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Author Topic: Archival  (Read 1303 times)

James

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Archival
« on: October 20, 2015, 06:59:47 AM »

If we are looking to be a welcoming place for new members, perhaps it might be a good idea to archive our older threads. Halfway down the first page in the SFF forums, the date of the last post jumps from a year, to two years, to three. The Gaming forum spans seven years. While it is nice to know that this place was active in bygone ages, these threads are so out of date that I fear two things:

1) That it clearly shows how little activity this board has generated in the past few years, which may turn away new members who do not necessarily want to put the effort into what appears to be a dying message board.
2) That new members may not be inclined to post new threads for topics that have already been opened, discussed, and clearly ended years prior.

I know that this is our history, the record that we were once a thriving community, but that record can still exist in the archives section. If we want to look and work toward building the community anew and bringing in new blood, then it helps not to have them settle the ruins of the previous one.
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Darkon

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Re: Archival
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2015, 09:44:15 AM »

In principle I am not against archiving. In fact, I think it's better than deleting threads because they are considered too old. However, archiving anything old now would not benefit us. It will make us look an empty place that recently started, despite the fact that we've been running this show since 1998. So right now archiving is against our best interests.

The best you can do is indeed to post new content, as this accelerates the forum to the point where we CAN and WILL archive old threads.

Which brings me to the next point: I think we should have less threads that combine topics (bin-threads). I understand the benefit of these threads, as it is convenient and it prevents stubs (1 post threads), but this path we travel upon since we opened Small Issues, is not good for the forum. In fact, it is biting the hand that feeds it. Let me explain:
  • We have less threads, because you can post whatever you want to say in one 'bin'-thread
  • These threads have less specific titles that can draw people in from search engines
  • Which in turn means less potential newbies and discussion
  • Anything interesting goes unlabelled
  • Anything unlabelled quickly loses value as it ends up buried 10 pages deep in a single thread
  • Ten pages on, the topic has changed and anyone arriving late(r) to the scene is inhibited from commenting on something 10 pages ago.

In theory you can splice bin-threads apart, but usually that's not helping as most posts are stubs, due to the nature of the thread that inhibits comments. It's ironic, because people fear their thread will be a stub, then make or post it in a bin thread. Thereby dooming the post to being a stub, piled on other stubs, never getting the  chance to grow into a decent thread. Anyway, it's better to archive these threads and start new threads on the topics in the bin-thread, just with better thought-out titles.


Meanwhile behind the scenes I have made a threadmap (sitemap) of our SFF section. GO is proof-reading it to spot any errors made. I originally made it for the Staff to know what topics does/did our community like.  But a threadmap pinned at each board, will make searching easier, and gives stubs a bigger chance to grow into decent threads.

Finally, I would like to see the forum inivisbly divided in two: An archive and an active forum section.  Each with its own threadmaps. Anything old is ported over to the archive. Giving room for people to start new  discussions in the active forum section. People can browse the archive to read, using the threadmap or not. Meanwhile, we can use the archived information as content to build up our new HoW front website/wiki.

The higher the forum activity and thus the turnover, the more we can archive.

In summary: be careful with archiving, get rid of bin threads and post more content driven discussions, install threadmaps for each forum section.
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A nation is a group of people united by a mistaken view about the past and a hatred of their neighbours. - Karl Deutsch

Darkon

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Re: Archival
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2016, 10:08:25 PM »

Alright, I've been thinking about this more of late. And decided that in this short discussion between the two of us, we're both right.

So to start, I've added a Hall of Archives and I'm not archiving every thread that was closed without further purpose, as well as any thread not replied to older than five years. That's an arbitrary pick perhaps, but it will prevent from full depletion of threads straight away.

Once done, I'll give all threadmaps a check, but so far it looks like moving them doesn't effect access. Either way, the threadmaps will give additional value to allowing quick access to the archived thread.

That said, I do hope that all this archiving work will motivate you all to post more as well as open new threads. It's going to be a lot more empty from now on!
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A nation is a group of people united by a mistaken view about the past and a hatred of their neighbours. - Karl Deutsch
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