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Forum Revival Plan

#1
I got nothing!
I know the writing community is active, because our secret cult meetings (aka chat stuff) is always lively. But really, the forums need to have more readers on em for them to really matter (since writers can just PM/chat message people when they wanna talk)
Hence, we need to make readers come to the forums!
I was kidding about having nothing btw. Here are some ideas:
- Making the forums less intimidating (the main site looks sexier, so people stay away)
- Encouraging authors to bring their readers to forum threads
- Having competitions that run in the forums. Not all competitions need to be writing based, you can have fun little forum games or chess tournaments or whatever. Building the community is important.
- Add a link to the latest posts somewhere on the main site (doesn't have to be the front page) NUF style.

But I'm sure people have more ideas about this. Drop em below so we can revive a tiny section of the forums! (yay)
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#2
The biggest problem is: readers don't really need the forum as long as they don't look for specific recommendations that can't be found with the search. So it's not only that the main site has more (sex)appeal, but this forum is more or less useless to the average reader. And the sad thing is: the better the site, the more useless the forum itself.

So the only people The biggest problem is: readers don't really need the forum as long as they don't look for specific recommendations that can't be found with the search. So it's not only that the main site has more (sex)appeal, but this forum is more or less useless to the average reader.

So this whole thing is more or less - maybe some specific threads aside - for the writers who are looking for help or feedback. And your average reader is here for the content and not for the scenes behind.
It's a problem many big communities have with the change to the "social media style". There is no need for the users to use the forum to get what they want so they won't use it. It's additional time (and work) for nothing.
And the sad thing is: the better the site, the more useless the forum itself. So I don't think that this would turn out well.


The only way to revive the forum I can imagine is to merge the forum and the main site, mirroring reviews and comments in the forum, giving the fictions their own "subforum" for the readers, implementing the forum functions in the main site without the need to open the forum.
This way readers could add new content to the forum from the main site which would in turn make the main forum with all of these "subforums" more attractive to browse. Together with a clear line between stuff for readers and stuff for writers. This could probably bring some more people to the forum, but I don't think it would be worth the costs. I did something similar with a browser game and it took months to rewrite those functions and add an easy usability.

I can understand the desire for a community, but I would ask this question first and foremost to the "readers only" as main part of the site. Do they actually want a community, chess tournaments and forum games to "happily waste their time" or do they maybe just want to spend their time reading fictions? I would bet my money on the latter...
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#3
Fair enough. To be honest, I just want reader-author interaction to increase. I can PM and chat with a couple of readers, but can't engage with the community of readers the way you can on NUF. Moreover, we have more than enough fics on the site for the main searches to be unable to provide enough good reads for most readers, so an easier recommendations system might be helpful.
[Image: tHnDsL]
A proud member of Writers to The End - We finish our fictions!
[My Website
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#4
Has anyone tried a choose-your-own-adventure style of fiction writing? They can be pretty popular if the writer is consistent, and it would get people engaged.
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#5
(06-01-17, 06:32 AM)BordynConfused Wrote: Has anyone tried a choose-your-own-adventure style of fiction writing? They can be pretty popular if the writer is consistent, and it would get people engaged.

I'm working on one right now. Was planning to dump all the chapters in one go but might go for a gradual release.
[Image: tHnDsL]
A proud member of Writers to The End - We finish our fictions!
[My Website
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#6
There are several problems we have to deal with if we want to increase the forum's popularity, and all of them are ridiculously expensive to develop.

Just for redesigning the forum, it'd cost us several months of development with no resources left for other tasks. The forum has literally hundreds of templates (exactly 873) for the various pages. That's quite damn hefty for a part of the site that's not even part of its main strength.

Also, the very reason we've removed the fictions from the forum is that subforums completely, utterly break MyBB. They linearly increase the cache, which in turn exponentially increase the server load simply based on the number of fictions. When we've moved to V3, we had pageloads on the forums over 10 seconds. That is simply not acceptable, nor sustainable. The only way it could work is completely rewriting the forum from scratch, and I believe you can understand the implications of that.

Also, when comparing us to NUF, please keep in mind that readers go to NUF to find things to read, whereas they come to RoyalRoadL to read. It's similar, but not quite the same intent.

At the end of the day, this also raises the question of "why would people even go to the forums", something that is very hard to answer.
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