Let’s use this thread to discuss plans for changes to the site and community. I have a few ideas myself for projects or things to add to the site, but I’d like to hear how much each of them interests everyone - what to prioritize or not. Maybe there’s something you’ve thought of too that would be beneficial, that can be added here to discuss later.
Note: Let’s keep talk about updating the rules in the rules thread itself.
- more categories + topic tags. It’s worth getting suggestions on if you feel like having only 3 main categories is too few. For a new forum it is important to keep it consolidated, too many categories and each one looks like a ghost town. To me the main contender would be a more tech/design focused board. Right now I’m sort of fine with tech stuff being in creative (ensue STEM vs STEAM debate). The other thing is the site has a feature for creating tags, so you could say add ‘2d’ or ‘pixel’ or ‘discussion’ to a post ANYWHERE and filter by that separately.
- “for fun” board. This is an idea for a specific category meant to scratch the itch of tweeting? Super short meaningless posts that are just for a laugh. Mostly this serves the purpose of keeping memes sort of sequestered to their own area. But again the goal is not to actually replace social media, so this may not be necessary.
- emojis. We can upload custom emojis! feel free to suggest some, basically they just need to be square. I’d prefer not any actual memes, though.
- dark theme. I’m sure it’s pretty frustrating that there’s only a light theme right now. It took a LOT of CSS to get the software this site runs on actually in the shape of a real forum and not a helpdesk, but with some patience it should be pretty easy to get it set up so you can switch in and out of different color palettes while maintaining the same look overall.
- “global feed”. Part of the problem with the Twitter exodus is everyone spreading across a dozen other sites. It would be neat to create a custom page for members of the community that consolidates posts they make across social media. Basically a public RSS feed of any user who wants to add their socials somewhere. Not sure how possible it would be to rope twitter in with the API changes, but probably could be made to fetch mastodon or cohost and such?
- events. After people get situated with posting it would be good to start thinking of cool things to do that are fun, and not just on the forum. The obvious suggestion is a game jam, but those are everywhere now. Another classic of forum days past is coworking calls - a weekly thread where someone posts a google hangouts or similar and people just chat and work. That takes a bit of faith that everyone will have a good time with voice calls and screensharing though. I’m personally also hesitant to create permanent separate chats elsewhere on other platforms.
- articles? I’d love to have a sort of ‘main page’ apart from the forum for news and other articles written by the community. It’s possibly a hard ask for everyone to contribute things, and it brings up questions of compensation for writing too. It may be possible to get by with just news and myself running little interviews with people on their projects. The idea would be to also mirror any of the articles as threads so that people can comment on them.
- community name change. The site was put together from a lot of assets I already had from a couple years ago, and while I do think the name/url is pretty funny, it doesn’t really register as a ‘community’. I’m interested in exploring new options, but this also requires getting a feel for what the community is like over time. Selfishly, I do prefer cool URL tlds - there’s a lot of potential in .garden maybe. or .club would get the idea across quickly. Ideally we just one day swap, and have the old site redirect to the new address.
- investigate forum software. The site runs on something called Discourse, which I set up reusing assets I had already made for it a few years ago. When I first picked it out it was because it was the most ‘modern’ in terms of tech used. From past experience it has some hiccups I’m not a fan of for this application, mostly that it is targeted towards making help article based sites, like tech support for a product. It has a lot of gamification that I’ve disabled, things like earning badges and such. I think it’s worth looking into options for other more focused software the site could run on. The classics being phpBB or SMF. The extreme option would be to discuss doing something from scratch? Ideally it would take long enough to make to figure out all the other problems on this list, and it would be possible to transfer over the old posts still. Consider this point WAY way off, or possibly not necessary at all.