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Makara

Advice on how to fix a community?

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I need advice, long advice from a charismatic, preferably skilled at HR maybe?


 

Spoiler

 

You see, I play World of Warcraft on a Roleplay server, or more like, used to, it's boring now.

Anyway, the server's roleplaying is dying (no one bothering to do it as much etc).

 

Reasons are:

Dramas of the past;

The server is PvP (Blizzard is ditching this though. A PvP server means wherever you are in the world, the opposite faction can just suddenly walk up to you and kill you. Pansies stay away from this usually);

The community doesn't give a damn about itself.

 

There are official forums, but as they are managed by Blizzard, they aren't very good. So RP communities create forums and websites as records for these things.

Now, my server, Defias Brotherhood (which now is in a group totalling 5 small RP PVP servers) has a forum. But it's old and forgotten.

 

When I say old I mean old. 7 years old at least!

When I say forgotten I mean forgotten. There's only a handful of people using it and there's at least 5-10 days difference between each message on each forum area.

 

And the admin doesn't even play the game anymore. In fact, there's only one master moderator and no one has admin access anymore.

 

So I proposed to create a new forum. Something that doesn't look like the perfect waiting room to fall asleep while waiting to be called for the doctor. Something that had useful features like our rival server... Argent Dawn and it's fancy portal for guilds and characters, records and more... Argent Dawn Archives.

I'd been eyeing a theme I found on the internet - an animated background even, matching the classic style of a WoW forum, so I proposed to host it myself even, and to purchase the domain.

 

My replies were:

1 - If you want to move on with the forum, might as well use the official ones (barely used). Besides, this one is getting barely used so no point.

2 - I think it's a good idea, and the old one could stay as archive.

3 - The official ones are barely used because there were toxic people. I like the old one but I'd be happy to switch over.

4 (Mod) - No need to switch. I sent the link to the admin on Skype.

1 - It's always been like that. Now there's no motive to not go back to the official forums if there's a switch to be made.

3 - Since this seems to be going ahead, please make it mobile friendly (forumotion old theme. You'd need a tablet the size of your head to see it properly in a "mobile" device other than a laptop).

Me - It will definitely be. (PHPBB rocks).

5 - This is like an old library. Are you going to transfer everything? A nice site would be nice, but why fix what isn't broken?

6 - I'm new and I don't think this needs change.

7 - I'm back again, I think a new forum would be nice but we have a discord server now (it died before it even got properly populated).

8 - It's old but good looking.

9 - No rush to delete this forum in the near future.

 

I contacted the admin and she said it was a good idea. So I kept working on the project. 3 days later I get blocked.

Few months ago (1 year later), I return with the same proposition on a fresh thread and more ideas.

 

1 - (The same 1 from first thread) Why make another forum if this is forgotten? I don't want a flashy theme (I proposed flashy and simple themes), but mobile friendly would be nice. No need for a wiki, there is one already! -links wiki with barely anything on it-.

The second post was me replying to why each feature was a good idea, and the only 3 replies were very against.

 

The point of a new website was to incentivate more players to join the Defias community and server.

 

Now, answer me one thing - if you had to pick between these 2, what would you choose:

 

A) Overpulated server with rude players and meta gamers, but more chance to roleplay and a website to keep record of everything that is going easily;

B ) Low populated server with nice players and no meta gamers, plenty of chance to roleplay and a semi-abandoned forum and empty ingame chat that will cry if you speak about something other than RP in it even though NO ONE uses it anymore (people just log on it and never look at it).

 

 

Thank you for reading.

 

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I am not a expert, but I have seen and been part of my fair hare of communities and noticed a few things. If you ask me, it's all about what you have done and your personal connections. If you want to make a new forum, gathering advice is nice but people will be far more enthusiastic if you have something up and running. And of course, you need to know at least a few well connected people who are enthusiastic about what you are doing for anyone to bother with. A solid community needs a solid foundation to grow. This won't automatically mean that it will grow, but it's a start.

 

Of course, you want to help an old community not build a whole new one, but it's really the same thing. Unless you are well known and respected in a community enough for everyone to follow you basically without thinking, any change like a new forum you try to spearhead will at best cause a schism where you and the people who follow you are basically doing a new thing. But schisms aren't always bad, and when you think a community is toxic or dying it's a good way to attempt to revive it in a new form. After all, as they say in the open source community: "When in doubt, fork it!" :3

 

The downside? You are going to need to invest a lot of your own resources in order to make it happen. Unless you find someone to follow who wants to do it themselves anyway. You will need to put in tons of effort and to continue to put in that effort over and over. Are you sure that's what you really want? You can't just start a forum and have it be there, you have to personally involve yourself deeply and really care. If you can't do that, the community is bound to flounder.

 

Managing a community is by far one of the hardest things someone can do. It never ends, it's never 'finished', and you can't turn your back on it if you want it to survive. I know I could never do it, far far too lazy!

Edited by Kayzee

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I did have something running, I was in such a hurry I didn't write my post properly.

 

The forum was at what - 80% done, 90%? There was very little left to do. I had sent screenshots and videos of the systems to the admin and the moderator that put me in contact with her, they did praised it and all before blocking me a few days later.

 

The roleplay community of Defias is so scarce that there isn't one single player that can be considered big to attract followers. I did have contacts with a fair share of people, on one hand a guy named Maelmoor for example. He was in the realm for a long time but he currently doesn't play/barely plays, not to mention he completely stopped using the forum.

On the other, a guy whom sadly was victim of drama (long story. but here's a spoiler if you're curious:

Spoiler

So basically Zackarus came alone from Argent Dawn to Defias. He was a Death Knight, a class known to despise everything and everyone when roleplayed. Anyway, Zackarus thought he'd made a guild.

 

All chill, but for some reason, someone didn't like the purpose of his guild.

 

It In Character, the guild was a House Guild for people looking for adventure, meaning, etc, like a private security company/trading company and whatnot.

Out of Character, it was a guild where Zackarus would teach non Roleplayers to roleplay, to increase the numbers of the RP community in Defias, as 2 years ago it was already in decadence.

 

And because he was a Death Knight, and someone managed successful to make people think about that twice in relation to his guild In Character, he was denied a seat at a council In Character, which Out of Character is a group of guild leaders of the largest RP guilds that met every X days in order to discuss RP stuff and whatnot, else ten thousand idiots would be claiming they all own the same tavern.

After that, Zack, the Butthurt Knight decided he'd move onto the opposite faction. He took half the guild with him onto the Horde.

 

I was on a break during that time. But from what I heard, Zack managed to create so much drama somehow, that literally no RP guild was left on Horde side. Everyone dispersed and moved away.

Zackarus moved back to Argent Dawn and took his new Horde guild with the same purpose with him.

 

So, basically he went like a hurricane through the server.

), but had some charisma skills, but long moved into another realm.

 

I lead a guild for a good while, even though not many people joined, everyone recognized it. The reason why no one joined is simply because no one felt like being a normal person - my guild was for civilians only... and in World of Warcraft, well, I guess people just wanna make warcraft, get it? Anyway. Well, I might try that. I still have some Namecheap's Black Friday coupons, and registered a defias.online domain just in case someone would get my hopes up and you're doing it so I got to thank you.

 

I've managed a forum before, truly is no easy task, but then again it all does come down to it's population indeed, I can't just put it all ready and pretty to use and leave it hanging, and indeed would need to put a lot of work into finding... moderators. I know a good handful of people on the server who have a semi-big name so if they're up to it then maybe something could work.

 

Though if I do it just like that people could think I'm being rude and selfish about it. Should I be incognito while telling people of the existence of the forum?

 

And thank you for your advice :)

Edited by Makara

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It really does sound like you are going to have to build it up from scratch. I think you should try inviting people you know to the forum in a more personal way rather then trying to make a mass announcement at first. In the beginning you will probobly need to build your community one person at a time. Trying to be too aggressive with advertising it will jut turn people off I think.

 

Good luck! *sprinkles fairy dust on you*

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