Keep It Simple Stupid – Forums, Your Thoughts?

October 20, 2011 by warzan

So last week we had started to work on the forums (before the Nuke that was Necrons went off!) and its become clear that the time has come for a major overhaul.

A long time community member @ade73 sent me a message outlining his frustrations with the current way the forums work and are organised. And on the whole – I Agree!

We are now into our 15th month of this grand experiment called and to be fair to the team and all our community we have achieved loads for a site that only sprang up little over a year ago. However it don’t change the fact that some stuff doesn’t work and there is loads we can do to make your precious hobby time spent here much more fun, inspiring and productive!

Why the Forums are the way they are…

On BoW each forum is actually a ‘group’ that has members, any registered member to the site can create a group and invite their friends to join it. In the group you have a forum and even a shared calendar you can post events too. These groups can be Public, Private or even Hidden. Our original thoughts were that gaming groups and clubs could set up a group (probably private) and use it for their discussions and as a bit of a shared events diary.

Many did, however they became hard to navigate, and so we created a bunch of official groups for each of the main game systems. And here I believe we made two mistakes – we created way too many and made them very granular (which one do I bloody post too!) and in doing so we hid the functionality for little gaming clubs to create their own groups to help them keep in touch.

Pretty much lose lose really.

On top of that the forums are quite different from the ‘normal’ forums you guys are used to and do infact act a bit more like a Facebook Group. They are also missing some key functionality like easy uploading of pictures, although many have got round that with embedding from photobuckets etc.

We’ll the whole thing is up for an overhaul and heres where we would like your input (if you don’t often post on BoW please make an exception this time as we want as much feedback as possible)

Some options are:

See if we can change the whole forums module to a more traditional forum (however this will be less integrated with the rest of the site)

Dramatically cut the number of forums (groups) for each game to stop fragmenting topics.

Introduce the ability to upload pictures etc.

Either make it easier for clubs and gaming groups to create and use their own groups or ditch the functionality (including calendars etc all together)

Make one simple button in the top nav called ‘Forums’ and pull more forum conversations to the home page of the website etc.

Encourage users to create groups dedicated to their ‘Projects’ who can then contact us to have them added to lists to make them easy to find.

Tell us your ideas!

Beasts of War covers more and more games every day so is in effect a ‘community of communities’ we want you to be able to come here and immerse yourself in the game(s) you love while still having the opportunity to see and fall inlove with all the other cool stuff that’s going on in our hobby! So getting the way you guys can share your toughts, questions and opinions sorted out is vital! Big thanks to @ade73 and everyone else who works the forums day in day out!

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