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FanFic The Future of Fanfic and You: Forum Structure Discussion

Discussion in 'Fan Activities' started by Commander DWH, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. Commander DWH Shiny Fanfic and Costuming & Props Manager

    Holy new forum software, Batman!

    As you've all noticed by now, our new forum software is very different from our old home. And while moves are always a good time to discuss potential restructuring, it's even better when we have so many more options to explore.

    To this end, we'd like your opinions, as the users of this system. We've got some ideas about how we could organize on the new boards, but we want your feedback so as to create the best possible fanfic experience for everyone. :)

    The options:

    1. Resource forum as main, with Before, Saga, and Beyond as subforums
    Resource would be the primary point of contact for all of fanfic. The advantage of this is that everyone in fanfic would be more likely to see announcements, contests, and join in the community, which can only result in more fanficcing fun for all of us.

    2. Four separate forums.
    Just like old times.

    3. One resource forum, one fanfic forum where eras are differentiated by tag
    Less scary than it sounds, we promise. You'll have noticed by now that we have these shiny tags we can place at the front of a thread, and we would be able to see, at a glance, which stories belong to which era. Furthermore, you can choose to display only threads from a specific tag. So it wouldn't be as much wading as you may expect to find the stories in which you're interested. We hope that this might encourage readers to perhaps look at stories they may not have even thought to look at before, and more mingling of the community. Things aren't as busy as they used to be, so the likelihood of smaller forums like Before getting buried is much lower.

    4. Single forum tag madness.
    This is probably a terrible idea, but for the sake of argument, it's an option.

    5. Act a fool.
    Sometimes, it is the only way.
    .
    Do note that we are not planning on merging NSWFF and Resource in with the Star Wars fanfic, as that would get to be far too unwieldy. They will remain their own entities.

    Also remember: if we try something new, that doesn't mean we can't go back to the old way of doing things if it is not working. A trial run is a very viable option at this point.

    So, give us your thoughts/questions/comments/ideas!
  2. Jedi_lover88 Jedi Master

    One resource forum, one fanfic forum where eras are differentiated by tag

    Although I hate change, I do think that this might get people mingling within different communities. I know when I go to Fan Activities I have clicked onto forums I normally would never have visited.
  3. Dr. Steve Brule Jedi Master

    I also like option 3.
  4. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    I'm partial to option one. It is the same system that is used on other forums I've been to, and it was the same system used on an old vBulletin forum I administrated years ago. It's a neat and tidy structure and keeps things organized.

    Option three is needlessly cluttered.
  5. Kais Jai Sheelal Jedi Grand Master

    Option 1 or Option 2.

    If you do combine Before/After/Beyond into one forum seperated by tags a single dominate forum could basically dominate all the page 1 posts at any given time. I suspect I'm not alone, but if I have to go say three pages to find only a handful of stories in "my" era there is going to be so much I'm missing. Especially considering that I can only really pop in once or twice a week of late.
    Ceillean likes this.
  6. moosemousse CR Drinker of Tea & UK-South

    I liked it the way it was, with a resource board for SWFF and one for NSWFF, and then the three eras plus the NSWFF board.
  7. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Now that I think about it, Option Two is good, too. Either Option One or Two, both are nice and concise and organized. I echo Sheelal's concerns over Option Three. Fics would very, very, very easily be lost with that option. I'd much rather know where to find fics by going to their appropriate board, not by searching half a dozen pages and parsing through three eras just to find that one Beyond the Saga fic that ends up buried about ten pages in.

    Options One or Two. Either I'm fine with.
  8. moosemousse CR Drinker of Tea & UK-South

    Actually, it's probably worth pointing out that clicking on the tag next to a thread title will filter the board so only messages with those tags show up. I don't know if this affects anyone's opinion but it should be known.
  9. mavjade Fan Activites/Fanfic Moddess

    moosemousse is correct. As stated with option three there is a way to filter tags (more below).

    By watching the numbers recently, we don't feel that any one of the eras will dominate the others. With option three we would hope that people would be more willing to take a look at things they might have before, but if that is not something you are interested in, you can filter out all the other tags.
    If you look at the bottom of the page when you are in a fourm (such as the main Fan Activities) at the very bottom there is a tab that says "display thread options" which allows you to choose what filter you see. Or you can just click on a tag and it changes to only those tags showing. So if you only want to see only Before stories, you would click the Before Tag and that would be all you would see until you unFilter.


    Any change wouldn't effect NSWFF, they would still be separate.
  10. JediMara77 Jedi Master

    I like option 2 or 3. I'm not a fan of subforums. Extra clicking annoys me. /lazy

    Just a question - will we still have unlimited editing capabilities in the fanfic forums?
  11. LazyK Jedi Master

    One question about Number Three: Are you going to tag pre-Move threads? If so, I sure hope there's a special admin button that does it automatically.

    - lazy
  12. mavjade Fan Activites/Fanfic Moddess

    JediMara- Yes, we will get unlimited editing back. That's something we were advocating for before the move.

    Lazy- We hope to and we also hope there is a way to do it automatically. We're still not sure of all the shiny new functions available to look into it.
  13. jcgoble3 Jedi Master

    I like option 1 best for the reasons given in the OP. Option 3 is also interesting.
  14. taramidala Jedi Padawan

    I'm primarily a reader, but I like my categories. I'd rather use Option 1 or Option 2.
  15. Iverna Jedi Master

    I was going to say option 1, but then I saw the filter thing. With that, 3 sounds good to me as well. Besides, if things get too confusing or busy, you can always separate them back out again. It could be worth a try.

    That said - if you go with separate forums, you could use tags for other purposes, right? That could make it easier for people to find fics or to filter out the ones they might be interested in. I'm not sure what tags you'd go with - genre, canon/AU, specific time frames, format, etc - but it might be something to consider as well. You could definitely use them in Resource to separate challenges, announcements, and so on.

    Another thing to consider regarding announcements and people missing them is that we have the message thing at the top of the page now, right? So maybe that could be useful in that regard in the future. Assuming you can customise that for each forum and it's not automatically site-wide.
  16. Arin_Atona Jedi Padawan

    As a chronic lurker, I like option 3.
  17. Valairy_Scot Jedi Grand Master

    I'd like either what we had (different boards) or an entirely different option - Before/Saga combined because they're usually "movie characters" or related, while Beyond stays separate because it goes into territory that scares the ** out of me (just joking, but I feel absolutely overwhelmed and out of place in beyond - who's so and so? And whatshisname?).

    Much more importantly anyway (grammar, schmammar), I suspect (I'd say know, but objectively I can't) most folks do NOT look beyond page 1. They wouldn't click on tags. Too many fine stories get pushed past page 1 and disappear until those like I go thread-hunting and bump them up.

    I have heard from folks who literally didn't know a story existed because they "didn't see it."

    Now, tags for humor, romance, action....[face_thinking] I'm just kidding.
  18. Iverna Jedi Master

    Hmm, good point. I don't know how busy Before and Saga have been lately, but in Beyond, fics do get pushed off the first page pretty quickly. As one of those people who rarely look beyond the first page, I'd agree that with an even faster turnaround, many stories would just be overlooked.

    Combining Before and Saga seems like a good idea if they aren't as busy as Beyond. I can't judge that, though.
  19. jcgoble3 Jedi Master

    IIRC, Saga was almost as busy as Beyond, if not as busy. Before is much, much slower; my Diary Challenge entry in Before was still on the first page with room to spare after two weeks without a reply.
  20. Sara Kenobi Jedi Knight

    I like option number 4, from a navigation point of view. Although, it might be good to consider making Saga and Before, just one forum. Before doesn't seem to get the attention that the other forums do.

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