The 'Shroom:Issue 177/Special Thanks

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Special Thanks

Written by: Hooded Pitohui (talk)

The holiday season, it's a prime time for reflection and to appreciate the blessings we have in our lives, isn't it? If there's nothing else to prompt some sentimental reflection in December, there is the rapid approach of the year's end. The end of the year brings with it the chance to take stock of the year as a whole, of successes and failures, surprises and missed opportunities, the good and the ill, all at once looked at with a realistic eye and used to make a map for the upcoming year, to identify opportunities one may want to seize or areas one wants to focus on in the new year.

On that note, looking at The 'Shroom over this past year, I, personally, speaking only on my behalf and on the behalf of nobody else, would say it's been a very successful year for the paper. We've seen a great deal of engagement from the community, including engagement through issue 171's Community Gallery and issue 175's trick-or-treating event,' have seen people talking about the paper on the forum, and have seen a number of new or returning writers join us this year. Yes, this year has been successful, I would say, and I would even dare to say the past two years, collectively, have seen positive changes and growth brought to the paper (though I'm biased to see it that way, having been in charge of it during that time).

That all said, my goal is not to create a detailed analysis of The 'Shroom, over the past year, but, rather to express my gratitude for the folks who have kept The 'Shroom going over the past two years and who have enabled the paper to find successes in that span of time. Though, really, even that's not my aim. This is a touch more personal than that. What I truly intend to do is thank the people who have made my time as 'Shroom Director over these past two years as pleasant an experience and as easy a time as it has been. After all, this position could be a lot harder for someone to fill without a reliable, engaged team. I've been lucky enough to have excellent colleagues in the staff, and, in the spirit of the holidays and the reflection that comes with the end of the year, I want to extend, to each of them individually, special thanks for all of their hard work.

To that end, I would like to begin by thanking our Statistics Manager, Ninja Squid. There are very few people who possess the dedication to this project that he does. Ninja Squid is passionate about The 'Shroom, is passionate about this community, and is passionate about getting members of this community involved in projects and games with one another. He is consistently proactive when it comes to looking for ways to improve or add to the paper, as ought to be evidenced by his proposal of The 'Shroomfest. There is a reason he earned that Poochy Award last year! There's plenty he does which goes unseen publicly, too, though, and I would like to take an opportunity to applaud it. The Statistics Manager wears many hats, taking in applications and closing them out (while passing along the staff's feedback and encouraging writers, both those accepted and rejected, to improve and directing those writers to resources or staff members they can use or contact), managing our spreadsheets, and putting together the End-of-the-Year Awards. On top of all of that, Ninja Squid has taken on the role of the 'Shroomfest judge for the past two years, making stories and honing his art skills to make pictures for the events, has written a number of regular sections, and has stayed active and involved in staff discussions. He has come to me with multiple suggestions and has raised concerns where he has seen them, to the point where it has sometimes felt like Rose and I have had another teammate in the directing staff. Simply put, Ninja Squid is dedicated and proactive, and I would like to deeply, deeply thank him for all the work he has done.

He isn't the only manager who deserves thanks, though. I would also like to thank Lakituthequick, our Website Manager, for all he does to support the paper with his technical expertise and the resources he has available to him. Always prompt and reliable when his expertise is needed, always looking for areas we can clean up our formatting or make our tables and templates easier to use, and quite willing to take on a project like "can you design standardized table of contents templates" or "can you make a template that will help us neatly arrange image-heavy sections," you can count on LTQ to give you what you need or to help you out. Over the past year (well, a bit over that period of time, strictly speaking), LTQ has kindly explained a number of things to me as I've attempted to learn some basics of editing the paper's CSS or searched for ways to ensure embedded audio files work properly on the page's papers, and I have appreciated his patience and reasonableness. He deserves credit, as well, for making 'Shroombot, which has greatly sped up releases of new issues and spared us a great deal of repetitive work. Every release day, like clockwork, he has been there and checked over the paper as we've done our own final checks and made our own final additions, and, thanks to him, it has gone smoothly and quickly every time. I'm very grateful that I've had the opportunity to work with LTQ. We certainly would have had to work much harder without him!

Rounding out the trio of managers who have put in an enormous amount of work, I would also like to thank our Graphic Design Manager, 'The Pyro Guy, for so consistently stepping up to the plate when we requested graphics from him. We put in some sizeable requests for issue 165 and for issue 171, and have kept him busy with regular requests for 'Shroomfest banners and staff portraits and other assets, and, yet, on top of all of that work, he went above and beyond to make issue 175's trick-or-treating event truly shine. He put a staggering amount of work into that single event, yet he did it without complaint, and, as a result, gave the event much of its character and gave those who signed up for it a particularly sweet treat in the form of art of themselves. I cannot thank you enough, TPG, for all the effort you put into making that event a success, for helping to translate Roserade's idea into a reality, and I'm very grateful that you've fulfilled our many graphics requests over these past two years.

FunkyK, first, allow me to say that I'm grateful we were able to offer a celebration of your 100 issues as Palette Swap Director in issue 171. With the staff collaboration, and the Community Gallery, the Community Awards Dossier and other Awards tie-ins, and the size and decoration which marked that issue in general, I think that issue 171 may be my favorite issue of the past two years. More to the point of this section, though, I would like to specifically thank you for the time you have taken to work with your writers. I've seen the time you've taken to help edit their sections, not doing the work for them, but giving them an example of how to do it and letting them learn, finding ways to get them what they needed if they wanted to incorporate something unique like a different text color or sound effects into their sections. It's commendable work you've been doing, and I want to thank you for working so closely with Palette Swap's writers.

Zange, has been a pillar of reliability every month, letting us know early when they planned to put their team together and always following through. I'd like to thank you, Zange, for that reliability, and thank you for your special contribution to our issue 171 staff collaboration. I'm glad we were able to find a little project like that which aligned with you talents.

I have much to thank Anton for. Not only has he been a model of reliability with Critic Corner and his other obligations, but he has long been one of the most active members of the staff in staff discussions. I've been able to consistently count on him to jump into a discussion or an application review with his thoughts, and he's gone above and beyond in his role as someone who asks questions of plans to point out what's been overlooked or to point out areas where caution is warranted and as someone who can be relied upon to give advice backed by years of leadership experience in this community. He seeks clarity, ensures ideas are refined and developed rather than left vague, and, by speaking up, he's helped me to avoid hasty decisions and mistakes. He's also been a very accommodating partner in the realm of Awards, making sure that the expectations for the Community Awards Dossier and for the Community Awards Director have been clear all while providing advice, clarification, consistent communication, and, overall, a positive experience as I've taken on the Awards-related duties of The 'Shroom Director. His help and organized approach to Awards certainly made it easier to focus on other pieces of the paper when it came to putting together the summer special issue, especially this year, with issue 171 as large as it was. Thank you very much for all you've done for the paper, for me, for Awards, and for the community at large, Anton.

It feels odd, now, to think that I rarely spoke to Shoey before this year. He's become one of the more active staff consultants, keeping a close eye on the paper, sending me regular messages with his thoughts and feedback, and generally offering me a reliable second opinion. I know well that he is not afraid to speak his mind, to tell me outright when he thinks I'm wrong about something. We disagreed at plenty of points, but, regardless of whether we agreed or disagreed when we discussed the paper, the perspectives he offered were a help this year. Of course, I can't get away with only thanking him for our discussions about the paper and specific projects; I have to thank him for all of his contributions as a writer. He's achieved something this year that few others have achieved, writing over fifty sections this year! He's written more than any other writer this year, and the sections he has taken up, when combined with his efforts to encourage community members to apply as writers, have inspired others to write more sections. Long John Spaghetti and Waluigi Time followed in his footsteps of writing community-focused News Flushes, to give one set of examples. Thank you for all of your contributions, Shoey, and for helping to draw other writers to the paper by putting your own work out there!

Superchao, my immediate predecessor, did much to teach me the ropes. He was an indispensable resource early on, making sure I knew exactly what I needed to do and promptly answering any questions I had as they arose, and he's remained a great resource past those early days. When it comes to asking for advice or thoughts from someone with experience, I've found that it's hard to go wrong asking Superchao. He's remained engaged with the paper, making suggestions and looking for ways to make it more visible to catch the eyes of readers and potential writers (by, for example, getting it a button at the top of the forum so forum users can get to the main page easily). Thank you, Superchao, for ensuring the paper was set on a good course as you left, and for continuing to point it (and me) in the right direction.

Edofenrir, I'd like to thank you for offering a voice of caution, particularly early into my time as 'Shroom Director, and for the time you put in as Social Media Manager. Though we decided early on to shift our focus on gaining writers and readers in the community, we still greatly appreciated your contributions to the social media accounts.

Doomhiker, I am glad that we were able to find an opportunity to bring you into The 'Shroom staff and that you've been able to make some significant contributions to staff discussions. Thank you for your work.

BBQ Turtle and Waluigi Time, while not staff members, are also two members of the community I would like to take some time to thank. They both have, at different points, contributed extra art assets to special issues of this paper, they have both contributed plenty of sections (with twelve editions of Anagrams and Waluigi Time's many, many sections) and they have both been supporters and the community, bringing people together and highlighting their fellow community members, whether through art of their fellow users or through community-focused News Flushes. Thank you both for your contributions, for your kindness and cooperation BBQ, and for your shilling and many sections, Waluigi Time.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Turboo, as well, who I had the pleasure of working with on Awards-related matters and who often, until Lakituthequick worked out a way for us to more easily edit the CSS on the Super Mario Wiki, made edits to the CSS for us. Thank you, Turboo, for putting up with me asking you for CSS updates and information for the Favorite Wiki Contributor award.

In addition, my thanks go out to Porplemontage, not only for allowing us, for fifteen years, to have this paper on his wiki, but for being such a responsive proprietor. It makes all the difference having a proprietor you can expect to hear back from within a day, and who promptly takes requests into consideration and does what he can to fulfill them promptly when they make sense, rather than some distant webmaster who takes weeks to respond to anything. Whenever I've made a request of him, he's been prompt and helpful, explaining things that need explaining and making changes quickly. He put enough trust in us this year to let us use ShroomBot and to let us more easily edit the paper's CSS, and I thank him for that trust and help.

I simply cannot finish this up without expressing my deepest thanks to Roserade, who has been an absolutely spectacular partner these past two years. Roserade, thank you so much for all you have done as Sub-Director. Taking the night shift on the days before releases, taking on extra little tasks here and there without complaint, letting me run ideas, thoughts, and drafts by you and asking you to serve as my sanity checker so I could be sure what I said and proposed made sense and came across clearly, you have done so much to make these past two years the pleasant experience they have been. You've done so much to support me, all while coming up with wonderful, creative ideas like the trick-or-treating event and continuing your reliable work as Fun Stuff Director, all while writing your charming Sub-Director notes month after month and offering all of your creativity and good sense up to this project. You have made the past two years possible. You have contributed significantly to the growth and successes of the paper. You have stepped up to the plate in practically every area, remaining flexible as you've taken on jobs like updating the sign-up page and joining me in 'Shroomfest debates while constantly coming up with new ideas for the paper and splitting the workload of the directing staff with me. I cannot thank you enough, and I could not have asked for a better partner these past two years. Thank you, Rose, for working so closely with me all this time.

To everyone else in this community who has contributed to the paper, to Awards, or to other events, I would like to thank you, too. While much, much credit needs to go to our dedicated staff members, there would be no paper without all of you. Whether you wrote a section for us, took part in a 'Shroomfest, submitted to our Community Gallery, or simply supported the paper by talking about it on the forum and voting in the Section of the Month polls, thank you all for bringing your energy and enthusiasm to this project. Please, enjoy the holiday season, have a happy new year, and continue to support The 'Shroom, its staff, and its Director into next year just as you have this year. I know this community can make an even more successful 2023 for the paper and its next Director, so let's keep at it!

The 'Shroom: Issue 177
Staff sections Staff NotesThe 'Shroom SpotlightEnd-of-the-Year AwardsDirector Election'Shroomfest
Features Fake NewsFun StuffPalette SwapPipe PlazaCritic CornerStrategy Wing
Specials The 'Shroom Staff Recipe BookSpecial Thanks