Not sure where that comes from. I haven’t noticed anyone here being particularly resistant to change, infact I and a few others have suggested a few changes over the last year or two.
There’s probably only a dozen or so of us left here regularly, and we’re just carrying on as usual and trying to keep things going. Mainly sticking to the regular threads, but I try and kick off a few new topics from time to time.
I’d be sad if they died, as I’ve been hanging out here for 10 years, but I’m not averse to trying to improve things.
It’s true that the reaction to the initial forum switch wasn’t universally positive, partly due to users everywhere being resistant to change (see also, the website redesign, every website redesign ever, etc…) and partly due to the switch over not going smoothly and a lot of users being unable to access their accounts.
But, to be honest, all those people left at that time, and those of us who remain seem like the ones willing to put up with that kind of stuff.
The reduction in forum use, the reduction in main site comments, all seem part of a general trend across the net. So there may be limited scope for doing anything that will return them to their former glory.
There may not be a lot of us left here, so maybe our opinions aren’t really that important, but there hasn’t really been any attempt at engagement or asking for feedback or ideas on how to improve things.
I mean, I don’t quite see how we can be ‘resistant to change’ when no changes have been suggested.
The only ones I’ve seen have been to try and get rid of the long running threads, but since those are the only threads that are keeping things going, that seems kinda risky.
Avatars and plugins were broken for almost a year and only just fixed recently. The forum was down for 2 days and apparently no-one official even noticed. The top bar still doesn’t have any links back to the main site. ( I think I posted code on how to do that 2 years ago and it’s probably a 20 minute job (with 2hrs of testing)). The default theme is still blindingly white, etc…
My personal opinion would be that having separate site comments, twitter, YouTube comments, discord, forum, etc… is going to split the userbase. People may already have wordpress, twitter, youtube, discord accounts, but they probably don’t already have forum accounts, and so there’s an additional step to signing up to the forum.
I’ve made suggestions before about enabling sign in with other options such as Wordpress accounts, google accounts, steam accounts, etc… and about ways to link up site comments with the forum, or the forum with discord. But nothing ever seems to have been done in that regard.
All of them would take a small amount of effort by someone with the interest and with a bit of technical knowledge. But those resources don’t seem to be available. And they would have done a lot more good 2-3 years ago when there were a lot more people.
So, yeah, it sounds a bit off.
Anyway, in the absence of any official suggestions, I’d suggest:
- Enable sign on with single-sign-on sources such as google, wordpress, steam, etc…
- Either Combine most of the forums into one, or switch the default view from ‘Categories’ to ‘Latest’.
- New softer light theme. (Dark theme is ok). New top menu with links.
- Embed forum comments into the main site. Maybe auto-create topics in the forum for each post, like they used to. Or maybe embed ‘related topics’
- Maybe find some discord/discourse link plugin that will at least post summaries or links between the forum Game Clubs section (totally dead) and discord.
- Maybe have some of the staff show up from time to time, either just to hang out or AMA style.
- Show some sign of caring.
But if there are some more creative/radical ideas for the forums, I’m all ears.