Yuuko

Quick Update on what I've done and discussion on some potential changes

7 posts in this topic

So first things first, this is my first official post as an admin that nobody bother telling me about. (Thanks guys)

Anyways, I've just made some quick changes. First off, Forum Games is expanded to it's original title "Chitchat and Forum Games", basically meaning that the subforum now includes basically any random topic you guys can think of, from random conversations to actual forum games (of course with some discretion meaning nothing too crazy. spammy or against the standard forum rules). This is mostly cause just forum games gets rather boring after a while and it's nice to have somewhere to drop the maturity level while being able to maintain the expectations of the Off-topic section for real discussion. 

Secondly, I've turned off pre-approval for Chitcat and Forum Games, mostly due to the nature of the section not needing too much checking. Proactive moderation should be able to filter out most of the bad eggs, so pre-emptive moderation seems like overkill. Plus I rather have to back track and delete topics than let good topics die cause no one was around to approve them. This of course comes with the expectation that the section isn't abused and everyone does their best to report, not minimod. If things get too crazy, it's easy to turn this back on. 

Thirdly, for obvious reason, Chitchat topic should no longer be listed in recent topics. Most of those reason being that low quality threads don't drown out real discussion threads. 

 

Finally, Battling has been reverted back to a subforum of general for obvious reasons 


Now on to the fun stuff. Potential site changes! 
 

The first section I'd like to talk about is the rp section, which like almost everything else, is pretty dead. The big question is what can be done for it. First order of business is the advanced section, which for anyone who's been around for long enough knows, hasn't worked out how we wanted it to. It was pretty much dead since day one and I think only one advanced rp even got started. Obviously the reviving it in the forum's current state is pretty much impossible as most of our rpers that would use the forum, either don't have the time or inactive (actually mainly both). So the options are either just getting rid of it or using the subforum for something else (of course in both cases I probably would save the bones of it so that it could be revived at a later time). One idea for the advanced section would be to turn it into a beginners section instead which wouldn't require topic approve and allow for one liners and pretty bare bones rps. Obviously this would require some more proactive moderation, but I think it could at least get some new members into rping.

So what do you guys think?

What should we do with the advanced section?

Would you be interesting in a beginner's section?

 

Next up is the Fanclubs section. I honestly have no clue what to do with this section. It clearly has had a declining interest and right now has virtually no activity. One option is that we turn off post count and alike on this section (keeping approval because of the nature of the section) and just let the section be a series of group chats. I can't see too much in terms what else can be done to it on a staff level except for fold it back into FG or something, so once again I'm asking for your guy's input on what can be done with it 

What changes do you thing should be done about Fanclubs?

 

On to the last major topic of discussion, Welcome Lounge. As it is, it doesn't serve too much of a purpose other than letting new members make welcome post (which is of course important). I've been think about renaming it into some sort of a member's lounge which would house the welcome threads, things like birthday and anniversary threads and stuff like global birthday lists. An actual birthday list would be nice as the birthday function on the site can be easily abused (thanks sciz) and usually just lists off inactive members, so a manually maintained and edited list would get more attention to the active birthday users. Also I love having dedicated celebratory threads cause it's fun. This would also give a nice place for tutorials which don't really fit off-topic. 

So what do you guys think about a Member's Lounge?

So thanks for reading guys and hope to get your input on where PS should go next. 

Joker, Yashu, Gir and 2 others like this

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First of all, I forgot to say but congrats on being an admin now! I think it's better to have two active admins and one active mod than to have one active admin and two active mods anyway, since admins can do more, like you did.

 

RP related content

 

I love the idea of a beginners RP section. One thing that I think keeps people away from the RPs that exist or existed in the past is the fact that the quality is usually way higher than that of a beginner. It's easy to get demotivated if everyone around you is twice as good after all. A beginners section woulf be perfect for this as it has lower standarts.

 

Another reason why I think it is a good idea is because I doesn't require as much information to be put into your form. I always liked the kind of things where you just post the basic facts like name, age and gender, and leave the personality and backstory up to be created along the way. I think this would work better in the beginners section as the quality is lower than what is expected in the normal section.

 

The beginners section also allows various things to be done faster. The most obvious one is that the original post will be up immediately, which will prevent OP to get as uninteresed or discouraged as he would be if no one has approved his RP for days, with what little active RP mods we have. The second thing is that creating characters and posts would get done a lot faster due to the simple nature and lower standarts of the beginners section. It's simply less time consuming.

 

As for the advanced section, I think there is no harm in leaving it where it is, but at the same time it's also kind of just there, gathering dust. Perhaps a good idea is to remove it for now and add it back when RPs seem to be gaining popularity again.

 

Fanclub related content

 

Fanclubs seem to be rather dead now, and they won't be revived until PS itself does too. I don't think anything should be done with this now, though merging it with the forum games section does seem like an interesting idea. Fanclubs are all about discussions and sometimes art or small contests. The light and laid-back nature of this section seems perfect for it to be thrown into the shallow waters of the forum games. They will perhaps gain a little interest because the forum games in general are never really dead. I don't really have much more to say about it though.

 

Member Lounge related content

 

A Member Lounge, again, seems like a good idea. PS is already a very tight-knit community, and this will really show that to potential newer members. It could go either way though. Either the new member will think that he will never be able to fit in with the rest of us, or he will feel welcomed and eager to be a part of all this. I think the latter will appear more often than the former though.

 

We could expand it by, like you said, the tutorials and birthday related things, but I think it could also house general advice and questions unrelated to the rest of the forums but too situational to be put in off-topic. The Member Lounge seems like a great place for it as it's all about the members there. (Also I love the celebratory threads too)

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Congrats Yukko on your first admin announcement! It's reassuring for the members to see some leadership in relation to the forum's future. :) Hope this feedback helps!

Great choice reviving the CCFG function - might be wise to update the forum description and rules thread to match the change. 
 

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It's fair to say the member-base did support an Advanced RP section in the beginning, but in reality I believe everyone was too intimidated to post or participate in there. With the community's current size it would make sense to simplify the section by having only one forum to post RPs into. If members wish to have an Advanced RP perhaps they could add a prefix to the top title, for example: [Advanced] The Rise of the Rebellion. Or if a Pokemon/Non-Pokemon prefix is added then segregating the topics is still an easy fix. 

To make use of the spare subforum I'd like to see it used purely for brainstorming and planning RPs, out of character talk as well as other interaction between RPers to discuss RP topics. This will help foster a closer knit community among RPers. Perhaps call it the Roleplay Theatre (/Theater) and/or Roleplay Rehearsal? 

To kickstart this section we need Roleplaying Moderators who go beyond approving threads and enforcing the rules, we need Moderators who are proactive in driving member activity.
 

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Being the one to launch the Fanclubs forum back in 2012 and see it grow with popularity, this forum has a great deal of sentimental value to me. Given Pokestadium as a whole is currently missing that community charm, it is imperative to keep this section. 

Introducing a Fanclub Moderator to drive activity by encouraging participation, interaction, discussion as well as creating events there would be a great start in its revival. If the community see investment being made into the forum then a sense of trust to participate will be instilled there. The section has failed due to lack of leadership, not because of member disinterest. 

 

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Loving the concept, Yukko! You are spot on, welcoming threads only form part of the potential for this section. Those old Member Talk uses could just as easily integrate (celebrations, birthdays, staff promotions, anniversaries etc). These aspects are important for creating a community atmosphere, otherwise joining Pokestadium would be no different to other platforms. 

My ideal vision would be to call it the Pokestadium Boulevard, a Main Street of sorts for the Pokestadium community to engage with other members. Forum events could also be hosted here. 
 

To%20sum%20up_zpsctdccwjm.png
A key theme you may see throughout my suggestion is the interaction between members. Maybe because I do thrive on socialisation, but also generally speaking the presence of social media has impacted on online forums. Social media is convenient, but it hardly creates a sense of community pride. 

As the community may have witnessed it isn't the number of staff or features a forum has that makes it success. In order for Pokestadium to be successful (and become a viable alternative) again it needs to be more than just somewhere to post an opinion or idea, it needs to be somewhere people benefit from personally. It would be great to position Pokestadium as an online "village" of sorts - a community long in history, but close in membership.

With the Northern Hemisphere summer break fast approaching, along with the future release of Sun and Moon, Pokestadium has great potential to be excited about its future! It just needs effective leadership from the staff and ongoing support from the existing members. 

Edited by Hydro Pumper

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So, I've been looking over this and thinking I should give input since I saw this, but never really had the chance, either due to school, or prior arrangements. As both Gir and Hydro said, congrats Yuuko on Admin. I agree that it's certainly reassuring to see more active leadership in this otherwise stagnant community.

 

Now onto other things:

Roleplaying

   -My view on a 'beginner's section'

I can see how this has the potential to be both a benefit and a burden. A benefit, in that it can encourage the newer members not as used to RPing to practice and hone both their character creation and utilisation, however, it might also be a pressure thing, as some people might not want to admit that they don't really know the ins and outs of RPing, so thus they might be inclined to steer clear of beginner RPs for that reason. However, the possibility of that is quite low and the former is much more likely to happen, so all-in-all, I think a Beginner's section could be really beneficial in conjuring up some activity in our dying RP section.

 

   -The Advanced Section

So, I myself never really felt confident joining an advanced RP. Sure, I'm sure I could've done fine, had I actually put effort and thought into both forms and posts, but as someone who already has a lot on their hands, what with School, Friends and other Personal things like gaming, I never had the time to put that sort of effort into posts. I think that this, along with the intimidation factor, is what kept the Advanced section from taking off, especially when you just read the minimum size of most posts. 2 paragraphs does seem big until you actually start properly RPing, and then you realise just how easily 2 paragraphs can roll of the tips of your fingers. (See, because you're typing. Laugh, I'm funny, alright!)

 

   -The Role Playing forum as a whole

I think that the major thing causing issues in the RP forum at the moment is the lack of activity from the RP mods, which isn't their fault. They have lives outside of PS that prevent them from always checking the RP forum, but if that's the case, then a potential option is always to promote more members to RP mods. Now I'm not trying to say 'Oh, look how inactive the RP mods are, we need new RP mods' because that's not necessarily the case. It's just that I sometimes feel that one or two extra RP mods, picked from some of our more active users, would be a way to reactivate the RP forum. This certainly isn't a major thing, as fixing the RP forum is something I feel should be put on the backburners, at least until PS is a bit more active, but these are just my ideas, take them as you please.

 

 

Fanclubs

Fanclubs, like the RP section, are something that just sort of died. Similarly to what Hydro said, I feel that a Fanclub moderator would be useful in spurring some activity in the section, but obviously said FC mod would be near useless unless we could stir up some interest in Fanclubs again. I feel that merging it with Forum Games isn't exactly the answer here, as I feel that everyone will just forget they exist, even if the section is relabelled as such.

Fanclubs are certainly important to driving interest in specific topics, and that goal was achieved well before the forum closed. However, with the Fanclub section the way it is now, there's little to do besides either get some Mod/Staff created FCs or just hope people start having a little more interest in the Fanclub Section.

 

 

Member Lounge

Overall, I think this a great idea. Giving more interactivity between the active members and overall just giving the site a more welcoming feel, as even the name 'Member's Lounge' sounds more like you can stay there, even after you've become a long term member, which in itself just seems like a better choice. Welcome Lounge sounds like it's a cordoned off area, only accessible if you're a new member looking to introduce yourself or a member welcoming in said newbie, otherwise you're not allowed in. I also think that the Celebratory Thread idea is really good, as Hydro said, it gives more of a community-like atmosphere, which is what we need.

 

 

Overall

Hydro sums it up perfectly, what PS needs is to be a community where people can come to get more than an opinion or idea, somewhere they can come to make friends and share stories. Somewhere they can come when the real world is getting too much, or even just as a friendly hub to catch up with mates. Pokestadium is a great place already. Even with only a handful of active members. I remember when PS was more active, and ironically, the people weren't as caring, because now, people just want to come together to reforge this forum, better than it was before, and we can't do that without everyone pitching in, which is why it's great that people give input on changes, and why it's great for the admins to ask us what we, the commmunity, want to do with PS, and not just go down a silent road with what they think will fix PS. We're a community, not a group ruled by one. We give the input, and the Admins make the changes. That's what Pokestadium truly needs, and what I think has begun to happen of late.

 

 

So yeah, there's my spiel, take whatever you want from it, I just don't want to see this community die again. I've made a lot of fantastic friends here, and it's truly a place where I feel at home. So don't let something like this go to waste. This is our community that we'll rebuild. What we need to remember is to never give up on each other.

Gir and Joker like this

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Quick little update too:

 

People who have been here for 3 years will become Veterans automatically. These Veterans will have yellow names and a cool sounding member group. @Gir was probably the first person to realise this. This is kinda like an idea of mine that could probably promote activity a bit because people like getting rewarded. Might add more stuff soon like contributors and such.

 

Also I made another group for people with 850 posts and above who aren't in the minimum of 3 years. It says "Contributor" in a not so bright Orange colour. Problem is though it can't change automatically, so I'll be making a thread for it.

Edited by Legend
Added another thing.
Spamuhell and Gir like this

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It's been a few weeks since we have all had the opportunity to reflect on the innovative ideas pitched in this thread, so it makes sense now to identify how these plans will be actioned. Whether it be in the form of a plan, to-do list, or further questions from the Admins etc, what is the community's direction moving forward? What is the official response from the staff? How can the member-base support the staff in the forum's current form and new direction? There lies some great insight submitted here and elsewhere by our members, so it would be great to have an official opinion on the pitches made above. :) We need to keep the momentum of this thread going, so I hope these questions have the potential to bait further discussion! 

 

From my observation over the past couple of years as a tourist here, one of the reasons the forum is plagued by inactivity is because there is no sense of investment by the leadership. Like any product or service, when the public (in this case the members, lurkers, etc) see direction they will be in turn invest their time and energy into the community to support it. Just look at the number of returns by old members over the past couple of weeks and you'll see they came back because they saw someone else do something in particular which reassured their place here on the forum. :)

 

I'm confident we can make the changes necessary to kick-start the community, but we need commitment from all sides. To get there we need to set goals as a community to drive our direction. We can reflect upon these goals in a week, month, and even a year to ensure we're making progress (we need to be ambitious enough to measure success). The following spoiler contains an example of a community goal I believe we have the potential to achieve together. My intention isn't for this post to be taken personally, it is simply pure objective feedback based on my and other member's observations.The purpose of the exercise is to help make Pokestadium an engaging experience for as many people as possible, and identify opportunities for improvement. :)

 

Spoiler

Recruit and retain staff who have a genuine interest to improve the community. If any current staff aren't 100% committed that is perfectly fine, though if this is the case perhaps they need to reconsider their position here too (similar to how Bloom has resigned recently). Is logging in and participating in a limited capacity enough? These positions are imperative in setting the forum's tone and atmosphere. A fortnight ago when certain members had been disruptive, trolling or breaking rules; those threads/blogs are reported and yet there is a good chance nothing happens - this is an issue. When there isn't any encouragement or proactiveness from staff to reinspire activity across inactive sections - this is also an issue. Pokestadium currently has the most Admins as well as the most developed features in its whole existence, yet Pokestadium is also the quietest it has been in my whole six years I've been a member (this is purely an observation, and not a criticism for the current staff). Vilex, Chris, Shiny and I managed to uphold more activity in the forum with a whole lot less features than this software in only a Moderator's capacity. The lesson is it's not how many staff the forum has which determines its success, it is who those people are which count a lot more. 

 

Perhaps the current staff are making an effort, but in the public realm this isn't made clear. If this is the case, is communication with the member base an issue (lack in Announcement threads)? Is this exemplified by the lack of follow up in this thread, and by extension the absence of staff input for the Pokestadium Olympics? 

 

Across the old mod team we were all aware of our strengths and weaknesses. Vilex and I were feelers, we were the interactive ones who enjoyed injecting that community feel into Pokestadium, whereas Shiny and Chris were a lot better at enforcing rules and disciplining members to keep the forum on track. By being aware of who we work with there is greater chance of functioning effectively as a team. By filling in those personality/skill gaps the staff come across as cohesive to the community. Who would describe the current team as cohesive? Are they all working together towards a common end, or is it disorganized and random? Does the current staff team cover the bases effectively, or is there a skill/personality shortage within the team? 

 

In order to make honest changes, honest feedback is required, so I hope none of the current staff take this personally (because that certainly isn't my intention, I actually hope this helps inspire change for the better!). It can't be denied that leadership is an imperative influence on the forum's direction and the member's experience. :)

 

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Yeah, Hydro brings up a lot of important points of what needs to happen with the staff moving forward. 

 

The first of which is likely a major overhaul of our rules set. One of the major issue of why the enforcement of rules was handled so poorly is how debatable and unspecific the rules currently are. While the forum specific rule sets will likely only need slight tinkering if any, the current set of global rules are really makeshift as we've lost Johan's official rules thread, so the current thread was whatever Legend could put together from some of the moderator pages. The issue is that those pages largely serve as a reminder of the rules set, not a robust definition of the rules. Moving forward we need a rule set which clearly outlines the expectations of PS Members in places like status updates, blogs and general behaviour. 

 

The second issue is as a staff team, we lack a strong community leader on our team. To be perfectly honest, I'm really not in tune with the majority of the PS community and haven't been for quite a while, so I tend to work on more behind the scenes stuff in general where as Legend and Zeta are much more social people who are more capable than me of being involved in the community directly. However, I feel that a staff member who's more of a community builder and upfront person is necessary moving forward. In addition to that, the staff really does lack leadership. Bloom for the most part was the cornerstone of the team and with her gone, there's definitely a void in terms of leadership. So, there's a lot of things to think about in terms of restructuring the staff at the moment. 

So yeah, there's lots of things to do and think about. In terms of what's happening in the near future, likely the Member's Lounge will be the first up of the changes to occur as it's the easiest and most likely to get more community investment going in the short term. Following that will likely be the rule changes as those are the most important. 

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