Here's a quick introduction to the Gurus scheme. It summarises the advantages of being a Guru, what we get out of the scheme, and then finishes off with details of the Gurus' mailing list.
What you get out of being an h2g2 Guru
We sincerely hope that you get as much out of being a Guru as the volunteers in our other schemes have. Always bear in mind that you should be doing the work of a Guru because you want to: we very much hope that you enjoy being one, but we will never question you if you decide that it isn't really for you. Just let us know if you change your mind, or would prefer to join one of our other volunteer schemes instead.
That said, there are lots of benefits of being a Guru. Here are the main ones:
You get direct access to the in-house team, who will answer all your questions for you as quickly as possible - including those which aren't for general consumption. In other words, you get to know things that other Researchers don't... as long as we can trust you to keep them secret!
You get access to the Guru's mailing list (see below).
We're constantly developing future versions of h2g2, and every time a new release goes up on our test site, we will let you know via the mailing list, so you can play with and comment on what we're adding to the site. We do take volunteers' comments very seriously, so this is a real opportunity to influence what happens on h2g2.
You get a Guru badge on your Personal Space, and get listed on the Gurus' Home Page.
You get a considerable amount of kudos within the h2g2 Community.
What we get out of you being an h2g2 Guru
In short, we need the Gurus to help inform the Community, so we can give the best customer service possible without sounding plastic and unenthusiastic (after all, the best people to help those who are stuck, are those who love the site in the first place).
The relationship between h2g2 and our volunteers is definitely two-way: the site couldn't exist in its current form without them, and the Gurus are absolutely key to keeping the Community informed of and involved in developments. h2g2 is a very novel and unique concept, and Researchers have plenty of questions; it's only polite of us to give them answers.
As well as having the undoubted benefit of a team who are helping us to inform the Community, we also get to discuss our development ideas with you before they become reality. Often we've changed an idea because, after debate with the volunteers, we've realised that things would be better if done differently.
The Gurus' Mailing List
The Gurus and internal staff currently communicate private material via a private mailing list, to which all Gurus are subscribed.
This is a private mailing list and is available to invited members only, so you can ask any questions here, sensitive or not. Indeed, that's the point: this is where we'll tell you the real story as well as the 'official' version, and it's also for announcements about new versions of the test site and suggested changes to the scheme. General Guru conversations, though, should be conducted on the Gurus' Home Page, so please don't immediately jump onto the mailing list and start filling it up with lots of friendly greeting messages - please do that on h2g2.
That said, any questions can be fired at the mailing list, and you'll find the other Gurus very happy to help you out. We like to let discussions develop before diving in with any official standpoint, as you are very much involved in the development of the site and the scheme, and discussion aids that. It's also a lot of fun.
When we subscribe you to the mailing list you receive an email detailing the URL and the various ways of accessing the mailing list. It's worth having a quick tour round the site, if only to discover who the other members of the list are.