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marurun
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Re: Have all the "Official X Threads" hurt forum participati

by marurun Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:17 pm

Thread now exists here:

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=52729

Tell us what this forum should look like and why.

Put your thinking cap on.
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Jagosaurus
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Re: Have all the "Official X Threads" hurt forum participati

by Jagosaurus Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:41 pm

I can for sure think of an instance where I wanted to discuss a specific wireless PS2 controller I had picked up. I was met with a first reply of "you should've posted this in the 'look what I found thread." That member is no longer active but at the time was a heavy poster. Just a tangible example of the mega thread culture going back even 5 years ago (posted April '14).

I've brought this up before but I think the lack of articles/guides (& non niche posts) on SD carts, ODEs, upscalers, CFW/soft mods, clones, emulation, & Raspberry Pi hurts us. We have an awesome archive/list thread on SDs & ODEs. Those are huge topics on reddit and will continue to grow in popularity as the collecting bug fad slows. When I Google subjects on these topics, I get 5+ productive reddit threads. The recent FPGA write up is nice step in that direction. This old games meets new tech sector is popular.
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Re: Have all the "Official X Threads" hurt forum participati

by Ziggy587 Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:11 am

marurun wrote:Thread now exists here:


Thanks for posting this. I'll definitely offer my suggestion(s), but I may not post right away. I'd like to put some serious thought into it first.

Jagosaurus wrote:I can for sure think of an instance where I wanted to discuss a specific wireless PS2 controller I had picked up. I was met with a first reply of "you should've posted this in the 'look what I found thread." That member is no longer active but at the time was a heavy poster. Just a tangible example of the mega thread culture going back even 5 years ago (posted April '14).


You know what I was just thinking about? How the "Wii-U Thoughts So Far" thread was created BEFORE the console launched, and was only intended to be for pre-launch thoughts and if you plan to get one or not. That was in 2012, and it's still just about the only Wii U thread here!

Jagosaurus wrote:I've brought this up before but I think the lack of articles/guides (& non niche posts) on SD carts, ODEs, upscalers, CFW/soft mods, clones, emulation, & Raspberry Pi hurts us. We have an awesome archive/list thread on SDs & ODEs. Those are huge topics on reddit and will continue to grow in popularity as the collecting bug fad slows. When I Google subjects on these topics, I get 5+ productive reddit threads. The recent FPGA write up is nice step in that direction. This old games meets new tech sector is popular.


You're right, Jag. That's where the spike in the retro gaming scene is right now. New tech. It really coincided with the "maker" scene. And although the maker scene is slowing down a little, it's still very big. And it went from people selling small batches on forums to legitimate commercial products like Krikzz for example. It doesn't help that the forum lost most or damn near all of its moders/hacker (who's even left at this point?) but I agree that the site would do well to capitalize on this trend.

Let me ask you this... The thread that I have for flash carts, ODE, and a few other items, do you think I should split that into individual threads? The reason they're in one thread together is because they're items of similar interest, but I could simply link the threads together. Having separate threads for each main topic would allow better discussions for each specific item. I mean, it's actually what I was complaining about in this thread!
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Re: Have all the "Official X Threads" hurt forum participati

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:04 am

Back on the site for the first time in a while~
Been moving to Japan, so I've been pretty busy for the past month and have really only in the last day or two been able to use my laptop for internet again because I hate browsing the site on mobile.

Just to throw my 2 cents in, I'd say the general culture around here and the Slack chat has been what's affected most of my posting habits.

It's always seemed like there's a very heavy emphasis around here of "don't make new threads if old ones will do," so I've always been scared of getting told off (even if politely) for making a new thread. There were so many threads new members would start and then immediately get told "this could really be in this thread," I think I've made two, maybe three, in my years here on the site.

And I've always liked either reading what y'all have to say (so not posting) or posting like a conversation, e.g. the mega threads and Slack. There was a long period I was on Slack nearly every day, but on the forum I'm mostly only posting on the Games Beaten threads for my huge review write-ups because that is something I want people to read. It's something I feel posting to a board and having people just see and read and comment on if they like. Otherwise I generally either feel like having a more active conversation that instant messaging facilitates better than a forum, or it's some thought so trivial that it doesn't necessitate a forum post (it seems like there's also been a bit of an onus around longer posts here and discouraging using it like a social media comment, so I don't do small posts either here). It feels like I'm just wasting forum-air if I make a reply solely dedicated to something like "hey, Joker looks hella dope in Smash Bros" or something to that effect.

I'm not sure it's one particular problem, but a larger collection of them that have contributed to lesser participation here. A death by a thousand cuts, kinda. Granted RB is the only forum I use because I actually really enjoy the smaller, close-knit community here, so I'm hardly a typical internet message board user at the best of times XP

And as a final note, to be completely honest on the topic of forum culture here and on the Slack (mostly on the Slack), my break from RB started before I moved and wasn't meant to be temporary. I won't name names, but y'all can be pretty actively antagonizing at times. I know y'all feel like it's playful, but it doesn't always feel like it. It can get fucking exhausting when I'm just trying to say something trivial or quick and suddenly my entire nature starts being called into question for the sake of a joke I can't defend myself out of and never wanted any part of in the first place. I can't quite put my finger on when, but RB just stopped feeling like that safe a space of conversation for me, and I know for a fact that at least one other member has stopped visiting nearly as frequently for the exact same reason. I don't mean to start shit here, but it's something that just felt too relevant to the topic at hand to not talk about any longer.
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Re: Have all the "Official X Threads" hurt forum participati

by isiolia Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:35 am

I suspect the overall impact might have been more of a two-step process. Catch-all threads have their purposes, as not every last post necessarily needs a dedicated thread. They work well for random questions or topics that folks are going to move on from after a few posts. Of course, that's also the kind of thing that IRC/Slack/Discord/etc work wonderfully for, and in turn where much of the traffic has shifted to. Not just on this forum either. Still, we saw a lot focused into a few threads, then that thread activity move to better suited mediums, which slowed forum posting down a lot.
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Re: Have all the "Official X Threads" hurt forum participati

by Jagosaurus Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:34 am

Ziggy587 wrote:
Jagosaurus wrote:I've brought this up before but I think the lack of articles/guides (& non niche posts) on SD carts, ODEs, upscalers, CFW/soft mods, clones, emulation, & Raspberry Pi hurts us. We have an awesome archive/list thread on SDs & ODEs. Those are huge topics on reddit and will continue to grow in popularity as the collecting bug fad slows. When I Google subjects on these topics, I get 5+ productive reddit threads. The recent FPGA write up is nice step in that direction. This old games meets new tech sector is popular.


You're right, Jag. That's where the spike in the retro gaming scene is right now. New tech. It really coincided with the "maker" scene. And although the maker scene is slowing down a little, it's still very big. And it went from people selling small batches on forums to legitimate commercial products like Krikzz for example. It doesn't help that the forum lost most or damn near all of its moders/hacker (who's even left at this point?) but I agree that the site would do well to capitalize on this trend.

Let me ask you this... The thread that I have for flash carts, ODE, and a few other items, do you think I should split that into individual threads? The reason they're in one thread together is because they're items of similar interest, but I could simply link the threads together. Having separate threads for each main topic would allow better discussions for each specific item. I mean, it's actually what I was complaining about in this thread!


It's a little crazy that we're a retro gaming site with no write ups on the OSSC, Framemeister, Retrovision component cables, or Retro Tink that I'm aware of. I think sometimes we get into a chicken and the egg scenario. We want the write ups to be great, comprehensive deep dive pieces. Those are awesome, but take considerable time and efforts. Have we considered shorter articles written more often on lighter subjects? Or even breaking up those comprehensive articles into releases/parts? You can combine them at the conclusion of the series. A news blip now and again isn't a bad idea either, such as the NWC cart scenario mentioned. That's front page news worthy! Then sharing these things on other platforms such as twitter would help. I may post this in the suggestions thread although that seems to be aimed at the forums versus the site/articles.

I think the SD cart/ODE thread is a bit different as the goal seemed to be to archive/list what was out there with a general summary of each. Maybe a disclaimer at the beginning stating it is fine & welcomed to start dedicated, specific threads on a particular device/method (such as Psudeo Saturn AR thread, PS2 OPL/POPs thread, etc)?

Also worth noting I think the decline of the BST activity really impacted the forum scene, not just us at RB. Many of our collecting habits changed and so did our selling/buying here. Less good finds and lots in the wild also meant less to sell here. A lot of members gravitated here for information and good deals. I would never buy something off a reddit user (unless I knew it was a member of a RB type forum). Again, just one of the many factors.
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Re: Have all the "Official X Threads" hurt forum participati

by Ziggy587 Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:29 am

PartridgeSenpai wrote:And as a final note, to be completely honest on the topic of forum culture here and on the Slack (mostly on the Slack), my break from RB started before I moved and wasn't meant to be temporary. I won't name names, but y'all can be pretty actively antagonizing at times. I know y'all feel like it's playful, but it doesn't always feel like it. It can get fucking exhausting when I'm just trying to say something trivial or quick and suddenly my entire nature starts being called into question for the sake of a joke I can't defend myself out of and never wanted any part of in the first place. I can't quite put my finger on when, but RB just stopped feeling like that safe a space of conversation for me, and I know for a fact that at least one other member has stopped visiting nearly as frequently for the exact same reason. I don't mean to start shit here, but it's something that just felt too relevant to the topic at hand to not talk about any longer.


This is exactly why I quoted Bogus' post in large text, and I'm glad you brought it up. I've noticed the same thing, and have experienced it myself on more than one occasion. And if I'm to be honest, it's one reason why I've been posting less over the past couple of years (although the main reason is probably just a busy life). And also like you, I know for a fact that at least one other person feels the same way.

This is not to knock anyone. It's just that some people are non-combative by nature, and sometimes the responses here can feel very aggressive. Which the non-combative person will shy away from. Some people want a more care-free posting experience. And it just so happens that the non-combative person will not be inclined to bring this up, for obvious reasons, which is why you rarely hear about it.

And like Bogus said, it's not that those types of discussions don't' have their place. They absolutely do. Depending on the topic, I like to participate in such a discussion. But for a while, that type of discussion seemed to become the norm here. A lot of times I wouldn't post in a discussion because I felt like I didn't have time or energy to back up my comment with sources, pie charts and scientific studies. I put that in a way to be humorous, but that's really how I felt at times.

Thank you for bringing this up, PartridgeSenpai. And I hope you stick around!
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Re: Have all the "Official X Threads" hurt forum participati

by Key-Glyph Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:52 am

I wanted to hop in and echo a lot of the sentiments already expressed here, especially PatridgeSenpai's.

First of all, I know we're concerned about traffic to the site, but I see foot traffic and forum culture as two distinct issues. Sure, more eyeballs on neato articles will translate into more posts -- but I'm here first and foremost for the friendships, and no article is guaranteed to net us long-term, heart-on-their-sleeve, compassionate goofballs. I'm not here to discuss games; I'm here to discuss games with nice people who bring me joy. The people part is actually the crucial element to me, and that's what I loved to pieces about Racketboy. The folks!

Over time I became less active partly because I was busy, but to be truly honest, it was mostly due to an attitude shift I believed I was feeling. I can't really site specifics -- and again, this is just my personal perception -- but back when I joined it felt like there was more engagement among users and fewer one-sided statements posted like a bulletin board. I got to know people because we talked directly back and forth in a thread, not solely from reading stand-alone posts they'd made. I loved Slack at first as well, but eventually it started feeling (again, just in my opinion) more like participants walking on a stage to announce a non sequitur that had maybe a 50/50 chance of getting acknowledged than a bunch of buddies catching up with each other after school. My sense of personal connection weakened, which of course I only made worse by posting less.

On top of that, there's always way higher engagement on arguments, and these days I just get so tired of one-uppings and endless debates in basically any community space.

What I'm trying to say is, I love you guys, and I know a lot of us see each other as a big family. I know no one is deliberately trying to project an aura of detachment, disinterest, or antagonism to their fellows. But I want to feel like we all hang out because we are attached to one another, not like we're just dropping in because we know we're each other's captive audience, and what makes me feel that way is direct engagement. In a chat, that means saying hi and asking how everybody's doing; in a forum, it's following up on something someone said (without making it into an argument), and encouraging people to have their moment to enthuse. We all want folks to be excited for us sometimes, so we gotta pay in to the pot, too. I'm going to make a conscious effort to be better about this myself.

And again, forgive me if I'm off-base in these comments, as I haven't been around much and the actual picture may be very different from the one that got painted in my head. I also realize that other people might love a more data-centered conversational space and actively don't want these things I myself prefer. But that's my picture, nonetheless. Hope it's helpful in some way or other!
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Re: Have all the "Official X Threads" hurt forum participati

by Blu Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:33 am

Just wanted to chime in -- like Marurun, having a kid in the past year has really sapped any sort of time I have been able to put into gaming really. I have still lurked on the forums and read what's going on in some threads, like the Switch thread. I will sometimes pop onto Slack and say hello and follow a few conversations, but even still that's once every few weeks.

I think +1 to a lot of the ideas -- truncating some of the forums/sub forums and archiving would help streamline.

However, to give a voice of dissent -- I would argue that religion and "politics" do have a place in such a forum, as long as they adhere to strict guidelines. Social issues are regularly discussed as themes in gaming and different perspectives are being represented in games and those ideas do reflect the attitudes of society in general. I think to have the perspective that you do not discuss religion or politics at work is often done to silence voices and perspectives in order to minimize conflict. I tend to feel very passionately about social issues and even in the Slack channel I haven't seen it blow up to the degree that we should be concerned. On the flip side I do see how those conversations tend to be downward spirals and echo chambers, but I also think some members that spit vitriol and were banned were done so because they couldn't behave like responsible functioning adults (i.e. don't launch into profanity-laced attacks on other members). Point is yes the topic requires a lot of moderation and if we don't want to consume all of the mod's time into policing such a thread, then that's fine. I just think that we do lose out on some worthy topics.

Other ideas: We could do some outreach -- Reddit is very active, but even there I see frequently aired topics: "What Gamecube games are essential?" "Check out my growing Dreamcast collection!" "Goodwill came through for me! $1.99 Earthbound! I'm shaking!". I don't think Racketboy forums issues around membership and posting are unique given as the issue is more endemic to the entire internet. It's no doubt that Racketboy is fantastic for the articles, but I think we have to be crafty to attract more members to the forums.
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Re: Have all the "Official X Threads" hurt forum participati

by Anapan Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:32 am

Hmm. No lies here in the replies.
I don't think I ever saw or was in any conversations of political or inflammatory posts. Those seemed to be contained in topics that were not relevant to my interests. I remember reading about them way back, but they never entered any threads I was a part of. I think for the general public as well those were internal struggles. Likely those bubbles of anger were encapsulated and never hit the general public.
I am glad that Luke isn't back. Hope nobody takes his posts as face value. He's a great guy IMO, just people take him wrong.
I dislike on some forums archived posts, but this might be a way to encourage new threads if quotes from an old thread were made into a new thread...?
I normally only immediately respond to tech help or the like. I've tried lately to respond even if I don't have an answer to encourage participation, but with this low a user level, it's not a good tactic if someone needs help in a timely manner.
I'll think about this more and put some better posts in the followup restructuring thread.
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