This needs to be wikified.
Hello, fellow Trekkies and Trekkers,
The dawn of 2011 marks the middle of of our 16th year in operation. Can you believe it? For 16 years, our organizations has been providing quality Star Trek role playing. Our group is older than some of the most venerable internet institutions, including Google, and Amazon.com! Even Star Trek: Voyager had not begun airing when we began simming in AOL chat rooms. (Back then, it was still AOL 1.0!)
Even more amazing is that every single person who is now a part of this organization can trace the lineage of command to those first, early Commanding Officers in our organization. We have an unbroken chain of command since we started simming, making us almost unique among Star Trek RPGs online today.
It is this heritage that allows us to continue to thrive, despite a decline in long-form text-based RP’ing on the internet today. Even as new Star Trek movies refresh the fanbase, it’s becoming more-and-more difficult with each passing year to recruit members. Nonetheless, although 2010 was a difficult year, we’ve managed to get back on our feet for 2011, and prepare ourselves for what may be our own renaissance in the next two years. But before we dive into plans for the future, let’s take a look at what successes and challenges we faced in 2010.
A Look Back at 2010 Our fleet was in a difficult place by early 2010, with OOC activity declining, the lowest number of officers prepared for command that we’ve seen in many years, and a website that was slowly falling far out of date. With Fleet Admiral Wolf stepping back temporarily from major administrative duties, some areas of the fleet became difficult to access.
Nonetheless, progress marches us forward. The USS Eagle was launched with Quinn Reynolds in command. She completed her Captaincy Exam requirements, and was promoted to the rank of Captain. Captain Sidney Riley moved from StarBase 118 Ops to the USS Independence-A after the abrupt departure of Cmdr. David Cody. The USS Ronin was re-launched by Cmdr. Toni Turner, after Captain Ben Walker stepped down from command, and subsequently became our most active vessel. Turner has since completed her command requirements and been promoted to Captain. And finally, with the departure of one of our longest-serving officers, Rear Admiral Rocar Drawoh -- who helped guide the fleet while FltAdml. Wolf had stepped back from administrative duties -- his protege Andrus Jaxx was moved into the CO role, and began his requirements for the Captaincy Exam.
By August of 2010, Wolf was able to return to active duty, and began a number of projects to fix what had fallen into disrepair (the website!) and revitalize OOC activity around the fleet.
The new website marks the beginning of an epoch for our group, which has only seen two previous website iterations in our history. The first was created and upkept by Rear Admiral Shaun Marlin, one of our group’s greatest and most revered members, who shaped almost every facet of the group in the late 1990s. The second revision of our website, by Ian Laang (who also designed our current logo), lasted for over eight years and helped us develop many of the Task Forces that operate today, like the Guilds, and Teams, through separate administrative and reference areas.
And now, our new site (designed by a private contractor, hired through donations from our own members!), operates on the WordPress engine, allowing many members to help participate not only in our Community News, but keeping the site pages up-to-date as well. As we continue the transition to this new site, an increasing number of members are becoming active in helping to update the site.
Despite these wonderful new changes, the command echelon was growing thin, and with the departure of RAdml. Rocar, we enacted the “Federation Command Authority” clause of the group Constitution, to help manage executive functions without being able to constitute a full Executive Council.
In turn, the Captains Council began an effort that continues to this day, to re-emphasize command promotion in our ranks, and help shape our future leadership.
A Comprehensive Plan for 2011 If we are to continue as a community, we must have a plan for our future, and in turn ensure that each leader in our community is dedicated to making that plan a reality. Today, we announce our Comprehensive Plan for 2011, to help increase the size and reach of our community, and prepare for a new Star Trek movie release in 2012.
First and foremost, we cannot thrive without a cadre of leaders who are willing to help command our ships and mentor new leaders. To that end, we are setting the following goals for 2011 to help grow the number of Commanding Officers in the fleet:
- Launch a promotion guide to help members navigate the process of moving up in ranks, including detailed guides for Lieutenant Commanders, and Commanders, to help them succeed in their Commander and Captain Exams.
- Re-focus ships and current COs on mentoring and quality rank advancement. It is not enough to simply promote everyone every few months. Instead, we must focus on efforts on those officers who contribute great sims, participate often, and have a desire and willingness to lead and facilitate.
- Revamp our Command Exams to more closely follow our Promotion Guides, and better test officers on more relevant information required for facilitating and commanding.
- Revitalize the OOC areas of our fleet so that each Commanding Officer has had a chance to lead an OOC Task Force in preparation of command.
By the end of 2011, we intend to not only sustain our current number of vessels, but also launch two new vessels (bringing us to a total of nine), and seek to have 60% of our First Officers in the rank of Commander.
Second, we cannot launch new vessels without new crew! To keep us on track for our goal to launch two new vessels in this year, we have set the following goals:
- Publicity Team: expand our reach and increase our application rate by 20%. In 2010, we garnered 119 applications, while our 2011 goal is 143.
- Training Team: increase our pass rate to ensure that more applications complete the process. In 2009, our pass rate was 55%, while our pass rate was only 40% in 2010. For 2011, our goal is a pass rate of 50%. In turn, increase our volunteer rate among Training Officers by upholding Team policies regarding how often Team members should volunteer to stay active.
- Placement Speed: increase our placement speed (time between training Pass Forms are submitted, and the member actually begins simming on their vessel) from approximately 36 hours down to 24 hours.
- Fleet Retention: we don’t yet have our 2010 numbers for cadet retention after training, but our goal for 2011 is to retain at least 50% of new officers for at least six months after their graduation.
Third, we must plan for 2012 (and the new Star Trek movie coming out in June of that year), to ensure that we not only garner the most applications we can during the publicity upswing that occurs around a movie release, but also that we retain as many of those officers as we can. The first step is simply being aware that we must head into next year with a plan for these things, but also that we must spend this year ensuring that we have an adequate number of members at the Lieutenant rank, and above, to help train new recruits, and staff any new vessels we will launch in the second quarter of that year.
Our greatest asset is a strong, vibrant, and active community of players who contribute to all areas of our site. Activity begets activity, and prospective members who see a lot of activity across our site are more apt to join. To that end, we’ve set the following general goals on community activity:
- A fleet-wide OOC chat every month, where members can come together, get to know each-other, learn about those in different regions of the world, and find out more about the simming on other vessels.
- An average of one news story a day on our Community News, to both keep members returning to our site, and pique the interest of prospective members.
- Regular utilization of both our Twitter and Facebook feeds to engage our own members, and find new members.
- Facilitators for each Duty Post, providing guided discussion and simming development for new members of each Duty Post.
Finally, to ensure that our community has the stability to continue funding our website and any possible complex technical website repairs that may be needed, we are setting a goal of fund-raising $200 for domain names and hosting for this year. We will hold two fund-raisers to achieve this goal.
And so, the state of our fleet is growing stronger by the day. As we look to the future, for the first time in a long while, we have brighter days ahead. With determination, focus, and the continued dedication to communal values and the IDIC philosophy, we will remain the premier Star Trek PBeM RPG on the internet today.
Thank you, everyone, for your participation in this organization. We look forward to seeing your stories and sims over the next year!
At present, the fleet consists of the following vessels:
- USS Aurora, Nova class: Commander Della Vetri
- USS Challenger-A, Sovereign class: Captain Samal Frazier
- USS Constitution-B, Galaxy class: Captain Samuel Perkins
- USS Discovery-B, Ronin class: Captain Tyr Waltas
- USS Eagle, Intrepid class: Captain Quinn Reynolds
- USS Independence-A, Prometheus class: Fleet Captain Sidney Riley
- USS Ronin, Akira class: Captain Toni Turner
- USS Victory, Intrepid class: Commander Andrus Jaxx
The Executive Council, as currently assembled under the Federation Command Authority provision of the group Constitution:
- Fleet Admiral Tristan Wolf
- Fleet Captain Idril Mar
- Fleet Captain Sidney Riley
The Captains Council voting members:
- Captain Tyr Waltas — Active Member
- Fleet Captain Sidney Riley — Active Member
- Captain Samal Ezra Frazier — Active Member
- Captain Samuel Nigel Perkins — Active Member
- Captain Quinn Reynolds — Active Member
- Captain Toni Turner — Active Member
- Commander Andrus Jaxx — Commanding Officer in Training
- Commander Della Vetri — Commanding Officer in Training
- Fleet Captain Idril Mar — Retired Commanding Officer
- Captain Ben Walker — Retired Commanding Officer
- Captain Steve McCall — Retired Commanding Officer
- Captain Kare’en — Retired Commanding Officer
The Captains Council non-voting observers:
- Commander Rode Mitchell
- Commander Tal Tel-ar
- Lt. Commander Tallis Rhul
- Lt. Commander Ash MacKenna
- Lt. Commander Marcus Dickens
- Lt. Commander David Whale
- Lt. Commander William Rogers