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 Post subject: Re: Improving the forum
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:13 am 
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Skoosh wrote:
You see that's the point, a short post needn't be a witty or less serious one, it's simply short and succinct, no less valid than a telegraph columnist's piece. If there's no place for such a post on a forum, then so be it but I personally think that would be to the detriment of the forum, especially one that is struggling. I think moderation would be needed to ensure that we don't get crap in the debate threads but from what I see on twitter from former A-Landers, their analysis whilst restricted to 140 characters is fairly relevant.


My problem with that though is if a short point is made that is made to a longer post and the poster of that short point is asked to elaborate on their point for the sake of the debate then can that really be done in short 140 word bursts? I suppose the only way to find out is to try but I'm not so sure in that sense. As I mentioned though, there are area's where Twitter could be a very useful utility, in the Match Threads during match day for example it is an ideal place for that.


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 Post subject: Re: Improving the forum
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:58 am 
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Echo what Matt said about Jules - much obliged :thumbup:

I'm sure a few years back there was something about Arsenal Land originally being a kind of magazine concept - actually, 'sure' is a terrible word as this was years ago when I was googling for fan forums to possibly join. I love talking about Arsenal but I also love reading about them, which for me personally is satiated more by the longer posts. Not that a shorter one is less valid, merely that I get more reader enjoyment out of something that takes me a while to get through.

There was once a huge article posted by, I think, Forever Red and I can't even remember what it was about, possibly the old back 4, but the intro was, 'Crack open a beer and enjoy' - which I did. I never used to get the link thing right so was told off for it, but being given these wonderful posts to read as opposed to trawling the net to find them myself was brilliant.

As for attracting new members, is there a non spamming/junk way of having either an A Land pop up on sites or less annoyingly, or putting the link on fellow forums. Magic Hat once had a post on the Gooner forum, so is it worth putting out feelers to them? Sorry if these are crap ideas, just trying to add something more than 'those were the days' stories :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Improving the forum
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:59 am 
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I can see both sides of the discussion regarding Twitter. On the one hand, it wouldn't hurt to keep the ODA-forum "distinguished" and keep the focus on a well structured, elaborated debate. Don't forget that this would also be one unique selling point the forum has towards Twitter. I also don't think that Twitter is the cure-all, the goal should not be to just have a forum where Tweets are posted. On the other hand, there's always the possibility to have an elaborated debate for those that are interested in that, shorter posts don't prevent that. Maybe they can be annoying in some contexts, but they could also provoke discussion and spark things up.

As I said, we could make an exception for ODA, or we could just open every forum for Twitter posts - and see how it works out. I have no opinion on that, but think we should keep in mind that one-liners and the integration of Twitter would not solve all problems - and probably not even the main problem: too few active members.

Tubzinho wrote:
Whilst we have discussed ways to bring back the old community, what can be done about new members? Is the whole Trialist thing still in place and should that be removed (in my opinion yes)? Also how can the forum profile be raised? With all the community that is on Twitter, is this just a place where former members reside or does this Twitter community also have people who are not part of the forum as well? Is blogging or something like that the way forward?

In my personal opinion bringing in new blood would be the most important and also the most difficult part of reviving the forum, so that's an important remark. I think the Trialist thing is still in place, and I agree that it should be removed for the case a new member signs up (which hasn't been the case in a long, long time anyway).

Cross-medium discussion where we posts links to certain threads on Twitter (Reddit?) would be an idea. There are lots of Gooners out there/on Twitter that are not yet on a forum. Q&As with someone like Goonerholic who could then link the thread on his blog would be another idea. We could also think about offering a Q&A-exchange to forums of rival clubs before we play them - someone from us answers their questions on their forum, someone from them answers our questions on here. That would get some attention from fans of other clubs. I don't know how other Arsenal forums would feel about us trying to lure their members away, to be honest. Any other ideas?

Oh, and thanks Matt and Emperor! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Improving the forum
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:23 am 
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Thanks Jules. That is a very good summary of things we can try.

I think the guys have come up with some excellent suggestions. I think Twitter is a big part of the problem. I watch games with my phone next to me and if I have comments they invariably end up there. To integrate a Twitter feed of all the AL members is an excellent idea. My timeline contains lots of non Arsenal tweets. During the match it would be nice to have a mechanism to follow only the AL tweets and to respond. I also like the idea of bringing back Post of the Week and Member Spotlight. I enjoyed both those threads and often got involved in discussions I had missed during the week due to other commitments.

Regarding moderation I have no problem with it. I joined this forum rather than one of the others because (mostly) the posters here play the ball and not the man. I don't mind a slightly more relaxed atmosphere to the structure of posts but I do feel that a basic standard should be encouraged.

I also feel that the main website has a big role to play in expanding our membership. There are many Gooners around the world who are looking for the right platform to communicate with other Gooners. Like me they use news aggregation sites and twitter to gather news, views and opinions. Punting the main site's articles and having regular content even if it is shorter than the normal articles is important to attracting people to the site. Perhaps the A-L twitter account could plug the articles and the rest of us could take it on ourselves to retweet the plug. Through the articles I am sure we will get more Gooners to visit the forum.

Perhaps we could even launch a podcast. :nana: The Bergkamp Wonderland podcast has been a roaring success.

That's all for now.


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 Post subject: Re: Improving the forum
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:04 am 
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How about an Arsenal-land banner at the Emirates?


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 Post subject: Re: Improving the forum
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:06 am 
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My pushing of the twitter concept isn't so much to do with post length but ease of posting - have a thought and post it - sometimes over several tweets - quickly and easily. I've gotten good at explaining myself succinctly both at work and on twitter.

I also don't see a problem with people asking for more detail or info as that sparks the debate rather than reading a massive post which clearly puts across every little nuance of argument. I remember lots of times sitting on the forum thinking that someone hadn't read my or someone else's post fully and was asking questions that were clearly in the op.

That gives no room for debate.


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 Post subject: Re: Improving the forum
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:47 pm 
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Alright, I have slightly updated the to do-list with the remarks of the latest posts:

Jules wrote:
Optimise the forum for mobile devices. This seems to be the most important aspect. It concerns quicker posting, for example getting rid of the "information" page after you posted, live updates/auto refresh of threads, maybe different skins/designs/setups of the site in general.
Avenell mentioned an App called Taptu, "Tapatalk" has been mentioned as well. Herbie provided these links:
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/01/24 ... rum-access
https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtop ... &t=2093668

Integrate Twitter. A Twitter feed of all forum members has been suggested. There could also be a code to post Tweets in a thread. Cross-medium discussions could be provoked using the AL Twitter-account - which, to be honest, would have to be made accessible to certain members/moderators who then use the account exclusively for Arsenal Land, rather than it being Darren's personal account. Maybe it's possible to have a button that lets you tweet something you just posted? There's disagreement over whether to keep Opinion, Debate and Analysis Twitter-free.

Introduce some new technical features. Like/dislike buttons have been mentioned several times, personally I don't like this feature at all, but there you go. Real time-notifications when someone replies to a thread or when someone quotes you would be another idea.

Bring back different content features. For example Member Spotlight, Post of the Week, Player vs Player, Man of the Match-polls, Goal of the Month, Caption Competition, Best Evers, score predictions... Any other suggestions on what to bring back? I think these features could well be combined with cross-medium discussions, we could tweet links to certain discussion threads or Caption Competitions, for example.

Stop over-moderating. Personally I think there's no moderation at all taking place right now, but for the future one could keep in mind to take a more relaxed approach regarding the content, so jokes, banter and stuff like that is encouraged. This includes nicknames for those who find them funny ("NB52", "Old Tossport"), but also less moderation regarding the format of posted news articles. We could also allow to post hyperlinks?

Enlarge the community. Prizes or goodies, paid by advertisements, could be handed out for post of the month, correct score predictions or whatever. Former members could be approached. We could do Q&As with big bloggers or people from podcasts. We could try to sneak the odd link in on Reddit. Another idea was to do Q&A-exchanges with forums of rival clubs before we play them. Regularly updating the main site was mentioned as well. Could the Google-ranking of the site be improved?


That's all we can do right now, collect and systematise the things that could/should be changed to make this place better. For the next steps, we would need a sign of life from Corny and/or Toby?


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 Post subject: Re: Improving the forum
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:25 pm 
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Hi Jules,

I have replied on this thread a couple of times.

I'm backed up with work coming out my ears, but have started a rebuild which is stalled until I can get some paid projects released.

Cheers
Toby


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 Post subject: Re: Improving the forum
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:38 am 
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Yeh what you have to remember is we're working with limited resources. Toby and Darren put a lot of effort into the site for no monetary return, so whilst a lot of these ideas are nice, the time and money they require has to be taken into consideration.


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 Post subject: Re: Improving the forum
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:49 pm 
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I thought I didn't have to make it clear that I never wanted to imply that either of you is lazy or just lacking desire to change things. Apparently, such a disclaimer is needed, so: I never wanted to imply that either of you is lazy or just lacking desire to change things. Believe me, I have invested enough time and effort in this forum besides my own busy life to know what you are talking about.

However, while everybody is busy with real life, this forum is going down the drains. I thought it would be helpful to collectively brainstorm about what this forum lacks and to come up with some positive ideas of how to change things. It could have been a starting point. Not everything has to be implemented overnight, not all of the stuff (former) members came up with costs money or takes a lot of time, some things just need a decision. Hell, just an acknowledgement of what worries those very few members that still visit this forum would have been nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Improving the forum
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:35 pm 
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Jules wrote:
I thought I didn't have to make it clear that I never wanted to imply that either of you is lazy or just lacking desire to change things. Apparently, such a disclaimer is needed, so: I never wanted to imply that either of you is lazy or just lacking desire to change things. Believe me, I have invested enough time and effort in this forum besides my own busy life to know what you are talking about.

However, while everybody is busy with real life, this forum is going down the drains. I thought it would be helpful to collectively brainstorm about what this forum lacks and to come up with some positive ideas of how to change things. It could have been a starting point. Not everything has to be implemented overnight, not all of the stuff (former) members came up with costs money or takes a lot of time, some things just need a decision. Hell, just an acknowledgement of what worries those very few members that still visit this forum would have been nice.


I don't think anyone's criticizing or rejecting the need for change Jules, and the brainstorming is a good start.

I think sometimes though people can underestimate the amount of effort that needs to go into making those changes, on the outside it can seem like all it needs is a click of a few buttons whereas realistically it's going to probably take a complete overhaul of the back-end of the site, the login system etc. etc.

However like you and others have said there are things that can be done in the mean time, posting more often and more fun topics like the caption competition etc. etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Improving the forum
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:38 am 
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Hi guys!!

Have been reading through this thread (including a post I made back in March which I've not really stuck to much...) and I have to say, again, that it's a good thing that these issues are all being brought to light and discussed. When I joined Arsenal-Land in 2007 it was a vibrant community here with a whole multitude of posters that not only made the place a laugh and fun to visit but also provided insightful posts and excellent debate about a much-loved subject. To see the sight in such bad shape is kinda heart-breaking, the site became a big part of my day-to-day and I'd like to think that I connected with a few characters on here that I've ended up getting to know and discovered some awesome people. And yet it's partially my own fault because it's the likes of me that are here now moaning about it and yet rarely post myself. I do think that there is something in the idea of trying to tempt those with accounts to start becoming active again but the key here will be to tempt new visitors to the site. Quite how that is done I've no idea but I'm guessing that shameless promotion of the site is an absolute must....people have to know that we exist and if we're very low in the old Google search rankings then that's not a good sign for a start. It can be a circular thing though - Without interesting content (not that I'm being critical of anyone who's active and posting here by the way) then new members won't stick around, and without fresh blood the lack of content isn't likely to improve.

I would definitely be in favour of eventually bringing back such things as POTW - I know when I first joined it did act as an incentive to post up and a sense of achievement to write something that other people appreciated, it also would be a way to end up reading a thread that you may have missed when you saw a nominated post and generally it was just a bit of fun and entertainment. And there were generally quite a few cracking posts to read too. Yes, I do agree that a more relaxed posting policy than we've previously had in the past (not that this seems to currently be an issue whatsoever) is sensible but I'd hope that the ideals of quality content aren't lost either.....can't remember who said it but one of the things that makes Arsenal-Land unique and personally appealing is the high standard of what is posted. Finding a happy medium should be possibly the easiest change that can be made. Again though, it's not really so much of an issue at this moment.

As for the whole Twitter thing - I don't use Twitter any more personally so it doesn't particularly bother me either way but purely from the point of view that quite a few members we all know and love spend more time there than on here, being able to read their opinions by integrating the two seems logical. Twitter can also be an excellent promotional tool as well as we all know, I dare say a lot of you guys probably know a lot of Arsenal fans out there and spreading the word could be helpful. As a Facebook user primarily, I've always thought that the group for A-L was rather neglected and perhaps integrating the site with FB too could be looked at?

I know literally nothing about the technical side of such things as integrating Twitter, Facebook etc etc but I do like the idea of some form of change to the actual forum itself too. It's a real shame that the main page has died though especially after Darren et al worked hard through adversity to redesign it - from what I could see the traffic just simply wasn't there. Hopefully as the site picks up then the main page will too. The writers that contributed articles to it are talented guys and their pieces were always enjoyable to read, if only more people could get to view that content and comment on it.

One thing I certainly would really, really love to see implemented is some further collaboration with some of the other bloggers out there that historically have links with us - Obviously Goonerholic has had a hand in writing for A-L, and didn't Arseblogger have some connection with the site way back when? If we could get a helping hand in boosting traffic through these guys and the like, become a bigger part of the Arsenal online community then surely we stand a better chance of getting more members? Imagine how potentially valuable having, just for example, a representative of A-L contribute to just one Arsecast could have in our own site traffic......

I know it's easy to sit here and type away at what I'd like changed and stuff but at the end of the day it all requires time, effort and probably finance to implement it all and that's obviously not easy to find. And I shall try to become less of a hypocrite myself and get myself online more than I am because if the likes of myself don't then we're contributing to the downfall of this community. Life does get in the way of course and I'm much more of a busy guy than I was in 2007 that's for sure but apathy also has played a part and that kind of change can only come from being proactive!!

And I know one thing guys - Despite it not being the place that it once was, I'd really really miss this place if it properly died a death. I've never bothered with other forums, this place has always felt like home in that respect and if this place went I don't think I'd bother joining another community at all. I truly wish and hope for a renaissance for Arsenal-Land because when it gets going, it really is a special place.

Hope everyone is well :wave:


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 Post subject: Re: Improving the forum
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:58 am 
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Woody wrote:
And I know one thing guys - Despite it not being the place that it once was, I'd really really miss this place if it properly died a death. I've never bothered with other forums, this place has always felt like home in that respect and if this place went I don't think I'd bother joining another community at all. I truly wish and hope for a renaissance for Arsenal-Land because when it gets going, it really is a special place.


Seconded :cheers2:


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 Post subject: Re: Improving the forum
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:44 am 
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I just came across this post. :oops:

This post has reminded me of all the great experiences I've had with AL. I spent a lot more time on AL during the first few years than I do now. I agree that integrating with social media websites might make AL more accessible. I personally became a member because I thought the site at that time promoted in-depth and detail-oriented discussions about anything/everything to do with Arsenal football club. I generally believe that providing details to support one's case usually promotes arguments and a healthy discussion.

During the first few years of my time on this forum, believe me, I'd have every thread in my head. I'd check every new post. I used to ensure there were no threads with unread posts (indicated by the orange color). Such was my enthusiasm. Over time, I noticed that many good posters seldom posted or left. Moreover, I spent less and less time due to my academic commitments and I could not keep up with all the threads.

I am now trying to read all the threads whenever I get time and it seems so much easier as there are very few new posts/threads.


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 Post subject: Re: Improving the forum
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:23 am 
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A few years down the line, how are things now? I still don't use Twitter or Facebook but always come here, whether I log in or not. Unlike most members, I have managed to find more time on my hands than I ever thought possible (unwillingly I might add)but I don't know whether the mobile accessibility/speed of posting has improved. Yet other forums still have a healthy flow of traffic, albeit dubious standards of debate. Welcome, Baresi by the way, our newest member.

Still appreciate the work done by those behind the scenes in their own time and expense :thumbup:


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