Welcommittee

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See also: Star Trek Welcommittee
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A Welcommittee is a group of people in a fandom with the goal of reaching out to new members. The term is a portmanteau of "welcome" and "committee."

The term originated in the 1950s in science fiction fandom with the National Fantasy Fan Federation.

One notable example is the Star Trek Welcommittee which was started by Jacqueline Lichtenberg. Wikis have also adopted the term.

Lichtenberg explains to a Sime~Gen fan in 1998 why, despite fandom's move from print-based to electronic communication, a Welcommittee was still needed:

One of the functions of a Welcommittee is to provide each new member of the group with a single, veteran person (preferably someone who was NEW only a year or so ago but is a veteran now because a previous Welcommittee person befriended them) to be their personal friend and mentor as they learn their way around the websites and facilities and services.

The Welcommittee person would be the one that the Neo would ask the stupid questions of -- and the Welcommittee person would just point to where the articles are posted about that question -- and to the facilities available that the Neo could have used to find those articles all alone.

After four or five of these, the Neo becomes a Veteran capable of helping another Neo.

And all these Neos among themselves will --- most assuredly will indeed -- come up with new ideas about those old stupid questions. And they will then bring those new ideas to the List for discussion.

What we're lacking is not a List Ettiquette rule -- but an entirely organized and functioning Welcommittee. [1]

References

  1. Sime~Gen mailing list, comment by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, posted 28 October 1998, accessed 9 May 2012
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