The Stitch Welcoming program is a new initiative intended to help new members feel welcome when they first join.
Here is a video that helps explain the background behind the program and how it will work:
If you're not the sort of person who likes watching videos, the main points you need to know are:
We created the Welcoming Program as a response to the social anxiety that many new members face when they first join Stitch
Our research showed that a large percentage of members sign up, create a profile, get verified, and even pay for a Full membership, but then do nothing. Many of them don't join an event, send a message, or suggest an activity to members in their area, they just wait.
After interviewing many of these new members, we learned that social anxiety was preventing many of them from taking the first step to meet others in the community. Coming along to an event where you know nobody is hard!
The Welcoming Program ensures that new members will receive at least one message from an "official Stitch Welcomer" in their first week after joining Stitch, and our hope is that this will help them overcome some of their social anxiety.
Only selected members will qualify for being an official Stitch Welcomer
If you qualify, you can choose to opt in to being part of the Welcoming Program by turning on a checkbox in your Stitch Settings
Let's explain a few of these ideas in a bit more detail.
How do I qualify to be an official Stitch Welcomer?
As outlined above, not every member can be an official Stitch Welcomer. To qualify, you need to:
Have been a member of Stitch for long enough to become familiar with the community yourself (typically more than 6 months)
Have built up a large enough personal network of connections to other members for the Stitch system to be able to tell you have been overwhelmingly rated by other members as being a great representative of Stitch's community values, based on your Member Rating.
Your Member Rating gets calculated by Stitch by aggregating the feedback it receives whenever a member provides feedback about their interaction with other members:
The Stitch system will determine that you qualify for the program if it receives a large amount of feedback from other members to indicate you are overwhelmingly
Friendly & Welcoming
in your interactions with other members. If Stitch detects that you qualify to be an official Welcomer under the program, you'll you’ll see the following section show up on your settings page:
If you see that section, then congratulations: you not only qualify for the program, you have been recognized by other Stitch members for being a wonderful human being!
How do I join the program?
To join the program, select the Welcomer Settings link to open your Welcomer Settings page:
To join the program, you simply need to turn on your Welcome message by clicking the Welcome message checkbox:
As you will see, in the current version of the program, the main part of the message cannot be edited. You can, however, add your own postscript to the message, if you want to add additional information that you would like to include to make your message more personal.
In the Advanced settings section you will see a couple of other checkboxes that let you control whether your Welcome messages get sent to members outside your area, or to unverified members.
We recommend you leave these settings turned on until you have had a chance to see how the program works.
Who do my messages get sent to?
Stitch's Welcomer algorithm will send a Welcome message on your behalf to a limited number of new members each day. The system will try to balance a number of different factors, such as:
Prioritizing messages to members who may live in your area or nearby
Limiting the number of messages sent by any single Welcomer
Matching you to members with similar interests
Over time we will add additional settings to give you extra control over the quantity and frequency of the messages you send.
All of the above is, of course, depending on how many members agree to join the program, so we very much hope you decide to be part of this initiative as a way to help other members.
And as always, please give us your feedback!