CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

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CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby Derek Dragomir on Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:06 pm

First of all, let me just say that I'm still new to these threads so I don't know how they used to be. But from what I've read around here, it seems to me these forums have seen better days.

Today Comic Genesis forums is being trolled like never before by incoming waves of SPAM bots and there's little being done about it because the people who actually can help us, aren't here.

What I'd like to talk about is what can the remaining forum members do to bring back the forums to a balanced state, bustling with real people behind a keyboard, sharing their thoughts and ideas on their favorite ComicGenesis webcomics, and whatever else have you... ultimately, not SPAMming.

Here's a few questions I have:
Isn't ComicGenesis a branch of KeenSpot? Aren't they our higher ups? How can we get them to help us? I know someone mentioned something about going to their Twitter account and bothering them about it? If so, then I think we should all arrange a date so we can all do it at the same time as a collective action... if that makes sense.

IF we do get the SPAM problem solved then I suggest that we get together once again and do something that will attract new people to these forums. Like putting together an annual art book by ComicGenesis artists to show people what we got going on. It would be a great book to sell at Conventions and it would mostly work as publicity.

After that we could try to keep the forums livelier with perhaps some contests for the new members. Or maybe even have a weekly podcast where we talk about webcomics around the net, not just on ComicGenesis. We could also get have special guests and stuff. How about our own booth at Cons?

Ah, of course, the budget. Well, how about that website, Kickstarter? We could present to people what we're trying to do and let them donate to our cause. Maybe even get some new fans out of that.

Re-designing the actual ComicGenesis page wouldn't be a bad idea either, but I'm guessing that's not up to the forum people, correct?

That's it. Share your thoughts? Can we make a difference?
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby Mastermind on Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:15 am

From what I remember, what used to attract people to the forums was the help you'd get really fast and from many users and also the fact that noobs could join in the conversation and not be treated like noobs. This hasn't changed, I think. The main problem is the small number of regulars now. Some stuff that might improve the situation:
-having someone able to help in the help center - new users usually start there and get the impression they are being ignored
-convincing keenspot to advertise comic genesis in a different way than "...oh, and we have a free comic hosting service. Did we mention that?" (I mean, really?)
-changing the description on the main page to something more welcoming, like elaborating on how it works, mentioning the newsbox and pogs and encouraging people to show their work in the forums.
Unfortunately, these things are up to the admins. The spam should be easy to handle once there's more people.

just some thoughts, I'm not experienced in this sort of thing.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby Derek Dragomir on Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:58 am

I think those are all good points. If you really think that's true, then I'm going to frequent the help forums more often and help with what I can.

EDIT: Hey, would it be possible to create a sticky thread in the HELP forums called the "ComicGenesis Beginner's Tutorial" and link it to this?

http://cgwiki.comicgenesis.com/index.ph ... =Tutorials

I just think something like this should be a bit more obvious and readily accessible on the forums because that's where most newbies go to in times of need.

And because we'd be adding yet another sticky thread to the Help forum, I think that those should be cleaned up a little to make it less crowded and easy to look at. Perhaps take the already existing FAQ sticky, rename it "FAQs & Rules - READ BEFORE POSTING!" and throw in it a few of the stickies that could go in there like the "Con't Log into SiteAdmin?" and "Yahoo Delaying Email", and simultaneously putting said FAQ thread under the Topics tab. The posting rules/guidelines should be right on the OP, followed by an INDEX of FAQs, linking to each FAQ post on that thread making it easier and quicker to find your question if it's there instead of having to scroll through a long OP, and accidentally miss your question because you scrolled to fast... or something. In other words, each FAQ would be in it's own separate post in that thread. Make sense? I'm not the best at explaining things, bear with me.

As far as the Announcements tab on there, I think that the most threads there should be in there is three. The top one being the most recent announcement, the second one being the last announcement made before the most recent one and the third thread being an Archive of all the Announcements made up to date. Even just two threads would be even better. One for the recent announcement and one for Archive. In fact, Announcements could even be in their own separate forum where only Admins can post/edit.

If there's something that you really want people to see right away to make sure they read it, like for example the "If it's fixed, please say so" thread, could go in the FAQ thread I mentioned, because it's the thread that everyone should look at before posting their questions. AKA: READ BEFORE POSTING

Hmm... looking at the rest of the stickies, I think I pretty much covered everything. The "Quick Tips for little site tweaks" I think is something that could be listed in the Tutorial wiki I linked to up there.

And those are my thoughts. The less stickies in the Help Center, the better it is for the Newbies. Regardless if you agree in making these changes or not, I strongly recommend creating the "ComicGenesis Beginner's Tutorial" thread in the Help Center. I also have more thoughts on some other existing CG forums and some non-existing forums that I thought would be a good addition. Like a Picture Post/Art Show-Off forum. But that would be for another post. This EDIT has gone on for too long.
Last edited by Derek Dragomir on Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:09 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby IVstudios on Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:55 am

Derek Dragomir wrote:Isn't ComicGenesis a branch of KeenSpot? Aren't they our higher ups? How can we get them to help us? I know someone mentioned something about going to their Twitter account and bothering them about it? If so, then I think we should all arrange a date so we can all do it at the same time as a collective action... if that makes sense.



You can try, but good luck. The owners never paid much attention to us even at the peak of activity. You might be better off trying to contact Kisai. She isn't on the forums much any more, but she seems to respond to problems when contacted directly.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby Derek Dragomir on Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:13 am

IVstudios wrote:
Derek Dragomir wrote:Isn't ComicGenesis a branch of KeenSpot? Aren't they our higher ups? How can we get them to help us? I know someone mentioned something about going to their Twitter account and bothering them about it? If so, then I think we should all arrange a date so we can all do it at the same time as a collective action... if that makes sense.



You can try, but good luck. The owners never paid much attention to us even at the peak of activity. You might be better off trying to contact Kisai. She isn't on the forums much any more, but she seems to respond to problems when contacted directly.


Well, perhaps we should put together an e-mail explaining everyone's thoughts and ideas, have everyone proof-read it and then send it to Kisai.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:32 am

We kind of have a discussion about this going on over in the Spam Apocalypse thread. I don't personally know what's being done at this time because I don't have any contact information of anyone who's in a position of more power.

As individuals, well, we do what we can do. Post when you can, share art when you can, OH MY GOD FINISH READING OTHER PEOPLE'S COMICS SO THAT YOU CAN WRITE REVIEWS FOR THEM I'M A HORRIBLE MONSTER, uh... where was I? Yeah, I don't know for sure.

I always talk up the forums when I'm discussing comics with other people in order to generate interest, see if I can get a few fresh faces. But the place doesn't seem very welcoming at this time with the amount of spam we are getting as well as the lack of higher-up involvement (particularly in situations like the Help forum, which you mentioned). If we can get a few more people with the capability of chopping down the spam posts, and one or two people to keep watch over the Help forum since Dr Neo Lao hasn't been around in a while, that would help make the place seem more comfortable, even if not more lively.

The spam is the biggest problem I would say, because glancing quickly it just looks like a lot of posters are getting their threads ignored, but once you realize it's all garbage, that is really offputting. It doesn't radiate a very welcoming sensation.

Not that any of this is things that those with some administrative/moderative power that are still here don't know, anyway, though.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby McDuffies on Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:30 am

Users with complete admin powers are Kisai and STrRedWolf. They're the ones who have authorisation to rewrite or update CG and forum code, they're the ones who have actually been in contact with owners of the site, and they have authorisation for anything major. I guess if you try you can get a hold of one of them through other means (I think that it was Risky who found Wolf on twitter or something, back when I was "promoted").
As for owners, I guess that would be Chris and Teri Crosby. They've never been much involved in CG business, and that was actually good years ago, since we could always do whatever we wanted. I guess CG was some sort of perpetual motion machine.

It would be good if they hired a new admin who would be on board. A lots of things need tweaking up or reorganizing. Frankly I haven't used CG for comics in years so I don't know how the system works now and whether help tutorials are really as messy as some claim (let's be honest, even in times when we had halfa dozen people working on tutorials and everything was organized as good as it could, there were still people complaining how everything was confusing).
but anyways from what I heard at least some things pogs and newsboxes need some renovation. Other things like redesigning main page and some other neat stuff, would also require a hands-on admin. Apparently, forum database needs updating, and of course there has to be a more permanent solution for the problem of spam. Giving someone else admin powers would help me a great deal, but it's still not a permanent solution.
It would be nice if Crosbys hired someone new to do a full time job on maintaining the forum. I don't know what was the financial deal with previous admins, how willing they are to invest in CG again and all that... The fact is, we can buckle our belts and polish the car from all sides, we don't have access to the engine and when we try to drive the car it ends up less than ceremoniously despite all the polish. Of course it would also be nice if new admin was one of us, someone loose enough not to tighten the forum rules too much, but also code savvy and all. Tall order.

I would also have no problem with users who have more involvement in Help forum having some benefits. At least symbolic, like getting additional ad space or something.

Idea about us rolling our sleeves and doing some actions like a promotional CG book sounds great.
Also, CG should branch out to social networks. It should have more presence on Facebook and Twitter, and possibly in other places. Perhaps assigning a person or two for every social network, hm. Like, having official CG twitter that twits a page from a different CG comic every day and gives latest news or something like that.
Is anyone regular on CG chat? How are things going there? Is there a way to reintegrate forum and chat crowds?
Redesigning the main CG page would help, but what would really help is getting CG guide back on it's feet. It was a gateway for many new readers and easy way to find popular comics back when it was functional. Also, it was a measure by which CG members measures their popularity, and that can be a great motivator. But again, we'd need an admin for that.

Perhaps we could ask Crosbys for some add space. Back in the days, most of people would discover CG through Keenspot, it doesn't need to be too much, just a place in KS newsbox once in a while or something.

Also when you attract new members, you can't greet them with half-empty forum. More topics, more activity. I personally was always fond of threads that presented some drawing challenge (jams yeah, but there are other, non-narrative kinds too). But there's nothing more depressive than when such threads dies after two days.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:02 am

McDuffies wrote:Also, CG should branch out to social networks. It should have more presence on Facebook and Twitter, and possibly in other places. Perhaps assigning a person or two for every social network, hm. Like, having official CG twitter that twits a page from a different CG comic every day and gives latest news or something like that.


I've been thinking about something like this for a while. Unfortunately, it's the kind of thing where I don't know if I'd have time to do it once I get back to school. It would need to be on somewhat of a volunteer basis, I would assume, like ArtistMan would contact the person in charge of the account (in this analogy let's say it's me) and let me know that there's a great plot point coming up in his comic, or he's showing off some fanart for others, or something else newsworthy in the comic sense, and then I'd post something about it.

I'm not sure if this would be more trouble than it's worth though. If we can get the spam taken care of, I'd like to call for a "Bring Your Son/Daughter to Work Day," but more in the sense of "Invite Comic Artists from Around the Internet to CG Forums Week/Month/Timeframe," have a lot of positive pro-noob threads set up, show that the help forum is livelier and is willing, in fact, to help users.

I would like to help aggregate some updated tutorials if others could assist on the more technical end of things, because I'm not confident enough with my own grasp of the technology we use when it comes to coding to handle it all on my own. So many of the tutorials are 95% correct, but then that extra 5% is weirdly outdated or misleading and winds up sending the artist on a hunt to find the information he/she needs.

Probably the wiki would need some revamping too. But I know haven't touched the page for my own comic in ages- hell, it's probably still listed as Lateral Geotaxis- so I'm not sure how much use that would be.

But this still requires many users willing to be involved and able to devote time to these new ideas (as well as time to their own comics, since at its core, that is what this forum is supposed to be here for).
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby Terotrous on Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:02 pm

For those of us regular types, the best way we can support the community is to post here and update our comics. A lot of the reason the community slowed down is because there just weren't as many people doing comics anymore.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby Derek Dragomir on Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:09 pm

Terotrous wrote:For those of us regular types, the best way we can support the community is to post here and update our comics. A lot of the reason the community slowed down is because there just weren't as many people doing comics anymore.
Yea. I wonder who still updates their comic anymore. I mean, I shouldn't really say anything myself since I've been on a hiatus for about a year.

Before I joined ComicGenesis, I think someone told me that ComicGenesis deletes comics if they aren't being updated too often.
But that doesn't seem to be the case, which I'm glad about.

I often post on Gaia Online so maybe I'll throw a ComicGenesis ad in my signature there.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby McDuffies on Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:48 pm

I'll update, I'll update :(

Comicgenesis will only delete your account if it isn't updated and has zero comics in it. If it was the other way, we'd been losing sites by day.
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...and a parade? I want a parade.

Postby Cope on Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:18 pm

Derek Dragomir wrote:Yea. I wonder who still updates their comic anymore.

I do! Do I get a medal?
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Re: ...and a parade? I want a parade.

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:34 pm

Cope wrote:
Derek Dragomir wrote:Yea. I wonder who still updates their comic anymore.

I do! Do I get a medal?

Yes! It's made of scalps.
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dot dot dot

Postby Cope on Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:40 pm

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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby Allroses on Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:54 am

Unfortunately, I think the more you post, the more the spam infiltrates. Like, "Oh, there's someone actually looking at this thread, I'll put my viagra sports watches medication here!" :-?
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby Laemkral on Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:11 pm

Derek Dragomir wrote:Yea. I wonder who still updates their comic anymore. I mean, I shouldn't really say anything myself since I've been on a hiatus for about a year.


I announced the end of my comic back in 2007. There will be no more comics of any form from me, ever again.

As far as fixing CG, The Wiki/Guide definitely needs a solid freaking reboot. And that would mean they'd have to actually put in an actual admin again. Kisai and Redwolf are not part of the community anymore. You used to actually see them around, and that was nice. Not anymore, and that means someone who actually is involved in more than the technical aspects of the job needs to here. Even then, I seriously wonder how out of date the forum's tech is with regards to anti-spam and whatnot.

Getting an admin who's not just focused on the forums and the technical side of help/the Wiki would be a big boost. The Wiki itself, with community involvement, is another key aspect to keeping people involved. Once upon a time I tried to keep my stuff up-to-date, and then even went out of my way to try and find OTHER stuff on the Wiki to update or expand upon because all the old jams and "continuity" are really important to building that community aspect. That's what keeps people coming back.

More stuff that involves discussions on whatever. Jams are a good thing, so I was excited to see the Avatar thread take off and actually BRING PEOPLE BACK. Keep it going! Also, tying into the Facebook page and the #keenspace IRC are important. It continues to develop that sense of integration and the bizarre chats in IRC are what drove half the crap on the boards.

Keenspot needs to take better ownership of CG because the irreverent attitude of higher is what contributes to this general feeling of unimportance. If we're not good enough for Keenspot's management to come around for a visit now and then, why should any of us care about participating in anything? That's the attitude. If Keenspot and Comic Genesis were more closely knit (a shared central forums and IRC room, perhaps?) you would have greater exposure to people to be ON the forums, and you would also have more relevance. That ties into a better standard of care, morale, and will make everyone's experience better. Most of the people on the forums here are comic owners, but what you also need are comic FANS to participate and drive on that participation. I'm here still, 4 years after I ended my comic because I am generally a fan of webcomics and for the people here. Once you get integrated, it gets a lot harder to just up and quit interacting with everyon.

A lot of this is things that have already been said, and as has also been said, will be challenging to see implemented. I'll do what I can (as always) to aid in reversing the downward trend of things, but it'll take everyone.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby Terotrous on Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:00 pm

Derek Dragomir wrote:Yea. I wonder who still updates their comic anymore. I mean, I shouldn't really say anything myself since I've been on a hiatus for about a year.

I kind of do. Not at a terribly fast pace anymore, but at least I'm not quite as burnt out as I was.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby Allroses on Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:56 pm

I actually do update my comic. I've been here for a touch over 8 years. Not so much on the forum, but using the comic site regularly. I applied to join the site during the Great Server Crash of '02 (does anyone else remember that??). It took 6 months to get things working again and applications to be accepted (but then I had a 4 month buffer). Anyway, I have this nagging feeling that with the little to no oversight we have site-wide, if there were another server crash, I really think they would just shut down CG and not start it again. So I guess in a way I agree that having comics and people making and reading them here is the best way to help the forum, but I don't think there's any longer the technical ability, time, or care from people to keep the CG system functioning at a comparable level to other free comic hosting sites. For a superficial comparison, Smack Jeeves just LOOKS smooth. It's visually more appealing and the interface is friendlier for new comers. However, in going with CG (what were the other comic hosting sites back then?) I did get complete coding control over my site.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby VinnieD on Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:27 pm

It doesn't help that popular webcomics tend to become more insular, and get their own forums, rather than participate as part of a larger community.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:18 am

VinnieD wrote:It doesn't help that popular webcomics tend to become more insular, and get their own forums, rather than participate as part of a larger community.


Good thing historical slice-of-life fiction isn't that big then! DON'T WORRY MY PALLIES, I'LL BE HERE ETERNALLY <3<3<#
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