What can we do to make this forum better?
It's common knowledge that forums can add a lot to the user experience of a web site, but it can also be a place where flame wars start and grudges get formed. What can we do to both encourage use of the forums but remove all the crap that other forums have? We'd love to hear your thoughts.
- Private Messaging?
- Better Image Attachments?
- Better layout?
- Points System?
- More visibility?
Kill it and replace it with a chat box.
Wait...let me try to rephrase that.
I don't think anything is preventing it from working as it is, but I don't see improvements to the system as leading to improvements in traffic. I just don't think it has a clearly defined purpose, and I think that's the reason it never really took off, as far as I can tell. Personally speaking, I get what I need as a user from reading and responding to the discussions in articles. Outside of the marketplace section, I'm not really sure what the forum provides that a shoutbox couldn' t handle.
As an aside, I understand you want this site to be a safe environment, but I don't think that there's any thing about a forum that inherently festers ill will. I mean, I can think of several examples of grudges and flaming that have started in CDX articles. That's just how the internet can go sometimes.
You've mentioned forums can be great networking experience, but it can also be a place where flame wars start and grudges get formed & you, the staff, & myself want to make this better not just for the forum but for this community.
I do want to bring something up that kind of irks me, but I don't want to discuss it on this thread.
So please keep a lookout for my proposal when I send you a PM. I've been busy with my game design class this semester, so it'll be about a few days when I send it you.
Have a great upcoming weekend.
EDITED: On 7:22PM EST
Speaking of PMing, is the system kind of broken right now or is that just on my end? Attempts to use the contact link on the profile page or the email link in the forums result in me being kicked back to the main page. Using Chrome, but IE does the same thing.
You can just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I think an occasional raffle prizes for members would do wonders.
Anyways, I think a better layout and organization or forum sections would do as well. Just my opinion. When I take a look at the forum, I'll see the American toy section or Japanese, Then everything else lumped inside. Perhaps a segregation using sub-boards will help organize everything better.
Maybe a section with relevant preorders and in store exclusives. I hate being a few weeks late and it costing me dearly.
That's tough. We don't often know when exactly something goes on preorder, and we don't currently have the manpower to maintain such a list. Maybe in the future...