Saturday, 18 June 2011
The idea for using the chat room for fan interaction was brought up in London back in February, Tuomas expressed an interest then but was a little skeptical of it. Few month later I managed to persuade him to come to the chat room, pretty much everyone who was online the night he came were people who were part of the team. This helped his first visit as but him more at ease I think, but he still really enjoyed it and vowed to return again.
In a discussion with Steff about what things can be done in the future, the idea to pursue the online fan interaction came back up. We planned out how it could be done and discussed it between the two of us until we decided it could work and be successful. I then took the idea to Tuomas, who without any persuasion agreed. We discussed with him the best way to go about it, and that rewarding our community was a way to reduce the 1000's of people who would want to participate. Tuomas agreed that this special first should be shared with his community.
This decision did however come with criticism, however only from 1 nation. We had pretty much no complaints or problems from anyone else. These people believed we should have had the chat open for everybody or do something so any Nightwish fan had the chance to be involved. Of course we totally understood why his nation was upset but some refused to also see it from our point of view.
If we had an 'open chat room' (or the tinychat/cam whatever it was they suggested) arrangement there is no physically way the chat server would of supported the amount of people, also there is no way Tuomas could of accommodated questions from that many. There is also no way it would of been possible to police that many members at once, it would not of worked smoothly.
If we did the lottery that someone there suggested to pick fans, again this was too hard to do for many factors. The dates Tuomas gave me for the chat meant we did not have a lot of time to get the participants organised to attend. If we released a NW community wide invitation, I would have 1000's of emails in my inbox to sort through, get rid of people sending more than 1 entry etc. There is just noway we would have the time to do such a thing.
In the end we stood our ground and kept it for TH.com, of course people were welcome to join the chat room and be active there for a chance to be involved too. A few people did and a couple made it into the event. End of the day Tuomas agreed with the arrangement we had set-up and he understood the reasoning behind it, therefore he supported us so there was no need to change.
Something people needed to understand too is this was going to be Tuomas 3rd ever time in a chat room, the first being what I mentioned earlier, the second was a quick meeting with myself and Steff to discuss the event details. He had never done anything like this, it was a Nightwish first also. We had to make sure it ran as smooth as possible so Tuomas would agree to return and do more events in the future. If we risked failure, he may not of been so keen to return.
However in the end it went swimmingly, all but 2 members showed up; no one needed to be removed from the chat for rule breaking. Tuomas was very impressed with the organisation and the behaviour of the fans there, once again the community at TH.com makes us proud. It's no wonder Tuomas is so gracious to work with me and do things for the fans there.
We tried to discuss some more future ideas after the chat ended, but due to time he had to leave. So he got a nice email last night outlining plans and plots for the future. So fans have no need to worry, these events are not a one off. We will continue to work closely with Tuomas to bring the best we can to all at TH.com.
So just a huge thank you to everyone for the continued support towards this website and Tuomas' work
-Carol & Tuomas
To read the transcript of the 4 hour chat, visit the website.