Public Service Announcement MK2

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Joseph
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Public Service Announcement MK2

Post by Joseph » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:03 pm

Since June 21st, only 11 members have logged on. Few post and sometimes days will pass with no posts at all.

I have made numerous appeals for activity and growth on the forums. Nothing comes of it.

The ezine is much the same. I have tried as best I can to evoke some sense of friendship and team spirit in the hopes of putting together a decent product. It's almost never on time (it's been delayed again). People show little interest in reading it, showing the courtesy of commenting on it, (most disheartening is that the contributors can't even be bothered to support each other by commenting on each others' work) and there's minimal effort in helping promote it.

These issues have always weighed on me. I have had a very intense investment of time, energy and emotion in Winterwind over the past several years and... it seems like beating a dead horse, as the saying goes.

The point of this is that, as of this writing, I am leaning very heavily towards taking the forums and site down, of washing my hands and walking away.

Some of you have shown a willingness and enthusiasm to help, and I appreciate that greatly, but Winterwind is no further along now than it was years ago and it certainly shows no signs of improving that I can presently see.

I haven't made a firm decision yet but... I'm just tired of seemingly being the only one who gives a damn.

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK2

Post by Jan » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:29 pm

I can understand your concern as the lead promoter and organizer of things to happen how disappointing it can be when all that time of your enthusiasm and efforts to promote activity seems to go wasted.. that didn't sound quite right, but it's you I am talking about.

Maybe this is not the right place and crowd to link up to ezine content, because it's so full of a different kind of history. There is a lot of personal luggage and skeletons in the closet here that may be a bit initimidating to newcomers. Maybe it's time for a clean beginning, clean slaite, but it doesn't really solve the problem in itself. We need traffic and that is not going to come unless there is a steady attraction caused by either content or people that want to hang with people. I have a few patches in mind to update the site with all the 'click-me' bells and whistless that makes it easier to share content across borders. Facebook links, twitter, blogs, etc, but all of these things must have an outlet that points to this, erm, that place of course. If one adds this site, erm, that site to their facebook then all of their friends, if they got any, will be informed as well.

I would be very sad if you shut down this forum, because I think of a lot of you as friends, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but you stick around and I think I would lose contact with you completely without this site. We have a history together. I guess I sometimes behave as if this is my own private sandbox filled with a small crowd of my favorite playmates and I can't always say that I am dissatisfied with that, because we are like a gang, almost like family. It's cozy. You are my brothers.. the annoying ones, hehe. :lol: I guess I compensate for the loss and disappointment of my mentally deranged and anti-social sister. I know that thought is in part quite selfish of me and maybe it's really time for me to move on, but I just find it really hard to part with you all completely.

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK2

Post by Joseph » Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:19 pm

dousi has a similar view, that he'd be sad. Difference is, dousi prefers it being a small group. Sadly, that is not, and never was the intent.

As for friendship, yes, absolutely I consider several of you friends, just as much as if we lived in the same town and met face to face as opposed to online.

As for updating the site... to be honest, I'd prefer an eventual switch to vBulletin but... that requires an annual licensing fee if I'm remembering correctly. I certainly think it's worth it but only if our traffic warrants it. and presently, it doesn't.

As for linking up with Twitter, Facebook, etc... couldn't give a toss about Twitter. I maintain that it is indeed for twits. FB on the other hand, well, it's evil but in this day and age, almost a necessary evil. And I already promote the site there. As for skeletons and such, all forums have them. But it's the site that needs promoting, not the forums. The forums are a byproduct of the site and exist only to compliment it.

As for promoting the site... well, that's another exercise in frustration. I swear there's something about Swedes. As Mattias once did, so too does Lina do now. Disappear... If I could pay her, I would. If I could do the artwork myself, I would. Right now, neither is an option so I'm presently sitting on an issue ready to go minus all the artwork. :(

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK2

Post by Jan » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:34 pm

I could easily add a facebook "I like" link to the template and then all you'd had to do is to create a provisorical facebook account, create a new group called "Winterwind-productions" and then you are in business. If you want the whole shebang, maybe you are familiar with AddThis.com

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK2

Post by Gorth » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:39 am

Joseph wrote:The forums are a byproduct of the site and exist only to compliment it.
I don't know if that was a sic or intentional. Nice site, good site, beautiful site... :mrgreen:

Joseph, I think currently at least, your problem is that you need "like minded" people. Not "yes men", but people who shares your interest in creating something other people enjoy checking out. You have a bunch of friends here, but we are mostly the "yes men", who'll support you in the ways that we can, but where it really matters for an e-zine, we are not the right crowd. We can sometimes come up with ideas, but mostly (speaking for myself now), creativity is on par with a concrete slab. We are not "performers" if you get my drift. Takes different kinds of persons to have that natural knack of (and interest in) motivating a crowd.

*sits down and draws some stick men with a crayon*
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Re: Public Service Announcement MK2

Post by Joseph » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:53 am

Never asked you to be a performer, though you could make a passable dancing bear if we got you a pink tutu.

There are seven of you that get the "team" emails. You, Jan and dousi get it because you're long term members and occasionally you give some good ideas or feedback. That's about all I've ever hoped for/expected from you lads.

As for the ezine content, Jez is a great guy and dependable. He also edits an online publication so he knows what's involved. Michael Collins has shown some enthusiasm and not only did he contribute his own piece but landed that interview for us and got his friend Thomas to contribute to the last one. AKJ has made some contributions in the past (though I don't know if there will be more coming, shame if there aren't) and there's Lina. Lina has written some great stories and done some gorgeous artwork for the ezine but... she's notoriously difficult to get a hold of sometimes. Case in point, the current issue I'm sitting on, waiting for artwork.

Anyhow... yeah. It's bloody frustrating at times.

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK2

Post by D. Sauzi » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:59 pm

I guess you understood me the right way Joseph, it might actually be I even prefer this community to be small. Not literally of course, i will never work against growth, but i do indeed appreciate the cosiness of our relationships, from which you might deduct that i like it being small. I think Gorth made a good observation as well, I am a 'yes man' who isnt really the type to go out and advertise our place. I've got it in a signature or two, and i often tell about us being here to my friends, but i very seldomly invite them to come over, and indeed, i'm not sure i even want them here.
I guess part of that has to do with the skeletons lying around. Over time i have made quite a number of honest posts here, things i mightnt tell to others, and am not sure of whether i want them to be read by too many others. It is a bit selfish actually i guess. But i like this place like a home, and i dont think i'd like to many strangers coming in and going trough my lockers.

Below btw is the pm i sent to Joseph, considering the honesty above i guess its right to have my own here as well. Hope you're happy to read it, as it gives away how i regard you guys, the way you did about me, if i am lucky enough to be one of the guys you care about.

For me, i do give quite the damn about the site. Indeed, nothing has changed over the past years, but maybe that is why im still here. No matter the lack of enthousiasm, proactive behaviour or lack of traffic, i value our small group being here, and dont want to be without you, Jan, Gorth or LS. Same goes for the occasional popups of Fluffy and Runey and the like, and im still hoping MSC will move a bit away from his soccer forum and look around here a bit more.

As always though, things like these are up to you, and all we can do is hope we make it interesting/easy enough for you to keep the place up.
Same goes for the zine, its your creation, and if you dont get out of it what you want, stop it. If its still worth it for you with all the downsides surrounding it, do continue.
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Re: Public Service Announcement MK2

Post by Gorth » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:24 am

Joseph wrote:Never asked you to be a performer, though you could make a passable dancing bear if we got you a pink tutu.
I know. I suck at poetry too... would make a Vogon scream for mercy :mrgreen:

Just thought it would be tacky to cut and paste my reply from the previous thread covering the same subject. I know you don't expect creativity from everybody :)

I guess the "performer" part wasn't only aimed at actual creative content, but also when it comes to drumming up interest. My reasons might be different from Dousi's, but the end result is the same. I never liked attention. Not on the net and not in "real life". I know there are people who thrive on it and they get a kick out of gathering crowds around them and the feeling of "power" it gives them when they control said crowd, but that is really only a select few people.

I know such people in real life, but they work as sales directors, pre-sales consultants etc . and they are damn good at going into a room of potentionally hostile strangers and convert them into their point of view.

tl;dr version, very few people are really good at the attention grabbing stuff that makes other people come "over here" and stick around because they find it interesting. Times have changed and most people are attentionspan challenged. ESPECIALLY on the internet. Even a place like Obsidian will at most have maybe 15-20 active regulars at any given time, the rest popping up at irregular intervals just to disappear for long stretches of time again. It simply appears more busy because the base is larger, but the number of regulars isn't particular large. Largest forum I frequent as a lurker is Warseer, who has a constant 250+ of regulars (and about 1000+ guests), but that is *the* site for a worldwide, billion dollar hobby, that has largely replaced D&D.

I think specialisation in this case is a strength, but meh, I wouldn't know what to specialise in.
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Re: Public Service Announcement MK2

Post by Marcus » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:43 pm

Anything I can do that I can help with? Im a moron but I love to help.

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK2

Post by Joseph » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:43 pm

Oh, same thing I've said to you at least every three to four months...

ETA (which I've learned means "Edited to ad" in forum-speak)

Attention grabbing has to come from content. Content isn't always easy to get as we've seen, especially content that has a "big name" allure.

As for suggestions about a FB group for WW, we'd need people showing some interest there and when we can't even get our core members and contributors posting here... But then maybe it would work better since FB is pretty mindless and requires little in the way of thought or attention. But who here has FB accounts. Only a few and Gorth wants to delete his so... I don't know what way we should be going. "Likiing" something or typing a quite line or two is easier than a good paragraph or two on a forum.

Wherever did people's attention spans go in the 21st century anyhow? :eyebrow:

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK2

Post by Gorth » Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:23 am

Joseph wrote:Wherever did people's attention spans go in the 21st century anyhow? :eyebrow:
They never made it that far, lost interest in the 20th century :razz:
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Re: Public Service Announcement MK2

Post by Jez » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:21 pm

Hi Joseph,

For what it's worth, and excepting my own pieces, I find WW to be a darn good publication which deserves a good deal more publicity. Sadly, in today's media saturated environment in which just about anyone can launch an e-zine, standing out from the crowd is no mean feat.

Solutions are not easy to find. Some years back I first discovered the world of online publications through a neat little monthly release which attracted a good deal of attention amongst a small, committed readership alongside a wider casual audience. Sadly it folded in 2008, and it wouldn't surprise me if one of the reasons was the sort of frustrations you've mentioned.

There's no simple answer to the difficulties you raise, Joseph, but you are supported, and the responses above help to demonstrate that. Just one or two more dependable writers on board, and one or two big interviews and things would look very different. Landing those things is the hard part. But we're with you.

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK2

Post by Joseph » Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:55 pm

Ah, Jez, you're a good man with a lot to offer goats and sheep as the saying goes. ;)

I mentioned Wikipedia in the thread about the traffic we're getting from Wiki articles on two cancelled Black Isle Studios games. For the past two months the old interview we did with my friend Damien is sending a lot of traffic our way and that interview has been the most requested page on the site in that time. So... I registered an account on Wikipedia.

I read through the page for Duncan Lunan and it could definitely use some additional content as our interview with him was quite in-depth. I just need to figure out how to do it. I clicked the edit button to take a look and... yeah... lots and lots of code. Tricky looking. Probably not but trying to teach an old dog (me) new tricks seem rather overwhelming.

Once I get that done though, might also have a look at some other Wikipedia entries where past interviews of ours could be relevant. (Larry Elmore, Chris Avellone on KotOR). It's not promoting new articles but it is getting our name out there as it were.

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK2

Post by Joseph » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:19 pm

Partly for the sake of something to do, partly because it should have been done some time ago and partly for appearances, I did a slight shuffling of the forums this evening.

Gone are the two categories, "Community" and "Rec Room". It's just one now. We're a small board and not dedicated to a large entertainment franchise needing multiple categories.

Further, the BIS forum was made a sub-forum of gaming. It was nostalgia from some keeping Black Isle Games as a separate forum. Despite that that's where most of us originally met, that several Interplay/Black Isle staff once registered here, past interviews we did, etc, we weren't a fan site or a gaming resource site and BIS passed on almost a decade ago anyhow.

RPG This! was also made a sub-forum of gaming. Don't know if we'll ever resume the old rpg or if anyone will ever start a new one but either way it made sense. Simple and streamlined.

I've again toyed with the thought of closing the boards though sentimentally I'd probably just lock them as an archive and not outright delete them. If we resume better activity levels, or ever grow, or just remain a brief pop-in and wave to each other every few weeks, or comment in months when there's an ezine issue released, so be it. I inherited them, we tried, some more than others, and the boards are what they are and whatever they will be, they'll be. Que sera, sera.

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Re: Public Service Announcement MK2

Post by Joseph » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:56 pm

Well, we haven't done an ezine issue for 10 months. But there is one coming.

We're mainly here for the rpg now and... I'm sure the the few of us popping by have noticed that the boards go a bit wonky from time to time. I've noticed it over the last three weeks or so. The issue is there then a couple minutes later it's gone and things are fine again. Not sure what's causing it and I've had other things occupying my thoughts so I haven't looked into it but... A) I know (thanks for the message though LS) and B) I'll look into it when I get a chance.

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