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  • #61
    Originally posted by Stoney

    If we move the Welcome section out of the Extras area at the bottom of the board and had it at the top above he forums as a 'Welcome' section with the FAQs/Information threads it could be more helpful and inviting to newcomers. [...]

    There are some elements on there, like the Welcoming Committee sticky and the current Welcome message from Nikki that are just really outdated. Simply having a sticky of a new welcome message that helps to navigate the site, some details more like the post that flow made to try to help people find their way around with links as you suggest would be a good idea. The rules and posting guidelines should probably stay too.
    That sounds awesome Stoney ! For non-registered visitors or newly registered members browsing through to the site, there's nothing more inviting than seeing a personalised message right at the top of the default page (whether logged in or not). It really draws you in and makes you feel at home. That's what got me to register on the other Buffy site before I was introduced here.

    Something warm and informal, like "Welcome to BuffyForums! You clearly have great taste as a Buffy fan and we invite you to explore [*insert various activities*] on this site! This is the best place to chill out and dive into friendly discussions about the Whedonverse. If you're feeling a little lost, here are links to some of the various [features/activities/discussions] on BF! We have fan art galleries, fan fiction discussions, rewatch review threads, themed games and so much more!' Etc, etc. Maybe not those exact words, something more polished (I'm sure I'm missing out on stuff). But you get what I mean!

    We can then have the general introduction threads that people choose to post and we've also been discussing having a member survey thread in there too. So current members can go and complete it as well as newcomers and it is just an additional inclusive way of getting to know new and existing members.
    I like the survey idea...but would this be a mandatory survey? I think as a new member it might put me off to fill out a long, obligatory survey with lots of personal questions (if it was a mandatory thing.) But if it was short, and consisted of questions about what led me to the site or what drew me to join a fandom site (or, for instance, how I *found* this site - whether by word of mouth or some link - a really helpful question), that might be great. (And very helpful). I definitely agree having the top place where new members can check in with new threads saying hello or introducing themselves is a great idea.

    Would having the FAQs at the top with a Welcome section make sense do you think or would that be better kept further down with the 'extras'. It might help to answer any quick questions someone has and help them see that there is active help on the board if needed. Again it is an area that we could do with some tidying. Particularly if we were going to put it at the top of the forum within a welcome area.
    I think the FAQs being at the top is useful and probably very helpful to newcomers as it tells them right away where to find the forum rules etc.

    If there's a 'Welcome' message that's viewable even to those who are logged out, that's even better I think! ETA: It might also be worth mentioning in the welcome thread that there's an option at the bottom to choose different 'Styles' as well (sometimes people don't notice the option right away..)

    It would definitely be good to openly welcome diverse sections of fandom and of other shows. We are going to clear the older inactive groups so that the Groups area becomes more about the current members and would be more likely to get used. At the moment it isn't an area that is viewable to non registered guests and we are also discussing whether it would be better to just fully open it as another area of the board or just have the initial pages listing the groups viewable. As there is the option for individual groups to make themselves private, so they are only viewable to members, there is a good argument for just making it all generally viewable. It is an area that often has threads of a more casual tone, but as that is an aspect of the board and a feature that members can use, making it more readily usable and viewable seems to make sense. Unless it being fully publicly viewable is likely to change how members would feel posting in there?
    There do seem to be many groups that aren't currently active, adding to a cluttered feel in the 'Group' area. I just assumed they were being preserved for nostalgic reasons or something.

    Creating new groups with photos (to make the groups look more inviting) would really make the area feel fun and diverse. There could be groups for appreciating more canon ships as well as more 'appreciation' groups of the main characters, for instance, Buffy, Angel, Willow, etc could be added. I know there are tons of Willow fans, Tillow fans, Angel fans, Bangel fans, Willoz fans, Tara fans, Xander fans and so on, in addition to the many Spuffy and Spike fans out there.

    Personally I don't really see the need to make them non-private, but I'm fine if they are. Mainly because I'm assuming there'll be publicly viewable links to all the groups in the Welcoming Page or the Welcome sticky thread? That way, they're all still accessible? One of the cool advantages of Buffy Forums is this feature where you can have a separate (but viewable) space on the forum to indulge in fandom appreciation with fellow fans, that's in addition to the main area for discussions. But this is up to others of course!
    Last edited by SpuffyGlitz; 08-02-21, 02:49 PM.

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    • #62
      The survey was just thought to be an optional extra. Something light and fun that some people might just enjoy doing as well as, or even instead of making their own welcome post and trying to think of something to say in a first post. It would definitely not be mandatory and that'd be clear. We thought if some current members were also filling it in too, if they felt like it, it would just be about any community members participating with new members mixed in too and be a nice and inclusive thread.
      That sounds great!

      The old groups had remained just because it had become an unused area of the board before the recent handful of new groups had been established. It is interesting that you feel having the groups area 'for members' is a nice feature as I assume that is why they weren't made publicly viewable before. You're right that if they are mentioned within the welcome area as a members area it would flag them more. But would it be beneficial for non members to also be at least able to go in and see what the groups are. Even if they can't view into any of the individual ones without signing up. Or do you mean you'd prefer to keep the groups area still completely unviewable?
      No I see the point in having them publicly viewable to those outside the forum as well. That wouldn't bother me at all. It might advertise them more, as you say!

      My only concern with starting up groups for other ships/characters when noone is actively participating in them is that it is just an empty group. The pics of the groups would look good, but drumming up interest for your new group might be more fun than seeing an empty one you feel is already clear noone is interested in.
      Yep, I see your point about the groups potentially feeling 'empty' and drawing attention to that...except I think having the option of more groups like that shows there's a space for variety in the forum, even if newly made. (There are a lot of dead groups as you say, so if some were replaced by new groups like these with inviting photos, even if not instantly active, the general "groups" area could be linked back to in a welcome thread, so that any new member can see there's a "menu" of different groups catering to different tastes (if that makes sense.) At the moment, I think there's the fanfic group and the spuffy group that's most active, there's also the semi active Lucifer group I'd created a while ago. Even if more new groups aren't picked up at once, I don't think it looks 'bad' necessarily to have them even if they're not instantly active?

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      • SpuffyGlitz
        SpuffyGlitz commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, that seems like a great way to do it!

    • #63
      Are there any plans for a specific section for group watches of tv-shows after the restructuring of the site or should they go into the forum that fits best, for example into drama and comedy or into SciFi and Fantasy or into Other Joss projects? I was thinking about the best fitting subforum to create a thread for The Nevers since it would fit each of those mentioned above.

      flow

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      • American Aurora
        American Aurora commented
        Editing a comment
        Great question!

      • Nina
        Nina commented
        Editing a comment
        While it fits SciFi & Fantasy, I suggest to start the thread in Other Joss Projects since the other threads about this show are in there as well. =)

    • #64
      We made some changes today. More will follow in the next weeks, this is just the start.
      • There is a new subforum named "The Archive". All Dead Threads can be found in there, together with the AFA subforum and the subforum created to celebrate our 4th birthday.
      • The comic section is restructured. We gave each publishing house their own subforum. ATF, Season 8 and season 12 do have their own subsections (again) as well.

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      • #65
        Just another update.

        I have archived all the older/inactive groups into an archive section under Groups (purged some of the ones that had very little in terms of comments or members). I've set the 'Groups' link on the heading bar to go straight to the 'Current groups' now rather than showing the old and new mixed up. I've also added a notice to encourage members to start new interest groups if they go into that area. I may start a thread in the FAQ section to flag the area has been cleared and see if members want to start up a few other groups to show the diversity of character interest that there is. And for other shows and interest areas too.

        Note: at the moment, invite only groups that are set to be only viewable to members are fully 'hidden'. This shouldn't be the case, they should be included in the list and then you just get a notice that the group is invite only when you try to enter them and to contact the group owner about joining. I've already contacted vBulletin to try to figure out why this has changed.

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