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-> ## Forum Tribune Report <-
Hey folks, just wanted to introduce myself here a little and get right to business. I've been in DB for a little under a year and a half, have been an ACC Judge and an Arcona Summit member for the better part of it. I have over a decade of experience administrating forums, and in fact, one was part of my university communications internship. Not paid, of course ;) I have fully customized a forum in the past, and though I cannot guarantee anything at this time, some modifications may be on the table in the future to coincide with the new website. For now, simplicity and minimalism is key.
Which brings me to my first point. Back when the DB had massive amounts of active members on the forum, it made sense to have so many boards. But over time they've fallen into disuse and disarray. Right now it is, as Muz has pointed out, an eyesore. Long dead boards litter the front page and can turn away new users as much as an outdated website. We present ourselves as just another dead club, when we're not. I have two plans to combat this.
In the next month I'll be doing a systematic overhaul of the boards. The structure will change drastically, just a forewarning. I'm not bringing a shovel, I'm bringing a bulldozer :P Many of the boards, especially the front page boards, will be moved, merged, archived, and some deleted. Clouse leaders, I'll be getting with you about your massive amount of inactive boards. Please start considering what to keep, what to merge, and what to delete. Boards and moderator access are going to be on a need-only basis (Update: Units will need to send me an updated moderator list for their boards. Thanks Shad!). As we will be moving away from it being strictly a forum and more of a community, we'll be changing board titles and even usergroup titles and colors to go with the new structure.
No matter which method of communication the DB uses the most, i.e. IRC and egroup, the Forum is still the first point of contact for a lot of potential members. It is easier and faster for a potential member to click the link and look at the forum for activity than it is to download mIRC or register and eventually get into an egroup to see just how active the DB is. That, to me, is why our forum must be presented in a positive way. Not only does dead boards make it look dead, but so does a lack of activity.
So what do we do? Close it? No. The forum may not be our main communication method, but it serves other purposes and can be more. Recruiting. Fun. Guides. Competitions. Showcasing competition entries. Unit Fictions. DC and Unit News Posts. The point isn't to take away activity from IRC nor to revolutionize the forum, but to utilize what we already have.
Mav, Solari, and Atra have already been patrolling the forum and welcoming and helping new members get acquainted in DB, and for this I am awarding them the Member of the Month title. Yes, it rolls over in a couple days, but I wanted to give a shoutout and make sure they know their willingness to help out is appreciated. Starting February, look out for the possibility of it being a new title in your profile, along with possible other perks. ;)
Bulletin Boards, or Forums, as we now know them, are no different than they were 40 years ago, they just look a lot more fancy now and can do a ton more stuff. They were made for communication and community, and that will be our goal. But I will not be doing it alone. I need your help. There were a lot of applications, and I'm told there were some brilliant ideas out there. I want to hear them. Even if you didn't send an app, I want to hear your ideas.
The above mentioned members' activity is a great start to what I want to see on the forum, and I will be creating a small cadre of folks like them to bring life to the forum. I am looking for:
Calm Staff: Staff will be populated with calm and laid back folks but are quick to moderate when it comes down to it. I would rather see laid back attitudes than itchy trigger fingers. Staff will be required to maintain a sense of professionalism not unlike that of Voice or Wiki staff.
Active Staff: One of the main staff requirements is that all staff members need to be regular members too. This means they must post new topics and replies to generate activity. An active Staff group keeps members active and keeps the wrong kind of drama and trouble away.
Helpful Staff: A must for Staff. Staff members will help out members when needed and will be friendly to help members feel more comfortable. Support requests will be attended to quickly. They will serve as the Welcoming Committee: friendly, helpful folk in charge of welcoming and assisting new members that post on the forum.
If you're interested, send me an email to discuss it. I don't need applications and reccs, just tell me a little about yourself and any forum experience.
For January we are in a competition freeze to gear us up for the upcoming Vendetta, so no Forum competitions will be run. However, the Voice is running the Dark Crusade Prologue Run-On, which started with over 90 members and over a dozen teams. You can check out the continuing competition on the Run-On board.
Maelous is a new member to DB and has posted an "Obligatory Hello" to the board. Feel free to give him a shout out to make him feel welcome!.
Yacks is running a discussion thread on the Taldryan board about DJB Canon Characters Episode 2.
Shadow is running a discussion regarding the ACC currently being renovated.
This seems like a common sense tip, but truly, not everyone follows it. Always, always, always write your posts in a notepad or Word file before attempting to post it. Why? Because there is always a chance your post can get eaten and lost to the void, never to return. You can try the Back arrow on your browser, but sometimes that doesn't work either. I've learned this lesson the hard way a long, long time ago.
Report Post isn't necessarily just for rule breaking. Feel free to use it to inform Staff of duplicated posts, or threads you'd like Stickied to the top, etc.
Tip by Shadow (phrasing!): For those of you new to the forums or looking to be more active on them, I dug up the fancy signature's Orv created way back when he was first SCL. Check them out here: Here. Not only did Orv create a number of different Star Wars-ish backgrounds, he designed them so they automatically update your IDline to match your dossier. Very sexy. And yes, the text color is based on your Order. How do you add a signature? Just log in to the forums, click on "User Control Panel" at the top right and the "edit signature" link can be found under your Profile options.
(Thanks again, Shad!)
I have a fairly good turnaround time for emails. If you need forum help, feel free to email me, Forum PM, or IRC PM, though email is generally better for tracking. The forum is set to email Orv with issues, so just send me a direct email. Once the forum and staff is sorted out we may use another email but this is fine for now.
As with any new position, there are going to be some growing pains. If you find something amiss on the forums, please let me know. Jamez and I are keeping regular backups (not daily), but as always, keeping your own post backups is suggested just in case anything hiccups between now and the last backup.
Total posts 70737 | Total topics 4366 | Total members 1528 | Our newest member Kanis Da'uul
That's all for now, Good luck to all in the Run-On and Dark Crusade!
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