Forum Modernization or Forum Obsolescence?

So, this forum has been around since 2007, and I've met a bunch of folks here who have provided really valuable insights into EpicTable. Some of you have been here for the long haul, others disappear and reappear months or years later. It's been valuable to me, and I hope it's been valuable to you. But...



You've probably noticed, a few strange things about this forum. It's theme doesn't match the...um..."new" EpicTable branding, which was introduced in...I don't know...2010 or 2011. It's on an outdated version of the forum software--yet just updated enough to have broken aspects of the theme. It's not kicking out database errors frequently for reasons I've yet to research.



My plan, for the last year or two, has been to migrate the forum to a brand new, shiny Vanilla-based forum and fix everything in so doing. However, in the last few years, I've seen more and more people, including some of you, on the EpicTable Facebook and G+ pages. Additionally, I have a support site with forum like capabilities where questions and suggestions are actually tracked, which is kind of nice.



Today, the EpicTable online presence is the main site, the forum, the support site, the twitter feed, the Facebook page, and the G+ page...oh and the YouTube channel. I'd gladly trim that down a bit.



So my question to you is: Do you guys still want a forum? Or are forums a thing of the past due to the emergence of Facebook and G+ as places for discussion? I toyed with just saying "the time of the forum has come to and end--it's the dinosaur and little furry Facebooks and G+s are running around". However, so many of you have contributed to EpicTable in one way or another that I decided I should give you a voice in this. I won't lie to you, I'd be happy to have one less place to monitor for messages, and I'd gladly stop fighting the spambots that have been attacking this forum for the last seven years. But if you want the forum, I'll carve out some time to move it to a better platform.



I would really appreciate your thoughts.



If you haven't been over to the EpicTable Facebook or G+ pages, take a look and see if that does it for you.

EpicTable Facebook Page

EpicTable G+ Page

Comments

  • Hey John



    When i first read your post , prob before i even finished it i was thinking yea get rid of it lol. Hell iv talked to you personally more on google chat, hangout , email etc. than i have on here. Ill admit im not much of a poster. Iv been using epic table for 3+ years i think and maybe have posted 20 times.....But lol I still check this site EVERYDAY. Hoping for new info,updates questions, ideas etc etc. Then i thought about all the RPG stuff related to tabletop and the first thing i thought of or get info from is forums. IT was a forum that lead me to Epictable . Then the most weird thing i thought about was how my group just started 2 new games, and made a forum for them LOL. Sooooo now im not so sure. lol If your asking me if id rather see you spend more of your valuable time on Epictable development over forum work then No question . I just cant deny the good this forum and forums in general have been to me. Not that you cant get info from the Social media avail now but like myself if i have a question ill ask you directly. So others who may have the same or similar questions wont see our conversation anyway. lol I guess mark me down as undecided .



    Also thank you So much for ET cant say it enough. Been able to game nearly every week for 3 years because of your hard work .
  • Thadictator;3179 wrote: Also thank you So much for ET cant say it enough. Been able to game nearly every week for 3 years because of your hard work .


    And that makes all the nights and weekends worthwhile. Thanks!
  • I don't use Facebook because their system security isn't well done.
  • Thanks for the feedback, Jim. I don't think you're the only one with concerns about Facebook. I haven't had a ton of feedback, but what I've heard is pretty consistently been that there's value to something that's not Facebook. I'd like to shift the forum to Vanilla, because I think it's more theme-friendly and modern-looking, and I'm not paying a yearly fee to get updates.



    If anyone has experience with vBulletin-to-Vanilla migration and unusual amounts of time on your hands, I'd welcome help. I'd probably even pay someone to just make a beautiful Vanilla forum spring into being with the current EpicTable branding. I'd love to preserve the posts from this one (maybe) or at least the accounts, so people didn't have to start over. That's been one of the hurdles stopping me from moving on this. It's totally possible to do custom authentication with Vanilla and authenticate against the user database here (or a copy of it), but I've not gotten around to doing it, obviously.
  • Personally I don't use Facebook for anything other than superficial fluff and basic communication. It doesn't seem to lend itself to anything but cat videos, memes, rhetoric and whining for attention. Content is also difficult to find since it's just a big mess with no structure.



    G+, what's that? [/SARCASM]



    I go to forums for more in depth and easily parsed threads. Social media is for stream of consciousness blather. Forums are for discussion, research and archiving important information so others can benefit.



    Not that I've given this any thought...
  • Forums are searchable. Which is more than I can say for other methods out here.
  • Made it into the new forums with no problems.

  • I made it to the forums with no issues! Will have a look around now. :)

  • Great! I noticed an issue with avatar fuzziness, but it only affected newly uploaded avatars. I've fixed that, but if you uploaded an avatar in that time period, it'll be fuzzy.
    I should document this somewhere else, but for reference, the avatar size displayed in posts is 60x60. The pic on the profile page is 160x160. I uploaded a 160x160 and it automatically resized and looks fine in both...now.
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