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Welcome to BZPower!

Hi there, while we hope you enjoy browsing through the site, there's a lot more you can do if you register. The process is easy and you can use your Google, Facebook, or Twitter account to make it even faster. Some perks of joining include:
  • Create your own topics, participate in existing discussions, and vote in polls
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Posted Image


Issue Information

  • #000201

  • Suggestion



Photo

BZPower's Activity

Posted by -Windrider- on Jun 14 2013 - 10:21 PM

I know that I am not simply imagining it. BZPower's activity is decreasing, and it worries me. I have been a member of this site for over a decade and I want to see it thrive; I want to see it progress, evolve, and live, and it needs an active population in order to do that.
 
I don't mean to be negative here; I mean for this ticket to be constructive. I want to encourage brainstorming so that we can develop ideas to pass on to the Administration in hopes of revitalizing this site.
 
I think the goal here is not necessarily to attempt to stop members from leaving. That is natural; our population is aging and people move on. What we need to do is increase the rate at which new members join the site. Not every new member will stick, but the higher the influx, the more that will hang around. There are quite a few members who joined after the new boards came online and have become active members of the community. That's good! But we need more.
 
So, I ask, how do we do this?
 
Suggestions made so far:

  • Consider looking at New Member post restrictions (Basilisk) and policy (Zeene) DONE!
    • Use of automated confirmation response for validation instead of manual approval (Zeene)
    • Single Sign-On (Zeene)
      • B6 has since stated that this feature does not seem to be supported.
    • Ability to view/edit posts waiting approval (Zeene)
    • Notification upon post approval (Zeene)
      • The above two options don't seem to be something Invision allows
  • Further vary/generalize the board's focus (Basilisk) in the direction of general LEGO (Meiko)
    • Rearrange the forums: discussion boards on top? (fishers64)
  • Remove outdated rules and other quasi-anachronistic policies and unwanted vestiges (Princess Grr)
    • Cut down on/simplify the rules (fishers64)
    • I think we're at a good place now.
  • Reorganize and restructure the staff (Princess Grr)
    • Voting process for staff election? Fixed terms? (Phantom Terror)
    • (Perhaps this is something to worry about later; I am not sure the current staff structure has an effect on activity)
  • Promote a more welcoming staff image through its practices (Princess Grr)
    • Differentiate between warning messages for Proto drops and Proto boosts (Zeene)
      • (I agree here; I miss the old system)
    • Edit posts rather than delete them, unless it is an extreme circumstance (Reznas)
      • (Agree, and I am getting back into the practice of doing this. However, I have the feeling that many members do not go back and read their posts, effectively rendering the edit useless. Notification for when a moderator edits your post? Require the moderator to PM the member as well?)
    • More frequent Proto boosts (Phantom Terror)
  • Delegation of staff duties and projects to ensure efficiency and completion (Princess Grr)
    • (I'd argue that the Tracker has improved things greatly, but there is still room for improvement for sure.)
  • Affiliate with larger sites and promote the name of BZPower (Meiko) and advertising elsewhere (Reznas)
    • More active steps to recruit through conventions? (-Windrider-)
    • Loosen BZP's own advertising restrictions (Reznas, ~Shockwave~, Dralcax) DONE!
    • (I agree that loosening our own ad policy is of a critical priority.)
  • Front page overhaul (Dual Matrix)
  • More focus on SBCs (Phantom Terror, Dual Matrix)
  • A more democratic approach to moderation and site projects and policy (Reznas)
    • (There's a fine balance, here; see CeeCee's post. Also, I think the Tracker has really opened things up and the results speak for this. See the addition of the OTC forum, for example.)
  • Increase exposure of the LEGO and Creative Forums on the front page (fishers64)
    • (I think the staff had a good run of featuring member creations on the front page. I will encourage them to bring this practice back.) I think we're at a good place here as well.
  • Allow polls in appropriate forums and not confine them to the Voting Booth? (Gatanui) Or allow all members to make polls? (Taipu1) Or both? (HAZMAT) DONE!
  • Consider allowing posts to be counted in some forums that currently do not have posts counted (Sumiki, -Windrider-)

 
Related tickets:

Related topics:



Electric Turahk
Jul 25 2013 09:54 PM
Oh wow. I should have never let myself stop getting into this Tracker business. I don't have the time to read through everything, but the list in the main suggestion is one I quite like.

And there's one in particular I'd like to address, since I've actually wanted to for quite a while.

"Affiliate with larger sites and promote the name of BZPower (Meiko) and advertising elsewhere (Reznas)"

YES. I have wanted to make the suggestion that BZP try to join a network of sites for quite a while, but the advertising policy made that a moot point. That's not exactly the case anymore, I hope.

Seriously. With the site really meant to be a general LEGO forum already, we should try to collaborate with other sites with that in mind. It's not an arms race like it was so, so many years ago! Try to do some cross-promoting with other LEGO forums. Or other fandoms who might also have LEGO enthusiasts. It'd be a great way to get people to check us out.

Oh wow. I should have never let myself stop getting into this Tracker business. I don't have the time to read through everything, but the list in the main suggestion is one I quite like.

And there's one in particular I'd like to address, since I've actually wanted to for quite a while.

"Affiliate with larger sites and promote the name of BZPower (Meiko) and advertising elsewhere (Reznas)"

YES. I have wanted to make the suggestion that BZP try to join a network of sites for quite a while, but the advertising policy made that a moot point. That's not exactly the case anymore, I hope.

Seriously. With the site really meant to be a general LEGO forum already, we should try to collaborate with other sites with that in mind. It's not an arms race like it was so, so many years ago! Try to do some cross-promoting with other LEGO forums. Or other fandoms who might also have LEGO enthusiasts. It'd be a great way to get people to check us out.

YES YES YES

-Gata Posted Image

Edited by Gatanui, Jul 26 2013 - 05:35 AM.



~Shockwave~
Jul 26 2013 11:47 AM
Now that we can mention social networking stuff maybe setting out to make some pages on said sites wouldn't be a bad Idea. It's free advertising and could possibly be another outlet for news and announcements, plus if the site goes down we have somewhere to turn with questions and for news. I've heard the staff complain on how little there is to do, maybe you can get some of them to run it.


-Windrider-
Aug 14 2013 07:32 PM

Now that we can mention social networking stuff maybe setting out to make some pages on said sites wouldn't be a bad Idea. It's free advertising and could possibly be another outlet for news and announcements, plus if the site goes down we have somewhere to turn with questions and for news. I've heard the staff complain on how little there is to do, maybe you can get some of them to run it.

 
This is actually a really good idea and I'd love to see it happen. I know there's already a Facebook page, but it would be beneficial to branch out.

So I've been noticing the increase in user made content on the front page, and that is definitely a step in the right direction. I have another suggestion for this, though.
 
Every week, the front page should feature the "MOC of the Week", and maybe Fanfic of the week or something like that. And then maybe if you get featured 5 times, you get a special rank.  :shrugs: Ok, maybe not the latter, but still, I think this is a good idea.
 
It would not only encourage our current members to post their MOCs and fanfics on BZP more often, but it would also draw new members in who want their stuff to be featured on the front page. 


Engineer Alexandra Humva
Aug 17 2013 12:40 AM
Trydeltix does have a point; I can remember back in the day when I was still nooby, but being featured by anyone, nor less the staff themselves, was a glorious feat for me. I was jealous of others who got endorsements and worked to get my own. It's definitely very much something that could drive people to join and/or be more active.

With the recent hack, I think this topic is more pressing then ever. We need to really work to get this site back on it's feet.


-Windrider-
Nov 04 2013 11:10 PM
The active users list seems a bit more populated than it used to be, and certainly more than I expected it to be after the forum came back up. This is good! Posting seemed to have slowed down; however, I believe it picked up today with the temporary change in topic displays.
 
Of course, security is a concern. If you have constructive comments about that, go ahead and post them here. Again, constructive - there was unfortunately no dearth of condemnatory remarks in there.
 
I also want to apologize for having left this ticket wither a bit in the past months; I've been really busy. I do think things are definitely on the right track, though; so much change has come from all of this discussion that it's really quite extraordinary. I'm very grateful. The task at hand now is to offer suggestions that will attract new members while continuing to streamline the experience for everyone on the site. Again, we've come a long way from the urgency in which this ticket was made, but I would like to see continued participation!
 
 

Personally, I think we should seek partnerships with other lego fansites, provided they are legit of course.


-Windrider-
Nov 15 2013 08:12 PM
I'm not quite sure how such a thing would work - historically, we have the BS01/HS01 and TNW partnerships, both of which haven't really served to bring in members. There might be a different approach. Here was B6's response:
 

Our current Advertising Policy does put a damper on some of that sort of thing. Obviously there are exceptions that could be made, but I would like to focus on getting the policy nicely revised. We'll see though.

 
Now that the policy has been revised, maybe it is time to revisit the issue of partnerships? It's something I can't really answer or analyze, though; I'll leave it to B6. : P
 
Members can, of course, help out - if they feel comfortable doing so. By this, I mean utilization of the "sharing" buttons at the bottom of a topic, blog post, etc. I've seen one or two Facebook "Likes," but that is about it.
 

I've talked to Black Six about partnerships and basically his reaction was that he doesn't want BZPower to become dependant of a larger site. However, apparently my suggestion inspired him to another idea he did not tell me of, so we may hear something about it in the future.

-Gata Posted Image



Kopekemaster
Dec 04 2013 03:32 PM

So I've been noticing the increase in user made content on the front page, and that is definitely a step in the right direction. I have another suggestion for this, though.
 
Every week, the front page should feature the "MOC of the Week", and maybe Fanfic of the week or something like that. And then maybe if you get featured 5 times, you get a special rank.  :shrugs: Ok, maybe not the latter, but still, I think this is a good idea.
 
It would not only encourage our current members to post their MOCs and fanfics on BZP more often, but it would also draw new members in who want their stuff to be featured on the front page. 

This. I think this is a very good idea. The special rank thing might be a little extreme, but to have "of the week" awards would be really cool.
 
I guess the only problem I can see with them is how we will judge who gets what.

  • Single Sign-On (Zeene)
  • B6 has since stated that this feature does not seem to be supported.

 
Actually, looking through Invision's official documentation, it would appear that login integration with Twitter and Facebook is not too much of a hassle to set up. OpenID support also seems to exist, though it is a tad more difficult to get working.
 
Oh, and another suggestion: merge and/or split some of the Rules and Guidelines topics.
The Advertising Policy is now so ludicrously small that it could be easily merged into the main Rules-topic, as could a lot of other threads in the Reference Desk subforum.
All FAQs in that subforum could also be merged, plus the Punishment section of the Rules could be located in it's own separate thread.
It should be clear to practically anyone that there will be repercussions for breaking the rules and moving this to a separate topic will make the actual rules themselves an easier read while still allowing those interested to see what fate awaits them if they were to break the BZLaw.
 
In the end, that would leave us with three topics in that subforum:
  • One for the Rules and Guidelines
  • One for FAQs and other information
  • One for punishments and repercussions
If this were to result in overly long topics, a simple table of contents would solve that problem.
A great deal of members might only read the main Rules and Guidelines thread, which will obviously lead to issues later down the line. Making all of the site's rules easier to find and read - and thus, by extent, easier to follow - is something that is highly unlikely to actually have a negative effect.


-Windrider-
Dec 11 2013 05:26 PM
Heh, did you see the old Reference Desk? : P In all seriousness, however, I think a bit of consolidation would be helpful. Having only three topics may be pushing it, but like you, I see a few possible mergers and one or two unneeded topics.
 
That said, I highly doubt the Reference Desk's organization is holding members back from joining. BZP has become much more streamlined for members than it was even just a year ago; deleterious policies such as the advertising guidelines have been fixed. The organization of the remaining rules might be something to look at in the future, but for now, I think the Administration should focus on attracting new members. Turning front page views into forum members is one area to look at.

Turning front page views into forum members is one area to look at.

Well, and making front page viewers not feel like they suddenly entered a time machine and ended up on the descendant of a late '90s GeoCities website.

Edited by Zeene, Dec 15 2013 - 11:33 AM.



-Windrider-
Dec 19 2013 11:10 PM

Well, and making front page viewers not feel like they suddenly entered a time machine and ended up on the descendant of a late '90s GeoCities website.

It's certainly something. While an overhaul may be necessary, I've been wondering about possible small tweaks. For example - the visibility of the forum links on the front page. Check out LEGO's home page: the "Message Board" link is quite visible. Now compare BZPower's front page to that. "Forums" is also quite a dated term. Do we "rename" the "Enter BZPower Forums" button as well as redesign it?

Members can, of course, help out - if they feel comfortable doing so. By this, I mean utilization of the "sharing" buttons at the bottom of a topic, blog post, etc. I've seen one or two Facebook "Likes," but that is about it.
 

 
More Facebook likes would be ideal-the more we get the name out there the better. Maybe encourage more people to link to the site in public sites?


-Windrider-
Jan 25 2014 05:24 PM
On further thought, it would be better to specify a target audience, determine which sites that target audience visits, and then promote BZPower instead of throwing links out at random in whichever public site. However, utilization of the sharing buttons can't hurt. Perhaps the pinpointed advertising can be left to the staff and the administration, then - it's not something members should be expected to do.


Loganto the Le-Matoran
Jan 29 2014 10:22 AM
I've brought this up on here before, but chat bars would be great. have a simple word filter on it, it would be safe. I love roll playing, so If we had that, we could 1 on 1 rollplay, chat faster, and even have small group chats. I know a lot of you thought this was lame, but it might bring sociability back on the table, bringing old members back and adding some new ones. Thoughts?

I've brought this up on here before, but chat bars would be great. have a simple word filter on it, it would be safe. I love roll playing, so If we had that, we could 1 on 1 rollplay, chat faster, and even have small group chats. I know a lot of you thought this was lame, but it might bring sociability back on the table, bringing old members back and adding some new ones. Thoughts?

 
I'm afraid integrating such a system would take a lot of work. Even with a word filter, staff would still have to monitor the chatting. Personally, I think personal messaging suffices just fine.
 
-Rez






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