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Make DLP Great Again

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Sauce Bauss, May 27, 2018.

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  1. Dr. Strange Lulz

    Dr. Strange Lulz Denarii Host DLP Supporter

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    Cliché as it sounds, first impressions are crucial.

    To that end I suggest we remove the Hall of Shame.

    It is likely one of the first things a prospective member sees when they come here for the first time, and probably sets them on the defensive from the very beginning. Imagine, if you will... you enter a town for the first time and are greeted by a wall that features pictures of townsfolk in the stocks, with their offenses listed next to their faces. Not exactly the most welcoming of sights. Might want to pass through that town and move onto the next.

    Be honest, how many of you actually look at the Hall of Shame regularly?

    The most likely people to browse that forum are newbies and people thinking about joining.

    Does it show new members what not to do? Kind of? But it also shows other members in a fairly negative light as well. There are a lot more posts of members responding negatively to the fails than there are fails themselves.

    Replace the Hall of Shame with a Rules/Guidelines section. Have guides in there that cover fic quality, the rating system, what we look for for recommendations, recommendation posting guidelines/format. Have examples that cover poor behavior and bannable offenses like shitposting (Funnily enough, there's actually a great example sitting in the Hall of Shame), abusive behavior, etc. Include the guides for how to get to IRC/Discord.

    All of the important stuff in one place.

    It should be a comprehensive enough section that members should have absolutely no excuse for fucking up badly enough to be banned.

    -

    Please get rid of the Similar Threads section at the bottom of each page. I have no idea how it chooses them, but for the most part they don't relate to anything in the current thread. A lot of the time it brings up posts from 10 years ago that have no relevance whatsoever.

    -

    Alright, this one sucks but I'm gonna give my reasoning for it.

    Bring back the Introductions thread.

    Yeah yeah, cue groaning from the mods and everyone who remembers the old one. Just hear me out.

    Posting for the first time on a forum as established as this one is probably fairly nerve-wracking (Let's be honest here, when I think of the typical fanfiction reader I don't exactly think extrovert). As it stands, new members have to either pick a thread and jump in mid-conversation or post their own thread somewhere. When they jump in mid-thread there's a good chance their post is going to be ignored, mostly because that's just the way forums are - not every post is a reply to someone else's. But people need interaction to remain engaged. We become far more invested in a thread when people are talking to us instead of around us. When they make new threads... they tend to be Library recommendations... and they tend to be bad. Mostly because they haven't spent enough time here to know our general criteria for what makes a fic good. Or they post inane shit like Is Harry the Real Hero of the Series? and Could Lily Have Saved Snape?

    New members need a space where they can make their first post, talk about themselves, mention their fanfiction preferences (and maybe get some recommendations based on those), where members can direct them to the Rules/Guidelines section, but most importantly they can have a place to simply interact with a couple of members before they go out into the big wide world of DLP.

    But yeah, I remember the old Introductions thread. And Yes, we were fucking awful to people most of the time... reallly really awful.

    No, seriously. I've looked back over those threads and we were total cunts.

    We've all grown and matured, and DLP is a hell of a lot friendlier than it used to be.

    So howabout we try that again, just without behaving like we did in 2007.

    -

    I'm gonna harp on about interaction some more, because bonds keep people in communities when they would otherwise leave.

    I've spent probably 8 of the last 10 years in some form of leadership position in large guilds/gaming communities, and despite the fact that we're literally all already playing a game together, one of the best ways I've seen for people to make new friends is small outside activities like Cards Against Humanity, Town of Salem, Boardgames, etc. Hell, start up a weekly rotating tabletop session. There are always people interested in learning/playing D&D, and with Roll20 and Discord it's easier to get into than ever before.

    This isn't the kind of thing that should fall to the mods to organize, they have enough to deal with. Stuff like this requires ordinary members to take the initiative.

    -

    When it comes to IRC & Discord -

    BIG OL' FUCKING BUTTONS plainly visible from the main page. One for each of them.

    I'm sure that there are a lot of people who have never even noticed the Chat button.

    I know we have IRC, and as Zombie has stated, it is incredibly easy to access.

    But I legitimately didn't even know we had a Discord until reading this thread.


    -

    None of these are changes to the core of DLP, just little changes to the packaging in the hopes of drawing in new members and keeping them.

    Making "DLP Great Again" isn't going to be solved with a couple of major changes, it's going to take all of us doing a little bit here and there.

    Just my two cents
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  2. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I'm pretty certain that inside the Sorting Hat (where new members get locked to when they sign up) there is an intro thread there where they have to make their first post so they can get posting privilage. I seem to recall it being this way. So they have their intro thread, and they can talk to other new members if they have access to that forum. Which I think its very limited.

    E: I stand corrected on this. We dont' have an intro thread in the sorting hat, its only for sorting out bots. Must be another forum.

    Its hidden because its a sorting feature. Humans from Bots. Pretty simple. I think I've already said something about the likelyhood of intro forums making a come back. I don't know if DLP will ever be ready for that again. But that could be my opinion. I abused my fair share of new members.

    I think in large part that tone is hard to convey when you're reading text on a wall. People can interpret things in all manner of ways. Most people on here know me and know I'm rather abrasive. I'm not going to disguise that. If you fuck up, or I feel like you've fucked up I'll tell you, or someone else will.

    Will the intro forums get a reboot in this season of reboots? I don't know, its not my place to say. I'm just giving a fair estimation of how things will likely go. I agree there needs to be something in place to welcome prospective members into the forum because if you look at the forums now, in general activity is concentrated to certain areas, instead of throughout. I can see how that can depict a certain kind of image.

    If you'll look at the OP you'll see that Sauce gave an estimation of what forum organization would look like, or what he thought would jive better. I've yet to see anyone really comment on it. Removing forums is easy to do. Hall of Shame exists for many reasons, but its serves as town crier for the village idiots primarily. These are the things you don't do if you expect to be a member here. As well as old drama that people might go and revisit. I don't think it needs to hold such a place of prominence anymore, but as a subforum? Sure. I'll go with that.

    DLP had a gaming server way back when. We also did steam secret santa, and a lot of people on Discord and IRC play games together on a daily. You're right. There doesn't need to be mods involved in every organized event, but no one is actively organizing anything.

    Little Italy is dead. And Werewolf was a major craze at one point. Hell, there are 100k+ messages sitting in that forum alone. So it was active, just not now. We've also rand D&D and Tabletop sessions on IRC and Discord. Its a matter of getting people to throw their hat in and wanting to GM. I could list several members that are involved in that, myself included, but I'll leave it up to them to come forward.

    The point is that these things exploded with activity and then they died off. You can't rely on one person to keep something alive.

    DLP Discord is only a couple years old maybe? Its not heavily advertised and its dead. It sees spurts of activity. But the thing is it has to be active before people will respond.

    I've seen hundreds of times where people join IRC or Discord and are like huh. Looks dead in here, and they leave the server. You can't do that. You gotta realize that people are in various timezones and if you just sit idle there expecting to lurk, you're going to miss out. Just fucking talk to someone. There is a username list on the left and right respectively.

    There are guides for how to join discord and how to join DLP IRC. They're stickied in the general forum.

    Thanks for giving some actual feedback and prospective ideas.

    Also: Re: The similar threads thing. It was something that was recently enabled. If you want it gone. I can create you a userstyle where its missing. I happen to like it and it was a feature thats been with us since VB. Maybe it can be theme specific on the site or a preference under user settings going forward, but I really don't want it totally gone. Like the default theme it could be disabled so people aren't seeing it, but if they switch to the non default theme its enabled there.

    The usersetting option might be more likely but I'm not certain the logistics in setting something like that up.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  3. EsperJones

    EsperJones Death Eater

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  4. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    In the vein of people not noticing things, a compromise on intro threads: Intro Megathread, where newbs could learn the ropes with a lesser risk of getting banned a d without the rest of us having to see multiple intro threads in New Posts.

    HoS: maybe make it unlockable at x posts, like WBA? As in, you survived the Intro Megathread, be welcomed. Now here's a warning of how you don't want to fuck up.
     
  5. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Tactical Tomato DLP Supporter

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    Intro Megathread sounds like a clusterfuck/echo chamber waiting to happen. Regardless of whether an Intro thread is re-implemented or not, we could establish a sort of pseudo tutorial for new users? Using the announcement alert system that pops up at the top now and then for various issues, new users could receive a standard set of suggestions on how to get their feet wet in the form of staggered alerts. Guide them towards certain active threads where they can get an example of how we all tend to interact. Threads with rules communicated in the first post in particular perhaps, so they can understand that users are held to a standard, and that shitting all over the forum isn't in their best interests.
     
  6. Zel

    Zel Professor

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    I like the idea of using the alert system that way. Another possibility is to have it recommend threads that give tips about writing, constructive criticism and such for newcomers. Having accessible and reliable sources to consult would help raise the standards of their future posts quicker. The WbA has some of that covered, but most people read the content there and don't really bother to comment, and I wonder if that could be partially rectified by having a summary filled with suggestions on which subjects to address, how to address them etc.
     
  7. Newcomb

    Newcomb Headmaster

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    Don't remove the Hall of Shame - it's the dead rat carcass that gives the Guinness its flavor.

    DLP has a lot of character and history, the full range of good, bad, and ugly. It's survived so long I think in part because it strikes a pretty fantastic balance between insular rigidity and organic change. And part of the reason it's walked that line so well is that getting invested in the community, becoming an active member who contributes useful things, takes some actual work. I've been a lot less active in the fanfiction community in general in the past several years, and I barely have any feelings or impressions about, say, the HPfanfiction subreddit, whereas I still consider myself a part of DLP and care what goes on here. And the reason I care is because I had to work to establish myself here, because it meant something, because the people I met here were people I was interested in knowing.

    The fact that starting to post here as a new member is a tough bar to clear is a feature, not a bug. The goal shouldn't be to fuck with the bar, it should be to make the bar more visible in general. I'm not talking about "the bar" in terms of preferences. Liking slash, or Ginny, or whatever. I'm talking about this not being Reddit, and a casual, low-effort comment not even coming close to the bar for a good post. That's a good thing. A place like that is a niche. There's already a Reddit and a Facebook and 99% of the internet where drive-by comments and fruit fly-esque attention spans are the norm. You don't need to be a genius or a professional comedian or have a degree in English lit to post here, but you do have to have something to say. You have to be engaged. You have to be here.

    My instinct is that the percentage of people who stumble across this site and stick around vs. the percentage who either can't or won't put in the effort to hack it has always stayed about the same, and that to change it meaningfully would change the site in ways that would harm its essential character. I could be wrong about that, but DLP's always struck me as a particularly self-selecting group.

    To that end, I think the best suggestions to come out of this are:

    - Some amount of gamification. It's a magic trick, essentially, but I can't deny that it works, and it's at least somewhat fun. I dislike anything having to do with the House system - it's a little too cheesy/Pottermore for my tastes - but I can't deny the appeal of something like medals / trophies.

    - Tools to make WbA more manageable for authors. Direct imports of documents would be fantastic. Anything to make copy/pasting chapters not awful would be fantastic. Anything to make inline editing less of a headache would be fantastic. Anything to preserve formatting when copy/pasting would be fantastic.

    - Invitations. I'm not sure this should ever become a formal thing. It also has the potential to sound... desperate? Creepy? If done badly. But word of mouth is and always will be the most successful kind of advertising. A concentrated effort to reach out to people who seem to be enthusiastic about the fandom. Not just authors, but commentators. People who add value to threads simply by their presence. The value of a guy like MattSilver is basically manna from heaven for a site like this.

    Also:

    That can't possibly be a cliche.
     
  8. arkkitehti

    arkkitehti Groundskeeper

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    I would introduce an official "DLP Story of the Year" award, or if that's too little, then "Update of the Month Award". That would fit many of the goals stated above at the same time: getting nominated would act as an invitation to come and defend your story, and people winning the award would likely post about the victory somewhere where the readers of that story would see that DLP exists. It would fit in with the core purpose of the site (fanfiction), and you could expand the scope of fandoms simply by adding categories to the awards. You could even gamify the nomination/voting procedure; maybe you would have to somehow prove yourself to be allowed to nominate stories or vote on the winners?

    And honestly, a more positive and constructive spin on fanfiction is sorely needed at the moment. Just look at the Fanfic Discussion-subforum, which should probably the most important one on the site: among the most active topics are threads like "Worst Reviews", "Worst Summaries v.10" (and isn't that number by itself saying something...), "Pet Peeves v.11", "Terrible stories"... Pretty much the only positive name for a thread is about the Buzzfeed list of Best Fanfic, which actually is a discussion about how shitty all those fics are, and how bad taste those plebs have. I mean, sure, 99% of all fanfic is shit, but being able to find a particularly awful turd in that pile isn't really something to be proud of.
     
  9. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Be the change you want to see.

    No one is stopping you from creating that thread.
     
  10. Lindsey

    Lindsey Death Eater

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    I like the DLP IRC chat to the side.

    Is it possible to get the discord link underneath the text? It would be a handy place for the link.
     
    Red
  11. Lord Ravenclaw

    Lord Ravenclaw System God Admin

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    No. At this time, DLP does not officially endorse Discord.
     
  12. Lord Ravenclaw

    Lord Ravenclaw System God Admin

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  13. Zenzao

    Zenzao 500 Club King Prestige DLP Bronze Supporter

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    Is there an option to disable the new chat sidebar? While I do like it, it's pretty jarring right now. If there isn't I'll just get used to it over time.
     
  14. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    You could adblock it or change base them. I'm sure more features will come later.
     
  15. Lord Ravenclaw

    Lord Ravenclaw System God Admin

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    I'll likely plumb through an option later.
     
  16. Mal'sSerenity

    Mal'sSerenity First Year

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    Speaking as one of those newbies, I think that is a great idea. It can be kind of confusing at first to find where things are. Perhaps make some kind of general all-purpose guide for newbies that is sent automatically to their alerts or inbox after they finish making an account.
     
  17. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Been working on it.
     
  18. deyas

    deyas Sixth Year

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    As others have stated, I'm of the personal opinion that the Hall of Shame shouldn't go away. Personally, I don't even think it should become a sub-forum. As has already been said, having a prominent place for new members to go and see exactly what isn't tolerated here is a good thing. That being said, though, I do think it might be a good idea to reverse it's placement with the Announcements forum. It's a microscopic change, frankly, but having the very first forum new members see being a shrine to needless drama and rampant, soul destroying idiocy, is... maybe a little needlessly hostile. When I first joined I'd say it made good sense, but maybe not so much now.

    Also, while I think the idea of some level of gamification isn't an inherently bad one, I can see so many ways that it could turn so extraordinarily toxic, that any implementation of it would have to be very, very carefully done, in my opinion. In fact, while an older member will have to confirm this, I believe reputation existed at one point, but was shit canned for that exact reason.
     
  19. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Tactical Tomato DLP Supporter

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    The only way to gamify the forum is to ensure that you get points for participation, and that users don't have any input into each other's earnings. Even something like 1 point per post will lead to a rise in shitposting. I've chimed in before, but I reckon the ideal way is to have fixed rewards for fixed contributions, preferably centred around the WbA and Review forums, with casual oversight from the mods to make sure the posts that qualify for the rewards are up to par. That gets us an interesting new system, something to shit talk about, and doesn't overburden those in charge of it.
     
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