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Author Topic: How to make a healthy vibrant forum?  (Read 317 times)

broodblik

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Re: How to make a healthy vibrant forum?
« Reply #15 on: 22 August, 2019, 01:33:59 pm »
On a personal note, as I don't do FB if this place goes I'll have no-one to talk with about 2000 AD or even many other things unless I'm at a gig.

I also feel the same. This is the only place where I can talk too like-minded people about something I really like and care for.

Tjm86

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Re: How to make a healthy vibrant forum?
« Reply #16 on: 22 August, 2019, 02:04:43 pm »
Throwing in my tuppenny Ha'orth, I don't touch Facebook even with a barge pole, much less Twitter.  Events over the last few years have simply reinforced my antipathy towards anti-social media and the damage that it is doing to so many aspects of society.  Having seen it from its early days when it caused so much mayhem in schools to more recent scandals over the ways in which it has been weaponised by all manner of actors, you can keep it as far as I'm concerned. 

Arguably this is a growing attitude as the narrative turns against a lot of these actors. On the one hand you have relatively moderate users who have decided that they don't want to be conned.  On the other hand you have extremists and nut-jobs who are seeing the writing on the wall and migrating to even less regulated places than FB&T.  Any company who predicates their marketing strategy on these channels is likely to find them shortly about as well used as Channel 5.

For my money this is a healthy, vibrant forum.  It may go through lulls but that doesn't always last.  As has been oft observed, this is a great place to come for support when folks are struggling.  The few folks who do overstep the mark are given considerable lassitude to amend their ways before being politely informed that they are no longer welcome.  Even the more bizarre and outlandish political views are remarkably tolerated and engaged with (okay, maybe not Tory voters but there are limits!).   ;)

Funt Solo

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Re: How to make a healthy vibrant forum?
« Reply #17 on: 22 August, 2019, 03:36:43 pm »
I don't have Facebook and have no intention of feeding Zuckerberg's bloated monster. That leaves me with either here or nowhere in terms of discussing all things Tooth.

It's a bit quieter around here than when I was last super-active (about a decade ago), but it's still the place to go for answering pretty much any 2000 AD question you can think of. A creator droid popped in the other day for clarification on a piece of art design.  I love that sort of positive feedback loop.  (Then there was the MC-1 population thread ... happy days.)

There was a big barney back in the day (2008?-ish, maybe) and Tharg was on the verge of shutting down the forum due (if memory serves) to negative reviews and the effect they were having on droids' mental health.  I recall that all resulted in moderators and a set of reasonable forum rules. I have no idea if that negative feeling from editorial towards the forum still holds sway - and the only reason I bring it up is that someone mentioned that 2000 AD doesn't promote itself here (like with the Day of Dredd thing).

One thing I noticed is that the forum is pretty busy for a newcomer to navigate.  By that I mean that there are 21 thread buckets on the front page: so that's pretty intimidating in terms of information navigation.  Perhaps there's room for some pruning.  I almost exclusively go to "Active Topics" because I get bamboozled otherwise.  (Trailers was last used in 2016, Wiki in 2015: perhaps those aren't required or could be shifted down to the bottom under a different heading.)

All long-running forums suffer a bit from "been here, done that" syndrome.  So, someone new might try to start up a thread and they immediately get linked to a conversation several years old and (probably kindly) told that its already been talked about.  Someone the other day said that 99% of everything anyone said on the forum was just a repetition of things that have been said before (I'm paraphrasing): which is a bit of a downer if it's read as "there is no point in anyone talking anymore".  So, it's possible that we could be a bit more diplomatic (says me, completely lacking in diplomacy when my feathers are ruffled).

Also, there's no 'like' button.  :-\
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wedgeski

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Re: How to make a healthy vibrant forum?
« Reply #18 on: 22 August, 2019, 03:57:31 pm »
Too many sub-forums, I completely agree with that.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: How to make a healthy vibrant forum?
« Reply #19 on: 22 August, 2019, 04:09:55 pm »
Someone the other day said that 99% of everything anyone said on the forum was just a repetition of things that have been said before (I'm paraphrasing): which is a bit of a downer if it's read as "there is no point in anyone talking anymore".  So, it's possible that we could be a bit more diplomatic (says me, completely lacking in diplomacy when my feathers are ruffled).

If a new poster simply asks a question that needs an answer, I don’t see any harm in linking back to a previous post answering that same question, especially if the answer is detailed. If it’s a broader discussion, I really don’t seem the harm in discussing it again — different people with different views may contribute, or we may just have more information than the last time a subject came up.
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Dark Jimbo

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Re: How to make a healthy vibrant forum?
« Reply #20 on: 22 August, 2019, 04:10:36 pm »
All long-running forums suffer a bit from "been here, done that" syndrome.  So, someone new might try to start up a thread and they immediately get linked to a conversation several years old and (probably kindly) told that its already been talked about.

Hmm, that's a good point. For someone bursting with newfound enthusiasm, wanting a bit of discussion, being told 'We've already covered that' is probably not the best experience.

Colin YNWA

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Re: How to make a healthy vibrant forum?
« Reply #21 on: 22 August, 2019, 05:08:13 pm »
All long-running forums suffer a bit from "been here, done that" syndrome.  So, someone new might try to start up a thread and they immediately get linked to a conversation several years old and (probably kindly) told that its already been talked about.

Hmm, that's a good point. For someone bursting with newfound enthusiasm, wanting a bit of discussion, being told 'We've already covered that' is probably not the best experience.

Wow good to see that so many folks are interested enough to talk about this and there's a torrent of good points. This one though is really good. There does seem to be fresh blood here all the time and new readers are the life blood of anything thing like this, just like 2000ad itself.

Be good to hear from fresher eyes what they get, or don't get, about this place.

Maybe we can treat new folks with kids gloves, yep we can link to the old thread for context and history, but actively engage again to flesh out fresh views, changed opinions as Jim and Jimbo say.

 I know sometimes I don't do this as I worry I've said all I will ever need to on some topics (sure as hell doesn't stop me on others) and stop myself wittering on again as who needs to hear it. The answer is of course folks who are trying to engage with us grumpy old clods for the first time that's who.

Also intrigued by the ideas the forum can be difficult to nagivate. Its so engrained in me I just don't have a realistic view of that as I find it easy. Newer perspectives would be useful. I just use 'Unread post' 85% of the time and see what I've not. Then dig when I need to.... well I say need, want to.

As so many have said this is my favourite outlet for my nerd and the folks and minds here are inspiring (group hug anyone). This place is precious and we need to work to keep it so.

broodblik

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Re: How to make a healthy vibrant forum?
« Reply #22 on: 22 August, 2019, 05:47:21 pm »
My biggest problem with the forum is that when I click on the Active Topics I would like then when I click on a topic to go to the last post I read.  But the forum is still quite easy to navigate for me.

Richard

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Re: How to make a healthy vibrant forum?
« Reply #23 on: 22 August, 2019, 06:14:22 pm »
I don't use it a lot but I'd miss it if it was gone.

Magnetica

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Re: How to make a healthy vibrant forum?
« Reply #24 on: 22 August, 2019, 11:21:28 pm »
This is still my favourite website, but it definitely seems to have a lot less traffic than it did when I first joined a few years ago. Then there seemed to be multiple genuinely interesting threads with regular comments throughout any given day. Now there seem to be fewer such threads and it can be days between replies, which is a real shame.

I have joined a number of the Facebook groups and quite like a couple of them in particular. As others have said there are some comments made to the effect that “I haven’t read the Prog in decades and it’s rubbish now” but there are also a lot of people who comment that genuinely like the Prog and some in particular who are unbelievably knowledgeable. One of the comments above in this thread was about a creator (Simon Fraser) asking for details about what a Lawgiver looks like and getting answers here, which is great. Almost the exact same thing happened on one of the Facebook groups last month - Dave Kendall asked about a rolling tank and got his answers including what story it was from and indeed pictures within minutes.

There is one person in particular who seems to be a walking encyclopaedia of all things 2000AD for whom no question is too obscure and he backs his answers up with pictures, usually within minutes.

There are however some comments made in the Facebook groups about this Forum that paint it in a negative light. As Colin has said, I also don’t get that. Yes there has been the odd spat, but I’m sure that happens on Facebook too. Personally I don’t like comments that criticise other Forums or groups - its really unhelpful IMO (both ways around).

I really like the structure of the Forum. I don’t find it hard to navigate at all and just use the last post date as a guide to where new comments have been made. I also check into my favourite threads regularly just in case. I never use the the most recently updated topics link but can see how others would find that helpful.The Forum structure, as others have said, really lends it self to ongoing persistent threads in a way Facebook groups just don’t - they are much more a topic of the day and in the groups I use, there tend to be a lot of replies in a short period of time (a few hours) and then it is pretty much done. Very rarely does anything last more than a few days. That is a Facebook thing, not a 2000AD thing (I am in other non 2000AD groups and they work the same way). I guess that lack of persistence encourages replies in a short space of time, because it you don’t reply, you will have missed the boat.

Basically I use both Facebook and the Forum now and there should be room for both. One isn’t better than the other, they are different. But both seem to have a relatively small hard core who do most of the posting (certainly of those that post frequently).

To pick up on the comment on the like button - I hardly ever use it on “normal” Facebook with regard to my friends posts, but I do think it is very useful in groups and helps avoid spats: someone might comment on your post giving a completely different view but you can see that they have already liked your post which helps you to see its is just that - a different perspective. Whereas here, there have at times been some misunderstandings (which is a bit of a shame).

I am not sure the lack of Rebellion input is the key reason for the Forum dwindling. For me it’s more that we as a collective just aren’t posting as frequently as we used to, and yes there have been people who have left and gone to Facebook, but there are still enough members that a vibrant set of conversations should be possible. I would be sorry to see the Forum end and we love it to get back to what it was.

I guess it’s up to us to get posting

Bolt-01

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Re: How to make a healthy vibrant forum?
« Reply #25 on: Today at 09:27:16 am »
Good post. A lot to think about there and I agree that there should be room for 'all' methods of communication regarding 2000 AD.

I quite like the instagram posts Rebellion make - they promote the new books well that way IMO.

MacabreMagpie

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Re: How to make a healthy vibrant forum?
« Reply #26 on: Today at 12:33:47 pm »
Maybe a bit of streamlining would help, as mentioned. Condense the sub-forums down into fewer categories, reflecting which parts are still active. I think larger boards look worse for wear when the activity levels drop off, whereas adjusting to the frequency of participation can make it feel more occupied.

Also perhaps newcomers are put off by the format, since most are used to FB these days. The structure is not exactly difficult to figure out, but the number of sub-forums currently might be a bit overwhelming.