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The Future of the Bristol Vanguard Forum

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 12:08 pm
by Josh

We are considering wheter it is worth continuing to fund the use of this forum. We appear to be loosing the war against the bots and the commjnity has largely migrated their hobby chat to social media.

I would be keen to hear peoples views, we are keen to support the communities who do still use this resource and are looking at integrating a discussion board into the main website.

What features of the forum would be important to replicate in any replacement systems?

What new features would be good a ove what this forum can provide?

The forum has been paid for this year so any change would kick in from Jan 2019.

Re: The Future of the Bristol Vanguard Forum

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 8:18 pm
by Lavallin
I still use the forum occasionally to try to organise events etc and occasional games - although I'll acknowledge that recently I more often do the latter by Whatsapp to people I know. The forum still feels like it could, in theory, be a way to address a few more people, including those who only play infrequently. However, uptake has been lower for a while and I guess, if you can see user numbers, then excepting trolls, users are likely down too?

The main thing that it still definitely seems to be used for is for table booking at the Duke. Even that is not rigorously observed. But it's probably the best alternative to absolute free-for-all. (And I'm aware that the Duke is a separate entity to Vanguard, and it's arguably not a club issue to address, but a substantial proportion of gamers there if not the majority are Vanguard members.)

My main request for the main thing that any future system should provide is not requiring use of Facebook! If it can be used to send messages to multiple recipients ("Hello person who has previously played this system; just to let you know we're planning an event on the Xth...") that'd be good. For some campaigns etc (both miniatures wargames and RPGs), we've ended up with quite dense threads as people's fluff accumulates, but I'm not sure what a good system to manage that content would be. Proliferation of custom wikis feels like a quick, easy, and probably wrong answer for this requirement!

Re: The Future of the Bristol Vanguard Forum

Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 10:54 am
by Stu's Idle
The bots are winning. I know Liam has been massively frustrated by this. I had been deleting 5-8 bots a day (which takes nearly a minute per bot) but was ill for a while and didn't keep it up, the task is now almost overwhelming.

The majority of traffic on this forum is about booking tables at the Duke. Any alternative which is easy for me to edit would work just as well. There are a few of us who discuss Flames of War (the game and events) here but I'm sure most people would be happy to find an non-Facebook alternative. There are a few people who discuss the club, mainly new people who want to join or people new to Bristol looking for games, the community etc. The bulk of these people would probably be happy with a page on the website with instructions/guides to the relevant Facebook page, Whatsapp group, BIG forum etc.

Re: The Future of the Bristol Vanguard Forum

Posted: Thu May 17, 2018 10:45 am
by Monk
I have temporarily disabled registration. Unfortunately for some reason I am unable to update the forum to update the security. There is something wrong with the database that any update corrupts. The only solution I have at present to fix that is removed the forum and database and do a fresh installation.

Re: The Future of the Bristol Vanguard Forum

Posted: Fri May 18, 2018 7:44 am
by Stu's Idle
In that case mate I think it's time to find an alternative/alternatives. What do you think the best options are Liam?

Re: The Future of the Bristol Vanguard Forum

Posted: Fri May 18, 2018 7:55 am
by Lavallin
Also, while we're working out/implementing successor options, is it of any use if a few more of us volunteer to wield some temporary mod powers to delete spam etc? I'm happy to do my bit if needed.

Re: The Future of the Bristol Vanguard Forum

Posted: Fri May 18, 2018 11:21 am
by Stu's Idle
I've been deleting what I can but there are two 'users' whose messages won't delete. I've banned them and deleted their posts but they are still listed in the 'New Posts' area. When I try to do anything more I'm told they they and their posts do not exist. It's annoying. I'm guessing this links in to the issues Liam has been finding.