSS is currently a "draw my OCs vaguely Christmassy" Secret Santa, and it's mostly because OCs and Christmas are the easy option if you don't know anything else about the person. Many SSes are like that for the same reason, but it doesn't have to be that way! There are SSes out there that have more diverse subjects and people are usually more satisfied both as recipients and as Santas as a result, even though the skill levels are even more varied than on SJ.

      I think a great way to remedy this is to include people's interests in the PMs sent out to each Secret Santa, instead of leaving it up to each person to include that information in their profile. In the profile, that information takes a back seat to their comics, avatar, etc, but if it's included in the PM, it'll colour the rest of the Secret Santa's exploration of that person's profile. The interests should be required as part of the sign-up process (a good way to tell if someone's read the rules or not, too!), although people should be allowed to say they have no particular interests, as long as they're explicit about that. They could also include dislikes, disobeying which could count towards being a grinch.
  2. Incorporate the website into the sign-up stage.
      It's way easier to get into the giving spirit when you look at a pretty website than a boring forum. The Secret Santa sites get spotlit pretty much every year. Spotlight images will be big and prominent in the redesign. Why not use that in the upcoming SS? Do all the non-administrative stuff via the site! Discussion can still happen on the forum (the thread should be linked prominently from the site), but everything else can happen via the comments on specific pages in the comic. The site can launch with just a sign-up page.
  3. Do all sign-ups at the same time, but have a longer sign-up period.
      With an extended registration period, it'll no longer be important to have the Head Elves in place first, since they'll only really be needed once sign-ups are done, by which point there'll probably be enough people registered as Head Elves. That wouldn't work with a short sign-up period, but should not be a problem with a long one. If Head Elves are needed before sign-ups are over, then one or two can be chosen from existing sign-ups, a sort of rolling admission. An exception to this could be the Gift Elves, sign-ups for those could remain open after the general sign-up period is over.
  4. Do all the sign-ups in the same place (on the same page on the website).
      Seems like every year people try to sign up to be Secret Santas in the Head Elf thread, and I don't blame them. There's no practical reason to split the two from a user's perspective, especially if they're allowed to happen at the same time like I suggested. Instead of splitting them apart, let each person specify what role they want when they sign up. By default, it's as a Secret Santa, and for Head Elf or Gift Elf they should have to specify in the comment title. The only practical reason to split them is to make it easier to know who wants to be what without reading the whole comment (=rudimentary sorting), but I believe this can be done by using a bit of author-only JavaScript on the comic site to colour-code the comments according to whether they contain certain keywords in them, and I'd be willing to write such code. Sorting is possible too but colour-coding is easier and less error-prone xP
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Re: Secret Santa Discussion thread!

Postby Soft Dorito » December 15th, 2016, 5:23 pm

^ I second eishiya's ideas, but I also think some people might opt-out because they're intimidated. There are people of all skill levels in the end, but there could probably be more encouragement towards artists who might think their art isn't up to par. I know there's a link to past Secret Santa's on the site now, but maybe there should be one or two links on the announcement/sign up thread? That way people can see how different a lot of the gifts look in the end (and maybe give them some inspiration, leading to a sign up?). Or they could even see improvements from people who participate each year. Just an idea. :D
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Re: Secret Santa Discussion thread!

Postby maelstrom51210 » December 15th, 2016, 6:02 pm

Are the gifts being uploaded on at a time or are they all being posted on the 24th?
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Re: Secret Santa Discussion thread!

Postby Smack Santa » December 16th, 2016, 2:39 pm

maelstrom51210 wrote:Are the gifts being uploaded on at a time or are they all being posted on the 24th?

They will all be posted on the day after the due date
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Re: Secret Santa Discussion thread!

Postby mitchellbravo » December 19th, 2016, 7:15 pm

This might be a weird thing to say, and additonally I might be wrong and it might be just a random reader thoroughly reading my comic, but huge props to presumably whoever is my Secret Santa this year. My pageviews are super high relative to the # of visitors and that tells me that my Santa really cares and is putting a lot of thought and effort into their piece. That alone, even absent any gift, really means a lot to me. I'm touched enough that I don't care if at this point you just drew me a stocking in MSPaint with "LOAD AREA" written on it.


... That's actually a pretty good pun for a stocking....


(And if it's just a rando reader reading thoroughly, thanks for that, too :) :) )



((And, and- if it is a rando reader, and my SS isn't being that thorough, just "shhh" and play along, I wont' know :lol: )
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Re: Secret Santa Discussion thread!

Postby MasterComic » December 19th, 2016, 11:42 pm

mitchellbravo wrote:This might be a weird thing to say, and additonally I might be wrong and it might be just a random reader thoroughly reading my comic, but huge props to presumably whoever is my Secret Santa this year. My pageviews are super high relative to the # of visitors and that tells me that my Santa really cares and is putting a lot of thought and effort into their piece. That alone, even absent any gift, really means a lot to me. I'm touched enough that I don't care if at this point you just drew me a stocking in MSPaint with "LOAD AREA" written on it.


... That's actually a pretty good pun for a stocking....


(And if it's just a rando reader reading thoroughly, thanks for that, too :) :) )



((And, and- if it is a rando reader, and my SS isn't being that thorough, just "shhh" and play along, I wont' know :lol: )

On that note, if someone reads through all of Cup of Olea just to draw me a present, they deserve to get two presents in return...
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Re: Secret Santa Discussion thread!

Postby Master_72 » December 19th, 2016, 11:47 pm

MasterComic wrote:
mitchellbravo wrote:This might be a weird thing to say, and additonally I might be wrong and it might be just a random reader thoroughly reading my comic, but huge props to presumably whoever is my Secret Santa this year. My pageviews are super high relative to the # of visitors and that tells me that my Santa really cares and is putting a lot of thought and effort into their piece. That alone, even absent any gift, really means a lot to me. I'm touched enough that I don't care if at this point you just drew me a stocking in MSPaint with "LOAD AREA" written on it.


... That's actually a pretty good pun for a stocking....


(And if it's just a rando reader reading thoroughly, thanks for that, too :) :) )



((And, and- if it is a rando reader, and my SS isn't being that thorough, just "shhh" and play along, I wont' know :lol: )

On that note, if someone reads through all of Cup of Olea just to draw me a present, they deserve to get two presents in return...

Reading through your amazing series and getting to experience it all in one sitting is a gift in and of itself, Past me. I'd be jealous of anyone who got to blindly read through it all for the first time!
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Re: Secret Santa Discussion thread!

Postby MasterComic » December 21st, 2016, 3:11 am

Master_72 wrote:
MasterComic wrote:
mitchellbravo wrote:This might be a weird thing to say, and additonally I might be wrong and it might be just a random reader thoroughly reading my comic, but huge props to presumably whoever is my Secret Santa this year. My pageviews are super high relative to the # of visitors and that tells me that my Santa really cares and is putting a lot of thought and effort into their piece. That alone, even absent any gift, really means a lot to me. I'm touched enough that I don't care if at this point you just drew me a stocking in MSPaint with "LOAD AREA" written on it.


... That's actually a pretty good pun for a stocking....


(And if it's just a rando reader reading thoroughly, thanks for that, too :) :) )



((And, and- if it is a rando reader, and my SS isn't being that thorough, just "shhh" and play along, I wont' know :lol: )

On that note, if someone reads through all of Cup of Olea just to draw me a present, they deserve to get two presents in return...

Reading through your amazing series and getting to experience it all in one sitting is a gift in and of itself, Past me. I'd be jealous of anyone who got to blindly read through it all for the first time!

Aw shucks. You're too much, Future Me! Now I'm blushing!
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Re: Secret Santa Discussion thread!

Postby nocturnenebula » December 22nd, 2016, 1:54 pm

There's a bit of a typo in the reminder. It says "11:59PM EST Wednesday, December 24th" is the due date, not "11:59PM EST Saturday, December 24th". While I noticed it after the fact, it had me wheezin' a little.
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