Have suggestions and/or ideas for the Fan Sites forum? Post them here!

Discussion in 'Fan Sites' started by DVeditor, Dec 20, 2005.

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  1. DVeditor Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2001
    star 6
    Let's see how this goes - I'm open to suggestions and such for this place and would love to hear what people think would add to this forum. All I ask is that you think things through before posting and explain things in detail when you do. :) Other than that I plan to use this as sort of a "catch all" thread for whatever you think may help us out here. Keep in mind that not every idea posted here will become an instant part of the system, but I will take things posted here into great consideration for modifications to this place.

    Feel free to drop any ideas in here - I look forward to hearing them!

    BAC EDIT: Locked and unstickied to make room for updated suggestion thread.
  2. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Yes! I have been waiting for a thread like this. Here we go....

    ------------Sites that are Posted------------

    All we do now on Fan Sites is review other websites. I feel that this is one of the things that detracts posters from the board. One of the main reasons that reviewing other sites is detracting is because the majority of them are Star Wars RP sites that consist mainly of:

    - General OOC Chat
    - General Star Wars Board
    - The Original Trilogy
    - The Prequel Trilogy
    - The Factions
    - The Sith
    - The Jedi

    Honestly, no one wants to go to those sites anymore. They are all the same cliché Star Wars RP Sites. There are plenty of more respectable ones out there. I don't want to sound biassed, but I am going to use TheStarWarsRP.Com as an example. It's said by many to be the most succesful stand-alone Star Wars RP site. Why?

    1. It is one of the older ones
    2. More members
    3. A well thought out story
    4. Many other factions including:

    a. The Jedi Order
    b. The Mandalorians
    c. The Bounty Hunters
    d. The Bendu Knights of the Ashla
    e. The Dark Jedi
    f. The Shadourian Order
    *D and F were created on the site*

    5. Other, interesting places to RP including:

    a. The Galactic Casino
    b. The Outlander Club, Coruscant
    c. Bar-Bar Drinks, Naboo
    d. Mos Eisley Cantina, Tatooine
    e. Upper City Cantina, Taris

    6. A new storyline in the works that is set to bring the Sith back from their extinction and take the first steps towards The Sith Rule of Two, as we know that Darth Bane stated he got the idea from a previous Sith Lord. This story takes place roughly 125 years after Knights of the Old Republic.

    The stuff that is going on at ?The Star Wars RP? now is really awesome, and if more RP forums were like this then it would help draw more attention to ?Fan Sites?.

    ------------A New Banner------------

    One thing that people complain about is that ?Fan Sites? does not have its own banner. It would be nice to have a banner made that takes really cool parts of the really good sites. Like, how ?Fan Films? has screen caps from films we would have pictures from some of the best sites out there such as TheForce.Net, StarWars.Com, Nightly.Net and many others.. These are some really cool sites and their layouts could be put together to make a really nice banner. I assure you that I am not the only one that is getting tired of seeing a Return of the Jedi Emperor Palpatine head staring at Darth Vader from The Empire Strikes Back.

    ------------Other Ways to Draw Attention------------

    Along with a banner, we need to do more than just review cliché Star Wars RP sites and such. We need much, much more such as a new social thread, Fan Site of the Week discussion threads, and contests. These kind of threads can enhance the posting experience to where you don?t just post once per thread saying, ?Cool site, dude?. That doesn?t help the site creator. They need real, and sometimes even harsh, criticism if they want to have a really good Fan Site.

    Now, one way to bring people to ?Fan Sites? is to let people know that it exists. ?Fan Films? has a section on the front-page of TheForce.Net that gives news on films and such. Perhaps ?Fan Sites? can have one as well? It can show the newest and nicest sites and post news about the bigger and better sites: where they are going and what is happening within them. Along with showing the bigger and better, we could show the smaller and newer ones that have great potential.

    ------------Contest Idea------------

    Another idea would be to have some sort of contest every so often. It could be for best site or something. The winner of the contest could receive VIPship for a week with his/her title being ?Best Fan Site Owner? and, if s/he so chooses, they can have their site updated by site designers or have a new page on their site created by site designers. I mean, nice looking sites is what people need to see. What detracts people is seeing those cliché Star Wars sites in threads called ?My Star Wars RP?, ?JOIN MY SITE? and/or ?
  3. Sara_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2000
    star 7
    Some Simple Suggestions

    -Perhaps a Forum Index? Which could host threads that are updated often about users respective Fan Sites. It wouldn't have to be stickied. Fan Fiction has several Index Keeper's that which host story threads. It proves very useful in promoting their threads. I'd love to start this if you're interested in this idea. Threads that are missed, the author of the thread could send a PM to the Index Keeper to have their link included and perhaps a brief summary about their site. I've always felt that a Forum Index would be an excellent addition to this forum.

    - Site of the Month - Perhaps yourself could choose a site (only once a month or so) which would stand out and look the most organized and would have obvious strong effort put toward it. It could be set-up like a contest. Those that wish to enter their site could register in a thread that which you could post? Those posted is which you could choose the site that would win. Perhaps even a prize could be offered to the winner. A title which could explain what they've won perhaps? Such a contest (all though simple) might promote the forum in a good fashion and encourage people to post their site in this forum. The contest could also be perhaps promoted in the Mod Squad Updates should it ever be chosen to be applied.

    - New (Forum Discussion) Social Thread - Perhaps a thread could be created where user's could come together and discuss Fan Site's and their own creations. A place where we could all turn to each other for advice on better promotions of site's and anything else that could be applied to the subject.


    I'll post more ideas if I think of anymore. Good luck with this. :)

  4. DVeditor Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2001
    star 6
    Excellent suggestions from both of you - once the holiday bustle is over I hope to look into several of these ideas. :D

    Thanks for the input thus far!
  5. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    You know me...;)
  6. Sara_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2000
    star 7
    Thank you. I'm looking forward to seeing them. :)
  7. Bacon164 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2005
    star 7
    I would post a suggestion, but they've all been posted. Hope many are used!
  8. DVeditor Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2001
    star 6
    Ok, here are a few quick thoughts I've had on the ideas presented so far:


    Banners
    I am going to post something about this in MS this week sometime. My idea right now is to have an open-call thread where people can submit banners as they create them instead of being locked into a time constraint. This will allow for more banner options over time and gives people the chance to critique each others work before being locked into the changes.

    JMB's Directory Idea
    He and I have spoken about this in the past, and I think it's a solid idea. What I'd like to see specifically addressed in this thread (if possible) would be more of a simple outline for the list of threads to start and focus mainly on the "guide" to announcing your site. What I think would be awesome is if we could create a new-and-improved collection of webmaster resources like this thread. Seeing as how that one hasn't been updated since 2003 I would gladly encourage a new compilation of resources if you were willing.

    Sara's Forum Index Suggestion
    I'm very intrigued by this suggestion as well. I think that using this in conjunction with the directory above could have a great positive impact on the Fan Sites community as a whole. From my understanding this thread would be comprised mainly of basic summaries and such of sites listed in the forum, correct? Sara if you're willing to pursue something like that I'll gladly accommodate the idea. :)

    Site of the Month
    I like the concept behind this and would like to bring more contest-like things into play to get more people involved on a regular basis. I think it's safe to say there is a strong possibility for this sort of thing as we move forward.

    Social Thread
    This sounds like a good way to advance with a fresh look for the forum. Not sure about the timetable for this quite yet but it's always an option.


    If anyone has more ideas or would like to discuss anything related to ideas for this forum please feel free to bring them to the table! The more participation and interaction we have the better. :D
  9. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    My directory idea would contain a thread index and all, so I would be more than willing to work with Sara on it.
  10. DVeditor Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2001
    star 6
    My initial thought on the idea is to actually have two separate threads - one for the directory (sort of like the "everything" topic in Fan Films), and another for an index like they use in Fan Fiction where new sites can be added with small reviews/summaries to get people more involved. That way it's more interactive for everyone. Now I'm not against having an organised thread list in a directory, however my gut feeling says it would be best to run two threads by different users so that the information could be presented in the best possible way. I'm willing to sit and talk it out though (of course ;) ) so if both of you could let me know what you think we can discuss the options. :)
  11. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    I find that I agree with you, DV. It does make it so that the information is easier to find and more organized.
  12. Sara_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2000
    star 7
    Sara's Forum Index Suggestion
    I'm very intrigued by this suggestion as well. I think that using this in conjunction with the directory above could have a great positive impact on the Fan Sites community as a whole. From my understanding this thread would be comprised mainly of basic summaries and such of sites listed in the forum, correct? Sara if you're willing to pursue something like that I'll gladly accommodate the idea.


    I would very much like too. Thank you. I'm actually a former Index person for the Saga forum in Fan fiction and so I have a good idea of how I could piece it together. I'll draft up a first page soon and send it to you to take a look at. :)

    Edit: Page drafted and sent. :)

  13. DVeditor Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2001
    star 6
    Sounds good - I'll be checking on that here in a few minutes. :)

    JMB - I'm not opposed to an outline of sorts if you're interesting in including that in a directory, however the reason I think it would be best to keep it simple is because with two people running separate threads they can focus on more specific goals and keep things running at a more detailed level. (Woah - long sentence. :p)

    Like I said I'm just thinking out loud here and am willing to discuss any and all ideas for this place. I do like what I'm seeing so far though and look forward to working on all this. :D
  14. Sara_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2000
    star 7
    Adopt a Site Suggestion?



    Just a quick thought and suggestion... I thought I should write it out now though before I forget anything. :p

    How about an adopt a site program thread? It could be set-up something like the Welcome Forum thread. But a user that owns their own message board or something to that, would post to the thread, and then request it be put up for adoption to one person that likes the site and then agree's to the the adopter.

    The adopter in this case would register to their site as a member. In turn the adopted site owner could register to the other person's site. They'd each try to be an active member at each other's site. It would have to be mostly an agreement between the adopter and adopted to work. The pairing's could go on for about a month if they wished.

    If anything it would be yet another way to get your site promoted here and noticed. In the JC thread here could include the names of the people paired up together with links and names listed back to each pair's site.


    Sara



  15. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    I rather like that idea, Sara.
  16. Sara_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2000
    star 7
    If applied, it would just need some adjustments to fit Fan Sites, I believe.
  17. DVeditor Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2001
    star 6
    I'm not opposed to that suggestion - sounds like a pretty good way to get some visitors. :) Right now I'm trying to use a lot of these ideas as they are presented to help this place grow gradually. If anyone is interested in fleshing out some of the details for an "adoption" program we may be able to give it a shot. Worst thing that can happen is have too few people to participate so I don't see the harm in giving it a go. :D

    Thanks for the suggestions!
  18. Sara_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2000
    star 7
    Thanks, DV. Over the next day I'll get it set-up. :)
  19. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Let me know if you need any help with it, Sara.
  20. emimar Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2003
    star 3
    I was just about to suggest the contest idea, but it seems you beat me to it! Perhaps you could do one with a range of categories, for example, best design, most original site, best RPG site, best fan fiction site etc. like they do over in the fan fiction forums with the story categories)

    I kind of like the adopt a site idea, as well. My site runs an affilliates and link exchange program, where you link to sites that you like, or where the owner of a site has done a favour for me by helping out with graphics etc.

    My forum is hosted at Jedi Girl, which links a range of sites together that otherwise I would never have visited or even known about, as they each have a forum hosted with them. I have thought about doing something similar like this myself for just fan fiction sites, but at the moment, I don't want to leave Jedi Girl, as I've put a lot into my forum there. (the thing is, I would like to attract a wider range of users who have an interest in Star Wars, instead of just a bunch of Obi-Wan/Ewan McGreger fans! I have nothing against them, but it would be nice to have some visitors who were more on my wavelength.)
  21. YodaJeff Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2001
    star 7
    Honestly, I'd like to see less sugarcoating, and more actual (constructive) criticism. If someone's site needs work, say that. Sure, it's nice to point out something good or encourage someone, but it doesn't help anyone if the only comments received are "looks interesting!" or "I like it". Every single website could use some sort of improvement. Even if it is just something small, there's no harm in suggesting it. People who post links to their websites here should realize that they will be getting honest feedback, and should be able to handle any critical comments.

    I obviously don't mean comments like "this page sucks", or "why are you even trying?", but simple things such as "the text is hard to read - try using a darker color" or "the banner doesn't flow well, there are rough edges between Anakin and Luke", etc.

    This forum should exist to help people make better websites, not soley to inflate their egos or make them feel good about themselves. If they want people to just say "nice site, I like it!", they can show it to family members. If they want helpful comments, they can post a link to their site here. Saying "nice site" doesn't help anyone. Saying "I like the content and idea, but the style needs some work, as the colors are hard on my eyes" is infinitely more helpful.
  22. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    I agree. If a site sucks and all you say is "I really like your banner. Nice work on that!" then the site will continue to suck. Now, I'm not proposing that you say "Your site sucks. You're a failure", but what Jeff and I are trying to say is that you need to give them real criticsm, not "soley to inflate their egos or make them feel good about themselves. If they want people to just say "nice site, I like it!", they can show it to family members."
  23. YodaJeff Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2001
    star 7
    The purpose of this forum should be to get comments about how to make a website better, not to simply advertise the site and hope for more visitors. I'm wondering if that purpose has been lost somewhere along the way, possibly when the rules were changed so that individual site promotion threads were allowed.

    Criticism is necessary, but it should be constructive criticism. That means, that even though there might not be a great description of the site in the opening post, you should still visit the site and leave feedback, and you can mention in the feedback that a specific description on what is found at the website could help drive more visitors to the site. There is no need to rudely chastise the author of the thread for making such a common mistake.
  24. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Yet, if someone cannot properly give information about their site, it gives the impression that they do not care enough about it to properly tell us about it. Besides, I've already PMd DV about creating a Fan Sites Guide to Better Posting, so after that there is no excuse.
  25. YodaJeff Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2001
    star 7
    If you don't think someone cares enough, then don't bother commenting at all. There is some truth in the old "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" statement. When someone pretty much gets yelled at as the first reply to their first post in the forum, they aren't going to be very likely to stick around and become a productive member of this forum. It's more likely that they are going to think this forum is just full of rude and arrogant people who like to belittle others to make themselves (and their sites) seem better.

    There are only a handful of regular posters in this forum, and I have a feeling that part of that is because new members don't feel welcome. I can't blame them.

    Even a "Guide to Better Posting" won't necessarily help, since most people don't read those when they first visit a new forum. The easiest solution is to STOP BEING RUDE to new members - help them feel welcome by kindly giving them constructive comments and suggestions. I think it's extremely poor style to make new members read a thread on how to post to keep YOU happy. I think a better solution is for the regular users to be helpful to new members, kindly pointing out when they may not have given enough information in their opening post, or other innocent mistakes that people make. Nobody wants to post in a forum that is "ruled" by a few arrogant and rude posters who have the attitude that you need to do things how they want, or else you will get yelled at. Rather, people prefer an open community that is willing to help new members learn the ropes, even if there are common mistakes that are made. This forum isn't nearly as active as 3SA was, or as the JCC is. There is no excuse for treating new members so poorly, especially since there is, at most, one per day.
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