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Author Topic: Revitalising the Society  (Read 20209 times)

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Offline Garwoofoo

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Revitalising the Society
« Topic Start: December 07, 2012, 09:31:33 AM »
It's very quiet around here these days.  We're down to a core membership of about 8 people at the moment and the last year has seen a few key characters like Hapimeses, And and Argh Zombies drift away (well, in the case of And, storm out through a plate glass window).

Looking at the list of members, we've had five people join this year, none of whom have contributed.  Last year wasn't much better, and the last time an active member joined was Mart way back at the start of 2011.  (Technically, he was a returning member, too).

So the Society is pretty moribund at present.  What can we do to revitalise it?  I still think it has a lot going for it – it's still the place I go to for intelligent discussion about games and it feels like home in many ways.

A few suggestions:

- Remove the spambot filter.  As far as I am aware, the membership process still involves manual approval by miskie, as an anti-spambot measure.  As miskie is busy, there are often delays in this process and by the time the member gets approved they've forgotten why they joined in the first place.  Other sites have instant sign-up and don't collapse under weight of spambots – what's so different about this little corner of the internet?

- Complete the redesign.  We've lost the pointing hand.  We've lost the tasteful beige colour scheme.  We've lost our identity.

- Get the word out somehow.  Is Zombies still pimping the site in that terrible rag of his?  We need to get creative.

Any thoughts?

Offline aniki

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Re: Revitalising the Society
« Reply #1: December 07, 2012, 10:15:52 AM »
Addressing Gar's points, in order...

  • Even if the spambot filter isn't removed entirely, giving other moderators access to the member approval process could be a step in the right direction.
  • I think getting the reskin done is a priority; to anybody new arriving at the site, it just looks like any other forum. We need the olde-school Victorian theme back. I'd be happy to do some CSS/HTML work in it, if someone (miskie, I assume?) can get me a copy of the base theme to work from. This could also remind the membership to provide longer, "in-character" posts. Would more food for thought when replying to a thread should produce more replies?
  • I have the Soc listed on basically every social network profile I have, but I'd be wary of actively inviting people I actually know. Online, they tend towards the "dreadful" end of the internet spectrum, and many of them would be unlikely to contribute to the atmosphere here in a constructive way. (Several of them are self-confessed trolls.)
I know my contributions here haven't been exactly numerous lately; the alarmingly low rate at which I've been playing games over the last few months has left me feeling unable to offer anything worthwhile in discussions, especially since so many of the esteemed Society membership have migrated to the Vita. I'm hoping that the increasing emphasis on PlayStation Plus freebies will leave me in a better position to opine on common titles, as more of us are actually playing the same thing at (or at least, around) the same time.

Offline cavalcade

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Re: Revitalising the Society
« Reply #2: December 07, 2012, 10:54:30 AM »
I'm not entirely sure why Hapimeses drifted away. He still seems to play games 24/7 as he's on Steam all the time. I think he had a boardgame phase, drifted away from games, then couldn't be arsed coming back. Prole still plays with Zombies online, so he could probably answer why he doesn't visit once a month like he used to.

I don't know though. Is it really a problem we have an active membership of 8? We can always slum down on rllmuk/TGN/the GAF if we need more people.

One idea I did have - rllmuk has also seen a terminal decline in people joining as have most other gaming forums. As I think I put a thread up before - I don't see the next generation of people connecting with one another and games/game producers in quite the same way. So perhaps we should extend the Society brand. Set up a community on Facebook and also an account on Twitter that we can retweet and build awareness etc. Either links to great posts or just general whatnot.

Offline Brian Bloodaxe

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Re: Revitalising the Society
« Reply #3: December 07, 2012, 12:43:58 PM »
Isn't Reddit the place to be in 2012?

Hapi just got really busy I think. I've been meaning to meet up with him for a while, I'll see if I can tempt him back.

Offline Prole

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Re: Revitalising the Society
« Reply #4: December 07, 2012, 01:43:54 PM »
I've not actually been in a game with Zombies since... oooh... since Borderlands2 came out.  At least.

He is an enigma wrapped in a mystery and dropped in a dirty puddle of inscrutability.  Dirty, dirty puddle.

Offline miskie

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Re: Revitalising the Society
« Reply #5: December 07, 2012, 02:37:25 PM »
We have been having essentially the same discussion over at 1emulation.com - the difference being that forum is entirely dedicated to its core principle, (emulation) and seemingly unwilling to adapt to the future, unless the owner capitulates on a few points, 1emulation is doomed. I don't want to share that fate here. Anyway -

A few things to address -

Spambot filter :

I actually check that twice daily. If a potential member makes it through the filter, I deal with him/her then. The truth is, there is only a member or two a quarter who appear, and are usually approved within 24 hours or less.

In other words, I don't leave a backlog - nobody is actually joining.

Facebook/Twitter integration :

I have been seriously considering it - as it seems FB has taken over the entire 'social media' universe, and everyone seems to only want to connect to and through FB. There are ways to make this happen , and I will be addressing this almost immediately.

Redesign :

The one drawback I have found with this software is it is notoriously difficult to skin. However, now that the server itself is humming along nicely, I find I no longer need to babysit it constantly, which should buy me some time to do it. I do miss the beige/brown. I think Ill see if I can find a freeware skin that is more-or-less correct, and then work that to shave some production time off. 

Offline miskie

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Re: Revitalising the Society
« Reply #6: December 07, 2012, 02:50:06 PM »
Social media widget added - testing it now...

Offline cavalcade

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Re: Revitalising the Society
« Reply #7: December 07, 2012, 03:21:42 PM »
I'm going to put this out there. How about a podcast? I actually seriously think a group of us Skyping together could make something pretty amazing. I know only a few of us actually listen to them generally, but trust me, there is a gap we could fill here (mmmatron!).

The Midlife gamers forum gets a lot of newcomers drawn in by the tone and content of the podcast.

Offline cavalcade

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Re: Revitalising the Society
« Reply #8: December 07, 2012, 03:29:02 PM »
Oh, that Share thing is incredibly irritating. Can it be turned off?

I don't think I actually want to share anything at the Society with close friends and family, but I do think we need perhaps a Twitter account and a FB page, if only to force infrequent visitors to pop in more often.

Offline Brian Bloodaxe

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Re: Revitalising the Society
« Reply #9: December 07, 2012, 03:37:29 PM »
Yeah, the share tab makes reading on my mobile very annoying.

Podcast could be entertaining...

Offline Ninchilla

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Re: Revitalising the Society
« Reply #10: December 07, 2012, 03:47:21 PM »
The share tab is a little bit... intrusive.

A podcast could be fun, if we could manage to get enough people organised for it.

Offline Brian Bloodaxe

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Re: Revitalising the Society
« Reply #11: December 07, 2012, 03:52:05 PM »
The share tab is a little bit... intrusive.

A podcast could be fun, if we could manage to get enough people organised for it.

How hard could it be to get three or for of us online at one time? Oh, right.

Hey, could we theme the podcast around our efforts to not buy any games next year. It would be like a gaming addiction self-help meeting.

Offline miskie

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Re: Revitalising the Society
« Reply #12: December 07, 2012, 03:55:39 PM »
The tab was terrible - its been removed. Moving the pointer to the far left will deliver the FB/Twitter/Digg/Google+/Stumbleupon widget.

Edit - just did a quick smartphone test - works perfectly now. Tap the left of the screen to bring out the widget, tap anywhere else to put it away.

Offline miskie

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Re: Revitalising the Society
« Reply #13: December 07, 2012, 04:01:56 PM »
but I do think we need perhaps a Twitter account and a FB page, if only to force infrequent visitors to pop in more often.

That's the next step - an actual Facebook presence that links back to the forum itself. Im not well versed in Twitter, so I'm not certain how that would work just yet, but the Slide-out Social Media widget should allow any user to tweet a link back to any post or forum.


Offline cavalcade

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Re: Revitalising the Society
« Reply #14: December 07, 2012, 04:14:14 PM »
Slide Out Social Media Widget are my favourite new indie outfit.