2002-06-13: A Week in the Life of Cynthe

A Week in the Life of Cynthe

Jun 13 2002 3:58PM

This was originally posted to Online Community Relations at[1]

As I read the boards, I notice that it's not always clear what the differences in peoples' job descriptions are here at OSI, so I figured a good topic for a Comments from the Team would be something that gave people a better idea of what I actually do during a standard week. So without further ado -

A week in the life of Cynthe

Drafted notes on ideas for a redesign of the website
It's been quite a while since really had its last major redesign, and it's definitely needed! Our site has thousands of pages, not including the extensive MyUO system and other applications, such as boards, calendar, Game Wizard, etc., so a full redesign could likely be a 6 month task (at the minimum!) when combined with all our other daily tasks. We've already completed some shifting around of the actual navigation, and we're looking now at moving into new board software, which we hope to have complete fairly soon (I don't have an exact date yet, so "soon" is all I can give for now). Keeping tabs on the redesign of the site is probably my top priority.

Consulted with Tajima/Marketing/Vex/Evocare/Greywolfe/Calandryll and several other folks on Vet Rewards
My main task concerning Vet Rewards at this point is to make sure that we have answers for all reward-related questions that will come up from players once they're announced. Sannio is actually writing up the communication regarding the Rewards choices available, but since we're in the realm of five year accounts now, we can't announce anything until everything is set for both 4th and 5th year rewards (if we announced 4th year without having information on 5th year rewards, the silence on 5th year rewards would be deafening). But we arevery much looking forward to getting that information out once it's settled upon internally.

Worked on Visitor's Center text and shots
Kerowyn has done some writing and screenshot-taking lately for a renovation of the Visitor's Center at, and I've been spending some time lately reviewing the changes and laying out the organization for those sections and screenshots. It'll be great to have a fully updated Visitor's Center that no longer focuses on UO: Renaissance. :)

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings
I have weekly one-on-ones with my manager, as well as with each of my team members (mostly on Tuesdays), as well as the weekly UO Live team meeting, the weekly OCR and Web team meeting, a weekly OSI Leads meeting, and countless impromptu meetings and discussions on everything from housing change reactions to board moderation concerns.

Entertainment Committee
To maintain sanity, it's important to have fun, right? I'm on the Entertainment Committee here at work, which meets once a month or so to plan out company meetings, Christmas parties, company picnics, etc. This year I've been tasked with face painting for kids at the company picnic, as well as somehow finding a copy of the "Limbo Song."

Comments from the Team
Kerowyn reminded me last week that it was my turn for a Comments from the Team blurb, and I'm just getting around to it... well... now!

Document Feedback
At any point in time, there are usually several design docs on various topics that I've been asked to read and give feedback on, as well as contribute to post-mortems on publish processes, etc. I usually think it's pretty important to try and make sure that there's at least one girl's viewpoint heard on a team of mostly guys. :)

Update Player Lunch and Community Training Guidelines
We have a couple documents here that are used as guidelines regarding employee behavior on the boards and at Player Events. From time to time, I go through these documents to make sure they're up to date and cover all the bases.

Work on getting Kerowyn access to update the Codex in-game
There's an interface that's in the works to aid in translation that, according to the dev team, can also be used to give Kerowyn access to update the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom (the in-game help menus). Currently it's still in testing, and there will most likely need to be some more work done on it before she can begin to use it, but I'm working to get this in place. Since she updates the Playguide and communicates closely with those who update the Game Wizard, it makes sense that she should be the one updating the in-game help menus as well.

Check up on tech training for Greywolfe
Grey is interested in learning more in the way of technical support in order to be able to answer more of the difficult tech-related questions on the boards, and I'm all for expanding skill sets! So I've been checking up with our tech support dept to see if I can arrange for folks from my team to go through their training courses as well.

I do try and read the boards, but when threads get to be more than 10 pages or so, even one thread can take an hour to get through - especially if there are any warnings or locks that need to occur. Most of my casual board reading time actually comes at night, because my daily schedules don't leave much time for it. I do get frequent heads-up from Greywolfe and Sannio, though, when things need attention.

Newsletter text
I contribute articles to the monthly UO Newsletter, along with Kerowyn and our Marketing group. This month, Designer Ignatz had a hand in it as well.

Email, Email, Email
Lots of email - on average, I receive anywhere from 150-200 mails a day. Yikes!

Reviewing posts and interviews
Much of what my team does I don't necessarily see, but I do usually read through interviews, scenario fiction and posts from dev members before they go public.

Boardhelp requests
Not too long ago, I worked with the RightNow web group to get the Board Help mailbox redirected into the RightNow web system, where we can actually track help requests, and enter common problems into the database for people to find on their own. It's made an amazing difference in the response time! There are still a few error pages, though, that point to the old address, so I'm working to find those and get the info to our web group so they can change them to reflect the new address.

Brainstorming with Marketing on 5th year anniversary plans
I can't tell you anything yet, since nothing's nailed down, but we're definitely looking to do something fun for UO's 5 year anniversary this September!


So this obviously isn't what I do every day, because there are always new projects, and sudden fires that need attention, but most of these items came straight off my dailies from the last week. I'm sure if I did this again the next time my turn rolled around for Comments from the Team, it'd be quite different. But this job changes every day based on what the other teams and the players need, and that's one of the reasons I love it!

Community Manager
ORIGIN Systems