Tad Williams' Message Board

Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- 'God damn it, you've got to be kind.'
-    Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007

Welcome to the message board for tadwilliams.com. All comments are welcome, whether kudos or brickbats. However, please bear in mind that Tad would like this to be a friendly, civil message board, at least in the relations between users. We reserve the right to remove postings, or even ban postings, from anyone who crosses the boundary of reasonable taste. Basically, you can argue vigorously with someone, but watch your language, okay? We have a lot of young readers as well as grown-ups, so please show them some respect.

But the main requirement here is: have fun.


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#1 2011-08-13 23:35:14

ArcticSwan360
Pilgrim
From: Minnesota
Registered: 2004-11-06
Posts: 1075
Website

Updating the Message Board Features

In the topic "Tail Between Legs" thread in the "The Real #5" section, Strangeshe and I discussed how many people have drifted away from the site and the message boards, and the possible reasons why. We came to the conclusion that its because Tad doesn't occupy the boards like he used to, using other means of social interaction on the internet like Facebook. However, that doesn't mean people need to stop coming here, for the community here - since we all the love of Tad's works, among many other topics - is strong, like a family of sorts. That's how I see it, at least.

We wondered about how we could strengthen the appeal of the website for not only new members, but those who have faded away as well. The main thing was taking some of the concepts that make social networks work so well and applying them here. There are some things that we won't be able to do better, obviously - Tad probably uses Facebook more because he can connect both with friends and family, since family wouldn't talk here.

Here are some of the ideas to think about. We need to better explain that the website is not just about Tad's books, that that's only a portion of it. There are sections dedicated to the entire genre of Science Fiction and Fantasy, Writing, the entire community - what we're reading, what we saw for a movie last, what game we are playing, and our opinions on such things. Members need to be able to have a profile and avatar, and perhaps be able to upload pictures or maybe even videos to an online album. Also, generally speaking, the site needs to be polished in terms of its visual aesthetics and appearance.

The last concept I will mention is an online chat like Facebook has, or even something like an IRC. Now, I'd like to hear what you would all want, your opinions on the ideas I mentioned. Thank you.


----- ETA: SS here. I've edited the topic title to be more specific to the actual "updating" being discussed.  We're talking about the Message Board Features not the entire website, which is already undergoing updating (albeit slowly).

Last edited by strangeshe (2011-08-14 13:48:32)


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#2 2011-08-14 06:57:36

strangeshe
Hierarch
From: Texas
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 11522

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

Only have a moment, but want to point out that this is in reference to the /message board/, not the TW site itself. (Updating of the /site/ is in the works already, albeit moving a bit slowly, but there is already a plan -- and I'm dancing as fast as I can.)

So, yes, the /site/ is about Tad and his books, but the /message board/ is not limited to discussion about Tad and his books, and discussion here on the boards can be about pretty much anything (as we all know).

(I was speculating about possible reasons that Tad doesn't hang here as much as he used to over in this thread that Stefan mentions, and brought up the "look and feel" of the boards, suggesting we could re-open the discussion about using avatars and posting images on the boards. We've been "here" for about 4 years or so. Wouldn't hurt to revisit the topic a bit.)

 

#3 2011-08-14 07:48:34

strangeshe
Hierarch
From: Texas
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 11522

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

Also, Stefan, I'd like to edit this topic title to make that distinction between Message Board and Site to avoid any confusion.  If you'd like to make the edit, please do, or I can.  I'll wait, though, so you have a chance to see this first. I don't want to surprise you with an abrupt change to the topic you started. :)

 

#4 2011-08-14 09:57:41

PeterJW
Pilgrim
Registered: 2008-01-19
Posts: 511

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

I hope that  these possible addendums can be optional.  While they are not bad ideas, I do not know if they are for everyone on this Message Board.  I will give myself as an example of why this is so.  I am not on Facebook for instance, nor do I have any intention of joining Facebook. I simply do not trust it. My issue with this, should it come to pass, it is that I will be put in a position where I am forced to utilize some of its features. This would go against my personal preference to not practice anything akin to Facebook. I also do not have a digital camera.  I may get one in the future, but for the moment when I take photographs, I do it the old fashioned way.  So I may not be able to upload anything.

I do agree that this site is a community  and it is a joy to be a part of it.  My main concern though, is that I might be forced to leave it if I do not conform to any potential new realities of this Board.  In short, I do not want to be kicked off if I should choose to maintain my aynonmity while still contributing to this Board as I do now.  (i.e. holiday greetings, movie discussions, anything else that comes up.)

P.S. I really do not want to leave the Board.  I love the atmosphere of it and have a strong sense of belonging to something special and unique.

 

#5 2011-08-14 13:40:23

strangeshe
Hierarch
From: Texas
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 11522

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

Eep! Didn't mean to give that impression, Peter.  Please don't go anywhere!  No, we're not changing anything here any time soon unless everyone wants to.

I think I perhaps gave Stefan (& perhaps others) the wrong impression when I was bringing up possible reasons why Tad doesn't hang here as much as he used to.  And one of these possible reasons, I suggested the "look and feel" of Facebook was appealing to Tad -- where there's more of a visual show-and-tell thing with easy posting of pictures and links to videos and changing one's profile picture (all of these Tad seems to like to do, esp. changing the profile pic, which he has a lot of fun with; in fact, the pictures used for "Tad's Mood" on the front page of the site come directly from Tad's choices for his FB profile pic).

I think I'm still mangling this.

What I am trying to say is: 

* I suspect there are many reasons why Tad spends more time there than here. 

* One of those reasons (and probably not a major one) might be that he has a good time with changing his profile pic daily, and occasionally sharing pictures or links to videos or whatever. 

* If we were trying to "compete" with FB on those particular features to try and get Tad to post here more often again, we could activate those options here on the message boards. (There is an option to use an avatar, and an option to be able to post pics. That's about as far as it goes as far as I know. AND I'm certain they'd be optional -- like a sig. You could do it if you wanted to, but wouldn't have to. You could post any sort of picture you wanted as an avatar -- it would not have to be a picture of /you/, and you could certainly maintain your anonymity if you wanted to. Unlike FB, we don't require RL names here. Can't. No way to check that -- that I'm aware of.)

Now, personally, I do not believe that just adding the ability to have a profile pic or to be able to post pics here on the message board would cause Tad to start posting here more often -- for the other reasons I gave in that other topic.

I think it has more to do with how much time he has available to spend on internet socializing (the answer: not much).  If one doesn't have much time to spend, and wants to spend it with as broad a group of friends, family, associates, colleagues (other writers, publishers, editors, agents), and fans as possible, Facebook is a convenient way to do so.  It is "economical" in the sense that he can post once and reach more people of varied connections than if he were to post that same thing here.

Bleh. I can tell I'm back to not explaining myself well. The rest of my conjectures are over in that other thread. And they're just conjectures on my part.

In any case, because of that convo, I brought up re-visiting the issue of this board's features because I so much time has passed and I wondered if others here might want to "update" a little with pix, etc.  Personally, I don't care one way or the other.  If we do it, we'd certainly have to watch to make sure everything stays "family friendly."

---- the next part really is an offshoot from the other topic, but I'm being lazy and am not going to switch now ----

And as far as Tad goes, I'm not planning on making this a big deal with him.  He's under enough pressure as it is, and I know it would just make him feel bad that we might think he's "neglecting" us.  If you guys want to bring it up to him, that's your thing.

But, if you want to interact with him regularly, you have a way to do so. Go join Facebook. If you don't want to do that, that's your thing. But that's where he is -- for right now, anyway. Until he decides to change again.

We were lucky to have Tad interact personally with us for the time he did.  But I can think of many other authors who don't frequent their own message boards, and the message boards maintain a thriving community despite the author not participating directly.

.... eh, I've said enough. Should've just kept my mouth shut in the first place.  laterz.

 

#6 2011-08-15 11:38:07

Wolfshade
Pilgrim
From: Warwick, RI
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 3468
Website

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

The thing about Facebook is that it'll fade out.  That's no reason not to use it while so many friends and family are there, but I for one much prefer Google+ already. In a few years it could very well be something else.

I like the clean simplicity of these boards. I admit I don't think to check them every day (or week) like I used to, but I still feel attached to all the people. I just see them in a lot of other social networks now.


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#7 2011-08-15 13:52:32

ylvs
Mantis
From: Home again
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 8142

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

Wolfshade wrote:

I like the clean simplicity of these boards. I admit I don't think to check them every day (or week) like I used to, but I still feel attached to all the people. I just see them in a lot of other social networks now.

I agree with Wolfshade wholeheartedly.

I actually went to FB a few weeks ago because I thought that's where all the fun of the Messageboard went. But that is not the case. The Smarchgroup there is mostly silent as a grave and although I really like Tad's daily pics, links and comments it does not compare to what this board used to be. And that is the multitude of funny and interesting people who used to hang around and post here. I rememeber times whe the Dog made no appearance for weeks and months and this place was still striving with life and there was at least one new page of the Mint every day. I wish I had an idea how to rebuild that but I have none.
I have the faint hope though that Bobby Dollar might do the trick ... A shiny new story that will bring all the old Smarchers back exited and talkative. The Westeros site literally exploded when Dance was pulished. Although that was a bit too much and honestly I do not want loads of new people but the old gang ...
Should take my own advice and restart posting instead of lurking and wait for others to start but not today - dusk over Europe, gotta go to bed ...

edited for this brand new Tad quote on his FB wall:

"I ab-so-lutely promise that after we get settled into TomorrowLand -- the new Chez Beale/Williams -- I will get back to the message board. I know I've said I would before but I'm going to be reorganizing from scratch and I'll include it in the new regime. Because I miss the board."

Last edited by ylvs (2011-08-15 13:57:48)


'Inij koku na siqqasa min taq' - 'When we meet again, that will be a good day.'

What if UN economic sanctions against the Nornfells failed to get them to close down their Nuclear Witnesses program? At least the Sithi could begin their own WMD (Witnesses of Mass Destruction) program to try to counter the Nornsies... - Firsfron of Ronchester

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#8 2011-08-15 18:37:26

ArcticSwan360
Pilgrim
From: Minnesota
Registered: 2004-11-06
Posts: 1075
Website

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

strangeshe wrote:

Only have a moment, but want to point out that this is in reference to the /message board/, not the TW site itself. (Updating of the /site/ is in the works already, albeit moving a bit slowly, but there is already a plan -- and I'm dancing as fast as I can.)

Can you elaborate more on the changes being planned for the site itself? I'm excited to see the direction it takes, be it a big change or a small one.

strangeshe wrote:

Also, Stefan, I'd like to edit this topic title to make that distinction between Message Board and Site to avoid any confusion.  If you'd like to make the edit, please do, or I can.

Don't worry. In the context of this topic I believe it makes more sense to let you have editing privileges, as you are actually involved with Tad and the site itself. You know much more about this subject than I do, but I would like to get more involved in this since lately I have had much more free time than I used too.

The following quote is edited for space:

PeterJW wrote:

I hope that  these possible addendums can be optional.  I do not know if they are for everyone on this Message Board.  I will give myself as an example of why.  I am not on Facebook for instance, nor will I. My issue is, should it come to pass, is that I will be put in a position where I am forced to utilize some of its features. This would go against my personal preference to not practice anything akin to Facebook. I also do not have a digital camera.  I may get one in the future, but for the moment when I take photographs, I do it the old fashioned way.  So I may not be able to upload anything.

I do agree that this site is a community  and it is a joy to be a part of it.  My main concern though, is that I might be forced to leave it if I do not conform to any potential new realities of this Board.  In short, I do not want to be kicked off if I should choose to maintain my aynonmity while still contributing to this Board as I do now.  (i.e. holiday greetings, movie discussions, anything else that comes up.)

P.S. I really do not want to leave the Board.  I love the atmosphere of it and have a strong sense of belonging to something special and unique.

There is no reason to worry.  I'm sorry you got the wrong impression from our discussion, but we were not saying in our discussion that the message boards have to have the same concept of Facebook. We were pointing out a few ideas that Facebook implemented that could improve the message boards strengths and fix its weaknesses, while at the same time not being a change that would be a revolution of the board's philosophy and vision. I make a conscious effort to stay away from Facebook, rarely using it, and ironically the reason I do use it on those few occasions is the biggest complaint I have with Facebook's mentality: Just recently I learned that I was invited to someones bachelor party with only an hour before I had to leave for it - if it hadn't been for my brother coming over to tell, since he saw that I didn't notice the invitation on Facebook; if it hadn't been for him I would've missed it and never won 185 dollars in poker that night.

Another instance were when my two triplet brothers were graduating college - one finishing his four-year degree, the other a six-year one - and the party was at my parents' - who I still live with, unlike the rest of my siblings - house. They sent invites through Facebook and the same brother who told me of the bachelor party saw that I didn't RSVP for their party and he told me, even though I lived where it was taking place and would be there because of it - even though I would've attended either way - he told I should still reply to the invite, even after I told him in person I'd be there. Which I believe is the main problem with Facebook and social networking sites that are built with that concept in mind: it takes away from our personal interactions with others, demeaning the idea of it in a way, and I cannot stand that. Why would a brother or friend prefer to be told he's coming to an important celebration - or to other things perhaps, like a wake or funeral, a wedding, would be able to go on a vacation, etc. - through online words and not by an actual, personal reply by telling it to their face or over the phone for that matter. Another reason I don't like it is the design of the website, in my humble opinion, is convoluted and aesthetically unappealing mess of a presentation.

Simply put, we want a better, more attractive board that still retains it core philosophy when it comes to community and the importance of more personal interaction.

strangeshe wrote:

I think I'm still mangling this.

Trust me, you are selling yourself short, second guessing yourself, when in fact you are doing a fine job of explaining things. If you are still worried, I hope that what I mentioned about in reply to the previous quote by PeterJW you think will clear things up for anyone still confused or worried.

strangeshe wrote:

Now, personally, I do not believe that just adding the ability to have a profile pic or to be able to post pics here on the message board would cause Tad to start posting here more often -- for the other reasons I gave in that other topic.

I think it has more to do with how much time he has available to spend on internet socializing (the answer: not much).  If one doesn't have much time to spend, and wants to spend it with as broad a group of friends, family, associates, colleagues (other writers, publishers, editors, agents), and fans as possible, Facebook is a convenient way to do so.  It is "economical" in the sense that he can post once and reach more people of varied connections than if he were to post that same thing here.

The root of the problem is not Tad's absence, in my opinion at least - though it might affect it a little. This is a community of friends that for about four years have interacted with each other, sharing hobbies, playing games, discussing what we are currently reading or had just seen, or perhaps what we are looking forward to. There are plenty of forums and message boards that - based around certain subjects and not a certain figure - have a much more constant and active traffic of people and interactions.

strangeshe wrote:

In any case, because of that convo, I brought up re-visiting the issue of this board's features because I so much time has passed and I wondered if others here might want to "update" a little with pix, etc.  Personally, I don't care one way or the other.  If we do it, we'd certainly have to watch to make sure everything stays "family friendly."

That shouldn't be a problem. Even without the type of "rules" and "moderating" - though there obviously there is - seen in other forums, this has always been the cleanest I've ever been too. That's because of the sense of familial camaraderie in this community, which is great since such a gift doesn't come around too often in online settings, since like I like I mentioned about Facebook the sense of personal interactions - as well as the sense of responsibility from the lack of consequence - is rampant in these types of things. But not here. And I believe it will stay that way.

strangeshe wrote:

And as far as Tad goes, I'm not planning on making this a big deal with him.  He's under enough pressure as it is, and I know it would just make him feel bad that we might think he's "neglecting" us.  If you guys want to bring it up to him, that's your thing.

We all - I know I do - respect how busy he his, and that his family has to come first. We wouldn't want it any other way. That would be terrible, and I believe anyone who sees themselves as a true fan of Tad would respect all that and not be selfish.

strangeshe wrote:

We were lucky to have Tad interact personally with us for the time he did.  But I can think of many other authors who don't frequent their own message boards, and the message boards maintain a thriving community despite the author not participating directly.

Very true. When it comes to my list of favorite and most beloved authors, I don't choose them solely based on writing talent and the degree of quality found in their books. They need to have a good personality and a good relationship with their fans, needs to see there fans not just in the terms of "buyers" in a business sense, but someone who regards their fans with sincerity and enthusiasm.

ylvs wrote:

edited for this brand new Tad quote on his FB wall:

"I ab-so-lutely promise that after we get settled into TomorrowLand -- the new Chez Beale/Williams -- I will get back to the message board. I know I've said I would before but I'm going to be reorganizing from scratch and I'll include it in the new regime. Because I miss the board."

Total awesome sauce. My favorite type of sauce, as well as hot sauce. One last thing to mention concerning the subject to hopefully improving upon the message boards. There are some forums that also have a running chat room - usually an IRC Channel - and I was wondering if it would be possible to think on that as an idea for the boards. While a fully developed chat room would be awesome, even a "lite" version like the pop-up one found in Facebook - don't get me wrong, I still don't like Facebook, even though I like a lot of its functions (just not the reason for their use) - would also be neat. Obviously a chat room would be preferential, but a small version is better than nothing.

I know that's a huge undertaking and most likely improbable in terms of the time investment needed to develop it. I just thought I'd mention it; I won't see it as huge loss if its decided to never pursue the idea. Hopefully such a thing is possible though, even if its a long, long ways off. Wow, this post is probably my longest ever. It definitely had to be the one that took the longest, but that shows how much I'd like to be involved when it comes to any sort of changes the boards might take. I'd like to get others input: what you want, what worries you might have, ect. Thanks for reading this long post, it means a lot.


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#9 2011-08-16 00:37:02

Aan`allein
Hierarch
From: The Netherlands - occasionally
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 5935
Website

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

FWIW, I'm strongly against clutter like avatars on message boards; they detract from the actual content of the posts, while it's _those_ that (still, imo) form the strength of a place like this. Chasing the new shiny never works with attracting new people - it just makes you harder to distinguish and gives people less reason to visit, because it's just like that other place which does the same, but then also is more popular; better to work from your strengths. (I.e. see if some more worthwhile discussions on assorted topics can be started.)

We also used to have an IRC channel during the height of shadowmarch's popularity. IIRC it never attracted more than half a dozen people, and conversation was all but absent. But if it did do well under the current circumstances, then I suspect it'd have conversation in there which otherwise would've gone into the Mint, and thus give an even more forlorn look to the board. (Which, I must add, is not at all looking forlorn right now, what with 13 threads in the active topics.) :)


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#10 2011-08-16 03:20:56

ylvs
Mantis
From: Home again
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 8142

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

I agree with Aan. I don't want attract new people I want the old ones back. I want parties in the Mint no chatting function. I like the simplicity and imagination of this place ( esp. Mint and Neighbourhood ).
I like books better than TV as I like here better than FB.


'Inij koku na siqqasa min taq' - 'When we meet again, that will be a good day.'

What if UN economic sanctions against the Nornfells failed to get them to close down their Nuclear Witnesses program? At least the Sithi could begin their own WMD (Witnesses of Mass Destruction) program to try to counter the Nornsies... - Firsfron of Ronchester

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#11 2011-08-17 00:05:03

cyan
Mantis
From: Magic Loft of Design & Wonder
Registered: 2005-02-16
Posts: 24400

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

While I, too, lament the fact that the Boards aren't as active as they used to be (based on my 'relatively new' participation here vs. SS or Aan, heh), I think it has more to do with the multitude of other platforms through which we can now use to communicate with the friends we made on these boards.  In the same vein that SS talked about Tad's seeming migration to FB over these message boards, it is the same for all of us who used to be very active here and now not so much: eventually, you really do have to streamline your web presence if you actually have a finite amount of time to devote to it.

While I would love to see the message boards more active again, I don't think trying to mimic other social media sites is the way to do it.  I agree with Aan that avatars and such are just clutter - bugs, not a features - that it really should be the content of our posts, not some B*S count of 'likes' and 'dislikes' which can be used to determine if you want to 'friend' a person.  S'march has a long history of participants forming very strong friendships and, imho, is entirely due to people interested in communicating with other people in an inherently limited form of expression (text-only*) and successfully doing so anyway.

* Great for writers, not so great for those who aren't (me)


Lily: "... .... There is a lot of bad sex in the world. There is also a lot of bad food in the world. If you are starving and have the choice between bad food and no food, you should choose the bad food. If you have the choice between bad sex and no sex, you should choose the no sex."
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#12 2011-08-17 01:36:16

ylvs
Mantis
From: Home again
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 8142

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

Cyan!

*muchly pouncyhughling*

Let's have a drink in the Mint!


'Inij koku na siqqasa min taq' - 'When we meet again, that will be a good day.'

What if UN economic sanctions against the Nornfells failed to get them to close down their Nuclear Witnesses program? At least the Sithi could begin their own WMD (Witnesses of Mass Destruction) program to try to counter the Nornsies... - Firsfron of Ronchester

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#13 2011-08-17 13:05:19

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 39041
Website

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

I don't think Smarch needs any new features either, but then I've only left for short periods of time. :)

Of course we might have (at least) a (short) revival of the boards if we'd send all the old regulars an email trying to lure them back... And have more smarch moots!


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

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#14 2011-08-17 18:35:38

PeterJW
Pilgrim
Registered: 2008-01-19
Posts: 511

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

To strangeshe and ArcticSwan360:

Thank you both for the clarifications of this issue.  I feel more relieved now about everything.

 

#15 2011-08-17 22:26:34

cyan
Mantis
From: Magic Loft of Design & Wonder
Registered: 2005-02-16
Posts: 24400

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

ylvs wrote:

Cyan!

*muchly pouncyhughling*

Let's have a drink in the Mint!

Ylvs!  If you're buying, I'm there!  *giggles*

*bigpouncyhuggles*


Lily: "... .... There is a lot of bad sex in the world. There is also a lot of bad food in the world. If you are starving and have the choice between bad food and no food, you should choose the bad food. If you have the choice between bad sex and no sex, you should choose the no sex."
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#16 2011-08-18 03:58:54

ylvs
Mantis
From: Home again
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 8142

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

*grabs purse and runs over to the Mint*


'Inij koku na siqqasa min taq' - 'When we meet again, that will be a good day.'

What if UN economic sanctions against the Nornfells failed to get them to close down their Nuclear Witnesses program? At least the Sithi could begin their own WMD (Witnesses of Mass Destruction) program to try to counter the Nornsies... - Firsfron of Ronchester

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#17 2011-08-20 04:40:14

ArcticSwan360
Pilgrim
From: Minnesota
Registered: 2004-11-06
Posts: 1075
Website

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

ylvs wrote:

I don't want attract new people I want the old ones back.

I'm just going to clarify something. I'm guessing you don't mean you only want the old members back, but that you just don't want changes for the sake of attracting new members.

One last thing to clear up. As I see that general consensus so far is, of the ideas mentioned, none so far really want them. What I'm wondering is, is there anything that hasn't been mentioned that you would want, or do you want the boards left exactly as they are?

I myself, while not really needing any additions to the main section of the boards, like Avatars or even the ability to upload photos, wouldn't mind more options in the profile section. I don't mean the things like Facebook might have, but perhaps something like the ability to select what you are currently reading, or maybe something like the Signature, but for the actual profile. I don't see any of these as crucial, just something I wouldn't mind having, or not having really.


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I'd greatly appreciate comments on my blog.
It will be about reading, writing, gaming, movies, tv and more.
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#18 2011-08-20 05:16:50

Aan`allein
Hierarch
From: The Netherlands - occasionally
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 5935
Website

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

Increasing the possibilities of the profile is not really a trivial thing to do, as we're using standard message board software (punbb), and any changes to that would make it harder to keep getting security updates. That said, I'm actually going to customize the profile of another punbb board sometime in the next few months (year?) as well, so if during that project I figure out how to do so non-invasively, I could probably port it to here, too.


Mozilla developer comment of the however long it'll be this time:
<Mossop> run for the hills!
<Boriss> i can't, i'm at a local maximum!


Just Imagine...

 

#19 2011-09-02 17:18:08

Magpie
Mantis
From: the town of thistly flowerbeds
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 24099
Website

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

Kinda late to the party here - I've been reading the thread but never had time to reply. Not that I have anything to say that hasn't been said before.

Don't need pictures, avatars and such... don't mind them if a forum has them, but once I've got used to a place, real or virtual, I don't like changes much. And I like the calm appearance of our dear Smarch.
And please, please, please, no different font sizes and colours and no animated smilies... my gardening forum just moved to a different, more modern forum, and while I love these people dearly (didn't care so much about them before, but these last few days really brought us together - long story), the "housewarming party" makes my eyes hurt, with all those bright colours and wriggling smilies while everyone is trying out the new stuff we can now do.

Understand Tad's reasons for preferring Facebook - kinda sad for the few of us who don't want to be on FB, but oh well... there are worse problems in the world. Would be great to see him posting here again, but I'm not holding my breath. :)

And, yup, would love to have some old members back, rather than lots of new ones pouring in. But I suspect that those who left did so for reasons that have more to do with their personal lives than with the message board. And I guess I should point out that I don't have anything against new members - not at all! After all, I was a newby once, shyly poking my nose into the Mint. New members are great - I just don't want a whole lot of them pouring in all at once. The thing that makes Smarch such a nice place is how well we all know each other and how well we get along, and to be honest, I'm worried that a whole lot of new people coming in all at once would mess that up... And I miss the people who have disappeared, of course, especially the Mint regulars from my early days here (it's been more than five years, and I still sometimes have to remind myself that I'm not a newby any more, isn't that silly?) - so that's another reason why I want them back.

And can I just say how much I love this place? Needs to be said every once in a while, and this whole craziness at the gardening forum has just reminded me how much a good community is worth. *huggles everyone and wanders off to bed with a silly smile*


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Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You'll find what you need to furnish it- memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.

babbling about books and plants

 

#20 2012-04-05 10:48:30

Ad1tu
Pilgrim
From: Buffalo
Registered: 2004-02-22
Posts: 3021

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

Really REALLY late to the game here, but I figure I'll throw my 2 cents in anyway.

If Facebook / social media is indeed the problem, then this message board is not isolated from it. I used to frequent several message boards, and most of them have died out to the point where I don't even bother to visit anymore. People move on, do different things, and Facebook is one of those things.

However I personally do not think it is specifically Facebook's fault in any of this. I think it's a change in how people communicate on the internet. Message boards / bulletin boards used to be the only way to talk to people online, and bulletin boards (correct me if I'm wrong) were usually all started as: A group of people that have [thing] in common, but people like to talk about more than just [thing], so there was always a "general discussion" sub forum and whatnot. I know I found shadowmarch.com not because of Shadowmarch, but I was looking for a way to get in contact with Tad (I was assigned to do a report on my favorite American author, and really wanted to do it on him, but he wasn't in any of the books in the school library, so I wanted to see if I could do an interview. I eventually just gave up and did Isaac Asimov :P Because I am of the impatient variety.) I feel like Facebook sort of replaces all of that... Rather than having to look up what you like, see if there's a website, see if there's a forum, create a new account, set up that account, potentially have to pay for said account, you just register on Facebook (free), eliminating all the account steps, and then have people drop you links in your lap so it's easy to find what you like.
Another thing: You're having a problem. You google your problem. This can take you to a message board for the company or product you're having a problem with, or a support / help forum, where you may or may not have to register to read the posts, and you may or may not have to then make a post asking your question. There are now 2 avenues: Either googling your problem returns you SO MANY results, it's easy to find your answer without registering on a forum, or you just post your facebook status to be the question you have and let the answers roll on in. I imagine both have greatly reduced message board traffic.

So, I'm not saying don't change the message board. I personally like boards that have avatars. Some have a little space beneath your avatar for a tag-line type deal. Some decorate for holidays (change border colors, add in little jpgs, etc.) But I don't think the boards will be revived with changes. If people aren't looking for it, they aren't going to find it, so no matter how shiny it is, it won't matter. Of course, I'm also not saying that if some people see the board how it is now, they won't go "Eww this looks terrible, why would anyone suffer this!" because I'm sure that has happened and will happen again. But I think message boards are something you have to like and "get".

As for the people that we've lost... Well, how many people have their email address in their profile? Maybe send out a "Hey we've noticed you haven't posted in xxx, we miss you!" Just sort of a generic reminder. I'm not sure how effective that would be.


If you should do what makes you happy, and no one can tell you what makes you happy, then that means no one can tell you what to do!

 

#21 2013-01-21 20:16:35

Firsfron of Ronchester
Mantis
From: Ronchester, in Erkronland
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 13539
Website

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

The new message board themes/colors are pretty awesome (although the names could use some work). Thanks to those involved (I assume Aan and/or SS). Not sure when the new features were added, but they're a nice change. Any chance a yellow theme could be added, for those who'd like something more Smarchy?


I've just been doing correspondence, which always feels like swabbing down the decks of a working battleship.  It's just going to need doing all over again tomorrow. -- His Tadliness

Scrollbearer, Keeper of the Firsfronicon, Message Board Poet Lariat and Guardian of the Wild Range.
Tad's writing more Osten Ard books! (Depiction courtesy Bandit/Associated Press)

 

#22 2013-01-21 21:48:05

cyan
Mantis
From: Magic Loft of Design & Wonder
Registered: 2005-02-16
Posts: 24400

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

Pardon me, but I must file a formal complaint.  You see, there is absolutely no logical reason for the color scheme previously known as "blue" to be renamed, and especially not to be "emerald".  There is absolutely no 'emerald' about it!  I will allow that the blues used in this color scheme does lean a bit towards the green scale, but not nearly enough to call it 'emerald', not by a long shot.  Based upon my screen settings, it should be called 'winter sky and thunder.'  Please make this change forthwith.  Thank you.

Last edited by cyan (2013-01-21 21:50:20)


Lily: "... .... There is a lot of bad sex in the world. There is also a lot of bad food in the world. If you are starving and have the choice between bad food and no food, you should choose the bad food. If you have the choice between bad sex and no sex, you should choose the no sex."
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Proud Member of the Log Brigade
Photos of My Works

 

#23 2013-01-22 03:01:59

ylvs
Mantis
From: Home again
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 8142

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

To be honest your blueness, I've never seen any blue in it. It's a greyish green ans has always been...


'Inij koku na siqqasa min taq' - 'When we meet again, that will be a good day.'

What if UN economic sanctions against the Nornfells failed to get them to close down their Nuclear Witnesses program? At least the Sithi could begin their own WMD (Witnesses of Mass Destruction) program to try to counter the Nornsies... - Firsfron of Ronchester

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#24 2013-01-22 09:28:03

Seitherin
Mantis
From: Texas, near Houston
Registered: 2001-06-01
Posts: 7202
Website

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

Gotta agree on the "emerald" being very obviously blue. Emerald is green. A very deep green.


"The evil done by men of goodwill is the worst of all." Iain Pears, The Dream of Scipio

"Where all think alike, no one thinks very much." Walter Lippmann (1889-1974)

So, I've got a blog . . . Now what? | A Stitch in Time | The Name Nook

 

#25 2013-01-22 10:10:19

ylvs
Mantis
From: Home again
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 8142

Re: Updating the Message Board Features

*is confused*

But this is green, not emerald fer sure but green, graygreen, bluegraygreen maybe ...


'Inij koku na siqqasa min taq' - 'When we meet again, that will be a good day.'

What if UN economic sanctions against the Nornfells failed to get them to close down their Nuclear Witnesses program? At least the Sithi could begin their own WMD (Witnesses of Mass Destruction) program to try to counter the Nornsies... - Firsfron of Ronchester

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