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Sobend

State of the site

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This is going to sound bitter and that is not the case. I'm just being honest and I think everybody needs to be honest here. This is more of a staff issue but I'd like to see everyone's perspective.

 

Ladies, Gentlemen and not-so-gentlemen, the state of the site (not the forums) seems to be in a bit of limbo right now. And when I mean limbo I don't mean its about to be lost. I mean the site is trying to be one thing but in reality is something else. The site is not being updated.

 

We need to get out of this state by doing one of two things:

 

1. Spend more time updating the site.

 

or

 

2. Stop kidding ourselves and publicly acknowledge that we will stop updating the site.

 

If you aren't understanding what's going on then let me fill you in. Basically what is happening is that people are being encouraged to submit content and people are. Between the EOC content drive and the RS3 content drive hundreds of guides have been created, rewritten, or updated. Unfortunately if you just looked at the site you would have no idea of that because only 20-30% (that may be an overestimate, actually) of the content being submitted is actually being added to the site. And pretty much all of the content being submitted is good enough to get added. This is an issue because 1) the site is not living up to its full potential and more importantly 2) people have wasted countless hours writing guides for the site that will never be added. What needs to be done is that we need to stop wasting people's time. Either add the guides or stop people from writing guides if you're not going to add them.

 

This was at first an understandable problem because we only had one person updating the site, but now we have five (?) people with the ability to update the site this dearth of activity is not really acceptable if you want a good fansite. What's going on? Is there a problem with the site updating mechanics? If so then an announcement would be nice. But I don't think that's the issue, and even if it was I still would only be a little bit happier. Even before the recent lack of activity in site updating the site updating was not good. It would take weeks for new, ready material to be added if it was going to get added at all. Now it is worse as it looks like everyone updating the site has thrown in the towel and given up.

 

Given (before the updating stopped), some of the material was being updated pretty quickly while other materials were not. For some reason Taker's HTML5 images always got updated pretty quickly, even though cities and locations were given "low priority." On the other hand not a single EOC guide has been added. So it wasn't terrible across the board, but overall it was bad and now it is really bad. And I hate making comparisons to other Runescape sites, but the efficiency here is relatively terrible. New material on many other sites get added the day of or the day after (items get updated within hours). Of course these are usually much bigger than this one but there is nothing saying we have to be 1000 times worse.

 

Because I'm guessing none of you want to quit updating the site your probably preparing a post telling me that it is difficult to update the site and the workload is overwhelming. I know that, which is why I'm not saying you guys are lazy. But it is also difficult to write guides and if you aren't meeting people halfway with their commitment you need to stop having people make a commitment. If this current situation isn't going to work out and you still want to keep an active Runescape fansite allow me to make a suggestion: add more people with the ability to update the site. And make sure they are active in Runescape and will actively update the site. The problem with this is that you are probably going to have to give these powers to at least one regular forum member if you want this to work. This is a huge leap of faith I know but it has been done on plenty of other sites and I'm sure there is a regular forum member who isn't crazy and would like to help. For example if you asked me five years or so ago to help out I would have jumped at the opportunity even though the site was being efficiently updated at that time. (I am crazy though, so that was a bad example. But I think you catch my drift).

 

I have some more points I could make but the topic is already too long and discursive so I'll keep them in reserves. I'd like to see your opinions on this. And I realize this is poorly written and sounds mean at times but I believe somebody had to say this.

 

Edit: I'm not blaming anybody or ranting so don't feel the need to apologize for anything involving this. If you want to apologize for something else though go ahead (like that one time when I lost 2000+ posts. :madsing: Just kidding).

Edited by Sobend

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I completely understand your frustration believe me. I spent a crap load of time at the Lumbridge Battelefield gathering information about all the soldiers, items and random events, a lot more than I should have. All of this to complete the guide of the first World Event in time, and now it's saddening to see all the time I put into it went to waste. The event is over so a guide is pointless, it could have been useful if it had been added when I finished it, like 5 or 6 weeks before the end of the event.

So yeah believe me I know how you feel and I completely agree with everything you said.

I'm sorry I can't do much to help, I think it was during a time period I wasn't very active or during my summer vacation (can't remember) that Salmoneus and the staff made plans to give some mods and dms the ability to update the website, or it's possible I simply missed the thread. Anyway because of my absence (or distraction) I did not ask for a CMS account and as such I do not have editing powers.

I've already asked for a CMS account in a PM I sent Salmoneus (over a month ago) but he has been very busy lately and hasn't even read it yet. :/

It seems adding content to the website requires a lot of time too, time that most staff members lack unfortunately. I believe that's the reason no guides have been added lately, and not because the staff doesn't care or because they gave up.

Again I'm sorry I know you all worked hard and I really wish I could help, but there's not much I can do. But I promise I'll do what little I can to get your guides added asap.

Edited by Micael Fatia

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Either we need to stop updating the site or we need a massive change in leadership.

 

Those are the two options.

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Either we need to stop updating the site or we need a massive change in leadership.

I wouldn't go that far. That almost sounds like you're trying to get Sal demoted. :o The only thing needed is more and/or the right people updating the site.

 

And the people who update the site don't need to be leaders. They just need to do some manual work.

Edited by Sobend

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Either we need to stop updating the site or we need a massive change in leadership.

I wouldn't go that far. That almost sounds like you're trying to get Sal demoted. :o The only thing needed is more and/or the right people updating the site.

 

And the people who update the site don't need to be leaders. They just need to do some manual work.

We need an active administrator(s) and to get rid of fiddlesticks hierarchies if we want to be successful.

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We need an active administrator(s) and to get rid of fiddlesticks hierarchies if we want to be successful.

^This. I never see Admins on anymore, just Moderators. IMO, remove the DM hierarchy, and keep it to Forum Moderators and Admins. To the DMs that are content drivers, put them to a Site Update Team and the DMs that have certain moderation powers, give them a moderator rank. To certain moderators, up them to Admin if they are willing to help improve the site.

 

 

Or something to that degree. I believe the Hierarchy of the member status needs an overhaul.

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I'll most certainly respond to the guide stuff later but regarding the hierarchy - and note that I'd be fine if the DMs were gone - but I'm not sure what getting rid of the DM group would do beyond making the staff list smaller. To me, a site update team sounds suspiciously like a renamed DM group that's also supposed to help update the site...

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i dont see many mods on either

 

i mean theres yuan who is here but he would be more suited to like a bdsm forum or something

Edited by Bill is LONELY in his tree

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To me, a site update team sounds suspiciously like a renamed DM group that's also supposed to help update the site...

And isn't that a good thing? At least it'll give the DM group an use. Because right now we're little more than an user group with a cool looking pip and a couple moderator powers that rarely get used due to the lack of forum activity.

Edited by Micael Fatia

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To me, a site update team sounds suspiciously like a renamed DM group that's also supposed to help update the site...

And isn't that a good thing? At least it'll give the DM group an use. Because right now we're little more than an user group with a cool looking pip and a couple moderator powers that rarely get used due to the lack of forum activity.

As I see it, all that would do is rename it. DMs have the power to update things, they mostly just don't use them.

 

i dont see many mods on either

 

i mean theres yuan who is here but he would be more suited to like a bdsm forum or something

lilshu is on daily afaik as well.

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To me, a site update team sounds suspiciously like a renamed DM group that's also supposed to help update the site...

And isn't that a good thing? At least it'll give the DM group an use. Because right now we're little more than an user group with a cool looking pip and a couple moderator powers that rarely get used due to the lack of forum activity.

As I see it, all that would do is rename it. DMs have the power to update things, they mostly just don't use them.

Them demote them and find people who actually want to help. Because I see no point in having a bunch of inactive people in a special member group for no reason.

I can't speak for all the DMs obviously but I can honestly live without having a blue pip, if I were to get demoted right now it would not affect my forum activity at all and I would continue hosting events and moderating the clan chat.

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To me, a site update team sounds suspiciously like a renamed DM group that's also supposed to help update the site...

And isn't that a good thing? At least it'll give the DM group an use. Because right now we're little more than an user group with a cool looking pip and a couple moderator powers that rarely get used due to the lack of forum activity.

As I see it, all that would do is rename it. DMs have the power to update things, they mostly just don't use them.

Them demote them and find people who actually want to help. Because I see no point in having a bunch of inactive people in a special member group for no reason.

I can't speak for all the DMs obviously but I can honestly live without having a blue pip, if I were to get demoted right now it would not affect my forum activity at all and I would continue hosting events and moderating the clan chat.

Oh sure, like I said getting demoted wouldn't affect my activity.

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Sal's is in competition with big fan-sites, it's not run efficiently and Runescape is decreasing in popularity.

 

The hierarchy probably isn't running all that great, but the hierarchy really is just a sub-issue. If you want it fixed, you need more people running the show, a bigger content team that is constantly on that task, probably slightly less moderation of the forums, more active administration.

 

The site needs a refresh, it needs easily manageable content. It's contending with wiki sites and other websites that have a lot more information.

 

It's a lot of talk. Not a lot of action. We need to get something done.

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I don't think that the lack of content issue is really a notable issue. Sure there are some missing things such as a guide for that new quest that came out. But people would be more inclined to write guides if they knew the guides were going to get added. Right now there is absolutely no reason to write a guide for anything. Basically you spend time writing a guide only to have it sit there for internet eternity and let it rot away. I don't blame people for not writing guides. Sure, a content team would be nice but the real issue here is not the content itself.

 

I reject the idea that just because we are small means we can't be a fansite. It is clear from drives that people are willing to submit a lot of information. Also, there are plenty of ways you could at least match up with a big fansite. I understand that its going to be difficult to beat RS wiki with its thousands of pages but many of those are useless to the average player, such as the History of the area south of Ardougne.

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If you want it fixed, you need more people running the show, a bigger content team that is constantly on that task, probably slightly less moderation of the forums, more active administration.

Basically this yeah.

 

Perhaps the DM group doesn't have to be removed, but we should create a separate group whose purpose would be adding content to the website. We don't need 'distinguished' only members in this group, just being trustworthy, dedicated and active should be enough. There a few people I think could be trusted and would be willing to help.

 

I don't quite like the wiki idea, a troll or two with too much free time could cause lots of trouble. Even if we get a couple more people to actively moderate the wiki in a community as small as ours it's pretty much guaranteed there will be times there won't be anyone online to fix the guides ruined by trolls.

Edited by Micael Fatia

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I reject the idea that just because we are small means we can't be a fansite. It is clear from drives that people are willing to submit a lot of information. Also, there are plenty of ways you could at least match up with a big fansite. I understand that its going to be difficult to beat RS wiki with its thousands of pages but many of those are useless to the average player, such as the History of the area south of Ardougne.

I'm not entirely convinced that we have a large enough userbase to be able to handle even the most major content. In addition, most of the content on the site needs serious overhaul. At 15 minutes to update pictures and a few hours to update guides, we're talking about a very large time and dedication needed. The information submitted during the guide drives pale in comparison to what actually needs to be done. (Like thousands of item database entries need to be revamped for EoC.) I really do think we're in a hole that a handful of people aren't going to be able to pull us out of.

I agree the item database is a bit overwhelming but besides that I don't think too much needs to be updated. I mean boss strategies for tough quest bosses have either been changed or can easily be changed. The rest, like levels of monsters you need to beat in Witch's house, is not imperative to get updated. And I'm not counting HD instead of HTML5 pictures as outdated and I don't think anybody should, particularly because HTML5 isn't even out yet. The item db is doable if you get the ball rolling. I updated like 150 items in around a month's timespan after EOC (or something like that).

 

If the main obstacle is updating the site then all we need is a quicker way of updating information. There has got to be a faster way to update the site.

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Perhaps the DM group doesn't have to be removed, but we should create a separate group whose purpose would be adding content to the website. We don't need 'distinguished' only members in this group, just being trustworthy, dedicated and active should be enough. There a few people I think could be trusted and would be willing to help.

Why does there need to be a group for this?

When I said group I wasn't referring to a new forum group with pips and everything, but to a group of people with powers to add content to the website. They can continue being 'normal' members, I don't think anybody would care.

Edited by lilshu

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Note that I don't play RS anymore, and so this is all an outsiders opinion -

 

Do you need the main website anymore? Couldn't Sals simply become a forum only? If there are already good resources and no big gap in the market, won't Sals always be behind the larger sites (RSwiki comes to mind) on content - if so, then why not simply state that RSwiki will be the alternative to Sals website, and either leave the website as it is or take it down? From what I hear the forum is the main part that's active, apart from a slow-to-be-updated site that no one really uses that much anymore.

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The whole argument of "One fansite to rule them all" is getting annoying. To be honest I used both RS wiki and Sals quests guides over the summer and I did not notice too much of a difference between the two. It's tough to say that RS wiki is superior in every way to Sals. Besides, RS Wiki has been around for 7 or 8 years and during that stretch Sals has also thrived. Not everyone has been going to RS wiki for help and I don't see why the future should be different.

 

The idea that we can't present guides in a better fashion than any other site not only lacks ambition but is not very creative. Saying "RS Wiki is too good" is an absolutely horrible reason to give up on the site. I can see other reasons but not this particular one.

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The whole argument of "One fansite to rule them all" is getting annoying. To be honest I used both RS wiki and Sals quests guides over the summer and I did not notice too much of a difference between the two. It's tough to say that RS wiki is superior in every way to Sals. Besides, RS Wiki has been around for 7 or 8 years and during that stretch Sals has also thrived. Not everyone has been going to RS wiki for help and I don't see why the future should be different.

 

The idea that we can't present guides in a better fashion than any other site not only lacks ambition but is not very creative. Saying "RS Wiki is too good" is an absolutely horrible reason to give up on the site. I can see other reasons but not this particular one.

It's not a good reason to give up, but it's a good reason to think hard about how we're going about business. (which is what we're doing here, so yay)

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To me, a site update team sounds suspiciously like a renamed DM group that's also supposed to help update the site...

And isn't that a good thing? At least it'll give the DM group an use. Because right now we're little more than an user group with a cool looking pip and a couple moderator powers that rarely get used due to the lack of forum activity.

As I see it, all that would do is rename it. DMs have the power to update things, they mostly just don't use them.

 

i dont see many mods on either

 

i mean theres yuan who is here but he would be more suited to like a bdsm forum or something

lilshu is on daily afaik as well.

yeah but everyone knows that i meant apart from him

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I don't think anyone is saying give up because others are better, not really. I think this place just needs the activity and definitely could do with some sort of direction. If something was created that this site had but no other site did, we'd be rolling in the users. Providing a unique experience is key. It's also why it's so beneficial to keep in contact with Jagex. Exclusive content found here is more valuable than guides in a lot of ways. If the website has stuff that others do not, then people are keen to see what we have, because it's unseen!

 

The reason places like the wiki thrive is because a person can enter in the search bar anything remotely related and it's shown to them easily in the same fashion as a wikipedia article. That's all well and good and props to them for being able to do it, but if we aren't moving on to that sort of style of content, I'd say that content has to be more interesting, it's got to have personality. Others have said the guide quality and such aren't terribly different, so we need an edge.

 

Can users be granted the chance to enter guides through the website. Can we offer up a simple way for people to look at a guide and make changes, that staff can overview. It's all well and good content being produced through the forums but not every single person on the website is looking at the forums. People on the website stay on the website. The benefit of making the user experience better for everyone involved is that more people will submit content, the more content you have the more hits you get. The more hits you've received the better the website and more likely it is that places like the forums will thrive again.

 

We need to be ahead of the game and not a website that is working off of previous fame back when this place was active. What was it that brought everyone here? They had the chances to go to the other websites but they stuck it out here. Even before this was a big website, what did it have to offer everyone? It could just be a chance that it got as good as it did. But more often that not, there is a definite reason behind success. But my point with this is, we're already lagging behind. This website doesn't know what it is, or what it wants to be. It needs a finite plan of action.

 

So my questions/theories:

Is the website utilising the best CMS (content management system) for the job? Can it handle people submitting content? Would something like Wordpress or something like that be a better platform to host content.

 

What can we put on the website that is going to make us the place to be at. I don't know, I don't play. Is it a more interactive map experience, is it questing on a mobile phone, more interactivity with Runescape. Playthroughs, media content?!

 

Does this place ever advertise, we've got a good chance of pulling members in with advertising for runescape?

 

Are we at a stage where we can get a content team together whose job it is to oversee content, upload it and make changes? Something that is going to need a lot of time and dedication. People getting together and actually getting it all sorted. Pushing people to get the unfinished stuff done. If there are npcs and things that have been missed out on and that, they need to get on it.

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yeah but everyone knows that i meant apart from him

You break my heart. I thought we had something special. :(

 

--------------

 

I notice a lot of members here asking the same questions we asked ourselves some months back when we started the Alan Parsons Project subforum to overhaul the forum. That said, I would like to ask people here though to see if you think differently than what we did:

 

What do you think is the best way to attract more people to the forum?

 

 

 

 

The key to get everything going is activity. The Content Drive was a way to start the activity, but it all drowned for a few very simple reasons which partly could have been avoided. Now, the groundwork there can be mended and brought up to speed again, but instead of doing that, I would like people to just say what they think is the best way to attract people. Maybe you can come up with something different than we did, which can be easier to put in motion. Our idea was updating content + rapidly adding new content to the site after a quest release + ingame presence through Clan Events and Clan promotions. We had a few other ideas, but I will not mention those, just to see what you guys and gals think. :o

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Does this place ever advertise, we've got a good chance of pulling members in with advertising for runescape?

This is actually a very good question. I think we used to have a recruitment thread in the oficial RuneScape forums, I wonder what happened to it...

I can't remember who was in charge. I think we had a few members who used to bump it more or less regularly but it's been a long while since I last heard anything about it. A good recuitment thread could could be a good way to get us a few new members, I think it may be worth a shot.

Edited by Micael Fatia

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