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anthrxmilkshake

Bits and pieces

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We've all joined amazing sites in our time. Some of us have seen them rise and fall like great kingdoms among the seat of internet trolls and harvesters of roleplayers. We've all had things we loved, things we liked okay, others that could have been improved upon, and even others we absolutely hated with a passion. So here's the questions:

 

1) What are some of your most favorite features on some of your most favorite forums?
2)What are some features you've seen used that could be great, if given some work?

3) What are some things you've seen done/used on forums in the past, or currently, that you seriously HATE, did not work, and are destructive?

 

I would like to take this moment to say: DO NOT NAME ANY SITES UNLESS THE SITE BELONGS TO YOU. THIS IS NOT A SITE BASHING THREAD. THIS IS A THREAD ABOUT FEATURES, TO HELP OTHERS SEE THINGS PEOPLE LIKES AND DID NOT LIKE.


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BABOS-A laid back survival roleplay-Coming soon!

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10 minutes ago, anthrxmilkshake said:

What are some of your most favorite features on some of your most favorite forums?

  • Instant alerts. I love seeing the little browser notifications seconds after a new post or thread goes up!
  • Emojis in thread titles because I'm trash and proud.
  • Being able to donate directly from the site, instead of navigating away to another site or service.
10 minutes ago, anthrxmilkshake said:

What are some features you've seen used that could be great, if given some work?

  • Groups, like clubs and whatnot? They're fun, especially on the really big sites where groups come with private sections, but they can also be clunky, waste resources, and seperate the userbase into cliques and limit communication.
  • Site shops used to buy story items. I think to buy items that affect the story crosses an IC/OOC boundary, but I think using a site shop for strictly OOC purposes (purchasing character slots, maybe matching points earned to a real money donation to a charity?) is a good way to encourage player activity.
  • Forum games, like sitewide not-quite-video games, like virtual versions of Zombie Attack. Rarely carried out well, but so much fun when they are!
10 minutes ago, anthrxmilkshake said:

What are some things you've seen done/used on forums in the past, or currently, that you seriously HATE, did not work, and are destructive?

  • In general, I don't like forums that are a little TOO organized, if you know what I mean? I'd rather see few sections and more threads in each section, than a dozen sections that each only have a half dozen threads in them.
  • Overzealous censorship. I completely understand censoring racial slurs. I would like to be able to talk about Middle Ages cavalry and seasonings without triggering automatic censors.
  • I don't like signing up as a character. There, I said it. I don't like account-per-character sites. I don't want to fucking find four different images of my face claim and have the account profile written from a fictional point of view.

Glub glub.

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1) What are some of your most favorite features on some of your most favorite forums?

AUTOMATIC LISTS

BOOKMARKS

RECENT POSTS 

SUB-ACCOUNTS

(I use those so much that I'm grouchy without them! I end up not lasting long without those features.)

But I also find it neat when sites give members their own sub-forums. It's a nice feature. I used to do it as well. I don't remember why I stopped. 

There was also a nice site on MYBB I saw that had a really neat biography profile that linked to other characters on the board who were friends with the character. I've tried to replicate it on SMF but it never comes out the way I want it to/envision it so for a while, I settled with a "relationships" tab in the profile.


2)What are some features you've seen used that could be great, if given some work?

Well, Jcink users have found a nifty way to "auto" link to open threads. If only the pages would let you create automated lists based on custom fields, that'd be even better.

 

3) What are some things you've seen done/used on forums in the past, or currently, that you seriously HATE, did not work, and are destructive?

I flipping hate it when there is no link to recent posts. That's how I stalk threads and read what everybody else is doing. I want to know all the things~ So yeah, that stinks.

The banners taking up my entire screen kinda sucks. I don't like scrolling much if I can help it. Not a big deal for some people but I'm either on laptop, phone, or tablet so I ain't got time for that. 

Sidebars--I just don't think they add anything to forums.

Activity checks. Meh. I think along with this comes word counts, character caps, and "of the months." 

 


Reality is an illusion. 

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I was once staff on a site where, in the private staff area, every member had a thread dedicated to them so that staff members could post questions, concerns, and issues. It was a way to make everyone on the same page, which was important because there were at least 15 staff members. Although maturity was not something most of those staff members possessed and the threads often turned to secretive member-bashing, I really like the concept and I've used it on all my other sites since. I'm forgetful, and if I promised someone something, I just stick it in that person's thread. If the person was causing trouble, I stick it in the thread. If I sent a pm checking up on someone, I note it in the thread. Of course, I have rules to keep people from bitching about members, though I haven't really had any staff members who used this system for immature purposes. It's really helped keep me organized and accountable.

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1) What are some of your most favorite features on some of your most favorite forums?

 

Sub-accounts, or at least a plug-in that allows you to switch between accounts easily. Logging in and out of accounts constantly is annoying when you have several characters. Sub-accounts prevent this.

 

Blogs, like we have on the Initiative - these are great for keeping tack of your ideas for characters, head-canons, user-created maps, art, etc. For some reason I prefer this to just having a thread. Sadly, it depends on the software you are using. One forum I used to be a member of allowed members to have boards of their own - (mainly for fan fiction, and a personal diary. This was long before blogs and sites like tumblr actually existed. You could also customize the look of it, too, choosing your own banners, backgrounds, fonts, colours, etc. Sadly, though, it could make the forum appear inactive, which is why blogs are probably better. I like the blog idea better than people littering the forums with this information and it would be found easily.)

 

Plotting boards! - I love plotting boards because they make it easier to approach people to ask for rp. From my experience on twitter, most people act like they are closed off - they don't like people asking them for rp and plotting, etc. You can clearly communicate with writers so it cuts down on misunderstandings and you don't feel like you are 'bothering' them.

 

Character profiles - A well done character profile helps me decide which characters I want mine to interact with. They give me ideas for plots, too, as I have some idea of what the character is like.


2) What are some features you've seen used that could be great, if given some work?

 

Post templates - I have mixed feelings about these, to be honest. I like them when they are simple, and easy to read. They make the forum look more organized. What I don't like is when they are overly complicated, make the font too tiny to read and having hovers. So I'd be more open to them if they were designed to be more user-friendly, both when it comes to using them myself in my own posts and reading lore, rules, etc. (Please don't make them overly-complicated to make posts with because I'd like to concentrate on writing than code. Tweaking with code has its place, and it's not when I'm trying to fill in character apps, or making posts.)

 

3) What are some things you've seen done/used on forums in the past, or currently, that you seriously HATE, did not work, and are destructive?

 

C-boxes - I've found that people treat these like instant chat/messaging posting and expect responses straight away. I've also found that if someone is going to complain, misuse it, or make derogatory comments about the site, generally cause trouble. They aren't the best places to ask questions, either because the question might be complex or it might get lost if there are lots of posts afterwards. A question asked in a guest-friendly help forum is more likely to stick around and be helpful to members and visitors with similar questions about the site. You can make an FAQ based on it easier. I also think they give false impressions about how active the site is - a site is only active when the forums are posted in regularly. I'm not sure if I like Discord yet. I've not used it enough to get an opinion of it, so it is possible that Discord will join my opinion on c-boxes.

 

Forum themes that don't reflect traditional forum structure - I like to be able to find my way easily around a forum, and have everything where I expect to find it and forums that deviate from this are too much of an headache to find my way around.

 

Anything animated - This can be things like falling snow, gifs, rotating banners, scrolling marquees. They slow down the loading of the site and are distracting.

 

Hidden content - This can include anything like c-boxes, hovers, etc. It makes the site difficult to find my way around and if it's too much of a hassle, I won't join even if I like the the rest of the site.

 

Face claims - I'd just like to get an image that represents my character and go with it. I'm not a follower of celebrity culture and only know actors and actresses from shows and films that I watch. It's a disappointment when you find that you can't use a picture because someone else has already 'claimed' it for their character. Sometimes artwork that you've found or created yourself fits your vision for your character too, and what if the character is not human? It baffles me.

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On 1/23/2018 at 12:34 PM, anthrxmilkshake said:

1) What are some of your most favorite features on some of your most favorite forums?
2)What are some features you've seen used that could be great, if given some work?

3) What are some things you've seen done/used on forums in the past, or currently, that you seriously HATE, did not work, and are destructive?

  1. Being able to embed Discord (or other chat) on the site and have the posts and alerts feed to the actual Discord server. This is especially good since IPB's alerts are a little hit and miss if you use the account linking app.
  2. Too new back at forums to comment on this one yet.
  3. Templates.

Someone somewhere went to sleep and dreamed us all alive.
Dreams get pushed around a lot, and I doubt if we'll survive.
We won't get to wake up, dreams were born to disappear.
And I'm pretty sure that none of us are here.
~ None of Us Here by Jim Stafford ~

 

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Coming Soon!

 

RPG-Initiative

*your one-stop RPG resource site!

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Question1

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Sub-Accounts. I can have my Main Account for doing everything, and then each character has their own little "spotlight" without me constantly logging in and out to post with multiple people in one sitting. 

 

Question2

I really enjoy shops, but both the proboards and Jcink systems could use some tweaking. I wish the items in Jcink were able to be displayed in the miniprofiles without fear of breaking something, and I wish the proboards Plugin didn't have so many super-key parts, the notification system could use an upgrade (I have to tell my members to check their box for gifts or trades), and it lacks organization on the staff side. 

 

Question3

Faceclaims. Faceclaims. Faceclaims. 

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1) What are some of your most favorite features on some of your most favorite forums?

- Sub-accounts (especially being able to change the poster after posting, cause I'm a hot mess)

- random spotlights (as opposed to OTMs)

- IC groups pages

- player submitted lore/locations


2)What are some features you've seen used that could be great, if given some work?

- shops (I still don't fully get how they work, and I think if I could understand they would be really cool)

- dice rolling integration with board

- "canon characters" -- i legitimately love this concept and yet I have never once seen a site where the canon characters are all in play and moving the plot forward. XD

- IC political councils

 

3) What are some things you've seen done/used on forums in the past, or currently, that you seriously HATE, did not work, and are destructive?

- substantially slower-than-real life timeline movement 

- Non-dated threads (because my brain can't organize things)

- Lots of characters/making characters for people

- Images in signatures 

- Wanted ads for OCs (especially love interests)... Iono. I'm not sure I've ever heard someone say "This is exactly how I wanted my wanted ad to be!!" Maybe I just know super picky people...

- dohtml

- Discord *sigh*


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Just now, featherstone said:

@Thyme just curious, but unless it's a rapid fire RP, how do you make your timeline not slower than RL?

I've been on a lot of "season" based sites. You run "real-time timeline (3 months IC = 3 months OOC) with dated threads," but you can choose where the thread falls in the season for plotting purposes. So you can have a thread in early December and another in late February and you decide where you want your characters to go and how you want them to grow throughout the season. Generally, there are 4 seasons, each 3 months long, and site-wide plot, locations, events, etc. occur every 3 months.

Basically, you do the major events with a set of characters, and fill in the rest with headcanon. (So let's say you roleplay their first date (in Jan) and their first time (March), they likely got on dates, outings, etc. They maybe have their first kiss, make out sessions, etc. during that time, but you do two threads with that pair over a 3+ month period.)

-- I do admit that I am happy to do multiple threads with the same set of characters simultaneously (I know some people like things to be linear; like you can't run the first time thread if you haven't finished the first date thread.) On the other hand, I might be running a thread that is their first date at the same time as I'm running a thread that is their first big fight six months into the relationship.

-- I also admit that I have a tendency to sometimes rapid-fire or at least reply a few times a week, so I can get through threads fairly quickly if the other person is also a speedy-ish poster.

(Feel free to shoot me a message if you want to chat about it more. <3 I really love the "seasonal/dated thread" method, so I will happily explain it more in depth if you'd like to hear!)

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