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  • Looking for input on site changes

    Hey guys. I'm thinking about taking some time to work on the site , and I'd like your input on what directions people would like the site to go, what things it does well and how it could do them better, what things it does badly and whether and how those efforts should be salvaged. Please understand that despite the shiny title, PiNG and AKo did not leave me all the keys to the kingdom and major feature additions such as a chat room are probably not within my power. That said, any and all suggestions are welcome, just don't expect miracles.

    My thoughts:

    I'd like to see the site become more integrated with the rest of the community sites. Our sister fansites all have their own things they do very well, whether it's the endgame discussion over at BG or the server communities over at Alla. To be honest, I've never been active on other sites so if something's going on on BG or PFA or what have you I hear about it hear first. I think it would be great if our front page had, alongside the official news, updates on the major events and goings on in other forums, the FFXI blogosphere, podcasts, etc. And to be clear, it's not my intention to try to duplicate or mirror the content or atmosphere of other sites. More to host a sortof jumping off point to where the action is in the FFXI world.

    To the same end, I think we should trim sections and functions that are redundant with what other sites do. Our server forums for example just aren't used by our membership. 90% of the activity there, it seems to me, is from people coming in and remarking on how dead they are, which just gives them a poor impression of the site in general. The dats section is the same. It used to be a lot more active but then another site dedicated to that emerged and it kindof died off. I wasn't really involved in the wiki project and don't really understand its thesis, but imo whatever it was intended to do could be accomplished just as well by working with the existing wiki.

    Another thing I'd like to do is to get back to the site's roots as an importer site and encourage more of a multicultural community, but I don't really know how to make the site more accessible to non-english speakers and the tradeoffs to make such a thing work may not be worth the gains. Just something to think about.

    Then there are a couple bigger issues beyond minor tweaks and enhancements. One is our status as a premiere site, which lapsed some time ago.. Are we interested in reclaiming this status? As a non-premiere site we are left out of certain activities such as the Premiere Site Summit which broke the first information about mythic weapons as well as what little direct rapport we have with the developers as players. On the other hand, not having that title gives us a little more freedom with our content. We've drawn a hard line, for example, against discussing things such as windower on the basis of premiere site restrictions. I have no intention of letting this become a site for hacks and bots, but there are some tools and programs that I percieve as being in common use among PC players and that presents many valid topics of conversation. I don't see either direction as being more right or beneficial necessarily, it's just a matter of where we want to go together.

    The other concern is our moderation style. We’ve kept it very casual in most cases with a team of moderators that operates on their own discretion under a loose set of guidelines. There are some areas of ambiguity in our rules such as what constitutes flaming and quite often people who find themselves on the wrong side of the line often feel like they’re being singled out unfairly. In some cases they’re not entirely wrong simply because we are so generally lax in enforcing the rules that very often posts that are just as bad get by without infraction. Obviously we want to enforce some degree of respect between members so we can’t just drop enforcement on flaming rules, but do we want to go the other way and enforce on a much stricter standard? If so we would want to draw up a clearer set of rules to replace the term “flaming.” In the same vein there’s the subject of trolling which many people will agree is as destructive or moreso than flaming, but is even harder to define since it’s often arguable whether a given post is just meant to get a rise out of someone or is presenting a real argument. Sometimes the answer is both. When do we enforce and under what criteria? Is this something we want a rule about? The purpose of the rules, after all, is to create a civil environment that everyone can enjoy. Users should have as much say in what constitutes acceptable behavior as the forum staff.

    Going back to the lax enforcement, it’s been successful in that people can enjoy casual conversations here that are allowed to meander around on topic, but then again sometimes people want to have a serious conversation and such threads are very prone to getting derailed, taken over by tangential topics or just mired down in off topic commentary. Should we enforce OT more strictly? Would we want, perhaps, to have a Serious Business subforum like xkcd has, where we have a higher standard of post quality and more active (and intrusive) moderation?

    So that wall of text is what’s been buzzing in my head today. I’d like to hear opinions on any and all of it and I’m sure there’s plenty of other things I didn’t think of. Also, if anyone has any particular skills with art or code or anything else that would be of value to the site they’d like to volunteer, please let me know.
    lagolakshmi on Guildwork :: Lago Aletheia on Lodestone

  • #2
    Re: Looking for input on site changes

    Originally posted by Taskmage View Post
    Another thing I'd like to do is to get back to the site's roots as an importer site and encourage more of a multicultural community, but I don't really know how to make the site more accessible to non-english speakers and the tradeoffs to make such a thing work may not be worth the gains. Just something to think about.
    1: Forum software in other languages would help. Use other domain entry points; "ffxionline.co.jp" going to the Japanese page for example, instead of requiring people to log in to the site in a foreign (to them) language.
    2: The easiest way would probably be to have forums for other languages. French, German, Spanish, and Japanese (along with any other languages FFXI officially supports) would be a good starting point. Have items on the front page translating into other languages for those users; and displayed on the front pages in those languages (I know we have some native spanish speakers, not sure about other languages)
    3: Try to reach out and form sister sites with other languages. I'll talk more about it later, but content is much more likely to be able to travel from one forum to another than across language barriers. Ties into #2; try to have people who speak other languages translate guides into other languages, as well as (with permission) bring foreign language guides into English.

    On being a premiere site, there's not really much to be gained from it. It's not like anyone really cares if it's "hey, look what SE told us and some other dudes"; we'll just make a thread saying "hey, look what SE told some dudes". Not to mention it didn't seem like SE really paid any attention to us even when ffxio was a premiere site.

    On moderation, it's far from perfect, but I don't think making it significantly tighter or looser would help. The one suggestion I'd make is to be less forgiving of new posters. If someone comes in and they look like they're only here to make problems, chances are they are. Perhaps add tougher penalties for infractions for posters who are new to the site, to emphasize that you're serious without going from 0 to banned.

    And threads going off topic is something of a sign that people have lost interest in the main subject, or that there's not much room for conversation left in it. Often times, where thread go off topic is far more interesting than the main subject; a srsbsnz forum would stifle any chance of that even happening. We've had plenty of threads that go on page after page, with the exception of a very small amount of people who intentionally derail threads, I think it's actually a benefit, not a downside. And people are always free to post and carry on a conversation on topic.

    And integrating with the community; it doesn't seem like a bad idea, but it seems like it's just asking to put a lot of strain on the moderation staff. I think that communities in general do a good job of aggregating important stuff by themselves when given the tools, and the forums work just fine for that. As I said above, if you want to aggregate, aggregate things that people WON'T likely pass along by themselves, like foreign language origined content.
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    • #3
      Re: Looking for input on site changes

      Well, first technical issue I can think of is that little Quantserve cookie or w/e that my No Script doesn't seem to like. It locks up my system for a short while before I get a prompt regarding the cookie.

      I think getting rid of the dead forums is a good thing overall, save for removing the server forums. As inactive as they might be, people do browse them. I've crossposted some needs for Missions or quests on here in the past and you'd be surprised how many times I got a DiV lurker over the other two forums responding to my inquiry.

      I think we can toss the Wiki thing. That's probably more of a PiNG thing and nothing against the rest of us who wanted in on helping maintain it, but we've gotten no where with it. Plus every noob that signs on makes a wiki page in thier name for now good reason other than to do it. No one uses them.

      I think updating the main page to include breaking news from other forums or new podcast content from the likes of PFA or LBR is a good idea.

      As much as I'd like to see some things loosen up here, I would prefer a goal of attempting to return to premire site status. I have no desire to see avatars and banners the likes of which I see on KI or BG. Part of the tone here is derived by the standards currently in place, lower those standards and the community will lower accordingly.

      I say this because as an admin on LBR, similar (dare I say more strict) rules have kept most things conversational and with lots less drama. We still get our drama queens, but with our rules, they tend to snuff themselves out in time. Its usually the attention whores and "crusaders of justice" that we end up doing something about and even that is a rare occasion (usually in the winter, oddly enough).

      Anyway, contact me if you need anything from us over on LBR, I can talk with Aniero and Co. and get you in on the staff forum if you want to link up with us and talk about this stuff. We already let others heading community sites in there, so I see no issue having you in, Taskmage.

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      • #4
        Re: Looking for input on site changes

        /

        Hello, RPG addict here.

        I'd like to see the old RPG game back (or maybe a 2.0 version of it FFVI style) where we could play and use our forum gil to purchase/sell weapons, armor and stuff.

        But then again I guess that falls under the same category as the chat room doesn't it?


        Ps > The only other thing I can think of is having more space for pics or even personal galleries accesible to other posters via our profile. So we copuld simply upload pics directly from the reply window instead of having to link to other sites. But that would probably use a lot of bandwidth.

        Other than that I can't really think on anything that needs to be improved.
        sigpic
        "In this world, the one who has the most fun is the winner!" C.B.
        Prishe's Knight 2004-Forever.

        その目だれの目。

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        • #5
          Re: Looking for input on site changes

          I'd still like to see an IRC channel (there has got to be a half dozen web apps that could be used to link it to the forum software, and the roughly five hundred thousand IRC clients already out there), but I understand the reasons against it. Somewhat like the DiV linkshell; I think it might've made it a bit farther with being founded by admins and having official site support, but I don't think the chances of it working would significantly improve.

          I guess what I'm saying is, focus on tying the community we already have together instead of worrying about drawing in more people? Maybe I just dislike change.
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          • #6
            Re: Looking for input on site changes

            Yep the DiV LS kinda went poof because of lack of leadership. I of course blame Sevv as he is the perfect escape goat.

            But then again it would've been way too difficult to have more support from the site because everyone plays on a different server. So the DiV part of the forums was pretty much all they could do for us. It simply didn't work and our schedules didn't click either.

            PS > I'm still surprised we had time to be able to duo 9-2 Windy.
            sigpic
            "In this world, the one who has the most fun is the winner!" C.B.
            Prishe's Knight 2004-Forever.

            その目だれの目。

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            • #7
              Re: Looking for input on site changes

              Originally posted by Raydeus View Post
              I'd like to see the old RPG game back (or maybe a 2.0 version of it FFVI style) where we could play and use our forum gil to purchase/sell weapons, armor and stuff.
              I loved that.

              I really like the small community feel of this site here. I wouldn't really want any of that to change too drastically. Part of the reason I like it here over BG (while BG is entertaining) is that we all know each other pretty well and we don't generally put each other down and try to "out-troll" each other.

              I think moderation has done a good job here. I don't really see anyone abusing their powers or anything crazy like that. Perhaps we could do with less mods though, considering a really large percentage of them don't even post anymore, though I suppose it doesn't really matter.

              I don't know that I truly care to get premiere site back. It's kinda cool, but it's also kinda not really special. I mean, Alla is premiere! Gawd! I guess I'm indifferent.
              sigpic
              ~Aksannyi~~Hades~~75WHM~75RDM~75BLM~75SMN~73WAR~67SCH~47BRD~
              ~Mama Gamer~~Quitted July 2009/Bannt October 2009~~Excellence LS~
              ~I has a blog~~http://aksannyi.livejournal.com/~
              ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~




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              • #8
                Re: Looking for input on site changes

                Originally posted by Aksannyi View Post
                I really like the small community feel of this site here. I wouldn't really want any of that to change too drastically.
                Seriously, I read Alla, and BG(only because I hate those jack asses so much) and Wiki forums, but, When I open a web browser 99% of the time, the first thing I type in is Final Fantasy XI :: Dreams in Vana'diel. I enjoy pretty much everyone on this page, and it is alot like a family. I haven't been posting long, but I've been reading it now for over a year and a half. From Mhurron and Feba blasting fools in the faces with verbal shotguns (me included) to TGM and Ameroth helping people out who have questions. I'll be honest, I've often thought about what it would be like if everyone on here was in a linkshell together.
                What would happen if we were all in a LS together:


                But I really do enjoy this site above all others.
                Last edited by ShepardG; 02-17-2009, 09:18 PM. Reason: spelling

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                • #9
                  Re: Looking for input on site changes

                  I've pretty much been a fan of this site over any of the others for a long time, mostly because of the community. I got tired of Alla and the way it tends to dumb everything down to the level of dirt; it pretty much caters to the lowest common denominator of the FXI community. I'm sure my old posts there are all but long forgotten, but I did my best to help when I could (much like I do now). I was fortunately not caught up in some random flame war because of stupid shit, but I saw it often, and it was annoying.

                  Of course, the sell-out also helped in my decision, but that's old news.

                  As far as changes to this forum, I would kinda like the RPG back, but I won't be heartbroken if it doesn't. We on the wiki team really didn't get as far as we'd have liked, but then again, there wasn't much more than a nebulous "idea" of what our ultimate goal was (I 'think' we were gunning for a translation of all the scattered guides on this site into one concise location). Overall, we could prolly do away with it (I honestly don't care to know that RandomUser547309 made a wiki page for himself. Sorry RandomUser547309, but you are not interesting at all to me to warrant a page for yourself. Hell, *I'm* not interesting enough to myself to care to update my own page). The server-specific forums, well... ...they don't have much use, not from what I've seen. Usually someone pops in, a post gets made, then goes unanswered for about a week or so, then dies off in obscurity. Any post in any thread in there almost always is a necropost by default, just by that nature.

                  Beyond that, I've never really seen much of a need to change much around here, I have this place as my home page, cuz I like it. Just don't force me to have to look at that hideously ungodly bright white forum skin, cuz that thing hurts my eyes. Like the last time PiNG or Akyosign changed the forum colors. I had a very hard time even looking at the site, much less posting.
                  Last edited by LilithAngel; 02-18-2009, 01:55 AM. Reason: BTW, there WAS a DiV LS a long time ago, but fell through when we realized we all can only take so much of a dosage of each other in forum form...

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                  • #10
                    Re: Looking for input on site changes

                    If the admins need a refresher on what real nonsense is they can check out World of Warcraft's forums. And, if you decide to support multiple languages you'll need admins who can read them as well.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Looking for input on site changes

                      Ya know what I'd like to see fixed. That problem of when you click on "View first unread post" it instead send you to the middle of a page that you not only read before, but is no where near the first new post! If I wanted to go to page 4 of a 16 page topic after reading 15 pages of it, I'd click on page 4! D=<

                      As for the other stuff:

                      Modding method, don't change a thing. If someone is gonna come in, mouth off, then get pissy because they're being treated "unfairly" by the mods then they shouldn't have mouthed off in the first place. This site is very nice to newbs who don't come in swinging and as long as you can retain them then there's no problem imo. It's the ones who come in with a chip on their shoulder and a short fuse that blow up over the slightest mis-comment that complain about the mods, and really...we don't need that.

                      However, I will admit, some people here could definately be a little less....dickish....when it comes to new posters. And you know who you are. No reason to get snappy because someone bumps a 2 year old topic or asks a simple question. Just politely point out what they did "wrong" or just ignore it completely and move on.

                      As for cleaning up the forums, I can see compressing some forums and categories, I mean, do you really need a specific forum for Quests and another for Missions? Maybe compress them all those together like what was done with the job forums or something. And I think the dat forum was mainly hurt when it went into the race specific split then anything else. I mean yea, it's a dead brick now, but if it was just broken in to it's own single subforum under Member works or something it might see some life. And you could probably squeeze Fan Videos into that as well, seeing as that's a member work too.

                      And I say go for the Premiere Site thing again. This was the first english speaking FFXI fan-site (iirc) so there's no reason why it shouldn't be officially recognized. I doubt we'd gain much from allowing "talks about harmless hacks" while being a Premiere site might at least give people a chance to pose a question or two to the devs.

                      And I don't think the offtopic bit is too much of an issue, yea sometimes tangets pop up and things get muddled in the wrong direction, but that's why you have a mod come in with a baseball bat and smack it back into place.

                      Really, why fix what ain't broken? Clean up some unused forums, maybe shake up the mod staff and remove those who don't even log in anymore and generally keep it as things are. This is a great site, and there's really not much that could be done to make it better.

                      Oh, and one more thing. How about some new damn smilies. The options this place has barebones at best =/
                      Last edited by Ziero; 02-18-2009, 05:35 AM.
                      "I have a forebrain, my ability to abstract thoughts allow for all kinds of things" - Red Mage 8-Bit theater

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                      • #12
                        Re: Looking for input on site changes

                        Originally posted by Ziero View Post
                        Ya know what I'd like to see fixed. That problem of when you click on "View first unread post" it instead send you to the middle of a page that you not only read before, but is no where near the first new post! If I wanted to go to page 4 of a 16 page topic after reading 15 pages of it, I'd click on page 4! D=<
                        THIS THIS THIS Oh god I don't know how you'd fix it but please fix it! That annoys the crap out of me and makes it take longer for me to find new posts.
                        sigpic
                        ~Aksannyi~~Hades~~75WHM~75RDM~75BLM~75SMN~73WAR~67SCH~47BRD~
                        ~Mama Gamer~~Quitted July 2009/Bannt October 2009~~Excellence LS~
                        ~I has a blog~~http://aksannyi.livejournal.com/~
                        ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~




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                        • #13
                          Re: Looking for input on site changes

                          I don't think there's too much danger of losing the general zeitgeist of these forums if you bring in a few more moderation rules. It doesn't have to be some all-or-nothing, draconian thing. Just a few additional rules about the kinds of things that are bothering you, and leave the rest free-wheeling as it is.

                          I don't really see why not on the premium site status. I don't know what more would be involved with that, but it seems to me like there are more advantages than disadvantages. It's not like not being able to talk about windower is some huge black cloud here or something.

                          I don't know what to say about the interaction with other sites. I never read the front page anyway, so... /shrug

                          And /shrug about the "dead" forums, too.
                          Ellipses on Fenrir
                          There is no rush. If you're not willing to take your time, don't be surprised when no one wants to give you much of theirs.
                          ,
                          . . .

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                          • #14
                            Re: Looking for input on site changes

                            Originally posted by Ziero View Post

                            Oh, and one more thing. How about some new damn smilies. The options this place has barebones at best =/
                            Ya there are some really adorable ones out there too! Not ones with sound though.....thats just annoying. lol
                            Originally posted by Feba
                            But I mean I do not mind a good looking man so long as I do not have to view his penis.
                            Originally posted by Taskmage
                            God I hate my periods. You think passing a clot through a vagina is bad? Try it with a penis.
                            Originally posted by DakAttack
                            ...I'm shitting dicks out of my eyeballs in excitement for the next bestgreating game of all time ever.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Looking for input on site changes

                              Just please god do NOT change whatever it is that enables me to bypass WEBSENSE filtering at work to access this site... it's the only one I can access that isn't filtered out of my reach as Video Games
                              FFxiv ~ (PS3 Beta) 24THM, 16LNC, 16CNJ, 15MRD/GLD/ARC/PUG
                              FFxi ~ (Inactive) 99DNC/THF/SAM/BLU

                              Any opinions expressed are my own, and potentially unpopular with others. Should this be upsetting, m
                              aybe, read it again, insert smiley faces, rainbows, and glitter as needed.

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