Post Reply Feedback and Suggestion: Forum Overhaul
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Posted 9/27/16 , edited 9/27/16
Hello! I doubt anyone really reads these, but I figured I'd write something out anyway because this has been nagging at me for a while.

Just for the sake of Ethos, I'll say that I've been a fairly consistent member of CR since 2011 across 2 accounts, which is about 5 years now.

I think the forums are in serious need of an overhaul - not just for convenience, but for the sake of community as well.

Part 1 - Problems with the current system

1. The current thread organization method disproportionately favors controversy.

Threads are brought to the top of a sub-forum every time someone replies. Because of this, "troll threads" or threads specifically designed to rouse a negative response will consistently stay near the top of the list. This is despite the fact that (in my experience) the overwhelming majority of users dislike these threads or outright refuse to participate in them. You will occasionally see the comments of such individuals either in the controversial threads themselves or mentioned elsewhere. This is particularly prevalent in GD where offensive threads are more "on topic", but it can be seen in nearly every other sub-forum as well.

Not only do these threads discourage many people from engaging in the forums, but I argue that they negatively influence the community. This is because people who enjoy making controversial threads are rewarded by repeatedly having their threads bumped, thus creating a thriving environment for new "members" who enjoy making these threads to the detriment of others. That's not all, but constantly seeing controversial threads will drive away users who would otherwise create more approachable threads. Thus, in two separate ways, the current system raises controversial figures to popularity and drives off users who would otherwise make more approachable threads.

The current system also worsens this issue by having threads sink lower only if another thread is bumped. Since controversial threads are more likely to be bumped, it means that (barring new thread creation), the steady state of this system is a saturation of controversial threads near the top.

2. Lack of incentive for perusing sub-forums not on the front page

The overwhelming majority of forum traffic is concentrated on the three sub-forums that appear on the front page - GD, Anime, and Manga. I myself hardly ever venture beyond those three unless I have a very specific need to. This is not out of disinterest, but more out of convenience.

I know this is the case because a moderator all but said as much. As a precedent, I cite the infamous merger of GD with the old Extended Discussion sub-forum. The reasoning behind this merger was that ED served as, and I quote, a "graveyard" for controversial threads. Personally, I think this was a good thing, but putting that aside, the fact remains that even moderators acknowledged that threads moved from the front page to another sub-forum were expected to receive less traffic, and this was seen as a bad thing in the case of ED.

If that's the case for ED, then why not for the other sub-forums as well? As it stands, moderators are essentially sending interesting threads about music, comics, "chit-chat", and what-not to their "graves". And I don't mean to say that such threads are totally empty. I realize there are many regulars to those sub-forums who post consistently. However, I think it's practically undeniable that their traffic is lessened due to how they're accessed.

I find this whole thing extremely ironic. You merged ED but still left other sub-forms, like music, all on their own. It's like you had a pool with two pipes on either side - one with fetid water running through it and the other with pure water. For some reason, you diverted the fetid water into the pool and left the pure water flow past as it always had. I personally found this mind-boggling.

Part 2- Possible solutions


Personally, I don't think I'm the right one to come up with solutions to this. I'm more interested in just voicing my personal feedback. That being said, I still think it would be a little rude of me to raise these issues and not give any course of action to correct them. So even though I'm not confident in these solutions, I'll give them anyway.

1. Organize threads by a newly implemented (or re-implemented) "vote" system

I'll say that I don't visit any other forums aside from CR, but I think this is a fairly common practice. Now, I'm against the up-vote and down-vote system. Instead, I would opt for only an up-vote system. If a user likes a thread, then they can give it a thumbs-up similar to a comment. Just like the comment system, threads with more "thumbs-up" appear near the top. I don't think a down-vote system is a good idea because it leaves users open to harassment or a form of "majority censorship". Positive reinforcement is better than negative reinforcement. Punishing users for unpopular threads isn't as good as rewarding users for popular ones.

2. On the front page, change the three "sub-forums"

Rather than having "GD,Anime, and Manga", I would recommend having "Discussion, Crunchy Connections, and Creative". Just like the current system, whenever someone posts anything in what is currently considered "discussion" (ie. GD, Anime, Music, Polls, etc) it would appear at the top of the "Discussion Section". Similarly, anytime someone posts in chit-chat or forum games, it would appear at the top of the "Crunchy Connections" sections. This would increase traffic to the other threads and also increase thread diversity. If users only want to post in GD or Anime, then they can still do so by going directly into the Forums section. Rather than making the front page specific and the Forum section general, switch it around. Make the front page general and have users dive into the Forum section if they're only interested in specific topics.

Part 3 - This is just personal feedback


I don't want to seem like I'm making demands here or anything. Nor do I want to seem like I speak for the entire community (I only speak for myself). I'm just a guy leaving some feedback in a feedback section. I personally think these issues need to be addressed, but that's only because I feel like it would make the community better. It may be that there are aspects of what I said that, due to my lack of knowledge, would actually cause more harm than good. If so, then I apologize.

Thank you for your time, and if you read all this, than double thanks for that.
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Posted 10/4/16

Cait_Sidhe wrote:

Rather than having "GD,Anime, and Manga", I would recommend having "Discussion, Crunchy Connections, and Creative". Just like the current system, whenever someone posts anything in what is currently considered "discussion" (ie. GD, Anime, Music, Polls, etc) it would appear at the top of the "Discussion Section". Similarly, anytime someone posts in chit-chat or forum games, it would appear at the top of the "Crunchy Connections" sections. This would increase traffic to the other threads and also increase thread diversity. If users only want to post in GD or Anime, then they can still do so by going directly into the Forums section. Rather than making the front page specific and the Forum section general, switch it around. Make the front page general and have users dive into the Forum section if they're only interested in specific topics.


Agreed here.

The part about CR to make a discussion sub-boards for anime in general would make the forums more organized in general.
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Posted 10/4/16

stark700 wrote:
The part about CR to make a discussion sub-boards for anime in general would make the forums more organized in general.


What if they already had something like that, but no one used it because it was too hard to find just because it didn't have its own highlighted updated display place on the forum page...

/forum/series/anime
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Posted 10/4/16

asharka wrote:


stark700 wrote:
The part about CR to make a discussion sub-boards for anime in general would make the forums more organized in general.


What if they already had something like that, but no one used it because it was too hard to find just because it didn't have its own highlighted updated display place on the forum page...

/forum/series/anime


They're missing a lot of series from that list and like you said, it's too hard to find for most of the community.
One Punch Mod
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Posted 10/4/16

stark700 wrote:


asharka wrote:


stark700 wrote:
The part about CR to make a discussion sub-boards for anime in general would make the forums more organized in general.


What if they already had something like that, but no one used it because it was too hard to find just because it didn't have its own highlighted updated display place on the forum page...

/forum/series/anime


They're missing a lot of series from that list and like you said, it's too hard to find for most of the community.


I believe the reason they are "missing" is probably just that there's a limit on the number displayed, so theoretically with some changes there could be a way to display them all. I agree it would be nice if the individual show forums were more prominent, and also if there were options to view both by most recent activity and by show title.
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