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olisuds
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PostSubject: Hello is anybody there?   Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:51 am

Everytime I stop in this place appears quieter and quieter. Any ideas on how to spice things up a bit?

I made a few posts on Sunday and came back 3 days later and my posts were still at the top. Similarly the classifieds section doesn't get any attention. There's no point in bumping FS or WTB threads because you can come back a few weeks later and they're still at the top of the pile.

Just a suggestion but is it worth moving the classifieds into the Vintage star wars collecting section rather than right down at the bottom where it gets no attention?  Also are there too many sections? There seems little point in separating out the conversation into different sections when they're not being used. Same goes for stickys. Are there too many? It makes any new conversation less visible.

Any ideas to get a bit more conversation going? How about something controversial like allowing people to out live ebay auctions? Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:01 am

I still check the site everyday, to see what's new.

Your not alone. Very Happy

The usual summer slow down & FB are making it quiet for now. I think things will pick back up in the fall / winter.
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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:52 am

Oli, you can see that since you posted this topic this morning to the time I opened it it has had 24 views from the post view count on the side. I understand the frustration you have here. TIG is my main home and hangout and a while back I posted a topic about the regulars not being here much and things being slower. Several things happened in the recent past that we are still trying to recover from. No need to rehash that stuff, but you know it lead to people leaving positions they were in and was quite a blow. Then we jumped into summer which is usually slower anyway. I am all for trying to get more traffic here. Perhaps we can evolve this thread into an idea to gain more traffic thread? I don't think the sections matter much being separated as when a member logs in it highlights the posts that have been made since the last log in (at least it does for me), so finding new post isn't an issue. Some sections remain very dormant, but we don't need to eliminate them. The bootleg section comes to mind. I would hate to lose that information by it being buried in the vintage chat area, as anyone wanting to research those lines can easily find them where they are. I know some of the developers are working on amazing projects at the moment that I can't wait for.

In all honesty I don't know what fix can be made, but the TIG team is open to suggestions.

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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:10 pm

I check the site daily as well. just nothing to report lately I guess . I love this place and I know ive been no regular for years but I certainely check back everyday .
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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:45 pm

It's the quietest I've ever known it yet there's no shortage of people viewing the site at any one time or members logging in to look. I agree with other thoughts in this thread that it's partly down to elements like the summer period, the big lights of FB and, for TIG, losing some of its more prolific members and posters recently due to politics - but also some rather sad and real-life personal issues at home.

Imo TIG's never been the strongest of the three forums for chat, not saying it's never had it's moments of course, but it's strengths have always been working guides, variants, repro ID-ing and reference projects. I wouldn't want to see any of the main sections or stickies broken up as they're an important reference part of the site, though there are a couple that can certainly be looked at again.

Bryan's right that there are also some new projects in the dev and mod sections that are being worked on right now in the background. It's been a tough 6 months so I know progress will be slow on these for the remaining team, but some of the stuff on the table so far is looking really cool  cheers I hope some more members chime in with opinions too.

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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:34 pm

I honestly feel that there are too many sections and its making the conversation less visible. I mean I don't actively collect bootlegs so i dont tend to browse the bootleg section. Mainly because there are never any new posts. But if it was integrated into the rest of the Vintage Star Wars Collecting Chat and I saw an interesting topic come up then I would definitely read it and contribute where I could. The danger of too many sub sections is that users have to click into too many sections to see if there are any new posts and if the new posts are too infrequent then they stop bothering. Personally I think this forum really isnt getting the traffic to justify over complicating things with so many sections and sub sections.

As a similar example Rebelscum made a seperate section for AFA. Now because posts are so infrequent nobody bothers to check that section and if you post a new conversation you dont get any replies where as in the main chat section you would get plenty of views and responses.

And the classifieds section is way too far down the list of sections. When I first noticed it had been moved down I thought it had been deleted. A decent classifieds section brings in users who in term contribute conversation.

I know you guys (mods) may not agree with some of these points but as a user that doesn't have any view behind the scenes I really think these things detract from the user experience. It would be really interesting to get some other users experience on these things.
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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:41 pm

Its funny because a few years back this place was flooded with variant conversation. Perhaps too much; or perhaps the same basic questions kept on being asked over and over again mainly due to people not using the search. I know a lot of people complained about it. But i think some of that conversation, particularly from new users that want help is sorely missed now. I think it would be great to get the figure of the week threads back in the vintage chat section and bump one a week to get people to add their contributions to it. I thought the last time they were a bit rushed.

I just feel that everytime some good conversation comes up its moved to a new section or stickied. If people are looking for something specific they can search for it. I'll behonest I don't tend to use the embeded search facility but I do search the forum using google frequently and its easy to find stuff if you need it.
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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:56 pm

Tell me about it Sad

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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:01 pm

Oli, there are a few things we might be able to eliminate, but and this is just my opinion as a user not a mod, I don't think taking away the sections is really the solution. For example, we try to cater to new users who don't know what all is out there. Let's say they saw an eBay auction for model trem pieces and wanted to learn about them, it is a lot easier to point them to the outer realm and there they then can see other bootleg lines all together as opposed to telling them to search for model trem and only pulling up the threads containing those and missing information on other lines. This is just an example. I think maybe instead of the outer realm being its own section with three subsections it could just be one main section but I don't think getting rid of it or combining it to say vintage chat is the way to go.

I mean if everything was combined then Would it be where we would have vintage chat, off topic, and classifieds only? This would flood the vintage chat section.

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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:06 pm

I hope a lot of members can chime in with their opinions on this as the TIG team is interested in what users have to say. i know TIG has suffered as has ther forums due to Facebook, but we are lagging behind even more so it seems. I for one am very interested in what users have to say from their experience.

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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:46 pm

Not sure where the disconnect is at the moment... Summer might have something to do with the slowdown (although RS and UK Forum seems to have new posts regularly...?) - I even caught myself posting over at RS for the first time ever... and in all reality... summer is ending and there's a new Star Wars movie on the horizon. Facebook might be a legit concern, but again... other forums are having more activity.

I understand there has been some turnover on the management side of things here which may have slowed site projects and such... Here is my humble opinion in no particular order:

1.) Too many (sub)categories... I could see a new user being overwhelmed with the  number of sections. I understand the Tosche Station is here to support diversified interests... However, vintage/weapons is the core... don't want to lose sight of that. Don't be OK/mediocre at many things, be excellent at a few things.

2.) Vintage classifieds needs to be moved up - lost down there... exposure to this sections drives user participation

3.) Website TIG Banner and scrolling text haven't been updated in a while... I'm not saying this should be updated weekly, but I would suggest at least quarterly. New banner... and maybe use the scrolling text as an opportunity to highlight a "collection of the quarter" piece where users are interviewed and pictures of their collection are cascaded.. followed by a link to the thread that covers the interview. People enjoy talking about themselves and their collections...

Perhaps a weapon of the month/quarter? Choose a weapon, cover the variants, repros, figures that come with the weapon and so on and so forth... again core... what is TIG known for...

All of this shows that the site is manicured and updated on a regular basis. People like fresh/new looks.

4.) More raffles with email blasts... that spikes participation almost immediately. The prizes should be cool and of value... giving people an opportunity to gamble and own something that they would never purchase themselves is great. I understand there is an initial investment, but if the piece is cool enough... the raffle will take off, TIG has a history of proving that to be true.

Just a few thoughts between my next meeting. I still consider this place my online home  king
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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:39 pm

Bryan, check out the last posts in most of these sections. No one has contributed to the whole bootleg section in a couple of months. And other than a couple of posts the same can be said for most of the sections in the TIG Tosche station. Much like the facebook groups its fragmenting conversation. I think there is zero chances of the vintage chat section being flooded. Perhaps it would be a good thing if they were.

Most of these topics being discussed all fall under vintage chat and I really don't see any need to segregate them. It's easy to direct new users to the appropriate threads and with Google search it's easy to find stuff quickly. Rebelscum has a much larger user base and they don't separate bootlegs, customising etc. I mean where does it end. A PBP section, a Glasslite section, a Lili Ledy section. These foreign producers are massive in comparison to bootlegs but they only get one discussion thread each. It just feels unnecessary and makes the main vintage chat section feel empty. When new users come to the boards the vintage chat section will be there first impression.

Mike, glad you posted, we seem to share similar views on this topic. And I agree that facebook and time of year arent all to blame for the quietness. TIG needs to work on drawing people back and it would help to keep the forum layout simple.
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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:29 pm

I can agree that some sections can be trimmed down, and maybe you didn't know but rebelscum does have its own customizing section, it is in the cool toy review section. The problem maybe our layout more than specific sections? With the rs layout when you select the vintage section you only see 5 subcategories in it. This includes limelights, classifieds, chat, other collectables, and valuation (off the top of my head as I dnt have rs up). If you click the entire forum then the next section under vintage is signatures etc., then modern stuff which is broken into a bunch of different catagories, then other toy lines which is called the cool toy review. This is where they have a custom section and I think the vintage customs are in there buried up somewhere? But your right that bootlegs don't have their own over there. I think the intent of the bootleg section here is joeY came here and wanted to draw traffic here. It kind of fell apart as Joe got busy with life and other stuff and the bootleg guys kind of had a fall out somewhat over things.

So if it goes forward to trim out some stuff what goes? Do we lump customs, bootlegs, vintage toys like the figure of the week stuff and other collectables, all the guide discussions, all under the vintage chat section here? Limelights need their own as I don't see them falling into anything else. Watchout remains as its own. Maybe classifieds gets lumped together as all for sale instead of modern and vintage since not much modern or other stuff goes here anyway? Do we put off topic as its own or lump it to vintage section?

On the other hand if we keep things having their own sections do we just move some around? What about moving classifieds up, putting bootleg threads all together in vintage chat, putting other vintage collectables in the vintage chat, putting customs into the vintage chat, etc...

I really don't see a good solution. If you look at the off topic section alone we have 4 or 5 pages of threads. Moving these all to the vintage chat section makes it more stuff to surf through in there. The bootleg sections is fragmented into three subsections. Each subsection has its own threads. not counting, but let's say each subsection has ten threads with each thread having multiple pages. This is thirty threads alone moved to vintage chat.

I can agree that we have overly complicated and fragmented each type of collectable here, but how do we fix it. Since both you and mike said the classifieds are to far buried, I can see moving that up. However, I think combining things into to few catagories can make it even more complicated. I will point out rebelscum is even more fragmented than this forum. Most of the subsections there are due to modern, Lego, gentle giant, etc. but they have way more catagories than us. We are mainly a vintage forum so we won't have those type of subcategories so this site fragmented vintage stuff into its own catagories. Think of it this way, if we had a vintage preproduction category and that is where you mostly wanted to be, would you want it buried in the vintage chat section or have its own section? Right now because we don't have a ton of preproduction talk we just have the sticky thread in the vintage section, but all preproduction is lumped into this one thread. Is that the best way or is it better to have it separated so that there is a thread about first shots, eps, hard copies, etc? think of it as a brand new collector. You have heard of first shots, do you come to imperial gunnery to research this and find the one sticky and comb through twenty or whatever pages or would you rather find something like a section that says preproduction, then a thread in that section strictly devoted to first shots? This is one reason why we have less preproduction talk here in my opinion. You come here and find one thread with all of it lumped together or go to rebelscum and find hundreds of threads to dig through. To me this is one at could/should be fragmented out.

That is why I like the bootleg being its own category, but it doesn't necessarily need three subcategories in it.

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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:59 pm

I have to disagree that Rebelscum is more fragmented. It has more breadth of topics but the vintage collecting is kept fairly compact. There's Vintage toys, vintage other, classifieds, limelight, watch out. Also there's far more traffic over there. They haven't separated bootlegs out.

I collect pre production but don't see any need to separate that. I personally like reading about all aspects of vintage collecting regardless of what I buy/collect. People subscribe to the topics they are interested in and get notifications when people post in them.

Hey it's just a suggestion. I think at the very least combine all the bootleg sections into one. And combine the customising into fewer section. Fair enough to keep the off topic separate and non vintage stuff like lego separate but I'd combine figure of the week to vintage chat.
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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:19 pm

I am not arguing so don't take it that way. I like the idea of less is better here. Since the bootleg section is dead anyway maybe we can combine some of this stuff into vintage other? To keep it clean and neat maybe these main catagories: vintage section broken down into these subcategories: vintage chat, vintage other, watchout, limelight, classifieds that would comprise the vintage section. Then have a customizing section broken into less catagories than it is now. Then a other or off topic section broken down into subsections of off topic threads and other classifieds? I don't know if John is interested in doing something like this, but all feedback on this would be great. As far as stickies we might be able to clean these up some. I don't remember everything that is there as I am typing, but if we list stuff out I am sure some things don't need to be stickies.

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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:30 pm

Hey no worries Bryan, I didn't take it like that mate. Just good open conversation and people expressing their opinions :-)

Like I said they're just suggestions.

Definitely good to get other people's thoughts too.
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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:23 pm

I'm thrilled to see people want to be more active. We still have similar traffic patterns but postings are lower. I'm all about keeping this place active so thanks for the feedback!

I have no issue condensing things a bit. We tried to offer something to everyone, but might be isolating people by having too much. I think it's great to pare away some stuff. That we can do with a little work.

Raffles / Games are things we have in the works. Stay tuned on that front

The banner and scroll were stopped because it seemed nobody cared. But seeing feedback on it is pretty interesting. I'm going to look into that .


Keep the ideas coming!

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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:55 pm

I am glad this came about so thanks for bringing this up Oli. Others please come forward and add thoughts here. This is an open discussion that will effect members in general so we need feedback. :SOS:

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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:56 am

Personally I don't think the banners are an issue - they always look great.

Quizzes and raffles are all well and good but when they're finished there needs to be some substance to hold peoples attention. I think the place just needs some interesting sustained conversation. There's plenty going on in vintage collecting. Just takes someone to initiate the topic .

I know I mentioned it earlier but how about allowing outing of live auctions? Its a bit controversial but since its happening on facebook my suggestion is to embrace it. It always draws plenty of attention!

People go to vintage chat for exactly that... chat. If you keep moving stuff into sections for reference then it takes away the conversation and the place just becomes one great reference guide. You'll get plenty of people reading but not posting.

I don't think there is too much. It's just too spreadout and hard to find and you are perhaps isolating people's interests. I don't collect bootlegs or make customs so i'm not going to go out of my way and check the individual sections every day but if something came up in vintage chat I'd see it and read/contribute if I could.

Personally I would move the following back into vintage chat:
Competitions and events - if they are current they'll be at the top of the page. If they're not then who cares.
TIG conversation and reference library
Figure of the week threads
Custom stuff as long as its vintage related
Bootlegs
Valuations
Live auctions

And keep seperate:
Non vintage
Vintage Non toys
Lego
Props
Autographs

Getting the chat area busy again will encourage people to browse and contribute regularly. Which in turn will draw people to the classifieds.... if its somewhere to be seen :-)
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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:20 am

Also regarding stickies. If you sticky a thread whilst you may think it makes it more visible it also stops people noticing when there are new posts. It's good to sticky something that is purely for reference. ie rules or FAQ's but if too much stuff is stickied then new conversation in the thread looses attention.

Just a suggestion but you might consider a stickie with a list of links to useful or interesting threads and release them from being stickies. Then when someone contributes the thread gets bumped and everyone can see it.
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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:35 pm

olisuds wrote:
Also regarding stickies. If you sticky a thread whilst you may think it makes it more visible it also stops people noticing when there are new posts. It's good to sticky something that is purely for reference. ie rules or FAQ's but if too much stuff is stickied then new conversation in the thread looses attention.

Just a suggestion but you might consider a stickie with a list of links to useful or interesting threads and release them from being stickies. Then when someone contributes the thread gets bumped and everyone can see it.

This is a great point on that also. I know when I was following the ledy thread fairly closely I missed a few post to it here and there from time to time as it doesn't give a red alert for new postings like non stickies do.

The mods are discussing all of this so keep feedback coming. John has already shown us some things that would clean up stuff quite a bit. Surely more members have opinions on this stuff. What sections can we combine? What would you like to see?

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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:29 pm

As someone who has mainly popped into TIG from time to time I'm always astounded by new things I find. The problem is I usually find them by accident.
I've chatted with various guys from swfuk and elsewhere at cons and when TIG is brought up it is always the same response, "oh yeah great reference site for weapons.' Very rare do I get anything beyond that and TIG is so much more. The project inside the box (or is it outside?) is a great example but I can never find it! I usually google search it and follow links from there. This leads me to think, what else have I also missed from TIG? I also don't know which sections are being worked on. Is anyone working on the project box? What about other sections? No idea at all. If it's on the forum then I miss it every time I visit. I would like to know who is working on them to show appreciation for their efforts.
Without refreshing my memory I pop into vintage chat and scroll past lost of stickies to read new posts. Are there new posts in the stickies? Possibly but I'll miss them.
There is then a huge chunk of sections and I can't remember from the top of my head what any are. There's too many. I see the bootleg section but it's never updated. Eventually I get down to FS. Waaayyyyyyy down the list. Too far as has been mentioned above. Then there's off topic and games at the bottom. Odd that I know those are way down there but can't remember the chunk in the middle or after vintage chat.
Personally I think the logo and scrolling bit is too big. I'm already scrolling before I see anything.
When I see sigs (walkie's springs to mind) I click them and I'm taken to sections such as paperwork. How do I find them otherwise? No idea. Again if there's a link somewhere then it isn't obvious.

Finally, we've had Paul on our podcast before if any TIG developers want to come on and talk about an update/revamp and sell TIG then by all means let me know.

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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:01 pm

Some of these things you mention go with Oli's post. The project out of the box is a sticky in the main vintage chat section. By having as a sticky you don't see when someone makes a post as easily as if it was a thread that was bumped. These things are being looked at. I think a lot of things may become threads and no longer stickied so that when new posts are added you can see the bump. Stef's paperwork thread is in the limelight section. I don't think we are going to do anything with limelight section as that is pretty standard to have. Some of the other sections that your scrolling past are the tosche station stuff which is for customizers and the bootleg stuff for bootleg collectors. We are looking at ways to condense these and possibly even integrate them into vintage chat. I don't think a conclusion has been reached on the best way to do stuff yet, but we are talking about all of this in the mod section also. Keep the feedback coming. Some sections may be done away with completely and others integrated. I don't think we will do away with a customizing section as some of it deals with modern stuff, but we might be able to condense it down significantly.

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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:30 pm

I don't think we really need to get rid of stuff in the forums or rearrange stuff personally, I would say maybe add more to the off topic section so there are different options so things don't get over run so much. The way the lay out is now is pretty good for finding stuff. The only area I would like to see a bit more in would be the Other Forumes area below is a rough idea.

For example in the Vintage Star Wars Collecting has sub areas for everything from Vintage chat to the inner circle.

And the TIG's Tosche Station - A section devoted to your creativity Has sub areas that covers everything in the creative area from customs to Lego.

The Outer Rim covers various bootleg tuffs.

The T.I.G. Sales Forum really that speaks for itself

the only area I would expnd on would be the Other Forums area where we have only the Off Topic and the Arcade. Were anything not related to the above ends up and can easily get buried what if we did something like this for example instead of lumping everything into one area we expand it. I went through the topics and though something like this might work we could still have a off topic part but add some others like I've shown below.

Other Forums
Off Topic
T.I.G Games Arcade
T.V. Book and Movies
Cosplay and Conventions - every thing from conventions to costume cherity events
In memoriam- people who passed on
Other Collections

These are just a few things people talk about in the off topic section and concidering the amount of topics going on things can get over shadowed pretty quick it's just an idea.
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PostSubject: Re: Hello is anybody there?   Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:48 am

Definitely not suggesting there's too much on the forum, just that it's hard to find it and too spread out. Also certain areas of collecting are being isolated and its leaving the main chat area dead quiet.

TIG is a great reference site but TIG forum should be about conversation. It feels like it's turning into another reference site or archive.
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Hello is anybody there?

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