Forum update discussion

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Eofor
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Forum update discussion

Post by Eofor »

Here are the proposed changes to the forums for which there seemed to be a modicum of support. Please bear in mind that I have no idea how involved some of these are and am just distilling the previous thread.
I have numbered and grouped them to make discussion easier, if I have missed anything then please message me and I shall add it to the list.

Server changes

1. Image hosting - ability to post images more easily and of an increased size.
This comes down to a debate vs local or external image hosting and the pros and cons of that debate.

Pros
  • - Doesn’t rely on an external service such as Imgur to preserve our visual history
    - Easier ability to upload and share images
Cons
  • - Added server cost increasing exponentially over time
    - Current process isn’t really that hard
    - Imgur allows images to be uploaded in full resolution and size
2. Hosting contributions - Whether or not Jack decides to increase the plan size the question is - is it time to set up a link to paypal, patreon or buymeacoffee to allow anyone to anonymously contribute to the forum upkeep rather than have it borne by one (albeit willing) person?
3. Prancing pony board - Fix the broken code to bring it in line with the overall appearance of the rest of the forums.

Suggested new content

4. Basic forum rules - Do we require a few basic rules be posted? Rules which we all currently take for granted but that aren't actually spelled out anywhere? - No bullying, treat others with respect etc. I believe Greg may have already updated his "Welcome! Please read before posting" post with a statement that may suffice? Or do we want something more explicit?
https://www.middleearthrangers.org/foru ... php?t=4159
5. Dedicated space for welcome and introduction - Is the general feeling that the ‘Getting started’ forum is the correct place for this? If not then we need to designate a place, move the existing welcome threads to it and include a link in the ‘read before posting’ inviting people to the location to introduce themselves.
6. A completed kits subforum - I may be wrong but I believe that changes are coming to the MERS site which will feature those of members and so a sticky thread with links may suffice?
7. Including Iodo’s Imgur guide in the getting started stickies - Or an official illustrated ‘How to post images to the forum’ guide.

General housekeeping

8. Update any sticky threads that require it - Check that all information is correct and still relevant, that people are being directed to the right forums, subforums etc.
9. Birthday threads - Ability to set up a timed auto delete function?
10. Moving the MERS forum up slightly higher for more attention.
11. Moving the review forum to the Trading post.
12. Moving members only to Bree - It isn’t functioning as per the description but is essentially just the yearly yule post.
13. Moving MER websites to Off Topic.
But the white fury of the Northmen burned the hotter, and more skilled was their knighthood with long spears and bitter. Fewer were they but they clove through the Southrons like a fire-bolt in a forest.
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Cimrandir
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Re: Forum update discussion

Post by Cimrandir »

Thank you for taking the time to put this together Eofor. I really appreciate it.

The list looks fairly comprehensive to me. Couple of thoughts after letting my thinking marinate for a while.

1. Whatever the outcome is for the resolution for photo hosting, I would like to say again that I am completely onboard still for a monthly paypal, patreon or buymeacoffee or whathaveyou to Jack for forum upkeep. This place is special and it would be shame not to help keep it running in this age of the Internet 2.0.

2. Regarding point 5, I still think the "Prancing Pony" and not the "Getting Started" sub-forum is the best place for welcomes and introductions. I think if we keep the "Getting Started" forum at the very top how it is now with an updated sub-heading explaining it's purpose being for getting started with kit guides/bushcrafting tips/etc. and then move the "Pony' directly underneath "Getting Started" also with an updated sub-heading explaining the purpose being to introduce yourself (actually it already says that! "Belly up to the Bar and tell us about yourself." Maybe add some things like "Mae govannen! Welcome to the forum. Belly up to the Bar and tell us about yourself) would be best. YMMV of course.

3. Are we suggesting adding new sub-forums per points 5 and 6 (and by implication point 9)? I don't know how much trouble that would be on Jack's end so I would want to clarify that first but if so..

4. If we are adding new sub-forums, I would like to suggest perhaps maybe a "Real/Primary World History/Archaeology/Re-enacting" sub-forum. I see both you and myself post things of that nature in the Off-Topic subforum and I would dare to argue that it very much is on-topic. Things like the latest news from the Glacier Archaeology Program or things like redhandfilms newest thread on Mesolithic forest gardens are real history yes but relevant to our hobby for sure. It would be nice to have a dedicated spot for something like that beside the Off-Topic forum way down at the very bottom. Heck, it would be great place to show off Wyrmslēan.

[EDIT] Edited to remove two non-pertinent points. Apologies to all. Sometimes my typing runs faster than my brain and in this case, I brought up issues that weren't really issues. Apologies again.
Last edited by Cimrandir on Wed Nov 02, 2022 3:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Eofor
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Re: Forum update discussion

Post by Eofor »

For my part i think that now, being on the other side of the RoP release that we haven't seen any great increase in membership either here or on the Facebook group and so can safely say that a surge isn't coming.

I still think that some tidying and change is due but let us wait for Jack to have a look at what is involved and to give us a straight up YES/NO/POSSIBLE BUT ONLY IF ITS ESSENTIAL view - No sense debating to a finer point a change that isn't possible or that would yield a disproportionate effort vs reward.
But the white fury of the Northmen burned the hotter, and more skilled was their knighthood with long spears and bitter. Fewer were they but they clove through the Southrons like a fire-bolt in a forest.
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Re: Forum update discussion

Post by Cimrandir »

Agreed. And agreed with the “no surge.” Just a passing thought as I re-read the other thread.

And oh dear, it seems in my haste I missed your statement that “if I have missed anything then please message me and I shall add it to the list.” My deepest apologies. It seems I inadvertently posted on what I assume was to be a thread without replies. I certainly didn’t mean to kick off discussion once again. Sorry again for reading too fast!
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redhandfilms
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Re: Forum update discussion

Post by redhandfilms »

As a new member, I also don't think there will be a surge because this is not an easy forum to find. When I started out thinking about doing more of a D&D fantasy camping, I started in Reddit (my preferred forum) looking at LARP camping, Medieval Camping, SCA, Solo LARP. Searching Middle Earth Ranger Forum on Reddit pulls up a lot of LotR but nothing specific to here and if I do an exact search in quotes on Reddit there is literally nothing. No results found. I ended up on Youtube with Living Anachronism, Skill Tree, Fandabi Dozi, and eventually found our own Dwarven Ranger, Iodo. Even that didn't lead me here. I'd done weeks of research and even started putting kit together before eventually, back on Reddit where I found this post 3 year old post by SierraStrider - https://www.reddit.com/r/LARP/comments/ ... i_dont_do/ and someone posted a link here saying SierraStrider should check out this forum, not know they were already here. Now that I was finally here, I did a few weeks of lurking before joining and making any posts.

All that to say, I think the reason there's no surge, is this place is hard to find if you don't know exactly what you're looking for. This ain't Fight Club. We need to talk about the forum more, outside of the forum to help new people find it.
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Re: Forum update discussion

Post by Iodo »

redhandfilms wrote: Wed Nov 02, 2022 1:46 pm ...and eventually found our own Dwarven Ranger, Iodo. Even that didn't lead me here
LOL :P this forum is actually directly linked from my channel banner, but I don't think many folks look at that, still I can't actually remember how I discovered this forum, I've just always known it existed for as long as I've been active on the web. I think I lurked for literally 5 years while I was in high school, and I had an old account that I never posted from (I had to lie about my age to get it, hence I started a new account) before I finally dared to introduce myself. The reason I left making my first post for so long was because the folk on this forum always seemed so skilled and professional that I felt like I might never be able to fit in, but when I finally did post you were all so friendly I wished I had done it years ago :P
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Aragorn: It's the beards.
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redhandfilms
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Re: Forum update discussion

Post by redhandfilms »

Iodo wrote: Wed Nov 02, 2022 3:50 pm
LOL :P this forum is actually directly linked from my channel banner,
Oh. Now I see it! haha.
I'll admit, because I found your Youtube first, then found the forum and saw you were here, in my mind you're a bit of a Ranger celebrity! :P Your videos, and those of other forum members on Youtube, have been great inspiration. We all need to spread the word more!
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Re: Forum update discussion

Post by Iodo »

redhandfilms wrote: Wed Nov 02, 2022 4:40 pm I'll admit, because I found your Youtube first, then found the forum and saw you were here, in my mind you're a bit of a Ranger celebrity! :P
I don't think I'm famous yet but Thanks :mrgreen:

I was here long before I was on YouTube
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Manveruon
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Re: Forum update discussion

Post by Manveruon »

Admittedly, this is a large part of why I have been functionally spamming the forum link everywhere I go if I talk about Middle-earth stuff. I have it linked in our local Misty Mountain Rangers FB group, I have it on our business cards, in our LinkTree, and even on our Instagram, I believe. Since the rise and ultimate conquest of social media over old-school web forums like this though, I think there just isn’t as much interest, so most people sort of ignore it. :(
redhandfilms wrote: Wed Nov 02, 2022 1:46 pm As a new member, I also don't think there will be a surge because this is not an easy forum to find. When I started out thinking about doing more of a D&D fantasy camping, I started in Reddit (my preferred forum) looking at LARP camping, Medieval Camping, SCA, Solo LARP. Searching Middle Earth Ranger Forum on Reddit pulls up a lot of LotR but nothing specific to here and if I do an exact search in quotes on Reddit there is literally nothing. No results found. I ended up on Youtube with Living Anachronism, Skill Tree, Fandabi Dozi, and eventually found our own Dwarven Ranger, Iodo. Even that didn't lead me here. I'd done weeks of research and even started putting kit together before eventually, back on Reddit where I found this post 3 year old post by SierraStrider - https://www.reddit.com/r/LARP/comments/ ... i_dont_do/ and someone posted a link here saying SierraStrider should check out this forum, not know they were already here. Now that I was finally here, I did a few weeks of lurking before joining and making any posts.

All that to say, I think the reason there's no surge, is this place is hard to find if you don't know exactly what you're looking for. This ain't Fight Club. We need to talk about the forum more, outside of the forum to help new people find it.
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