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. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Okay, listen. I said "gives the impression", not that they don't care enough, so don't put words in my mouth. I'll point something like that out to people because it gets through to them and makes them realize "Oh, geeze, I better post some information here that way it will make me look more professional".
  2. YodaJeff Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2001
    star 7
    Yes, you said "gives the impression", and I said, "you think". I didn't put any words in your mouth.

    Again, my issue isn't that you pointed out, it was the manner in which you pointed it out. There's a difference between kindly pointing something out, and practically yelling at someone for making a common mistake. I'll let you figure out which one of those two options looks "more professional".
  3. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Would you rather me fluff it up by saying "Oh, I love your design even though it's done with HTML on Angelfire and your forums are made from ProBoards, yet I think you need to tell us more. Oh, but the banner on the top....just lovely, even though it was done in Microsoft Paint!" (note, I have never seen a banner done in MS Paint, so that was purely an example)

    I will tell you that when people only pointed out the good things and then threw in that "Oh, you need to show more of..." I didn't pay much attention to that, as I felt my ego being boosted due to praise from people that don't really know how to give critiscm.

    But, alas, I see where you are coming from, and I guess I'll be more...liberal (probably not the best word) when I post.
  4. DVeditor Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2001
    star 6
    Okay, I've been thinking about this one for a while now and I think this is a good time to address the issues that have been brought up so far. Sorry I wasn't able to comment sooner but my internet connection has (ironically) been horrid lately and I can barely do anything online right now.

    Jeff, I think you're spot on about the impression that some of the users probably get based on the first few replies to their threads. In any online environment like this it's hard to judge what people mean unless explicitly stated in their posts. So I think everyone (myself included) needs to make a positive effort to give good solid feedback that will help make people feel welcome and try to help them at the same time.

    bac - I told you the other day that I thought the guide to better posting was a good idea. I still think that it'll be good to have something that new people can look over to get an idea on what not to do, but I think it should be called something like a better guide to promoting instead of posting. The only thing that is concrete as far as posting habits go on these forums are the rules and guidelines that are set in stone across the board. Technically speaking, if a user posts a certain way it's not anyone's place to step in the way unless it goes against the rules. However, I do see
    the possible benefits of a simple "hey here's what has worked for other people in the past" note that could help them get started on the right foot.

    Also, I want to try and make sure people know that this forum is so much more than just a promotional hangout - the new and improved resources thread is a great start in that direction and if anyone has ideas on how we can make this a more helpful environment please let me know.

    I also wanted to say that I appreciate those who do post here right now being willing to talk this stuff out. I think it's important to welcome people and offer them constructive feedback on their sites. I think we need to make sure they understand the rules at the same time, but not try to make it seem as though they need our approval either. ;) I'm not pointing fingers or anything here, just being honest. This forum has been slow for a looooong time now and I want
    to try and pull out all the skeletons (so to speak) so we can have more people posting here. It'll take time, but this sort of discussion is what needs to happen to make those changes. I'm perfectly willing to try new things and think about the current standards to try and make this a better place to visit, and that's why I appreciate the input and feedback on just about anything related to this forum. Doesn't always mean a change will be made, but those that are active here are the first people I'll refer to for any and all suggestions.

    Feel free to voice your thoughts and such - let's get this figured out and make this a more inviting place for new members. :)
  5. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    If you have a suggestions thread, shouldn't it be unlocked in order to post. :p

    Anyway, I have a suggestion. I PMed it to DVeditor, but figured I'd post it here as well to see if other users like it.

    My idea is a poll. Here it is:

    Which type of bulletin board (message board) system is your favorite?

    phpBB
    Invision Power Board
    Invisionfree
    Zetaboards
    vBulletin
    Other (Hailboards, any other variants)

    Those were the major ones I could think of. If anyone else has any more, please feel free to post them here.

    Perhaps we could have a series of polls here, asking "What do you know?" as in HTML, PHP, MySQL, All of the above, etc. Or maybe, "Which Webhost do you prefer?" something like that. Those could not only bring in activity, but at the same time, help users decide certain things, you know?
  6. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    Sorry to double post, but I just got another good idea. It involves theforce.net. I would like to PM this to DVeditor, but you haven't been on lately, so just let me know when you are back and I will PM this idea to you. :)

    I was wondering if there was a way that we could integrate the Fan Sites forum with the Fan Film forums. Not combine them or anything, but build a strong relationship with the forum, similar to what the EUC and the RPF have, perhaps even a more tightly held bond. I mean, many of the Fan Film goers who make movies most likely have a fan site of some sorts to host their film, so why not collaborate with the forum?
  7. NarCranor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2005
    star 2
    I think the one thing this forum needs most is an index of sites. Granted, assembling something like that is a monster task, but I think some kind of index, basically a categorized list, maybe with a star-rating system applied, would really help organize this section of the community. Fan sites typically break down into one of the following categories:

    Star Wars Media Site (your general angelfire site with some pictures, sounds and video accompanied by some text that says "i love star wars")

    Forum Site (the most popular, the entire site consists basically of a forum, where star wars fans can get together and chat)

    RP Site (typically also a forum site, but the focus of the site is on either chat-based or forum-based Role Playing.)

    Star Wars Character/Object-focused Site (Your padme fan site, or maybe a vader fan site, etc)

    Star Wars Resource Site (bob vitas encyclopedia, the technical commentaries, wookieepedia, nav-computer.com, etc)

    Fan-Film (sites that are the homes for fan films)

    Fan-Fiction (sites that host fan fiction)

    Fan-Art/Comics (sites that host fan art and comic books)

    Fan-figures (sites focused on showing off or teaching people how to create fan figures)

    Fan-Costuming (sites focused on showing off or teaching people how to create costumes and props)

    Star Wars News (sites that are focused on reporting the goings-on, such as TFN, rebelscum, etc

    And that is about it. I think the best way to approach it is to get an article on TFN, calling all webmasters interested in being listed in the index to email you, this way you don't have to endlessly search the internet. Then for each website, you categorize it, judge it by criteria specific to that category, assign it a star rating, and give it a little summary/review and add it to the directory. Make it a sticky, and bam, you have a much more organized community.

    Obviously this is a lot of work, but I am sure there are people willing to assist, itd just be a matter of setting the judging/reviewing guidelines strictly so the rating is fairly the same across the board.


    The other thing I think we need to see more of, and see stickied, are tutorial type posts. How do you decide what kind of fan site to make, how do you actually go about making it, and then how do you promote it once it is made. These types of threads should get stickies as well. I know I went off on a rant a few months ago about how I think people should go about making fan sites after seeing one too many posts for "my new forum site!" I wish that would have gotten stickied.

    But yeah, I see the forum's purpose as a dual one. 1.) it should be a place for people who run websites to come together and discuss issues that affect websites, be it coding, traffic, etc, and help them overcome those issues. 2.) it should be a place where people wanting to visit fan sites can go and find them quickly and easily.

    Anyway, I would be more than willing to help on the tutorial side, but on the reviewing side, I am a caustically harsh critic, so I am not sure if you would want me doing any of that lol. I'd definitely be the simon of the judging group. Hrm, though that might be very cool, to have three judges judge each site and do their one little paragraph and star rating, and take the average of the 3 for the actual rating. More work, but I think it'd be a cooler thing in the end. The current index is just pretty random and lack-luster. We need some kind of better categorized and accessible listing.

    Anyway, this rant has gone on long enough. Let me know via email narcranr @ aol.com or here on the forum or PM, whatever works.
  8. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    We do have an index (Right here), but what I think you are proposing is a bit different, and probably a better one (no offense to Sara Kenobi, of course ;)). And the way you categorize all the types of fan sites are true...very true. I think a mention on TF.n would be fantastic, and would be very helpful. Though, emailing would probably not be the best way to do so. I would think that simply posting them here and then having them be added to the index that way would be best for a couple of reasons: 1.) easier for the index manager to spot rather than having to check through emails - it saves a step. 2.) It could bring more activity into this forum, which is greatly needed.

    I had in mind a good review process that I was going to PM to DV when he found more time, in which I would simply write reviews about the boards, and rate it out of 10, similar to your idea for the star rating. You say you would be too harsh, but I think that is a good thing, as long as you do not become too offensive. A lot of time, criticism is what is needed, and can only help, as long as it is not taken badly.

    Tutorial type posts would be great and very helpful. Perhaps we could collaborate on a few? [face_thinking] I was thinking that a new index could be made, like the one you suggest. However, the first post would not house the threads themselves, but the resource threads within this forum like the tutorials, the Web resource, and several other threads that I had found in my search through the Fan Sites history (over the last week, I looked through all the pages of fan sites and found a bunch of helpful threads that should be either re-opened or re-created).
  9. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    NarCranor, I've actually been working on that exact thing. I've been doing it for a few weeks and I hope to have it done soon. It's just taking awhile because I'm literally indexing everything that was ever posted in this forum. Look for it within the next few weeks. :)
  10. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    Hey Bac, what sort of thing are you working on exactly? Because I had an idea in mind and I don't want to do it if you are doing the same thing. Perhaps I could help you out with it...? :)

    Like, are you going through the entire Fan Sites forum and indexing everything? If so, I am not sure that is needed as many of these topics are old, locked and the Sites that they link to are no longer up.
  11. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Well, obviously I'm not going to index ones that are dead links, but if the links are still active then I'm going to document them. They all deserve to be seen, in my opinion. As for what I'm doing, it's collecting all of those links and then indexing them basically in the way that Nar suggested earlier. He was right on the money there.
  12. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    May I make a suggestion? I do not like the way that the index is now, with the seperate posts and what not. I think it'd be fine if you were to post seperate categories into separate posts, but keep the majority into a single post like how many of the other indexes are on this site.
  13. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Yeah, I plan to make it as simple and as easy to navigate as possible.
  14. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    That's cool. What I had in mind was making it two posts. First post would be links to helpful threads around the board here, like the webmaster resource, the new threads that have been made recently, and some other ones that I had in mind. Then the second post would be the index of threads that had links to their Fan Sites in them. I figured that would be best for the purpose of this forum.
  15. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Actually, that's probably the best way. Very good idea! :)
  16. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    Yeah...I have found several helpful threads from way back when that I think we could put in the helpful links section.
  17. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    Fan Sites Creation Challenge

    Sorry to Double Post again, but I have a great idea. What if we were to create a Fan Sites Challenge in which 3-6 members (if there are that many :p) create a forum from scratch and then get judged by a panel of judges consisting of the moderator and other web site savvy individuals? The winner could get VIP for a while.

    I thought this would be a great idea, one that will promote interaction between the members of the community, also this could be announced and advertised in the Mod Squad and Around the Board Updates, as well as possibly being announced on theforce.net. Also, this could spark some great ideas for a fan site. If a competition like this is made and promoted throughout the boards, that site could get pretty popular.

    I already have a rough draft of rules and guidelines that I think could work - it will probably need to be modified in order to be accepted by the Mod Squad I assume but I think it is a pretty good foundation for what could become a great competition.
  18. TaunTaunHerder Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2007
    star 3


    How about a How To forum on making helmets and masks?




  19. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    While that sounds like an interesting idea for a fan website, this thread is for ideas about this board. :p
  20. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    jedimasterbac: How is that index coming along? :)
  21. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Slower than I had hoped, but it's coming.
  22. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    Might I suggest a new suggestion thread? This one is old, and cluttered with an argument in between a mod and a former mod.
  23. kuatengineer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2008
    star 2
    I would make a couple of minor suggestions here, and they kind of build on things that have already been said.

    First, more of a collaboration with other forums. Maybe get a thread going and bump it from time-to-time for people who would like a site, but haven't got a real clue as to how to get started. The fan film forum has been mentioned on here, and I think that's a good example. Most of the folks are really film-makers, and a site could really help them, but they just aren't web site people at heart.

    Second, the thing that really strikes me as a difference over here compared to other forums is collaboration. There is a lot of great feedback, but not as many projects where the people on this forum collaborate together. I can see in this thread where an index is being built, and another memeber offered to help. That is exactly the kind of thing I would see done as a collaboration in another forum. "you take the fan films section, you take fan stories, you take fan comics, etc...."

    Put the first point and the second together, and I think things could pick up alot.
  24. kuatengineer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2008
    star 2
    Sorry for the extra post, but I just thought of two more things:

    Role call thread. Get an idea for who all is actually coming to this forum, and why they're here. Simply what their area of interest is, and URL to their site (if they aren't regular posters).

    Come up with a network logo. That logo (and a link back here) would/could be displayed on people's sites. "Proud member of the Star Wars Fan Sites Network", and the logo. Something like that. That would encourage more people to feel like they're part of one thing. Right now, IMO, there are a lot of good web-site makers here, but their real interests are basically different.
  25. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    Yeah, collaboration is needed. Collaboration with other forums (which I have wanted for a while - I never got why fan films and sites do not have a closer bond) and collaboration with the forum regulars would be nice.

    You brought up something that reminded me of something I saw a while back. I will have to do some digging if I want to find it, but I do remember the general gist of it. I believe it was a mini-index thread in which people submitted their sites. In order to get in the index, the people had to link to the index thread on their site. That way, it would bring some traffic within this forum as well as put other people sites out there. I think that could be used with the index that bac is creating.
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