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Is there still a need for the forum?

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Comments

  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,148
    'Ugly Duckling' is a bit pejorative. 

    It's definitely not essential to the database, but neither are news updates, set reviews, blog posts, comments or Amazon links. I think the goal for all of the 'add-ons' is to increase page views and/or fund the database.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,806
    Obviously the main site is a bespoke website, whereas the forum is an off-the-shelf product, and therefore it's much easier to add new features to the website than to the forum.
    catwranglerM1J0E
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,515
    Obviously the main site is a bespoke website, whereas the forum is an off-the-shelf product, and therefore it's much easier to add new features to the website than to the forum.
    ^This.
    SumoLegoPaperballpark
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 1,295
    SMC said:
    Maybe @Huw should ask on the main site why people don't use the forum.
    Greatly agreed. It's a good way to avoid survivorship bias.
    catwranglerMorkMan
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 3,314
    Obviously the main site is a bespoke website, whereas the forum is an off-the-shelf product, and therefore it's much easier to add new features to the website than to the forum.
    ^This.
    And the huge annual bill for Vanilla.
  • flordflord CanadaMember Posts: 732
    @Huw not sure if this was asked before, but would it make sense to put ads on the forum even when signed in? Are there cheaper options than Vanilla? For me, I wouldn't need to keep all the old threads if there was a move to new software. I will also do my best to remember to use the affiliate links.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,712
    It would, but it would pi?? people off!
    klinton560HeliportLostInTranslationSumoLegobenbacardiFireheartsid3windrkiki180703
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,148
    (Yeah, a little bit.  If I don't log-in to Brickset, the ads are very... enthusiastic... about taking up screen space.)
    eMJeeNLbenbacardiklintonsid3windrkiki180703
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 3,314
    Better behaved ads that sit quietly in their assigned space would not pi** off nearly as many people.
    RogerKirkflordM1J0EMorkMan
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,148
    Better behaved ads that sit quietly in their assigned space would not pi** off nearly as many people.
    They're also not nearly as effective.
  • pxchrispxchris Oregon, USAMember Posts: 930
    As I stated much earlier in the discussion - I for one would be OK with adds, as long as they were of the unobtrusive variety. A few minimal adds to offset the costs of running Vanilla would be well worth it in my opinion.

    However - I will echo @SumoLego the adds as they stand now when you're not logged in are beyond obtrusive to the point of basically rendering the forum unusable.
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 3,314
    SumoLego said:
    Better behaved ads that sit quietly in their assigned space would not pi** off nearly as many people.
    They're also not nearly as effective.
    Much more effective than ones I don’t see because I refuse to use web pages filled with annoying pop up ads.
    klintonOldfan
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,005
    SumoLego said:
    Better behaved ads that sit quietly in their assigned space would not pi** off nearly as many people.
    They're also not nearly as effective.
    Much more effective than ones I don’t see because I refuse to use web pages filled with annoying pop up ads.
    Same here. I'd either turn on an ad-blocker if possible, or get information from another site. I might use a discreet advert, but in your face ones I tend to avoid the site.

    Also the automatic threads for amazon from the front page are not really working for me. They are often days out of date so I tend not to look at that section at all, even when new ones are posted. I'd miss anything good, so I continue to use the front page amazon checker.


  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,712
    edited November 2019
    I'm not sure why it doesn't work as it should. As you say it's pretty much useless at the moment.

    And, so much for the idea of posting home page articles in the forum, https://forum.brickset.com/categories/brickset-com-articles, to promote discussion here: they've attracted a grand total of 0 comments between them so far!
  • benbacardibenbacardi EnglandMember Posts: 601
    I get a Permission Denied message when I click on the link you just posted—has it not been opened to the public yet? That could explain the 0 comments!
    KungFuKennyFireheartklintonstluxBumblepantssid3windrandheBaby_Yodakiki180703
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,005
    edited November 2019
    Yeah me too, I've never seen that section.

    I think people would comment - look at the Riddles thread for example.
  • Speedman29Speedman29 UKMember Posts: 1,620
    Same here "permission problem - you don't have permission to do that" message appears.
    Pistonheads the car forum has a thread for every article on the front page, works really well

    drdavewatford
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,515
    I get a Permission Denied message when I click on the link you just posted—has it not been opened to the public yet?
    Interesting. I can see the various threads, and was surprised that nobody has commented on a single one so this permission issue seems to explain it. As far as I can tell from the dashboard, however, the thread is public so I have no idea why it's not visible - @Huw?
    benbacardi
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,806
    Yeah there's no 'brickset.com articles' category in the forum for me, and I also get 'permission denied' when I click that link.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,514
    There was a brickset articles section years ago that never got much traction. I think the most recent article was the 2016 Ninjago Airship review or something like that.
  • sid3windrsid3windr BelgiumMember Posts: 1,452
    Heh, I was indeed also surprised at Huw's statement that it attracted 0 comments.. because indeed, it's just not there... :-/
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,575
    Also getting permission denied on the link above, and never saw links on the forum. Main page articles used to promote discussion on the forum. Huw, has changing the message at the bottom of main-page articles had any noticeable effect on forum traffic?
  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,854
    Same here. Also, even if it was working in the forum, to drive traffic to the forum those threads would need to include a forum thread link in the article itself.
  • iwybsiwybs PlutoMember Posts: 68
    When I opened my browser to the Brickset forum a few minutes ago, I was surprised to find myself logged out.  The first thread visible was one for today's Random Set, the Solo Trainer.  I couldn't log in without resetting my password.  This is a friendly forum, but it's become unreadable without logging in because the ads are so intrusive.
    Mr_Cross
  • OdeinoichusOdeinoichus CanadaMember Posts: 355

    I haven't got much to say one way or the other, ultimately, I don't frequent here as often due to my habits. I collect LEGO infrequently most of the year, so am rarely visiting Brickset or the Forum until the big Holiday deals at the end of the year drive my purchases back up again.

    I don't use the affiliate links, or if I have it was very rare that I did because I usually just use my favorites to hit up Amazon or TLS. And I'm sure I'm not the only one.

    As with most users, I suspect I attribute very little to the conversations I do participate in. I'm just not ON as often as most lovers of LEGO.

    Honestly, I'd be sad to see it go, but can understand why it went. As with everything in life, the longer it exists the pricier it becomes to the point where the benefits are outweighed by the costs.

    If it must go, I will bid it a fond farewell. I never really thought much about the costs of running such sites before, they are often ignored by the general public who prefer to just use a service and not have to think about it. I am saddened to think that such a wonderful community might be forced to die simply because it could not evolve enough to survive the shifting sands of the internet... ok I'm no good with coming up with allegories on the fly, especially this early in the morning.

    To summarize. Love the place, but am guilty of not using it very often year round, so, sorry folks. But I've got so many other hobbies which compete with LEGO that discussing LEGO every day 365 days a year just isn't in my wheelhouse. And I am unfortunately probably not the only one.

  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 872
    I find the forum to be quite toxic at times, with several regulars ready to argue about everything, but it's a useful place for info that wouldn't normally make it to the main site, so in that sense I'd be sad to see it go.

    I struggle to understand how it can cost north of £3k/year for a forum that only 80 registered users bother with. I help run a football forum where we regularly have 50+ users online at any one time during the day, with peaks of 400+, and a bog standard VPS and the Invision forum software deals with it easily. Forum software is a few quid every 6 months, and hosting is about £50/month. Even a dedicated server shouldn't cost much more than double that.

    I won't pretend that our needs are the same as Brickset's because every forum-based community is completely different, our forum peaks around matchdays and breaking news for example, but your costs still sound incredibly expensive to me. I mentioned this the last time the forum was an issue for you: send some usage logs to a few hosting companies and ask what they can do for you. As you have an established large community you may even be able to get a special rate in exchange for a text link to the host in the footer, as it may help their SEO.
    SumoLegoFireheartcatwranglerbrickventuresclassic
  • sid3windrsid3windr BelgiumMember Posts: 1,452
    Hmm, I think I saw the board with the posts from the main site earlier today or yesterday. Is it gone again?
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,148
    I think 'toxic' is a bit of an overstatement.  The moderators are pretty good about... moderating the discussion.  I'm hard pressed to recall any recent inter-personal attacks or anything other than differing opinions.

    Nonetheless, I agree that Vanilla seems disproportionately expensive and perhaps some shopping around would prolong its existence.
    FireheartMr_CrossstluxcatwranglerAstrobrickspanchox1Baby_YodaM1J0E
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,148
    This is why I run my arc reactors on vibranium instead of paladium.  Maybe running the Forum on vibranium instead of Vanilla will also reduce toxicity.
    7BSMr_Crossgmonkey76LittleLorikiki180703
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 872
    Sarcasm isn't toxic? It's a humour best used between friends not strangers. One person's banter is another person's toxicity.

    In any case, the football forum I'm on about. It's 6.55am and there are 199 users online (of which 2 are logged in). Brickset currently has 7 users online (again, of which 2 are logged in). For this we're being charged £50/month, and BrickSet is paying £260+. It just doesn't sound right.
  • samiam391samiam391 A Log Cabin in KY, United StatesMember Posts: 4,341
    Ya'll need to shut up. I'm sick of your back and forth.
    Mr_CrossklintonSumoLegogmonkey76sid3windrkiki180703MorkMan
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 872
    Good job people, showing how toxic the forum isn't.
  • klintonklinton CanadaMember Posts: 1,188
    Aleydita said:
    Sarcasm isn't toxic? It's a humour best used between friends not strangers.

    Exactly. An environment that stifles friendly banter would be toxic. I don't consider the fine folks on this forum to be strangers, but rather another group of friends with whom I can share this particular interest. Perhaps it's not the the sarcasm that's amiss, but your perspective? Don't be a stranger! :)
    SumoLegogmonkey76Mr_CrossKungFuKennysid3windrkiki180703Baby_YodaM1J0E
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,148
    I don't see much point in debating the formal and (apparent) expanded definition of words.  'Toxic' is something I would apply to significantly harmful things like radioactive waste, some Male behavior demonstrated against Female workplace subordinates in Mad Men, abusive relationships, and the overall quality of Britney Spears music (ironic!).  

    Anyway, this is where I would post a meme of LEGO Stormtroopers with baseball bats posed around a prone LEGO horse.
    stlux560Heliportgmonkey76Mr_CrossKungFuKennysid3windrkiki180703Baby_Yoda
  • KungFuKennyKungFuKenny Deep in the Heart of TexasMember Posts: 1,333
    edited November 2019
    @SumoLego
    Thanks so much for putting that song in my head for the rest of the day! (example of friendly sarcasm?)

    To show there are no hard feelings I made this up for you just now- feel free to use as needed...


    PS You missed an additional opportunity— “Ironic” could have prompted an Alanis Morissette joke...
    LittleLoriSumoLegogmonkey76Kerrepxchrispanchox1Baby_YodaMorkMan
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,148
    edited November 2019
    Don't'cha think?

    (I was considering posting the lyrics to 'Toxic', but they're really weird and intellectually insulting.)
    KungFuKennyjmeninnosid3windrkhmellymel
  • MaffyDMaffyD West YorkshireMember Posts: 2,786
    I quite like that song...
    MorkMan
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,005
    Aleydita said:

    In any case, the football forum I'm on about. It's 6.55am and there are 199 users online (of which 2 are logged in). Brickset currently has 7 users online (again, of which 2 are logged in). For this we're being charged £50/month, and BrickSet is paying £260+. It just doesn't sound right.
    I think it was already established that there is a setting which hides you from the logged on list and by default that setting is on.

    Baby_Yoda
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 872
    I said it could be toxic at times. I've left several threads because of arguments between longstanding members. It seems that one or two frequent users in particular go out of their way to cause or prolong arguments. I don't intend to discuss this to death, that's my opinion, great if your experience is better than mine.
    SumoLegoGeordiePaulkiki180703gmonkey76Baby_Yoda
  • MrShinyAndNewMrShinyAndNew Member Posts: 276
    I like this forum and would miss it if it went. I'd be okay with ads when logged in, but not the ads that appear when I'm not logged in. I get multiple overlapping ads that render the page completely unusable, including auto-playing video ads. Banner ads or ads that appear in the margins would be fine by me. Ads that crush my browser performance or deplete my data or cover up the page content would not. I'll be honest, I wouldn't want to pay $40 for this forum and don't see that it's worth that. Seems to me it should be cheaper to host a forum, especially if it gets no traffic.
    SnizzlebuttsSprinkleOtter
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,514
    I bought some socks with the link and got tricked into clicking on a prime trial. I will order a bunch of stuff before canceling it to save the clubhouse! 
    sid3windrKungFuKennypanchox1andheJenniM1J0E
  • DougTemplarDougTemplar Edinburgh, ScotlandMember Posts: 595
    I get a Permission Denied message when I click on the link you just posted—has it not been opened to the public yet?
    Interesting. I can see the various threads, and was surprised that nobody has commented on a single one so this permission issue seems to explain it. As far as I can tell from the dashboard, however, the thread is public so I have no idea why it's not visible - @Huw?
    Just to confirm even today I still can't see this thread you are talking about with links to the stories on the main page. I still get Permission Denied.
    benbacardi
  • sid3windrsid3windr BelgiumMember Posts: 1,452
    They were there, but they disappeared again :O
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,515
    Huw's done some tweaking, so hopefully you can all see the Brickset front page threads now.
    datsunrobbie
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,575
    edited November 2019
    Huw's done some tweaking, so hopefully you can all see the Brickset front page threads now.
    I can see them on the forum. If the point is to drive traffic to the forum, a link from the main page article to the discussion in the forum might help.

    I noticed the new articles don't sort to the top when sorting by recent posts unless somebody posts a comment in the forum. I may be in the minority, but I almost always sort by most recent, so I would not have spotted them if others had not already posted comments.
    klinton
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,712
    edited November 2019
    > a link from the main page article to the discussion in the forum might help.

    The article is posted automatically from the main site article RSS feed so doesn't exist until after that has been posted, and I'm certainly not doing them all manually!
    gmonkey76
  • FireheartFireheart Suffolk, UKMember Posts: 611
    ^ From the main article for example “year of the rat” I looked on the main site, read the article, and could not see any link to discuss this article in Brickset forum? Did I miss something?
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