What's killing the forum

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What's killing the forum

Post by DarkRanger »

I remember back in the day when I joined, this forum was alive and bustling. It was a great place to hang out and there was a gazillion topics to read and take part in.

However, since the end of our previous webadmin (can't remember his name now) things seems to have gone in a downward trend. Less posts, the regurgitation of the same topics, same few people posting the whole time. Even forum meets aren't what they used to be.

I remember the forum meet of 2010 at OR Thambo. Boy, that was the last PROPER meet that we had.

But that's not the question here. What is killing this forum? And don't tell me it's age. I mean Grandpa doo_much and Tannie Tribble is still here, so it can't be that. Is it the change of Admin duties, is it the loss of 'free speech' (because I've noticed that plenty a post either gets singled out or removed if not suited by the powers that be) and then jee being banned. Very few people know what ACTUALLY happened there. And I always saw jee as a real asset to the forum.

So what is it?
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by D3PART3D »

A forum requires a critical mass of members to sustain itself, I think. I don't think that dark period of Ron's life where he banned a dozen forum members was the main cause of members leaving, even if it did accelerate the process. They were leaving long before, and correlation =/= causation.

Perhaps we should ask some people who were regular posters what their reasons were for leaving. I'm not sure we'd get any useful information that way because people connecting dots looking backwards tend to come up with some very convenient answers...

I've contemplated leaving many times before because I'm as bored of this place as anyone else, but I'm quite fond of the current crowd so I stay. Even if they wish I'd go away. :P
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by GDI_Lord »

Sometimes, in some cases, people just move on.

I don't have time to get into a big discussion about people staying at a place or continue using a product or remain part of a community if they find value, and what value that is and how the people in charge of the content or tasked help shepherd the community help to allow the place/product/community to continue to offer that value and at the same time new value.

I found value in and enjoyed helping the people in the hardware section and was also growing more and more involved in the community side of PCF forums (or G3AR or whatever paint is on the forums at any particular point in time - it's the people that are important, not the paint,) but my life just got too busy and I spent less and less time here and eventually just stopped thinking about the place to be honest. Yes, I know, not a bang but a wimper.

I came back because the place popped into my head and I was wondering how the place looked, was it still standing, how old friends were doing and who was still here. My life is significantly different to when I was investing quite a bit of my life (time = part of your life on Earth that you can never get back) hanging out here and I may or may not stick around, we'll see.

But back to the first line of this post: Sometimes people's lives change and they just move on. Very few things last forever.
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by rustypup »

long story short, the mag ceased directing folks to the forum....
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by D3PART3D »

About jee: yes, we should have been told why it happened.
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by StarBound »

I still come here looking for some new info and maybe giving some advice on what people should consider for an upgrade. I've stopped buying the mag though with information so readily available on the net. Last year I tossed out all my nag and pcf mags. Was a nice trip down memory lane seeing all those old cpu and gfx reviews.
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by CapNemo »

No new people who stick around for those who eventually leave and once it's quiet no new people stick around well almost no new people
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by Molean »

I mainly stick to the threads I am accustomed too, or comment on the odd thread when need be...but I do find myself frequenting another forum as it is more "alive" so to speak...sad but true...
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by GDI_Lord »

I also thought that it could be that rusty.

I've considered throwing out ALL of my NAGs, PCFs and CGS+ bar my first CGS+ but I haven't had the will to do it yet. I think it need to just take a deep breath and toss them out ;-) My problem has been that if I toss them out, it's like tossing out all the hard work and creative effort and art of all those people involved - kinda like a loss for mankind and art in general.

(My first ever gaming magazine was Computer Games Strategy Plus magazine and that issue has quite significant sentimental value for me for various reasons. I have a second copy of it plus its demo CD still in its original plastic wrapping. I'm not throwing this one away.)
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by doo_much »

D3PART3D wrote:A forum requires a critical mass of members to sustain itself, I think. I don't think that dark period of Ron's life where he banned a dozen forum members was the main cause of members leaving.
The period he's currently experiencing you mean? But you're right, he might be a pedantic narcissist but I don't think that's why people are leaving. The Lancelot, jee and RRF fiascos were all just plain coincidences...
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by StarBound »

GDI_Lord wrote:I've considered throwing out ALL of my NAGs, PCFs...
To be honest I was moving so I did not feel it was worth dragging it with me.
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by Ron2K »

rustypup wrote:long story short, the mag ceased directing folks to the forum....
This point deserves elaboration, since I do have quite a bit of insight into this.

Generally, I've been fighting an uphill battle with the magazine editorial staff regarding this point. I've done all the work required on my side -- reskin the forum to give it a look and feel similar to that of the main site, reorganise the forum categories to be more inline with the direction of the online and printed variants -- but, from my perspective at least, it seems like there isn't really a driving will on the part of the editorial staff and publishers to direct users here. From my side, it appears that they view the forum as a side community that's not really worthy of attention, with most of their online focus being more redirected to their Facebook page than over here (because that's where the kids seem to hang out these days).

(Side note: for those not in the know, I have no professional affiliation with the magazine, nor do I receive any form of compensation or remuneration for keeping the forum operational. And yes, sometimes I question why I still do this, and yet I do.)

Anyway, I've taken my standard approach of taking the initiative and doing something myself. Somewhere along the line, I managed to obtain administrative access to the G3AR Facebook page, and so I've started to regularly scan the boards looking for interesting threads, and then try to direct the kids over on Facebook to that thread (I did StarBound's "forgetful gaming experiences of 2013" thread this morning, as an example). It's too early to say whether this is having a positive effect or not, but I figured that it's worth a shot. (Plus, it seems that I have some ORM skills I never knew about. Who knew?)

Which brings me to the next point I'd like to answer:
D3PART3D wrote:A forum requires a critical mass of members to sustain itself, I think.
Almost spot on, but critical mass isn't the only thing here; there also needs to be a positive balance between members joining and members leaving. Members joining: I've discussed above. As for members leaving, GDI_Lord pretty much nailed it:
GDI_Lord wrote:Sometimes people's lives change and they just move on. Very few things last forever.
Spot on. People changes, circumstances change, priorities change. I've seen some people leave because they've gotten married and started a family, for example -- and obviously in that case (well, at leave I hope this is obvious), new family responsibilities would take a far higher priority than trying to hit post per day records in the spam threads. Some may have left because the forum may have moved in one direction while they have moved in another. And, others have probably left because they just plain don't like me (understandable -- I don't even like myself -- but not much I can do about that one). For me personally, I no longer have the time to contribute to most discussions as I once did -- though, just because people don't see me posting frequently does not mean that I'm not around.

But the key point is: people move on. That's largely unavoidable. Plus, there's so many possible reasons that asking former members why would likely be an exercise in futility. The problem, as already mentioned is: those people aren't getting replaced with new members, and I've dealt with this above.

One more thing, not related but that I feel the need to comment on:
DarkRanger wrote:(because I've noticed that plenty a post either gets singled out or removed if not suited by the powers that be)
I suggest that you bring this up with Stuart and his team. Generally, the admin and mod team should only do this in rule violation cases, and regardless of reason, they should leave a note saying who edited/removed the post and why. This is something that I don't participate in or keep track of though (my responsibilities are keeping the forum technically operational; Stuart and his team handle the post and user issues), but I do find it concerning that this point has been brought up -- just because someone with moderator abilities disagrees with an opinion does not mean that the opinion should be silenced (promotion of piracy being one exception, because that's something that could conceivably get us shut down, not to mention the legal minefield there). It's definitely worth asking Stuart to take a closer look there.
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by KALSTER »

Ron2K wrote:
DarkRanger wrote:(because I've noticed that plenty a post either gets singled out or removed if not suited by the powers that be)
I suggest that you bring this up with Stuart and his team. Generally, the admin and mod team should only do this in rule violation cases, and regardless of reason, they should leave a note saying who edited/removed the post and why. This is something that I don't participate in or keep track of though (my responsibilities are keeping the forum technically operational; Stuart and his team handle the post and user issues), but I do find it concerning that this point has been brought up -- just because someone with moderator abilities disagrees with an opinion does not mean that the opinion should be silenced (promotion of piracy being one exception, because that's something that could conceivably get us shut down, not to mention the legal minefield there). It's definitely worth asking Stuart to take a closer look there.
I have certainly not noticed anything like that since I have come aboard from Stuart or his minions (which includes me now). I would appreciate DarkRanger explaining a bit more on what he means here.
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by GDI_Lord »

Ron, the hardware thread is/was usually a good source of threads.
KALSTER wrote:I would appreciate DarkRanger explaining a bit more on what he means here.
Oh shut up. Your opinion isn't wanted here. Mods, can one of you please remove kal's post? I disagree with him. ;-)

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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by StarBound »

I feel proud to contribute in positive ways sometimes ^^

I don't support facebook or twitter though. I will read the things that appears on forums but it seems like facebook is the unwanted future of things. Still I'd rather give my opinion on a forum that is dedicated to gaming and the hardware required for it (well this is more of a general broad pc and electronics forum now).

Now I just hope my topic starts some decent conversation and that I can properly express my thoughts as most of the time I don't do all that well.
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by KALSTER »

GDI_Lord wrote:Ron, the hardware thread is/was usually a good source of threads.
KALSTER wrote:I would appreciate DarkRanger explaining a bit more on what he means here.
Oh shut up. Your opinion isn't wanted here. Mods, can one of you please remove kal's post? I disagree with him. ;-)

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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by Anakha56 »

What rusty & Ron said...

I have stopped my posting on here because I just don't have time anymore and now work is clamping down on Internet usage which means no more pcf at work :/. Thank goodness Ron got Tapatalk installed...
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by Belix »

Tapatalk certainly helps. Not been on the web version in ages
    
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by ghett0_ghuru »

I'm new, so my question is: what use to draw people here ? what kept it alive ?
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by Stuart »

rusty hit the nail on the head IMHO.
I don't think that dark period of Ron's life where he banned a dozen forum members
As was explained at the time of The Incident, it wasn't Ron's call to issue those bans. He has just become the convenient scapegoat for guys that disagreed with the decision.

The simple fact is, this forum was at its peak when Cameron was heavily involved as a magazine staff member.
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by D3PART3D »

Edit: nevermind.
Last edited by D3PART3D on 08 May 2013, 07:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by StarBound »

Months or years later and I still don't know the whole story. I assume things were in conflict with forum rules and was handled in the way it should have been?

Either way we see a few new members pop up here and there mainly asking for questions on rigs or upgrade options and opinions and that means the forums serves its purpose. Obviously you want growth but you dont want it to grow for the wrong reasons.
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by Anakha56 »

The jee & RRF story is done. No more information will be given on the subject purely because it does not involve the normal user of pcf/gear sorry but that's the way it will be.

+1 to what Stu said, the forum was always livelier when the higher ups took a interest.
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by hamin_aus »

This thread is a walk down bad memory lane...

Just to throw in some classics that weren't mentioned

- Leigh's ban
- Leigh's return
- Leigh's anti-anime thread
- Leigh's re-ban
- Igor's multiple forum incarnations (he was trolling before trolling was cool)
- Zell's porn posting spree
- My girls kissing girls thread
- The Americans are dumb thread that introduced us to QBM
- QBM
- Zana
- Pedobear
- Da Rap Game
- Rayne's anime hard drive

What have I missed :?:
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Re: What's killing the forum

Post by Anakha56 »

Sidebar one can never forget about the lovely sidebar... Oh how I miss thee... :P
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