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 I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is...
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Adam Doree

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I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 12, 2010 23:51
...what to do about it.

I've seen a number of other sites whose community quality has improved via Facebook and Twitter, who have closed down their existing forums as a result of them becoming redundant.

Our forum - once great, and which almost always managed to avoid the shit slinging of so many others - has for at least 6 months been almost completely dead. And, (i) despite the technical enhancements to the forum over the last couple of years; (ii) despite the relaunch and renaming of the main site and other site expansions in October last year; (iii), perhaps, reflecting our own development of a Facebook and Twitter presence); and (iv) perhaps also because all our sites have full commenting enabled since the major relaunch, this forum is now simply an archive of six years of user topics -- and no longer an active forum for discussion... about anything.

Right now I can't think of many ways to try and engage existing, old-timer users and definitely can't think how to engage new users in the forum, in a manner that makes any commercial sense.

So I guess this message is a last ditch effort to see if there are any lurkers here who may have some thoughts on this matter.

While it makes sense to keep all the archived content in place, since it's all indexed on Google and that creates page impressions for us by people searching for content of relevance, if there's no compelling reason to keep the forum active on an ongoing basis I think it would make more sense to shut down registration and the ability to post new messages, keep the archives in place but redirect the forum landing pages to our Facebook page instead.

It would be a shame, considering how the forum was in its heyday, and considering some of the blood, sweat and tears that went into developing/integrating the forum... (in hindsight we should probably have opted for a PHP solution rather than this ASP alternative but that's a whole other story). But having a dead forum looks pretty bad and it could be more logical to direct interested users to a separate medium that engages them more effectively -- even it we don't get to display advertising on the pages where that happens! On the other hand, maybe we should wait it out as our new sites continue to grow in popularity and maybe this place will begin to attract new community once again. Maybe we should do a combination of both these things. I don't know.

Let me know what you guys think.

If you didn't know, our FB is at http://facebook.com/kikizo and our Twitter's at http://twitter.com/kikizo

Cheers
Adam
Joe Redifer

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Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 13, 2010 02:11
The problem with Facebook is that my Live Feed (screw News Feed) is already crowded enough as it is with updates and I only have maybe 80 or so friends.  It takes a while to scroll through.  Any groups that I have joined or became a fan of I only really ever visit once.  I never bother to check up.  Even if I did, old posts sink no matter how many people are responding to them so a casual browser would not see a hot topic being discussed.  I enjoy Kikizo, but I likely won't become a fan of the Facebook page.  I don't even bother with Twitter because all of the hashes (@ # and whathaveyou) piss me off, making the posts look like strings of code.  Plus Facebook does pretty much everything Twitter does, only better.

As for the forum, I have no solutions to offer.  Not every video game news site absolutely needs a forum.  The problem is the community itself.  If the community is interesting, then the discussion will be interesting and the forum will be active and alive.  Many members here just don't have much interesting to say and those that do don't post much because there aren't many interesting people to discuss things with.  Also, there has been no control of spam at Kikizo.  There needs to be a way to block them from even registering.  We use vBulletin software at Magicbox and Sega-16 and I have a Q&A that must be answered correctly to allow registration.  Then after that the new member needs Admin approval before posts can be made.  Any spam posts are deleted along with the member who is permanently banned (instead of deleted so the IP address is retained in case it tries to re-register under a different name).
<message edited by Joe Redifer on Jan 13, 2010 02:15>
Adam Doree

  • Total Posts : 1113
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Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 14, 2010 17:35
Yeah we changed the sign up process a couple of months ago to be exactly the way you recommended there, and cleaned up all the spam... yet somehow it felt less lonely when the bots were here!
 
I agree with your comments. Maybe one option would be to merge with another community perhaps similar to MB, then the forum would have a purpose.
Joe Redifer

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Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 15, 2010 14:57
You did?  Now I need to re-register just to see that!  :)

EDIT:  Nice!

Maybe post something controversial on the site.  Shenmue sure brings in a lot of traffic!  :)
<message edited by Joe Redifer on Jan 15, 2010 15:02>
Edwin

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Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 16, 2010 12:52
Well, I did tell the internet last week that Need for Speed World Online would define 2010. And this week I wrote an article from the perspective of somebody whose life had been wrecked by Project Natal.

Let's do Shenmue 4 next.
Edwin

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Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 16, 2010 12:54
Incidentally Joe is this you?

www.joeredifer.com/

Joe Redifer

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Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 17, 2010 08:04
Of course it is!
Iad umboros

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Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 19, 2010 20:51
Thats great Joe.  Did you really take those pictures or did you just steal them from Sega and Sony?

As for here.....  I think everything would get much better if we could just get Quez back.
Joe Redifer

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Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 19, 2010 23:16
The pics are mine.
Agent Ghost

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Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 22, 2010 19:35
-Give Liam a permanent job so he has a reason to linger in the forums.
-Have your editors start threads about the latest gaming news.
-If that works, bring back the games givaway, but do it on time.
Torr

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  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 23, 2010 17:27
Bring Torr back.

Oh wait no thats a terrible idea.  Give eddie a job as official forum "pimper".

Yeah its rather sad to see this site go down hill.


Good luck,
Torr
choupolo

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  • Location: Manchester, England
Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 25, 2010 01:53
In order to reboot the forums they need a purpose - at the moment they're just a hangout for people to throw in ideas... and that relies on people having ideas in the first place...or even being around.

Start afresh - let the forums be integral to the main site by allowing it be where all the comments to articles on the main page can be easily found - eg having a thread for each article.

That creates lots of purposeful new threads that people can discuss either from the comments section at the bottom of the article itself or in the forums.

Then there needs to be a few mods or people associated with Kikizo that reply the threads every so often and keep them in check or add to the discussion, more people like Edwin basically (never thought I'd say that! :P), so people feel they're part of something bigger.

I'm basing this on bittech.com who have a large forum of people with similar interests which used to be relatively small, but through active encouragement at the end of every feature and news item on the main page has drawn many interesting and active people to comment and keep coming back.


Ps and where are the video reviews up to?
<message edited by choupolo on Jan 25, 2010 01:57>
Joe Redifer

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Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 25, 2010 08:10
Every time a new article or whatever goes up, have a "Discuss this article in the forumz!!" link along with a thread dedicated to the article/review/whatever.  That thread, in turn, would link to the article.  That would cross promote the forum and the main site in every section.  Forum-only lurkers would see new content and be like "Oh shit I wanna read the new Bernie Stolar interview so I can bash him in this thread" or whatever.  And others who don't normally peruse the forums might after seeing the link at the bottom of the page thinking "Wow, this interview really made me upset with Bernie Stolar.  If only there were some way I could debase him on the internet... oh wait!".  With the link there, even the subject of said interviews or whatever would be tempted to look what was being said about it, making the forums far more relevant. 
locopuyo

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Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 25, 2010 16:19
Yeah, for example the new bad game designs article would make a great thread.
Adam Doree

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Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 25, 2010 18:03
But like, isn't that essentially what the tried and tested commenting system which we finally implemented with the relaunch allows for anyway? What is the difference between extensive comment threads on the main site and reproducing such threads within this forum framwork? Perhaps what we need to do is replace this forum with some sort of unified comment dashboard plug-in...
Joe Redifer

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Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 25, 2010 18:55
Commenting on the article itself kind of bloats the actual page.  Moving the comments to a forum keeps the idiots off of the article itself and moves them here.  Nobody wants to see their interview skittled with comments like "LOL wut a los3r" right below the article.  I could understand comments being allowed below the article for a review, though.

Check out Sega-16.com, it works really well for us.
choupolo

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Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 25, 2010 19:22
The comments below the article serve as an important, quick way of getting heard or seeing what people have to say, and will attract new users.  But its not easy to keep track of what you've said this way.  You have to go into each article to follow up what you posted, the articles move or disappear as new articles appear.  Plus you may want to hide many of them to avoid bloating the article as Joe said.

The forums can archive these comments in one easy to browse section.  And will allow for it to be more apparent how much activity is going on on the site, rather than having all the comments being separate and hidden within the articles. And people can make other threads as they please to build on that.

For example, I've seen a number of new users commenting directly onto the articles recently who wouldn't have come into the forum to do the same.   The same posts/threads available to browse in the forum lists would then be easy to see and reply to - attracting the other people who wouldn't have otherwise made a new thread.

Growth is then exponential - or at least a little bit.
<message edited by choupolo on Jan 25, 2010 19:25>
Adam Doree

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Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 25, 2010 20:24
Good points chaps...
emofag

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Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 29, 2010 17:49
Joe, don't you supposedly work in a cinemotography related field? I would think you would have SOME artistic sense and not design your webpage to make it look like it was made by a 10 year old using a site builder template from yahoo.com

joeredifer.com is an embarassment.

As for these forums, I don't think they were ever truly popular, they experienced an anamoly of perhaps 10 or so very active users, which in turn may have drawn in more people, but most of the new people never became as active and in the end the entire forum's activity could be traced back to the same small group of people. 

As people from that group left it started a domino effect i.e. I don't want to troll threads made by random new guys, I like to troll threads made by regulars, once they started to dissapear there was no reason for my existence on these forums, which in turn made other posters who dedicated their life to harassing me on the forums post less, and that's just one example of the chain reaction. 

It was a delicate balance, we had the right amount of people who posted news (jewish guy), the right amount of idiots (quez, torr, etc.), the right amount of trolls (me, emotep, etc.) and the right amount of people with no life whatsoever (joe, locopuyo, etc.) after the balance was disturbed it all fell apart.
<message edited by emofag on Jan 29, 2010 17:58>
Joe Redifer

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Re:I think we can safely say this forum is dead. The question now is... - Jan 30, 2010 06:31

Joe, don't you supposedly work in a cinemotography related field? I would think you would have SOME artistic sense and not design your webpage to make it look like it was made by a 10 year old using a site builder template from yahoo.com


Well, my original HTML 1.0 version designed by my niece in Netscape Navigator was getting a little stale. 
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