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Looking for ideas of revamping the forums for 2017

01-04-2017, 12:33 PM
#1
Joined: Feb 1983
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 1,268,817
Looking for ideas of revamping the forums for 2017

Hey ya'll.

One of the things we've been talking about getting a bit more serious with in 2017 is figuring out what to do with the forums. TouchArcade has been around since 2008, and loads of things have changed on the internet in the last 9 years. Back then, it was super normal for a web site to have a front page, and forums. It was one of those things where you were just like "Well of course there's forums." Now though, I'm not super sure that forums are the way most people are looking to interact with a community of people in. We grew so much in 2008-2010 because forums were just the place to go to interact with other people, I'm not super sure that's the case anymore, as kids these days are more just into YouTube and junk.

I guess I'm just curious if anyone has seen any sites that are a similar size to TouchArcade that have done anything creative migrating their old school forum community to something that feels a bit more... I don't know, 2017-ish? Or if such a thing even exists?
01-04-2017, 12:40 PM
#2
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 1,042
I know you can't let some ancient software keep you from moving forward, but could this further damage the TA app?

01-04-2017, 12:46 PM
#3
Joined: Feb 1983
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 1,268,817
Quote:
Originally Posted by sobriquet View Post
I know you can't let some ancient software keep you from moving forward, but could this further damage the TA app?
Oh yeah, but, I'm not sure how much we should keep worrying about that considering Apple won't let is update it and keeps slowly implementing more policies that'll eventually result in it getting pulled off the App Store. This being the most recent one that is going to be a problem for us- https://techcrunch.com/2016/06/14/ap...e-end-of-2016/
01-04-2017, 12:54 PM
#4
Joined: Dec 2015
Location: UK
Posts: 895
Kids these days. Honestly, everything is wasted on them...

I've joined the forums moderately recently, so I'm not perhaps best placed to comment, but yeah, it's not exactly a kids' hangout, if that's a demographic you're targeting.

It's more like a family get-together at Christmas or Thanksgiving or other holiday of your choice, with a real, genuine mix of ages but the median being perhaps people in their thirties or forties. I mainly like that analogy because, like big family get-togethers, there is also plenty of squabbling and festering misunderstanding but people generally mean well. There seem to be few genuine trolls.

I'm only piping up because, whatever you do decide to do, I hope you find a way to keep the community you have. It's been fun. There are a few other gaming sites I visit, but the forums are a part of what makes TA my first port of call.

2017 GOTY nominations: SAO: Memory Defrag, Death Road to Canada
Switch ID: Krillin 5948-6652-1589
01-04-2017, 12:55 PM
#5
Joined: Feb 1983
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 1,268,817
Yeah I don't mean getting rid of this function of the site as much as just modernizing it so it fits more in with how people use the internet and interact in 2017.
01-04-2017, 01:02 PM
#6
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 1,042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli View Post
Oh yeah, but, I'm not sure how much we should keep worrying about that considering Apple won't let is update it and keeps slowly implementing more policies that'll eventually result in it getting pulled off the App Store. This being the most recent one that is going to be a problem for us- https://techcrunch.com/2016/06/14/ap...e-end-of-2016/
Overall this sounds like a good thing, but yeah that could mean the end of the app. Unfortunately for me the app is pretty much the only way I read TouchArcade. 99% of the time I'm on my phone but I find the mobile site a little cumbersome to navigate on the smallish screen. Especially when switching back and forth from homepage to the forums.

Not complaining, just lamenting.
01-04-2017, 01:15 PM
#7
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Europe, CET
Posts: 2,783
If you want a forum, the best tool is a forum
I really don't about any better format than forums for this part of TA. I can't even come up with any good alternative ideas that might be a starting point:
Blog-style, similar to the frontpage? Will get messy really quick.
Reddit-like? Reddit is essentially a forum, just with a crappier interface.
Wiki? Wrong format. And there are enough out there that we don't really need one as part of TA. But might be worth a shot if enough people are interested in such added functionality.

People want to talk about games, and that's where forums with threads really shine. Sure, you could always make some changes to improve things (layout, performance, admin interface, etc.) .

One function I'd like to see is that I can follow people (e.g. devs I like) , so I don't miss out when they post something new.
And maybe a public game list per user, where I can drop my favorite games and others can look what I like in case they are interested.
01-04-2017, 01:21 PM
#8
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 11,052
Good question.

A more 'modern' forum would probably look like Reddit (probably with the Gold perks and perhaps the more advanced filtering/views of some of the external mods.)

In some of the subreddits the up/downvoting works great, but in many communities it doesn't - the updoot meta becomes more of a game than a forum sculpting tool.

A more conservative method is a karma system, which is a little less easy to game - slashdot is my favorite example of this - frequent contributors earn mod points which are used to moderate posts, but nowhere near the extent as Reddit. You cannot mod posts in a thread you have posted in. Also people can volunteer to moderate the mods for accuracy.

Mostly, I like how things are set up here. I don't use the app, and most of the time I don't even see the front page - I just ?do=getnew and skim the new posts. I participate in a few groups, but the way they are presented here is so-so, mostly there is little indicator when there are new posts. If they were more integrated into the forums they might be more useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickFalk View Post
Squids!?

Worst idea ever!
01-12-2017, 03:00 PM
#9
Joined: Jan 2015
Location: Liberty city
Posts: 3,306
I hope it wouldn't be like Reddit or with videos. Too messy and their nothing I dislike more than haveing to watch a video to get information unless it's actually gameplay .
I think a forum is the best possible way to reach everyone and have them be able to communicate .
Just my opinion .

Side note I didn't even realize their was an app .
Downloading now
01-17-2017, 02:38 PM
#10
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 537
The TA app is still available to download as of 1/17/17. Have you considered just redesigning it? Starting afresh? Personally, I think it's weird that comments on the Articles are Disqus vs. using our forum accounts, but that's just me.

HTML Code:
<name> Noah <!-- hello.wordpress.com -->
<member since> Sept. 2008 <!-- that's 8+ years -->
<title> Senior Front-End Developer <!-- IHG.com -->