CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

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

Postby Labasaur on Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:24 pm

The whole reason I picked CG when I recently joined is because all of the webcomics I read back then were from CG. I remembered it as a very active place with energetic and involved members and admins. I'm all in for anything you guys think would bring back members AND admins. As Killbert said, it's hard to do much when the admins aren't around anymore to run the place, and there are less moderators than there once were. Granted, there's less members so we don't need as many moderators though ^^; I'm completely new to this side of webcomics though... so idk... Mastermind, you brought up that the forums need some fixing up. If the admins will help us with that, would we also be able to clean things up like the wiki and whatnot? There are also a lot of usefull things in the forums from a LONG time ago, but it's really scattered amongst a lot of things that could probably be archived.
BTW: I know my comic isn't even up yet... but I'd like to do contests O_O
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby Mastermind on Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:04 am

Well, at least CGWiki can be updated at any time. McDuffies has some creepy stuff in his entry. But maybe it's supposed to be like that, who knows XD
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby Namorvia on Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:41 am

I'll do my bit for the wiki. My bit being to update my page.
I've been flicking through some of the names of regulars on heres' comics but I can't find any good entries to form the basis of a template for me. Any suggestions?

As for other stuff.
I'd be interested in more competetions. Any seasonal events happening wherever anyone is that can act as a flimsy excuse for frivolety?

My time however is limited like a lot of peoples. Often you need people to attract people. It's like gravity that way. The more people you have on the forum, the more activity there is for new members to get involved in, therefore there's even more activity for when more people come a'knockin'.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby Turnsky on Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:44 am

Killbert-Robby wrote:Guys I hate to say this, but maybe one of the larger issues at hand is simply that webcomics arent as popular as they used to be. We can start all the podcasts and marketing campaigns we want, but the fact is this site had its heyday back when webcomics were all the rage and not only did everyone want to read them, everyone wanted to make one. Short of starting another webcomic bubble I just dont think we'll work up the traffic we used to here.


This is true, however for the most part the bubble bursting has kind of ensured that the quality seeped through to the end, webcomics are far from gone, but everybody's seen the proverbial light that not everybody can make not only a popular webcomic, but live off of it as well.

besides in all honesty to make a 'war' work, we would need a heap of the old alumni, and to be honest, they have lives of their own to lead, or are just faded back into the woodwork.

i think the real signs of decline came after the last FCBD book came out a few years back, then facebook, twitter, other comic services, communities, and even wordpress/comicpress have helped this general declination of numbers over the years.

accessibility has moved forward over the years, and comicgen on a whole has lagged behind.

also folks might wanna check when the forum admins were here last, it's not like they're doing a whole lot of administrating, heck i'm prolly sure phpBB hasn't been updated and THAT is why all the spam as of late.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby McDuffies on Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:57 am

Mastermind wrote:Well, at least CGWiki can be updated at any time. McDuffies has some creepy stuff in his entry. But maybe it's supposed to be like that, who knows XD

Man that entry is quite dated. I don't do any of that stuff anymore. My days of sexual harrasment and regular updating are long gone.
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Subject lines are fair game however. *throws spider at Cope*

Postby Mo on Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:09 am

McDuffies wrote:My days of sexual harrasment and regular updating are long gone.

Yeah, and my days of Cope abuse are a thing of the past too... :shifty:

Also, Mr Bob is totally getting some. (Why else would he have left us?)

It's a world gone sane. :(
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby robotthepirate on Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:57 am

Namorvia wrote:I'll do my bit for the wiki. My bit being to update my page.
I've been flicking through some of the names of regulars on heres' comics but I can't find any good entries to form the basis of a template for me. Any suggestions?

As for other stuff.
I'd be interested in more competetions. Any seasonal events happening wherever anyone is that can act as a flimsy excuse for frivolety?

My time however is limited like a lot of peoples. Often you need people to attract people. It's like gravity that way. The more people you have on the forum, the more activity there is for new members to get involved in, therefore there's even more activity for when more people come a'knockin'.


Lol. That's me. I was finding out my old usernames' password so I could use the wiki but I forgot to log off.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby peterabnny on Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:23 am

I was finally able to read the whole thread. I'm still relatively new, too, and I'm not exactly the most knowledgeable about such things, but here's my .02 worth. I don't know anything about creative warfare, but I do like the idea of a total teardown and rebuild of parts of CG. Maybe start with the area that hosts comics. Does CG even host new comics anymore? I tried getting my comic account set up right around the time of the Great Crash, but couldn't get anywhere. I tried going through the tutorials and FAQs, but that information was either contradictory or confusing. So, I tried getting help in the help forums but nobody seemed to care at worse, or offered very limited help at best - and I wasn't the only one, either! There seemed to be a few newbies who were in my situation and likewise didn't seem to be offered any help. Eventually I just gave up, and decided to use CG as a place to hang out only (vis a vis the forums), rather than as a place to showcase my art. That's why I post my cartoons in the Doodles thread; if I have an account, I can't get into it to use it. Hell, by now I probably don't even have a comic account anymore, it's been so long.


VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:My issue with trying to get oldbies to come back is that it seems ... just weird to me somehow. I feel like most of the people left because they didn't have time to devote to the forum anymore, got involved in their careers, families, et cetera. The forum was a hobby for them, not a way of life. Asking them to return might bring them back for a little while, but who knows if they'd want to stick around really?

I don't think we lose anything by waiting before we start engaging in wars and such. And the thing is that many of the ideas you've come up with, while I appreciate that you really want to change things here, require participation on everyone's parts beyond what they might have time or be willing to give. I barely have time to work on my own comic, I haven't even contributed to the jam thread yet, so I would only be able to do so much. I mean, I could cut out spending time here on the forum, but I enjoy doing that, so it would kinda bum me out.


That's pretty much me, word for word.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby Turnsky on Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:10 am

peterabnny wrote:I was finally able to read the whole thread. I'm still relatively new, too, and I'm not exactly the most knowledgeable about such things, but here's my .02 worth. I don't know anything about creative warfare, but I do like the idea of a total teardown and rebuild of parts of CG. Maybe start with the area that hosts comics. Does CG even host new comics anymore? I tried getting my comic account set up right around the time of the Great Crash, but couldn't get anywhere. I tried going through the tutorials and FAQs, but that information was either contradictory or confusing. So, I tried getting help in the help forums but nobody seemed to care at worse, or offered very limited help at best - and I wasn't the only one, either! There seemed to be a few newbies who were in my situation and likewise didn't seem to be offered any help. Eventually I just gave up, and decided to use CG as a place to hang out only (vis a vis the forums), rather than as a place to showcase my art. That's why I post my cartoons in the Doodles thread; if I have an account, I can't get into it to use it. Hell, by now I probably don't even have a comic account anymore, it's been so long.


well comicgen's system is rather archaic in comparison to other systems to say the least.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby Kisai on Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:14 pm

Derek Dragomir wrote: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.


If you know of a perfect anti-spam solution, let me know.

In the mean time I'll just delete all the 0-post users, ban their ip's (all 40,000 of them) and save mcduffies some time. No wait, if I do that, then nobody will be able to join... see the problem?

I -CAN- delete the 0 post users that have a URL, but banning all the users removes 1573 IP's and 5365 users.

BTW, if anyone complains about me doing this, come up with a better way. If anyone was banned by accident (there shouldn't be unless you routinely create fake accounts) you know the email to contact.
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What the what!?

Postby spoonyliger on Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:28 pm

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Alright, you got me there Kisai. I don't have a better, direct solution to that problem. What I do have is an alternate suggestion to the problem that may affect it in the long run. And that is, what some have suggested and agreed with me, and I also understand if that's not your department, is to give CG a whole new look and feel. Including a re-organization and clean up of the forums. This, I believe may either scare the bots away, or not at all. But if anything, it will make CG more appealing, which will idealistically bring more users in, which in turn may get some of the admins attention and they might feel compelled to start hanging around again, keeping the bots at bay. I mean, look, you're here. That's a start I believe. I may be speaking for myself here, but I believe most of us would be happy to come up with a collective list of ideas from all of us that still linger around, and give it to you guys, if it helps at all. :)

Otherwise, I'm clueless. Acting naive with a possibly hopeless dream that creative wars between webcomic forums will defibrillate CG forums back to life, at least for a little while, before the reality I momentarily choose to ignore, finally sinks in.
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Re: What the what!?

Postby Kisai on Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:39 pm

spoonyliger wrote:
Alright, you got me there Kisai. I don't have a better, direct solution to that problem.


The most direct solution is to make the forums invite-only, thereby ensuring the death of the forums and insanity of the person having to approve each one.

spoonyliger wrote:What I do have is an alternate suggestion to the problem that may affect it in the long run. And that is, what some have suggested and agreed with me, and I also understand if that's not your department, is to give CG a whole new look and feel. Including a re-organization and clean up of the forums.

You volunteering?

spoonyliger wrote: This, I believe may either scare the bots away, or not at all. But if anything, it will make CG more appealing, which will idealistically bring more users in, which in turn may get some of the admins attention and they might feel compelled to start hanging around again, keeping the bots at bay. I mean, look, you're here. That's a start I believe. I may be speaking for myself here, but I believe most of us would be happy to come up with a collective list of ideas from all of us that still linger around, and give it to you guys, if it helps at all. :)

Otherwise, I'm clueless. Acting naive with a possibly hopeless dream that creative wars between webcomic forums will defibrillate CG forums back to life, at least for a little while, before the reality I momentarily choose to ignore, finally sinks in.


Nothing scares bots away. They infect all parts of the internet that aren't private. If you can pay chinese prisoners practically nothing to farm gold in MMO's to turn around and sell for 30$ a pop, you can sure as hell pay them to spam the same email to every site that'll let you signup. Amazingly enough we don't have the spam problem with the actual COMIC signup, but that should be obvious... you have to upload a picture and wait more than 30 minutes.

The last site design was by Joel Fagin, designed specifically for the "genchan" and "pog" system as it exists now. If you are volunteering to redesign it, you have to figure out how to make those still work, and be html5 compliant.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby Terotrous on Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:46 pm

Kisai wrote:If you know of a perfect anti-spam solution, let me know.

I have a very simple idea, but I'm not sure if it can be implemented.

If your first post on the forum contains a link, it is automatically flagged for review by a moderator, just like if someone had clicked that little ! icon above your post. Virtually all spammer post messages filled with links so this would immediately identify them. It doesn't actually automatically ban or anything just incase some poor innocent chap is flagged by it.

You might also consider something like limiting new accounts to one post every 6 hours or so until they reach some fairly low threshold, like 5 posts or something, coupled with the above very few spam accounts would ever survive long enough to have full posting privledges.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby Mastermind on Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:10 am

would it help if a mod who deletes a post copied the username to a "to ban" list and sent it to Kisai every once in a while? (I don't know how many posts McDuffies deletes daily, maybe that's too much effort)
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Re: What the what!?

Postby spoonyliger on Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:42 am

Kisai wrote:
spoonyliger wrote:What I do have is an alternate suggestion to the problem that may affect it in the long run. And that is, what some have suggested and agreed with me, and I also understand if that's not your department, is to give CG a whole new look and feel. Including a re-organization and clean up of the forums.

You volunteering?


Well, a little. On the third post in this thread, I noted some of the things that I thought would help the forums look a bit more organized, simple and appealing to new users. It mostly involves having less sticky threads, give Announcements their own forum that only Admins can post/edit, give the forums more diversity in subject matter (ie.:Music, Movies, Video Games, Literature, Comic Book Talk, Culinary, Science, Technology etc.), and more importantly - Create a sticky thread in the help forum with the link to the Beginner's tutorial you and I have on our sigs. And if there are other helpful, relevant links like that one, add them too underneath it.

Some other people were also suggesting to become Admins/Mods so that there could be a larger team keeping an eye on the forums.

How do you feel about all that?
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Re: What the what!?

Postby Kisai on Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:10 am

spoonyliger wrote:
Kisai wrote:
spoonyliger wrote:What I do have is an alternate suggestion to the problem that may affect it in the long run. And that is, what some have suggested and agreed with me, and I also understand if that's not your department, is to give CG a whole new look and feel. Including a re-organization and clean up of the forums.

You volunteering?


Well, a little. On the third post in this thread, I noted some of the things that I thought would help the forums look a bit more organized, simple and appealing to new users. It mostly involves having less sticky threads, give Announcements their own forum that only Admins can post/edit, give the forums more diversity in subject matter (ie.:Music, Movies, Video Games, Literature, Comic Book Talk, Culinary, Science, Technology etc.), and more importantly - Create a sticky thread in the help forum with the link to the Beginner's tutorial you and I have on our sigs. And if there are other helpful, relevant links like that one, add them too underneath it.

Some other people were also suggesting to become Admins/Mods so that there could be a larger team keeping an eye on the forums.

How do you feel about all that?

We have some long-time oldbies that need to chime in if they want changes in the forum admin/moderators.

We haven't added more individual forums in years (IIRC) because we reached a technical limit to phpBB3, I could update the software again and see if it's been resolved, but there are no phpBB3 forums in existance that have as many forums as CG. I should point out that the DB stores the "last read" marker for every forum for every user so this results in more timeouts the larger the number of forums get. This is one of a number of scalability issues phpBB3 has. Other forums have similar deficiencies.

As for blocking first posts with links. Not doable, as that requires modifying the phpBB. As we've found with the siteadmin and cgwiki, every time we modify phpBB3, phpBB3 changes something to break it on updates. That's why we don't update it on every update cycle. phpBB3's "mod" system is the most horrible design in existence. Basically every time I've updated phpBB3, it's unable to merge any patches, even if we haven't modified anything, resulting in the files having to be wholesale replaced. phpBB3 is Braindead. When phpBB3 came out with recaptcha/captcha support, the updaters didn't update the templates correctly.

If I had my way I'd delete all the individual comic forums, the general trend has been away from forums towards microblog-twitter/disq.us , but trends change.
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Re: What the what!?

Postby Warren on Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:48 am

Kisai wrote:If I had my way I'd delete all the individual comic forums, the general trend has been away from forums towards microblog-twitter/disq.us , but trends change.

I'd be happy to let you delete mine if you ever get a chance to do a batch cull.
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Re: What the what!?

Postby spoonyliger on Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:30 am

Warren wrote:
Kisai wrote:If I had my way I'd delete all the individual comic forums, the general trend has been away from forums towards microblog-twitter/disq.us , but trends change.

I'd be happy to let you delete mine if you ever get a chance to do a batch cull.

Same here. I can't even remember if Moon Crest 24 even has one or not. I've recently added Disqus to my site too.

So, Kisai, what you're saying is that we should ditch the forum system CG is on and get a better, more updated one? That actually sounds pretty good to me. The only problem I see with that is that the forum accounts are linked to the comic accounts, so that would get messed up right there, right?

Anyways, if that even were to happen, Keenspot would have to give the permission to do it, I bet.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:48 am

Honestly, I don't think we need more forums. Two summers ago (right? or was it last summer?) we had to close one down (Off-Topic) because of the low traffic. Adding more specific forums isn't going to be an improvement.

I'm not particularly adept at code, but I could help out on the forum front at least, if you need me.
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Re: CG Forums Future - How can we help it?

Postby spoonyliger on Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:55 am

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I'm not particularly adept at code, but I could help out on the forum front at least, if you need me.
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