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OMG! It's been 4 years...

GuerrillaGuerrilla781 HelsinkiPosts: 2,860Administrator
edited February 27 in Site News #1
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I don't actually have anything special figured out for the occasion. :grimace:

So, how's everyone doing? How are we doing? Anything you'd like to see more of on SFM? Anything you'd like to see less?
Post edited by Guerrilla on
Comco: i entered it manually in the back end
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evil_genius_180Lizzy777

Posts

  • lennier1lennier1911 Posts: 1,275Member
    edited February 13 #2
    @Rekkert and some of the other usual suspects still pop in occasionally to share some of their work, I'm a happy boy! :D
    Post edited by lennier1 on
  • rojrenrojren2139 Louisville, Kentucky USAPosts: 1,935Member
    I think things are going pretty well.

    The few things I can think of involve making work for others, you most likely. The challenges were fun, even for a hack like me. Maybe something like a featured artist, or artist biography? I sometimes miss the galleries from the older incarnations of the site. Is something like that even possible in the new setup?

    Maybe a page that covers some of the history of SFM? I see names and events from the past brought up here and on the Discord. It seems like something people are interested in.

    I'd like it if there were more emojis.

    Thanks for doing the work, and giving us a place to play.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804189 Posts: 10,987Member
    It's been a great four years, even if I did leave for chunks of it at a time. :lol: I really like this forum. It's very smooth, easy to use, full of friendly people.
    scifieric
  • GuerrillaGuerrilla781 HelsinkiPosts: 2,860Administrator
    rojren wrote: »
    The few things I can think of involve making work for others, you most likely. The challenges were fun, even for a hack like me. Maybe something like a featured artist, or artist biography? I sometimes miss the galleries from the older incarnations of the site. Is something like that even possible in the new setup?

    I'd like to run challenges. Like small monthly ones and maybe something for banner images for the forum and Discord, but it's a little tricky to round up a critical mass of participants you need for that kind of thing. There is no gallery as such, but all the old galleries we had have been spun into the Finished Work forum, so if you can still look at the art from 2006 onward.
    rojren wrote: »
    Maybe a page that covers some of the history of SFM? I see names and events from the past brought up here and on the Discord. It seems like something people are interested in.

    That would be kind of cool, if someone has any kind of records of it. I do little dives on Archive.org occasionally to see if any interesting incidents got caught there, but I don't have time to do a whole lot of archeology right now. I'll gladly help out and can host things if anyone is interested in making one though.


    I usually actually put a little more effort in these annual posts, but I've been pretty sick for the past week, so I'll come up with something a little more interesting about where I'd like to head as a community when I get better.
    scifieric
    Comco: i entered it manually in the back end
    Join our fancy Discord Server!
  • Warp Propulsion LaboratoryWarp Propulsion Laboratory913 BrooklynPosts: 321Member
    I really appreciate this site. Keep it up!
    scifieric
    Please visit my YouTube channel!
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqRhLEHgwgTKxsalM5YznYQ


    Formerly furswift
  • backsteptbackstept1841 Posts: 893Member
    I really enjoyed finding this place way back in the elder times, and I'm glad SFM has stuck around for . . . holy crap, has it been nearly 20 years? I remember the crash of 06, some former members' incendiary personalities, and most of all the consistently awesome people who post awesome space ships!
    scifieric
  • TallguyTallguy350 Posts: 467Member
    Pretty much all of what @backstept said.

    But what happened 4 years ago?
    scifieric
    Bill "Tallguy" Thomas All I ask is a tall ship...
    Various Work: U.S.S. Constellation - Matt Jefferies Concept Shuttle
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804189 Posts: 10,987Member
    Tallguy wrote: »
    But what happened 4 years ago?

    I think that's when @Guerrilla took over the site.
    scifieric
  • tnpir4002tnpir4002418 Posts: 1,277Member
    Good to see familiar faces are still active around here. Evil Genius, lennier, hope you're well!
    evil_genius_180
  • GuerrillaGuerrilla781 HelsinkiPosts: 2,860Administrator
    Tallguy wrote: »
    But what happened 4 years ago?

    New server, software and management (well, technically we were all part of the admin team on the old site). February 13 was the day when I flipped the switch for the migration. I've been using it as a convenient excuse to get some feedback from the community every year.
    scifieric
    Comco: i entered it manually in the back end
    Join our fancy Discord Server!
  • SchimpfySchimpfy396 Posts: 1,632Member
    I think 4 years has been about how long I've been away. Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised to see the forum still active. Looks like you've been doing a good job as I browse around, Guerrilla.
  • GuerrillaGuerrilla781 HelsinkiPosts: 2,860Administrator
    So, I figured I'd go through the things we've done since last year's thread and maybe sound out a couple of ideas I've been working on.

    So, since last year's thread we have:

    Introduced Louie the Discord bot on the Discord server
    Louie takes care of handing out roles and takes care of the #finished-work #inspiration and #special-offers channels.

    Started work on new forum software
    The development of Vanilla forums has slowed down pretty considerably so I've been looking at alternatives like Discourse, Flarum and NodeBB. Currently it looks like we'll probably go with NodeBB. More on that a bit later in the future plans section.

    Had to turn #work-in-progress and #finished-work into age restricted channels on Discord
    The spaceships were just too sexy for Discord's content filter. I guess we're officially spaceship porn now.

    Hooked up Ko-fi
    Some people (well, at least two) have asked if there was a way to support the site. Well, now there is.


    As far as future plans go, here's a couple of things I've been thinking about:

    New forum software
    Like I said, I've been looking into alternatives to Vanilla forums, since the development for Open Source seems to have slowed down quite considerably. Also, there's quite a few things I'd like to build a little smarter this time around. I've been building prototypes, but basically the idea is to get the look, feel and features sorted and then figure out how to migrate the database and move to a new server (the current data center doesn't allow me to easily add disk space, which is the one resource that we will eventually run out of, so I'd like to correct that along with a slightly more clever server set up in general). The most likely software will be NodeBB, since I kind of prefer coding in JS to PHP. As far as the features go (borrowing the list from the previous thread) here's what I have in mind:
    • Custom theme (7 themes, technically)
      -> New forum will probably mean a new look, but I'll definitely go for a traditional forum look instead of a mobile first social media app. I do kind of enjoy our 3 color schemes
    • Gamification (badges)
      -> Will probably drop this, since most people don't seem to care that much. I'll probably just keep the reputation score and maybe badges for challenges and things
    • Liking posts and hooking that up to the gamification above
      -> Likes should stay
    • App icons in profile
      -> I'd like to keep these
    • Social icons in profile
      -> I'd like to keep these as well. I'd like us to be a part of the art scene at large, so people posting here end up getting jobs and commissions, so they should be easy to find online, if they choose to be
    • Commissions open icon
      -> I'd like to help more people to get jobs and commissions
    • Thread thumbnails
      -> Must have
    • Thread prefixes (3D, 2D, Animation and so on...)
      -> Will probably demote these to tags, since a lot of people miss these when making threads
    • Tagging (Star Trek, Star Wars and so on...)
      -> Definitely keep
    • A whole bunch of user data improvements like autosave options for drafts, exporting your own data and deleting your account
      -> Data ownership is really important to me, so I'd like for you to have as much control over your personal data as possible
    • Sketchfab and Marmoset embedding (kinda busted at the moment though :( )
      -> Would be nice, but not vital as long as the most common embeds work fine
    • Necropost tags and warning no one seems to read
      -> Nice to have
    • Antispam measures
      -> Must have

    Anyway, I'll post some screenshots when I have a prototype I like.

    Stuff I'd like to see

    Maybe get some writers/moderators*?
    Work in Progress has always been the busiest forum around, but I'd like to see some stuff going on in General Discussion as well, especially since there has never been this much science fiction shows on TV. I really enjoyed our ongoing Westworld thread (RIP, fuck Zaslav) and would love to see threads for all the shows people watch. I'd also like to see more news about upcoming shows and movies here. The main problem is, I don't have time to watch the shows when they come out or write about all the things I would like to see talked about, so I've been thinking of getting people to help out with that. Problem is it's not a paying gig, and I'm a little reluctant to ask people for what's essentially free work, especially since I'd also like to have a little higher editorial standards than the fandom at large currently exhibits. What do you think? Would you get your scifi news from scifi-meshes? Have you been looking for a place for level headed discussion about science fiction shows, but don't feel like spinning up your own blog for some reason?

    *) Moderators as in someone who presides over a discussion; not necessarily someone who just enforces rules

    Challenges
    I'd like to run small challenges that run for a maximum of couple of weeks. I tend to prefer the small contained projects more than the epic ones with massive sponsorships and thousands of participants. I also think the small rapid challenges are better suited for the amount of active users we have, but I'm not sure we get quite enough people, who are willing to try new and different things on a regular basis. Most seem to be perfectly content with just checking Work In Progress for the new Trek stuff, and that's fine. I'd just really like to run challenges occasionally. We do also need some banner images for the Discord and Forums at some point, so there's an opportunity for a bigger challenge there. What would make you interested in challenges?

    More Learning
    I'd like to see more tutorials and resources. Like you can generally get pretty good advice on the Discord in realtime, but I'd like some more permanent education available as well. Maybe commission a tutorial or something? I dunno.

    More Commissions/Jobs/Marketplaces
    I'd really like people to be able to make a little money for the things they make, so I'd like to promote people getting commissions through SFM, but I'm not interested in running a jobs/freelance board. There's the basic Commissions Open profile field and I know some people have gotten commissions through the forums, but I'd like to make it a little more elegant than just sending a private message and hoping for the best. I don't know this one either? Do you have any thoughts? I also know a lot of artists sell their things on different marketplaces and make content on Twitch and Youtube, and that's something I would like to promote very much, but the Self Promotion forum we had for a while after the migration never picked up any steam, so I shuttered it. Would still like to figure out how to promote people commercially and professionally (without making this place an advertising/self promotion hellhole).

    Featured posts
    I kind of stopped developing this, since we're changing software but new forums will definitely have a featured posts section of some sort. :p

    Anyway, that's my current list. Anything you would like to see more or less of around here?
    scifieric
    Comco: i entered it manually in the back end
    Join our fancy Discord Server!
  • DarknessDarkness333 Posts: 43Member
    Been a while
    rojrenMartocticvs
  • japetusjapetus2887 SeattlePosts: 1,391Member
    Should start posting challenges in the discord...make a Challenges channel. Lotsa action on the discord these days! People can link their forum posts to it. Making banners would be fun. A number of us could mash our models into one big banner
    scifieric
  • rwkingrwking189 Posts: 173Member
    Going to add my two cents.....When Bernd Schneider had his forum (Subspace Comms Network) associated with his website Ex Astris Scientia, we would have on occasion what we called a CMP (art competition).....people were given the chance to create in a given a time frame, usually a couple months to take varied schedules into account, to create a design according to a certain criteria. Some of the ones were...a completely original genre, a ship under 200 meters, an interior design (could be ship or station), a new type of runabout, etc. We usually had between 6 and 10 artists competing....The winners were featured at Bernd's site Journal of Applied Treknology, sometimes had a special banner avatar, or other type prize. Maybe something along that line?
    publiusrscifieric
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