OMG! It's been 4 years...
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I don't actually have anything special figured out for the occasion.
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
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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.
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.
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.
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But what happened 4 years ago?
Various Work: U.S.S. Constellation - Matt Jefferies Concept Shuttle
I think that's when @Guerrilla took over the site.
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.
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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:
-> 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
-> 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
-> Likes should stay
-> I'd like to keep these
-> 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
-> I'd like to help more people to get jobs and commissions
-> Must have
-> Will probably demote these to tags, since a lot of people miss these when making threads
-> Definitely keep
-> Data ownership is really important to me, so I'd like for you to have as much control over your personal data as possible
-> Would be nice, but not vital as long as the most common embeds work fine
-> Nice to have
-> 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
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?
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.
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).
I kind of stopped developing this, since we're changing software but new forums will definitely have a featured posts section of some sort.
Anyway, that's my current list. Anything you would like to see more or less of around here?
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