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Old 18-11-2008, 12:25 AM   #1   [permalink]
John Faulkner
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ANIMEBOARDS - The Masterplan for Improvement

The Issue

People of the Republic of AnimeBoards, we start with a familiar issue - low posting rates and low uptake of new members. Behold:





Note that the post rate after the middle of July is artificially boosted by the posts made by the automatic news feeder NewsHound; the actual post rate is much less.


The Masterplan (or part of it)

I will now demonstrate why the changes made by Eva2k in July have failed to improve posting activity and also show how several things can be done to try and improve this activity. The point to note here is that the action points which I suggest can easily be implemented with minimal effort in terms of time and energy, so nobody can use the excuse of a lack of time for failing to act, unless the credit crunch has hit you so badly that you have to spend every waking second eking out a living.

1. Sub-forum cut-backs.

Eva2k has archived a number of anime sub-forums so that the anime section is less cluttered. However, this has failed to improve posting activity in the remaining anime sub-forums. It is not hard to see why. Nowhere near enough sub-forums have been deleted. This means that:
  • New and current members are still hit with e.g. "Anime Series: E-H" on the main page, such that the names of popular anime such as Dragonball are absent and do not attract them to investigate further.
  • Fossilized forums such as "Star Blazers" (which only has 4 threads and has not had a single post for over a bloody year - WTF) still exist and serve to give the impression that the anime sub-forums are hopelessly inactive.
  • There is still a whole stack of inactive non-anime sub-forums that serve to strengthen the image of a lifeless messageboard.
Here are simple p--- easy action points to try and remedy this situation:
  • Delete/archive all anime sub-forums apart from "General and Other Anime" and popular series that will attract people to post. This will concentrate the activity and make the messageboard appear more alive, and the names of the popular series will draw new people to post.
  • Get rid of/archive other inactive sub-forums - specifically "General Non-Anime Discussions" (the s--- that goes there can go into "Members Only"), all the sub-forums in the "Anime General" section apart from "Anime Fan-Art/Images", all the sub-forums in the "Anime Webmasters Talk" section, "Anime Studio Guests" (since you can't even bloody post in that sub-forum anyway and the last post was over five f-ucking yrs ago), all sub-forums in the "Computing/Hardware" section, and the "Forum Requests" and "Testing Forum" sub-forums. Again, this will help make the messageboard feel more alive by cutting out the barren slums.



2. Increase speed at which new members are approved.

Eva2k has installed filters that has decreased the number of spam merchants signing up, but it still takes some 2-3 weeks for new members to be approved.
  • This pisses off new members and discourages them from ever posting. Don't believe me? Then hear it straight from a new member's mouth - http://www.animeboards.com/showpost....8&postcount=17.
  • It increases the number of ghost members clogging up the system and time is wasted by approving members who will never post.
Here is a simple p--- easy action point to try and remedy this situation:
  • Eva2k and/or his moderators come here once a day and approve new members. Looking at the number of new members that are signing up, this should take all of 1 minute every day.



3. Force the moderators to do their job properly.

Eva2k has trimmed his moderating team, by letting inactive mods go. However, the decadent standard of moderating persists. Over the last 2 yrs, moderators never seem to post, they say hi to new members once in a blue moon, they never make polls which only they can make, they don't bother getting rid of robotic serial spammers (e.g. beauty123, clint999; the former has made 17 posts), and they don't give a s--- if a thread descends into a farce (e.g. http://www.animeboards.com/showthread.php?t=61275). This means that:
  • The post quality declines, which discourages people from posting. What's the difference between a person in a coma and an AnimeBoards moderator? The person in a coma is more productive.
Here is a simple p--- easy action point to try and remedy this situation:
  • Either get the moderators to buck up their ideas or get new moderators who can do their job properly. If the moderators don't have time to moderate, then all the more reason to get new moderators.



Pre-emptive Responses

I can foresee the same tired replies to this post, so I will simply pre-empt them here:

Reply 1: Who besides you cares about the posting activity here?
My Response 1: Eva2k should because he's investing hard-earned money into his AnimeBoards Project.

Reply 2: Why do you even care man? Get a life!
My Response 2: Firstly, f-uck you. Secondly, in the absence of thought-provoking threads in general, I find making posts such as these more interesting than sitting around here doing absolutely nothing.

Reply 3: AnimeBoards will never get back to the glory days! Don't you understand? This is just part of a wider decline of messageboards. Evolution, no going back, live with it, Determinism R Us, Black&White etc. etc.
My Response 3: This thread isn't about a return to AB's salad days, but simple actions to try and improve posting activity. Many times people have said there is nothing that can be done; many times the management team have bitched that they are too busy to do anything, coming up with all sorts of excuses for inaction. So this thread shows these people clearly how there are things that have not been done and which could improve activity, and which are p--- easy to implement. There is the possibility that posting activity will not improve if the changes are made, yet equally posting activity may improve, perhaps only slightly. But the point is that we will never know for sure until we try and there is not much to lose. I haven't even mentioned the more advanced tactics that can be tried, such as differentiating AB from other anime messageboards.

Reply 4: Some useless spam unrelated to the thread topic.
My Response 4: P-iss off back to the yellow brick road and pray that the Wizard will give you a brain.

Last edited by John Faulkner; 18-11-2008 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 18-11-2008, 12:53 PM   #2   [permalink]
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Quote:
1. Sub-forum cut-backs
This is a good idea there is far to many and most are for very old series that no one really watches anymore.

Instead there should be forums about the more current popular shows I.E Bleach.

Quote:
2. Increase speed at which new members are approved.
Get rid of the no free Emial rule its just stupid 90% of people use free e-mail because it is free.


[QUOTE3. Force the moderators to do their job properly.][/QUOTE]

LOL first there has to be something to moderate.

Quote:
if a thread descends into a farce (e.g. http://www.animeboards.com/showthread.php?t=61275). This means that:
The post quality declines, which discourages people from posting. What's the difference between a person in a coma and an AnimeBoards moderator? The person in a coma is more productive.
Ummm yea well id say at least people are posting there so why complain.

Quote:
Pre-emptive Responses
Of course people are going to have stupid responses to this. What is this the 1000th time you have posted the same thing in a different format.
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Old 19-11-2008, 06:50 PM   #3   [permalink]
John Faulkner
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Originally Posted by cool2burn View Post
This is a good idea there is far to many and most are for very old series that no one really watches anymore.
This idea is unbelievably easy to implement and furthermore, it carries almost no risk of making things worse. I can't understand for the life of me why Eva2k doesn't just experiment by repeatedly cutting out a few sub-forums and then monitoring activity to see if there is any effect - sort of like an iteration procedure to converge to the optimum solution.

Originally Posted by cool2burn View Post
Get rid of the no free Emial rule its just stupid 90% of people use free e-mail because it is free.
This is not a bad idea. However, a couple of issues:
(i) This may increase the number of people signing up, but the accounts still need to be activated before they can post, and it is this activation which is taking so long.
(ii) With free e-mails, you would get more AI spamming the boards, and the moderators have proved themselves over the last few years to be very poor at removing these robots.

Originally Posted by cool2burn View Post
LOL first there has to be something to moderate.
There are things for moderators to moderate - e.g. look at Clint999, which has made another spam post. And in the current mess this board is in, it is highly advisable that the mandate of these so-called moderators extends to introducing new members, making polls, and trying to engage/start discussions.

Originally Posted by cool2burn View Post
Ummm yea well id say at least people are posting there so why complain.
Spam or nonsensical posts by current living members are always a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they make the place more alive, but on the other they discourage discussions that would attract greater activity. This year has been a fantastic spam-fest on the whole, and that would have been OK if it was just a transitional stage towards the development of more meaningful discussions. However, it seems like at the moment that the negative effects of spam are more powerful and have actually stifled discussion, and that is because the spam is sustained and has not given way to superior discourse. So at this stage, I would say something needs to be done about it - fast. We certainly don't want to be stuck in a perpetual loop of cyber-manure.

Originally Posted by cool2burn View Post
Of course people are going to have stupid responses to this. What is this the 1000th time you have posted the same thing in a different format.
And this will probably be the 998th time the management team will completely ignore what I write. It's not just me either, even Black_knight has come up with many suggestions repeatedly before apparently surrendering recently.

What I'm confused about is the policy to systematically snub suggestions for improvement. What is this, some sort of top-secret discussion that can never take place on a public messageboard? Perhaps board management is afraid that they may inadvertently let slip the formula to turn lead into gold? Or maybe there's a highly lucrative IP market on how to increase activity on failed anime messageboards?

AnimeBoards is like a failed state or business. And when you have a failure such as this, you need leaders who can instill pride in the population and be proactive. You certainly cannot just sit around expecting things to magically get better - a fatalistic stupidity; like fiddling around when Rome is burning.

It is absolutely baffling that Eva2k would, in full knowledge of the dire state AB is in, consistently defend the numpties which he has as moderators and continue to fund this place, without being proactive and trying to carry out easy-peasey lemon-f'ing-squeezy actions to try and improve things. That's called wasting your money.

I can almost guarantee you and anyone else that nothing will change in the long-term, in terms of posting rate and new members uptake/activity, if no action is taken. If I come back in a year's time in Nov/Dec 2009, and no action has been taken, the situation will be either (a) exactly like what it is now - how exciting or (b) Eva2k has packed up his bags and decided to invest elsewhere. Why do I say that? Because Nov 2008 is like Nov 2007 - it's like the f-ucking North Pole here.
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Old 21-11-2008, 06:05 AM   #4   [permalink]
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Last I heard, Eva2k works for vbulletin..prolly doesn't cost him that much anymore.
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Old 21-11-2008, 12:06 PM   #5   [permalink]
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Originally Posted by Pengi_Ken-Ohki View Post
Last I heard, Eva2k works for vbulletin..prolly doesn't cost him that much anymore.
Yea and hosting these days is extremely cheap but i thought Eva2k had his own server. I remember something about it dying a few years ago.
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Old 22-11-2008, 11:02 PM   #6   [permalink]
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Maybe fixing the bugs, allowing larger pixel size avatars, modern emoticons, removing email verification (which doesn't prevent spambots anymore), removing admin verification etc?

You have so many bot checks I'm sure the only spammers are human.

I don't get why you have the tagging system turned on when nobody is using it. You also have a similar thread feature.

When I report a post, it has email in the url. You guys should set up a forum for reports to collect. I'm sure many of the emails go to the spam bin.

The website review area doesn't seem to have reviews anymore. Just more site plugging.

Also, there's a broken image in all the user profiles I've seen.

Last edited by eva2000; 08-12-2008 at 12:06 AM. Reason: removed error message
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Old 25-11-2008, 12:18 PM   #7   [permalink]
John Faulkner
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Originally Posted by Jura View Post
Maybe fixing the bugs, allowing larger pixel size avatars, modern emoticons, removing email verification (which doesn't prevent spambots anymore), removing admin verification etc?
Here's a question for you: how long did it take for your account to be verified?

Originally Posted by Jura View Post
I don't get why you have the tagging system turned on when nobody is using it. You also have a similar thread feature.
You can extend this argument: I don't get why they have an anime messageboard turned on when barely anyone is using it.

Originally Posted by Jura View Post
When I report a post, it has email in the url. You guys should set up a forum for reports to collect. I'm sure many of the emails go to the spam bin.
Maybe they have an e-mail system because none of the moderators bother checking the forums anymore? More's the pity!

Originally Posted by Jura View Post
The website review area doesn't seem to have reviews anymore. Just more site plugging.
Yes, we should just get rid of that sub-forum.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In one post, Jura has surpassed the combined efforts of all the moderators this year, by proposing killer new tactics to electrocute this place into life.

I say we should make Jura a moderator, with a view towards being a joint-admin.

Last edited by John Faulkner; 25-11-2008 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 25-11-2008, 04:36 PM   #8   [permalink]
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Well, the emails from this board went to my spam bin, so it took a few days for the email validation part.

Last edited by Jura; 25-11-2008 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 26-11-2008, 04:24 PM   #9   [permalink]
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I say we launch a probe into whether Jura is Faulkner. Also a gag on Faulkner because now even reasonable threads (about eva2ks' toys) are getting turned into personal attacks on the mods.


By 'we' I mean me, Minsc and Boo.
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Old 26-11-2008, 04:36 PM   #10   [permalink]
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Originally Posted by Pengi_Ken-Ohki View Post
I say we launch a probe into whether Jura is Faulkner. Also a gag on Faulkner because now even reasonable threads (about eva2ks' toys) are getting turned into personal attacks on the mods.


By 'we' I mean me, Minsc and Boo.
Dont forget about the welcome threads to^^
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Old 26-11-2008, 09:27 PM   #11   [permalink]
John Faulkner
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Originally Posted by Pengi_Ken-Ohki View Post
I say we launch a probe into whether Jura is Faulkner.
Where's my lawyer? Where's my bloody lawyer, god damn it!?!?

But on a serious note, why would I create a puppet account to argue with myself? I mean, that would just be sheer lunacy, wouldn't it?

Originally Posted by Pengi_Ken-Ohki View Post
Also a gag on Faulkner because now even reasonable threads (about eva2ks' toys) are getting turned into personal attacks on the mods.
In my defence, I did put forward a perfectly sensible question regarding the speech capabilities of Eva2k's toys. In addition, I made some calm, impersonal observations on the mods in their capacity as guardians of the Great Sacred Messageboard called AnimeBoards, which has suffered a calamitous fall through several layers of unpleasant natural excretions, a large factor being inactive mods that neither partake in discussions nor get rid of spam posts.

Originally Posted by cool2burn
Dont forget about the welcome threads to^^
Just one question: who has welcomed more new members this year - me or you? Think about it.
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Old 26-11-2008, 09:33 PM   #12   [permalink]
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More stuff.

Get a custom favicon and set the sub-forums better. There's this really wonderful vBulletin mod that that shows the sub-forums under the description along with post counts, an icon, and columns. It's called Cyb - Sub-Forum Manager.

Also, why does the site no longer have affiliates or partners?
http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://animeboards.com
I was doing some looking around. <<
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Old 27-11-2008, 07:22 PM   #13   [permalink]
John Faulkner
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Originally Posted by Jura View Post
Also, why does the site no longer have affiliates or partners?
http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://animeboards.com
I was doing some looking around. <<
The fossil record is concrete proof of the long-term degradation of this messageboard and the sheer refusal to change the layout of the boards to any significant degree. A one-track strategy. Simply staggering.

And Jura, before you get totally bored out of your skull and leave this place for good (like all new members over the last 2 yrs - and who can blame them), I invite you to take part in an amazing questionnaire:

http://www.animeboards.com/showthread.php?t=62960
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Old 28-11-2008, 05:45 AM   #14   [permalink]
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Look on the bright side Jura. AB used to have cliques. Now we're ALL the in-crowd. Cool huh?
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:03 PM   #15   [permalink]
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Eva2000, why don't you just turn your codes over the Johnny, he seems to have the will and way to improve AnimeBoards.com while you just sit around with your hookers and blow.
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