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Old 2010-12-10, 01:27   Link #1
milan kyuubi
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Group Memberships Forum/Threads

My proposal/idea is to have a new forum where threads for group memberships will be created. I know we have social groups but this way it will be more organized and social groups are way to messy for this kind of thing I have in mind.
Of course the forum will be limited so only mods can create new threads (the threads numbered down are the only thread needed to be created in this forum, there wont be need for more).

Name of forum: Group Memberships

Threads: Artist thread, Author thread, Fansubber thread, Graphic Designer thread, IT Support thread and Scanlator thread.

This may also help with recent problems about the sig/avi threads, like those problems listed in this thread.

Leechers on Signature/Avatar request threads

The thing is to have forum visible only to members of those selected groups. And threads only visible to the selected group, like graphic designers will only be able to post/see graphic designer thread (and the same for others).

It would be nice to have a place where selected members can talk and discuss certain things (of topic subjects that would slow (for the lack of the better word) certain threads). Also those threads would be only on one subject, like Author will discus about their work only in that one thread (their ideas etc etc).

(I know there is a fansub forum, but other groups don't have that, that's why this would be good in my opinion).

I know this maybe hard for you admin/mods to do it but I think it would help very much. I just don't know if it's possible to make threads visible only to selected members. Some of you will say that social groups are for this thing, but wouldn't be nice to have something like this (one thread for one subject where only interested and dedicate members can post). Of course people don't have to join groups only to see them and post in them, it would be only for serious members. Most social groups are hard to find (for one specific subject) and they are mostly 'dead' and some are forgotten. It would also serve the purpose for members of specific selected groups to meet. Like graphic designers will discuss their work,ideas, plans etc in one thread. The reason why I ask to have forum/threads only visible to certain members is because I know many members who don't have any idea about those subjects will post just have their post their or just to annoy some members. This way some of them will not even know about his, so it would help with trolling.

Positive things about having this idea accepted:
  • Much more organized place, also it will help in getting new and some of the old members interested.
  • A place where members can feel safe/comfortable about discussing one subject.
  • Members of selected groups like graphic designers and others can express their opinion, new ideas etc

Like all those members who complained about users who 'steal' avi/sigs works from other members. Well here they can think their own rules, which can be moved to the first post in thread.

Here is one social group about graphic designers that have very little members and no one have posted in it yet.

AnimeSuki Graphic Designers

And I am sure I can find more groups like this, this is also a problem because there might be many double groups on the same subject. Like I said social groups are way to 'messy'.

The reason why I mostly use graphic designers as my point is because I don't understand (for the lack of the better word) other subject. I am a graphic designer and I would like to have a place to free post about anything that is about related to the subject I am interested about.

I would like to hear your opinions (mods and members) on what you think about this. And who knows if we have enough positive feedback, this idea of mine might come true after all.
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Last edited by milan kyuubi; 2010-12-10 at 01:39.
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Old 2010-12-10, 07:46   Link #2
NightWish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milan kyuubi View Post
The thing is to have forum visible only to members of those selected groups. And threads only visible to the selected group, like graphic designers will only be able to post/see graphic designer thread (and the same for others).
To date the forum has run a policy where all members have equal access and facility. All of the forums can be viewed by all people, even without having an account. All members can post in areas that any member is permitted to post. There are a couple of exceptions to this for operational purposes, but that is the principle.

Restricting sections of the forum in a way that divides up the community is something we have consciously resisted because it reinforces partisan behaviour. Increased cohesion for small groups is at the expense of fragmenting the community. You can sort of see the effect already in the way some people gravitate to their preferred areas of the forum. This is fine, but artificially extending it is something we don't want to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milan kyuubi View Post
I know there is a fansub forum, but other groups don't have that, that's why this would be good in my opinion
Does the "Fan Creation" forum not perform that functionality for "Artists" and "Graphic Designers"? Or the "Tech Support" forum for the "IT Support" group? Indeed the request for the groups (which are just elective badges really) came from members who frequented the existing sections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milan kyuubi View Post
I just don't know if it's possible to make threads visible only to selected members.
The forum doesn't provide a per-thread access model, only a per-forum. So the precise model you suggest isn't feasible. Each group would have to have its own sub-forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milan kyuubi View Post
Most social groups are hard to find (for one specific subject) and they are mostly 'dead' and some are forgotten.
Can you expend on why you think they are hard to find? As a member of staff I'm so used to the forum's structure that it isn't always easy to understand the difficulties of new members. That aside I still don't think you've provided a strong enough argument about why the existing social group model is not sufficient. Most of the "dead" groups are like that because people don't contribute to them. Some people have a group idea, create it, and then give up on it; while others are quite lively. If you want them to be more active, promote them. Encourage those who have their own thread in the Fan Creation forum to join the group by sending them an invite (the system provides this feature for that reason). If the desire is actually there, people will make it work. If it isn't...

Quote:
Originally Posted by milan kyuubi View Post
The reason why I ask to have forum/threads only visible to certain members is because I know many members who don't have any idea about those subjects will post just have their post their or just to annoy some members. This way some of them will not even know about this, so it would help with trolling.
What you propose is in opposition to the practice I outlined at the start. It comes from a position that someone is a troll until they demonstrate otherwise. We do apply some moderation rules that fit that opinion, but generally they are to combat spam. We generally assume everyone will contribute constructivly unless they demonstrate otherwise.

The other concerns you outline are convered by social groups, if not being readily visible to the masses is your intention. Indeed, by your own argument the social groups arn't easily found.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milan kyuubi View Post
  • Much more organized place, also it will help in getting new and some of the old members interested.
  • A place where members can feel safe/comfortable about discussing one subject.
  • Members of selected groups like graphic designers and others can express their opinion, new ideas etc
All of which should apply generally to the forum and should fit within the social group model; if anything the ability to have more than one "discussion" makes a social group more flexible than a single thread (though as I've said a single thread isn't actually feasible).
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Old 2010-12-10, 08:11   Link #3
felix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milan kyuubi View Post
Most social groups are hard to find (for one specific subject) and they are mostly 'dead' and some are forgotten.
Social groups seem to collide with the idea of being a forum. For a social group to be succesful (just like any site, or what-have-you) there must be content (be it exclusive or in-demand). It goes with out saying the content should not belong to some niche category either.

I can't think of a lot of content like that, for which you would be compelled to post on a social group, but not on the forum. A few things that come to mind is contest social groups, but this forum largely prohibits those as part of their no-game rules. Another type would be for some sort of project; where the group would consist of only people handling the project. But other then that not much comes to mind. Could you give some examples?

If the groups purpose is purely socializing or some niche topic, it should come to no surprise it will inevitably die out. People (particularly these days) tend to migrate between social circles, and niche topics have a timed lifespan - particularly those revolving around some anime cult.

As for the publicity aspect, why not just add the group name in font-size 4 in your signature? I'm sure anyone interested will go there.
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Old 2010-12-10, 08:22   Link #4
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I'm just wondering, are you thinking of making the member groups like Graphic Designers or Artists unavailable to normal members except on the discretion of mods and admins? Because you can choose to be in any of those member groups from your User CP. That pretty much defeats the whole purpose of your proposal.
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Old 2010-12-10, 13:52   Link #5
DragoZERO
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I think some moderation for the social groups, such as proper categorization, would best tackle this problem. Some other tweaks could be made, such as giving more spotlight to the social groups. You really have to go out of the way to find them. Maybe move it out of the community drop down and put it on the main bread crumb or something.
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Old 2010-12-10, 14:05   Link #6
Arbitres
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I say just make a social group 'guild', as was proposed. Creating a group monitored by Moderators should be fairly easy, and having it restricted only to Graphic Designers isn't necessary. I think if you need to make a 'guild', it should be maintained as public, not private. Anyone that accepts the terms can join, I think that sounds very fair.

Creating a social group-guild isn't that difficult, and it can actually subside any difficulties. I'm more worried about the social group itself remaining fair more then anything else.

I accept the proposal of a guild myself, and would happily join it. Even if I'm not a graphic designer, I do support you all. I'd also advertise the guild in my signature (Among the other groups I have up.)

Making it exclusive isn't ideal, but that's my two cents. Personally I want to see this resolved as quickly as possible without any problematic loose ends to it.

Edit: Also, to go a tad further: I think if this Guild was created, it should be completely optional, not mandatory. If a Graphic designer wishes to make signatures/avatars indefinitely and for whomever, they can. After all that's their time and effort, and it shouldn't be frowned upon. It being frowned upon is what I'm almost sure will happen because the Guild will most likely form a group ideology/thought process. All I can say to that I hope that'll be avoided.
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Old 2010-12-13, 05:35   Link #7
milan kyuubi
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Sorry for the late replay

Nightwish & others; ok about the visibility to certain members, I was unaware that you can't do that with threads I assumed that if you can hide forum's you can hide threads as well. So I'll drop that part,
I completely forgot about 'fan creations forum' and others, my apologies

The reason why I think this is better then social groups is because not every member interested will be able to find the said group (they don't now the name of the group they want to find for the start). Like felix said (his post was moved to the other thread) is for me (or someone else) to post the link to the social group under my post(s) (signature). The problem is I post only in some sub-forums, so not everyone will be able to see it. Also my point was to have only one thread for each of those subjects. This will not be possible in social group because some members will create new topics for each thing they want to discuss. My way it would be more comfortable and original, also much more simpler then posting in social groups.

But if you still don't agree with me, then I would suggest (if this is possible) to have a social group created but to link it to the main page of forum. Maybe having more topics then just one thread would be better for other members (it depends on preference).

I couldn't resist
Quote:
To date the forum has run a policy where all members have equal access and facility. All of the forums can be viewed by all people, even without having an account. All members can post in areas that any member is permitted to post. There are a couple of exceptions to this for operational purposes, but that is the principle.
Now I know you (admins and mods) have a secret (invisible) forum (threads) where you gossip about us (members) behind our backs Can I see it?
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Old 2010-12-13, 05:48   Link #8
Kaze
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milan kyuubi View Post
Now I know you (admins and mods) have a secret (invisible) forum (threads) where you gossip about us (members) behind our backs Can I see it?
There's a huge thread where they have dartboards with "wanted" pictures with bad members on them.

Then they take turns in throwing darts at us and whichever mod gets the bullseye wins!

Other than that there's a pooltable where they play some pool, some ping pong and a large sofa with a widescreen TV where they all just sit and watch shows.


/sarcasm
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Old 2010-12-13, 09:32   Link #9
felix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milan kyuubi View Post
Now I know you (admins and mods) have a secret (invisible) forum (threads) where you gossip about us (members) behind our backs Can I see it?
Since "all members have equal access" and we can't see it, that would imply you are not allowed to either.
Quote:
Originally Posted by milan kyuubi View Post
The reason why I think this is better then social groups is because not every member interested will be able to find the said group (they don't now the name of the group they want to find for the start). Like felix said (his post was moved to the other thread) is for me (or someone else) to post the link to the social group under my post(s) (signature). The problem is I post only in some sub-forums, so not everyone will be able to see it. Also my point was to have only one thread for each of those subjects. This will not be possible in social group because some members will create new topics for each thing they want to discuss. My way it would be more comfortable and original, also much more simpler then posting in social groups.
That would lead to "advertising" and other nonsense posting habits. Pretty sure the staff are against it since they squish it in other threads (ie. saimoe, etc). What you want is a index. Guess what? You already got it, TADA!
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Old 2010-12-13, 12:16   Link #10
KiNA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaze View Post
There's a huge thread where they have dartboards with "wanted" pictures with bad members on them.

Then they take turns in throwing darts at us and whichever mod gets the bullseye wins!

Other than that there's a pooltable where they play some pool, some ping pong and a large sofa with a widescreen TV where they all just sit and watch shows.


/sarcasm
Now I want to be a mod Damn you!



On topic tho, to the OP, I think the social group function covers all your needs already, The only thing you need to do is make peoples aware of them if you want them to flourish... Maybe it just me, but sometimes I feel like peoples tend to try to confine/complicates things even when the current options are more then enough .. Either they are unaware of it or not is something to ponders upon. (yep, Im refering to the locked signature thread linked above as well)
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Old 2010-12-13, 12:49   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiNA View Post
On topic tho, to the OP, I think the social group function covers all your needs already
Functionality is there, design is barely usable. Accessibility minimal.

One easy fix would be to have the Social Group categories liked to via vB Forum Links (ie. it's a fake forum that just links to somewhere) and place them in appropriate locations around the forum (a lot will subforum General Anime and Fan Creation most likely). However the mods will never do this, too much effort to go to the Forum Manager...
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Old 2010-12-13, 14:41   Link #12
KiNA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
Functionality is there,
Thus my suggestion ..

Quote:
design is barely usable.
Personally, I find it sufficient for what it offers right now. I have started several groups and its pretty easy enough to police the groups I have. Maybe I'm just blessed with good kiddies

Quote:
Accessibility minimal.
OP was hoping for some kind of exclusive place limited to certain members. It should falls on them to promote their private group. Putting it publicly, then says its for private usage is just ..


IMHO. just my 2 cents.
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Old 2010-12-13, 15:39   Link #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milan kyuubi View Post
Here is one social group about graphic designers that have very little members and no one have posted in it yet.

AnimeSuki Graphic Designers

And I am sure I can find more groups like this, this is also a problem because there might be many double groups on the same subject. Like I said social groups are way to 'messy'.
Social groups are messy because there's no moderation for them. Only 8 pages out of 59 have more than 100 posts in each group. If a group can't get that many after a certain time, is it really worth keeping it in the databases? A little strictness is necessary for maintaining order.

Though I don't know if an automated script can be made and implemented to watch over a select few criteria once a month or so (members/posts + time since last post), resulting in a group delete if they weren't met. Making someone moderate that mess wouldn't be worth it.
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Old 2010-12-14, 01:20   Link #14
Arbitres
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Originally Posted by Larthak View Post
Social groups are messy because there's no moderation for them. Only 8 pages out of 59 have more than 100 posts in each group. If a group can't get that many after a certain time, is it really worth keeping it in the databases? A little strictness is necessary for maintaining order.
Social Groups are made through and by discretion. It's up to the creator/Governor to make sure it flourishes, even then what matters most is the members willing to join and be productive in the social group.

I don't post in my social groups all that much, a thing here and there and that is it. I join them out of fun and to be identified as a fan or member of the group.

Just because it doesn't have a sherling reputation doesn't mean it shouldn't exist.
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Old 2010-12-14, 02:12   Link #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
One easy fix would be to have the Social Group categories liked to via vB Forum Links (ie. it's a fake forum that just links to somewhere) and place them in appropriate locations around the forum (a lot will subforum General Anime and Fan Creation most likely). However the mods will never do this, too much effort to go to the Forum Manager...
No, it's not because of "effort", it's because of the appearance of endorsement. Social Groups are user-generated and user-maintained. They are not part of the forum proper, but rather something that exists on the periphery. Existing outside the core forum has benefits and drawbacks, most of which are related. A benefit is that you have more freedom and autonomy to control both the discussion topic and the group you're discussing with. A drawback is that the same freedom and autonomy keeps you a bit separated from the forum proper, so people need to take an extra step to find and connect with the group. This is by design.

Yes, we could place links for every single social group that is related to one of the forum topics, but (beyond the fact that things will get cluttered with links) this gives the impression that these groups are endorsed by the Forum Staff and part of the Forum proper, which is not the case. Not to mention there is now the potential to be involved with "Social Group Politics" related to the way a group is listed, its placement, group splits/abandonments, who is allowed into the group (or not), and so on. As KiNA said above, advertising the group openly only to have "arbitrary" (individual member-set, not mod/policy-set) rules about who gets accepted doesn't seem very wise. Even if you discount the effort involved entirely, it's another opportunity where Moderators are now intruding on the autonomy of the Members. If that's the way it's going to be, it would better for us to remove Social Groups entirely and place the relevant sections into the Forums proper so that it's part of the regular, managed aspects of Forum life... and then we're missing the point and purpose of Social groups entirely. Besides, as was already pointed out, there are already forums for most of the major aspects mentioned.

Just like the thread that spawned this discussion, I feel this is another case where the staff is being asked to intervene in what's ultimately a member-to-member issue. As Arbitres stated above, it's up to the Group Creator to make the group work, and up to its members to contribute productively to keep it active. Group Members can certainly use their signatures and profiles as ways to raise interest about a social group they're involved in, and so increase its visibility beyond the existing listings. And perhaps at some point we could consider pruning some of the inactive groups (or changing/improving the organization), but that's really a separate discussion (that requires some degree of prudence and openness to make sure it's all carried out judiciously).

So, with due respect to the original poster for presenting this suggestion, I am going to close this thread at this point. At this time, I don't think we will be taking any action that will blur the line between the Forums and the Social Groups hosted here. If there is a new development that should cause this thread to be re-opened, please feel free to send a PM to me or any other member of the staff and we can discuss it.
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