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Regarding the changes to the subforums

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If you haven't noticed, some of the subforums have been switched up and moved. I'm mostly going to talk about the reasoning behind this changes here.



Writing has been merged back into Artwork for the time being. This is mostly due to the inactivity of the subforum simply not warranting it to be it's own subforum any more. For now simply post your written work to the Artwork section with either a tag or [Writing] in front of it. If there is enough activity in the future, it can easily be re-added at a later date. 


Welcome Area

This section has been broken off of the Member's Lounge and will basically hold all the threads related to new users including welcome posts, rules and general guide lines. The idea is give new users a space where they can everything about being a user on PS and be welcomed. I might rename the section in the future, so this is just a temporary name. Also it should be noted that returning users should still post in the Member's Lounge. 


Member's Lounge

The idea of the Member's Lounge moving forward is that it's a place for PS users to talk among themselves about things not related to the other sections. So it would hold things like Birthday Threads and Returning Member threads moving forward. Fanclubs and Tutorials have been moved to be subforums of the Member's Lounge because they seem to fit under this banner as they are places to have specific interest member groups and teach members skills respectively (it also helps hide Fanclub's inactivity). I'm honestly not sure how effective fanclubs are in the way we do them here at PS and they probably could use a lot of restructuring considering how many renditions of also any given topic of fanclub there's been, but that's a discussion for another day. Also feel free to post in the Tutorials section if you have a tutorial you want to do. I'm pretty sure the old tutorial submission system is dead considering that DeadlyInformant has been inactive. 


That's pretty much for this set of changes. On the topic of changes though, I'd really be happy if you guys could reply with your ideas for the Artwork section. Between the gallery addition and blogs, it really needs to be changed up to get some activity. Gallery is really a much better way to post artwork given that your pieces will be display on the main page and you can add individual pieces instead of having to mass post them. Plus people can comment on each piece separately. We still need to work out a rule set for it though. Obviously we aim the site a low age audience, but there still need to be standards. Rules for that will be hard, but definitely do able. Blogs on the other hand is problematic. It's obviously a really nice and useful part of the site, but it tends to draw activity away from other sections, especially artwork. I'm not sure if trying to crack down on blogs posting artwork galleries (and by doing so avoiding artwork's approval system) is really a good idea, but the dynamic differently needs to be changed up. 


Well that's all folks. Thanks for reading and enjoy your day (or night lol)



CP_, isagonj, Plato and 2 others like this

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Here comes your friendly neighborhood CP for his round of input giving.


These new changes to the layout should, in my opinion, bring only good things to the forum. When it comes to writing being merged into artwork, I really can't say much about it. But to be brutally honest, who can? It's not like there were a bunch of members posting there, and it just took up space. I'm glad for the merge, although artwork rules should be updated (if they haven't already) to include stuff for writing.


I also really like the idea of merging all the off-topic stuff into one central area. Having introductions separate from the bulk of it helps keep things nice and organized. As for fanclubs, I think they definitely have a better home in the member's lounge, but they definitely will need to be restructured if they are going to actively succeed going forward. I'm going to refer to something else I posted a while back for why fanclubs seem to always eventually fail:


It's similar to why most fanclubs here fail; there's not enough motivation. We know all there is to know about one another besides personal things. Another small thing to point out about fanclubs is that the newer post requirements and general reform from the past has discouraged the idea of chitchat about a subject on the forums, the exact focus of the fanclub section. I guess we've just accepted that lengthy posts are forum material and conversation is pm material.

Looking back on what I wrote here, this isn't so much a problem with the section or the rules, but rather what we as the members deem acceptable for the forums. We have this pre-set idea of what a fanclub should be (Unique and interesting, shops, points mechanics and ranks, etc.), even though the forum standards have changed a lot since the first big reform. On top of that, like @Yuuko mentioned, the same topic can only be re-used so many times before it goes dry. This same idea applies to conversation in a fanclub; if you had to talk about one subject forever, you'd lose your mind. When it comes to finding a solution to the fanclub situation, I think they should be converted into more of a general "clubs" idea, if you understand what I mean. Take real life; sports teams don't only ever talk about sports. There's always that unifying singular subject, but they could be talking about anything. In my mind, the broader the club, the more appealing it would be, as many different people could join for different reasons. One small problem I could see arising from an idea like this would be exclusion. This scares me in particular, as the clique-ish behavior was what made me lose my mind and leave for a couple months, but as long as it's well-moderated, it shouldn't be an issue.


I'm happy to see tutorials being brought to attention again, and I might actually submit a few sometime down the road. Hopefully we can get a good many others to do the same.


However, the big topic of discussion here is the artwork section and it's role in the future of this forum. Since the release of blogs a while back, and more recently the gallery, the artwork section has basically been left in the dust as the former two services proved themselves to be much simpler to work with and update regularly. I think the appeal of blogs as a medium for art posts comes with the lack of regulation. Artwork threads require approval, and the required mass art post at the beginning can be annoying to work with. Blogs are much more casual, allowing you to just post whatever art you feel like without any sort of rules or regulations governing what to post, when to post it and how much you're allowed to post. The gallery takes the casual nature of blogs and adds publicity into the mix. You can post whatever you want whenever you want, as well as having it displayed right on the main page for the whole user base to see. With these 2 grand competitors, it's no wonder that the artwork section has slowed to a crawl. And even on top of that, the artwork section was already pretty slow to begin with.


When it comes to a solution to the problem of artwork and its activity as a forum section, the future looks grim. Everything the section can do, blogs and the gallery can do better. For it to succeed, the forum will need its own niche in our little forum ecosystem. The bogs have accessibility and the gallery has publicity, so what can the artwork forum have to separate itself from the other two? This is what we'll need to figure out as a community.


In my mind, the first step to fixing the artwork section is to either get rid of the thread approval requirement, or crack down on quality requirements and regulations in the blogs and gallery, with the former being my personally preferred option. I've never been a staff member to see the hidden queue of unapproved topics, so I wouldn't know how many crappy topics you guys get in the section. Here's a situation though for you: say we get rid of the topic approval system. A crappy thread is posted. What's stopping people from just reporting it? Then the issue gets dealt with, and people with legitimately good threads don't have to wait for staff approval. This is only the first step to fixing our artwork section, but it's definitely an important one.


With topic approval gone, the artwork section essentially puts itself at an equal playing field as the blogs with one simple little change. As for where to go from there, I truthfully don't have the slightest idea. One thing is for sure though: with an artwork forum reform, rules on posting blogs and gallery images will need a good update as well, both to limit spam and specify a bit better what belongs in the gallery and what does not. I know that this next suggestion has been up in the air since I first arrived on the forum, and I can see the topic being relevant to this situation. The topic I speak of is of course...



If we are truly getting serious about fixing everything wrong when it comes to artwork as a whole and its relationship and relevance to this forum, artwork moderators should be added to the staff team to regulate and innovate with the artwork forum and gallery. Another benefit to having artwork mods on the staff team would be the fact that having another group handle art would allow the core staff to focus on more pressing issues like reports and forum expansion and maintenance. At our current state, we definitely do not need this new staff group. However, it should be kept in mind as artwork related activity increases.


That about wraps up all I have to say in regards to the current forum changes that have been described in the original post. I'm really appreciative of the new organization that has been done with some of our subforums, and hopefully my input on the art section and its future will be useful.

isagonj likes this

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