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Addressing the inactivity

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It is not a secret that RuneLocus has died down considerably in activity over the years. To an extent, this is honestly expected considering the forum is based on a niche community and is acceptable; however, we've reached a point where the forum is sloppily maintained and the activity reflects it.

To begin with, there should be a large reorganization of the current boards. There are some boards that are clutter and can be easily merged (as reflected here which should have been changed by now considering two admins check the site regularly) and we have a plethora of boards that are largely inactive, a couple being inactive for literal weeks. With how inactive boards are at the top of the forums, you are essentially advertising your inactivity. Newcomers will be extremely turned off by this, no one is going to want to be a part of a "community" that is largely inactive. Discussing specifically what should be moved, the RSPS Development section needs to be moved to the top below the RuneLocus section. This is by far the most active board and it needs to be advertised, not sandwiched by two sections that are inactive and are poorly organized which as a whole need to be merged into a single section.

Web Development and Graphics Design are integral parts to creating RSPS, this is undeniable fact. You need artists to design your banners, pretty up your advertisements, handle any custom UI, and do art for the websites/forums/subreddit/whatever that has been developed by Web Developers and used as the basis for your server's community. These boards, especially Graphic Design, were once very populated on this forum in large part to this and I believe that these two boards do not belong at the very bottom of the forums. To add onto this, Graphic Design is an outdated term that by definition only alludes to the art used in advertisements. This board should be renamed to something all encompassing and more desirable, such as Digital Art. Another redundant separation of boards would be Media and Games. Both are inactive and neither need to be separated from one another to emphasize this inactivity. Video games are a form of media, they are not some sole entity that belongs in a section of boards at the bottom of the forum, especially when video games are going to be the most active form of media the majority of RuneScape players partake in. On that note, Computers should be outright removed with a Technology subforum added to Chat. There is nothing that is posted under Computers that can't be posted there while also encompassing all other general forms of technology.  Introductions has zero reason to be a board of its own, this should be merged into Chat. I've used this phrasing quite a bit in this post already, but putting the incredibly inactive Introductions board--a board with a design that fundamentally shows off the activity of the forum--at the forefront of the forums is just so thoughtless. Also, regarding the RuneLocus board, Complaints should not have a subforum of it's own. It should be merged with Suggestions. Anyone who wants to mindlessly complain about the forums without being constructive should go fuck themselves, we shouldn't put their mindless banter on a pedestal and encourage this behavior. Requests and Other have no need to both simultaneously exist, Requests should be merged into Other.

[Edit]
I accidentally deleted the explanation for a change I made, so I'm going to put it in here real quick. Web Development should be renamed to Programming and encompass other forms of programming. A brief skim shows Java to be the most prominent language used outside of general web development languages, so it's logical for that to have its own subforum on a forum with a focus on RuneScape Private Servers. This change comes at the cost of Web Development's sub forums, but I believe having an improved Programming board would encourage more people to legitimately learn to code their own servers and their own sites as opposed to ripping open source servers and encourages a healthy subcommunity.

In summary, the forums should look like this:

Spoiler

 

RuneLocus
News and Advertisements
---Tweaks
Information Booth
Website Support 
---Suggestions
---Toplist Support
---Other

RuneScape Development
I'm not writing all these boards here, someone more prolific in RSPS development can help clean these boards up.

General Discussion
Chat
---Introductions
---Forum Games
---Technology
Digital Art
---Discussion (Should have a stickied thread for requests, should be home to resources as well.)
---Show-off (Should have a stickied thread for SotM until we get more competitions.)
---Tutorials
Programming
---General (General help threads go here)
---Tutorials
---Web Development
---Java
Media
---General
---Video Games (Music, movies, and television do not need their own board until they become prominent which they very clearly are not.)

Marketplace
Same as current with the exception of the post StevenAbraham already made on the matter.

 


This is a much more intelligently organized and compact forum that will show off what activity we do have, keeps all the boards that possess any relevance, and just isn't redundantly cluttered.
--------------------------------
Preface for this section: There is no hostility behind what I am saying here. I bear no resentment for anybody, I have no reason to. I do, however, carry a strong emotional attachment for RuneLocus and what it did for me when I was going through very difficult times when I was younger. This forum holds a special place in my heart and always will. This section, and topic as a whole, is me addressing reality with all personal feelings aside. This is the fresh viewpoint of someone who has been gone for a long time, not one of bias, resentment, or lack of care.
--------------------------------
Second, I would like to address the current state of staff. I already alluded to my opinion on the matter in my opening sentences, but it's lazy. The Graphic Design board is littered with threads that do not function properly, contains a sticky basically asking the community to do the staff's job for them when it comes to creating the SotM which hasn't been posted on a single time in years, and holds staff that don't even partake in the competition, create tutorials despite alluding to the community needing to do so, and seldom post art of their own. The RuneLocus banner is still showing the 10 year anniversary despite that being months ago and arguing that "hey man the whole year is our 10th year" is strictly lazy. The awards system currently in place does not do anything to encourage posting or active participation in the community. You created a thread in a board that, let's be completely honest with ourselves, no newcomer is going to read to announce rewards that appear in a tab on your profile that exists only to people who currently possess rewards. There is no showboating here, there are no real trophies here to show on your posts, there is nothing here to carry with you around the forum. This is a good foundation but a poor system as a whole. Replacing it/combining it with custom banners to carry in signatures, little banners under icons, special ranks, whatever it is, is a much better incentive. There is no public brainstorming or problem solving coming from the staff to show that they care, there is no activity in the VIP board to show that this forum's elite care at all to have a community, and so forth. It really just gives a vibe of "whatever happens happens, we don't really care" and this is extremely off-putting to anyone who may want to join.

These are things that can be easily corrected, but it requires staff who legitimately want to participate in the community. I'm not asking for new staffers, mind you, I'm asking that the current staffers start enacting legitimate change and start taking steps to actually progress the forums. 

I apologize if this post sounds rude, but this is my honest opinion on the current state of affairs and I thank you for taking the time to read it assuming anyone does.

[Edit]
One last thing I thought of last night that Arix brought up in his comment below which I would like to piggyback on. A community Discord server is something that needs to be heavily considered. The shoutbox is a great idea that theoretically provides a utility to form a closer knit community via active chatting, but Discord does this better.

First of all, Discord is simply far more convenient than the shoutbox. I don't use the shoutbox frequently because I don't want to keep RuneLocus up in my web browser constantly whereas I, along with many other people, already have Discord up constantly. I used to not mind the shoutbox back when the site was active, but that's because I could chat there while commenting on threads and starting new ones. This obviously isn't going to be the case for an inactive RuneLocus, at least not for someone who doesn't partake in private servers. Second of all, Arix raised a great point with having a custom bot that can answer frequently asked questions. The Discord is not going to be used by people who just joined the site and want to be posting only a thread or two, but it will be used by people looking to join a community and bots are excellent for helping this. They add another level of interaction that the shoutbox will never have, one where music, FAQ, top private servers, whatever it is can all be accessed on the fly. Third of all, being able to spice the forum up with more means of interactivity is great for making the forum appear more healthy. From a layman's perspective this seems pretty whatever, but to any staffer this should be incredibly appealing since it encourages more activity. If you have an active community that seems fun then people will want to stay, that's all there is to it. 

I can understand if this would be on the lower end of the list of concerns, but it's one that should absolutely be kept in mind.
--------------------------------
Supporters and Noteworthy Replies:
Arix's support and elaboration (reply of my own clarifying this is a matter of public relation and activity, not behind the scenes matters)
Azeem's support
StevenAbraham's support and exceptional summary
Grey Goose's support

Edited by Journal

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I agree completely.

I see that you left out a more pressing opinion towards the staff, but I will address it either way. Do mind that, I still agree with you concerning the staff, but I would like to nuance some points.

  1. The administrators take care of the things that happen behind the scene, and the moderators take care of moderating the content.
  2. There are two active staff members for each administrators and moderators one of which is no longer involved in RSPS and only moderates the rules.
  3. The staff manages RuneLocus in their free time and as I have noticed (from when I was still a regular member), we have all become a lot more busy in real life, this makes it harder for us to actively partake and contribute to a community that quite frankly belongs to kids with a sea of time. We have tried many things to bring life to the content value of RuneLocus (such as the Content Team) but these ideas always fail.
  4. When we decided to migrate to IPB (the current forum software), a seemingly convenient tool was used to migrate the content along with it. However, the thousands of broken posts are the result of this tool doing a crappy job. We have discussed about writing a tool to fix these problems (mainly concerning unparsed BBCode) but little to no advancement was made on that subject ever since. That being said, we could manually go through these posts, but as you can see there are THOUSANDS. It's not a viable solution to manually sift through them.

On another note, I have plenty of ambitious ideas to differentiate and possibly 1-up us from the other communities, but having an idea and executing it professionally are two separate things. For example, I think we have the potential to use the respectable RuneLocus top-list to our advantage, and if we make it more interactive, it could potentially draw more people towards the forums. However, I might be naive and I'm sure @Cart and @Ikiliki have seen everything already.

If anything though, your detailed opinion gives us a wake-up call that something should definitely change, and I am sure we were all aware of it but didn't give it a lot of attention. It is sad to say that the forum is visited mainly by the same 10 people daily, and I wish that was different.

I'm confident some of these changes can be immediately reviewed and approved.

As for me personally, I can't promise anything, but I already try to post some informative content from time to time, continuing that trend would be a good goal, but I need to juggle with my little free time.

@Ziek` should definitely clean the entire forum and I'm sure @Cart and @Ikiliki will agree :).

I might add more opinion on this later but that's all for now.

 

EDIT 1:

Ambitious idea 1: Since people like to ask for help in the shoutbox, maybe we could make an official RuneLocus discord with a chat bot (or just an entry field) that can answer some common questions even slightly tailored to the asker

Ambitious idea 2: Several stats about servers on the top-list that get queried through a small API simmilar to Minecraft's querying API, with potential special achievements earned simmilar to StackOverflow achievements (for servers that is).

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15 minutes ago, Arix said:

I agree completely.

I see that you left out a more pressing opinion towards the staff, but I will address it either way. Do mind that, I still agree with you concerning the staff, but I would like to nuance some points.

  1. The administrators take care of the things that happen behind the scene, and the moderators take care of moderating the content.
  2. There are two active staff members for each administrators and moderators one of which is no longer involved in RSPS and only moderates the rules.

[Snipped]

Thank you for the support. 

To be frank, and this might be getting too personally opinionated, the state of moderation--much less the state of the forums as a whole--will always reflect the amount of time and care the administrators put into the site. The most disappointing thing to me is the fact the administrators are okay with maintaining staff that don't partake in the community or do as much as they should for the sake of the community. Cart is an awesome example of a staffer who interacts with the community, but there's still no obvious reprimanding or calls to action to improve the state of the forum from either him or Ikiliki. At the end of the day, the majority of power lies in their hands and they ultimately are the ones who pull the strings. The fact that things have gotten to this state reflect very poorly on them, the people who arguably represent the website more than anyone else. I don't blame the administrators for the boards being maintained on a subpar level, I blame them for enacting people who won't maintain the boards on a proper level and won't encourage a healthier mentality towards the future of this forum. RuneLocus has an arguably small community now, so it needs to be treated as such (especially from Ikiliki) and they need to be more generally productive. 

I want to clarify that I have no issues with any of the staff on a personal level, I used to consider myself to be friends with Cart and Faab especially regardless of whether or not the feelings were mutual, but the current state of affairs is just saddening and that's what I take issue towards.

Edited by Journal

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Agreed 100% with you. This should be done.

Edited by Azeem

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13 minutes ago, Journal said:

I blame them for enacting people who won't maintain the boards on a proper level and won't encourage a healthier mentality towards the future of this board.

The boards are maintained, but not in every sense. I believe that's largely due to the breaking of the BBCode. And the staff does try to improve the community, but I can see how you can't see that. I agree with you in the sense that we could show a little more activity towards you (the community) instead of towards the other staff behind the scenes.

Keep the suggestions coming :). Clearly it sparks suggestions by other people as well. The more suggestions we get the more we can do to get more people. It gets quite boring without any people here.

Edited by Arix

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Just now, Arix said:

The boards are maintained, but not in every sense. I believe that's largely due to the breaking of the BBCode. And the staff does try to improve the community, but I can see how you can't see that. I agree with you in the sense that we could show a little more activity towards you (the community) instead of towards the other staff behind the scenes.

Keep the suggestions coming :). Clearly it sparks suggestions with other people as well. 

You're right, I should have been more careful to clarify that in my statements regarding the staff so there isn't as much hostility as it may feel like there is. I don't doubt that the current staff provide to the community behind the scenes, this is why I don't want new staff or anything, my issues purely regard the things that openly represent the forums and the things that people looking to get involved will be seeing.

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Summary of his post for anyone to lazy to read:

  • Re-Organize Boards
  • More Staff Activity
  • Community Discord

Here is some of my insight on these topics

  • Re-Organize Boards
    • Every time someone suggests this, everybody acts like it's a huge job and such a big deal. It's not. IPB makes it extremely easy to re-organized boards.
    • "But we just re-organized them!" Who cares? Are you afraid the two active members have gotten so used to it that they will leave if you move them again?
  • More Staff Activity
    • We understand the staff can't be on RuneLocus all day. But sometimes the time it takes for things to get done is absolutely absurd.
    • As much as we like to rip on R-S mods, at least they are actively making progress in some way or another.
    • I've got my own critism on some of the staff, but for the sake of being polite, i'll omit that for now. Just know that RuneLocus isn't run as well as it coud be with the resource it has.
  • Community Discord
    • I've been one of the most active members since my registration date. I feel like I got a solid grasp of what goes on around here. Even I had no clue we had a discord till like a month ago.
    • ^ Thats how little we advertise our discord server. For reference, i'm in several RSPS Discords with over 50+ members. None of them advertise more than just a forum post on a respective forum.
    • We don't even have that. How sad is that. We are a FORUM that doesn't even have it's own post about it's discord, let alone a sidebar or something.
    • I imagine how much more active RuneLocus would be if we had made a discord like Raw Envy's the first week he launched it. That shit was lit and active as hell.

All great suggestions, but it's only a start. A lot needs to be done around here to revitalize the community. We act like it's already dead and it's only a place for old members to show up every few months and remind eachother they are alive. That's not the case. It doesn't take much to be better than Rune-Server, but by the looks of our memberbase, we can't even pull that off. When I first got into RSPS, I chose RuneLocus because from the looks of how the community was run, I figured that it would be the one to stick around. It's not like some injustice happend and all the people just happend to go to rune-server. You got lazy, and slowly stooped down to there level, all while RSPS was the biggest it's ever been.

Edited by StevenAbraham

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44 minutes ago, StevenAbraham said:

Summary of his post for anyone to lazy to read:

  • Re-Organize Boards
  • More Staff Activity
  • Community Discord

Here is some of my insight on these topics

  • Re-Organize Boards
    • Every time someone suggests this, everybody acts like it's a huge job and such a big deal. It's not. IPB makes it extremely easy to re-organized boards.
    • "But we just re-organized them!" Who cares? Are you afraid the two active members have gotten so used to it that they will leave if you move them again?
  • More Staff Activity
    • We understand the staff can't be on RuneLocus all day. But sometimes the time it takes for things to get done is absolutely absurd.
    • As much as we like to rip on R-S mods, at least they are actively making progress in some way or another.
    • I've got my own critism on some of the staff, but for the sake of being polite, i'll omit that for now. Just know that RuneLocus isn't run as well as it coud be with the resource it has.
  • Community Discord
    • I've been one of the most active members since my registration date. I feel like I got a solid grasp of what goes on around here. Even I had no clue we had a discord till like a month ago.
    • ^ Thats how little we advertise our discord server. For reference, i'm in several RSPS Discords with over 50+ members. None of them advertise more than just a forum post on a respective forum.
    • We don't even have that. How sad is that. We are a FORUM that doesn't even have it's own post about it's discord, let alone a sidebar or something.
    • I imagine how much more active RuneLocus would be if we had made a discord like Raw Envy's the first week he launched it. That shit was lit and active as hell.

All great suggestions, but it's only a start. A lot needs to be done around here to revitalize the community. We act like it's already dead and it's only a place for old members to show up every few months and remind eachother they are alive. That's not the case. It doesn't take much to be better than Rune-Server, but by the looks of our memberbase, we can't even pull that off. When I first got into RSPS, I chose RuneLocus because from the looks of how the community was run, I figured that it would be the one to stick around. It's not like some injustice happend and all the people just happend to go to rune-server. You got lazy, and slowly stooped down to there level, all while RSPS was the biggest it's ever been.

 

I could live my life just quoting you, sir.

Brilliant topic nice to see people putting time and effort into communities they still respect, even if i am still around 10 years on! haha.

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What the hell sense does it make to reorganize the boards yet again? We're going to reorganzie them in a specific way then all of a sudden people will start flooding to the site? We already organized them based on your template(s). If we're constantly making that change, nobody will be able to make their way around the forums. Everything else I haven't read much of and currently have no opinion.

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45 minutes ago, StevenAbraham said:
  • Community Discord
    • I've been one of the most active members since my registration date. I feel like I got a solid grasp of what goes on around here. Even I had no clue we had a discord till like a month ago.
    • ^ Thats how little we advertise our discord server. For reference, i'm in several RSPS Discords with over 50+ members. None of them advertise more than just a forum post on a respective forum.
    • We don't even have that. How sad is that. We are a FORUM that doesn't even have it's own post about it's discord, let alone a sidebar or something.
    • I imagine how much more active RuneLocus would be if we had made a discord like Raw Envy's the first week he launched it. That shit was lit and active as hell.

Our discord used to be on our forums but nobody liked it.

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