Announcement: Forum restructuring scheduled for this Sunday night

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Eorl

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Oct 30, 2017
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Australia
I was kind of hoping the staff running this place would have learnt from past site updates like the skins that polling just a "few select" individuals is ridiculous and short-sighted for community growth. Why continue to shape growth through a collective handful of minds instead of opening up to the wider community? Just means that changes to this site have a higher chance of failing due to short-sighted scope and feedback.
How about we don’t compare changing a forum to slavery at all. Damn.
One can use the word slave without it meaning directly to human slavery or any historical African slavery in America. It is an English word after all that is used in far more context than what you insinuate.
 
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Oct 26, 2017
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I've slept on it and now that I'm awake I've reread the first posts a few times, I still don't understand what the problem is with community hangouts getting less traffic and what this change is supposed to fix (and how). I don't generally browse the community hangouts because I know what OTs exist and I'm subscribed to the ones I want to participate in. If I think of something that I might want to participate in conversation about, I search to see if there is an OT for it. If I want to find a big community thread, I know where the most likely are.

I just clicked over to the first page of the community hangouts and see dozens of things I don't care about. Having the wrestling thread at the top of a new subforum and seeing it all the time isn't going to make me change from someone who doesn't watch wrestling to someone who does and wants to discuss it (same goes for any of the other subjects that generate multiple 20,000 post threads, which isn't a post count that makes me think "no one checks them out). Is it just to shine a light on smaller OTs, since everyone knows WrestleERA exists? Well there are small OTs on the first page right now for Christianity, the city of Chicago, and fantasy football. Having those shuffled to a new location isn't going to get me interested in talking about those things at all, especially if they are now interspersed with new EtcetERA threads that I actually do want to read.

So I guess there is something that I'm just not seeing or not getting, because I don't understand it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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New York
SweetNicole can you provide any insight at this time as to why this particular approach was decided upon? I think many of us understand and appreciate the intent but aren't fully clear on how this approach is superior to alternatives. It feels rather drastic.

OP provides some metrics and reasoning for the change and desired outcome but doesn't really offer much as to why this is the best path forward outside the example of wholesale merging of boards which is obviously a bad idea. Basically it amounts to just that this is what is happening.

Splitting up an established forum feels rather counterintuitive and at first glance seems rather prone to some unintended consequences.

I'm still not fully clear on why the health of Communities takes priority over that of EtcetEra and dismantling what has largely proven to be an effective board whose large convergence of users and topics formed the backbone of what made Era, and GAF long before it, a much more open and liberal community compared to virtually every other out there. To split them up loses that visibility and mixture of people and topics.

I understand that Communities are also seen as important to this mixing and it's for that very reason you want to provide them with greater visibility, but again feels drastic compared to other options. Feels like we're trading one issue for another.

The old adage from GAF "come for the games, stay for the OT" keeps popping up in my head.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,967
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Toronto
The benefit of the smaller threads is best captured by what greenbird said:
I also agree with this which is why folding all hangout threads into their respective parent boards and then letting people hide the ones they don't care about would work better. All members new and old would see all non-gaming threads while in EtcetEra and if they don't care about certain threads then they'd place those on ignore and other threads would take their place on the front page until only threads they cared about appeared along with all new threads.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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Right now, people are complaining without even seeing the end result. After we implement this restructure, we'll keep an eye on the metrics. If it seems clear that both members and communities do not like the change, we'll take a look at rolling things back then. Like you've alluded to, there are elements of 2.0 that will most certainly address some of the fundamental criticisms of this change. Unfortunately, we've learned what happens when we talk about things too early, so we're still not rolling back the curtain on what that means exactly. Either way, after the dust settles on this restructure and the dust settles on the release of 2.0, that would be the time that we would first look at whether the restructure will be a long term success in the way we hope it will be.

Re: The invariable "why not wait for after 2.0", we determined at this was a change that the communities wanted, that was good for the long term success of the communities, and the sooner it was done, the better.
Re: The invariable "why not wait for 2.0", trying to do a site redesign is enough of a headache on it own that we didn't want to introduce a restructure and a redesign that the same time.
I think one of the problem that some - like myself - are identifying is a clashing of:
  • the solution to trying to help communities, and
  • a long-running discussion in etcera about splitting ectera's subject focus into two areas - the "entertainment" and politics, ect
The second point has come up a few times since Reset got going, and the reactions each time within ectera seem to be rather heated.

Y'all have put a lot of work into what will happen. I hope it goes well and the community as a whole gets stronger. But I also hope consideration of some type of public commenting period comes up if it has not already.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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Between this, and the Express Clothing pop up ad that keeps sliding in and covering up content, I may start looking for another forum. There are already a lot of topics that hang on the first page for days, don't need football, wrestling, and pop music clogging it up even more.

Should just be more members and mods redirecting people to the appropriate community thread. If you want your community to gain visibility, then promote it in relevant news threads.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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Should just be more members and mods redirecting people to the appropriate community thread. If you want your community to gain visibility, then promote it in relevant news threads.
Yeah suggested something like this earlier. Threads should just have links to relevant community threads in the Op

Interested in further discussing the topic? Join the Community/ies here: *insert link*

Even community threads could have links to other communities for topics that might interest people who like this topic.
Anime and comic community threads could have links to the figure era thread for example
 
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Nov 7, 2017
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This is amazing. All I ever wanted from this forum was an Entertainment section separated from EtcetERA, since I always went there after entertainment anyway.

I'm really excited for this! I'll be able to read and discuss more Entertainment threads cause I won't have to actively search for them among other threads.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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I think I'm going to be in the super minority here but I would love an Entertainment sub-forum and love these changes. I wanted it at the old place for years, for things like movies, television and music concentrated in one place. The primary issue I had was that in Etcetera or Off-Topic you have to wade through all these negative news threads to get to the more uplifting, positive stuff, which to be perfectly honest made for a depressing experience, as everything that's not video games is collated in one master sub-forum, so in addition to that you also have to crawl ten pages in order to see everything. So personally I adore this new idea. As for the crazy mathematical thread-moving community stuff, sounds great. I'd love it if for example the Screenwriting community thread was more active, amongst others.

So I'm putting my vote in as supportive of this idea, to evolve the forum, and I'm looking forward to giving it a test drive on Sunday. Thanks to everyone for making this happen.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
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Long Island
I was there during the 2008 and 2016 election, two major forums work fine.
It was a blood bath in 2016, you guys can have fun sniping at each other for 9 months going at each other’s throats. It’s a bummer to watch and legit brings on depression. I’m good on that, entertainment and video game side for me.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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It was a blood bath in 2016, you guys can have fun sniping at each other for 9 months going at each other’s throats. It’s a bummer to watch and legit brings on depression. I’m good on that, entertainment and video game side for me.
Then don't click political threads in November, it ain't hard.

It should be telling to the admins and mods that the majority of people who are happy about this change are the ones who want to hide away political threads.
 
Makes no sense to separate the two. Social forum hangouts will inevitably die. Accept that and shift to something else.

Plus, having everything besides gaming in its own forum has the benefits of making people more aware of things, smarter, and see from outside their bubble.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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I guess I also have to echo the sentiment that the focus on communities above all else seems like backwards thinking.

I get it, the communities lead the move and that makes them important to the "identity," but this should be a single forum with a singular overarching culture and community, instead of acting like this place is a tribal confederation where the founding chieftains all get aristocratic titles and the ability to petition the emperor.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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It’s 90% of the front page at all times, two posts above yours you got someone saying they have to wade through all the depressing posts just to find something uplifting and positive. It is that hard.
Nothing about that post said anything about depressing or uplifting/positive.

And 90% all the time? Stop being so hyperbolic, literally look at the front page right this second to see how wrong you are.
 
Oct 26, 2017
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I think I'm going to be in the super minority here but I would love an Entertainment sub-forum and love these changes. I wanted it at the old place for years, for things like movies, television and music concentrated in one place. The primary issue I had was that in Etcetera or Off-Topic you have to wade through all these negative news threads to get to the more uplifting, positive stuff, which to be perfectly honest made for a depressing experience, as everything that's not video games is collated in one master sub-forum, so in addition to that you also have to crawl ten pages in order to see everything. So personally I adore this new idea. As for the crazy mathematical thread-moving community stuff, sounds great. I'd love it if for example the Screenwriting community thread was more active, amongst others.

So I'm putting my vote in as supportive of this idea, to evolve the forum, and I'm looking forward to giving it a test drive on Sunday. Thanks to everyone for making this happen.
Yeah. I agree. Just today I saw a thread on an incel killing his coworker I believe. I mean, it gets tiring. I get my news from other places online. I don't need to know about the thousandths murder, rape, etc. What's there to discuss there?
 

Cochese

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Nov 14, 2017
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Between this, and the Express Clothing pop up ad that keeps sliding in and covering up content, I may start looking for another forum. There are already a lot of topics that hang on the first page for days, don't need football, wrestling, and pop music clogging it up even more.

Should just be more members and mods redirecting people to the appropriate community thread. If you want your community to gain visibility, then promote it in relevant news threads.
It's something I've suggested a number of times and hasnt garnered a response. Seems like it was the simplest option and completely not thought of.

It will be nice not having to wade through entertainment talk, but I'll just have to wade through OTs I don't care about. It feels zero sum, and the niche topics that are ignored now will still be ignored. Some are celebrating the lack of depressing threads in Entertainment, it'll be on is who don't care for Entertainment to wade through them just the same.

I'm warming up to the concept, but the implementation has left a sour taste.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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lmao, get out of here with the 'we polled specific members shit'. Doesn't this forum have polling functionality?

You're essentially saying you don't give a fuck about what most people think.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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lmao, get out of here with the 'we polled specific members shit'. Doesn't this forum have polling functionality?

You're essentially saying you don't give a fuck about what most people think.
They are saying it's not viable to poll 40k members especially when most of them don't even read the OP.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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They are saying it's not viable to poll 40k members especially when most of them don't even read the OP.
This is just not true. You create the poll and do an announcement. Those that want to participate will, those who do not have made their choice to not be heard.
 
Oct 26, 2017
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I mean I'm all for getting those Hangout community threads in a better place.

I can do without splitting Etcetera into basically politics, science etc. and movies, comics etc. though. I'm not a fan of that. Will remain sceptical for now.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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Or perhaps we're not all American
I'm not American and I liked reading EtcetEra, there even are the occasional non American political news threads, which will now be buried even faster and be even less visible - if people even bother to still make those, which is doubtful since no one will see them anyways.


I still don't see a need for this change, especially from top down without taking community feedback into account.
And no, the "select few" don't count, that's just ridiculous and embarrassing for a forum that was founded on the promise of transparency.
 
I'm really not liking the idea of this.

Part of the reason I personally didn't visit the community hangout section is, as another user mentioned, that the selection of threads there is largely static; I'm aware of what threads exist in the hangout section and I jump straight to the threads which I'm interested in through bookmarks. Having to scroll past the same community topics repeatedly (when I'm still not going to click them anyway so they're just getting in the way of how much news is on the main page) in the main forum section seems like something which would make the forum experience much worse.

Furthermore, part of the appeal of NeoGAF and now ResetERA is that there were only two main forums, so activity was very high on both of the forums and covered an array of news (on the console side, covering video game industry news, news about video game companies, news about games on any console, news about the consoles themselves, news about designers and developers, etc.; while on the etcetera side covering politics, technology, world news, and member specific threads). Because all of the threads were channelled into the two forums I got to read (and contribute to) threads on news I would have missed on other forums since all of my primary interest is scattered among other threads which occasionally may be interesting (and certainly will on the new layout as my main interest is entertainment related so the consequence of this is just going to be that I'll largely ignore the 'etcetera' section since most of the posts won't have a great deal of interest). "New news new threads" has been a consistent message from the previous site which continued onto this site, and having to see the same community threads float to the top of the forum when you want to check what's new seems counter to that.

The only reason I can see this happening is because the move to the new forum was routed in the community threads (which are still here) and any polling on this change stemmed largely from those with an obvious bias (those in the community threads).

Will it kill the forum? Obviously not, but that doesn't mean it may not make it a worse browsing experience.
 
Oct 26, 2017
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USA
Actually, it's more than enough to poll 50ish people for something like this, I'm a UX/Web designer and I've never seen hundreds of people being polled. 50 is even on the higher side of it.

And at the end of the day, someone has to be selected, and most people won't be selected.
It doesn't appear to have been 50ish people selected at random though, it's 50 people that would specifically benefit from this change (community thread creators etc). That's the issue I have with it, they seemingly only consulted people who they knew would agree with this change.

To use a UX/Web designer analogy, it'd be like if Amazon wanted to "simplify" their website navigation by removing all text entry and navigation menus and forcing everyone to use Alexa Voice Search instead, then they poll 50 amputees and/or blind people to justify their decision. It might make the experience better for that small subset of disabled users, while also making the experience worse for the vast majority of users.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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It doesn't appear to have been 50ish people selected at random though, it's 50 people that would specifically benefit from this change (community thread creators etc). That's the issue I have with it, they seemingly only consulted people who they knew would agree with this change.

To use a UX/Web designer analogy, it'd be like if Amazon wanted to "simplify" their website navigation by removing all text entry and navigation menus and forcing everyone to use Alexa Voice Search instead, then they poll 50 amputees and/or blind people to justify their decision. It might make the experience better for that small subset of disabled users, while also making the experience worse for the vast majority of users.
I can assure you that we were brought in not to set up anything, but asked about possible changes upcoming and what we thought. it wasnt like we got into a room together and said, "WE NEED TO GET THIS DONE TO SAVE THE COMMUNITY THREADS"
 
Oct 25, 2017
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Ann Arbor, MI
You shouldn't really be able to say fuck his voters, because that would potentially be considered an attack on other forum members.
Calling out conservative bullshit and the right-wing going to very much in the entertainment forum, because there are plenty of entertainment based stories and topics where it will be relevant.

Politics are very relevant to sports and media based discussion on quite a number of topics.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
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Take every post that says something to the effect of “chain restaurants suck, go to a local place where it’s cheaper and more authentic” and chuck them into a subforum, and blast that subforum into the sun.
 
I can assure you that we were brought in not to set up anything, but asked about possible changes upcoming and what we thought. it wasnt like we got into a room together and said, "WE NEED TO GET THIS DONE TO SAVE THE COMMUNITY THREADS"
This doesn't address what the user you quoted said though.

Fifty people (or thereabouts) is not necessarily a terrible size of users to poll from, so long as the polling is random. But when the opinions you're polling are the opinions of people who are most likely to benefit from the change (people vested in community threads, when the change is intended to positively influence the community threads by increasing traffic to them) you're going to end up with biased opinions which will not necessarily represent the entire community, in which case those fifty are not sufficient to gauge how the forum at large will view the changes. Just because people didn't enter a room and 'conspire' to save community threads doesn't mean the polling method was adequate to accurately capture the site's opinion on the change, when it's very obvious there's going to be a clear bias in the selection.
 
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Oct 26, 2017
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Sarasota, Florida
This is perfection. I had always thought that there should be a separate Political Group, but this is even better. Either way, when I want to read threads about music or movies, sorting through a thousand Trump and "Look What the Bad Guys Did Today" threads basically makes me stop bothering.
 

Vela

Member
Apr 16, 2018
1,524
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Plenty of people have voiced their displeasure with this change and also how it is being implemented. Perhaps the mods and admins in charge of this decision should pay attention to these fears and worries that this change bring and the detrimental impact it will have on the forum.

Also, admins and mods should take a look who is loving this change - i.e. the ones who hate being reminded about "politics" .
 
Oct 28, 2017
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Plenty of people have voiced their displeasure with this change and also how it is being implemented. Perhaps the mods and admins in charge of this decision should pay attention to these fears and worries that this change bring and the detrimental impact it will have on the forum.

Also, admins and mods should take a look who is loving this change - i.e. the ones who hate being reminded about "politics" .
and what's wrong with that? not everyone is interested in people's opinions on politics, no matter how relevant to the topic, especially politics that may not even be about their country

separate boards for the universal things we enjoy and consume is a good thing for us non-Yanks
 
Oct 25, 2017
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Sweden
Please just give us a hide topic option.
the new layout will be unbearable without a hide topic option

i would hate to have the first page clogged up with wrestling, anime, shows i don't watch, threads for specific countries and cities i don't visit, etc.

honestly, i feel like this change will be hugely counterproductive. if they go ahead with it, it would probably lead to me putting the OPs of these community threads on my ignore list so that i don't have to see their threads on the front page

then there is no chance i'll ever see their community thread. in the current setup, i would at least occasionally go into hangouts to try and find something interesting. with this new setup, i'll probably go out of my way to avoid them, out of spite

honestly, if a hangout thread is dying in the current setup, there's likely a reason for that. i really don't think drowning these threads out in threads about current events will help at all. if anything, the opposite will happen
 
Oct 25, 2017
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Please just give us a hide topic option.
It’ll be needed, for sure. All those communities I do not care at ALL to see ever not even once, sitting in the main feed while people discuss insular topics I’d rather ignore... it’s just so inherently flawed and incompetent.

Would love to know who the twenty people out of tens of thousands voted for this idea.
 

JCG

Member
Oct 25, 2017
715
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I think we should test it and see what happens with the change for a while.

If it's not working out, they can always change things back.
 
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