Question: AV Blog?

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Question: AV Blog?

Postby EricJ » August 18th, 2013, 11:16 am

Serious question, and I don't want to be the downer--I know I'm not one of the Mods and it's not my place to make the decision, but I'd have thought it would be made by now, and wanted to get the discussion started:
Is it time to fold AV Forum in favor of a new format?

Forums aren't "dead", and they "haven't gone the way of Usenet", as some techies cry, as there are still plenty of healthy ones I know I frequent. It all depends on the participation and the interest of how large and enthusiastic a community it attracts, and how, er, "animated" the discussions get.
But I've also been on a few forums in my past, back in the day when the gold rush was over, that slowed to a crawl and died out, and I can recognize a few of the warning signs.
Let's be honest: We have less than ten regular posters, maybe six, possibly seven. New threads rarely get started, and the old ones have chugged along like warhorses back to 2005. We kid ourselves that many of the longer-time regular posters seem to be those too idiosyncratic (no, I didn't say 'k00k") about their "duty" to post here, like Shy's newslinks, Ben's cantakerousness, George's isolated comic-fanboy rants apropos of little, and even my...okay, fill in your favorite name for it. :lol:

Yes, I do read the main Animated Views page, and that's the problem: The headlines are more interesting. I've been wanting to see discussions break out about the front-page articles, about the D23 announcements, the history of FoodFight (caught a little on YT...eek! :shock: ), the movie/disk reviews and history interviews, etc., but find just the five or six--or three or four active--regulars still keeping the old threads going at the Cheers bar. The news-articles pages have a brief, interesting recap, as if linking to "Read more" elsewhere, but there is no additional info, and no space for comments. I'd start a new thread myself, but maybe it's the old-forum mentality that I don't feel I should break things up with new thread discussions out of thin air.

So, serious question, for the regulars, and those with the power to do something about it:
SHOULD Animated Views and AV Forum be merged into Animated Views Blog?--Merging the front page articles, Rotoscopers shows, side articles, etc., , even giving ShyViolet's updated newslinks-on-a-theme a place of their own, into daily front-page postings, and allowing for a bit of poster-comment discussion under each article?
This would keep the discussion fresh, fill in the news stories with additional info, and possibly be picked up on the crosslinked Blog ether, like Cartoon Brew before it, which would let more readers find the site by "accident", widening the reader base (Among other things, a larger and more vocal reader base would certainly make the Oscar chats a lot more lively every February.)

I've been serious about this idea for a while, and hadn't brought it up out of not wanting to be That Guy--I'm just as stubborn about not wanting to see old Net haunts change or disappear, and even I remember finding this place after losing Toons on DVD. ( :( )
And yes I know every troll in Usenet history who couldn't get his foot into the door wishfully tried spinning failed posts about "Is this group dying?" as sour-grapes backup strategy, but when a forum IS dying, it's pretty hard not to notice--Do we even come here expecting new posters to post here anymore, even if it's a Newport festival announcement, or is it just to pub-crawl with the regulars?
Think it's time to give us something new to talk about EVERY DAY, as there's certainly seemed to be enough out there lately for it.

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Re: Question: AV Blog?

Postby Randall » August 18th, 2013, 6:28 pm

Rest assured, Eric, that this has been discussed among us on staff. It's been hard not to notice the slow-down in posts on the Forum, and the attrition of regular posters. The Internet has evolved, and we need to evolve with it.

Your idea is worthwhile examining, but I'll leave it to James to determine how easy it would be to add discussion capability to each story given how things are set up now. (I assume it wouldn't be too hard, but I'm not the tech guy.) We've discussed other possibilities too, and I do expect that you will see a positive change or two.

Thanks for furthering the discussion!

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Re: Question: AV Blog?

Postby James » August 19th, 2013, 12:26 am

We have definitely been talking about some of the same issues you've brought up and have a few ideas. My main concern is keeping a community atmosphere and bucking the trend of comments becoming a rush to the bottom in terms of quality and courtesy. Not sure which direction we'll take or when we'll get there, but rest assured you're not the only one to notice!

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Re: Question: AV Blog?

Postby EricJ » August 19th, 2013, 9:15 am

If you're worried about YahooAnswers, or most of the "mainstream" blogs with comments becoming the nature reserve for all those old displaced "You sukc!" Usenet trolls with no place to go since the 90's, I have a theory about that--
The quality of comment posting is inversely proportional to how EASY it is to access and read the site: A big mainstream news site, or YouTube, that any old surfer can stumble across on a drunk Saturday night, will get self-amusing comments from those who don't try too hard to find them--While a site with a distinctly stated topic purpose, catering to a specific interest niche with specific interest info, will tend to attract those readers who know what the article talks about, and post accordingly. You don't get as many, but them you do get know what they're talking about, or they wouldn't have found their way there.

When I say I'd seen forums fold from slow/inactivity, the last one I lost was Inside the Magic.net's podcast site, which ran a small crawling forum in addition to its Disney news-headline sites. They retired it in favor of a daily blog, and since most of the content was geared to daily headlines, it's not only gotten healthier but starting to attract some of the higher industry interest.
Blogs can be moderated (oh, just try and get a non-kissup comment posted on DisneyParks blog...), the whole question is whether a blog site would stay crossposted to the other animation-geek blogs, or even attract enougn non-fans to MAKE dopey troll posts.

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Re: Question: AV Blog?

Postby TitusTodd » August 23rd, 2013, 1:33 am

I'm an old fogey that still likes forums. They still seem to be the best way to include community interaction on more equal terms. Maybe some modern touches might be beneficial like social media links. I don't know. I pop in every few weeks to see what discussions are happening. Blog sites have drawbacks like those mentioned by James.