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Old 2024-03-21, 07:00   Link #1
Ledgem
Love Yourself
 
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Northeast USA
Age: 38
What is the long-term plan for the site?

There is something comforting in logging into AnimeSuki once every few years for me. People I once conversed with multiple times per day now leave messages that go back and forth with years separating each response. Sometimes I read over older posts. There's an element of nostalgia in this. It's also nice to see that the forum software hasn't changed much, further contributing to the nostalgia.

While I like the nostalgic aspect of this place, the world is constantly changing and doesn't have much respect for things that are stuck in time. It seems like forum traffic is dropping. And so I am just curious:
1) Are there any plans to overhaul the forums? Upgrade the software to include all of the latest social media tie-ins and up/down votes that are unfortunately all the rage across various forum sites? Modify the layout and subforums that are available in an effort to drive more traffic? Mostly, I'm wondering if I will log in one year and be shocked by a site that no longer resembles what I once spent hours per day on.

2) If the love behind this labor of love dries up, what's the plan? Try to sell the site? Shut it down, and maybe make the database available to people who want to be able to browse a local copy for nostalgia? Or just have it fade off of the internet entirely? (That last one is a sad thought.)

For those of you keeping the site online, thank you for doing so. This site was once so important to me, and it's nice to be able to return to a familiar place, even if I don't stay long or contribute much anymore.
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Old 2024-03-22, 08:24   Link #2
EroKing
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Age: 38
I remember you and good to just know you are alive and doing well.

Highly doubt any changes are coming in terms of a system overhaul for the site. Heck the signature limit is still at 100kbs, while the avatar at 125kbs
Nevertheless, if I'm not wrong, I have actually noticed a uptick in forum activity over the past year to year and a half. There are a few old folks who were gone a while but I do see them now being somewhat active. Personally, I love the style of the forums even today. There's just something about it that makes me feel at home.
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Old 2024-03-22, 18:09   Link #3
Kanon
Kana Hanazawa ♥
 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: France
Age: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by EroKing View Post
I remember you and good to just know you are alive and doing well.

Highly doubt any changes are coming in terms of a system overhaul for the site. Heck the signature limit is still at 100kbs, while the avatar at 125kbs
Nevertheless, if I'm not wrong, I have actually noticed a uptick in forum activity over the past year to year and a half. There are a few old folks who were gone a while but I do see them now being somewhat active. Personally, I love the style of the forums even today. There's just something about it that makes me feel at home.
Same here. I actually have Reddit and Twitter accounts but I'm barely active there. Animesuki is my home on the internet, it's comfy and there's a sense of belonging. The community is small now but it's all the better for it. One thing I dislike about the aforementioned platforms is that it's basically first come, first serve. If you don't watch episodes immediately and post a dank meme or joke people are going to upvote/like, your posts are just going to be drowned with no one ever looking at them. I'd rather have one person read my posts than zero.

You can also be negative about a show without being flamed. Reddit in particular fosters circlejerks.
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Old 2024-03-23, 19:53   Link #4
relentlessflame
 
*Administrator
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Age: 42
There may come a time when we have to upgrade the forum software, but mostly for security reasons. This vBulletin is old after all, and at some point there could be a security issue so severe that it's deemed unfixable. We have looked at migrating in the past, but there's not really any interest in changing for the sake of changing, and we would want the new experience to be as close as possible to the current one. Ideally we'd like to not lose any functionality, but some of that functionality is custom-built, so may be difficult to reproduce. I don't think anyone's interested in chasing fads and our kind site owner is paying for the servers out-of-pocket with no need to monetize the site. If the site owner decided they didn't want to keep paying for it, there are probably still some options.

I have thought at some points in the past that the site is falling behind the times and has less traffic and maybe we should try to do something about it. Obviously the fansub torrent site is what drove a lot of traffic here, so when we lost that it was inevitable that there'd be a lot less organic traffic. Plus, waiting for fansub torrents to appear/download provided a perfect opportunity for people to hang out on the forum while they waited, but that doesn't really happen anymore when everything streaming on day-one. I thought at some point about what sort of thing we could create that would be useful and drive traffic, but nothing super-obvious comes to mind that wouldn't also be a massive amount of work.

As others posted, and some fellow staff also shared when we discussed this internally, a lot of the appeal of this forum is that this is sort of an unchanging oasis still like the webforums of old and has survived all the social and monetization trends. It's a comfortable home to people because it's mostly unchanging and because we try to not let people get too out of hand with flaming/baiting/etc. (please report stuff we miss).

There are still probably little things we could stand to upgrade, though. Certainly things like the file size limits could be reviewed. I have wondered if there's still a good reason to have series sub-forums anymore. Some of the sub-forums we split out in years past should probably be recombined (like General Chat). Basically, given that the population is smaller, we don't need to be so "spread out" anymore. Definitely open to feedback about that stuff.

But yeah, I can at least say that if we are forced to change the software some day, we will try as much as we reasonably can to have some sort of skin or mode that is close to the look of the current site and retain as many features as we can. But we're not actively working on any migration at the moment, and we don't have some big idea of "pivoting" the site to be something else in pursuit of money, fame, or whatever else. This site can just be a comfortable "old-fashioned" forum for people to discuss anime for as long as it makes sense to keep the servers running.
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Old 2024-03-24, 08:02   Link #5
Kanon
Kana Hanazawa ♥
 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: France
Age: 37
I'm relieved to hear that. It's perfectly in line with the way I feel. Long live Animesuki!
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Old 2024-03-24, 11:16   Link #6
Renegade334
Sleepy Lurker
*Graphic Designer
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Nun'yabiznehz
Age: 38
*whistles Alphaville's Forever Young*

Damn it, I just made myself sad again...
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Old 2024-03-27, 09:53   Link #7
Infinite Zenith
Operation sneaky sneaks
*IT Support
 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Hic et ubique
Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Ideally we'd like to not lose any functionality, but some of that functionality is custom-built, so may be difficult to reproduce. I don't think anyone's interested in chasing fads and our kind site owner is paying for the servers out-of-pocket with no need to monetize the site. If the site owner decided they didn't want to keep paying for it, there are probably still some options.
What kind of features here are custom made? Depending on how many users use them and the cost/benefit of stepping over to a newer/more secure build, we might be able to get away with a migration. This is the admin and owner's call to make: for my part, being a forum with simple and straightforward functionality has made this place endure.

I joined in a time right when blogging was on the downturn, though: as a lurker in the years before, blog authors were treated like rockstars here, and even the admin and mods would comment on their blogs. Times have changed, of course: I have a twinge of regret I didn't join earlier, since it did feel as though AnimeSuki helped some of those bloggers drive traffic and engagement.
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Old 2024-03-27, 19:05   Link #8
relentlessflame
 
*Administrator
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Age: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinite Zenith View Post
What kind of features here are custom made? Depending on how many users use them and the cost/benefit of stepping over to a newer/more secure build, we might be able to get away with a migration. This is the admin and owner's call to make: for my part, being a forum with simple and straightforward functionality has made this place endure.
Honestly, there are a lot of little things and a few big things. Some of these might already exist in the base of newer systems (or in plugins others have developed). Some of them also might no longer be as important they once were.

For instance, on the small side, we have a custom plugin that handles rotating the image in the banner. We added a custom feature that allows members to hide visibility in the "Recent Visitors" section. We have an Admin Form to create threads that follow predefined templates (for example, the new episode threads that go in subforums that include polls). We also increased the default number of options available in polls to accommodate some character threads. We added some custom elements in our registration to try to reduce spam accounts (that help a fair bit, although some still get through). We integrated a custom search feature that improved on the built-in default. We added some additional features for thread tagging, including some advanced tag search features. We have the custom buttons in the post editor for spoiler tags, tldr, Youtube, etc. We also made tweaks to the code of the base templates of the site for various reasons. And a lot more...

There are other forum features that aren't custom-built, but that might not exist in new software... but are also not being that used anymore. For example, for a while when the forum was real busy we tried to push some side-topics to Social Groups so it would not clutter the main forums with side-topics... but this never really caught on all that much so Social Groups are basically dead for the most part. (Not having much visibility is basically a death knell. That wasn't our intention, but it's the result.)

Anyway, like I said, definitely some of these are niche, some of them only made sense when the forum was much busier, and some of them would be built-in to any new forum software by default now. So you're definitely right that we could do a cost/benefit analysis of each and decide how important it really is.

At the end of the day, probably finding something that retains the same "look and feel" is the more important part, and some little changes in functionality probably wouldn't be missed that much (or people would get used to it). But obviously we need to make sure to identify what those "can't live without" features are, so we'd definitely need to do some sort of test first. But yeah, no plans at the moment... just something I figure we'll have to do eventually.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinite Zenith View Post
I joined in a time right when blogging was on the downturn, though: as a lurker in the years before, blog authors were treated like rockstars here, and even the admin and mods would comment on their blogs. Times have changed, of course: I have a twinge of regret I didn't join earlier, since it did feel as though AnimeSuki helped some of those bloggers drive traffic and engagement.
This site tended to attract a lot of people who liked to think and write long-form about anime. So, some of these bloggers started off as posters here and then went on to start anime blogs (so that's why some of the members here would eventually follow them on their blog), and others who started blogs would come here to have discussion. We had to create some self-promotion rules because of all this at some point, as a few bloggers would come here and just post links to their blog posts in the discussion threads to try to get traffic (so we said you at least had to actually participate in the thread not just post links to off-site content).

But yes, I think the generational shift that mostly killed anime blogs is basically aligned to the cycle of this site, tied to the "death" of fansubs, the shift towards same-day streaming, and a trend of more quick/short comments rather than long-form discussion (as seen on Youtube and Social Media). When watching anime was instant, the amount of time people spent talking and thinking about it also seemed to go down. I also think that a lot of "punditry" as you used to see on blogs has shifted to streamers, but the production bar to be a streamer is much higher, so to the extent that people follow the "discourse" nowadays it's probably from watching influencers on Youtube rather than reading anything.
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Last edited by relentlessflame; 2024-03-27 at 19:18.
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Old 2024-04-06, 13:09   Link #9
RWBladewing
Salt Levels Critical
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
I still check this place once a year when I get reminded of it by the Happy Birthday email. Lots of memories, many of them not great, but important all the same. Nice to see the intent is to keep it going.
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Old 2024-06-10, 10:44   Link #10
Liddo-kun
is this so?
 
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Gradius Home World
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
While I like the nostalgic aspect of this place, the world is constantly changing and doesn't have much respect for things that are stuck in time. It seems like forum traffic is dropping.
the only constant thing in this world is change. Forums were peak places to chat in years ago. Feels like this place was in it's prime when I joined for Saimoe 2007. Tons of people in threads. Sig makers and avatar makers receiving cookies. The "super hot" religion thread that got closed by mods. Just to name a few. Oh, all the good memories. ^^

With the competition from discord, twitter, reddit, and some other places. It's only natural that forums would slowly recede. I believe we should actually be thankful that this place is even alive - even if the active population size is only a small fraction of it's former self. Some other large forums that I frequent like Mtgsalvation is even more of a ghost town than this place.
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Old 2024-06-11, 00:31   Link #11
CIRQUAN
Member
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Europe
Age: 32
I made an account few years back but rarely visited. Now I try to check out what`s new here every day. I miss my old forums which got shut down by the owner. I miss that community, had a lot of fun.

So after it got shot down, I Googled what is the most popular anime forums at the time and it brought me here.

I plan on being more active here, start watching latest anime, hopefully start SOTW and maybe SOTM contests, share my gfx stuff...
Will see how it goes.
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Old 2024-06-11, 04:02   Link #12
Natsurin
Memento Mori
*Graphic Designer
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: UK
I don't post nearly as much as I did at one point, namely due to real life getting in the way of anime-watching, which made me prefer lurking occassionally rather than participating, but I will agree that I'm really fond of the fact that AnimeSuki hasn't changed to follow the trends of modern-day internet where everything has to be bite-sized and for rapid consumption.

Much thanks to the site owner, the staff, and the long-standing members that still preserve the increasingly rare universe of forums! It may be smaller and less active than before, but it is really nice to come back to the place and not seeing that everything has changed.
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