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Old 2012-01-30, 01:13   Link #30
relentlessflame
 
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Age: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
What I want is something that is less easily definable: people proposing theories, linking the series to various aspects of life, bringing in comparisons with other series, movies, or world events... basically, the boundless, unrestricted creativity of fans who want to talk about anything and everything, tied in to the series.
So why don't people just post it in the threads that exist? There is almost certainly a thread that suits the purpose and if there really isn't, someone could propose it. I have a hard time imagining that the are whole ton of people out there just bubbling with creative ideas for relevant conversations they could be having about a show in a dead or dying sub-forum, but are held back by the fact that they don't find a thread that seems 100% suitable and proposing their idea is too much of a bother. And if people really can't find a suitable thread, then perhaps we can re-label something to make it more clear that there is a place for them?

This whole hypothetical "there's a whole world of possibilities you're deliberately turning away because you're not allowing completely-free thread creation" is really a stretch to me. How do they get by then for the 90%+ of shows that don't get sub-forums in the first place and so only have one thread...? I don't think creating a new thread of your own is such an essential part of the creative process when discussing a show, nor is the barrier to jumping into an existing thread that much of a deterrent. Otherwise, older sub-forums surely aren't the biggest problem to be addressing at this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I don't disagree that it's a contributing factor. However, I think it's hastened by the restrictions. Take, for example, the Angel Beats! subforum. [...] How about the Death Note subforum?
Neither of these forums are retired, so people can certainly request new threads if they want. But I don't think there's very much left to say about either of these shows. In many cases, even if new threads were created, I'm not convinced they'd see significant response. We have a hard enough time at this point getting people to come back one week after the last episode airs to post their final series impressions/review, or vote in the final character poll. With nearly the whole world of anime being simulcast every season now, I think interest in any given anime is much more short-lived than it was 7-9 years ago.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I've seen the social groups mentioned by site staff before, and I feel that it has just become a convenient excuse. Social groups are tucked away and have simply become badges that people put into their profile to indicate interests or what they are fans of. [...] I was not a fan of the social group concept when it was first introduced, and I think the data speaks for itself in how well it has taken off. Social groups are hidden away and are fairly difficult to find, in many cases - it's no surprise that they garner so little activity.
Social Groups are what people make of them. If it's about visibility, then let's talk about ways to make the groups more visible and prominent. But, at least in concept, they seem to provide exactly what seems to be needed in this case: a place where fans of a franchise can freely engage in conversations outside the confines of our normal thread or sub-forum structure. We recently made changes to improve the discussion ability in these environments, which may provide improve usability. If there are other issues that prevent it from serving a useful purpose to fulfill this role, let's talk about that, not just rush to conclusions that it's not usable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Well, your perception differs from mine. Certainly things have become more organized, but I also feel that there is less of people talking with each other, and more that people are talking at each other (or just sending posts off into the void of the internet, seemingly not realizing that people may want to reply to it and discuss it farther). I am saddened by this, but I can only blame forum restrictions so far: much of the blame lies with the user base itself.
In considering all the reports we receive as staff and what we encounter as we participate on the forums ourselves, I really don't see any evidence the attitude of posters is considerably different, or the conversation more "stilted" in this way, in the parts of the forum that are subject to thread creation restrictions compared to those that are not. In my experiences browsing other Forums, I'm similarly not convinced that unlocking thread creation in sub-forums for old shows will lead to improved attitudes, or even necessarily the improved creativity and conversation you desire.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
All well and fine. I'm curious: what are your goals, and would you put what you like (as site staff) above what the users like? My personal view is that the forum is set up for users to have discussions, and the moderators have their roles simply to ensure that things remain civil (take care of aggressors) and that the flow of conversation is not disrupted (take care of spammers). It seems to me that moderators are partly creating these rules to make moderation easier on themselves. While understandable, it seems bizarre that moderators would put themselves and their moderation above the users and purpose that the site was designed for.
I assure you that I and the rest of the staff work the way we do because we want to make the forum a fun and constructive place for as many people as possible. Calling into question the motivations of a hard-working volunteer team just because we disagree about this issue is not really appropriate or appreciated. (And if I may be a bit selfish for a moment, particularly because I've spent most of my afternoon/evening composing replies to this thread to try to be as open and upfront as I can be, arguably to no avail, when I could instead of have been doing other things that would be more enjoyable to me. It's certainly not making things easier on me.)


At the end of the day, I think we all have to work together to make a good environment where conversation and constructive discussion can occur. The staff do their best, based on their experience and judgement, to support an environment conducive to that sort of experience. Of course it's not perfect, but I think our current approach has considerable benefits to all. But if people don't like the approach we're taking on principle and find that it doesn't suit their needs or desires, no one's married to this site. If you can find another site that does a better job of meeting your needs, then go there. Or if not, create a new site for that matter. Or do all three at once, if it meets your needs. Life's too short to remain frustrated.

That's all from me.
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