Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

having gone through the transition from the old site to this

One thing about the old site where all the forums were mashed together is it always looked "busy" / "alive". The current works quite well for the groups, actually. But it may feel like tumbleweeds blowing around to a new member until they get the hang of it. I remember the flame wars in the old were so prevalent because we never had that spacing.

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

It's hard to know what's better. I dislike the free-for-all nature of a single forum with lots of useless comments/arguments, but would welcome more input from other thoughtful members for my brainstorming threads. Perhaps if the number of groups goes down to <= ten and everyone is a member of every group, they could at least see our threads being used from the home page (making the site more alive), but would still provide enough organization to keep different topics in different forums. Since people are currently so spread out across many groups, the only central place to go for the widest feedback is Premium, which has made it a disorganized mass of topics. This idea has the advantage that it doesn't require building a new forum structure.

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

Another simplification would be to allow all members access to the Premium group, even if they're only basic members. More writers in our main group would probably help both Basic and Premium members get more reviews. Basic members would still only have access to regular reviews, but it might whet their appetite to become a Premium member and get access to Premium benefits, including inline reviews. It would be necessary to tweak inline reviews, though, to prevent Premium members from accidentally leaving inline reviews for someone who can't read them.

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

Dirk B. wrote:

... It would be necessary to tweak inline reviews, though, to prevent Premium members from accidentally leaving inline reviews for someone who can't read them.

Mostly adjusting the coding so that a premium member's "inline review" button is grayed out for a Basic member's post.

Bill

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

You know what else would be nice? Some reviews, some new writery. This place has become more of a bingo hall. Got screwed over twice this week--no reciprocation, of course. I just spent 41 points to put up an entire part of a novel, and lo and behold:  3 whole reviews. Pffffft. But I'm talking to my ass again.

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

Willem Robart wrote:

You know what else would be nice? Some reviews, some new writery. This place has become more of a bingo hall. Got screwed over twice this week--no reciprocation, of course. I just spent 41 points to put up an entire part of a novel, and lo and behold:  3 whole reviews. Pffffft. But I'm talking to my ass again.

Willem--
This site does all it can to encourage people to read and review. If that's not enough, you complaining about it sure isn't going to produce the result you want. I strongly suggest, again, that you cultivate a few reading and reviewing relationships with writers in your genre, and be content with that.

smile

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

Sheesh...I do believe this site still belongs to Sol, and for many years he has allowed us to have a place to come together and learn from each other.  Personally, I learned to write from this site.  Not everyone you review will reciprocate.  Try as you may, life sometimes gets in the way.  Really, though, it's more about quality than quantity. One knowledgeable writer's review can make up for five who aren't as knowledgeable.

A huge shout-out to Sol!  I say do it your way as you have since the very beginning.

MJ

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

Marilyn Johnson wrote:

Sheesh...I do believe this site still belongs to Sol, and for many years he has allowed us to have a place to come together and learn from each other.  Personally, I learned to write from this site.  Not everyone you review will reciprocate.  Try as you may, life sometimes gets in the way.  Really, though, it's more about quality than quantity. One knowledgeable writer's review can make up for five who aren't as knowledgeable.

A huge shout-out to Sol!  I say do it your way as you have since the very beginning.

MJ

Well said, Marilyn smile

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

Per the heading for this thread, they're suggestions, not demands. Sol's chosen to begin with the group cleanup, since it was giving the site a ghost town feel. You don't build and maintain an ideal website (of any type) without listening to your users' feedback.

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

When it comes right down to the nitty gritty, there is nothing one can do within a separate group which can't be done by simply creating a separate thread within this forum. That is the way it worked on the old site and there was plenty of action. Yes, some folks complained too much about quite a few heated debates, but no one forced them to join in or read those discussions which were contained within single threads. Threads which garner no interest simply disappear though they could miraculously reappear much later if someone browsed the archives and wanted to resurrect a past discussion or they could simply start a new thread relating to the same theme just like someone would do by creating a new group. If you split the input into many different places, then you simply diminish the overall input received by the majority of members. All the active threads would appear on the front page so that anyone could check them out and decide if it was a discussion they wanted to participate in or they could ignore it and when everyone got to the point of ignoring a thread, it would disappear from view. Pretty simple really and usually the best solution to a problem is the simplest. Just the way I see it. Take care. Vern

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

When it comes right down to the nitty gritty, there is nothing one can do within a separate group which can't be done by simply creating a separate thread within this forum. That is the way it worked on the old site and there was plenty of action. Yes, some folks complained too much about quite a few heated debates, but no one forced them to join in or read those discussions which were contained within single threads. Threads which garner no interest simply disappear though they could miraculously reappear much later if someone browsed the archives and wanted to resurrect a past discussion or they could simply start a new thread relating to the same theme just like someone would do by creating a new group. If you split the input into many different places, then you simply diminish the overall input received by the majority of members. All the active threads would appear on the front page so that anyone could check them out and decide if it was a discussion they wanted to participate in or they could ignore it and when everyone got to the point of ignoring a thread, it would disappear from view. Pretty simple really and usually the best solution to a problem is the simplest. Just the way I see it. Take care. Vern

There's some validity to what you say except that we had many users who quit the site because of the arguments and bickering in the forums. I also tired of constantly responding to disgruntled members whose feelings had been hurt. It was quite shocking to me how many people really took what happened in the forums personally and were deeply impacted by what others said. It's the main reason I broke the forums up, and I still stand behind that decision.

37 (edited by Dirk B. 2022-01-20 23:23:56)

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

It just occurred to me that as long as Basic members can only belong to one group (Basic?), they won't be able to participate in discussions in the revived Writing Tips & Site Help group. That limits it's usefulness to just Premium members, including new members who have brief access to it. I wonder if the latter will experience its benefits before their access to it is cut off.

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

SolN wrote:

When it comes right down to the nitty gritty, there is nothing one can do within a separate group which can't be done by simply creating a separate thread within this forum. That is the way it worked on the old site and there was plenty of action. Yes, some folks complained too much about quite a few heated debates, but no one forced them to join in or read those discussions which were contained within single threads. Threads which garner no interest simply disappear though they could miraculously reappear much later if someone browsed the archives and wanted to resurrect a past discussion or they could simply start a new thread relating to the same theme just like someone would do by creating a new group. If you split the input into many different places, then you simply diminish the overall input received by the majority of members. All the active threads would appear on the front page so that anyone could check them out and decide if it was a discussion they wanted to participate in or they could ignore it and when everyone got to the point of ignoring a thread, it would disappear from view. Pretty simple really and usually the best solution to a problem is the simplest. Just the way I see it. Take care. Vern

There's some validity to what you say except that we had many users who quit the site because of the arguments and bickering in the forums. I also tired of constantly responding to disgruntled members whose feelings had been hurt. It was quite shocking to me how many people really took what happened in the forums personally and were deeply impacted by what others said. It's the main reason I broke the forums up, and I still stand behind that decision.

Your site, your decision, no problem; I only pointed out a simple solution as things are being discussed. As I mentioned, no one had/has to read anything which bothers them just like switching a channel when the show doesn't suit your taste -- you don't throw away your TV. And just mho, but if that is the only reason for someone quitting the site, then they weren't really interested in the benefits to begin with. Take care. Vern

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

What's a TV? In the Fantasy forum (now Fantasy, Magic, and Sci-fi) many of us create a brainstorming thread for each of our stories (e.g. The Lord of the Earth - Dirk B.) to capture all discussion about a given story. It's a great way to keep things organized. Those interested can subscribe to the threads, or just hunt for them in the forum.

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

SolN wrote:

There's some validity to what you say except that we had many users who quit the site because of the arguments and bickering in the forums. I also tired of constantly responding to disgruntled members whose feelings had been hurt. It was quite shocking to me how many people really took what happened in the forums personally and were deeply impacted by what others said. It's the main reason I broke the forums up, and I still stand behind that decision.

Sol--
What really helped in the new forum was the 'if it's not about writing you can't post it' rule.
smile

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

What really helped in the new forum was the 'if it's not about writing you can't post it' rule.

I tried that in the old forum and it didn't work. For some, the old forum was the main attraction of the site. It would have been fine if it didn't always descend into a brawl. It's the nature of forums I'm afraid. It's why a lot of sites have gotten rid of them entirely. The new site was an attempt to keep forums but space them out so one person couldn't start a conflagration that engulfed everyone.

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

Sol,
I recommend having a forum entitled Dante's Inferno with a sign over the door that reads "Abandon hope all ye who enter here."
Extra fee of $25/year to join the forum. It's a forum to discuss anything, particularly politics and religion. The forum is closed to public view or view of the other forums. To find out what goes on in the forum, members must pay the $25 to join.
Members of the Inferno can, if they choose, select a 3-member board to moderate the forum.
No other forum is allowed to discuss politics and religion.
Memphis Trace

43 (edited by George FLC 2022-01-21 22:53:57)

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

Good idea Memphis Trace: There is something to be said about paying to join a forum. If it hurts to join, then only the serious will join it. Perhaps it can cost points instead of dollars.

44 (edited by Dirk B. 2022-01-21 23:20:25)

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

I thought Memphis was kidding. If people on this site don't even use the existing Politics group, no one is going to pay good money to be in an empty or near-empty group. And the people on the site with points to spend are generally focused on writing, otherwise they wouldn't have points to spare. There are plenty of places on the internet for people who want to discuss politics. Let's keep this focused on writing.

And there is the Religion & Spiritually group (formerly the Brave - Community of Christian Writers), whose purpose is to give religious/spiritual members a place to collaborate on writing in that genre. By definition, they will discuss religion, although I've stated in the revised group description that debate over which religion is best/real will not be allowed. Of course, if the group doesn't revive, we can just delete it.

And there is John Hamler's small Ballyhoo group for debates, assuming it doesn't peter out. It might catch on if it had a more interesting/obvious name, but it's John's to decide.

45 (edited by dagny 2022-01-21 23:48:21)

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

Memphis Trace wrote:

Sol,
I recommend having a forum entitled Dante's Inferno with a sign over the door that reads "Abandon hope all ye who enter here."
Extra fee of $25/year to join the forum. It's a forum to discuss anything, particularly politics and religion. The forum is closed to public view or view of the other forums. To find out what goes on in the forum, members must pay the $25 to join.
Members of the Inferno can, if they choose, select a 3-member board to moderate the forum.
No other forum is allowed to discuss politics and religion.
Memphis Trace

I started a group called Fight Club (which I asked Sol to delete) and put no restrictions on what was posted. I invited people near and far, I offered it when people tried to fight in this forum, and you know what? No one used it. Why? Because it wasn't a main forum like this. People want a wide viewing audience for their arguments, something that will turn up on everyone's home page.

And, btw, it was free
smile

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

dagny wrote:
Memphis Trace wrote:

Sol,
I recommend having a forum entitled Dante's Inferno with a sign over the door that reads "Abandon hope all ye who enter here."
Extra fee of $25/year to join the forum. It's a forum to discuss anything, particularly politics and religion. The forum is closed to public view or view of the other forums. To find out what goes on in the forum, members must pay the $25 to join.
Members of the Inferno can, if they choose, select a 3-member board to moderate the forum.
No other forum is allowed to discuss politics and religion.
Memphis Trace

I started a group called Fight Club (which I asked Sol to delete) and put no restrictions on what was posted. I invited people near and far, I offered it when people tried to fight in this forum, and you know what? No one used it. Why? Because it wasn't a main forum like this. People want a wide viewing audience for their arguments, something that will turn up on everyone's home page.

And, btw, it was free
:)

Was your forum inaccessible to non-members? Was there strict enforcement of the ban on discussing politics in any other forum?

Memphis Trace

47 (edited by dagny 2022-01-22 06:46:18)

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

Was your forum inaccessible to non-members? Was there strict enforcement of the ban on discussing politics in any other forum?

When I started the group, I did so because people were complaining about not being able to discuss anything they wanted in the main group, the one everyone is enrolled in when they join; whose forum subjects are on everyone's home page.
I never refused anyone if they asked to join, I never asked if they were a paying member or not and I never restricted what they could discuss, and there was no moderator.  I firmly believe that my group didn't succeed because it was an audience limited to the group.
There is nothing stopping you from forming the same kind of group, for free. Just know the forum thread alerts will only appear on the group member's home page only.
I also suggest you talk to John Hamler, he has a group similar to the one you want to start, and ask him how that's working out for him.
smile

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

dagny wrote:

Was your forum inaccessible to non-members? Was there strict enforcement of the ban on discussing politics in any other forum?

When I started the group, I did so because people were complaining about not being able to discuss anything they wanted in the main group, the one everyone is enrolled in when they join; whose forum subjects are on everyone's home page.
I never refused anyone if they asked to join, I never asked if they were a paying member or not and I never restricted what they could discuss, and there was no moderator.  I firmly believe that my group didn't succeed because it was an audience limited to the group.
There is nothing stopping you from forming the same kind of group, for free. Just know the forum thread alerts will only appear on the group member's home page only.
I also suggest you talk to John Hamler, he has a group similar to the one you want to start, and ask him how that's working out for him.
:)

Do I have to join Hamler's group in order to see if it's closed to the rest of TNBW and to the general public?
MT

49 (edited by dagny 2022-01-22 13:27:28)

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

Do I have to join Hamler's group in order to see if it's closed to the rest of TNBW and to the general public?
MT
I don't know so I messaged him, asking him to send you and invitation to join Ballyhoo so you can ask him. If you don't want to wait for an invitation you can always go to the group page and apply.
Good luck,
dags smile

Re: Suggestions for simplifying the site

dagny wrote:

Do I have to join Hamler's group in order to see if it's closed to the rest of TNBW and to the general public?
MT
I don't know so I messaged him, asking him to send you and invitation to join Ballyhoo so you can ask him. If you don't want to wait for an invitation you can always go to the group page and apply.
Good luck,
dags :)

Thanks.
MT