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WELCOME to The TVMEGASITE.NET Volunteers Page


For the Site Volunteers to Read!

Welcome, new volunteer/contributor for the TV MegaSite!  This probably seems like a lot to read, but it gives you a lot of information and shows how I feel about the site and you.  So please read it, and share any thoughts and concerns you have! Thanks!

HISTORY -- Misc. Facts

This site used to be part of my personal site at http://suzann.com The site got too big and used too much bandwidth (got too popular), so my ISP at the time asked me to cut it down.  Instead, I took the TV part and made it a separate site.  I joined with Amanda D., who had a great Y&R site, and we built up the site to include all of the daytime TV shows and much more.  Eventually we looked for volunteers and added daily summaries and transcripts for the soaps and many links for all the shows.

We also have a few other sites that are not directly under the tvmegasite.net domain (you can find them on our Site Map).

We had to move the site many times in order to find a good home for it.  Because of how large the site is, and how many hits we get now, it is hard to find a cheap or free place to host it.  We finally have found a good host that we can afford and that has worked out very well for us.

Back when the dot.com's were making lots of money, I thought perhaps that we could get some advertising for our site and make some money, at least enough to pay the volunteers.  Unfortunately, by the time we got enough hits on the site to make it worth it for advertisers, the dot.com's were going downhill and Web advertising dollars were virtually gone.  Add to that the fact that none of us really knows anything about advertising and marketing, particularly on the internet, and things just didn't go well in that regard.  We made a few bucks off affiliate programs, but for most years what I got barely paid for the Christmas presents and cards that I buy for the volunteers every year.  So we know this has to be a labor of love! :)  What we get now in advertising pays for most hosting costs and other expenses. Anything left goes toward volunteers' holiday gifts.

Because of the nature of volunteerism, we have a rather high turnover of volunteers.  Fortunately, there always seem to be more that come in and take up the slack for the ones who leave.  We get new volunteers all of the time. Occasionally I post for new help on other people's forums and boards, but I don't have too much time to do that.

Our volunteers are listed on the credits page as well as on other places in our site.  We have volunteers of all ages, races, backgrounds, genders, sexual orientation, and nationalities.

Although this site is a "fan site", it is a business as well. It is a corporation, mostly for tax and legal reasons. There is no budget and no one draws a salary.

THIS AND THAT

Besides whatever work you have volunteered to do, you are REQUIRED to go to our volunteers forum at least once a month to read the posts in the "Announcements/Reminders" topic. It's at http://forums.delphiforums.com/tvmeg/ It is by invitation only, so if you have not received an invitation from me in a week from now, please email to remind me.  This is for our volunteers only and not anyone else. I used to send announcements  (about important things to do with the site) out in email, but this is easier and doesn't rely on my having to make sure everyone's email is working.  Delphiforums.com is free; they just require you to register (if they ask personal info you don't like, put in fake info).  This is not optional!  If you post on the forum and introduce yourself, and chat with others about the site, that's great!!  But that part's not required.  It really doesn't take any more time to do this every week than reading an email from me.

Besides our credits pages, we have bio pages for the volunteers, with their pictures.  We need you to send us your bio and a picture to put up as soon as possible.  Your bio is just a paragraph or two about yourself; you can talk about your personal life, your hobbies, your favorite TV shows, etc.  It's up to you.  You can click on the link to read other people's bios, to get an idea of what to write.  We can work with you to help you get a picture, if you don't already have one.

If you want a business card for the site with your name and other info, let me know..  We get them from dcp-print.comHere is an example of what the current card looks like.  At the current time, we do not pay for cards for  volunteers. Note that any volunteer who will be attending an event where they can take photos of celebrities will get cards or letters if they need them to obtain press access. The cards only cost $5 for shipping and have a small ad on the back. They cost more if you don't want the ad or want it glossy, rounded corners etc.

If you ever want to learn Microsoft Frontpage or Web Expression (to work directly on the site and help us out more, as well as for your own personal use), let me know and I can help you learn it, as well as let you "practice" on the site.  This is the program we use to make and maintain the site, and we don't want to change.

If you find you want to change jobs or add more responsibilities, let me know!  I am not always good at remembering what everyone can do.  And you can always IM me on MSN, AOL IM, or ICQ (you just have to email me to let me know when you will be on because I tend to have them turned off), or on Facebook, or even phone me if you prefer.

We always can use more content, so if you get an idea for an article, a list, a puzzle or game, or anything, please let me know!  We can always use more people to help with soaps updates, scoops, rumors, and predictions, too.

I urge you to look around the site and really get to know it (especially if you will be working in Frontpage, then it is necessary).  It is really huge and has tons of content.  To learn more about the site and what we have done, click on the "Home" button on the top navigation bar and choose one of the alternatives there.  You can also use that bar to browse through the rest of the site.

I am always open to new ideas and designs!  I may not always be able to implement them or do them right away, but I appreciate anyone's opinion, expertise, and viewpoint.

If you are going to be using Frontpage for the site, please configure your version so that it is compatible with both Internet Explorer and Netscape, versions 4.0 and above. (If you don't know how to do that, ask me and I will send you details)  This site should be completely visible in both of those browsers.

All of our volunteers fill out the questionnaire on this page.  It is just so that I can keep track of everyone and only myself and Gisele, our manager, who helps me keep the information for me in Excel, sees the answers.  Feel free to leave out anything you feel is too personal.  I need to know your name and email address, at least.  If you want to get a present at Christmas or get a gift for being Volunteer of the Month, we generally need your mailing address.

If you are going to be a soap update (summary) writer, please read this; it's what I usually tell our new writers:  We like detailed summaries, not just short recaps.  Don't ever worry that you are writing too much because that's usually not a problem.  People come here to find out what happened on their soaps, not just the bare essentials.  You can find good examples and other info on this page. You will be putting them up through a form on the Web. As soon  as you let me know you are going to do this, then we will give you the details about that...  They need to be in as soon as possible after the show airs. The sooner the better because the earlier they get in, the more people who will come to our page to read them. The very latest we will accept is midnight central time. We are not strict if you have an emergency or can't do them, but we do ask that you let us know if you can't do them or if it will be later than that. 

ABOUT WORKING

First let me say I am VERY GRATEFUL that you chose to work for our site and to donate your time and effort.  This site would be nothing without the volunteers and the visitors.

I consider this site not only "my site" but "our site".  Sure, I pay to host it, I built much of it, and it is "my baby" :) But I could not run it without the help of all the people.  It is just too big now.  I place the site and how I think it should be run over anyone or just about anything else.  What's most important to me is "what's good for the site", and that means more than my own ego or gratification, or yours.

Gisele is our Daytime Manager, so if you work in our daytime section, you will be hearing from her at some point.  Please make sure that her email address is in your address book so you can receive her messages.  Make sure to always reply to her or my emails so we know you are reading them and not ignoring us! You can email her from her bio page.

The internet is a difficult place for communication. I cannot see you or meet you in any real way.  I don't know what you look like, who you are, what your life experiences are, or in many cases, why you choose to work for my/our site.  You don't know any of that about me, either.  That is both a good and bad thing.  When we communicate, it must be through email or IM, neither of which is great for real communication.  Sometimes people misunderstand things or say things the wrong way, and that can lead to problems.

Please know that I always say what I mean, but that doesn't mean that you always will know what I mean. :)  Try to take what I say at face value and not get offended.  I will do the same to you.  I usually assume that people say what they mean and that they are nice, pleasant people, and I'm not disappointed too often.  I prefer that if you have a problem/question/concern that you ask me directly and we can work it out.  If I have said something to offend you or put you off in some way, chances are I didn't know it and I wasn't trying to do that.  You need to tell me, if you think it is that important, and especially if it means you want to stop being a volunteer or you are somehow disgruntled.  I'm not like your real boss; I won't fire you (well, hardly ever) because I really really need you and I can't afford to pay you or anyone else like you!  I won't ever yell at you, curse you, call you names, or get upset with you for quitting or making mistakes.

Please think of me as the director of the site, rather than the boss, but I do have to give instructions on how things should be done.  When I make suggestions or tell you that I think something needs to be changed, it is because I have a certain standard for the site and what I want it to be like, and I want your work to fit into that.  If you don't like what I'm saying, you are very free to let me know that and then we can take it from there.  I just ask you that you try not to get upset or angry, or take it personally, and that you be upfront with me.

I know that a volunteer worker is not the same as a paid worker. You don't have the same expectations, and neither do I.  I can't ask you to donate more time than you are able/willing to give.  However, I do expect you to take it seriously.  That is, if you commit to doing something, in a certain way, in a certain time, I expect you to follow through on that commitment.  I know that life can interfere with these things, and that's fine for the occasional mishap when your computer needs repair, you have a family emergency, you have to take on a second job, etc.  Please let me know that, though; I'm not psychic.  In other words, I need to be able to depend on you and you need to be reliable, as much as possible.  Mostly I need you to communicate with me, especially if you can't do the job you promised to do.

For instance, if you are a soap opera summary writer, I expect you to upload the summaries in a timely fashion (as early as you can, and no later than midnight) and to let me know if you can't do it, or if it has to be late.  If you are constantly unreliable, or late, I may be looking for someone to replace you.

If you agree to keep something updated on my site, and you don't do that, I need to know why.  And if you change your mind about volunteering and decide to quit, please let me know.    Otherwise, I have to sit around, wondering whether I will hear back from you and whether you will email me, and keep emailing you until I give up.  Believe me, a lot of people do this to me, and though I'm used to it now, I still think it's rude...I would never do that to you!

If you are writing something for the site, I expect you to run spellcheck on your contribution first, and then proofread it for typos, punctuation errors, grammar, and any spelling problems that spellcheck may have missed. Again, I understand that no one is perfect, and if you have a problem with spelling (or whatever) or you can't use spellcheck, please let me know and we can work something out.  We only have a few proofreaders and they are very overworked, so it's best if more people do the proofreading.

Any content given to or written for this site is the property of the site.  That is, if you write an article, poem, fanfic, etc. for The TV MegaSite, or any part of The TV MegaSite, it stays part of The TV MegaSite, whether you still continue to work for The TV MegaSite or not.

Most of the volunteers on this site have been great and do wonderful work, thank goodness!  Occasionally we get some prima donnas who don't like to be given instruction or who think that they know the best way to run a website.  That type of attitude is not useful or constructive.

So, please, feel free to share with me any concerns, problems, etc. but please don't get overly upset or quit without telling me.  NO website is more important than our real lives or our human interaction. We just ask for simple courtesy from you.

I try to thank everyone who contributes work to the site and I try to always let you know how valued you are.  But just like you, sometimes real life interferes with what I do, too, and so I may not always tell you how much I value your work.  I'm very busy, as I know you probably are, too.  There are many helpful people who have contributed to the site and I value every person who has worked on it.

And if you ever need to get a job recommendation from me, just ask, and feel free to put us on your resume.  This is a job, whether you get paid for it or not. I hope it's fun, too!

Welcome to our team!

SUZANNE

Page updated 4/18/13


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