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Old 22-03-2008, 08:59 PM   #1   [permalink]
John Faulkner
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Is The AnimeBoards Revival Ever Going To Happen!?

Hi,

to Eva2000 and all the moderators:

In reference to this thread http://www.animeboards.com/showthread.php?t=60425, made >5 months ago, which detailed Eva2000's vision for changes that were going to kick this place into action: rather than make 20 satirical posts, here's a simple, direct question ....

Are the changes ever going to happen?

If you look at the posting activity over the last year at http://www.big-boards.com/board/12/, the relevant graph being:



you'd see that the weekly posting rate has dropped to about a quarter of what it was last year. I'm sorry, that's just pathetic. Board management is just sitting there watching this place go down. If those were sales figures, I'd have been sacked from my previous jobs on the spot.

So what's the delay in introducing the changes? There are something like 1,000 guests lurking (a massive number), and they can't all be spam-merchants.

Last edited by John Faulkner; 22-03-2008 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 23-03-2008, 01:50 PM   #2   [permalink]
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My fault as i explained in other thread - other things have come up pushing back plans I have for AB
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Old 23-03-2008, 08:18 PM   #3   [permalink]
John Faulkner
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Originally Posted by eva2000
My fault as i explained in other thread - other things have come up pushing back plans I have for AB
Once again, thanks for the response and it has certainly provided a rational and historical context for the previous year's inactivity.

But to focus on the future: have you some idea of the road-map for the rest of the year? Do you have some date in mind for the implementation of your new strategies?

Sure, there are all these naysayers here who say that change wouldn't make any difference but let's look at the facts for this messageboard:
  • a solid history
  • user-friendly posting interface (disregarding the cluttered nature of the sub-forum structure)
  • the freedom to talk about off-topic subjects such as religion and politics
  • ~1,000 guests browsing
  • a solid membership uptake (just need to ratchet up the efficiency of the verification procedure)
  • a dedicated base of old members, more of which will certainly post once they see more activity
  • we have free weekly stats from that website to monitor activity, to prevent your servers from exploding

I'm seeing some serious potential here and the tools for effective board management are largely in place, ready for action. If you're busy, then as I mentioned in the other thread, how about greater delegation to the moderators?

Last edited by John Faulkner; 23-03-2008 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 24-03-2008, 01:20 AM   #4   [permalink]
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I think we already lobbied all the ideas for Eva2000 to use. It's a matter of willpower on his part now.

Unless he want's to diviy out admin powers to get it done.
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Old 24-03-2008, 06:17 AM   #5   [permalink]
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Originally Posted by Black_Knight
I think we already lobbied all the ideas for Eva2000 to use. It's a matter of willpower on his part now.

Unless he want's to diviy out admin powers to get it done.
hmmm

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

hehe ... sorry couldn't resist ....
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Old 24-03-2008, 04:35 PM   #6   [permalink]
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Man, at work I'm in trouble for not having made my "roadmap" for progression for the next year.
I really hate you damn "plan it out instead of procrastinating!" people.
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Old 24-03-2008, 08:01 PM   #7   [permalink]
John Faulkner
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Originally Posted by Black_Knight
I think we already lobbied all the ideas for Eva2000 to use. It's a matter of willpower on his part now.

Unless he want's to diviy out admin powers to get it done.
I think delegation of responsibility is the perfect solution if Eva2000 is under pressure from other activities or issues. After all, he's still sinking his own cash into this messageboard project, so it's in his interests to get optimal performance in terms of post rates, as it is our interests. There's no inherent opposition here, so that's why I think there isn't really any barrier to progress.

First thing to do is to sort out the new members verification. I can't really see why the moderators aren't helping out with this. I think the problem is more that the moderators can't be bothered to anymore (effectively giving up the ghost on AB). Looking over the mod list, people like Torkm haven't even logged on here for well over a year.

The logical solution is to do a mangement restructure. Replace these inactive mods with more active people. Get SamIam to verify the new members. Get Pengi Ken-Ohki to draw up a road-map for AB for the rest of the year, since he's doing that anyway for his job. Get Black_Knight to do something. Spread the work to make it easier.

I guarantee you that at least one new member won't be able to resist a newsletter type thread such as http://www.animeboards.com/showthrea...#post537844632 which updates the people on the exciting progression of AnimeBoards (I'd add music to cover the musical audience type as well if that was possible). Cut down the number of forums to make this newsletter thread more visually prominent, and you're onto a winner here. Again, to increase activity, this is something a member of board management should be doing and it doesn't take long to do at all. Although the thread I made is pretty much useless if the new members can't post in response to it anyway, which is why I asked for clarification if they can post in that other thread.

Look at this messageboard as some sort of charity with Eva2000 as some sort of director. He's investing in this company, called AnimeBoards, and he wants to achieve the objectives. Objectives of a messageboard: I'd presume an important one is to create an environment where people are posting actively. To achieve this objective, you'd need a good management team formed of capable volunteers. As I said, the infrastructure is there to achieve the objective, but the management, for various reasons, is not there.

It's all to play for. I know what I'd do if I had the power. I'd be starting changes right now.

But it's down to board management.

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Old 25-03-2008, 07:17 AM   #8   [permalink]
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Yeah one reason it's a clean board besides lack of new member posts is I'm proactively screened new members and banned most spam bots and trolls before they can even post on the boards. AB's potential is still there I agree

I understand what you mean, just it's hard for me to let go and give such power on the current version of forum software. Once the forums are upgraded in terms of software it would have a higher possibility of happening but as I stated, the upgrade process is pretty time consuming for jumping from modified vB 3.0.x version to 4 generations ahead to latest vB 3.7.x forum software (which is in continuing beta/release candidate phase right now - so not just one upgrade will be done to get to final release) - which I need to put aside some considerable free time to implement - time which I don't have right now as it's preoccupied with other obligations.

I think the comment of other moderators isn't that they can't be bothered anymore, but it's the same thing as what I'm experiencing - real life obligations do get in the way and most of the time will take priority above some forms of online activity.

I guess you can say it comes down to a bit of poor time management from myself.. but you know how real life and stuff can get in the way of what you want to do versus what you need to/or obligated to do.
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Old 25-03-2008, 07:19 PM   #9   [permalink]
John Faulkner
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Originally Posted by eva2000
I understand what you mean, just it's hard for me to let go and give such power on the current version of forum software. Once the forums are upgraded in terms of software it would have a higher possibility of happening but as I stated, the upgrade process is pretty time consuming for jumping from modified vB 3.0.x version to 4 generations ahead to latest vB 3.7.x forum software (which is in continuing beta/release candidate phase right now - so not just one upgrade will be done to get to final release) - which I need to put aside some considerable free time to implement - time which I don't have right now as it's preoccupied with other obligations.

.............

but you know how real life and stuff can get in the way of what you want to do versus what you need to/or obligated to do.
Many thanks for the reply. OK, so the current working landscape I'm building up here is that the technical capacity is available, the consumer demand exists and the will to effective management is real, but it's all about finding the window of free time to push this new company strategy through.

That's good: I'm now aware of the company issues and the rationale behind them. I fully agree that real life can often impose severe restrictions on free time through perennial financial and social constraints, to the point that it would be imprudent to make messageboard activities a top priority. Given that this is the case with yourself here and the moderators (although you can always replace the moderators with a more active bunch), I'm thinking that we might have to consider adopting more long-term tactics to achieve the desired messageboard goals.

I'm still keen however, to establish a rough timeframe for the proposed revival. Do you think it's likely to happen before the end of this year, factoring in the amount of free time projected to be available? Or would you say sometime in the next 2-3yrs? Or even longer? A firm date is not required, unless that is possible, but a rough working plan would give greater physical shape to the idealistic goals that have been discussed.

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Old 26-03-2008, 03:57 AM   #10   [permalink]
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I got your stinkin road map right here..bend over!


*grumbles*
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Old 26-03-2008, 07:01 AM   #11   [permalink]
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Originally Posted by Pengi_Ken-Ohki
I got your stinkin road map right here..bend over!


*grumbles*
Ouch!

Remember, there is ALWAYS time for lube.
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:07 PM   #12   [permalink]
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Originally Posted by John Faulkner
Is The AnimeBoards Revival Ever Going To Happen!?
Here's my 2 cents. (2 cents)
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:28 AM   #13   [permalink]
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Better late than never i suppose http://animeboards.com/showthread.php?t=60585
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:24 PM   #14   [permalink]
John Faulkner
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Originally Posted by Tsunami-X View Post
Here's my 2 cents. (2 cents)
What?

Originally Posted by eva2000
Better late than never i suppose http://animeboards.com/showthread.php?t=60585
Prime Minister Eva2k,

We, the AnimeBoards Democratic-Liberal-Social Revolutionary Liberation Front (ABDLSRLF), formerly the ABRPA (which was disbanded because it was infiltrated by rebels from a rival group and due to a lack of funds from rich Saudi princes .......... blah blah blah

Firstly, we are proud to see that the changes have happened. We give major credit for backing up your words with actions. Now there is some tangible hope for the virtual population of AnimeBoards (population: 10; 2007 census). Although we see that Glabrezu is no longer a moderator .... .

The infrastructure is now in place. However, the social dynamics need to change. It is noted that only 1 member is currently logged in, an ABDLSRLF member, and the number of guests have dropped dramatically to ~130 (possibly because of the loss of spammers).

We will give a more detailed assessment of the current landscape of AnimeBoards and give an Eightfold Path towards the creation of a new metropolis.
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:17 PM   #15   [permalink]
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The ABDLSRLF hereby presents a SWOT analysis of the Republic of AnimeBoards (in Aug 2008) to the incumbent President Eva2k. This type of analysis is used extensively by top analysts, businesses, and organizations, and also innumerable clueless business undergrads and MBA students bullshitting their way through university. Recall that this analysis is performed in the context of messageboard degradation, which has been established beyond all doubt in previous technical reports by the ABDLSRLF (formerly ABRPA).

Based on the analysis, key elements in a new road-map for the immediate and distant future are proposed. The objective adopted is that of creating a 'reasonable amount of activity'. The definition of 'reasonable amount of activity' is fraught with subjective colourations, but tentative quantitative criteria based on the previous activity of AB, in order of increasing magnitude, are as follows:

Stage I: 50 members visiting around day; average of 20 posts per day, excluding this 'NewsHound' entity

Stage II: 100 members visiting around day; average of 50 posts per day, excluding this 'NewsHound' entity

Stage III: 150 members visiting around day; average of 100 posts per day, excluding this 'NewsHound' entity

Currently, the number of members visiting per day is ~20 (a drop from before the recent changes) and the average number of posts per day is 5-20, excluding those from News Hound (roughly same as before the recent changes).


SWOT Analysis of AnimeBoards (AB) in Aug 2008

Strengths

The recent revamp has addressed several key weaknesses of this former Kingdom.

Firstly, the number of anime sub-forums has been decreased in a downsizing exercise. The hypothesis was that this would concentrate activity in fewer forums, thus psychologically inducing more users to post. However, there is the real issue of whether downsizing has gone far enough, with stagnant subforums such as 'Star Blazers' still in operation. Thus, although the downsizing was a welcome tactical stratagem, it has yet to give fruition to a strength.

The introduction of 'News Hound', an automated news-collecting fiend, shows the managerial acumen of Michael E. Porter. This appeals to bored board spectators who have nothing new to read and simultaneously gives a veneer of activity to AB, for those slow-moving days (or months, maybe years). We fully endorse 'News Hound' as a prime asset.

Aesthetically, the old colour has been kept, which serves to forge nostalgic links with current members of the constituency. This play on emotion is counterbalanced by the disadvantage that some may associate the colour scheme with the recent slump. Thus, this in itself is not a strength. The new mascot, which is actually the old mascot given a face-lift, is an improvement on the slightly anti-social pose of the old design. Thus, it is an improvement. We conclude that on an aesthetic, spiritual level, the changes are not radical and has given rise to incremental improvements rather than transformative ones. Yet by retaining the fundamental board layout and user-interface, AB preserves the advantage of user-friendliness and a wide collection of 'Smilies'. As such, user-friendliness and choice of expression is a strength of AB, although whether it is enough to give a significant differential advantage compared to its competitors remains to be seen.


Weaknesses

As part of the recent regime change, the digital borders have at last opened up for immigration of new members, after more than half a year. This liberal policy is most welcome and is a big two fingers to the hard right-wingers. However, it is noted that new members signing up between 16.09.07 and 28.04.08 have been erased from existence. Thus, AB is very much playing 'catch-up' in terms of bringing in new members to the fold. This is further evidenced by the fact that only ~50 new members have had their accounts activated in the 3 months stretching back to 28.04.08. We solemnly declare that a weakness remains the low uptake rate of new members. Whether this is due to an unusually high proportion of spammers (illegal immigrants) having their applications rejected, a low absolute number of new people registering, or an unduly slow rate of approval by the AB administration needs to be ascertained and dealt with.

The blase attitude of the current active membership of AB towards this Republic has not abated. This creates an atmosphere where discussion is not encouraged and does not materialize. The problem is that this does not attract inactive members and new members into posting. Empirical evidence shows that the post rate by new members is perennially low and that new members are reluctant to make detailed posts. The recent spam infestation of the PM and e-mail systems of existing members, which posed a severe national security risk to the Republic of AB, drew in a temporary influx of old members. However, they soon left having witnessed the recent state of the boards. A contributing factor is, as always, the lack of 'quality' discussion - e.g. Heart Havok bitching about not enough good discussions concerning the new Evangelion movies. Nary a day goes by without people disputing the meaning of 'quality', but in this context, this point of contention is irrelevant: any sort of quality is absent because the discussions simply are not there at all in the Evangelion sub-forums.

Thus, another weakness is the intrinsic lack of motivation to discuss. It can readily be seen that 'nostalgia' alone is no longer enough to stimulate the brains of existing members, which is why we reluctantly leave out the history of AB as a current strength. Yet this dormant nostalgia nestling in the unconscious psyches of existing members can be nurtured to form an inchoate will to post by future leaders. But the question is: where are the future leaders who will instigate controversial topics, generate passionate threads, and tackle issues with gusto?

Another potential Achilles' heel is the brand awareness of AB. This former Kingdom may have been relatively well-known back in its heyday some 7-8 years ago, but what of the situation now? Is AB synonymous with a market-leader in the sub-market of anime messageboards? Given the low uptake rate of new members, it can be inferred that brand awareness is quite low at the moment, if not virtually non-existent, which adds another weakness to the armoury of AB.


Opportunities

Given the steep, declining interest in anime from the general populace of AB, there are opportunities to move AB into a different genre. By that we mean relegating the anime aspects of the board into 'off-topic' and rebranding AB as a message board for discussion of predominantly other topics. As the dominant demographic group of AB shifts into 20+yrs, and supposedly becomes more aware of the realities of life, perhaps there is a case to convert to something like Politics? Or a combined Politics, Philosophy, and Religion Board? Or maybe Sport, to take advantage of the current wave of Olympic hysteria? This could be especially productive given the gaggle of new(ish) Internet users from China.

If Eva2k is cash-strapped, we also recommend that he considers seriously the proposition of turning AB into a pay-as-you-view pornographic site. Or play the lottery more.


Threats

The proliferation of interactive mediums such as chat-rooms and messenger clients, online video interaction interfaces (e.g. YouTube), blogs, other messageboards, and any other such ---- poses a formidable set of substitutes for end-users. These mediums all seem to satisfy the unlimited desire to waste time on the Internet by communicating with strangers.



Road-map

Based on the SWOT analysis, we can identify a strategy which aims to consolidate and build upon our strengths, erode and eliminate our weaknesses, make use of any opportunities, and meet any threats. The ABDLSRLF recommends incorporating the key elements listed below in a new road-map. The extent to which the objectives will be met in the future is, we feel, highly dependent on the extent to which the elements below are successfully incorporated into a coherent strategy which is applied successfully in practice.

The elements in this road-map will be discussed in a series of threads in Members Only (initiated by the ABDLSRLF), which will be analogous to 'Town Meetings', to foster community participation in the future of AB, promote a shared interest in the realisation of the new vision, and increase the probability of uptake of any new strategy. MINUTES OF THESE MEETINGS WILL BE POSTED HERE WITH ACTION POINTS. NOT SURPRISINGLY, THESE MEETINGS ARE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED BY THE WORLD POPULATION.

1. Ruthlessly cut down the number of sub-forums as a temporary measure to concentrate posting activity within fewer forums, thus leading to the impression of a more lively board. For example, cut down the number of anime sub-forums to 1 or 2. There is always the option of adding back sub-forums once there is enough activity to justify this.

2. Encourage new members to post - find out why uptake of new members is so slow and if it is taking too long to verify new members so that they can post, try and automate the system. This may let in more spammers but it will also speed things up. Spammers can be reported to the AB administration and will be easy for moderators to spot, given the low posting rate. This will also increase the chances of finding the new future leaders who are capable of typing sentences using reasonable English and who like to generate discussions. Another idea is for the AB adminstration to send PMs around to remind existing members to welcome new members. Moderators should welcome all new members. Also, try innovate tactics - to be discussed in Town Meetings.

3. Encourage old members to post - appeal to the emotions of old members. This can be done by generating discussions which are a throwback to the so-called 'halcyon' days, which could trigger pleasant (and not-so-pleasant) memories that move people to post. These discussions also serve as a great opportunity to differentiate AB from other boards - by stimulating intellectual and emotional faculties which cannot be so stimulated elsewhere, given the subject matter. Needless to say, this can only be achieved with members who have the motivation and ability to partake in such discussions. Give existing members the opportunity to create polls, as a cheap carrot to start posting again. Once old members start posting again, for whatever reason, we need to suck them in and not let them stop again, in order to make tangible inroads towards our objectives. Other innovative tactics to be discussed in Town Meetings.

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