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New Life to the site?

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Re: New Life to the site?

Postby ExevaloN » Tue Mar 17 2015 4:31pm

Metafarion wrote:I hope this isn't too much of a thread resurrection, but I only just found it and I have huge capital T Thoughts on the subject.

It seems like there's a fundamental disagreement on what exactly the purpose of this site is. We have folks who see no problem with the "life" that the site currently has, which to my (by post count only!) somewhat newbie eye is sort of akin to a monastery. The forums are populated by monks and scholars, studying the ancient texts, discussing and finding new meaning in them, writing, analyzing, charting, expanding, theorizing, etc. And don't get me wrong, I LOVE that (seriously, ask me about my thoughts on the SF3 soundtrack if you have a week or two to spare...). I don't think I would have found the site and continued coming back year after year if that element wasn't present. But it also has the tendency to create a somewhat esoteric, and insular community if that's ALL that goes on; not conducive to attracting fresh blood.

Then there's the opposing opinion that the site needs "new life" and this means getting off our porches, casting aside our bitterness about newer games, expanding the roster of covered titles, appealing to the younger crowd, reviewing, previewing, interviewing.... I think I saw someone mention crowdfunding to buy the rights to the series... Because without some new and exciting stuff, how will we bring in new members?

I believe the site has room for both of these things.

This is not a perfect comparison, but consider for a moment, a site like ocremix.org which does not struggle to stay fresh and interesting in spite of its aging source material. They have a thriving community almost ENTIRELY focused on ancient history; no news is being generated on these titles and the current generation of gamers sees them as quaint and old-fashioned. Yes, they cover new games as well, but take a look at the breakdown of content here. Of the 50 most-remixed games, 45 of them are pre-2000, and before you say "that's because they've been around longer doofus," please direct your attention to the 30 most recent remixes of which 2/3 are from the same time period.

I'm not saying we need to emulate them, but they're a good example of a community which makes its own news. SFC does this as well, but you wouldn't know it just arriving on the front page. The community projects are hidden away back in the forums, the and you really have to dig to find the NEW stuff that is happening around here. From the home page alone, the site appears to be nothing more than a vault, perhaps even a mausoleum honoring those long since passed. Of the four front page Features (stretched over 2.5 years, I might add) three of them were the annual beg.

This is not for lack of news! It's for lack of considering the stuff that originates right here in this community to be newsworthy! We don't have to wait for Sega or Camelot or whoever to hand down the next big thing (which probably sucks) so that we can meticulously categorize and archive it. One only needs to peruse the Shining Fanwork forum to see dozens of SFC productions eager to be featured: Games, music, artwork, writing, comics, etc. This is where the "new life" comes from. Without sacrificing our devotion to the "old testament".

I REALLY hope this doesn't come across as an excuse to promote Harmonia Tactics; it's not. At all. I'm invested in the discussion because this is a dichotomy I've had to wrestle with for a long time as an enthusiast (dare I say connoisseur?) of older games, and how to impart the timelessness we know they have. Shining Force is definitely one of the most under-appreciated series' I know of, and it still has a lot to offer us. And we have a lot to offer it.


Excellent post Metafarion. And I agree, there needs to be activity and movement and it needs to be shown on the front page. The thing is that as far as I know, SFC has no active Webmaster except Moogie, and she can only update when she gets the chance. So we would need a dedicated webmaster and team to keep the site not only up to date but also full of life with activites and news throughout the site.

And having some presence on Social Media isnt a bad idea.
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Re: New Life to the site?

Postby Metafarion » Tue Mar 17 2015 5:04pm

Agreed. I think a handful of trusted site admins would make a huge difference in our ability to keep the featured content fresh and draw attention to new stuff.

That Twitter feed could use a little love too.
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Re: New Life to the site?

Postby MXC » Tue Mar 17 2015 5:10pm

Moogie has had many volunteers over the years and many of them have come from long-time members. Truth is, she just isn't going to give control to anyone. Just the way it's going to be.
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Re: New Life to the site?

Postby Metafarion » Tue Mar 17 2015 11:20pm

MXC wrote:Moogie has had many volunteers over the years and many of them have come from long-time members. Truth is, she just isn't going to give control to anyone. Just the way it's going to be.


You raise an excellent point; this IS her site, and any potential change either in focus, style, or management depends entirely on whether or not she is happy with the state of the site. I do not believe we've heard from her yet in this thread so there's really no telling what she might be feeling on the subject, but it's worth noting that there are plenty of methods of delegation and/or collaborative administration that need not take control from her.
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Re: New Life to the site?

Postby Kaihaku » Thu Jan 12 2017 12:18pm

NekomeKozo wrote:Generally speaking, I don't think the problem is necessarily with this site. Over the past decade, there seems to be a trend away from fansites, and towards social media websites and groups for games discussion. Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and their like minded vermin.


I think that the move to mobile has something to do with that. Have you ever tried using this forum on a phone? I often did when I was roleplaying and it's awkward. I also think that people like having a central account that they use for multiple sites - be it Twitter, Facebook, Disqus, etc. Less to remember, less to maintain, and easier to keep track of responses. I think that forums were a stepping stone to many of the social media platforms that are popular today but that they've been left behind in regards to accessibility. This may not be true across the board, I haven't tried the latest version of forum software in a long time, but I think that the way people browse has changed and the walled garden of a forum isn't accessible enough for most users anymore.

I do agree with the general consensus that more emphasis on new content would help bring more life to the site...the classic material has been thoroughly covered...but is that really what people want? Importantly, what does Moogie want? I don't think it's necessarily bad for this site to fade into an archive with a few active members who maintain it. I think it would take a lot of work to return it to it's former level of activity.
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Re: New Life to the site?

Postby Stordarth » Fri Jan 13 2017 5:28am

It'd take Sega to release Shining Force 4 and have it not suck to do that, methinks.

I think Moogie's said before that she - like myself and many others - simply isn't a fan of the direction the series has taken and has no interest in covering the new games in the same way she used to cover news in the past. I know if it were me, I wouldn't want to research games that I couldn't care less about.

Let's face it. SFC is a relic of an earlier internet, dedicated to a game series that essentially no longer exists.

And I'm perfectly happy to be here because of it.
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Re: New Life to the site?

Postby Geoffrey Duke » Fri Jan 13 2017 10:00am

nt
Last edited by Geoffrey Duke on Sun Jan 22 2017 9:05am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New Life to the site?

Postby Kaihaku » Fri Jan 13 2017 11:58am

Stordarth wrote:It'd take Sega to release Shining Force 4 and have it not suck to do that, methinks.


For awhile I thought that fan projects in the vein of Shining Force would take oiver but, while those revived interest temporarily, nothing has had the impact of broadening the fanbase like an official release would. I agree that it's not likely to happen.
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