Are you happy with this forum?

Discussion in 'sffworld.com comments, feedback...' started by fluffy bunny, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. fluffy bunny

    fluffy bunny Tasty or your money back! Staff Member

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    Well it's that time of the year. As harsh as the mods appear to be, we do enjoy discussing things with you, and would appreciate your input.

    Don't hold back (we can take it but please don't flame individual members). Try and be constructive or it's difficult to act on what you've said. On the other hand if you disagree with a suggestion please discuss it (as people found last yr with the horror and author forums).

    Are you happy with this site and forum?
    What do you like/dislike about the place?
    How can we improve and what do you want to see in the future?
     
  2. Bad Heartburn

    Bad Heartburn Registered User

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    I don't like the way Fantasy and Horror have to share a subforum. I like fantasy, don't like horror. Sci-fi gets its own subforum, and it doesn't even have as much traffic. Why can't they be separate? Is there a shortage of subforums?

    Overall, it's a great forum though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2009
  3. Heather Myst

    Heather Myst Chocolate.....Count Me In

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    Thumbs Up

    I agree with Bad Heartburn in that I wish Fantasy had its own forum. Like BH I am much more interested in Fantasy than Horror. Overall I am very happy with this site. It is a great place to learn about books that I am interested in. Most people are very good about respecting your opinion without flaming or personal attacks. The fact that this is a free site makes me feel very blessed to be a member.
     
  4. NickeeCoco

    NickeeCoco Reader Staff Member

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    I am very happy with this forum. While I'm not a fan of the horror genre, I see why it shares a forum with fantasy. It'd have even less traffic than the SF one if it'd be by itself. I think it'd mainly be Randy M. and a few others. :)

    I like the respect that is shown here on the forum, and I don't think the mods are frightening at all. They're all very friendly and open-minded. I also like how everything is kept in its place on the forum. It keeps it neat and organized.

    Thank you for this forum.
     
  5. Evil Agent

    Evil Agent Saturn Comes Back Around

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    I still have the same two complaints.

    1) the Fantasy/Horror forum-sharing. Maybe it makes sense, but it really diminishes the look of the site, IMO. This is supposed to be one of the major online fantasy forums, and fantasy doesn't even get a forum to itself?

    And 2) I still miss the author sub-forums.

    Otherwise, as always, it's one of my favourite places on the internet. :)
     
  6. Seak

    Seak and I like to party.

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    Honestly it's great. I appreciate that the rules are upheld by the mods since it just makes it better for everyone. Thanks!
     
  7. petitsourice

    petitsourice Daddy of 3

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    Wonderful forums, guys, wonderful.

    I agree that horror is WAY too different a genre to share with fantasy.

    However I have found a nice place to lurk for the most part here. I read what our other more active readers post and I enjoy the different opinions and well, even when someone tells me that I have a dumb way of looking at things.

    Oddly, I am not surprised. However as much work as you mods do, its never the mods that make a site. Its the members. Sadly, I dont see a lot of you guys but perhaps that is a good thing?
     
  8. petitsourice

    petitsourice Daddy of 3

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    Some members here have told me that my own ideas were well... poo. And honestly, I am a better literary judge for it. =) I second what you have written above. The members here are generally very respectful. But then... thats the SFFH genotype -- smart, respectful, open minded. Its a stereotype, but I think its a good one and I think that 80% of SFFH readers who are engaged enough to use a forum like this are going to be respectful.

    I wrote in another post that its the members that make this site and its true. With garbage members, you get a flame wasteland. I would love to see the demographics of this site's users. (age, education, political landscape, country of origin, languages read, languages spoken.... etc)
     
  9. Obtuse

    Obtuse ‪Ominous, I'm In Us

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    Very few complaints actually. SFFWorld is a great place and unique in that it's the only forum of any type that I visit regularly.

    I do agree with several of the posts above that fantasy and horror should be split.
     
  10. Seli

    Seli Registered User

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    I hardly ever go outside the Books and literature fora.
    I do enjoy them a lot.

    The moderators do not seem harsh to me at all, I do feel more comfortable at well regulated fora like these anyway.
     
  11. l3gacy

    l3gacy Lurker Extraordinaire

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    I agree with what many others have said... separate fantasy and horror.

    My only (minor) complaint about mod behavior is the shortness when newer folks first come and post something that's been posted before. I've seen where a new person comes, posts "what does the community think about X" and a mod will post 13 links to threads that have something to do with topic X, 12 of which haven't had a reply in 6+ months, with a snarky remark about using the search feature. I know it can get frustrating when people post the same thing repeatedly, but it wouldn't kill the mods to be a little nicer about it.
     
  12. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    No problems whatsoever. I might like the separation of horror and fantasy, but can live with it also. Overall, I'd like to see something new, though. Innovatively, can we get an interview forum where, perhaps, the mods conduct some interviews, and once completed, we can discuss. I don't know....just thinking out loud.
     
  13. Fung Koo

    Fung Koo >:|Angry Beaver|: <

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    Generally speaking, I'm quite happy with the place.

    However, I fear that the look and feel of the site is beginning to show some age. It's a wee bit cluttered. The first page, for example, prints out to 6 pages! :eek:

    It's usually advised in web development to keep the first page to as small as possible -- almost to a splash-page look and feel, and should print out to less than one 8.5x11" page -- so as not to overwhelm the reader. Research on surfing practices suggests that the average web surfer spends the lesser of 30 seconds or reads less than 7 lines of text before clicking a link. There's just too much information displayed. I hope that it's not driving away potential forum members, community persons in general, and those all-important ad-clickers.

    I don't think the site needs to be overhauled dramatically though (the layout is generally very sensible), but a few updates to the navigation in particular might be in order. For example, on most pages there is the top menu and side menu. The side menu contains the sub-links, but the top menu does not. Nowadays there's this nifty thing called a drop-down menu making waves across the interweb. ;)

    Updating to a drop-down style single-menu system would free up a lot of real estate on several pages, thereby reducing the clutter. Also, it would create more white-space, which is always pleasing to the eye.

    In short, the design could be minimized to great effect. I'd be more likely to look at the content outside of the forums -- you know, the semi-pro/pro content that gives the site its cred ;) -- if the navigability were easier and the information overload were reduced.

    The other issue remains the lack of formatting options in the story section. Yes, that same ol' song. When-oh-when can I do simple things like underline? :confused: I did notice, though, that the page formatting itself has improved and now displays properly in Firefox thru OS/X. Thanks for that. :)

    Another thing is the advertising. Is it just me or does it keep getting bigger and more intrusive? Is there no way to go with simpler text ads or smaller splash ads? I regularly clean out my cookies/etc., but the onslaught seems to continue regardless.

    In terms of likes: the site covers a lot of ground -- pretty much all of the ground, actually. Information is cross-linked and back-linked very well. The moderators are generally friendly. The members usually nice. The organization of the forum works well and is simple, easy to use. The categorizations are clear.

    The Fantasy/Horror thing doesn't bother me either way. Nor do the author sub-forums -- the tags/labels should account for that. If people aren't using them... oh well.

    All in all, good. Just those few nits...
     
  14. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    That was the thinking in merging Horror and Fantasy, we didn't want Randy M. to go crazy talking to himself. ;)

    Seriously though, we brought them together to generate more discussion of Horror topics, and there is a close relationship between the genres. I think the Horror discussions have increased since we brought them together.
     
  15. N. E. White

    N. E. White tmso Staff Member

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    I only hang out in the writing forum and occassionally branch out (like now), so take my comments within that context.

    Background:
    I only first started using the forum as a way to improve my writing. Along with SFFWorld, I also participated on two other writing forums. Of the three, I have decided to make this one my internet stalking home. :D

    Why?

    The members.

    Yes, very much so.

    Like:
    • The members
    • The moderators
    • The stories
    • The book reviews

    Dislike:
    • Ads - but now that I'm using Adblock Plus, I couldn't care less what ads show because I don't get any.:cool:
    • Kind of a cluttered home page
    • Outdated look of home page
    • Lack of formatting in stories section

    Formatting in stories section, but that's not necessary. I think SFFWorld is a great site. I enjoy the discussions and the content provided. Good job. Whether you change things around or not, I intend to continue participating.

    FYI - I always use the links to Amazon from this site. Though I can't stand the ads, I will try to support the site in any other way that I can.
     
  16. NickeeCoco

    NickeeCoco Reader Staff Member

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    Heh. :)

    And I can see that. I wasn't a member of SFFWorld before the two genres were brought together, but I can see how it would have increased the horror discussions. They also do cross-over at times. Just look at authors like Tanith Lee.

    I am going to support others in their urgings to allow more formatting in the stories section. Even if it were just the ability to use italics. Maybe allow it the use of HTML?
     
  17. Bad Heartburn

    Bad Heartburn Registered User

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    As someone with no interest in Horror whatsoever, Horror not being discussed enough on the forum doesn't bother me in the least. I come here for fantasy and a bit of sci-fi now and again. Horror not being in its own forum where I can ignore it is a bit irritating.

    ...a bit, of course. Like I said, this is a great forum with great posters and decent mods, and this fantasy/horror thing is little more than a nitpick.
     
  18. Bastard

    Bastard Jack Bauer

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    Well, I had posted some constructive criticisms a few months ago but it seems like no one cared for them lol:
    http://www.sffworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23495

    Anyways, in all I think more thread merging should be used instead (as noted above) of a mod coming in and simply posting links to 7 different threads that the OP might find useful for example. It just clutters the forum and it makes the search function less useful when you simply lock threads or leave inadequate threads hanging around.

    I also think that more attention to "on topic" discussion needs to be employed. For example, we have a thread called "Empire in Black and Gold" yet we're discussing the full series in there for whatever reason... myself included. So either that thread should be renamed to simply be known as "Shadows of the Apt" to better represent and reflect what is being discussed, or simply some thread splitting should be employed. I don't know... it's something I've found that is common around here with many thread topics.

    Those are my 2 cents.
     
  19. Obtuse

    Obtuse ‪Ominous, I'm In Us

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    You know, there is one other problem I have with SFFW, and I intended to mention in my earlier post, changed my mind and have now changed it back.

    I'm tired of posts like...

    I read such-and-such book and thought is was good/ok/bad. One generic sentence here so it looks like I'm actually discussing the book, blah, blah, blah. More details at my blog.

    I come to SFFW to discuss fantasy, not find references to other places to go discuss fantasy. I know we have several members with blogs, so I imagine this will ruffle a few feathers, but posts like that serve no purpose (at least for me). If the review has already been written any way, why not just copy it into a post here at SFFW as well (and no I don't actually need an answer to that question)? At least a summary would be nice, so there's actually something to, you know, discuss...here at the discussion forum. Otherwise, it's just advertising.

    I realize from a forum administration perspective this may be a difficult issue to tackle and I expect it is a blurry line separating good posts from what I call advertising, but surely we can have some kind of guidelines in place.
     
  20. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    I agree with Obtuse and have been an offender in the past. I would like to take a time out to state that the poster/blogger crowd does, in a sense, police itself. Adam made a comment, that I realized applied to me as well, and I stopped to think about it for a moment and realized what it actually looked like and he was right. Sometimes the desire to share one's opinion, co-mingled with the desire to drive personal site traffic, creates inappropriate posting. I imagine authors struggle with the same issue when attempting to promote a book without appearing to be shamelessly shilling their work. [/ramble]

    Bottom line, Obtuse makes a decent point. Those of us who may belong to the post/blog crowd ought to be at the forefront of policing the matter here, in order to maintain the integrity of the discussion forums.