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MOD future FanForce board structure

Discussion in 'FanForce' started by Obi Anne, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Taeriel Jedi Knight

    Speaking for myself, I have to say that I don't like the idea of merging. This isn't to say anything against the points made above in favor of the change. However, personally speaking, I far prefer having the separate structure. I understand the idea and functionality of the tags, but to me it just wouldn't feel the same as having the separate forum. The RMFF boards have been like a second home to me for 10 years now. Most of my best friends are there. I look back through the pages of posts (or could when the boards were up!) and see our lives playing out in reverse. I think that sense of home, and of individuality, would be lost if we merged. Or to put it another way... it feels like someone saying "hey, we're going to merge your house together with the houses of 10 neighbors around you. It will be bigger, with more going on, and you'll have more interaction with people you might not see as often otherwise". Well, ok, except... it wouldn't be my/your house anymore. It would be a large homogenized building. To me it's more than just a question of which link to choose or clicking a tag, or whatever. There is something intangible beyond that, and I don't want to lose what we had.
    DieWompRatDie likes this.
  2. Jedi Trace SouthEast RSA

    I am absolutely in favor of having Regional forums with tags for each chapter. I think it will work very well in our area and help improve communication/interaction/event planning, etc.

    You could still have all your same discussions and each thread would have the Nashville tag on it.

    The new perk would be that you could also see what was going on in the cities around you without having to click on separate boards, most of which had locked discussion threads anyway - at least in the SouthEast.

    Someone please correct me if I'm misunderstanding, but - just for example - the SouthEast Regional Forum would look like this:

    (Chapter Tag) Thread title line


    (Nashville) Predators game night
    (Memphis) Mid South Con planning
    (Nashville) Who's going to Celebration VI?
    (Charlotte) ConCarolinas volunteer sign-up


    AND if you only wanted to see the threads pertaining to your particular chapter, you would click that tag and the board would display just the threads for your chapter. (We can do this now by clicking on the Regional tags at the top of this board.)

    Is that correct, Admins?
  3. Obi Anne Reg: Nov 98 manager

    Yes, that is correct.
  4. Jedi Dajuan Administerer: Protector of the Triforce

    It would look just like it does here but with chapters instead of regions.

    IMO there are a few chapters which were busy enough before the move to qualify for their own forum from the start. Unfortunately I don't have access to look at the old forums to explicitly state who is in that category.
  5. Jaden Jedi Knight

    Ok, I get it now. I think I might like it. I will have to see it in order to judge it properly. Thanks Trace for explaining it a little more clearly to me. :)
  6. mackpol Jedi Knight

    Ok, adding my grain of salt into the mix. I am a member of FanForce France

    We are talking about FanForce in General and not just Europe or even just France in particular, (it just seems that way 'cause quite a few French members have expressed their opinion), but it should be noted that Europe is a bit of a specific case due to the multilingual aspect, as of course I'm sure you all understand. This could also be the case with an Asian board (is there one?) and I have seen the mention of the Latin American boards.

    I can understand where you are going with this idea of a merged board, and I share the opinion of my fellow French members in the worry that finding the French topics in the middle of all the other languages will be a bit daunting. I didn't understand that we could click on the tags to filter them either at first, and what really doesn't help at the moment is that there isn't a "France" tag, so all Europe is grouped into one and we have no example of how things will be if there is a "France" tag, will a newbie be able to work out that clicking on a tag will filter the topics?

    It is true that I was rather attached to my bookmark, when I clicked on it, I arrived directly on the France general board, and could see at first glance all the threads and see what was going on. We had a few newbies and people from other countries stopping by from time to time. And especially recently as Nwalmé has said, we had a place where all of us could talk to one of our members who was very ill for a few months and has recently passed away.

    In the short time that we have been using this temporary board, the French topic (only one *edit 2 sorry about that* as this is temporary and we are waiting to continue our conversations in our old threads and the threads will be lost in the current "Europe" tag) hasn't been visited by anyone outside of FanForce France, *which could be because they are in French* and I can see that the usual people from our side have been visiting the community boards.

    My thinking is that, yes, if there is a tag by European country (Germany, Sweden, UK etc.), we will be able to completely ignore the threads from all other sources just by clicking on our tag if we want to. And indeed if you really think about it, this won't really change how we interacted on the old board, most people are just going to click on their tag and solely concentrate on the threads that concern their country, which works just fine for me actually.

    So while I am very much in favour of keeping our little French corner, if there is a merger with a tag for each European country, I'll live with it. If however all the European countries are grouped under one "Europe" tag, I will be very unhappy and probably won't be posting much here.
  7. Lordban Jedi Knight

    I'm curious as to whether someone has tried to count interventions from members of other FanForce communities outside of their own community threads on this board.
  8. BPStoyle Jedi Master

    We could always just make everyone learn Mandalorian and make that the only language for the boards. :p

    Fictional languages: the great equalizer!
  9. Miana Kenobi Pretty Pony Princess FanForce Admin

    This is the plan if we do decide to merge (or even test out the merger). Right now while we are on the temp board, there is the Europe tag. However, once we get back onto the regular board, Europe will be its own section, and the tags will be for France, Germany, Sweden, etc etc.

    I do understand your concern about newbies (and truthfully, oldbies as well) not knowing that you can filter the tags, but we can always put this in a General Information sticky at the top of the forum. :)
  10. Valiowk Jedi Master

    I'm somewhat divided about the tags. On one hand, I understand the viewpoint of those who would like the forums to be merged so that they get to see threads from different areas which might also interest them (this is exactly why I've been arguing in favour of merger and tags in Community and FanFiction). On the other hand, I understand the concerns of those who feel that privacy and a "small community" feeling is important.

    Personally, I don't think people not knowing that one can filter by tags is such a concern (as Miana has mentioned, a big sticky at the top of the forum would probably solve the problem). What I'm more concerned about is whether having all threads together might create new problems such as users thinking twice about creating certain threads because the threads might take up valuable space on the main page/seem inappropriate for a merged forum (as opposed to a small community forum)/seem repetitive. On the opposite end, might users who wanted to see all threads suddenly find themselves confronted with various "personal" threads that they have absolutely no interest in? These are problems that haven't occurred on the temporary forums but which I foresee could arise when we get the boards back, and I wonder what others think about it.
  11. Rox Jedi Master

    I think merging is a terrible idea for chapters that are active. If they are not an official, active chapter then yes the merging makes sense. I know traffic here has slowed to a standstill in some forums but you still have to have separation for the individual chapters. Cities like Denver would never succeed with a merged system. That's not entirely true they would still be successful but I bet a lot of people would just make their own board on their chapter website or just make a Facebook group(which Denver does have) and leave this place for basically just event postings. I know a lot of the administration is in love with the new tagging feature but this is way over doing it. If they are an official chapter they should have their own forum plain and simple, they've earned the "privacy" so to speak. The ability to form their own community. I know I haven't been a member of an active chapter since I moved away from Pittsburgh 5 years ago but I hope you don't mind me throwing in my 2 cents.
  12. Miana Kenobi Pretty Pony Princess FanForce Admin

    But again, our super-active chapters can still have their own forum. It wouldn't be a one way or the other kind of thing, and we're mostly just seeing if some regions would be willing to experiment. :)
    Jedi Dajuan likes this.
  13. Grimby JC Head Admin & Southwest US RSA

    After reading through this thread and taking every opinion into account, I'd like to share my own thoughts on the subject of restructuring. Keep in mind that in the world of FanForce, I am not an admin/GSA, but merely the RSA for the Southwest US.

    First of all, this new forum software is a thousand times better than anything FanForce has ever had in the past. We can do things here that were never possible for us before. One is the very awesome thread prefix feature that will allow us to merge forums that would otherwise need to be separated merely to keep threads from getting mixed up. Another is the concept of sub-forums. Instead of listing all forums under a single category, we can go even deeper and take a forum like, say, Buffalo NY and make it a subforum of the NorthEast region.

    All of these technical tools are awesome, but if we don't use them to cater to what the users want, we're no better off than we were 13 years ago back on the FanForce.net UBB boards. That's why I believe merging should be left up to the individual regions. If Australia/Oceania feel like merging their individual chapters makes things easier for them, then they should definitely do it. If Europe wants to merge everyone except for France and one or two others, that's great too. I think those chapters should be a subforum inside the main European Region board. And as @Taeriel, @Rox, and others posted, the US Southwest region should most likely be merged, save for a subforum for Denver/RMFF.

    At the same time, I support the idea that chapters who have individual forums should maintain their own thread in the main regional/general discussion forum. This keeps the chapter active in the main discussion area, while also acting as a way to recruit new members who might not have found their subforum.

    I feel that chapters wanting to remain separate should not be looked down upon, or looked at as "seperatists" of some kind (not that I feel they are, mind you). Even though we are all considered one global group under the FanForce name, I think we can all agree that each chapter tends to operate a little differently.

    Over the years, I have personally attended FanForce meetings and events in many different cities across the US and met members of many different FanForce chapters. And while what each chapter stands for is usually the same, the way they are structured and how they operate is always a little different. Some chapters are very small and frequently do events with other nearby FanForce chapters or fan groups. Some chapters are quite large and tend to be involved in many different events going on throughout their city or region.

    @BPStoyle makes a very good point in that some of the more active chapters 1) Need their own space because they have multiple active threads that would otherwise drown out the rest of the first page on a merged board, and 2) the local aspect makes individualized chapter forums more appealing to new people looking for a Star Wars group in their local area. To be quite honest, the main reason I started posting on the FanForce boards 13 years ago was because they had a board just for my specific city. The concept of finding other people who live near me that love Star Wars as much as I do was very appealing, and the reason I am still a part of FanForce today.

    So, in summary:
    • I believe merging is a good idea in general for smaller chapters, or for regions where the chapters communicate frequently with each other.
    • Larger or more active chapters should not be discouraged for wanting their own board.
    • Chapters with their own board should maintain a thread in their main region
    There are many differing opinions on these issues so far, but I think the biggest thing we all need to keep in mind is that FanForce operates a little differently in each region, and what works for one region won't necessarily work for everyone else. Similarly, new users aren't necessarily all the same either. While it's true that some might find it easier to find a smaller chapter first and then branch out to the larger forums, some users might be exactly the opposite - opting to start in a larger, more active general discussion forum before venturing into a smaller, more tight-knit community.
  14. Addie Retiring RSA 5 days to go!

    As only around 5 or 6 Oceania members have bothered to register here, most of this will not be known to them, and therefore they wont have an opinion till its a bit late. I worry they will be 'upset' for not being consulted. I can contact alot of the SAFFers via Face Book, which I will be doing right now. Whilst I do think that merging the Fan Forces into one forum with tags is a good idea, and will encourage interaction, I am concerned that one particular Fan Force will not be happy. I refer to New Zealand and think that maybe keeping New Zealand separate would be a good idea. As and Aussie I have noticed in my time that the Kiwis do NOT like being lumped into the same category at Australia, just because they are nearby and down here with us. I actually appreciate that so whilst I am happy to merge all the 'Aussie' fan forces into one forum, I'd like to keep New Zealand separate to retain their individuality as a country. ;)
  15. Miana Kenobi Pretty Pony Princess FanForce Admin

    But again, no decision is being made immediately because a good chunk of people are not on the temp boards. Right now we're just testing it out/putting out feelers.

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