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Old 10-28-2010, 03:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Evolve or TFP dies.

It's that simple. I've tried patiently to encourage more posters only to not gain any real traction on that.

So far this year to date, we've got 1,996 threads created and that includes the ones that I'm using in the background.

I've got another major upgrade to do here but I don't see any real reason to do it. We live just fine in this version. In fact, I sense that it's going to just stagnate or it is already dead and all that's left is the kicking and screaming.

So here it is,



We've had a very steady decline of participation. Looking these numbers, I installed a tracking system in March that tracked participation based on subforums. It has given me this top 20 list.

So I'm going to take the first steps in making an evolution. If I'm going to put in a considerable amount of work or ask other people to put in that work, I'd like to reward them accordingly. This is why you may have noticed that there is a post looking for writers.

There's a couple of things that are going to shake out of this. Either the community starts to actually discuss things more than just posting images, or the site does it's death spiral down the drain.

I've allowed those that felt it was more respite to post imagery more than discussion for a good 6 months, and it hasn't netted us more traffic or discussion. In simplest words, it isn't what this space was to be about. It's supposed to be discussion. Look at the numbers and tell me what you see.

Those of you who recently have restarted posting new threads, thank you. Keep up the good work, even if no one responds initially. It's how discussions start, someone has to start it. Thank you again.

I'm open for discussion, but at this time until further notice, I've removed Nonsense/Fun Zone from the New Posts search again.
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Last edited by Cynthetiq; 10-28-2010 at 03:07 PM..
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Forums grow, forums stagnate, and forums shrink. You can't change that, and I suspect if you try too hard to encourage people to participate, you're just going to make what you see as a problem even worse by driving people away.

TFP is a community, not a business. The users are not consumers and posts not product. Expectations of perpetual growth or even maintaining user numbers and use are unrealistic. While the site does cost money to run, and certainly it makes sense to maintain an income of some sort, the function of TFP is as a virtual meeting place for people first and foremost.

My suggestion? Leave it alone. As admin, it makes sense for you to keep an eye on the forum to make sure it's running correctly from a technical standpoint and maybe to police the occasional troublemaker. We appreciate that. It's not your job to grow the site. It's not your job to chew out members for not posting as much as they used to. It's really not your job to try and scare people into caring by throwing around words like "dead" and "death spiral down the drain". I'm frankly surprised you think that would work. If the TFP community wants to contribute and interact, that's what they'll do. There's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

I wonder what new members will think of reading this thread.
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Old 10-28-2010, 04:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This may sound pretty insane to most forum users, myself included but:
Get rid of the Search function and punish those that say "REPOST"

Trust me, nothing kills forum activity like a forum that's already had every topic covered and is full of people who love to mock those that ask a question that's already been answered, even if it that answer was 5 years ago.



*edit* Oh, and re-start some of these really old "What are you listening to right now" type threads, no n00b feels like going through a 20 page-long thread that started 5 years ago(which is prolly filled with rubbish anyways)

And fuck the forum updates. Have you seen what 4chan looks like? You can't polish a turd but nothing beats a rat-rod.
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Old 10-28-2010, 04:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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will, truth be told, I am getting tired of taking care of this place if the numbers are what they are. It isn't worth it to me to spend a whole day off to upgrade this space and continue to pay for it in time away from other interests I have.

You may feel that way, but if people do not post, there isn't much to respond to or discuss. If a conversation isn't started and it's just people posting photos and images, well, I'd rather just shut the site down now. It's not what Halx had in mind nor is it what I want it to devolve to.

Cavi, that rarely happens these days because there aren't many threads started let alone ones that are reposts.

I have to maintain some sort of updates due to security vulnerabilities and cross site scripting hacks.
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavi Mike View Post
This may sound pretty insane to most forum users, myself included but:
Get rid of the Search function and punish those that say "REPOST"

Trust me, nothing kills forum activity like a forum that's already had every topic covered and is full of people who love to mock those that ask a question that's already been answered, even if it that answer was 5 years ago.
I don't think that's really the case any more. It was a few years ago, but it's a habit that I've tried to break with at least a little success. These days we only combine a new thread with an old one if the old one has been active within the last 30 days.

As for the rest, that's not a bad suggestion but one that I don't think we can take lightly.

Will, you've made your opinion well known in the past. Let's just agree to disagree and not make this into a "thing". I think that the staff completely agrees with Cyn. We're the ones donating our time and efforts behind the scenes to keep this thing running. So if not seeing the "Fun Zone" in your new posts search is a deal killer, sorry.
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthetiq View Post
will, truth be told, I am getting tired of taking care of this place if the numbers are what they are. It isn't worth it to me to spend a whole day off to upgrade this space and continue to pay for it in time away from other interests I have.
This sentiment isn't reflected in the OP at all. If you're ready to move on, that's fine and I'd hardly begrudge you, in fact you deserve praise for keeping the place going and upgraded the way you have. If it's time to find another site runner (or whatever the term is), so be it. Whatever reason you have for being ready to hand over the reigns are your own.

What you posted above didn't seem like Cynthitiq's personal opinion of what constitutes a healthy TFP, but rather some objective law about forums. Perhaps that was my misunderstanding.

Anyway, I do stand by my statement that there's absolutely nothing you can do as an admin/mod to increase user activity. You can help to facilitate the natural flow of activity by keeping the site clean and running, but at the end of the day it's just you getting out of the way to allow the community to do its own thing. If TFP is slow right now, it's slow right now. I can't say if it will speed back up again or continue to slow down, but it's going to happen and there's nothing you, I or even Jon Stewart can do about it.

Would you like to hand over the reigns to a new tech savvy and well respected member of the community (not me, I'm not tech savvy)?
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am new here and have taken a liking to this place. I would hate to see it spiral. I was a member of a forum where discussion dwindled and it got down to fun and games and then that boiled down to bickering amongst the bored and cannabalism fed the starved and while it still lingers a sad malingering life, its so not what it use to be. Five threads a day, 10 people posting about their tiny little lives, all thinking they have a kingdom all unto themselves. They forgot...its not land. Its the net. And its 10 people without a life other than their keyboard that remain...

this place needs to remain. Its lustfully intelligent. I crave interaction such as this and CD will get rewarded grandly for this introduction next time I see him in person....
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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hand over? no, not going to happen.

It's going to evolve or it dies. I didn't post this without thinking this through. Why let it become like plastic.com that used to be a flurry of discussion to only now being barely a new thread a week and only a handful of responses? It's a pathetic shell of what it once was, I don't want TFP to suffer that same fate. I'd rather pull the plug myself than let it wither.

As for what a new member is to read or understand from this, is that there is a responsibility to participate in the community in some fashion other than just reading.

---------- Post added at 10:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:00 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by tasineah View Post
I am new here and have taken a liking to this place. I would hate to see it spiral. I was a member of a forum where discussion dwindled and it got down to fun and games and then that boiled down to bickering amongst the bored and cannabalism fed the starved and while it still lingers a sad malingering life, its so not what it use to be. Five threads a day, 10 people posting about their tiny little lives, all thinking they have a kingdom all unto themselves. They forgot...its not land. Its the net. And its 10 people without a life other than their keyboard that remain...

this place needs to remain. Its lustfully intelligent. I crave interaction such as this and CD will get rewarded grandly for this introduction next time I see him in person....
tasineah, that is exactly what I'm talking about.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Nice thoughts, but mandating participation won't make it happen. Unfortunately, I don't have the answer. I've seen some very good and active forums completely disappear. It happens. Quite often, in fact.

Good luck, TFP.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Craven, I can't mandate participation. I can only encourage it. What I can do is discourage things that aren't the participation that is expected for this space. I'm looking at you Post an image threads....

They were to be rewards and respite from discussion. Instead they have been their own center of participation. If that's the only attraction for that member, in short I'd rather not have that member since that's not part of the intelligent discussion that was the standard and hallmark of this space.

I'm not trying to pick on those that are into posting photos. I'm trying to show that those that objected to my statements about it before haven't ADDED to the amount of discussion.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If the image threads are an issue, then eliminate them. I have no issue with that. But as long as they are here, if I find a humorous image, I'll post it here. And so will others. If you want solely discussion, then remake TFP into nothing but that. Seriously. However, I'm not sure how the elimination of the more frivilous threads will result in more discussion but at least they won't be held as the reason why more serious discussion isn't taking place.

As I said, good luck.
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:18 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I took a break from TFP after Halx changed the forum a bit and I've been back for a few months now. Quite honestly, this isn't the same forums that TFP used to be. I see how many people are "viewing" a section but when I look for a new post, I don't see any thing. I created a post hoping to get some feedback and I think I got 2 bites before it died.

I've been expecting this kind of post and I'm a bit sad to see it. My suggestion would be to get rid of at least half of the subforums and see if some good discussion can generate in the remaining forums. Oh, and women only forum ... open that up. The last thing the board needs is any more separation from posters. As far as the picture forums, leave them. While discussion is limited there is still some discussion there.

Cyn ... thank you for all you've done in keeping TFP going. I do appreciate all your time and energy you have invested in forums for EVERYBODY.
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthetiq View Post
hand over? no, not going to happen.
If you're not interested in managing and keeping an eye on a smaller forum, what's the harm in handing it over to someone new? Halx handed it over to you, you can hand it to someone else and so on. I don't think anyone ever expected you'd run the site until the end of time. Anyway, the community exists in whatever form (or forum) it takes. Why do you think ending the site is better than allowing it to continue on should it continue to lean down?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthetiq View Post
It's going to evolve or it dies. I didn't post this without thinking this through. Why let it become like plastic.com that used to be a flurry of discussion to only now being barely a new thread a week and only a handful of responses? It's a pathetic shell of what it once was, I don't want TFP to suffer that same fate. I'd rather pull the plug myself than let it wither.
TFP is unique and has intrinsic value even as a collection of thoughts, let alone as a community brought together by common interests. If you're starting to resent what TFP is becoming, so be it, but don't punish those who have stayed and continue to contribute.

By the way, TFP is the creation of the people who have made it interesting or great. Whatever TFP is belongs (belongs in the philosophical sense, not the legal or physical sense) just as much to Charlatan and MSD and Mal and Snowy and Baraka and Cromp and roach and phil and WK and SMeth and Rat and Ustwo and thousands and thousands of others as it does you. What happens to the collected thoughts of tens of thousands of authors when you decide the forum isn't big or busy enough anymore? Does the hard drive go into a drawer? Do we lose forever the horizontal vagina and mass media mind control and our most memorable posts and my insane 9/1 conspiracy theories?
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I feel it is unlikely that there is as many consistent viewers in the sub forums as is shown without having relative posts. The traffic must be in reality less than what is shown.
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:21 PM   #15 (permalink)
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want my 2 cents?

get rid of the blogs. Make a blog forum, right now it feels like a segmented site and people do NOT visit the blogs nearly enough, discussion in there is sparse, hell, I don't even want to go look at other people's blog entries because it's just like the basement of TFP, it doesn't feel like part of the community to me. I'd suggest it be a forum much on the level of exhibition because what people write in there is much more intimate than a set of nipples or a wang. I'd love spending more time reading the goings on in the lives of other forumers but beyond hitting "new posts" or sharing the occasional interesting (to me) post of my own, the posters here have a hard time distinguishing themselves in my head as being personalities vs lifeless forum names.

elseways, I only need to offer the video vs print media debate. Forums as "communities" have felt like they've been in a decline for ages. This forum and one other are the only remaining 2 out of about 8 I used to frequent that have any traffic at all.

Incentivise discussion. Icons, badges, extra titles, whatever, you guys had this voting thing a while back and that fizzled because it was mostly a popularity contest I think.

and, I hate to say it but maybe you just need to re-merge the adult forums with this site.

Honestly though, my last suggestion is simply this. Building communities from the outside works a lot better than pressuring those who enjoy the environment on the inside.

I don't think people go to the bar with friends to have the bartender interrupt their good times to snark at them and tell them that they need to buy extra drinks or they're closing the bar to make up for the lack of business from others.


I dunno, you can dissect and rebutt this post and it's suggestions all you want, ultimately I'm just of the mindset that it's not really anything we can fix for you. As far as what I can tell from the donation counter, the site is still paying for itself.

But mostly, I agree on the point that if the stress is getting to you, or you feel you lack the time/desire/expertise to be a community leader/builder/promoter then get more help from people who are enabled to do so, find volunteers.

Simply put, TFP isn't what it once was, and what you guys tried to turn it in to, doesn't seem to be working if it results in threads like this. I'm not mocking the situation, I've just seen it happen before and instead of adapting, or as you put it, evolving, they just gave up and became graveyards for spammers and bots.

Another idea is assigning content generation via volunteering/voting in forum leaders of the focused forums.

Say for instance, people who are really in to gaming or writing game reviews could be invited to post those reviews in the gaming forum on a regular basis. People with a focus in music could write album reviews or various studio methods, or share interesting youtube videos they came across.

As long as they accompany the post with original commentary, I think it would really help in the long term.

Last edited by Shauk; 10-28-2010 at 08:30 PM..
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
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shauk, you made some good parallels there. A bar won't stay open unless it's worthwhile for the management to keep it open. I've been in bars that just closed because the regulars just came in and nursed 1 beer for the night. It's not far from what is happening here now with some of the old timers that cruise in to read but not contribute.

The site isn't paying for itself 100%. It doesn't hit 100% all the time, in fact it hasn't for the past 4 months, I don't expect it to get any closer. At this point in time I pay Halx his costs for the server and I pay for the chatroom myself.

will, it's not going to happen. I'm not going to hand over the reins to anyone else. There isn't anyone on staff at the moment who has the time nor expertise and I don't think that finding and grooming someone for it is worthwhile for all that I've been entrusted, not just from Halx, but from the community. You can stop postulating and wondering why, and that's the simplest answer I can give.

ice, according to google analytics it is more than what this tracker is showing. This tracker strips out all spiders and bots, and focuses on tracking the usage of individuals.
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I sat here and wavered between "post" or "why bother" for a few minutes now. I decided to post an opinion, but the reasons for my wavering are what I feel is a big issue with TFP.

It's history of and continuation of the inflexible and overbearing moderation of the site.

I once had posted content here, articles I wrote, original art images, and participated in threads. At that time it was declared that TFP "owned" and held copyright to all posted text and images. Of course I went through all my old threads and removed all content that I possibly could.

Things are still eerily similar to that moment.
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Wait, what? Though it's been over 6 years since I signed up to TFP, I don't remember reading that when I joined. Unless it's otherwise specified in the terms and services, you, the author, own the copyright to your own forum posts. I'm not a lawyer, but this isn't exactly a complex legal issue.

Do we have a link to the terms or service or terms and services of TFP?
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I concur with Shauk's post. And if money is a problem I will pony up some more Benjis for my favorite waste of time.

And I'd like to thank Strange Famous for making Tilted Weaponry #7. I can't hold up Tilted Weaponry by myself, y'know.

...

Update: I just brought in a new hot female nutjob with a CAPS LOCK problem and dropped a $20 in the plate.
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:46 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Look at the very bottom of every page....

"All text © 2002-2010 Tilted Forum Project"
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:23 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Tirian, interesting, I don't recall that specifically but you bring up a great thing that I need to mention, copyright. There's a fellow that's going about trolling for copyright infringement. Admins of forums and blog owners are being Righthaven'd right out of existence. There's been a discussion about this posted by someone, with little thought to the actual ramifications at the time. Today, after consulting with a few lawyers and my knowledge of this group of individuals, in order to keep this stuff protected, it's a liability I'd have to shoulder and carry. Most sites that have been litigated against just closed shop.

In order to protect TFP from such things I'm going to have to pony up some extra dollars and file some paperwork with the US Copyright Office in Washington so that TFP qualifies as safe harbor and in 100% compliance for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). I'll also have to spend some time and money with a lawyer to make sure that going forward we're covered for such things.

Tirian, after sitting typing this I remember some of what you're talking about. Unfortunately at that time I wasn't responsible for TFP and not even an admin if I was even on staff at the time. My knowledge and understanding of copyright at the time is vastly different than what I know and understand today since today I specifically work with contracts focused on rights, royalties, copyrights, and trademarks.

Quote:
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Look at the very bottom of every page....

"All text © 2002-2010 Tilted Forum Project"
If anything hardly enforceable for those that do hold the rights to the original text. If I posted a quote from CNN does that mean it belongs to TFP? Of course not. What about something that is in the public domain like excerpts from Moby Dick? Does that now belong to TFP? Of course not.

What it does mean and it's sole intention and purpose is to disallow someone from harvesting this website, reposting or publishing it it and claiming it as theirs. If that's what is stopping you from participating, that's a shame because if you read the TOS of most online games, websites where you are allowed to comment, etc. it isn't much different. If that stifles your ability to voice an opinion or participate then, with the simple wave of a hand, it's changed. Does that make you participate now more?

Now that I've removed the "all text" does it now mean that Clavus posts his original images and art, does it mean that TFP owns that? Of course not. It would be an absurd claim to try to make from my perspective. Do you get where I'm going with this?

---------- Post added at 04:23 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:10 AM ----------

Plan, thanks. It's appreciated.
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:28 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I love this forum and most everyone in it, in fact it is the only forum that I consider myself a part of. However, I admit, I do not post a lot.

Why? Well in the beginning it was because I was intimidated. I then tried posting more as I became more comfortable with the people on the site. I am not someone who is afraid to voice my opinion, that is until someone takes what I say out of context or twists it to suit their own point. While I have no problem being outspoken, I do have a problem beating my head against a wall trying to defend myself for something I did not really say. Problem is, people seem to assume the worst about others and thus misinterpret posts and even thread starters (ie feminine vs female, this is not meant as a jab, just an example on the top of my head).

The last issue I see is that many threads break down into an incestuous circle jerk. While it is amusing to read, there is not much point in trying to respond to the OP if no one is going to read that when the circus side show is so much more entertaining.

As for money and donating, now that I have given up on my masters program, I am looking for work and will donate once I have a paying job. College loans do not pay much

I do not want to see this place die, I have created many friendships here. I will try to do my best at posting and maybe even starting a new thread in between job hunting.

Cyn, thank you for all the hard work you do! I know this doesn't fix anything, but I think you deserve to hear it.
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:33 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarKizzer
The last issue I see is that many threads break down into an incestuous circle jerk. While it is amusing to read, there is not much point in trying to respond to the OP if no one is going to read that when the circus side show is so much more entertaining.
This requires a certain level of investment in the community and... uh... yeah, maturity. I realize that I'm the guy stomping the threadjack throttle in a lot of cases, but I always make sure to go that extra mile in the beginning to address the thread's real issue. I wish others would do the same instead of cutting right to the dick 'n fart jokes. I know it's hard, guys... but think about the site. To put it in terms we all understand: Pretend that your thoughtful post is the foreplay phase and that the jokes are the manic hip thrusting phase. You gotta do the foreplay right so both parties enjoy the pounding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarKizzer
Cyn, thank you for all the hard work you do! I know this doesn't fix anything, but I think you deserve to hear it.
It's true. I also appreciate your tremendous behind the scenes efforts and if you need anything that I can provide (which is next to nothing) let me know.
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:45 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Shauk View Post
But mostly, I agree on the point that if the stress is getting to you, or you feel you lack the time/desire/expertise to be a community leader/builder/promoter then get more help from people who are enabled to do so, find volunteers.

Simply put, TFP isn't what it once was, and what you guys tried to turn it in to, doesn't seem to be working if it results in threads like this. I'm not mocking the situation, I've just seen it happen before and instead of adapting, or as you put it, evolving, they just gave up and became graveyards for spammers and bots.

Another idea is assigning content generation via volunteering/voting in forum leaders of the focused forums.

Say for instance, people who are really in to gaming or writing game reviews could be invited to post those reviews in the gaming forum on a regular basis. People with a focus in music could write album reviews or various studio methods, or share interesting youtube videos they came across.

As long as they accompany the post with original commentary, I think it would really help in the long term.
I've tried some of that, but really those larger contributors just need to continue to contribute. I'm surprised that Weaponry gets as much traffic as it does. I think that it's own sub community contributes and participates very differently than the rest of the sub-forum posters and participants. I have asked some of the main contributors to become some sort of "staff" or noted "contributor" and they declined.

That's kind of the problem for the other areas, no one wants to be responsible for them. This is as much as a lean back experience or a lean forward experience. It's the member's choice to decide which it is. The crux of this point that I'm raising is that if there is no lean forward experience, there can be no lean back experience.

I'd be happy to try that, would you be interested in doing something more for music?
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:49 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I have asked some of the main contributors to become some sort of "staff" or noted "contributor" and they declined.
What the? Where the hell was I at? Was I drunk at the time?
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:26 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally it was individual approach meaning I spoke directly to individuals.

Most recent attempt is the MP post

http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/members...s-writers.html
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:28 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Cynthetiq View Post
.... does it now mean that Clavus posts his original images and art, does it mean that TFP owns that? Of course not. It would be an absurd claim to try to make from my perspective. Do you get where I'm going with this?
Plan, thanks. It's appreciated.
Yes exactly, it seems absurd, but that was the spirit of the chatter back when I removed all content.
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:48 AM   #28 (permalink)
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In most cases, real life has to take precedence over any online activity. And let's face it - many people are having a lot of trouble in their lives right now. I've been a member here since 2002(?), and my activity has varied greatly from time to time. But right now my computer time is devoted to finding a job in my profession, trying to start a business, and researching new products, trends, and ideas in both my profession and my business. I might spend 10 minutes per week on TFP, whereas in the past it might have been several hours.

Give it time - when things get better, more people will have time for online interaction.

Gotta go - RL is calling.
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:51 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I think a major problem is the amount of "hit and run" posts we have. Posts with only a picture or joke, that type of thing. I'm not saying those posts aren't entertaining, because 99% of the time, they are. Then there's the issue (wouldn't exactly call it a problem) of threads evolving from the main topic into another topic that's usually related to the OP somehow, but not the OP in its original form. A good example would be the "do cops have an expected right to privacy' thread: started out discussing exactly what the title said, then it morphed into reasonable force, etc. You can only talk about right to privacy for so long until it gets old and it loses flair, but Member X says something of interest that Member Y replies to, sparking a new discussion in that same thread.

Questions I have about all of this, Cyn: has this type of problem popped up in the past? How was it solved? Is it possible that TFP is stretched too thin with the many subforums, because I look at the list you put up and I can see a few merging together, and some I don't visit at all (#2 and #3 most threads most notable).
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:34 PM   #30 (permalink)
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One of the things I sometimes notice is that TFP is like one big family, and while that's a great feeling for the current members, it's hard to be accepted into a community that's already pretty close-knit. I've been coming to TFP off and on for a while now, and I honestly don't see many new faces, which is awesome when looking at the "dedicated member-base" viewpoint, but it should be no wonder we're not growing when all the newcomers feel like they're watching a family sitcom. My only suggestion (and I've seen this implemented in forums that I've moderated before) in this regard is to spend more time welcoming people in the "New users" sub forum, get them to talk about themselves a little.

The other thing I see constantly is because TFP is a lot like a family, it's also a lot like a family that has been stuck listening to each other during a long car ride. Obviously we're all going to know a lot more about each other-but that also leads to knowing things we don't like about each other. Having more users contributing will help alleviate that some, but another thing to consider is taking time to respond to threads you usually wouldn't. Another would be to simply take some time away from the 'site.

When we talk about becoming staff of a sub forum, what does that mean exactly? Is the idea to moderate said sub forum, to start discussions, or facilitate threads?
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:50 PM   #31 (permalink)
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I am new here and have taken a liking to this place...
I think I'm right when I say tasineah is the only "new'ish" member who posted so far in this thread. And when I read what she says and compare to posts from the experienced old-timers, it says something that sort of follows on what FuriousAvatar just posted.
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:55 PM   #32 (permalink)
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...and CD will get rewarded grandly for this introduction next time I see him in person....
don't hurt him; some of us love to pick on him...
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:42 PM   #33 (permalink)
 
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Old 10-29-2010, 02:10 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Cynthetic, you remind me of the jet who disappeared. Was that you? I only heard the noise. The last time you complained about virtual silliness, I tried to tell you how I felt about it. I tried to tell you that a lot of good ideas & information get bandied about through the sharing of them, including the images, causing evolution in the minds as much as the sharing of opinions does through discussion.
I don't think you've thought through your angst sufficiently; of course, I haven't either, but I have evolved here, as has everyone else who enjoys this "place". What is your aim in threatening to destroy it?
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Old 10-29-2010, 02:15 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Perhaps I haven't been the ideal member, I'm one who in 7-1/2 years has only 1600ish posts. I'm not sure that I've ever even started a thread here. If it weren't for my presence in chat over the last few months, it's likely that very few people would even recognize my screen name. Having said that, it was TFP that I turned to when shit hit the fan. TFP was there when I thought nobody would be.

Believe it or not, TFP has changed me. TFP, and it's members have seriously impacted my life. Yes there is one member in particular that I'm very fond of, but it was the very existence of TFP that made a huge difference.

I tend to be the guy that everybody says is quiet until you get to know him. Many would refer to me as the strong silent type.

I will try to contribute a bit more, even if I really don't have a lot to say.
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:26 PM   #36 (permalink)
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I feel a strange mixture of having been here a long time and being somewhat well known in the community and still being an "outsider" in the community.

There have been times when the forum has really helped me, and times when things I say get edited or threads I start get locked and I really dont know why. I guess I wont go anywhere as long as the site is here.

I take on board that it costs money to run, and I have said before and I would say again that I would have no problem at all with adverts on this site.

Asking for payment by donation isnt so easy for a lot of people (I dont have a pay pal account, I dont live in a USD territory, I also am about to declare myself bankrupt - although thats a whole nother thing) although I did donate once, and I would maybe do it again if it was technically easy.
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:35 PM   #37 (permalink)
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don't hurt him; some of us love to pick on him...
you are so dead, phil.....

but yes, I too am guilty of the hit and run remark. I will turn over a new leaf to try and post thoughtfully and on topic. And to try to start new threads that will not depend on the fabled "dick and fart" joke...but evoke interesting and thought provoking conversation.

or my girlfriend will beat me up......
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:08 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FuriousAvatar View Post
One of the things I sometimes notice is that TFP is like one big family, and while that's a great feeling for the current members, it's hard to be accepted into a community that's already pretty close-knit. I've been coming to TFP off and on for a while now, and I honestly don't see many new faces, which is awesome when looking at the "dedicated member-base" viewpoint, but it should be no wonder we're not growing when all the newcomers feel like they're watching a family sitcom. My only suggestion (and I've seen this implemented in forums that I've moderated before) in this regard is to spend more time welcoming people in the "New users" sub forum, get them to talk about themselves a little.

The other thing I see constantly is because TFP is a lot like a family, it's also a lot like a family that has been stuck listening to each other during a long car ride. Obviously we're all going to know a lot more about each other-but that also leads to knowing things we don't like about each other. Having more users contributing will help alleviate that some, but another thing to consider is taking time to respond to threads you usually wouldn't. Another would be to simply take some time away from the 'site.

When we talk about becoming staff of a sub forum, what does that mean exactly? Is the idea to moderate said sub forum, to start discussions, or facilitate threads?
That is an accurate observation and one that I've been trying to break from personally. It takes effort to evolve or change. When we think we've changed have we really? I liken it to not liking some sort of food as a child. It's a knee jerk reaction to just say you don't like something since you've not liked it for so long. Yet if you know physiology, you know that a child's taste buds change over time as do adult taste buds. Things you did not like as a child, you may find you like now, and things you loved as a child, you find not good now. The only way you find it out is to change how one reacts to the stimuli.

I'm talking about someone who posts a new thread in a subforum every day to every few days to generate and stimulate more conversations and discussions.

Now if the people won't change, then the space has to change in order to make a change happen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ourcrazymodern? View Post
Cynthetic, you remind me of the jet who disappeared. Was that you? I only heard the noise. The last time you complained about virtual silliness, I tried to tell you how I felt about it. I tried to tell you that a lot of good ideas & information get bandied about through the sharing of them, including the images, causing evolution in the minds as much as the sharing of opinions does through discussion.
I don't think you've thought through your angst sufficiently; of course, I haven't either, but I have evolved here, as has everyone else who enjoys this "place". What is your aim in threatening to destroy it?
Actually OCM, I acquiesced to you and several others. I let you have your way so that I could track just how much or little it added to the whole mix. It is about 6+ months later and the result of that tracking is what I posted in the OP. The images threads have a lot of traffic for a handful of threads. In comparison the discussions have a handful of threads and a lot more traffic by ratio.

Words are what are searchable, images are not searchable in the same way. People find us because they search for key words and find a discussion that pertains to what they are seeking. These image games do not.

I'll say that the collected images put forth in a reasonable manner that stimulates a curated experience does. Examples of that are the Cosplay thread and the Ziegfield girls. While the Cosplay thread seems like it's just like the post a circle thread it isn't.

So OCM, if you'd like to collect a bunch of them and post them as a gallery and launch point for a discussion, I'm all for it. If it's just come here and post and animal, sorry that's like saying you support a cause by putting a magnetic ribbon on your car. It's worse than phoning it in, it's like snail mailing it in.

What do I hope to gain by pulling the plug on this space? Well, see we have a large number of staff, and I don't want to "fire" a single one of them. Yet we don't really have the traffic to justify the total amount of staff. If we all agree that this is as best as we can do and this is what TFP has evolved to, and it's not really going to be any different, then let's stop now. Why wait until there's no one left? We have about 200 regular members come by every day, not the same 200 but it's about 200. Each year that number continues to go down. I've been posting about this for over 2 years now. I've not hidden any of these metrics or numbers. I have been happy to share them because I want everyone to understand just what I'm seeing and interpreting. I'm not all doom and gloom about this. I've been very much happy to recover from the cross site scripting hack that halved our traffic in the early part of the year.

OCM, I don't doubt that images are a fun and simple way to communicate and collaborate, but I see it at the expense of the core parts of our discussion community. Why have a meaty or difficult discussion when I can just toss up some images or witty one liners and go about my day? See I contributed, I posted some pictures that somehow tangent off the previously posted pictures. I'm sorry but it really deviates from the vision of intelligent respectful discussion that Halx created in this space 8 years ago.

How about this challenge OCM, you make a discussion of images. not a here's a theme post a similar image, but an actual discussion with images and only images. Convince me that I'm really far off base with my opinion and observation with a working model. Now take that one off model and replicate it several times. Right now 50 threads are the basis of what I'm saying aren't discussions but have some other merit different but not within the scope and vision of what I see as discussion.

OCM, if I really was so against it, I'd just remove the ability for it to exist. Keep that in mind not as a threat but as a statement that I understand it has a place and space. I just don't want to encourage newly minted members to believe that it's where I want them to play first. That's why we don't count the post count there so that it encourages them to make a minimum of 15 posts. I can't tell you how many people whine about how that's too difficult to achieve and they want to contribute now to that thread about posting an animal. Really? 15 thoughtful comments within the framework of discussion is setting the bar too high.

If I don't set any standards, then people get to make up their own and I have to conform to theirs. I've given you your opportunity to prove me wrong in the past 6 months and I can't tell you how often I click on new posts and it's almost all Fun Zone posts.

It isn't the kind of discussion I want to encourage, plain and simple.
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:21 PM   #39 (permalink)
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These threads are like a look into the mind of that kid from high school who was just way too cool: that much better, that much smarter, that much more evolved than all the other kids and yet he couldn't quite figure out why he ate lunch alone everyday.
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:26 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manic_Skafe View Post
These threads are like a look into the mind of that kid from high school who was just way too cool: that much better, that much smarter, that much more evolved than all the other kids and yet he couldn't quite figure out why he ate lunch alone everyday.
EDIT: excuse my previous post/answer, I've gotten some bad news and that clouded how I read and understood this.

I think I have a better understanding as to what you are getting at here.

Yes there is some of that, I think some of it has been lost because some of those that proselytized it so much aren't here to proselytize it any more.

Am I understanding you correctly that we don't seem as accessible as we should be in our discussions?

---------- Post added at 03:26 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:29 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl Trade View Post
I think a major problem is the amount of "hit and run" posts we have. Posts with only a picture or joke, that type of thing. I'm not saying those posts aren't entertaining, because 99% of the time, they are. Then there's the issue (wouldn't exactly call it a problem) of threads evolving from the main topic into another topic that's usually related to the OP somehow, but not the OP in its original form. A good example would be the "do cops have an expected right to privacy' thread: started out discussing exactly what the title said, then it morphed into reasonable force, etc. You can only talk about right to privacy for so long until it gets old and it loses flair, but Member X says something of interest that Member Y replies to, sparking a new discussion in that same thread.

Questions I have about all of this, Cyn: has this type of problem popped up in the past? How was it solved? Is it possible that TFP is stretched too thin with the many subforums, because I look at the list you put up and I can see a few merging together, and some I don't visit at all (#2 and #3 most threads most notable).
Somehow skipped this before, yes it has come up before.

It's simply put as being moderated. For the most part, the staff doesn't really touch any posts anymore. We don't guide as much as before because well it made it difficult to not offend those that were being corrected or adjusted. Some took extreme umbrage because they hadn't been corrected since grade school, really true story.

We don't do much of siphoning off and splitting off discussions, or even just encouraging people to start new ones. I think that's something we should revisit in some manner because it makes sense to sometimes, and others it's part of the organic discussion as it ebbs and flows.

I've always imagined that the subforums could be winnowed even further than they are. It is one of the reasons why I've got a hard on about the analytics and measurements because I can see what's not really working or what's working a little bit and put all the little bits together to make a bigger bit.
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