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JenniferL

Lets talk about The Consolidation =)

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No, not the conquest of the Seanchan continent by Artur Hawking's descendants. I'm talking about moving the offsite boards onto DM.

 

I know there are a ton of rumors flying around currently and there are many people that aren't thrilled with this move. So lets talk about it.  What are your questions?

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No, not the conquest of the Seanchan continent by Artur Hawking's descendants. I'm talking about moving the offsite boards onto DM.

 

I know there are a ton of rumors flying around currently and there are many people that aren't thrilled with this move. So lets talk about it.   What are your questions?

 

What's the downside?

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The downside? As far as I see it, it'll be the large numbers of people who say "Last. Post. EVER!" because they don't like the change.

 

However, a good chunk of those people seldom visit DM anymore anyways, so other than shifting some numbers around, the casual user won't notice anything.

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I'm going to quote someone else on that one.

 

- Consistent branding across all DM affiliated groups

- Consistent handling of issues, problems, cases, etc

- More professional feel to the entire site if everything is on one

domain

- More than most WoT websites, DM is seen as representing WOT in

general. (Some places think we publish the books). Having forums

spread all over the internet is tacky and unprofessional and reflects

badly on the brand

- Banner ads on DM provide DM with revenue for upgrades, new servers,

faster bandwidth. [Jason hope to more than double our connection speed in

the next 12 months]

- Spreading communication or announcements to all org communities is

FAR easier with one set of boards

- Having all boards in once place is much simpler for all members

both new and old

- Having forums all linked together encourages people to more easily

check new places out.

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Right, any offsite forums will have to close down. We'd like to have DM start hosting all the offsite websites as well, but there's more technical issues with that than there are with hosting message boards. That will come later.

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Personally, I think it's a great idea.  That way it is MUCH easier for newer people (like me!) to be able to find their way around and get a look at the different types of discussions.  Happy happy.

 

Ok, now a question:  Will you (admins) be able to set it so that you must join an org to be able to post on threads within that org's message board, and non-members will have only view access?

 

I think I worded that question properly.  Maybe not.  8)

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Kath hun this is far from a foregone conclusion as a good number of the staff is against it. We as the leadership still have some talking to do about this and rather than ignore the fact and push on with your plans you should settle the matters between us first.

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I think she told you what you needed to know about that. I think this thread is about understanding what the people want rather than the staff.

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Mother, can you tell us how the Ajah private boards will work? Will they be imbedded in the individual Ajah boards as child boards? And when can we expect them to go live?

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Personally, I think it's a great idea.  That way it is MUCH easier for newer people (like me!) to be able to find their way around and get a look at the different types of discussions.  Happy happy.

 

Ok, now a question:  Will you (admins) be able to set it so that you must join an org to be able to post on threads within that org's message board, and non-members will have only view access?

 

I think I worded that question properly.  Maybe not.  8)

 

We could do that. But I think we'd rather not. One of the ideas behind having Orgs is to have different groups that interact and compete with each other on the site.  We all like to have visitors come and play with us on our public boards and we use them to showcase the best of our Orgs. I think making them read only if you aren't already a member would take away from that welcoming aspect we're trying to cultivate.

 

Goldeneyes, the matter is settled. Please go back and reread my post on the subject on the staff board if you are unclear.

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Hi Kivam!

 

Actually the reason for a lot of the tensions and upset is that some of the Orgs see several downsides to the consolidation. These seem to be focusing around control issues, loss of data and losing the activity that the offsites accomodate.

 

The control issues..well, most people don't like being told what to do, and their "right to privacy and autonomy"  of not having the DM admins having access to the Org's business.  To me that doesn't make sense.  Currently the offsites are under the control of the individual Org Leaders and thier staff.  The consolidation would, as I understand it, make the offsite boards stem from DM, called, sub-domains.  There would still be the same options of doing what is done on the offsites, but would be in DM proper, and the DM admins would have access.  There is concern that the DM admins would interfere..well I seriously don't see that as an issue.  First of all they are to busy to read every single board, and secondly..that's what the Org leaders are for.  Delegation of responsibility.  If there is something, they tell the admins, that's thier job.  And if the DM admins do browse the sub domains..what's the big deal..that's thier job!  The one concern of this that I do understand, is the Org leaders having the ability to manage the sub domains, of who has mod powers and access, and to make changes to those boards.  I have no idea how that would work.

 

The loss of data or threads and info is a concern.  With the advent of these new boards there were problems.  Some of the things not transferred were important to the Orgs.  I have no idea what is involved technically in such a move, or why it didn't work.  I do know that to expect it to be perfect and seamless is probably an unrealistic expectation.  The concern of moving what's on the offsites to here is valid.  For some Orgs, all the activity is on the offsites, the business of the Org, the archives etc.  It would be negative to lose that.  I have a question to address that and is one of the rumors I have heard.  Would the offsites be allowed to still exist as Archvies for the Orgs?  With the Org leaders and designated members having the only access to maintain the archive?  That would resolve that concern and result in a lot less information having to be transferred...

 

The third concern I stated is the activity of the Off site boards.  Originally, the offsites were allowed(?) because DM couldn't handle the added boards and amount of activity and the spam.  With this newest version of DM and the plans Jason has for new servers etc, that is no longer a valid reason if I understand all of this correctly.  The main offsite I am active in is the Band.  I am speaking for myself here, not as a representative of the Band.  

 

It would be a sad and tragic loss to lose the activity and community that exists on the Band's offsite boards.  There is a lot of good stuff happening there.  There is a Game, the business of the band, archives, ceremonies, point earning, and interaction.  I am wondering if that activity can realistically be accomodated at the new DM.  Is it possible to add to the Band's current boards, more childboards?  The Tower has numerous boards, and the Band has the activity to support that many as well.  Then still have the subdomain to function as a support, and for the private boards that we have for the regiments, and business type stuff.  By private, I mean accessable by the members of the regiment, not the whole band.  As it works now on the offsite, we do have that and the admins of the offsite have access to every board.  

 

Overall I support the Consolidation, mostly because of the last three reasons why, that Kath quoted.  I know for myself that being active on an offsite, I have not been active on DM.  I have recently been back at DM more, and realize I have been missing out on many things by not being here, even though I felt I was still involved by being in the Band.  I think if others, that seldom are at DM because they are at the offsites so much, may rediscover that as well.  Some people, however, have never participated at DM, and only at the offsite, so they don't really know about DM, except for what they hear.    All of this, if I am right, is for the good and welfare of DM.  I think that many of the folks against it, are not grasping that and only looking at the good and welfare of thier Orgs and because of the isolation of the off sites don't think of themselves as part of DM. There has to be a meshing of both.  Can that be a possibility Kath?

 

Sorry for the really long post...but the questions i have then are:

 

Would Org leaders have control of thier Org's subdomains?

Can the Offsites be maintained as the Org's archives?

Can the new DM accomodate the amount of activity that is currently done on the offsites?

Can the consolidation work for the good and welfare of both the DM and the Orgs concerns and needs?

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Mother, can you tell us how the Ajah private boards will work? Will they be imbedded in the individual Ajah boards as child boards? And when can we expect them to go live?

 

The private Ajah boards will be child boards of the existing Ajah boards already in use. There will be a user group that your Head will have control of. He or she will be able to add or remove people at will. There will be a second user group that the Head controls for the Sitters. People placed in this group will have mod rights on both the private and public Ajah boards. We're also giving each Ajah a private board just for the Sitters and Head to discuss management of the Ajah.

 

This will start to come online as soon as we get the latest mods installed on the boards. Right now, the only people who can add people to usergroups are Admins, and quite frankly, you don't want us to do it.

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Would Org leaders have control of thier Org's subdomains?

Can the Offsites be maintained as the Org's archives?

Can the new DM accomodate the amount of activity that is currently done on the offsites?

Can the consolidation work for the good and welfare of both the DM and the Orgs concerns and needs?

 

Yes, if we do subdomains, the Org Leaders would have control of their boards. We haven't started looking into how we'd implement those yet.

 

Offsite boards can be maintained as an archive.

 

Yes, these boards are rock solid. So is the server we're running. We made numerous upgrades after the old one died. It even has a 12 hour battery backup, so it stays online even if the power goes out in Jason's neighborhood.

 

I think this will definitely work to the Orgs benefit. Our two fastest growing Orgs right now are the Seanchan and the Illumninators, neither which have offsite boards. They are easier for newbies to get involved in because they don't require a second registration and yet another bookmark.

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A majority of the voices on another board are adjusting well to the idea Goldeneyes. There are a few that really like the idea as well and even more who are eager. I haven't see one knock down fight, raised voices (even virtually) about this as of yet, for many of the regular members participating in that discussion. Kath has been very forthcoming and working with us, bargaining and compromising.

 

And from what I understand this is in discussions with both the Staff board and with the members here. Though I have to tell you, for new members and members who understand the need to support the base site will have no problems with it.

 

Jade and I have heard on several occasions, some new members feeling quite lost when then step foot into DM and cannot fathom yet, another board that they must also become accustom to. Its a big and scary place. If they join other Orgs with their own offsite boards it just becomes too much.

 

My opinion is that dragonmount has slowed down considerably, with the exception of new members, who stay in the discussion area's. I know so many people who have left. I am finding them more and more at another well designed site saying that they felt DM was far too big a place and spread out (offsite boards).

 

My question is this; If (and when) the majority of DM members are more than willing to move back to the "mothership" then what will be the decision of "the staff"? Members want to be represented fairly.

 

I am of the mind that change is good. And if it flops, again changes will come.

 

I agree with Twinflower on this too.

 

All our offsite data will be transfered. We won't lose anything.

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The only thing we aren't compromising on is whether or not this move is going to happen. It IS happening. We are trying to make it as easy on ya'll as possible. We  are doing our best to make you comfortable with it.  But if you are dead set against it, well, I'm sorry. We don't have much to talk about.

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Guys, just a little bit.  Offsite data may not beable to make it to the new boards.  However it will not be "lost" because you will be able to keep it archived there.  I say this as a techie person not as anything other than that DM former tech admin or not.  All data is on another database on another server.  It is possible to take the existing database and create a new one for DM and then transfer it over to an SMF subdomain.  However the work involved on everyones part would just be quicker to start fresh in your own space.  Jason would like to have one sign up and he and the rest of the admins if they decide to use the subdomain will look into that particular feature and try to implement it, in which case your posts and things will not be able to transfer over because of database incompatibilities.  ie:  user 1 is Jason and user 1 on your forums might be someone else and thus it will not be made by the right person and highly confusing.  Your information will not be lost but it may not be transferred over. 

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Goldeneyes, the matter is settled. Please go back and reread my post on the subject on the staff board if you are unclear.

 

Please note that this decision of "no off board sites" was made WITHOUT consultation with the ORG or Div Staff here at DM. It is an edict that has been brought from upon high that all ORG or Div Leaders have to comply with, otherwise we have been threatened with being banned from DM. Now, to me, that is a dictatorship, and something that DM shouldn't be. ORG and Div Leaders are the representatives of their ORGs and Divs in the DM Staff Board. The fact that we were bypassed (i.e. not spoken to at all on the issue) annoys many of us, of which I am one. To be frank, the DM Staff is not a team at all.

 

Also note how this is meant to be a discussion on people's views on the matter, yet within 10 posts, it has already been clearly stated that off board sites will go, ruining any chance of a decent discussion. In other words, it is a dictated discussion.

 

Yes, Twinnie mentioned most of the concerns - transfer of data and who will run these sub domains.

 

Firstly, the transfer of data. As far as I know, not all boards out there on the internet match up to the converter machines that Simple Machines offer. Proboards in one such board. I've had a techy person from the Band of the Red Hand ORG have a look at this issue, so that I can be 100% sure in my wording. As a result, it will either mean losing all data as off boards will have to be shut down, or a lot of posting, and that is something I don't want. Therefore, keeping the off boards AS THEY ARE is the easiest and less stressful option.

 

Secondly, the running of the sub domains. As far as I understand it (and it hasn't been told to me in words), ORG and Div Leaders will not have complete control of the sub domains. We would be under the rule of the admins at DM. This is something that doesn't happen on off board sites, where ORG and Div Leaders are the admins, and make their own team. It also means that any adding/editting to our boards can be down quickly and when we want it. ORGs and Divs need independence. We have to be trusted. But it appears we aren't, as everything is being realed into DM. And compared to the boards that DM uses and has used, the Band of the Red Hand has suffered no trouble with spam bots or downtime as a result. That is another issue. All the sub domains will be on one server - so if the server goes down, so does the sub domain.

 

People aren't going to like what I have said, but it needs saying. These are my views, and a lot are shared by the members of the ORG I run, as well as others around here. Do not be fooled by those who say nice things about "co-operation". There is no co-operation. It's either "my way" or "the highway". If I am banned as a result of voicing my views, then it shows the dictatorship-like way that the people running DM run it.

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Banning or firing - it's the same thing - a threat. That is how things are done around here.

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Whilst almost everything will be kept onsite, is it permissable to keep using my offsite boards as an archive for raisings, ajah declerations and things like that? I know DM is a lot more stable but accidents do happen (;)) and having that back up would be nice.

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From what I understand off-site Archives will be welcome, its specifically the offsite forums that they want moved back here.

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