Building a new site

Pladio

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One major thing that would be really needed to start somewhere else anew is commitment. It's easy to say now you are committed, but the feeling and energy you have at this moment will be gone in weeks or maybe months from now.
If you have a job, it means almost all of your evenings and weekends are going to be spent on this. Maybe you think this is easier with more people, but it really isn't as it can lead to a lot of disagreement and because of that people signing off. Working with multiple people on a project requires clear agreements on the responsibilities.
Then think of what happens if someone does not do what he or she was expected to do. Not a lot really, it is all unpaid work and people do it in their spare time.

This is already difficult to establish at work and there everybody is paid for what they do. it becomes much more difficult once it needs to be done in your spare time.

But before you get to all that, you need to agree on the vision of this new place. Who are you making it for and what do you want to achieve?

I'm not trying to scare you in any way :) But getting the vision down and finding people that are really committed to make that vision work and understand what it takes to get there, would be essential in making it work.
Fully agree with this. It's a bit like people and their new year résolutions. Full of motivation in the first couple of weeks and then it goes away.

As I said, I'm happy to help build up the site up, organising, configuration of tools and add ons. But I can't commit to long term.
 

HiddenX

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I would like a continuation of the old vision of RPGWatch:

Best RPG News world-wide with a strong focus (*) on

News:
  • PC-RPGs
  • Single-player RPGs
  • Indie titles, AA and AAA included
(*) Occasional side trips to RPG related genres like strategy games, adventures, survival games etc. are allowed

Forum:

  • a forum related to news
  • a General RPG forum
  • an off-topic forum
  • some Watcher's favourite game-forums
  • forum based on the Game database

(I would omit the politics and religion forum)

Database:
for games and organisations
 

Myrthos

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The problem with not having a P&R forum is that it becomes increasingly more difficult to prevent people to discuss these topics, as quite a number of people feel a need to express their 'right' of free speech. Not having it makes it for moderators a lot more work to keep the forums somewhat free of it. in this way it is contained in one place and most of the visitors don't have to bother with all the junk discussions in it.

So, currently that forum is there, so people have a place to post about the stuff they post about, but just as a garbage collector :)
 
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Pladio

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The problem with not having a P&R forum is that it becomes increasingly more difficult to prevent people to discuss these topics, as quite a number of people feel a need to express their 'right' of free speech. Not having it makes it for moderators a lot more work to keep the forums somewhat free of it. in this way it is contained in one place and most of the visitors don't have to bother with all the junk discussions in it.

So, currently that forum is not there, so people have a place to post about the stuff they post about, but just as a garbage collector :)
I really like the approach of today. It's hidden from most people but it's there for people who want it.
 

Ripper

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One major thing that would be really needed to start somewhere else anew is commitment. It's easy to say now you are committed, but the feeling and energy you have at this moment will be gone in weeks or maybe months from now.
If you have a job, it means almost all of your evenings and weekends are going to be spent on this. Maybe you think this is easier with more people, but it really isn't as it can lead to a lot of disagreement and because of that people signing off. Working with multiple people on a project requires clear agreements on the responsibilities.
Then think of what happens if someone does not do what he or she was expected to do. Not a lot really, it is all unpaid work and people do it in their spare time.

This is already difficult to establish at work and there everybody is paid for what they do. it becomes much more difficult once it needs to be done in your spare time.

But before you get to all that, you need to agree on the vision of this new place. Who are you making it for and what do you want to achieve?

I'm not trying to scare you in any way :) But getting the vision down and finding people that are really committed to make that vision work and understand what it takes to get there, would be essential in making it work.

Yes, I do understand that, and that's why much of the stuff I've been going on about here is very focused on how I could make this the absolute easiest and stress-free it could be for myself, or whoever else. I can assure you, most of my evenings and weekends would not be spent on it!

But there's kind of two different ideas here. One is that if the Watch were going to die anyway, then there are unique circumstances. In that case there would be nothing to be lost by trying, even if it didn't work out. And you'd have the diehard Watchers and newsposters that have shown commitment probably keen to make the new home work. But at that point there definitely needs to be serious discussions among the core group about how it would all work, divisions of responsibility, and so on.

The other idea is just to build an experimental site on the side. That would be pretty frivolous at this stage, just to build it, kick the tyres, play around and figure things out. Probably wouldn't even open it for public sign-up at this stage - maybe just a few folks from here messing around with it. That could be a useful exercise on getting familiar with the software and the configuration, which would then be useful if and when a time comes to get serious (or, indeed, for some other purpose.)

When it comes to brief enthusiasm followed by apathy, I get the picture. I have no rose-tinted view of this madhouse. But, if I make a decision like keeping the Watch community going, then I get into "try and stop me" mode, and that bloody-minded determination can keep me going in harsh circumstances. :p
 

HiddenX

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A garbage collector forum makes sense, but only moderators should have the right to move/create new threads there.

We lost quite a few Watchers who got too involved in political discussions over time. For example @magerette;.
 

SveNitoR

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A garbage collector forum makes sense, but only moderators should have the right to move/create new threads there.

We lost quite a few Watchers who got too involved in political discussions over time. For example @magerette;.
I actually think that's a good idea. Especially since some gaming news are also political in nature.

I like visiting the political forum now and then, since I like saying what I think on different topics. A separate subforum makes it possible to do this without worrying about making people who are only here for the gaming stressed about disagreements. And I enjoy when people disagree as long as it is written quite politely. I've learned some things about different cultures and political viewings that way.

Some threads, however, get too polarizing, and tend to bring out the rudeness in too many people. It's less discussion, and more shouting.

Maybe there can be a way to ask a mod about opening a thread?
 

Redglyph

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One major thing that would be really needed to start somewhere else anew is commitment. It's easy to say now you are committed, but the feeling and energy you have at this moment will be gone in weeks or maybe months from now.

So true.

Commitment is not an issue for me, as long as I feel that what I do is useful, and I am able to do it well (detailed in my 1st post here). I also need to feel at ease in a team. So nothing original, I suppose it's the same for most.

If the survival of RPGWatch is in question, it sure gives a boost.

The concern I had with the news were first and foremost a doubt on doing it well, posting on games I don't know or dislike makes me feel awkward. When other concerns arose I preferred to stop, though those are mostly behind now. I'm more comfortable with the technical aspects.

I share @HiddenX;'s vision except I don't have the reservation on the P&R section. I believe it helps to have a place where people can express themselves more freely (vent?) on some subjects, as long as it doesn't create a tension between them. But I'm not a moderator so I don't know if that's a burden to them; if so then perhaps it's more important to keep the team healthy and motivated. The off-topic section may be enough for the purpose.
 

Ripper

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Thing is, when you talk about a continuation of the old version of RPGWatch, do you mean the current site and its code? I'm a bit confused about that, as I thought Myrthos said that wasn't a possibility, partly due to the state of the code base. That's why, since he says the current negotiations would include adopting the whole site as is, I imagine it's someone who plans to make money off it. Without those resources and incentive, I think adopting the existing site wholesale probably would be maintenance hell, and I'd be very wary of trying to take that on, on a purely voluntary and non-profit basis.

If I did it, it would have to be a modern solution that could be kept extremely reliable and maintainable. And though it might not have all the features right away, it would also probably be much nicer to use.
 

Myrthos

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What is being discussed is moving RPGWatch as is, with a phased change. The first would be a change to XenForo, as that is the main blocking issue.
As to what happens to RPGWatch after that, is something for after the end of July and the new owner gets to decide that.
Managing the hosting will be taken care of. Whomever is the new owner will get to decide what happens next to RPGWatch.

There will be ads shown on RPGWatch to pay for the hosting and everything related to that. I do not have the impression that RPGWatch is looked at as just another money source though, so I do think that message is a bit too negative. I do not know at this moment what the options are with respect to paying in order to not see ads.
At the moment a very small group of people is paying to have none of you see any ads. That will very like not be the same anymore.

However as far as keeping RPGWatch alive, this is a viable option and the easiest to realize.
 

Redglyph

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As to what happens to RPGWatch after that, is something for after the end of July and the new owner gets to decide that.
Managing the hosting will be taken care of. Whomever is the new owner will get to decide what happens next to RPGWatch.

Do you know if there's a condition for the site to continue, like a minimum traffic? From your post, I have the impression it's not the case and a more relaxed attitude.

And if at some point, the new owner decided to stop hosting and managing the RPGWatch, will there likely be a possibility to get the data back in order to move somewhere else? That's a sensitive point (the data) but I imagine that they would just ask you what to do? Not that I'm pessimistic, but who knows how it will be like in the first few months.
 

Redglyph

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Thing is, when you talk about a continuation of the old version of RPGWatch, do you mean the current site and its code? I'm a bit confused about that, as I thought Myrthos said that wasn't a possibility, partly due to the state of the code base. That's why, since he says the current negotiations would include adopting the whole site as is, I imagine it's someone who plans to make money off it. Without those resources and incentive, I think adopting the existing site wholesale probably would be maintenance hell, and I'd be very wary of trying to take that on, on a purely voluntary and non-profit basis.

If I did it, it would have to be a modern solution that could be kept extremely reliable and maintainable. And though it might not have all the features right away, it would also probably be much nicer to use.

I'm not sure who the question was addressed to ;) I understood that, before this deal Myrthos is discussing with a potential new owner, the idea was to change the code to something reliable (combination CMS+forum) but to preserve the data and the general functionality as far as possible, so forum, news/articles, game database and CRPG analyzer. The current code was not kept, as you say it needs to be more easily maintainable, it's easier and safer if CMS/forum devs do that part.
 

lackblogger

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I feel like I ought to do something, but, alas, I am not retired enough or rich enough to be effectively retired to have the ability to commit to anything at this point in time. But I feel I ought to nominate myself for something, even if it's nothing. I hope you know what I mean.
 

Myrthos

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Do you know if there's a condition for the site to continue, like a minimum traffic? From your post, I have the impression it's not the case and a more relaxed attitude.
That topic hasn't come up yet.

And if at some point, the new owner decided to stop hosting and managing the RPGWatch, will there likely be a possibility to get the data back in order to move somewhere else? That's a sensitive point (the data) but I imagine that they would just ask you what to do? Not that I'm pessimistic, but who knows how it will be like in the first few months.
Have not discussed that either. It depends on whomever is the owner. If the hoster becomes the owner, you are entitled to nothing. If someone else becomes the owner it needs to be discussed how to handle that.
 

Redglyph

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Have not discussed that either. It depends on whomever is the owner. If the hoster becomes the owner, you are entitled to nothing. If someone else becomes the owner it needs to be discussed how to handle that.

Ah OK. Sorry, I misunderstood and thought that they were automatically taking ownership.

Good luck with the discussions! :)
 

wiretripped

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I'd be willing to help if need be, though I am more of a Java/Angular person that dabbled a bit in cloud solutions (like AWS and Google cloud), so not sure how much help I could be. I think there's people in this thread with more relevant skills than me, so I'll be happy to see them take the reins.

I'd always be willing to throw some bucks their way for hosting or the like.
 

Corwin

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The problem with not having a P&R forum is that it becomes increasingly more difficult to prevent people to discuss these topics, as quite a number of people feel a need to express their 'right' of free speech. Not having it makes it for moderators a lot more work to keep the forums somewhat free of it. in this way it is contained in one place and most of the visitors don't have to bother with all the junk discussions in it.

So, currently that forum is there, so people have a place to post about the stuff they post about, but just as a garbage collector :)

Without P&R, the Off Topic forum would become flooded with contention and it would actually make more work for Mods to clean up multiple threads. As the main P&R Mod since the site's inception, it has been easier to control with everything there. Yes, I'm willing to continue as I have the time. :)
 

Ripper

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There will be ads shown on RPGWatch to pay for the hosting and everything related to that. I do not have the impression that RPGWatch is looked at as just another money source though, so I do think that message is a bit too negative.

I won't be too negative about it - I don't want to try to scuttle what may be your best option, and the best bet for keeping the community intact and happy is to keep the transfer as seamless as possible. I do think that doing the work necessary to keep the existing site going is much more feasible for people with the resources and the incentive. I think that really could be a foolish over-commitment for an individual.

I'm not totally negative about them, but I don't think they're doing it out of the goodness of their hearts, either. This seems to be a business, and they seem keen to attract sites of this kind to their stable. I'm sure they see it as a small property they might as well have in their portfolio, and maybe they see more potential in it. But if they run things decently, without any shenanigans, and folks seem happy, no problem, and nothing for me to worry about.

I do approach things skeptically, though, particularly where profit is involved (which is why my preference is always for a self-funded community like this - ideally it's best not to mix business and friends, IMO.) One little skeptical point though, that @Eye; drew attention to - I don't want to be hearing about their TOS, which appears to be worth about as much as a few stanzas of my teenage poetry. Here's their TOS, and here's, for example, the Codex thread on the demise of the Watch. Lol. And that's nothing, of course. I don't believe for a second that they're unaware of how they roll at the Codex, and I very much doubt they have any intention of doing anything about it, and immediately driving them to another host. Not good for business.

But, hey - lets hope for the best, and see what happens.

With regard to ownership of the site, wouldn't it be better to bequeath it to one of the grandees of the Watch, so they have the option of moving on if things go poorly? Is the problem that no-one seems to want the responsibility?
 
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henriquejr

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(…)I don't want to be hearing about their TOS, which appears to be worth about as much as a few stanzas of my teenage poetry. Here's their TOS, and here's, for example, the Codex thread on the demise of the Watch.(…)

Maybe I missed something in this thread, but where did Myrthos say he was talking to Sorcerers.net about the potential hosting of RPGWatch?

Just to be sure, I went as far as Myrthos' post (#77 in this thread) regarding the contact that occurred last weekend between him and the potential hoster, and he didn't mention any names. But again, perhaps I missed some piece of info elsewhere. If I did, please excuse me :)
 
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