Article/Rant about the guestbook

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joni
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combining guestbook and forum

Post by joni » Sun May 10, 2009 9:58 pm

We have a forum on this site at last and i think it's a really good thing and we should use it :). Since change in general doesn't happen by itself we need to actively promote the forum... One way i thought of is that because atm most people check the guestbook regularly but rarely the forum the user who starts a topic could advertise it in the guestbook...

Another nice thing would be a small section with the "latest 5 active topics" on the homepage, which would make people take a detour to the forum more often and maybe gradually start visiting it more regularly like they do with the guestbook.

what do you think? what are your ideas?

EWQMinesweeper
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Re: combining guestbook and forum

Post by EWQMinesweeper » Sun May 10, 2009 11:09 pm

awesome ideas :lol:

what about this: if one sees an interesting post in the gb and wants to discuss it, they could also create a topic here and post the link to the thread in a reply to the gb entry...
„Das perlt jetzt aber richtig über, ma sagn. Mach ma' noch'n Bier! Wie heißt das? Biddä! Bidddää! Biddddäää! Reiner Weltladen!“

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RonnyDeWinter
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Re: combining guestbook and forum

Post by RonnyDeWinter » Mon May 11, 2009 2:47 pm

I always agree with everything on mondays, so you're lucky. :ugeek:
NF 1 (0.96) + NF 15 (14.20) + NF 61 (60.18)

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Tommy
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Article/Rant about the guestbook

Post by Tommy » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:27 pm

Hi all,

While replying to http://www.minesweeper.info/forum/viewt ... f=13&t=166, my reply grew in scope and size, to the point where I noticed two things:
- nobody was going to read all of it, not as a forum post, because of the sheer size,
- but I also had enough material for a proper article.
If you want to call it that, that is. One attribute that it has retained from the forum reply phase is that it reflects my bias and opinion - you have been warned.

The PDF is attached to this post.

I hope that people will find it inspirational :)

And now, discuss!
Attachments
gb-state-ms-community.pdf
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Don't anthropomorphize computers - they don't like it.

Editor
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Re: Article/Rant about the guestbook

Post by Editor » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:45 am

Excellent article. GIven the worldwide popularity of minesweeper, MS community definitely deserves much better life, and the idea of killing the guestbook is clever. I (my world rank is 202) have never been an active talker here, but probably one of the key reasons is very strange communication means, such as an old, linear guestbook or the IRC chat.

EWQMinesweeper
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Re: Article/Rant about the guestbook

Post by EWQMinesweeper » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:44 am

a lot of people play ms, but only very few are into competitive sweeping. that's why this comunity is relatively small and will probably stay small.

the average person that knows how to play minesweeper has no reason to join a forum about minesweeper. those who are really into ms will eventually find msinfo, the gb and the irc-channel and it's the job of you, who complain about inactivity, to drag them here. there are so many littles things that could be done to bring new people here, but i hardly ever see anyone else doing so. for example you could post a link to msinfo in your signature in other forums, you could ask people you know whther they are into ms, browse the internet for minesweeper and reply to people who talk about minesweeper. it's mentioned that people don't check the forum for new posts every day. if you ckeck the gb regulary (if you don't check it at least 2 times a day, you shouldn't be complaining about inactivity), then it's just one extra click to check the forum. writing some posts is no big deal either. yet only 6 users account for>75% of the posts. if you are really into ms, you should have no problem reading a few posts in the gb - you already spend countless hours playing ms or on other hobbies. don't tell me that it takes too much time and is too difficult.

touching the forum and gb might generate more activity, but not more active users. you disagree with me? fine. proove me wrong. how about a test period in which we compare forum and gb. let's see how many (relevant!) posts per day this forum can get until the end of the next month. the gb used to have 5-10 new posts per day. i guess 10 posts per day is a good estimate for the point at which this forum might actually become relevant in terms of activity.

ps: yes, i'm actually pissed off about this. not really about the content of the discussion but much more about from whom this is coming: people who could be much more active (except for tommy).
„Das perlt jetzt aber richtig über, ma sagn. Mach ma' noch'n Bier! Wie heißt das? Biddä! Bidddää! Biddddäää! Reiner Weltladen!“

thefinerminer
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Re: Article/Rant about the guestbook

Post by thefinerminer » Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:04 pm

Thanks for your article Tommy.

My view of the guestbook is that it is good for people who "drop by" the community and want to say something without registering. The forum is excellent for topics. I have spent a lot of time searching old guestbook posts to write MinesweeperWiki articles, and a forum is so much better for anything important, like this discussion for example. I am fond of the guestbook, but your point that it is killing the forum is a good one.

(The only thing I do not like about the forum: players have to register seperately for the forum and the website because the dynamic way the forum verifies passwords is too complicated for me to modify).

I am a bottleneck, and anyone who studies business knows that bottlenecks limit the system. Until my dissertation finishes in April I do not have a lot of time. I am willing to dedicate most of the summer to fixing these problems, before I start full-time work in September. Here are my ideas for making the community bigger and more active:

1) Move the entire database online. Every time I tried this in the past, I found new problems. Most of these are solved now, and the only thing stopping me atm is time. Also simplify registration (the forum, player videos, and profiles need code to be merged instead of stand-alone with poor hacks).

2) Have more admin verify scores. It would also be great to have a "champion" for the major languages who is an ambassador to new players speaking the language. I don't see a problem with 5 to 15 admin, with a certain number required to accept a score.

3) Open up the rankings. 6-35-99 is way too restrictive and makes most people leave the site without doing anything. You need to "capture" users by providing a reason to come back. Allowing ppl to join if they make a video (no time limit) gives them an incentive to play ("hey, i can get on a ranking") and an incentive to continue playing because it is easy to beat their orginal scores. A month later or two they have 6-35-99 anyways. The site currently has 4400 members but I am sure it can start getting 2000 plus a year easily if 6-35-99 is replaced. The size of the community is important to sponsors...

4) Open up tournaments. Seriously, still none in the USA?

5) Give people a reason to be active and come back. Upgrade profiles so you can submit scores to the site and upload photos. Allow user choice about information management (eg., log-in to see photo galleries or birthdates). Create a system so users can contact each other without asking Damien for email addresses. Just some ideas.

qqwref
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Re: Article/Rant about the guestbook

Post by qqwref » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:13 pm

thefinerminer wrote:My view of the guestbook is that it is good for people who "drop by" the community and want to say something without registering.
I agree with this - both formats have their values. Nowadays, though, forums are so common that many people are used to signing up and making a post just to say hi. (Of course, it'd be easier if we had an introductions section :) ) If we are going to keep the guestbook but still focus on the forum, it might be good enough to put a big link to the forum on the main page and add some big text above the guestbook telling people to go to the forum first.


As for your 5 ideas:
1: Interesting, I like this idea. Hopefully it isn't too hard to get the coding done.
2: More admins sound good. I could help with this, and I'm sure other active members would be willing too.
3: I definitely like opening up the rankings - maybe instead of "world rank" we could color the numbers based on the person's skill - something like blue for top 10, green for top 100, yellow for top 60, orange for "world rank", red otherwise. Or maybe that would just get distracting. I'd also like a better method of navigating the world rank than just going from page to page - a search would be useful, and also something to skip to a particular part.
4: Working on that. Internet cafes are actually very rare in the US and my university doesn't let outsiders on their wireless, so it's not as easy as it should be, but I'm thinking about it. It would definitely be nice to have a lot more competitions though.
5: Absolutely, but we don't need to turn the site into a social-networking hub to do that. A chat and an active forum would help a lot, and I'd also like an easy way of leaving comments on people's profiles, if we can do that. Is it possible to load up the most recent posts on the forum immediately, like when you go to the speedsolving.com homepage?
NF player. Best scores 1-10-39.

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Tommy
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Re: Article/Rant about the guestbook

Post by Tommy » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:20 am

I'll reply in more detail later, but those are excellent ideas Damien!

Regarding registration:
http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... 1&t=579456
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/9285 ... -mediawiki
And just have one central registration page.
Don't anthropomorphize computers - they don't like it.

aradesh
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Re: Article/Rant about the guestbook

Post by aradesh » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:15 pm

What's with this random topic merging? It confused me somewhat.

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