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Author Topic: Ideas/Planning for the New Forum  (Read 12023 times)

Yei

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Re: Ideas/Planning for the New Forum
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2015, 07:58:01 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;169702
Well, what rates are you willing to pay?


Do you accept magic beans?

Quote
Article-writing at that level is of course a lot of work.  The articles that we have were composed by volunteers - sometimes as edited versions or expansions on posts on the board that were worth saving - and if people don't have specific reason to write them they will simply continue to accrete at the same slow rate as they always have.

 
Of course writing can be a lot of work, but if there are enough contributors then the work gets spread out. And it's not as if these articles would have to be especially long. In any case I think having a regular/formal schedule would ensure continued interest by making it a feature.

I'd contribute. Since I'm the only representative of my particular faith still active on the board I'd pretty much have to.

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Re: Ideas/Planning for the New Forum
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2015, 08:16:00 pm »
Quote from: Yei;169717
Do you accept magic beans?


No.

You're asking people to contribute labour to something that you want.  What're you going to give those people to make it worthwhile to them to do this thing for you?

You want to assign a job, and have people do not merely article writing but some sort of news reporting, you're going to have to pony up some cash, because the sort of labour you're asking for is not something people do for funsies for very long.

Quote
Of course writing can be a lot of work, but if there are enough contributors then the work gets spread out. And it's not as if these articles would have to be especially long. In any case I think having a regular/formal schedule would ensure continued interest by making it a feature.


And back when we had a newsletter, it worked for a while, and then it stopped, because people burned out.  It was some extra work for which they were getting no compensation.

Look: I'm a writer.  I'm a writer who cannot afford to write routinely because my day job - as an unpaid stay-at-home parent - is more valuable to my family than words on the page.  If you want more articles than the occasional "You know, Darkhawk, you could revise that into an article and we'd put it on the website" that I've done over the years, something's gotta give.

And it's not going to be me, because I cannot afford to do it.

And the empirical evidence shows that people doing it as volunteer work do not do it forever. It happens to articles here.  It happens to webzines.  It happens everywhere.  You either get "Hey, I wrote this thing, is it a good enough article for your website", or you get jack.  Or Jack, who has kindly posted his rates.
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Re: Ideas/Planning for the New Forum
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2015, 10:51:20 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;169718
No.

I see you were being serious. I thought you were being humorous. My mistake.

Quote
You're asking people to contribute labour to something that you want.  What're you going to give those people to make it worthwhile to them to do this thing for you?

For me? This thread was asking for suggestion. I gave one, as I assumed such a thread was for. As with any such suggestion, if it is feasible and popular it will be accepted, if not then it is a moot issue.

Quote
You want to assign a job, and have people do not merely article writing but some sort of news reporting, you're going to have to pony up some cash, because the sort of labour you're asking for is not something people do for funsies for very long.

Assign? I said nothing about assigning anything. I originally suggested better article support, and then, when prompted, I gave a few examples. I never said that we had to do it those ways, if at all.

Quote
And back when we had a newsletter, it worked for a while, and then it stopped, because people burned out.  It was some extra work for which they were getting no compensation.

Isn't this always the case for just about anything, especially on-line? Yet many people do volunteer for things. Some people even enjoy it.

Quote
Look: I'm a writer.  I'm a writer who cannot afford to write routinely because my day job - as an unpaid stay-at-home parent - is more valuable to my family than words on the page.  If you want more articles than the occasional "You know, Darkhawk, you could revise that into an article and we'd put it on the website" that I've done over the years, something's gotta give.

There is absolutely no reason you should have to turn anything into an article or do any editing at all. Maybe putting it on the website, I don't know exactly. But none of the other stuff. All I made was a suggestion. Nothing has been decided. Nobody has been told to do anything.

Quote
And it's not going to be me, because I cannot afford to do it.

...Then don't? I repeat: Nothing has been decided. Nobody has been told to do anything.

Quote
And the empirical evidence shows that people doing it as volunteer work do not do it forever. It happens to articles here.  It happens to webzines.  It happens everywhere.  You either get "Hey, I wrote this thing, is it a good enough article for your website", or you get jack.  Or Jack, who has kindly posted his rates.

Sure, but this could be applied to just about anything. Especially on the internet. Posters drop away and forums die. Then more are created and so on and so on. What of it? Worst case scenario, after a few months the posters get bored, stop writing articles, and everything goes back to normal. Would anything of value be lost? Speaking hypothetically of course.

Once again, this was only a suggestion. I made the suggestion because, on a thread late last year, a few posters voiced concern over the declining number of threads. I remembered this, and suggested more consistent articles because I thought they could stimulate conversation. But nothing has been decided. Nothing has been demanded and nobody has been ordered or forced to do anything.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2015, 10:52:11 pm by Yei »

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Re: Ideas/Planning for the New Forum
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2015, 12:53:00 am »
Quote from: Yei;169726
Once again, this was only a suggestion. I made the suggestion because, on a thread late last year, a few posters voiced concern over the declining number of threads. I remembered this, and suggested more consistent articles because I thought they could stimulate conversation. But nothing has been decided. Nothing has been demanded and nobody has been ordered or forced to do anything.

 
True. But, you've unintentionally hit something that's quite a sore spot for folks who are staff and/or longtime Cauldronites: it's exhaustingly common for someone to come along to say, 'This is what YOU should do, to get a better result of X!', and for the thing they're suggesting to be something that is very obviously time- and labor-intensive. It's hard to tell if they haven't considered the intensiveness at all, or have and that's why they're suggesting others should do it rather than volunteering to do it themselves.

That's one significant way in which your suggestion differs from that: you expressly offered to contribute from your own expertise. I think that got lost in the shuffle a bit, though; it was just the one line, and quite late in the exchange, after people had already become annoyed. That offer is very much appreciated, though; we would love to have articles related to your faith and its close relatives!

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Re: Ideas/Planning for the New Forum
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2015, 08:00:06 am »
Quote from: Yei;169717
Of course writing can be a lot of work, but if there are enough contributors then the work gets spread out. And it's not as if these articles would have to be especially long. In any case I think having a regular/formal schedule would ensure continued interest by making it a feature.

Sadly, that does not work. We had a very regular schedule for years (a monthly newsletter) and it seldom got enough articles. I finally burned out on begging people to write something and stopped it. Members want articles to read. Member want those articles to be "good".  The problem is that we don't have any members willing and able to write good articles on a regular schedule, let alone do so for free. We get a few articles a year. Unfortunately, unless we are going to start offering good pay for articles, I do not expect this to change. Considering we get just enough donations to pay the server bills, I don't think we will be paying people to write articles. Therefore this is not something staff can provide no matter how nice it would be. My apologies.
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Re: New Forum: Simplify the Organization
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2015, 12:36:00 pm »
Quote from: Juni;169609
I like the ability to put the Humor & Quizzes forum on ignore, but we do have a lot of Social subforums.

Even if we condense it down to just one "social forum", Humor and Quizzes remain a separate forum. While Humor & Quizzes is one of our most active areas, it is also an area that overwhelms many members so they like to ignore it.
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Re: New Forum: Simplify the Organization
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2015, 12:38:40 pm »
Quote from: Tana;169603
I think that the idea with prefixes is pretty neat.

I went ahead and bought the thread Prefix mod for SMF (it doesn't come builtin and the free version is a joke). It works fine, however, unlike with VB there is no option to click on a prefix name and only see the messages in the forum with that prefix. This will make it somewhat less useful.
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Re: Ideas/Planning for the New Forum
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2015, 12:43:36 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;169673
Unfortunately, there will be no wiki in the new board. The wiki mod is a vbulletin-only thing. No one has done such a mod for SMF. All the wiki-mod here really does is use a hidden board as a wiki and display it differently.  There will be something like the current Articles area, however.

There apparently is a way to loosely integrate Mediawiki (the wiki software that powers Wikipedia) into the forum. I have no idea how well it works, but I'll look into it.  

By loosely integrate I mean it will use the SMF membership database and usergroups to control who can edit it and has a MW theme that will blend into the standard SMF 2 look.
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Re: New Forum: Simplify the Organization
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2015, 12:44:14 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;169769
Even if we condense it down to just one "social forum", Humor and Quizzes remain a separate forum. While Humor & Quizzes is one of our most active areas, it is also an area that overwhelms many members so they like to ignore it.

 
That is wonderful to hear. :)
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Re: New Forum: Simplify the Organization
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2015, 03:42:11 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;169602
One of the things the Hosts are considering for the new message board is to greatly simply the organization by reducing the number of boards. For example, having one "Social" board instead of lots of specific topic "social boards" like we do now -- perhaps with prefixes for those who want to categorize their message further.


Given how the prefixes mod isn't nearly as useful as the one we have, I wonder if having one social discussion forum would be even more cumbersome than our current already-cumbersome set-up?

I kind of like the idea that has been brought up in the past--to combine certain related boards together.

For example, we could do it like:

--Arts, Crafts, and Hobbies: Art, Poetry and Writing/Crafts and Hobbies
--Media/Entertainment: Music, Television and Film/Books and Websites/Sports and Recreation/Games
--Family, Home and Garden: Family/Home and Garden/Pets/Food and Cooking
--Science, Technology and Medicine: Science and Technology/Computers and Gadgets/Health and Medicine

The Humor board can be on its own so it would be easier for me to ignore.


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Re: Ideas/Planning for the New Forum
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2015, 03:58:19 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;169748
Sadly, that does not work. We had a very regular schedule for years (a monthly newsletter) and it seldom got enough articles. I finally burned out on begging people to write something and stopped it. Members want articles to read. Member want those articles to be "good".  The problem is that we don't have any members willing and able to write good articles on a regular schedule, let alone do so for free. We get a few articles a year. Unfortunately, unless we are going to start offering good pay for articles, I do not expect this to change. Considering we get just enough donations to pay the server bills, I don't think we will be paying people to write articles. Therefore this is not something staff can provide no matter how nice it would be. My apologies.

 
I see this is something of a long-standing problem. Ah well, it was worth having a look at anyway.

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Re: New Forum: Simplify the Organization
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2015, 07:20:00 am »
Quote from: Melamphoros;169793
I kind of like the idea that has been brought up in the past--to combine certain related boards together.

For example, we could do it like:

--Arts, Crafts, and Hobbies: Art, Poetry and Writing/Crafts and Hobbies
--Media/Entertainment: Music, Television and Film/Books and Websites/Sports and Recreation/Games
--Family, Home and Garden: Family/Home and Garden/Pets/Food and Cooking
--Science, Technology and Medicine: Science and Technology/Computers and Gadgets/Health and Medicine

The Humor board can be on its own so it would be easier for me to ignore.

 
I really like this way of simplifying the social forums!

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Re: New Forum: Simplify the Organization
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2015, 07:22:49 am »
Quote from: RandallS;169770
It works fine, however, unlike with VB there is no option to click on a prefix name and only see the messages in the forum with that prefix. This will make it somewhat less useful.

 
I can't speak for anyone else's usage, but I was finding the prefixes more useful simply as a topical flag, and didn't find the ability to click on the prefix very useful at all. So from my perspective, the 'somewhat' of 'somewhat less useful' is a pretty trivial amount.

Sunflower
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I do so have a life; I just live part of it online!
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
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Re: New Forum: Simplify the Organization
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2015, 09:42:13 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;169828
I can't speak for anyone else's usage, but I was finding the prefixes more useful simply as a topical flag, and didn't find the ability to click on the prefix very useful at all. So from my perspective, the 'somewhat' of 'somewhat less useful' is a pretty trivial amount.

 
Yeah, my response to this subthread is roughly, "... the prefixes were clickyable?  Huh!"
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Re: New Forum: Simplify the Organization
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2015, 01:33:10 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;169836
Yeah, my response to this subthread is roughly, "... the prefixes were clickyable?  Huh!"

If I'm the only one who knew, I guess it really will not matter that they aren't on the new board. :o
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