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Thread: What do you want from EoFF?

  1. #1
    Crazy Scot. Cid's Knight Shauna's Avatar
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    Default What do you want from EoFF?

    What with the recent announcements (thank you again for your hard work, Bubba and Pumpkin), I thought I'd open up some conversation amongst the memberbase about the community and moving forward.

    I'm sure we are all committed to making sure EoFF is as good a place as can be for those of you who stop by here every day, and I guess I'm just looking for what that looks like for you all, and what you want from EoFF. With the number of staff falling, I would like to look at reinforcing these aspects for you, before we branch out into experimental ideas.

    I've listed a few things that come to mind for me:

    - More events? What kinds of events would you be interested in? Don't forget that it's not just staff who can run events, so if you've got any ideas - go nuts!
    - Bring back the temporary themed subforum? What topics would you be interested in?
    - Gaming weekends? Let's get some members together and play some video games? Which games would you be interested in playing?
    - Discord Shenanigans? I am working on the quiz, so that's a thing we'll try out - but is there anything else you think we could do in the Discord server?


    Yeah. Hit me with your thoughts. And if you think EoFF is perfect the way it is, that's fine. We love you just the way you are too.

  2. #2
    stacksonstacksonstacksons Shoeberto's Avatar
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    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, a Mastodon instance :^)
    https://joinmastodon.org/

    EoFF has always had a great community, but to me forums just aren't natural to how I engage on the web anymore compared to other social media. Most of why I've been back is because there's been fun troutposting threads, but I'm well aware it could dry up again. Maybe some people like that, and I'm not advising shutting down the forums at all. But I think Mastodon and the like offer new tech that EoFF could really capitalize to modernize the user experience and draw people back to engage as a community.

    The federation of Mastodon instances is growing pretty rapidly, and user numbers keep going up as well, as you can see here:
    https://mnm.social/

    The underlying tech behind Mastodon is an open standard, which is being reviewed by the W3C as an international web standard (like e-mail or HTTP):
    https://www.w3.org/TR/websub/

    And there are tons of mobile apps for both iOS and Android that give a simple, smooth experience similar to apps for Facebook or Twitter, but without having to deal with ads/Russian bots/troutty people you haven't talked to since high school/etc.

    I've been running my own instance for a few months now and really enjoy the experience, but I don't think my personal deployment is ever going to attract people the way an EoFF Social would. But I think it actively promoted, a lot of people would embrace an EoFF-specific social network on top of their existing suite of accounts.

    If you guys have any questions about it, I'm more than happy to answer them. And feel free to do a test account on my instance; all of your user data is portable between instances and accounts can be deleted. It's a technology that I find super exciting and really want to keep spreading the word.
    Join me on my Mastodon instance, Villa Straylight!

  3. #3
    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    From EoFF I'm looking for good people and good discussion. I'll come here no matter what you guys do, so I guess what matters to me is how attractive you make this place for others to join and stay with the community so that it stays active and not a ghost town.

    Attracting new members is one of the keys. I feel like EoFF is always the best when there is a constant flow of new members. Like Hsu said, it is difficult to do this with forums since people tend to do their internetting in a variety of different ways these days. The site's theme of Final Fantasy is also not as interesting as it once was since new releases in the series have been slow, and the series is no longer the pinnacle of the genre either. Some of the best discussion over the years has nothing to do with FF, but how do we initially attract the quirky personalities that make this place so cool? Many of us have come in through the front site or chat or some other FF-related search and I have no idea if that is still how it works. Perhaps we branch out through popular social media sites to attract people or ask any recent new members how they found us.

    I wonder if it is time to downplay the FF theme and rebrand this place for what it has been for years: a home for nerds. Most of us here like FF and many still discuss it, but general RPGs, games, media, and other discussion has always dominated the 'community' aspect of this site and is why many of us still come here. Some kind of rebrand that keeps the FF roots but makes it clear that this can be your home may help draw like minds together like it has for years. All of you guys have been what keeps me here, not a game series. There's got to be a way to showcase that.

    I do also like the events here. They don't even have to be forum events or FF themed events. That Pokemon tournament Fynn and Skyblade did was really fun and we should do another. Mafia is also very fun though sadly I don't really have the time for it anymore. The RP forum was also the peak of activity and I'm sure there are still people out there with a cross section of FF love and a desire to RP. You need a cheerleader/marketer for that though.

    Proud to be the Unofficial Secret Illegal Enforcer of Eyes on Final Fantasy!
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     Master of the Fork Cid's Knight Freya's Avatar
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    I suggest we market this place with amazing jokes across our social media

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    Sh♥tposter Extraordinaire Jinx's Avatar
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    it to go away

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    Yossarian Lives Administrator Psychotic's Avatar
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    If we do a re-brand, we'd definitely have to keep the same forum database rather than set up shop elsewhere. I think many people come here out of habit, judging from the success (or lack thereof) of spin off forums over the years. Break the habit and it's goodbye Piccadilly, farewell Leicester Square.

  7. #7
    stacksonstacksonstacksons Shoeberto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Del Murder View Post
    ...
    The site's theme of Final Fantasy is also not as interesting as it once was since new releases in the series have been slow, and the series is no longer the pinnacle of the genre either. Some of the best discussion over the years has nothing to do with FF, but how do we initially attract the quirky personalities that make this place so cool?
    ...
    Some kind of rebrand that keeps the FF roots but makes it clear that this can be your home may help draw like minds together like it has for years. All of you guys have been what keeps me here, not a game series. There's got to be a way to showcase that.
    I agree with everything you said, but especially these points. A while back there was the short-lived OMG My Game but I think it came at a bad time. But yeah, ultimately EoFF has always just been a hangout for nice and interesting people with low tolerance for jerks. The main problem is that people's tech preferences have changed. I think if you can't give people a good mobile experience, you're alienating a lot of potential new users.

    Part of my Mastodon suggestion is because it addresses a lot of the technology and community-focus issues, and also has an "early adopter" bonus right now. EoFF got its early momentum as a Final Fantasy EZBoard in '99, before they became a dime a dozen. I think to keep that up you have to stay up with where your potential audience is moving. I think moving to Discord was a really good move in that sense, though obviously not everyone wants to hang out in chat rooms necessarily.

    If we do a re-brand, we'd definitely have to keep the same forum database rather than set up shop elsewhere. I think many people come here out of habit, judging from the success (or lack thereof) of spin off forums over the years. Break the habit and it's goodbye Piccadilly, farewell Leicester Square.

    I wouldn't nix the forums ever, really, as long as vBulletin stays around. But I think you could probably re-organize with a lower emphasis on FF and engagement wouldn't deteriorate so bad (ie hiding the FF stuff as subforums or something)
    Join me on my Mastodon instance, Villa Straylight!

  8. #8
    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    Yes, please do not prune (dun dun dun!) the database. Our lovely forums database is this place. By rebrand I just meant as a marketing tool to get people to come here. Branch out into other areas in the interest of driving them to the site. Forums can still be popular (I have seen some that are still as active as, say, EoFF circa 2008), but the topics need to stay relevant.

    It is challenging to do it this way because you really do need a hook. FF was our hook for so long and it still occasionally works but clearly not as well as it used to. Honestly, you just need to get people here. Once they see this little corner is actually something special they will have drunk the kool aid. For example, we just had a new member who was shocked at how little we hate each other! The (relative) lack of jerks in an interweb full of jerks is the best thing EoFF has going.

    Proud to be the Unofficial Secret Illegal Enforcer of Eyes on Final Fantasy!
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  9. #9
    Yossarian Lives Administrator Psychotic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Del Murder View Post
    The (relative) lack of jerks in an interweb full of jerks is the best thing EoFF has going.
    Yeah I definitely agree with this.

    My main hang up with switching away from FF is that while the community is why people stay, FF is why they join. Maybe I'm a pessimist, but I can't see many people wanting to join a non descript forum in 2018, or even find it. There is also still a little community "south of the border" in the FF forums, and it would be a shame to lose that.

    Shoeberto is right on the money when it comes to technology, switching IRC for Discord was one of the best changes EoFF has made in the past few years. If Mastodon is the Next Big Thing we'd definitely do well to get ahead of the curve, but I think it depends on how many young people are using something.

    We mostly joined as dumbass teenagers because forums and message boards were all we had. I feel like EoFF and communities like this are built by young people in high school or college with mountains of free time. When was the last time we had teenagers join and stick around? And, well, wouldn't it be ever so slightly weird now with all of us in our late 20's/early 30's for that to happen? Do I really want to interact with teens now that I'm not one myself? I'm not going anywhere with this, I'm just thought dumping.

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    Ghost of Christmas' past theundeadhero's Avatar
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    That last paragraph is what I've thought for years now. Less the it would be weird interacting with them, and more the why would they stick around when the place feels closer to a retirement home for old members who've grown comfortable than to a place where people can find others with similar experiences and share them.

    Bork Bork

  11. #11
    Sh♥tposter Extraordinaire Jinx's Avatar
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    While I like the idea of becoming a more general RPG/game focus site, I think you all need to accept that message boards are dying.

    #1 Akechi Stan

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    Yossarian Lives Administrator Psychotic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinx View Post
    While I like the idea of becoming a more general RPG/game focus site, I think you all need to accept that message boards are dying.
    Oh yeah you're definitely right and I don't think anyone would disagree. There's no magic bullet that's suddenly going to bring about the good ol' days again. I guess I'm thinking more in terms of what can be done to slow down the inevitable decline and get as much out of the old place while it's still here.

    Also thinking about it, I came to EoFF because I needed help with FFV and FFX. If I need help with an FF game now I don't even think about making a thread here, I just have a look at the massive reddit communities. I made a thread on Dissidia Opera Omnia which is my current FF obsession but hardly anyone here even touches it. Or in other words, maybe losing the FF aspect isn't so bad if there isn't even so much to lose in the first place. idk.

  13. #13
    Crazy Scot. Cid's Knight Shauna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychotic View Post
    I guess I'm thinking more in terms of what can be done to slow down the inevitable decline and get as much out of the old place while it's still here.
    This pretty much nails my intention in creating this thread. It's not about encouraging people to join EoFF (not that newbies aren't good!), it's about making the most of EoFF for the people who are already here. Whether you joined yesterday, or have been here for years - you're here.

    I suppose to put it in a bit of perspective, 33 members have viewed this thread. That's not an insignificant number. So people are still here, and we want to make EoFF a good experience until such a time that people are no longer here.

  14. #14
    Put the bloody gubs in the crev. Free Edgar 2014 Steve's Avatar
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    I'm going to say something that may be controversial but devils advocate etc...

    If message boards are dying (they are) and EoFF is undergoing a slow decline (which it is). When will it become too cost inefficient for BoB to continue to support the forums? Or when would it be better to end the slow decline by giving the place the viking funeral it will surely have earnt? (Yes, Daniel Towns, this does mean we expect a video of your PC on fire. I don't care if it's not the server to the forums your PC is the home of EoFF in our hearts)

  15. #15
    Put the bloody gubs in the crev. Free Edgar 2014 Steve's Avatar
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    On the flip side (yes double post because I think breaking away from the devils advocate warrants this).

    I just want EoFF to continue to be the home of awesome it is. I disappear and come back but frankly, this place is a bit like home on the internet for me. I've been around so long now I feel like old Bootstrap Bill Turner on The Flying Dutchman

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