We want to make NZ Secret Santa 2014 even better! We need your feedback on some suggested changes before we make any decisions.
During the fun and furor of last year’s NZ Secret Santa we received heaps of feedback about how things were going. Feedback also continued to pour in on Twitter after things were done and dusted (there were even some impromptu Twitter meetings). On top of this, to make sure we had the full picture, we ran a survey to find out what you thought flew – and what flunked.
It was great to hear that the changes we’d made (primarily around the creation of a Santa Storehouse) were very positively received. Based on this we are already busy ensuring we can roll with the same approach this year too. Hurray!
Our focus now is on digging into the gripes and seeing what other tweaks we can make, while still being super-careful not to undermine the ethos and spirit of what @websam created. So here are our thoughts for this year based on the feedback from last year…
This is the loudest gripe, and it’s a tricky area… how do we handle those players who sign up, but then don’t follow through and send a gift? This group have become known as the Bad Santas.
Last year we managed to reward good behaviour by ensuring *everyone* who sent a gift, received a gift (thanks to generous nzsecretsanta sponsors – Mojo Coffee, Real Aotearoa, and NZ Post). And conversely, the Bad Santas were black-marked and the gift for them was forwarded on to our chosen charity, Wellington City Mission. Lots of loud claps from the audience for this. But we couldn’t do anything about the fact that the Bad Santas had spoiled the fun for the santa who had carefully tailored a gift for them.
There have been suggestions that we shouldn’t let Bad Santas play again – and even that we should “out” them!
However we found out that things aren’t quite that easy. While we have a great deal of sympathy for the Secret Santas who put a lot of effort into making their gift personal, only to find out later that it got sent on to Charity, we also heard some genuine reasons for some of the flails before the finish line as well. So this year, we are suggesting we take a middle ground approach.
Since we know who did and didn’t send a gift last year, we’re going to remind Bad Santas from last year of the impact of their actions – and warn them that this is their last chance. Bad Santas, take note, not only will you still get no gift, but fail to send a second time and you’ll be black-listed.
The silver lining to the Bad Santas problem is that Wellington City Mission – the recipient for the Bad Santa gifts – received a collection of well timed donations. They wrote us a very grateful letter thanking the #nzsecretsanta community. To be fair, it’s a fairly unique donation to receive – lots of very random items, ranging from musical coasters, to pop wall posters, dark chocolate, to novelty aprons, and more – yet the City Mission was able to use and re-home all of these. Now that’s a talent!
We would like to suggest we roll with a City Mission again for this very reason. There were a few suggestions that we could rotate around the regions for this. We think this is a great idea. How about we donate to Christchurch City Mission this year?
On the subject of generous gifts, last year we had a number of Corporates sign up, adding a lot of flair to the experience. But we understand there’s a flip-side to this as it is difficult to buy a gift for a Corporate entity. We’re keen to hear your thoughts about how best to handle this. Should we allow Corporates to opt-out of receiving for example?
Twitter newbies + locked/protected Twitter accounts
The final rumble from last year that we want to look at is, what happens if you end up being Secret Santa for a person who is new to Twitter. Or for someone who doesn’t tweet much – or even worse has a protected account? All of these make the personal gift giving a pretty frustrating exercise.
The simple option would be to look at restricting who can play. But, from everything we’ve seen, the nzsecretsanta community is an open and inclusive community. It’s very likely that there are going to be new players signing up this year as the fun and love of last year touched many people, and word has spread. So as not to diminish the experience for our veterans, nor alienate our newbies, we suggest we provide a bunch more prompts to this year’s participants to tweet more and unlock their accounts.
In addition – we’d also like to be able to point to blogs with cool stories and advice for playing nzsecretsanta, and perhaps tips on how to make this a fun experience for new and veterans alike. Any volunteers?
We’re keen to get the word out about nzsecretsanta – we loved watching the excitement last year – and we’d like to see if we can get even more people involved this year. We are wondering what you think about this.
If we decide to give it a push we have a number of options – but we’re thinking that the most effective way would be to encourage previous players to spread the word. Last year we got so into it that some of our team here at Post chalked #nzsecretsanta on the footpath in a few places. I’m sure there are a few more inventive approaches out there.
One idea we had was to see if we could convince those which hold the purse strings here at Post (or other sponsors) to donate $1500 to charity if we beat last years 1500 players, $5000 if we get to 5000 players, and $10000 if we get to 10,000. Does this idea have appeal? Again, let us know.
These are our thoughts so far. We’d like to hear your thoughts, feedback, and concerns before we make any decisions. We remain very conscious that the game is owned by the community – we are just the current facilitators.
Let us know what you think about our suggestions in the comments below – or of course on Twitter (@nzsecretsanta).