Like it or not, my Charity is setting the precedent for ALL "newbie charities" at this point.
1. The History and Goals of The New User's First Stop
When I first joined Menewsha, the only 'help' for new users was the 'fresh meat' forum where you could get questions answered, but no gold, no items, and no begging either. I ended up in Kultura
:'s "The Newbie Closet". Unfortunately when she had to close her doors I felt it was imperitive to pick up where she left off. My model was inspired by hers, and my first Menewshan friends were not
made in fresh meat, but in the charity thread, which became and remained my home for the longest time until I eventulally spread my wings to The Menewsha Nations.
2. Yes, We have Ups and Downs in Activity
The person who runs the charity is a human being. In fact, one who is permanently disabled with both physical and emotional disabilities. I do have backup contingency plans for when I'm gone (the 'whitelisted'), however it is a known fact that without my prescense for page/post prizes and the incentives to all the charity's activity is lower. As for the actual flow of new users THAT IS SOMETHING BEYOND MY CONTROL.
Sometimes I have had five in a week, sometimes I have had one in a month.
3. With "newbie shop", this puts competes with the newbie charities.
It is very easy and enticing to make two clicks and be clothed for 60 gold instead of jumping through a few hoops that will help new users become acclimated to the site, from reading the the first page, PMing, learning to REALLY read the first page, having a small conversation, all of these basic things are required before they get the goods, but they can do in one sitting if they're lucky.
4. The fork in the road: a revamp for our charity and increase in activity, or doors closing.
One solution is to up the quality of the 'merchendice' for the new users. Initially we gave out the more 'ragged' clothes just so the users could be clothed WHILE they saved up their gold for a 'real outfit'. With the 'Newbie Emporium' shop selling real clothes at the same price that will no longer fly.
We will now give out combinations of singlets and shorts and/or skirts (pending avatar gender) from the basic/54 store. This will be more costly, but more appealing given all the other things that the new users 'learn' in my charity whether it is outright or subtle.