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Now that you're all here reading the forums again…..

Home Forums News, Rumours & General Discussion Now that you're all here reading the forums again…..

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This topic contains 40 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  onlyonepinman 4 days, 18 hours ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 31 through 41 (of 41 total)
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  • #1615459

    sundancer
    28511xp
    Cult of Games Member

    @timchubb  well all my WP installations do their updates fine and without problems. (What I have now jinxed XD) And it’s easy to use once set up. (AKA writing and publishing articles)

    #1615465

    phaidknott
    4755xp
    Cult of Games Member

    The thing is did the lack of interest/responses to forum posts start BEFORE the introduction of Discord to BoW or after?

    Historical threads on the site have always struggled (as the majority of visitors are more into Sci-Fi/Fantasy), I also wonder if most of the “grognards” (and historical gamers) are CoGs and that section of the community went over to Discord when it was first introduced (hence the Historical posts currently getting more responses on Discord than here on the Forums).

    Prior to Discord (and I’m using my flaky memory here) I don’t remember historical posts getting ignored. Less responses perhaps, yes (although that’s the nature of the site). I just wonder with Discord, Projects, and the forums that over the years it’s fragmented the channels of communication?

    As an Historical (mainly) gamer I’ve always taken the interest in Historical threads (less so with current age/modern topics as that’s not my thing, and Historicals is a broad church). When Discord appeared I’d say you would see perhaps one historical thread per week, in fact the majority of Forum threads or either “News” (new minis and Kickstarters being released), or off topic/general posts. Where all the more hobby related threads went to I’m not sure (is it Projects, or Discord?).

    I can navigate Projects fine (due to the banner), but I’d say rather than having an auto-generated Forum post in it’s own sub forum perhaps simply displaying the comments below the project post (rather than having them hidden behind a button) in the project page might be the way to go?

    #1615546

    timchubb
    Keymaster
    2432xp

    @sundancer as a blog with a handful of users it’s good, different beast when you try and add granular permissions, subscription levels etc that and the WordPress obsession with backwards compatibility with ancient plugins and some questionable db design decisions (i.e. Every forum stat is stored as a string for example so rather than + 1 to post count it converts to a number then adds 1 then converts back, no big deal in that example until you want to sort by post count then its about as inefficient as possible) means it does not scale linearly (the bigger the meta data set the slower to query the site has about 50 million rows of meta data for example and growing) , your pretty screwed if the performance issue lies within the core classes.

    @blinky465 collaboration projects could be fun will have a think on that should be doable as they inherit a lot from the live blog system here, your not wrong when you say project log it’s exactly that, pretty much a live blog with some predefined content chunks to make it easy for people to publish.  @phaidknott Which is one reason why I would look to having side channel discussion in a thread separate to the log, that way people can muck in and talk about the project without it detracting from the project authors personal log.  Comments would ruin the flow of the project listing which is why they are only shown on the entry detail page rather than the listing, possibly could make them load on demand but even then would be messy.  If you look at a game listing page we use tabs to separate the different content, so the way I would propose to access the thread would be through a discussion tab on the project listing allowing you to post to the thread from the project section or from the forums, I just think a thread would work better for questions and comments, while comments unless they are specifically about the entry are less good for talking about the project, all of this would be in addition not instead of.

    As for forum activity tailing off that definitely happened following the release of 2.0 of the site, the introduction of projects cannibalised a lot of thread creation, combined with activity trailing off anyway with v1 of the site I think some of the old threads and personalities did a good job of scaring some people away (brexit discussions, cliquey behaviour, needless trolling, some, people who couldn’t help but be triggered by people liking games they didn’t) all had an impact, discord has just exacerbated the situation to some extent, can’t argue its less hassle to post a pic quickly to discord than here for example, at the same time discord is its own island and can’t easily be dragged into the site (nor should it probably its a bit more suitable for all ages on the site, discord would require censoring for example if it had a feed on home page) just to avoid the site triggering content filters or getting a mature content rating on Google etc.  As I’ve said a few times if you think of discord like a pub your about right, you expect a pub to be rowdy on a Friday night anything goes up to a point, your chatting about the show/hobby but your not necessarily doing your project for display on discord until it scrolls away.

    #1615547

    timchubb
    Keymaster
    2432xp

    Something else that could be cool to think about adding would be stackexchange functionality.  That’s q+a format posts where the most up voted answer gets to the top of the answer list you can comment on answers and the question asker can accept an answer that solves the problem stackoverflow.com and serverfault.com are probably the most well known but consider https://rpg.stackexchange.com/ where its the format used in a manner which would work here again in addition to not instead of forums

    #1615748

    panzerkaput
    16188xp
    Cult of Games Member

    The historical and hobby threads are not on Discord either, which is sad, as they seemed to just dried up with more people doing hobby. Mind you I think a lot of them are on projects or they are there but get lost in the general malaise.

    As someone who had the pleasure of running a forum, it takes a lot of time and effort to make it worth while and I think the OTT boys really dont have the time to do that. Self moderate or community moderators might be a solutions but it is a thankless job and you are nobodies friend. But saying that for this hobby, the real hobby, I think forums are the right way forward.

    The sad thing is people are only posting before they will get a prize for the best thread.

    So I am left back with the conclusion that Hobby = Forums, Chat = Discord

    #1615750

    timchubb
    Keymaster
    2432xp

    @panzsrkaput that is perhaps the rare thing about the OTT community is how well its self regulated it self by and large for many years, there has always been an attitude of very light moderation, that said a community manager was a valuable addition to the team, but you have to wear many hats at OTT so yes I can vouch for how busy the guys are, and it’s for this community I give my time to do what I can.  Hopefully some of the performance tweaks I’m working on will have a good impact, won’t commit to numbers in terms of speed at this stage but “noticeably” quicker is a fair statement.

    Your probably right about discord that’s how I see it any way😉

    As for historical and hobby threads drying up my theory is people reaching burn out online and the lack of chances to play games as we did pre covid is a vital part of the ecosystem, sure there have never been so many painted armies (on a shelf) or completed terrain (on a shelf) all itching to be played with but the play led to battle reports discussions inspiration and a sense of life I think fatigue of the situation is leading to a sense of stagnation.

    #1615968

    onlyonepinman
    13946xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I have mixed views on Projects, possibly a topic all to itself. Are they good at what they do? Yes. Are they good for community engagement? No.

    They’re really good at allowing me to present work in a very structured and organized manner and they also allow discussion about individual blocks of work to be had without discussion getting mixed up.  Projects are definitely better than forum topics, no doubt about that.

    However if I post a project it’s all about me. The nature of projects is such that it only presents a single users work, if I engage with that project I am only engaging with a single person, in order to engage with multiple people I have to go spend a lot of time looking at hundreds of projects.  I tend to find engagement with projects is pretty low – they’re quite good for harvesting XP but not for generating engagement or discussion (also I think, much like Facebook, projects related to certain games definitely attract more attention)

    It’s possible that Projects have possibly had a negative impact on forum activity also

    #1616019

    ninjilly
    6964xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Projects are a great addition to the site for the selfish side of the hobby posting which we all do. I used to quite like the discussions that popped up in threads around people’s hobby but the way that Projects have gone shows most people didn’t. It makes sense to keep the comments hidden in the main flow but it discourages conversation from the casual flick through that most people are doing anyway. I mainly use them as a way to keep track of what I’m doing, paints I used etc. It’s more like hobby journaling than creating for public consumption.

    I know it is a bit of a self perpetuating problem but I do have memories of forum threads being discussed on the Weekender and that leading to further discussion. Obviously each week these days it would be hard to have those chats but some of the best conversation amongst the community on the site happens in the Weekender post comments sections. It’s not easy to navigate in the slightest but reading through it each week is interesting.

    #1616021

    warzan
    Keymaster
    24482xp

    ” It makes sense to keep the comments hidden in the main flow”

    mmmmm, I’m gonna have a think about this…

    #1616077

    huscarle
    3710xp
    Cult of Games Member

    First off great topic as you have highlighted something that has been on my mind for some while now, which is why I am finding the site difficult to engage with these days?

    I’m not wholly convinced discord is entirely to blame.

    I for one have not liked the look of the site since it changed. The main page is like observing the world through a letter box. I much preferred the old style where you could see much more content on the screen. That said the site is easier to look at on my phone.

    As I scroll down the page the forums can wiz past with one click of the side bar. Is everyone else experiencing the same thing and just not visiting the forums as they didn’t see the topics?

    I posted something myself the other day which I thought might get a bit of a reaction which was some news on some dates for wargame shows including Salute for this year, considering we have been in lockdown for nearly a year I thought it might be some welcome news. Needless to say it didn’t get one comment. Has everyone gone off Wargame shows? I very much doubt it.

    My first encounter with discord was on here when it first went live and to be honest I didn’t get on with it. To me I find forums a good read even when you don’t partake in the chat, Discord feels like you are looking in on someone’s private conversation or am I visiting the wrong parts ? Which is something I could well be as the few times I have been on there I have been completely lost. My laptop pings away I presume someone is commenting but I have no idea where from. I went on there for the first time in months a week ago eventually I did find a group but they were all saying goodnight to each other 🙁

    I’ll say it again great topic @phaidknott Certainly got this old dinosaur wondering which rabbit hole has everyone gone down.

    #1616665

    onlyonepinman
    13946xp
    Cult of Games Member

    The debate about discord vs forum is really one of conversation vs discussion.  My preference is for discussion;  I prefer to be able to dip in and out when it is convenient for me to do so, read peoples’ thoughts and then respond when I have time to put something that I consder to be thoughtful/meaningful.  I also want to be able to go back to a discussion even after time has passed if I think of something else worth saying.  That’s what forums allow.

    However social media trends would suggest that I am not in the majority;  maybe it’s an age thing or maybe it’s just because I am awkward (or maybe it’s both).  The trend now seems to lean more towards “conversation” which is much more transient.  Rather than being multiple threads focused on single topics, conversation is far more loose and casual, a single thread moving between numerous topics as the conversation evolves.  If I logged onto discord now and had a conversation with whoever happens to be online, that might be interesting enough.  But if I log off for a few hours, say because I am working and then log on later, that conversation is gone, things have moved on.  I may be able to go back and check the chat logs to see what else has been said, the conversation itself is now in a different place.  That’s not to say that discussions never get off topic or go down rabbit holes but they are less likely to do so and they move at a much slower pace meaning you can remain involved whilst not it requiring all of your attention for a prolonged spell of time

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