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 Post subject: Encourage forum participation, don't limit it unnecessarily
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:18 am 
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Recently, I noticed that a moderator/administrator essentially scolded a forum member for replying to an old question written by someone needing help with KQ2. The moderator/administrator then locked the topic and wrote a message dissuading others from replying to old posts.

I think this is a wrong approach to moderating this forum. In case no one has noticed, this forum is not exactly overflowing with new posts and activity. I would think that more posts and more activity, especially posts that are potentially helpful and contribute to discussion of AGDI products, would be encouraged by AGDI staff. Just because the original poster of a question about a game might have long since forgotten about his previously unanswered question or even found an answer elsewhere, it doesn't mean that others reading the post wouldn't find the subject helpful or wouldn't have the same question at some point that the original poster had.

I believe the unnecessary locking of topics and the limiting of discussion for borderline petty reasons doesn't help anyone. If this forum were especially busy and crowded with new posts all the time, then I could MAYBE see wanting to limit the reviving of old threads. But that isn't the case. As it is, you guys ought to appreciate any worthwhile and constructive forum participation you can get.

I write this as a big admirer of AGDI/Himalaya and as someone who would like to see them continue to succeed.


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 Post subject: Re: Encourage, don't limit forum participation
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:50 am 
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I don't think there's anything wrong with reminding people of a few elementary netiquette basics, such as reading forum rules, checking Faqs before asking a question and reading dates on posts you reply to...especially if you're replying to a thread that is several pages away. A lot of people who just casually visit a forum don't bother to read past the first page of threads in each folder. If that first page is filled with topics that have been recently posted in and are potentially interesting, they might reply. If the first page is filled with necromanced topics that are also outdated hint requests, it'll actually discourage people from reading further on. I'd like to avoid that.

I make a distinction between bumping a topic that was an in-depth discussion on a certain topic with an insightful reply and bumping a hint request topic with a solution that's unlikely to help the original poster. I keep the rule of thumb that the older a thread is, the more relevant and insightful a bumping reply must be in order to justify it being revived again. In this particular case, I did not believe the reply justified pushing a more recent thread off page 1 of the forum. If the bumping reply had been to an in-depth debate or something and it added something even after several years, I would have left it open. The reply that was made wasn't gonna reopen a discussion of AGDI products as you called it and the only replies I anticipated would be "Wise fwom your gwave!" or "necromancer alert"-kinda stuff. What point is there to keeping such a thread open? Why shouldn't I remind the bumping poster to look at dates as to avoid similar bumps?

I've been around the Sierra community long enough to know that forum traffic has died down, not just here but everywhere. I don't think me discouraging thread necromancy will make a difference. If I killed off an active attempt to revive a discussion with a fresh new POV, you would have a point. As it stands, what I did was correct what I believed to be someone's beginner's mistake and I don't share your view that my action discouraged new and fresh discussion.

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 Post subject: Re: Encourage forum participation, don't limit it unnecessarily
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:59 am 
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I'm glad to know you aren't "lock topic" trigger happy, if you will, and that you put some consideration into whether something ought to be locked or not. I actually was interested in the KQ2 hint request topic in question (I recently started replaying the new version of the game) and wanted to post a reply for someone else to answer, then felt a little irked when I couldn't.

I hear what you're saying about not wanting the first page of posts to be full of "outdated" hint requests... but maybe others (not just the original hint requesters) will get something out of reviving those threads, which still might hold useful info? Maybe more new forum contributions is better than less posts or nothing new at all? I guess that's a question to ask when trying to decide how to encourage more forum activity. Also, don't discount the irritation one might experience when they learn that their want-to-be-helpful reply caused the administrator to swoop down and lock the topic. If it was a new forum member, this approach might scare off someone who might otherwise return often.


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 Post subject: Re: Encourage forum participation, don't limit it unnecessarily
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:16 am 
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If you feel you have something truly productive to add to that thread, I can always reopen it. However, people looking for answers will either quickly skim the thread list or (more likely) simply use the search feature. Since forum folders don't have a maximum amount of pages that would cause older threads to "drop off" as new threads were made, there's no real need for people to bump an ancient thread just to get people to see it.

As with activity...when I joined the Sierra community 9.5 years ago, a lot of interesting discussions were held about both KQ and QFG almost daily. And that remained the case for several years. However, during the last 4 years or so, discussion started to dry up. People can only participate in so many "what's your favorite KQ game" or "who's your favorite QFG character"-threads before they move on. When KQ2+ was first released, it was good for a bump in both Sierra and Off-topic activity that lasted nearly 2.5 years. When the long-awaited and almighty QFG2VGA was released, the forums quieted down again after 3 months or so. The only thing that will truly raise forum activity is the release of a new project. And even that will be somewhat temporary. Discussion has to be pretty novel to draw people in who've been discussing a limited set of games for nearly 10 years and who've probably discussed the topics several times in the past decade.

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 Post subject: Re: Encourage forum participation, don't limit it unnecessarily
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:16 pm 
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I would participate more in the forums, but these days I sleep a lot and have less time to dedicate to social activities. :lol

Maybe we could participate in a secret santa of some sorts. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Encourage forum participation, don't limit it unnecessarily
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:34 pm 
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Don't forget, for a newcomer to the forums (and existing) Quality over Quantity will make them stay.


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 Post subject: Re: Encourage forum participation, don't limit it unnecessarily
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:29 pm 
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Phpbb3 (the forum, not the guy who made this thread!) actually has a Bump interval option under Board Configuration>Post Settings, which allows Admins to set the amount of time that must transpire after the last post was made, for a thread to become "unbumpable".

Currently, it's not set on this forum. But I guess it could solve the problems Erpy speaks of.


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 Post subject: Re: Encourage forum participation, don't limit it unnecessarily
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:29 pm 
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Phpbb3 and pbpb33 aren't even the same string of letters, though it's hard to see at first glance. But I digress. :p

I would have mixed feelings on that option for the reasons I already elaborated on. I have no problem with an old thread being bumped, as long as the new reply adds something to things and invites new discussion...I do have a problem with thoughtless bumping because it creates clutter. But I personally prefer to be the one making the distinction instead of leaving it to the forum software.

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