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    Requesting Feedback On These Forums

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    Paeter
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    Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  Paeter on August 18th 2015, 10:33 am

    Hey Everybody!

    Just been noticing lately a bit of slowdown here on the forums. I'd like to open the floor for suggestions on how we could make the forums more fun and/or useful to you.

    I'm currently considering condensing/combining some of the boards here to increase conversation density and interactivity. Any other thoughts on events we could do or changes we could make?



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    mikel.withers

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    Re: Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  mikel.withers on August 19th 2015, 9:48 am

    I dunno, the four of us who post on here seem to be doing okay... Suspect

    Personally, I am a counter-puncher. I come up with very few thoughts on my own, and those aren't usually things I think are important enough to share. However, if someone else posts a thought...voila! Here I am responding.
    I check this forum at least once a day during the week, and usually on the weekend as well. Most of the time, there is no orange ticket saying there are new posts. How many other people check in, see there is nothing new, and simply move on?
    I think, and I am basing this off my experiences with forums and my study of human interactions, that if you want a greater participation on these forums then you need to have a core group who will basically come out with product in order to get readers/participants. I propose that if you had a constant stream of incoming information, people would feel more at ease interacting with what goes on.
    Maybe you could re-emphasize the clearing house concept of the CGC... in that: you have the CGC Network section, but it is rarely used. I'm calling out Strangers and Aliens and Theology Gaming in particular here... I know they put out podcasts that don't get mentioned. Are they part of the CGC? I think so, maybe reinvite them to participate more.
    Lastly, we need to start commenting on posts. The forum culture right now is one of: idea, comment, end. I think we could work a little harder on extending conversations. The "regulars" could foster a culture of exchange and expansion, rather than answer and close.

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    Re: Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  Paeter on August 19th 2015, 5:30 pm

    mikel.withers wrote:
    1. I propose that if you had a constant stream of incoming information, people would feel more at ease interacting with what goes on.

    2. you have the CGC Network section, but it is rarely used. I'm calling out Strangers and Aliens and Theology Gaming in particular here... I know they put out podcasts that don't get mentioned. Are they part of the CGC? I think so, maybe reinvite them to participate more.

    Thanks for the ideas! I added numbers to two for easy reference.

    Regarding #1, do you mean people who just commit to posting regularly on the forums, or people who post actual articles here? If that latter, I'm wondering if these forumns are the best way to go. Should we consider moving the entire social side of Christian Geek Central over to Facebook?

    Regarding #2, S&A and Theology Gaming are both mentioned on the SBU podcast each week, along with the other CGC Network members. But the network members don't use their forums here much and more than one of them already have social interaction platforms for their content elsewhere. I'm waiting to hear back from a podcast right now regarding an invite to the network, but pretty soon I plan to propose an alternative to the current forum situation to the other CGC Network members. If they are on board with it there will likely be some kind of change to that part of the forums in the coming weeks.


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    UKSteve

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    Re: Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  UKSteve on August 20th 2015, 2:10 am

    I know I don't interact here as much as I'd like... but then, I don't interact anywhere as much as I'd like, so that's not a reflection on the forums here.

    I have also been one of those who just pops in, sees nothing new and then goes off to do something else; I guess as I've been writing about Doctor Who, Red Dwarf, and ancient video games in various places I could at least make a post about those in an effort to publicize myself start a conversation Wink

    One reason I haven't done that is because if every post on the CGC blog had its own thread here we may just have even more post-comment-close conversations, although there doesn't seem to be a mass of commenting on the blogs either, so maybe that's no bad thing. (And I'm as guilty for not commenting on blogs as anyone - in fact I just noticed Paeter commented on my last Doctor Who post for the CGC. Yes, Paeter, it was the same actress!)

    So I guess the question is should we be pointing to the CGC blog (or our own/other websites) to start a conversation of the day, or trying to keep different content on each? Indeed, do people check both out regularly? (and comment on neither!)

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    Re: Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  mikel.withers on August 20th 2015, 10:35 am

    Regarding #1, do you mean people who just commit to posting regularly on the forums, or people who post actual articles here? If that latter, I'm wondering if these forumns are the best way to go. Should we consider moving the entire social side of Christian Geek Central over to Facebook?
    Actually, I hadn't clarified in my own mind which one I meant. I think the former would be better as it would be more conversational, and less like the blog itself, but either might help.
    As much as I like the media of forums, Facebook might be easier to access for more people. I really know very little about website admin, but doing so might also help you to simplify what it takes to maintain your various sites.
    I tend to be reactionary, but perhaps we should bow to reality and jump on the bandwagon that is actually going someplace.


    Regarding #2, S&A and Theology Gaming are both mentioned on the SBU podcast each week, along with the other CGC Network members. But the network members don't use their forums here much and more than one of them already have social interaction platforms for their content elsewhere. I'm waiting to hear back from a podcast right now regarding an invite to the network, but pretty soon I plan to propose an alternative to the current forum situation to the other CGC Network members. If they are on board with it there will likely be some kind of change to that part of the forums in the coming weeks.

    And they mention they are a part of the CGC, but, as much as I love the guys, maybe they aren't upholding their responsibilities to the CGC fully. Then again, with the lack of traffic on here, maybe they just don't see a purpose in promoting/conversing here.
    Going back to a Facebook-centric model might make a big difference, as it makes things much simpler. Both of those podcasts have a presence on FB, and are active posting there, so linking up with a CGC FB group would be almost automatic.

    Another issue we might have is the eclectic nature of those who do come around here. Like UKSteve says, he posts on DrWho, Red Dwarf, and ancient video games...none of which really interest me. I don't have anything to add to a conversation on those. However, I could "like" and share one of those posts that I think the wider set of my friends might enjoy if we were on a different setting.

    You'll get more negative interactions as well, as we broaden the fishing net, but an active set of moderators could suppress a lot of that.

    I guess what I am saying, in sum, is that FB would be a different "business model" but might be a better fit for your goals.

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    Re: Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  Paeter on August 20th 2015, 2:49 pm

    mikel.withers wrote:

    And they mention they are a part of the CGC, but, as much as I love the guys, maybe they aren't upholding their responsibilities to the CGC fully. Then again, with the lack of traffic on here, maybe they just don't see a purpose in promoting/conversing here.

    To clarify, none of the network members have any responsibility to CGC of any kind apart from promoting the network briefly on their shows/sites. The forum option is something I wanted to provide as a service to them if they found it useful. And while we may be re-evaluating the forum stuff regarding the CGC network, every CGC network member is faithfully doing what they agreed to, so I'm totally happy with that side of things.


    mikel.withers wrote:
    Going back to a Facebook-centric model might make a big difference, as it makes things much simpler. Both of those podcasts have a presence on FB, and are active posting there, so linking up with a CGC FB group would be almost automatic.

    Another issue we might have is the eclectic nature of those who do come around here. Like UKSteve says, he posts on DrWho, Red Dwarf, and ancient video games...none of which really interest me. I don't have anything to add to a conversation on those. However, I could "like" and share one of those posts that I think the wider set of my friends might enjoy if we were on a different setting.

    You'll get more negative interactions as well, as we broaden the fishing net, but an active set of moderators could suppress a lot of that.

    I guess what I am saying, in sum, is that FB would be a different "business model" but might be a better fit for your goals.

    These are really good points! Anyone have agreement here or see things differently?


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    Nathan James Norman
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    Re: Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  Nathan James Norman on August 22nd 2015, 8:17 am

    For me it has been a crazy summer: Mission trips, community outreach, family visiting, personal surgery, a tornado, etc. etc.... my hope is things slow down over the next few week. We'll see. But much of my fun stuff in life has been on hold for the summer.

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    Re: Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  fxruizx on August 24th 2015, 6:13 pm

    My two cents:
    For facilitating deeper discussion, I think the forum is very useful. But I think there would be a higher degree of interactivity on something like a Facebook group especially being able to like posts that you appreciate, but wouldn't otherwise comment on (if this is in fact a feature of the forums already, please tell me how to do this Smile ).

    Given my stream of consciousness above, I think condensing the boards down to those that foster the most discussion, would probably be good.

    Also from a technical aspect, when I get email alerts that someone has commented on a thread, the email has a broken link in it i.e. forums.spiritblade.net/t...

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    Re: Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  mikel.withers on August 25th 2015, 7:28 am

    Francisco, if you look at the upper right of a post ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Here--------->
    You'll see a "+" an "_" and a "-", those allow you to up or down vote a post.
    Our forum culture uses them very sparingly, but they are there.

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    Re: Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  fxruizx on August 25th 2015, 7:38 am

    mikel.withers wrote:Francisco, if you look at the upper right of a post ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Here--------->
    You'll see a "+" an "_" and a "-", those allow you to up or down vote a post.
    Our forum culture uses them very sparingly, but they are there.


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    Re: Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  Paeter on August 25th 2015, 5:38 pm

    fxruizx wrote:My two cents:
    For facilitating deeper discussion, I think the forum is very useful. But I think there would be a higher degree of interactivity on something like a Facebook group especially being able to like posts that you appreciate, but wouldn't otherwise comment on (if this is in fact a feature of the forums already, please tell me how to do this Smile ).

    Given my stream of consciousness above, I think condensing the boards down to those that foster the most discussion, would probably be good.

    Would that be weird or awkward to have two different community platforms (forums and facebook) to play to those different strengths? Or are we better off prioritizing one primary goal (either deeper discussion or higher degree of interactivity) and using just one platform while still doing the best we can to serve the secondary goal?


    fxruizx wrote:
    Also from a technical aspect, when I get email alerts that someone has commented on a thread, the email has a broken link in it i.e. forums.spiritblade.net/t...

    Strange. Don't know why it's still associated with the ".net" address. I thought we had transferred everything over to the CGC Domain. Hit a dead end looking into this myself. I've gotten in touch with our tech admin and I'll let you know when we've found a solution to that. Thanks for the heads up!


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    Re: Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  fxruizx on August 25th 2015, 6:36 pm

    Paeter wrote:Would that be weird or awkward to have two different community platforms (forums and facebook) to play to those different strengths? Or are we better off prioritizing one primary goal (either deeper discussion or higher degree of interactivity) and using just one platform while still doing the best we can to serve the secondary goal?

    Awkward: No
    Tenable to maintain: Probably not :/ so I think having one be the primary, and everything else secondary has the best chance for success.

    As to which one should be primary between forums and say a FB group - If I were trying to decide which to go with, I think I would try to give equal energy to both for a couple months, and which ever one seemed to be thriving more, make that the primary one. Maybe that is too simplistic, but its my opinion Smile

    Also, not really related to this part of the discussion, but I have notice that your forum Signature is still showing spiritblade.net, Paeter affraid Smile

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    Re: Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  Paeter on August 26th 2015, 5:16 pm

    fxruizx wrote:
    As to which one should be primary between forums and say a FB group - If I were trying to decide which to go with, I think I would try to give equal energy to both for a couple months, and which ever one seemed to be thriving more, make that the primary one. Maybe that is too simplistic, but its my opinion Smile

    Also, not really related to this part of the discussion, but I have notice that your forum Signature is still showing spiritblade.net, Paeter affraid Smile

    If we go that route that's something like what I imagined doing. And even if the Facebook thing really took off I'd hate to delete these forums. SOme great history and conversations here worth preserving.

    And thanks for the heads up on my signature! Whoops! :-)


    Anyone else? More thoughts on this please! More opinions, concerns, fears and hopes!! I want it all!


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    Re: Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  ComiKate on September 4th 2015, 2:33 pm

    If you'd move everything to FB, I could no longer be part of the community  Crying or Very sad  Crying or Very sad  Crying or Very sad for I don't have a FB account (a conscious choice). So my two cents are: please don't go to FB...Neutral

    As for the forums, if there aren't any new posts / conversation starters regularly, I tend to frequent the forums less. I know, very reactive and non-comittal of me, and I'm sorry.

    Also, I'm not a gamer and lately I feel gaming has gotten a little bit more of attention in both forum posts and podcasts, which has made it a little bit harder for me to engage in conversation, although that is only part of the reason and certainly not the main one.

    I really like to participate, and have been happy to send in blog articles and podcast entries, but simply haven't found the energy for the past couple of months because I have been either too tired or have been spending time on designing & creating (paper art) for my Creator's Image Studio, maintaining the accompanying YT channel & blog and writing tutorials for my new webshop.
    All of which I do after I'm home from my demanding fulltime job.
    I've been making some changes in my job very recently though and in time I hope that I'll settle into it a bit more without it taking so much of my energy. After which I really plan on contributing again here and on the podcast!

    Meanwhile, I'm still a loyal listener to the SB podcast and watch most of the CG Youtube videos to support the channel.

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    Re: Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  Paeter on September 4th 2015, 6:52 pm

    Thanks so much for commenting, ComiKate! Great to hear from you!

    I appreciate the feedback. Sorry the content/conversation hasn't been connecting with you as much lately. I know you are into comics. Is there another media type you'd like to have more content and conversation about?

    I think you can rest assured that these forums aren't going anywhere, even as we try to extend the community to Facebook/etc. Ideally, we can use FB to invite those who want to take conversations deeper/longer to come back here to the forums. Tim and I have already had one meeting to discuss the possibilities. We'd welcome all prayers and feedback as we try to create a strategy! Thanks!


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    Re: Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  ComiKate on September 5th 2015, 10:02 am

    Paeter wrote:Is there another media type you'd like to have more content and conversation about?

    You're right, I like comics - though not just DC and Marvel. And I also enjoy tv series and movies, and, on a related note, animated series.
    And it's not that I don't enjoy listening to podcast entries on gaming, its just that I can't say much about it myself, is all. I do enjoy your YT gaming experiments with new games, especially if you're not too great at them Very Happy . It's fun to watch and I can totally relate because I can't even do what you do, like, at all.

    Paeter wrote:I think you can rest assured that these forums aren't going anywhere, even as we try to extend the community to Facebook/etc. Ideally, we can use FB to invite those who want to take conversations deeper/longer to come back here to the forums.
    I know, it's just that I'm a teeny bit worried that once the majority of this community is conversing on FB, the need to come back here to actively start interesting conversations might dwindle fast. One could do the same on FB, and why would one want to repeat their efforts, is what I'm thinking.

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    Re: Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  Paeter on September 8th 2015, 5:39 pm

    That's definitely a concern we don't want to ignore. We've had one preliminary meeting about the whole idea so far and one crucial team member wasn't able to attend. Once we get them in the loop we'll start looking at the possibilities of connecting the forums and facebook.

    And while it's possible that some people will prefer and stick to facebook, I suspect most of those people have already slowed down or stopped their interactions here. But I'm hoping that there are those on facebook who are not yet connected here or aware of these forums who would like to go deeper into some topics and will follow us back here for that.

    Right now, all the logistics of how to keep conversations active on both and population growing on both hasn't been sorted out. But it's not our intention to go into this territory without a plan and certainly not without a commitment to the already existing community and platform we have here.

    So please keep your feedback, questions and concerns coming. There will be factors we don't think about and we'll need to have those brought to our attention so we can serve you guys well.

    Thanks so much!


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    Re: Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  CreatorsPixels on September 21st 2015, 1:44 pm

    Figured I'm weigh in here. Personally I'm not on Facebook so I won't be joining converstations there (though I think I'm in the minority there). I do know I've noticed a slowdown here. However there is another board I'm on for a totally unrealated subject and its doing the same thing (only worse). I'm not sure why, maybe its just summer and everyone is busy. Personally I'm just coming out of a very very busy time with work and life in general and have hardly had time for anything on the internet. It may not be true for everyone, but at least for me thats the case. Its tempting to think that change will fix something (and it may), however I'm perfectly fine with your format and layouts here. I've just personally been too busy to look at it.

    Anyway, good luck and i'm sure you will make the right decision no matter what!

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    Re: Requesting Feedback On These Forums

    Post  Paeter on September 25th 2015, 5:05 pm

    CreatorsPixels wrote:look at it.  
    Anyway, good luck and i'm sure you will make the right decision no matter what!

    Thanks for the feedback!


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