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illanthropist

Has Bethany left the building?

22 posts in this topic

Don't think I've noticed a post since GDC in last month, neither here or on steam...

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Paging @bethany!!

Maybe she has taken a much deserved break. I notice she's not in the staff listing and a new member, Hannah Wilcox is there and involved in community engagement.

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Her last post on reddit was 16 days ago.  Patrick has been filling in for her.  I know it's no answer, but it cuts down the month timeframe by a chunk.  

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Hey all -- unfortunately, Bethany is no longer with Hinterland. Thanks for asking about her though! In the mean time, Patrick has you covered, along with the rest of the team at Hinterland.

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Arrrgh... Bethany... gone? Feels like someone goes missing in the family... :(

Edited by Hotzn
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Hmmm, the community ambassador is axed and all we get is that lame non-explanation?

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10 minutes ago, JoseyWales said:

Hmmm, the community ambassador is axed and all we get is that lame non-explanation?

Interesting and wow but I hope Beth all the best in future exploration and projects.

Edited by nicko
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Hmmm, the community ambassador is axed and all we get is that lame non-explanation?

I suppose you would like all your former employers to broadcast the reasons for your dismissals on the internetz?

You think that makes for a good resumé when future employers Google you? Especially in a relatively small branche where people know each other?

If the answer is "Nah, I suppose not...", you might actually start to appreciate Hinterland's reluctance to be more forthcoming with details.

Also, there might be all sorts of personal reasons behind a departure which would be not up to a former employer to divulge. Lets say you were involved in a nasty divorce, or you suffered from a bout of depression, or your parent was terminally ill and you needed to take care of her,- which made you take a break from work... Would you want your employer to broadcast such private details over the internet?

So whatever the reason may be, it's probably in the best interest of all parties involved not too much is disclosed about the particulars.

Edited by TWM
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Or read too much into it for that matter. People change jobs for many reasons. Some good, some bad, usually all personal.

For myself, I wish Bethany the best in her future endeavours. :geek:

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On 4/25/2016 at 4:46 AM, TWM said:

I suppose you would like all your former employers to broadcast the reasons for your dismissals on the internetz?

You think that makes for a good resumé when future employers Google you? Especially in a relatively small branche where people know each other?

If the answer is "Nah, I suppose not...", you might actually start to appreciate Hinterland's reluctance to be more forthcoming with details.

Also, there might be all sorts of personal reasons behind a departure which would be not up to a former employer to divulge. Lets say you were involved in a nasty divorce, or you suffered from a bout of depression, or your parent was terminally ill and you needed to take care of her,- which made you take a break from work... Would you want your employer to broadcast such private details over the internet?

So whatever the reason may be, it's probably in the best interest of all parties involved not too much is disclosed about the particulars.

Awful preachy..

I wasn't looking for dirt, just a bit more than 'POOF' she's gone.. Something that gives a little closer to her tenure. She has been a big part of the community up until now and interacted with just about everyone at one time or another..

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I'm sad Bethany is gone.  She was the first to greet me here.  I enjoyed her warm, welcoming posts.  She definitely fit the Community Engagement part of the role.  Wish her well.  She will be missed.

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On April 29, 2016 at 9:12 AM, JoseyWales said:

Awful preachy..

I wasn't looking for dirt, just a bit more than 'POOF' she's gone.. Something that gives a little closer to her tenure. She has been a big part of the community up until now and interacted with just about everyone at one time or another..

Keep it civil, @JoseyWales. We understand Bethany will be missed. We'll miss her too. Companies aren't permitted to discuss details of current or former employees, for legal reasons. We hope you'll be able to build the same bond with the current and future community staff as you did with Bethany.

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We bought a game, not Bethany, so I have no problem with that. Good luck for her future endeavors.

All the same you should perhaps consider that when key employess come and go too often and with unconvincing explanation, people can get the completely wrong impression of a company.  Especially if there are purely harmless reasons. Whenever I call a key person in a company and was just told that sonandso "isn't there any more", I usually think that people would have been informed if it was a normal planned transition, and get indications of a rout.

 

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9 hours ago, Burning Bridges said:

We bought a game, not Bethany, so I have no problem with that. Good luck for her future endeavors.

All the same you should perhaps consider that when key employess come and go too often and with unconvincing explanation, people can get the completely wrong impression of a company.  Especially if there are purely harmless reasons. Whenever I call a key person in a company and was just told that sonandso "isn't there any more", I usually think that people would have been informed if it was a normal planned transition, and get indications of a rout.

 

There wasn't an unconvincing explanation -- there was no explanation. We're not required nor do we intend to discuss the comings and goings of various members of the Hinterland team. It would be a mistake to feel entitled to know such details of a company's inner workings. 

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Sad to hear that Bethany is no longer here. I will miss her also but wish her the best in what ever she does. Companies have people come and go but a very few have that ability to connect with a community such as this. I agree that getting used to someone (moderators) that engages with the members of a forum can be rewarding. Not only to the players of the game but also to the general public checking out the game etc. I think that's why some get upset when that same person is no longer here, it just happens.

Hinterland is right on not explaining why or why not someone has left the company. It's just good business practice and keeps them out of the legal cross hairs if you will. People may not agree but it's just my 2 cents worth. Great game btw and look forward to all the changes that are yet to come. 

  

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12 minutes ago, Burning Bridges said:

To be honest, Raphaels last post got me worried for the first time.

Why? You expressed a claim to be entitled to more of an explanation about one of my former team members, and I explained that it's not something that is open for discussion for a variety of reasons, not the least being legal ones. You feel you are entitled to some additional degree of transparency about how I run my studio and team? What makes you feel like you are entitled to that? You're being childish.

People come and go and Bethany was fine and is fine, and there's nothing more to be said about it.

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Why are you attacking me? I feel entitled to my own conclusions that's all. Sorry that this sounds like such a sensitive issue to you, but it's you who's doing the damage here yourself.

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31 minutes ago, Burning Bridges said:

Why are you attacking me? I feel entitled to my own conclusions that's all. Sorry that this sounds like such a sensitive issue to you, but it's you who's doing the damage here yourself.

I think it's important to outline where the boundaries lay. Now you better understand what is an appropriate expectation around updates relating to internal studio operations.

Now why don't you go back to discussing the game, which is what we're here to do.

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The thing with creating a 'community' is that people start bonding, even over the internet. People are funny that way. They get attached to certain members. These dynamics function almost as much on social media as in real life. And the more close-knit a community becomes, the stronger this dynamic is.

So when a well-liked community member departs from the community, it feels like a rupture, a loss even and people feel a need for some closure. That's why people invest time and energy in farewell parties, eulogies and burials.

All the more so if a prominent community member - pretty much the community liaison of Hinterland on the forums uptil now - suddenly disappears without notice: it creates confusion, a sense of WTF-is-going-on; people start speculating as to the reasons why someone has left, as well as the reasons behind the apparent silence about the departure. They start imagining all sorts of things. All perfectly natural and to be expected.

The main question is: within the constraints of legal and business considerations, how does one manage those emotions effectively so that people will find closure and be able to move on? And if a part of the community indicates it's not ready yet to let it go, how does one deal with that?

Sure, I understand Hinterland is running a business, and for all sorts of obvious legal reasons, it can't and won't discuss the reasons behind personnel changes. That's all perfectly legitimate and reasonable. But from a public relations-standpoint, getting all contrarian about it and pulling rank is rather a no-no. It makes one come off as a dicktator.

Never let your ego get in the way of your relationship with your most loyal consumer base.

Futhermore, one should never rub at a stain; it will only make it seem larger.

So for next time: jump ahead of the curve, don't wait until community members start asking whatever happened to the community officer before informing them he/she parted ways; be firm yet apologetic about non-disclosure, eat your own pride and feign humility if you have to (it'll pay it's dividends manyfold in the long run); eulogize the dearly departed into the heavens; emphasize what a wonderful person she was, what an asset to the company, how much she'll be missed. Amp it up a bit without it getting overly melodramatic. All this will reassure people nothing nefarious has transpired, offer them emotional closure, and provide them ample opportunity to move on.

Also: never ever get involved in petty squabbles with community members. It diminishes your standing whatever the outcome.

 

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Thank you for offering your insight on the matter. Unfortunately, as stated, we're not permitted (for legal reasons), in Canada, to discuss any details of an employee's departure. So again, the suggestion that we should do anything but acknowledge it publicly and move on is a moot point.

However, it's wonderful to see how many people in this community are knowledgeable about the dynamics of community management and public relations! We'll certainly keep that in mind moving forward.

Since we've all learned some useful lessons, this thread can be considered closed.

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This topic is now closed to further replies.