prev| toc| next

5.2.2 Recruiting a Staff

Recruiting and keeping a good staff of wizards can be surprisingly difficult. The best wizards already are wizards somewhere, and have little incentive to take on another world and stick with it through the long haul.

Putting and keeping a MUCK online requires the sustained efforts of several people. At least one person on the staff should have solid technical skills, and all staff members should have a thorough understanding of the difference between a #dbref and a hole in the ground. But it is not necessary nor even advisable to recruit wizzes exclusively from a pool of technical hot-shots. Technical expertise is one (and only one) of several skills required among staff members. Interpersonal, organizational, and writing skills are important as well. A strong staff will have a balance of these skills among them, plus time, energy, and commitment.

Time, energy, and commitment are in fact the most scarce and valuable of VR resources. And, wizards who become inactive after a first flush of enthusiasm are the most common management problem. There are no magic bullets for these problems, just hard-to-follow advice:

  • Try first to find the ideal candidates for wiz positions. There are two flavors:

    • Good, active wizards who would like to move on from a world where there is friction among staff, or their area of responsibility is limited.
    • Good, energetic players who demonstrate maturity and skill in one of the areas a new MUCK needs. Helpstaffers on large MUCKs are a good pool: these are people with a demonstrated willingness to spend their online time making things work.

  • Recruit friends if you want, but don't do so on the basis of friendship. Recruit friends who have something to offer, and know from the outset that one day you may need to ask your friend to resign, or be stuck with an inactive wizard.

  • Be willing to perform the unpleasant task of firing wizards who don't work out.

prev| toc| top| next