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Author Topic: Engaging a Re-Growing Community  (Read 2529 times)

Davenport

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Engaging a Re-Growing Community
« on: November 15, 2014, 10:32:21 PM »
I am on this site for hours and hours most days, constantly checking for new updates, things to talk about, and things to search for when they cross my mind. The hours I spend around here, I always notice the "Who's Online" bar and always notice a registered member who is either brand new or they have very few posts on the site but I've been around for awhile. It makes me wonder a lot why the site isn't more engaging to more members of the community. I want these community members to come and be a true part of the community, but hardly any of them ever do. People always register to download a few mods, maybe lurk some of the forums, but never seem to hang around or say "Hello" very often at all. So, I've been pondering... why is it like this?

Then I realized... We are old- The site is old. It's not hip- not flashy- not attractive to audiences in modern terms. I look at it again and again, but always notice the 3 main colors of the default site layout- Black, Gray, and White. Dull colors. Don't get me wrong, many popular sites today still use White- such as YouTube, Reddit... White is fine; We've just managed to make White dull with other dull colors. We're a Star Wars: Battlefront site. I think it's time to upgrade to a Default theme that represents the game we play! Who can forget the classic Battlefront look with blue backgrounds, orange headers and white text? Everyone in our community is accustomed to it, and I think it would be a very nice addition to have! But don't get me wrong, I absolutely do love the current default layout... but we need some flavor! Something to engage an audience that is once again growing, even after the Gamespy shut-out. When we represent dull colors, we look dull too! I'm not saying we should completely destroy the theme we have all grown on; Like I said, White is nice. White works, White is still in style. But, let's add some seasoning on top of the White- Change the header backgrounds to something Orange... Maybe add a little blue in somewhere. Hey, what's wrong with classic SWBF colors?

======

But wait, there's still something else missing... I think we should have a page in our community for all the Photos and Videos we make. Currently, we make thread after thread- Reply after reply for our different photos and videos, so I'm suggesting we have our own little Community page for our Photos and Videos. Heck, we could even make Webs host it and have an external link to it! Perhaps being able to display our fun memories with the community will engage our growing audience, instead of making them go to YouTube and XFire photos.

======

I have a big heart for this community, so it feels odd when everybody just seems to keep passing us by. Can we prevent being ignored? Can we Engage a Re-Growing Community?

TL;DR Version: Make the Website layout more stylish and add a Community Photos and Videos page, so we can engage an audience we have that doesn't do anything.

Led

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Re: Engaging a Re-Growing Community
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2014, 10:48:56 PM »
I think that not participating tends to be the rule.  Those that participate are the exception.
Those of us that tend to post have known each other through the game.

A lot of people just want some maps to download (I would assume).

As far as the colors go, be specific, and we can give it a try.  BTW, I have other themes installed and you can try them if you want--but I understand that you want to change the default theme.

BTW, I leave all creative and artistic issues to Unit33  ;)

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Re: Engaging a Re-Growing Community
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2014, 11:16:19 PM »
if people wanted to "engage" they would lol, not everyone is like that. lots of people just want to be able to download things and be updated, nothing more. and most of the random names you see regularly are just alternate accounts honestly like ive had 1000 of them.

and about being old, that is what i thought the site was for, to keep an obviously old community connected. any new members that know they're stuff about this game are old since they know about the game. you will not attract random people that never played swbf to this website, the only people that will stay are "old". but that is just my opinion
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 11:20:53 PM by Kishy »

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Re: Engaging a Re-Growing Community
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2014, 12:31:28 AM »
I was going to post this earlier but didn't.

"You do know that forums aren't even "In" right now, right? Changing or adding more themes would be fun and cool, but wouldn't do the desired."

I do like the idea of a more battlefront GUI styled theme though..

Something like the attached composition comes to mind..
JSchMEe - A (wip) swbf 3d model library in Java
Forum Topic
GitHub

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Re: Engaging a Re-Growing Community
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2014, 04:04:31 AM »
I'm more interested in being in game battlefront than posting on here tbh. Which is probably the reason why most people don't post here more often. I feel that many topics become too distanced from the subject of battlefront to really be relevant to me. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just don't feel any need/desire to contribute to a large portion of topics. In saying that, their are tons of cool posts and information on this website, and it is awesome to have a community website which everyone can be a part of.  A redesign wouldn't really change my opinion, but maybe other people would find it interesting. Anyway that is my two cents.

 

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Re: Engaging a Re-Growing Community
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2014, 04:49:45 AM »
You bring up many good points Ultimo which I agree with, except I would not change the default forum theme. This is one of the easiest themes to read out of all the SMF ones I prefer the default even though it may appear more bland than others. I would stick with this theme but add more pages like you recommended. The default gray background is unobtrusive, using the battlefront shell background might be distracting when trying to read something, but it would be interesting to have a SWBF themed skin as a secondary option. Perhaps a featured video or screenshot page would work nice like what swbf filefront has.

Kiwi raises another point, that most people in the community just want to play the game and not post on a forum. Posting here seems to be more suited to modders than nonmodders I would say. Especially because of the fact so many posts are totally irrelevant to the game and community, which is why I have certain boards on my ignore list (post farms such as "ban the person above you" for instance).

Another idea is to host more community events like the old days. There used to be more mod night servers, scrims, smaller tournaments, etc. Too many people are just losing interest, I dont know if we have total player count statistics for each ICW, but I would not be surprised if they continually were declining.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 05:13:27 AM by Phobos »


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Re: Engaging a Re-Growing Community
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2014, 06:05:20 AM »
A lot of good points here. In my opinion the look of the forum is good how it is and one of the best I read. Obviously we're here because of battlefront but there's a limit to general discussion on the game like our favourite troop etc after ten years so it's nice that we can post about songs we like and other games, I think that's what keeps long term visitors checking in.

I notice a lot of new members online as well but most of them are probably just here to download the Gamemaster patch and have a look around. I've looked at alot of other forums, some regularly, and never posted there, I expect they're like me and just have nothing to say on some forums. :)

As for the amount of players in game, there are still people on most nights but not many at once. I haven't played much recently except on Phobos' map in SP because I have other things to do but I think the main problem is that players are spread out across the servers, some like to be on CloudCity (and I think that remains the most popular even after all this time) but others like to be on their own clan servers and others like to be on modded servers which means you rarely get even this small number of players together, and that's a shame, although understandable.

Phobos is right - events do get more players on together and it would be nice to have some more, maybe a tournament that doesn't need any downloads so that casual players with stock battlefront can join in and have a chance. We are planning an event over Christmas which will, hopefully, be advertised at the start of December.

Sort of related: The best signature I've ever read on a forum is; 'If the games so good why are we all here?'
I play less now but I'll always be around, lets keep this site and battlefront going. :)

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Re: Engaging a Re-Growing Community
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2014, 07:46:46 AM »
People aren't not posting because of the layout.

GDH, the reunion message will go out one way or another. Ifwe cant get the forum newsletter working, plan B is to divide the task of PMing everyone across as many volunteers as possible, which shouldnt be too painful.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 07:50:44 AM by Joseph »

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Re: Engaging a Re-Growing Community
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2014, 08:00:27 AM »


GDH, the reunion message will go out one way or another. Ifwe cant get the forum newsletter working, plan B is to divide the task of PMing everyone across as many volunteers as possible, which shouldnt be too painful.

I will send out another test soon.  There are some options I can change.

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Re: Engaging a Re-Growing Community
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2014, 08:01:36 AM »
I check in on the site, just dont have a lot to add.
Peace is a lie, there is only passion          -Fear leads to anger
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Re: Engaging a Re-Growing Community
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2014, 08:05:42 AM »
GDH, the reunion message will go out one way or another. Ifwe cant get the forum newsletter working, plan B is to divide the task of PMing everyone across as many volunteers as possible, which shouldn't be too painful.

I'm not too worried about the message, we can get that out somehow, I'm hoping to advertise on a few other sites and reach non-members when we get things finalised. :)

I will send out another test soon.  There are some options I can change.

Thanks Led, let me know if you want help with anything (testing if messages send etc).
« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 08:07:33 AM by {PLA}gdh92 »
I play less now but I'll always be around, lets keep this site and battlefront going. :)

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Re: Engaging a Re-Growing Community
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2014, 08:38:54 AM »
Another way people can help is as follows. Majesty :moo: has been recruiting lots of people to the game, putting in a lot of effort towards finding them, and often outsources to me the task of getting them set up with battlefront, getting gamemaster working, getting no-cd working, etc. If you're willing to help with these tasks I'm sure he'd put you to work. (PM or xfire for details as sometimes this involves helping them obtain SWBF via "back-channels").

Another idea is to host more community events like the old days. There used to be more mod night servers, scrims, smaller tournaments, etc.
Yeah, this would be great. I don't think there will be an ICW this winter, but if there's interest I think it'd be pretty easy to do a 4v4 style tournament.

I'm hoping to advertise on a few other sites and reach non-members when we get things finalised. :)
Cool, tell me if you need any help
« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 08:46:21 AM by Joseph »

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Re: Engaging a Re-Growing Community
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2014, 09:46:47 AM »
Majesty does get a lot of people, especially Europeans. If anyone wants to be shown step by step how to get on battlefront feel free to give them my details, I used to show a few people how to install mods or fix problems over X-fire in the Gamespy days, it's quite nice when they get it working.

Cool, tell me if you need any help
Thanks. There's a gaming site I read that allows you to submit articles for the weekend, I'm no author but I'm going to see what I can come up with for battlefront -probably a 'retro review' or just a bit about how it's still going and a link to the Christmas battlefront days. If there are any US sites that are similar it might be worth a try.
I play less now but I'll always be around, lets keep this site and battlefront going. :)

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Re: Engaging a Re-Growing Community
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2014, 09:51:34 AM »

 which is why I have certain boards on my ignore list (post farms such as "ban the person above you" for instance).

It is on my ignore list too.  And guests can't see that board.

But none of those posts count toward post count.

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Re: Engaging a Re-Growing Community
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2014, 07:50:45 PM »
Interesting ideas... Let me know if any of you guys need help with any of your plans to get the word out. I have one or two sites I am going to share the word about the event at as well. If Phantom is okay with it, I might send an email blast to all of the accounts on the BOBclan website. I think webs allows you to send a PM to all members, that may be worth a shot, as we have 151 members.
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