My Epibuddy Proposal, Inspired By A Ciao Member's Adopt A Member Program

Jan 17, 2005

The Bottom Line I talked with staff member Garrett about this. If enough response he will propose it to staff.

Ever since I joined the Ciao site ( last summer, I have noticed many members were saying in their profiles that they have a Ciao sister, brother or mother (usually) and to please go check out their reviews. Finally Fiona, member coooeee, who instigated the Adopt A Member program, saw the need to explain it and put down some ground rules. See her essay here, which does not start with J, heh:

I was intrigued, seeing a number of benefits to the site from it, and asked her to find me a sister. Well, I humorously got a brother about two weeks later (never have had a sister, but have seven brothers in all!) and member mmpr has definitely been an added bonus to my Ciao experience. Not only has he made me feel more welcome through encouraging and witty comments, but he briefly introduced me on his profile and the site seems to be more welcoming even after he replaced his profile message. I think it is due to showing that I desire to be part of the community.

Fionas program, 160 members strong now, has inspired me to come up with what I call the Epibuddy program. I do not propose this as an extension of the Web of Trust program, but as a way for veteran members to meet new members that they may or may not now or ever trust. Epibuddy is about welcoming new members to the site as well who need encouraging, perhaps advice if asked for, and some recognition or promotion. Ciao already recognizes their new members from their Member Centre and front page (I believe), but Epinions does not that I am aware of and this should be a concern to them. Review sites need fresh reviewers as veterans burn out and leave as so many have. The Epibuddy program could keep newbies and older members around longer with greater enthusiasm for the site.

I must emphasize that Epibuddy does not propose to extend the current Advisor program. If as an Epibuddy you are legitimately complained about and asked to be replaced, it will go on your record. A legitimate complaint is one that has several examples of your undesirability as an Epibuddy and has been discussed with you. I hope this program encourages more friendliness and will be promoted by Epinions (ask at the chat Thursday).

It seems to me that I might need help implementing this and while Fiona has enthusiastically offered her support, I think another veteran member here as co-host might be a good idea, like sleeper54 who feels so strongly about leaving personable and helpful comments. As Fiona has discovered through her program, it is best to be an Epibuddy for 3 weeks at a time. You may choose your Epibuddy from the comments left on this essay or you may ask me or my partner to choose someone for you from the members who request an Epibuddy. I chose the name from a desire not to have age or sex involved (it is not simply a matchmaking game) or the possibility of mothering or sibling feuds (thats a joke), but rather a friend to talk to pleasantly and hopefully for much longer than 3 weeks.

A veteran member can be considered one who has been active here for at least 6 months and/or has posted at least 30 Very Helpful reviews. My suggestions for a great experience are to 1) get to know the members through their posts, comments and e-mail, 2) promote them on your profile page somewhere and 3) if you are particular, either choose them or specify your desires to me or my partner.

So what do you all think? I hope it sounds fun!

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About the Author ID:
Member: Jan Peregrine
Location: Lincoln, NE
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