Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...

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221 days, 1 hours, 9 minutes ago
View commander koski's profile
commander koski
Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not ever?

I think everybody agrees that the feed is not the best place for discussions on topics like drugs or flags or whatever unrelated to planets. With forums you could have such discussions with no problems to other people.

If the feed is not good, could we not make our own forum? Planets Magazine was created by active people who just wanted to do it, outside Nu-site. The Deeper Planets Discussions -forum.

Only thing we would need is that somebody sets it up and some people are designated as admins who act as local sheriffs there. BOOM! A forum!

https://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Forum

You could do it!

(Why not me? I'm not reliable enough :p )
220 days, 23 hours, 40 minutes ago
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vantucci
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
agreed.
220 days, 21 hours, 16 minutes ago
View gnerphk's profile
gnerphk
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
I believe there have now been two separate attempts to establish an external forum; neither was successful. The sticking point is apparently finding a way to integrate them with the present Site feed.

We're not talking an impossible task here, merely a difficult and likely thankless one.

And then, once it's completed, there'd be the not-inconsiderable obstacle of gaining formal recognition and an on-site link.
220 days, 21 hours, 12 minutes ago
View commander koski's profile
commander koski
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Two attempts? Please share links, I'd like to evaluate them myself! I wasn't aware.
220 days, 21 hours, 8 minutes ago
View gnerphk's profile
gnerphk
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
That's just memory, Koski. I don't know if either is still active.

I'm quite certain there's another attempt currently underway; let me check with the fellow that's working on it to see if he's interested in talking with you about it.
220 days, 21 hours, 1 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Commander+Koski,

> If the feed is not good, could we not make our own forum?

Absolutely. All it takes is time and money.

Money:
1. Need a domain - $10-15 per year
2. Need the Hosting - About $100 per year
3. Need the software - FREE (phpBB is the most commonly used forum software, and it has a LOT of extensions)
4. Need an NPO (Non-Profit Organization) to "manage" - Cost varies greatly, depending on location. The lowest I've seen is about $500 to set up and about $20 per year.
5. Need an "Umbrella" insurance policy - About $400 per year

The above should be able to be mostly paid for with a few ads.

Time:
1. Need to handle the legal paperwork for #4 and #5 above. Probably 1-2 hours for a Lawyer. This might add to the cost.
2. Need to install the Forum software - minutes through "cpanel"
3. Select, download and install the appropriate extensions and styles - several hours
4. Make code changes for customization that isn't done by extensions or styles - several hours
5. Make code changes to have the forum use Planets.nu to authenticate users - several hours
6. Set up the forums, roles and permissions - about 20 hours
7. Transfer the data from the current forums - 100-200 hours - requires Joshua to agree (possible Copyright issues)
8. Moderate forums - variable
220 days, 20 hours, 29 minutes ago
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gunthor
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Or... just start a subreddit on Reddit.
220 days, 20 hours, 9 minutes ago
View gnerphk's profile
gnerphk
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Gunthor -- We could do that, but much like earlier attempts I fear it would be fruitless. Unless it's integrated, the new Forum will not impinge on people's consciousness, and so it will languish unused.
220 days, 20 hours, 4 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@commander+koski,

PM sent.
220 days, 20 hours, 0 minutes ago
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qinic
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
An independent forum would never be an issue, can be done in minutes. It be a none flyer, if it does not come up in the feed at all and has no connection to the NU site it will not be visited by anyone.
What we need is the activity broken down by the subjects you select when you post a new entry and only certain topics on the feed, all else only to be seen when you go to activity and click on the subject are, maybe a listing of top recent posts for each subject in the activity home page.
That would be a good start I would think.
220 days, 19 hours, 44 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Qinic,

I absolutely agree with you. That's what the time estimates in my long post above consider to be the goal.
220 days, 15 hours, 50 minutes ago
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ghostrider
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
it sure would help new people in their search for knowledge, docs are excellant but the how tos cover the linkages between one set of mechanics in with another to achieve whatever purpose ie fuel consumption, distance traveled, an warpwell movement,, all well documented but neither individually gets you to a point of ships moving 83.5 lyrs roughly with some free fuel consumption , that takes how tos , a forum might provide a permanent place for that

places for linkages to this that an the other thing , here ya got to ask for some bodies link to his new charts he set up an tommorrow somebody asks again, ive seen some questions asked a 100 times , an deservedly so

I would think we all had our favorite info places , some were good for mechanics an some good for how to reads, most are gone, will this site step into that breach ? I hope, coarse im ignorant on such matters an skills , but I could pay a small bit more

all that beings said if things are going up we all need to go ahead an pay our 2 year membership , might save some small pennies
220 days, 13 hours, 41 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Ghostrider,

> most are gone, will this site step into that breach ?

The Hosting price I provided above would allow the sites to be moved under the Umbrella, if the Copyright Holder wants. That's the reason I chose that particular plan.
220 days, 6 hours, 46 minutes ago
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stygiusrex
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Reddit.com already has excellent forums. A couple are already set up, reddit.com/r/VGAPlanets and reddit.com/r/PlanetsNu, but they appear to be inactive. I don't know what it takes to become mods and enliven the subs, but that could very well be the place to be.
220 days, 6 hours, 43 minutes ago
View rudel's profile
rudel
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
What I miss most is looking through old strategy posts. Everything in the activity feed is gone after a short amount of time and then it gets flooded again with personal insults and topics of no connection to planets.

I never understood why the old forums were closed. The were so much better than this.
220 days, 4 hours, 58 minutes ago
View smn's profile
smn
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
To my understanding the main reason for ditching forums and going with the feed was having an active front-page that highlights events in the community - ending games, high-level promotions etc. That's a good target.

Forums (or more Forum-like behavior) on the other hand are great for long-term discussions, for categorizing discussions so that non-interesting categories are not visible unless one wants that.

The current solution certainly has something happening on the front page all the time, which is good, however the price is that there are no filters. Stuff that most definitely shouldn't be on the face of Planets.nu constantly end up there. I don't think the off-topic threads are meant to spam the whole community, but in effect that is what happens. Neither do I think our dueling duo actively wants to sabotage the front page of planets.nu, but that is what effectively happens.

The problem is clear. Community is the lifeline for a long-term game like this and it needs to be fostered. Being able to discuss off-topic things is really important for a community, however if that can't be done without spamming others, a key component of community-building is effectively discouraged. Being able to sometimes vent and argue is healthy, however when done on the front page it becomes a problem for everyone because it make the site feel hateful and stupid.

As the activity feed currently is, we lack the tools for keeping it good. Forums would give those filters, but so would developing the activity feed further. A default filter to stop showing discussions tagged as 'off-topic' in the main feed would already solve the immediate issue at hand.
220 days, 4 hours, 50 minutes ago
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mursu
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
I get the point that the front page of a game site should look active with recent topics and that it encourages people to participate.

...as long as the topics are related to the game and not full of constant squabble of a few individuals.

So the best of two worlds would be to have actual forum somewhere, but certain topics would be presented in the Activity Feed just like now. You could participate just like now, but in addition you'd have a chance to explore the actual forum and dig for interesting older discussions. And maybe participate in some non-game related discussions too.

What this would need is that some messages are displayed on the front page. My take would be:
-system generated game (end) messages
-system generated (major) promotions
-all topics started by you and all topics you have participated
-all topics flagged by an Activity Feed administrator as appropriate

Only the last one would take some minimal manual work, but as you'd not need to issue bans or anything, I think we would find people accepted by the community to handle it. Only a number of people who browse the forums anyway and they could flag appropriate discussions (and probably also unflag inapproriate so they'd only be seen on actual forum).
220 days, 2 hours, 59 minutes ago
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kwesy
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Just thinking ...

Wouldn't it be possible to redesign the feed into a forum?
The contents are all here in the feed. All we need is something that presents them in a more acceptable way.
Couldn't a userscript do that?
We already have categories for individual threads. These could serve as "boards".
220 days, 2 hours, 54 minutes ago
View psydev's profile
psydev
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
The newsfeed is basically a forum. (It has categories).

I just wish it didn't delete old threads.
220 days, 1 hours, 46 minutes ago
View commander koski's profile
commander koski
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Whoa @Whisperer , I asked for an ad-hoc shelter, you provided blueprints to a nuclear silo bunker! Well, better this way. :)

I put some thought to this and if we want an actual factual forum that is there and works for now and forever, you are pretty much on the right track.

Meanwhile we could use the reddit-thingies or whatever - the problem with Reddit is that how convenient would it be for example for following and bantering about a championship game? If it is mentioned enough in the feed and it has good content, people will come. But it would be a shame if we produce good content there that will be lost forever later.

But if we do a forum that way as you described - how would the financing work? A Kickstarter kind of thing working with benevolent contributors? I could easily donate 120 dollars yearly for a nice Planets.nu forum. I use at least an hour every day on this, I could easily pay that for a possibility to post funny pictures and talk off-topic stuff with fellow planeteers.
219 days, 20 hours, 44 minutes ago
View bondservant's profile
bondservant
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Yes Koski, we have forums already right? It just needs improved. And I even see a bigger replica of your face on the forums whenever I read your post!

Go to and bookmark:
http://planets.nu/forums

In the current Nu Forums, you can stick to the type of threads you are interested in like Strategy. Or go to game discussions. And best of all you can avoid going to the Chat Room of off-topic threads. Certainly this website for forums should be improved dramatically like doing a much better job of categorizing threads or truly showing the latest posts on the right hand side, but it seems we have the nucleus of what we need already here?

I am posting this message in the forums here:
http://planets.nu/discussion/okay-some-of-us-want-forum-we-have-feed-no-forum-not

Nu should improve this site or allow some people to improve it (similar to the great documentation team). And then have a prominent link to this Forums web address. Instead Nu does have a link to forums but it links to the activity feed categories:
http://planets.nu/#/activity/categories
219 days, 20 hours, 2 minutes ago
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qinic
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Well we could just replace the feed with an iframe to the forum after we clean up the frontage of it.
That would be the quick and dirty solution.
219 days, 19 hours, 29 minutes ago
View gnerphk's profile
gnerphk
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Koski, @Whisperer -- Heh. Nuclear silo bunker. Good description -- and yes, that's pretty much what we'd need.

I'm thinking finance could be casual, and some aspects could be simplified to reduce the price tag. (I dunno; we could declare it a religion, perhaps? It's not that farfetched; I make sacrifices, study, associate with fellow followers, practice a dogma religiously... I don't have faith, but that's a personal thing.)

RE Reddits: There's a reason they get no traffic. Trust me; I'm a blogger. That makes me an expert on how to generate zero traffic on a consistent basis, and a Reddit forum that has no integration with the present site is the perfect recipe. If you build it, they won't come.

If y'all don't believe me, check out the Players group on Facebook.
218 days, 20 hours, 2 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Commander+Koski,

Here are a few of the UserVoice requests that could be solved by having a real forum:

https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/32167402-fix-the-diplomacy-bug-where-long-public-discussion
https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/31868152-i-d-like-to-have-a-user-ignore-option-for-the-acti
https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/17071177-require-subscribing-to-forums-to-see-them-in-mai
https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/5827062-expand-activity-feed-to-have-some-more-forum-like
https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/4827499-allow-selective-muting-of-specific-players-and-hid
https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/3491913-posts-on-nu-s-forums-need-to-be-numbered
https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/2488719-upgrade-the-forum-to-phpbb
https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/2396629-quote-feature-in-forums
https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/2362776-add-a-search-feature-to-the-forums
https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/2327654-clean-up-the-game-threads-in-the-forums-for-examp

If the forum supports Private Messaging, a few others could also be resolved.
218 days, 19 hours, 56 minutes ago
View gnerphk's profile
gnerphk
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Hrm. That would be an interesting addition, now you bring it up, @Whisperer: a Flowdock-analogue widget, or at least a persistent group chat that could be set up on a per-game basis.
217 days, 20 hours, 36 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
OK. If we want this to move forward, we need to actually do something. The closest UserVoice request is probably this one:

https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/5827062-expand-activity-feed-to-have-some-more-forum-like

In addition to being the closest to what I believe is being generally requested (do we really care how we get there? We just want this result), this also has the most votes at 66. If the players want this capability, it's time to tell the Admins.


@Bondservant,

> Nu should improve this site or allow some people to improve it

The forums are currently tightly integrated into the Client code. I don't believe Joshua will allow "outsiders" to update that code-base without some very strict controls. Also, I don't think he has the time to update the software to do this properly. Finally, in order to support any sort of Volunteer Moderators (we've seen that Joshua and Big Beefer don't have the time/desire to Moderate this site), and have them work effectively, he'd have to replace his coarse-grained security policy (security levels are 0, 1 and 2 for Users, Editors/Translators and Admins) with a fine-grained security policy. While not all that complex, it's still not trivial (I know - I've done this sort of thing).

An external Forum would need to have a way for the system-generated Posts (Promotions, New Games, Finished Games, Posts from Championship games, etc.) to be submitted, other than manual. That's likely to be a bit on the complex side, and will take some Programmer time at both ends. Of course, there's still the task of putting it together and testing the basic functionality, but that's a relatively simple task with something like phpBB.


Whether these improvements are done on Planets.nu or offsite, there's a LOT of work involved in doing this task. The "simple solutions" (e.g. Reddit and FaceBook) have historically been non-functional. What I believe is needed is a complete solution that's simple to use and transparent to the user/player.
217 days, 9 hours, 36 minutes ago
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mekusi
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Wow! It amazes me that Koski had EXACTLY the same idea that I had, even down to using the same domain, posted it 4 days ago and I didn't see it on this newsfeed. Thanks Glyn and Whisperer for directing me to this thread. So yes, my apologies for duplicating an existing thread so exactly, but as Glyn pointed out, the fact I didn't see this thread does kind of prove the point.

I have voted for https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/5827062-expand-activity-feed-to-have-some-more-forum-like it now has 82 votes.

Bondservant, I had no idea http://planets.nu/forums existed. Its not listed on the top menu. Why not?

Whisperer your nuclear bunker might be required in USA, but it is definitely not elsewhere. But I actually don't care HOW we get the result, its just the result that interests me. If we can achieve that same result inside of planets.nu so much the better. Keep the Activity feed for official announcements and new game notices, promote the forums for everything else, and activate the tools that allow us to separate the wheat from the chaff. As you say, phpBB is free.
217 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes ago
View psydev's profile
psydev
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
I think the Search function needs updating. It seems to barely work. For one, I find that my search queries often do not return results, even though I know a piece of text is in the news feed.

Another thing that would really help with the search function:
- Search for posts by user name
- Search for @mentions of user name
- Search threads started by this user
217 days, 6 hours, 26 minutes ago
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glyn
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Psydev: The search function ONLY checks the text in the original post that starts the thread.
217 days, 5 hours, 39 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Mekusi,

> I had no idea http://planets.nu/forums existed. Its not listed on the top menu. Why not?

Because that's the old interface. It was shut down over 3 years ago.
217 days, 4 hours, 52 minutes ago
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mursu
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
To be honest I do not think external forums without connection to the current Activity Feed would work. If such has been already tried without success, why would it be different now? The Activity Feed would stay and even if some writers would go elsewhere, I'm sadly 100% sure that the problems such as needless squabble filling the front page would stay. Getting new or even existing players to join such external forum would be hard too.

So I'm in opinion that the development has to be somehow integrated to the site. If/as Activity Feed is wanted to stay, we should look ways to improve it. The best would be to limit what is seen on the actual Feed and what could be visible only on the forum.

We want the best parts of both worlds. So presenting an actual living community on the front page and allowing new members a very easy access to questions and commenting. And at the same time a forum where we could post pictures and search messages as well as direct discussions not suitable to the front page.

Naturally we need to make it clear that this is an improvement we'd like to see and that Joshua would be willing to prioritize. He might need to allow others than his direct team to participate somehow, but as he already has allowed people to participate in documentation, it really isn't that big step. And at the very least, the moderators wouldn't need actual punishing power, just a way to hide/show discussions on the front page. Banning, warnings and such could easily stay in the hands of admins.
217 days, 4 hours, 46 minutes ago
View bondservant's profile
bondservant
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
True. But the old Nu forums link is still useful and worth having as a secret bookmark. For example, before playing Horwasp for the first time a few weeks ago, I put in Horwasp as the search term and I was able to read numerous posts that related to the Horwasp.

And you can search for past activity feed posts by specific Nu players. Even though it is missing posts, it still usually searches the Nu site better than google does with a generic planets.nu search. I put in your name Mekusi and I saw twenty of your posts over the past few months; maybe it is time I reread Dune for a third time. I put in koski and I got enough reading material to last me the entire weekend hehe.

And perhaps, with just a little love, the old Nu forums site could be made to be much better and even more useful.
216 days, 20 hours, 11 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Bondservant,

> perhaps, with just a little love, the old Nu forums site could be made to be much better and even more useful

I think that would depend on exactly why the old forums were replaced by the feed. Here are the two announcements related to that change:

http://planets.nu/post/the-website-redesign-will-be-the-new-home-page-this-week
http://planets.nu/post/website-redesign-call-for-testers


@Mursu,

> I do not think external forums without connection to the current Activity Feed would work

Agreed. In order to be acceptable to the users and the management, any solution involving an external forum would need to be somehow integrated into the Activity Feed.


> We want the best parts of both worlds

Agreed. That's what I meant when I posted "complete solution that's simple to use and transparent to the user/player" above. It can be done; it takes time, planning and cooperation to complete.


> at the very least, the moderators wouldn't need actual punishing power, just a way to hide/show discussions on the front page.

That would be an improvement over what we have now, but would still require changes to the security model. This is briefly discussed above.

More details on security model:

The current security model at Planets.nu is hierarchical in nature. Every level has the abilities of every lower level. As you add more groups, each having a different responsibility, this type of security model breaks down. Currently, there are two groups (Editors and Translators) sharing the same security level. Maintaining a purely hierarchical security model, while adding basic moderation capabilities, would either give the Editors and Translators the ability to Moderate or it would give the Moderators the ability to edit the Documentation, and possible both. Any of these outcomes would be unacceptable.

FYI, operating systems started moving away from this security model long ago (in the 60s - early multi-user OSes), and applications started moving in this direction in the 80s. Other than Planets.nu, I can't remember the last time I saw a hierarchical security model without at least some fine-grained security capabilities.
216 days, 19 hours, 24 minutes ago
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mursu
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
> http://planets.nu/post/the-website-redesign-will-be-the-new-home-page-this-week

From the announcement behind the link:
"Players using the forums should start using the new activity feed system and provide feedback on additional features/tools you want to help make the new activity feed just as effective or better than the current forums."

Apparently the developer team was open to adding features to the Activity Feed. It seems that previous features are still missing today, but hopefully we could get the message through that these are actually severely missed and some way to clean up the front page at times would be very welcome too.

I'm not a programmer, but I trust the skills of Joshua and his team that he has created the site the way new features can be added. We as a community can sure help within the limits we can, but need to hear how. And in any case we need to be clear what are the features most crucially missing currently.
216 days, 13 hours, 26 minutes ago
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mekusi
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/5827062-expand-activity-feed-to-have-some-more-forum-like now has 86 votes.

I cannot log in to the forums. it seems it is only for people who were members 3 years ago
216 days, 11 hours, 16 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Mekusi,

> if it is there and working

Whether or not it works depends on your definition of "works". If you reply to a thread through that interface, it creates a new thread. To me, that's not working.
216 days, 10 hours, 46 minutes ago
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glyn
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
"Whisperer: If you reply to a thread through that interface, it creates a new thread."

@Whisperer: That is correct.
216 days, 10 hours, 45 minutes ago
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mekusi
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Good point, since I can't log in I wasn't aware of that. So what is between "working" and "removed"? Frozen? Crippled? Broken? something like that.
216 days, 10 hours, 18 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Mekusi,

> So what is between "working" and "shut down"?

I think the critical part is "Unsupported". If something in the old interface works, good. If not, tough.
216 days, 10 hours, 6 minutes ago
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glyn
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Mekusi: I get a laugh when someone new ends up finding the old forums and goes awhile before realizing somethings not working right. We're all "Are you using the old forum, is the background white? Please... please stop." Then usual "why haven't they deleted that", "why aren't we still using that" etc.
216 days, 4 hours, 19 minutes ago
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mekusi
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Glyn, I'm glad you are getting a laugh, I am too so we are laughing together. It just goes to show, if something seems too good to be true it probably is! I should have investigated further before getting myself all excited.
>Then the usual "why haven't the Admins deleted that", "why aren't we still using that" etc.
Amazing, first Koski reads my mind and now you must be a mind reader as well because those were the very questions I was thinking! ;->
215 days, 21 hours, 57 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Mekusi,

> https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/5827062-expand-activity-feed-to-have-some-more-forum-like now has 86 votes.

It's up to 89.
214 days, 5 hours, 57 minutes ago
View commander koski's profile
commander koski
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
I really, really think we need a proper Forum:

- I can't find anything in here, really, the search doesn't work.
- I need to be able to post funny pictures. And gif. And embedded video. Period. THIS IS THE FUTURE WE ARE LIVING IN, FOR GOODNESS SAKE!
- I like to participate discussions about minor details and return to them later again, perhaps even a year later etc. It's very hard to find those discussions here in feed.
- Discussing small nyances that interest only a few take space from the feed just as much as an off-topic. And what about something like PlanetsCon? If it's somewhere you can't travel, you dont' necessarily wish to participate the discussions of organizing it, but you don't want to push ignore, either. You just have to ignore it manually. :D
- Discussing Champ games breaks the in-game messaging - if they can't fix it, discussing in a forum would bypass that.
- We don't need something that looks like a forum, we need something that functions like a forum.

I think an outside-the-site forum ran by the community could solve a lot of things:
- moderating could be organized and done without stressing the Planets.nu staff
- no legal problems for the Planets.nu itself
- the feed could actually improve, as it would become something it was planned to be - a pure news feed you could comment and "like"!

I really, really would love to have a working feed and a working Discussion Forum, I believe they would function great together and would be much needed.

(Ceterum censeo, we need a proper Forum.)
213 days, 17 hours, 33 minutes ago
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martinr
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Commander+Koski

You may want a proper Forum.

But some people have highlighted the costs and time to set it up.

This site belongs to someone else and they may have other priorities to spend time and money on.

We all think this site is ours, but its not.

Maybe if someone can do crowd funding to raise the amounts proposed to cover the expenses and then gather the people needed to set everything up and put in the hours to create it. Then put a list of Forum moderators for approval.

Then put this into a business proposal to Joshua.

Then when all the money is in to cover say the set up fees and three years running costs.

You will have people volunteering to program it all and cover the moderation.

Then Joshua may agree to assign enough of his time to share what the Forum needs to share information.

As Joshua may agree with you but its his site and his time and money that everyone wants to spend.
213 days, 17 hours, 18 minutes ago
View commander koski's profile
commander koski
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Martinr

Obstacles are made to be overcome!
213 days, 17 hours, 3 minutes ago
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martinr
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Hard cash to the amount needed to cover expenses over a number of years and signed up volunteers may overcome obstacles.
213 days, 16 hours, 55 minutes ago
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mekusi
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Martinr You make a valid point, also known as the Golden Rule: The person with the gold makes the rules.

I can only speculate as to what Joshua and his team's priorities may be. In the absence of any other evidence to the contrary I would give most weight to the request in the official announcement that @Mursu highlighted:

"Players using the forums should start using the new activity feed system and provide feedback on additional features/tools you want to help make the new activity feed just as effective or better than the current forums."

We are providing feedback as requested.
213 days, 16 hours, 48 minutes ago
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mekusi
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Now, I could set up a phpbb forum in 20 minutes at no cost on one of my other websites. (I'm not boasting about my IT skills, in fact I acknowledge that they are rather meagre, I'm merely pointing out how quick and simple this task has become.) However I suspect that without the support of the team and community I would be its only user. I believe the best chance of success lies in gathering the support of the community and official team by outlining the benefits to them.
213 days, 16 hours, 4 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Mekusi,

> I could set up a phpbb forum in 20 minutes at no cost on one of my other websites.

Setting up such a forum is trivial. It's been tried and failed.

Making it work smoothly with Planets.nu is the hard part.

> I believe the best chance of success lies in gathering the support of the community ... by outlining the benefits to them.

That's the purpose of this thread.

> I believe the best chance of success lies in gathering the support of the ... official team by outlining the benefits to them.

I believe that, once Commander Koski thinks he has adequate support, someone will discuss this with Joshua.
213 days, 15 hours, 33 minutes ago
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tomprime
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
I would personally be willing to pay $30 per year (same as the cost of the game) to support a forum. I'm confident that there are 20 more people who would do the same. That should be enough to run it and compensate the moderators at least slightly for their time.

To me, the salient question isn't finances but the choice of moderators. First, we would need a list of volunteers, then a panel (I suggest the Emperors and Nu Team) to choose from among those volunteers.

If you really want a forum, start with who your moderators would be and how they would be chosen.
213 days, 14 hours, 54 minutes ago
View bondservant's profile
bondservant
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Yes Tomprime, who the moderators would be and what standards they would follow would be critical.

Koski, see below. I found this on wisegeek.org and found it details out well some thoughts regarding the potential roles of a forum moderator. Nothing you don't likely know. But as you read it, it is a good reminder of potential moderator roles, and since the Nu activity feed does not have a moderator, these roles are currently not fulfilled.

..

A forum moderator oversees the communication activity of an Internet forum. He monitors the interchange of contributors and makes decisions regarding content and the direction of threads. Moving discussions from one section to another to keep topics organized is also a common job for a forum moderator.

If the tone of a forum becomes hostile or starts to move in the direction of personal attacks, the forum moderator usually has the discretion to lock the discussion to prevent heated, interchanges. He may also be able to hide discussions he deems unworthy of further discussion. Conversely, topics he feels deserve further examination can be posted indefinitely by the moderator even if they garner no comments.

Moderator duties are as diverse as the forum topics themselves. Some moderators are virtually invisible; they surface only when situations arise that do not seem likely to resolve themselves. Other forum moderators are always there, ready to intercede at the smallest hint of discourse. Public forum moderators often have to enforce many rules of conduct and decorum, as public contributors tend to communicate without abandon, which can sometimes upset other commenters.

Private forums linked to a website or group often operate a bit differently. The forum moderator is likely to be familiar with the members, and may be more lax in enforcing rules if he is aware of bantering members and their tones. Standards differ greatly in forums, and newcomers are advised to post with caution until they get the general feel of the forum's atmosphere. Regardless of the forum topic or ambiance, most prohibit the exchange of illegal or copyrighted materials and pornography and many shun swearing or using inappropriate language or images.

Moderators are sometimes encouraged to join in discussions, especially if they have expert experience or advice to contribute. Other forums prefer their moderators to remain totally objective and mainly serve as impartial enforcers. Occasionally a forum moderator will pose as a contributor to steer a discussion in another direction or offer input without fear of posing a conflict of interest.

In addition to acting as the parent or guardian of forum content, forum moderators are also responsible for maintaining the integrity of the forum in other ways. This requires knowledge of HTML and acuity at moving, merging, adding, and deleting text, graphics, and links. Contributors will often ask moderators to assist them with technical problems with site access and posting.

Supplementary duties of a forum moderator may include relocating discussions to more appropriate sections, closing or locking threads based on dwindling interest or lack of recent activity, editing posts for clarity or content, and deleting threads. Thread deletion can either be temporary or permanent, depending on the wishes of the forum moderator.

If an abusive contributor refuses to cease unacceptable behavior, the forum moderator usually has the discretion to ban the user. If the offender continues to post and eludes the ban, the moderator may opt to access the user's IP address. This enables the moderator to ban the address instead of banning the user by name or email address.
213 days, 14 hours, 54 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Tomprime,

> compensate the moderators at least slightly for their time

I don't believe ANY of the people who run this should receive compensation. The reason isn't that whey they would have no value, but that some would find the trivial amount of money to be insulting.

> I would personally be willing to pay $30 per year (same as the cost of the game) to support a forum. I'm confident that there are 20 more people who would do the same.

I expect that some forum income could be generated by placing one or two ads on each page. Over the course of a year, this might be enough to cover expenses.

Also, as I mentioned above, once there's a Domain set up, it would be possible to migrate some of the other sites from a stand-alone environment to this Domain, with the permission and assistance of the site owner. As an example, Stefan's site could easily be moved to something like 'stefan.planetsnu.org'. This would preserve historical sites, while decreasing the costs and maintenance efforts. Also, a new site could easily be created for each PlanetsCon. It's possible that a small annual fee (maybe $5 per site) could be collected (not for the PlanetsCon sites).

The above would need to be determined by the people who direct the project.

> the salient question isn't finances but the choice of moderators.

This is absolutely a critical question, but I believe there's one with a higher priority. Specifically, any off-site forum would need rules and policies. Deciding on these in the activity feed would, in my opinion, create havoc and, in the end, be counterproductive. I believe that we need to create a small (3-5 people) managing group first, to decide on these rules and policies. I would feel better about this if there were a few Emperors in that group.

> First, we would need a list of volunteers, then a panel (I suggest the Emperors and Nu Team) to choose from among those volunteers.

As above, I think this should be second. I believe the Emperors (past and present) would be able to make good decisions on this, but the above managing group should as well.

As for Joshua and Big Beefer, one of the big gains here is that their burden is lightened. Asking them to be a member of a group might counteract that gain. Of course, they should be "kept in the loop" on anything that's decided, and they should be allowed, and sometimes requested, to provide input if they want, but we should be conservative WRT our requests for their time.
213 days, 13 hours, 15 minutes ago
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glyn
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Guys, just pick somewhere and go there.

You don't need the Activity Feed to be incorporated into it... the only reason to have an offsite forum is for long term discussions about strategies, recruiting players for Sectors and votes for UserVoice dockets... that is it.

For answering questions, commenting on a new interview, commenting on a new development, Finished Sectors, promotions, new Sectors... the Activity Feed is perfect.
213 days, 8 hours, 9 minutes ago
View commander koski's profile
commander koski
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Glyn has a point - my primary point that is that I used to start in this discussion: we could just go somewhere else to discuss and take some off-topics with us at first. An ad-hoc shelter.

But in this discussion there has been introduced a larger, more ambitious vision, and thoughts about how we could reach that. Of course in the ideal world we COULD incorporate everything etc. And I think we should aim there. But we can do it in small steps. Small, planned steps, though, I'm not in a hurry. :D
213 days, 7 hours, 8 minutes ago
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glyn
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Strategies are probably the most important hook for an alternate forum.

Which would make sense that we can 'sticky' a thread for each Race and have a decent search tool.

I'm with Commander Koski on the images aspect, which I think takes Reddit out of the running.
___

FYI: Some of us use Slack for chatting/messaging; http://planetsnu.slack.com
(request and invite from Olegboleg)
212 days, 18 hours, 22 minutes ago
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mekusi
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Whisperer "Setting up such a forum is trivial." Exactly. Good to see you are coming around to our point of view. I suggest that integrating it to the site is also trivial. All it needs is a link in the top tool bar. Leave the activity feed untouched, it does fine for official announcements.

https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/5827062-expand-activity-feed-to-have-some-more-forum-like
has 91 votes at 7:51 NZT

212 days, 18 hours, 0 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Mekusi,

> I suggest that integrating it to the site is also trivial. All it needs is a link in the top tool bar.

As part of the "Transparency" feature, it should authenticate to Planets.nu. A few years back, Joshua put in the API to handle that. Why not use it?

As for a link, I think it would be better if the most recent posts appeared in an iframe under the news items.
135 days, 8 hours, 49 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
> I think it would be better if the most recent posts appeared in an iframe under the news items.

There's now a phpBB extension that does this.
128 days, 20 hours, 47 minutes ago
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tomprime
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Did the independent forum idea die? I would pay a decent amount to not have to read... well, the same thing everyone else is sick of reading.
70 days, 21 hours, 41 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Tomprime,

> Did the independent forum idea die?

I don't know, but the UserVoice request is still getting new votes.

https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/5827062-expand-activity-feed-to-have-some-more-forum-like

It currently has 111 votes (tied for #2), which is an increase of 20 votes in 5 months of being mostly idle. Strangely enough, the UserVoice request it's tied with is requesting an inbox, which is a feature that's integrated into many forums.
70 days, 21 hours, 12 minutes ago
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tomprime
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
I don't really see why there needs to be a user-voice request on this. That's asking the admins to do the work. They would also have to moderate.

An independent forum may cost a little, but could actually HAPPEN. Admins have not indicated that they want anything but what we have, right?

I have neither time nor expertise for such a thing. Anyone willing to get this going? Again, there are plenty of us who would be willing to pay for it. Hell, you might MAKE money on it.
70 days, 20 hours, 49 minutes ago
View snork's profile
snork
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
As I mentioned in another thread, it's not too hard to set up an NNTP server and host your own groups. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to WEBonize it, and people would have to dust off an old news reader.

Google Groups is basically a web interface to Usenet. That might be easier to incorporate into a website.
70 days, 19 hours, 54 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Tomprime,

> I don't really see why there needs to be a user-voice request on this.

That's an excellent question. Here's the answer I have.

Initially, it was hoped that the Admins would implement this. I believe it's become obvious to everyone that they don't intend to. Given their workload and manpower, I can't really argue that point.

Given that a Forum (or something similar) would need to be implemented by the Users, that brings us back to the issues of transparency, compatibility and interoperability. For an off-site Forum to have a reasonable amount of assistance from the Admins in achieving these goals, I believe the Admins would need to know that they have a large and vocal group of users who want this. The UserVoice request provides them with that knowledge.

> Anyone willing to get this going?

It's been mentioned above that it would be a trivial task for one person to bring up a basic Forum.

One of the core problems with having one person bring up an off-site Forum is that you'll end up with the creation of _one_ person, which might not be what the community is looking for. To get a Forum that's more likely to be accepted, it's necessary to have a group of people decide what that Forum should be.

If anyone is working on creating an off-site Forum, I expect they're putting together that group and, as a group, trying to decide what's really needed. As with any committee-driven task, this takes time.


@Snork,

So far, none of the off-site tools has captured more than a small portion of the active users. It is my opinion that the reason for this is that those tools aren't integrated into the game.

I believe that creating another stand-alone off-site tool would further fragment our community. What I think we need to do is bring the community together.
70 days, 17 hours, 24 minutes ago
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glyn
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Require subscribing to 'Forums' to see them in main Activity Feed:

https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/17071177-require-subscribing-to-forums-to-see-them-in-mai
70 days, 14 hours, 58 minutes ago
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mekusi
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
I have decided to register for 1 year simply because of the sheer amount of pleasure I got from seeing Tim's game resurrected. But while weighing the pros and cons seeing this unmoderated forum every time I logged in was the major factor against my registering. I suspect this situation will also be the major factor in whether I decide to renew in a years time. A large proportion of the dissatisfaction in the user tickets can be traced back to the forums in their current form.

In the meantime I have partially mitigated its annoyance by bookmarking http://planets.nu/#/account/"my account name"/games so I don't have to see it every time I login.
70 days, 14 hours, 13 minutes ago
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xi scorpii
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Perhaps a temporary solution could be to have a category specifically for controversial off-topic threads. Then under the user profile a person would have to check a box to be able to see them.

That way visitors or new users would not be hit with those threads on the front page, and others who don't want to see them wouldn't have to "ignore" each new political thread as it pops up.

The default would be not to show them and each person would essentially have to opt-in. That shouldn't be too hard to implement.
70 days, 13 hours, 33 minutes ago
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mekusi
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Nice idea Xi_Scorpii, but I'm not sure the worst offenders would respect it, or stop the hijacking of threads that were originally on-topic.
70 days, 13 hours, 10 minutes ago
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xi scorpii
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Mekusi:

Very true. Even though there aren't moderators here, I believe there are those who have the authority to re-categorize a thread if the OP starts a controversial topic and puts it in a different category. @Whisperer would probably know.

As for hijacking a thread that would probably be handled by regular users chastising the offender.
70 days, 13 hours, 7 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
> I believe there are those who have the authority to re-categorize a thread

Any Premium user can add an existing thread to another category. I don't remember if they can remove it from the old category.
70 days, 8 hours, 5 minutes ago
View capt chaos's profile
capt chaos
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Once upon a time, we HAD a forum. The old interface which isn't supported anymore. It was easy to find things that interested you and ignore things that didn't.
70 days, 7 hours, 58 minutes ago
View capt chaos's profile
capt chaos
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
If I can help with the non-profit thing, let me know.
70 days, 5 hours, 27 minutes ago
View cornrelius's profile
cornrelius
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
- I own the Planets-related domain cornrelius.de
- I find that a forum discussing planets strategy and stuff (and other if you like) fits into my portfolio for that site
- I have webspace left
- My hosting has the necessary infrastructure to host a phpBB (mySQL DB, script support etc)

my time is an issue but I can certainly set up the basics and make someone admin.

... just offering!
69 days, 19 hours, 6 minutes ago
View snork's profile
snork
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@whisperer

I wasn't really recommending an off site tool, which is why I pointed out that I didn't know how to make a web interface, which of course, would be key.

I was mostly suggesting that there is already FOSS that can handle the back end (even binaries, not that they are wanted). It doesn't need to be hosted like Uservoice, and *could* be in house planets.nu. I mean, really, the traffic for text "news" is minimal.

Again, just mt $0.02 worth, and I don't so much care, as long as *something* is done. I have lots of not the best ideas that get ignored. :)


69 days, 19 hours, 4 minutes ago
View snork's profile
snork
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Actually, I'd like a "back to top" widget for these long threads.
69 days, 18 hours, 43 minutes ago
View snork's profile
snork
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Actually, I'd be happy if the "feed" were always below my games rather than beside it (desktop).
69 days, 11 hours, 40 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Snork,

> I was mostly suggesting that there is already FOSS that can handle the back end (even binaries, not that they are wanted).

I'm quite familiar with the LAMP stack. If you look at my first post in this thread, you'll see that I suggest "phpBB".

> It doesn't need to be hosted like Uservoice, and *could* be in house planets.nu.

I've seen no indication that Joshua would be willing to provide the resources for a Forum on his servers.

> I mean, really, the traffic for text "news" is minimal.

It is, but it still needs to have a place to run. Most ISPs in the US are blocking service ports, so it can't run out of someone's home. It's cheaper to pay for a hosting service than to upgrade to Business internet at home.

Once you're on a Hosting service, the Forum could easily get some graphics, and possibly even the ability to handle images.
69 days, 8 hours, 49 minutes ago
View snork's profile
snork
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
I'm not in the US and have hosted a Leafnode before. I've got an unlimited account with my provider. Considering my fairly hefty bittorrent traffic, I doubt that a bit of NNTP would be noticed. You provide the front end, and I'll provide the back end. ;)

Just saying...
69 days, 4 hours, 57 minutes ago
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martinr
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
You are all wanting a Forum like you want.

What does Joshua want?

With the lack of comment who knows?

Anyone can set up an external forum but if it is not with Joshua's plans it will be independent and will not change the site.

You will still need the support of Joshua.

If he is not interested you will have an external moderated forum and the same problems here with off topic discussions, people wanting help etc.

With people ignoring the sites forum you will move focus from the site and not help the site community who do not want to move to an unofficial site.

Anyone can set up a external forum and regularly post adverts for it but it will not change the current problems. It may make it worse due to the dilution of people willing to counter some of the unbalanced political discussions with more balanced views.

I am really interested in site change with Admin input. I can happily ignore threads I don't want to read.
69 days, 2 hours, 19 minutes ago
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wmerkel
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Correct me if I am wrong ...

As far as I remember Joshua was afraid to build up a forum due to legal responsibility.
69 days, 1 hours, 40 minutes ago
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streu
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Do I tell news if I say that VGAP forums exist? Even forums with connected VGAP host?

planetscentral.com, circus-maximus.com, ...
69 days, 0 hours, 16 minutes ago
View rudel's profile
rudel
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Legal responsibility is usually the case why everyone is moving their forums to Discord, reddit or activity feeds..
68 days, 19 hours, 32 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Rudel,

> Legal responsibility is usually the case why everyone is moving their forums to Discord, reddit or activity feeds..

It's not all that difficult to manage the legal aspects of a Forum.

https://www.socalinternetlawyer.com/guide-to-legal-issues-when-running-a-forum/
68 days, 17 hours, 4 minutes ago
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.....
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
why don't we start a sub-reddit?
68 days, 16 hours, 48 minutes ago
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tomprime
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
We now have quite a few ideas on how to make a forum. We even have an offer to host it! (Thanks, @Cornrelius.)

What is needed seems to be:
1. A person or team to actually DO it.
2. A team of moderators.
3. An agreement with @Joshua to link it to the site in some way.

Yes, there are other forums. They don't have #3, so I don't know about them and neither do most users here.

Joshua, is there any chance of linking the activity feed to an independent site so that stuff here appears there and (some) stuff there appears here? Is that something you'd be willing to consider?
68 days, 3 hours, 6 minutes ago
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mekusi
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Some interesting points raised recently.
@wmerkel I cant speak for what Joshua is afraid of, but this site did recently have a forum, and technically it still does, just in a broken form. And besides, the content of the forum is what we are currently seeing anyway in the activity feed. One idea is to keep the new game announcements and other official stuff in the activity feed, and simply move the other stuff off the feed into a forum. If our two favourite protagonists have sued each other yet I don't see moving their squabbles off the front page triggering litigation.

@Whisperer has seen no indication that Joshua would be willing to provide the resources for a Forum on his servers. But he already has at http://planets.nu/forums
As for the "traffic", aren't we talking about the same amount of traffic currently going through the feed anyway? We just want to move the unofficial traffic from http://planets.nu/#/activity to http://planets.nu/forums

What Joshua may or may not be willing to do is unknown to me, but he did say "Players using the forums should start using the new activity feed system and provide feedback on additional features/tools you want to help make the new activity feed just as effective or better than the current forums."

We are providing feedback as requested. Does Joshua read this thread? Is he aware that https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/5827062-expand-activity-feed-to-have-some-more-forum-like has 111 votes at present, not to mention all the other uservoice requests relating to the feed that Whisperer listed previously.
68 days, 2 hours, 6 minutes ago
View emork the lizard king's profile
emork the lizard king
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
I'd prefer an offsite-forum which is moderated and allows images and better search. Offsite because it can be done well this way and then team.nu can concentrate on game issues.
If such a forum would exist I'd appreciate a direkt link from the Planets.nu main page (My Games). In this case I'd also appreciate if the activity part of main page would show only system created messages like victories, new war announcements, promotions etc. (maybe realized as user specific setting).
67 days, 20 hours, 35 minutes ago
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streu
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
For those who want a subreddit, there's /r/vgaplanets, waiting to be used.
For those who want a newsgroup, there's alt.games.vga-planets, waiting to be used.
Sure, they have collected some dust. But that doesn't change if everyone is sitting back and pondering what to do. Go use them!

Likewise, PlanetsCentral's forum is open for everyone (except maybe for political discussions that could find a better place elsewhere). Surely the same goes for Circus-Maximus.

Of course, I assume that many are paying customers of planets.nu so it just sounds fair to demand some value for money :->


--Stefan
67 days, 5 hours, 35 minutes ago
View commander koski's profile
commander koski
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
There is a group of players who have been developing this Forum idea for a few months now. We have looked at the suggested alternatives and we don't believe any of them offer the capabilities and flexibility we're looking for. We have therefore decided to move forward with an off-site Forum of our own.

We're currently looking for the following:
- A few active members for developing the rules, policies and such, we are working on the drafts right now.
- Several people willing to moderate the forum. These will be selected later.
- A PHP/phpBB Programmer to help customize the Forum software. (We have one, but more people would be better)
- A person experienced with Forum Administration to assist the primary Administrator.

Please send me a PM if you're interested in any of these!
67 days, 3 hours, 22 minutes ago
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cardno
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
To be REALLY successful you will need someone to spark interest. To be a bit confrontational. This is a role I successfully held at Circus-Maximus. I managed to get banned once for a few weeks (not even Glyn or Whisperer can claim that - rank amateurs!!!). I also at the request of host deliberately sparked things up occasionally (which made the latter banning chaff just a little bit!). So I request the formal role of 'forum clown and agitator' (references available upon request...).
67 days, 2 hours, 46 minutes ago
View commander koski's profile
commander koski
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Cardno "you will need someone to spark interest. To be a bit confrontational."

Thanks but no, I actually don't believe that people would like that. I think we've had our share of confrontations lately. But fun is something we could have more! Gawd, I miss @mjs68508 , he knew how to have fun in a Forum...
67 days, 1 hours, 42 minutes ago
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mursu
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
I think there's a vast difference if someone is a bit confrontational against some opinions (that generates discussion) or confrontational against other people (that makes people to stop participating). The latter is what we've seen way too much and without proper moderation that's what any forum will get. There are certain kind of people in every forum unless those are actively kicked out for the good of others.
66 days, 19 hours, 44 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Commander+Koski,

> Gawd, I miss @mjs68508 , he knew how to have fun in a Forum

Send him a PM. Perhaps he'd be interested in returning with a real Forum, especially if it's Moderated :)
66 days, 19 hours, 41 minutes ago
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cardno
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Koski and @Mursu See - it has worked already!
66 days, 17 hours, 30 minutes ago
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glyn
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
MJS68508 pleaded with the community to stop the constant arguing after the infamous 'Confederate Flag thread'... but he quit most of his games because Whisperer and Gnerphk, the only two people to do so, refused to stop starting arguements as they stated it was their right to continue doing so.

When Ace Rimmer suggested a game of Hillary supporters vs Trump supporters, MJS68508 quit his final game.

If an off-site forum gives them a place to argue endlessly somewhere else, where even there it can be avoided... something tells me they will just continue abusing the Activity Feed here.

Best of luck, and beware the wolf in sheep's clothing.
66 days, 17 hours, 24 minutes ago
View tom n's profile
tom n
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Maybe I'm missing something, but doesn't the "ignore" button allow us to block annoying conversations?
66 days, 16 hours, 30 minutes ago
View commander koski's profile
commander koski
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@glyn As I see it, Mjs68508 quit playing and being here after he was disappointed with the state of the community. One major part of that was the new way of communicating, changing from a Forum to an Activity Feed. Such a thing changes the way how we behave communicatively and how we are structured as a community. It encourages certain behaviour and certain behaviour doesn't work there anymore.

Activity Feed does have multiple good sides to it and I think it is an useful conveyer of news items. But I miss long discussions from various topics, the kind that you could return to after a long time and that need to be moderated in order to prevent sprawling etc. Some people might find that as "endless arguing" - I find it as pleasurable pastime.

And when you get to deeper levels of the game, longtime discussions and threads are just beneficial for those topics. Like this thread over here you yourself have stored, : http://planets.nu/discussion/clean-tips-and-dirty-tricks-ive-felt-that-since-the (That could use some cleaning up/moderation, for example "sorry, wrong thread" -messages etc. )

@Tom+n I'm not certain what you mean with your comment, but I don't want to ignore conversations. I want to prevent them from turning into annoying ones with moderation and proper location.
66 days, 16 hours, 26 minutes ago
View emork the lizard king's profile
emork the lizard king
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
Glyn >> Best of luck, and beware the wolf in sheep's clothing.

:)))
66 days, 16 hours, 16 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Commander+Koski,

> That could use some cleaning up/moderation, for example "sorry, wrong thread" -messages etc.

The Editors have considered creating a Guide from that thread, but it's a LOT of work. Perhaps we'll get to it this year.
66 days, 16 hours, 4 minutes ago
View tom n's profile
tom n
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Commander Koski,

"@Tom N I'm not certain what you mean with your comment, but I don't want to ignore conversations. I want to prevent them from turning into annoying ones with moderation and proper location."

I noticed recently there is an "ignore" option now which is near the "Like" button. I clicked it on several political threads and made those conversatiions disappear from my version of the feed. I won't say I'm not interested in politics in general, in fact I am, but it's not why I come here. I'm here for Planets, and all conversations relating to this great game. I can get more than my fill of political chit-chat elsewhere.

Anyway, LOVE the ignore button and wonder when it was added and how many users haven't even noticed this option.
66 days, 15 hours, 46 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Tom+N,

> LOVE the ignore button and wonder when it was added

December 11, 2016 for testing.

http://planets.nu/discussion/new-ignore-post-feature-available-for-testing-and-feedback

Sometime between then and December 30, 2016 for production.

http://planets.nu/#/post/new-features-for-the-new-year
66 days, 14 hours, 52 minutes ago
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glyn
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
MJS68508 publicly stated his reasons in both instances.
66 days, 9 hours, 8 minutes ago
View commander koski's profile
commander koski
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
In any case, with a moderated forum, things could be better! We'll see.
32 days, 7 hours, 50 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Commander+Koski,

> We're currently looking for the following:
> - A few active members for developing the rules, policies and such, we are working on the drafts right now.
> - Several people willing to moderate the forum. These will be selected later.
> - A PHP/phpBB Programmer to help customize the Forum software. (We have one, but more people would be better)
> - A person experienced with Forum Administration to assist the primary Administrator.

Have you made any progress on this?
32 days, 7 hours, 14 minutes ago
View commander koski's profile
commander koski
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
- I'm working on the GDPR stuff right now, I should get it ready soon, after that I think the policies are in pretty good shape,

- There are enough of moderator candidates for the beginning, which is nice, especially as we haven't even asked for them yet!

- A PHP/phpBB Programmer to help customize the Forum software is still missing, but that is not required until later, as we first get these other things up and running,

- "A person experienced with Forum Administration to assist the primary Administrator", these we have a few,

So yes, things are progressing, but awfully slow, as people such as me do work and family (and turns!) first and all the rest of this after that, when there is time. (Finnish players are also starting a Public Wolf game right now and I'm participating in organizing it, I just sent some invitations yesterday - if you can speak Finnish and are interested please DM! 5 of 11 player positions taken already!)

Sorry, I'm used to working slow. Hey, after all, I love a game that can take years to finish!
31 days, 19 hours, 7 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: Okay. Some of us want forum. We have feed, no forum. Not...Write Reply
@Commander+Koski,

Excellent progress. I look forward to seeing this Forum up and running :)