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Fatalysm

Fansite Questions

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In your opinion, what could a fansite do to take you away from a wiki?

Which fansites/wiki's/reddit/socials are you currently using or used to use in regards to RuneScape?

If you could go to your perfect Runescape site, what would it have on there, how would you use it?

Is there anything you don't get from the RS wiki, anything you wish that they had?

Are you more likely to use discord over a forum, do you currently use Discord?

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Genuinely, there is precious little a fansite could do.

I want to discuss topics and have input? Well, I find Reddit to be superior, because it removes the blight of egocentrism, as everyone is anonymous and unrecognisable. If I want to see a guide on how to do things, I would much rather watch something through Youtube or a VOD so I can actually see how to execute game mechanics, timing, layout and such. If I want facts, numbers and information, well that is what a wiki is for. If I want a community to chat with, I would much rather have a discord server or something similar.
 

A fansite combines most of these into one, but there are a few major detriments to it:

 

  1. It is extremely high maintenance to stay competitive.
  2. It is an old and outdated form of information transfer. People do not take the time to read written guides anymore.
  3. It is slower than using discord/reddit, and often less informative than both, plus the wiki.
  4. Running a fansite for an immature population is a major pain at multiple levels.
  5. Fansites are usually an extremely poor source of information at higher levels of gameplay. For every skilled player, there's a "Hurr durr, dis mah advuce, I r 1337" wannabe, dilluting the discussion.

 

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It's a great question. I see where it's leading, but I agree with Yuan, I think the era of forums has long since passed and there is no going back. That might sound defeatist until we look at why forums were replaced in the first place. 

One of the big reasons reddit is so popular is because it entirely changes how to carry a conversation with other members. You don't have to sift through heaps of comments to follow a thread. In a forum, if someone brings up an interesting point, others will quote that comment and continue the conversation down the thread chain. In a smaller community this isn't an issue, but if you're starting a side conversation in a main topic you're going to have other people commenting as well which is going to break up established quote chains. It gets hard to follow. 

On reddit, you don't have any issue with this. Spam/low quality/off topic posts simply don't gain visibility. If someone is trolling your conversation thread it just gets hidden a couple minutes later by a slew of downvotes. This way, you can carry on a conversation with multiple people in a singular thread and not have to search 5-6 pages to see everyone's responses. 

Forums are also not optimized for speed. If you wanted to browse other players' achievements in the olden days you'd go to Forums>The Screenshot Place>Achievements and only then would you be able to browse posts on this topic (which adds additional clicks to open the post and open the images if they're not embedded). It's nice and organized, but it's not quick. And you can argue it's too specialized. People like variety, so if they get tired of seeing posts about hitting 99s and want to hear about the latest RS update, now they have to start again at the main forum menu and find where that post might be hidden. Reddit fixes all of that, and the posts you see are arguably more interesting to you, because they've been upvoted by others who vetted them and found them interesting first. When clicking a topic in a forum you don't know what you're going to get, so sometimes you sift through dozens of low-effort posts before you find a topic you'd like to participate in. 

So, for content, reddit is vastly superior to any community forum. 

And for discussion, I agree with Yuan above. Discord is just quicker. People like things quick. Instant messaging on Discord will always beat slow posts on a forum. There's a reason people prefer messenger, WhatsApp, etc over standard SMS texts. Texts are no longer as quick as the other options, so they're becoming obsolete in today's youth. (Which sounds ridiculous to say, since I always thought texts were incredibly fast, but that's the way of the world). 

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Like Chaoss and Yuan said, the era of forums is over. They don't mesh with modern forms of communication. They're much slower, more deliberate communities, but more importantly, they're closed systems. It makes it much more difficult to connect with people since you have to make a conscious choice to go to a specific forum to talk to users of that specific forum. 

That being said. 

A forum's unique sense of community is what separates it. So honestly in an ideal state something like Discord and a forum could go hand in hand. They're just different. 

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It does suck, though, because as much as the reddit scheme sorts out interesting content from even massive amounts of posts, it also really destroys/prevents any sense of community. Sustained interactions are discouraged by the minimalist presentation of posts, which anonymizes them, and even more so by the way reddit severely penalizes old content by sweeping it off the front page.

As much bickering as there is on forums, I think places like Sal's at least fostered some amount of community much better than subreddits do these days, even considering subreddits niche enough that you can actually start to recognize each other. The impersonality of it all and the upvote/downvote system that is basically the norm these days on social media creates this dichotomy of interactions which are either total circlejerks or hairtrigger arguments, and voting worsens that by encouraging people to pick a side. Even if Sal's had some pretty impressive drama, there at least was opportunity for reconciliation or just cooling off, whereas most social media these days is reduced to brief micro-interactions and then never seeing the other person again.

I agree, though, that fansites just can't compete and trying to revive them as a popular option is a lost cause. Just lamenting.

Edited by heb0

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15 minutes ago, heb0 said:

It does suck, though, because as much as the reddit scheme sorts out interesting content from even massive amounts of posts, it also really destroys/prevents any sense of community. Sustained interactions are discouraged by the minimalist presentation of posts, which anonymizes them, and even more so by the way reddit severely penalizes old content by sweeping it off the front page.

As much bickering as there is on forums, I think places like Sal's at least fostered some amount of community much better than subreddits do these days, even considering subreddits niche enough that you can actually start to recognize each other. The impersonality of it all and the upvote/downvote system that is basically the norm these days on social media creates this dichotomy of interactions which are either total circlejerks or hairtrigger arguments, and voting worsens that by encouraging people to pick a side. Even if Sal's had some pretty impressive drama, there at least was opportunity for reconciliation or just cooling off, whereas most social media these days is reduced to brief micro-interactions and then never seeing the other person again.

I agree, though, that fansites just can't compete and trying to revive them as a popular option is a lost cause. Just lamenting.

You really covered Reddit's main issues. Too impersonal to form a community, and the voting system encourages polarizing opinions. Instead of having an exchange of ideas, Some Faceless Redditor becomes the ephemeral representation of the "consensus" opinion for the topic.

Sal's drama was a necessary byproduct of having a dynamic community. You get both sides of the bell curve. I'll take drama over the radicalizing emotionless blob of Reddit any day. 

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8 hours ago, Adam? said:

You really covered Reddit's main issues. Too impersonal to form a community, and the voting system encourages polarizing opinions. Instead of having an exchange of ideas, Some Faceless Redditor becomes the ephemeral representation of the "consensus" opinion for the topic.

Sal's drama was a necessary byproduct of having a dynamic community. You get both sides of the bell curve. I'll take drama over the radicalizing emotionless blob of Reddit any day. 

I think the lack of drama is what sells Reddit to me, simply because the drama was the worst part about this community. I could not tell you the name of a single reddit user, but at least I get my fill of opinions, news and knowledge. Better yet, I do not have to go feeling mentally drained just by visiting reddit, and relaxing.

 

I am sure forum drama might not sound as bad, but I would say that you did not have to be on the civil side of that drama. I can assure you, when you get frequent-enough death threats, you get stalked, and people you socialise with end up getting hate messages because of who you are, it crosses a line. Forums spawn emotions, but not all emotions are good emotions. I should know, this place partially made me ruthless, and to this day, I hate that.

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11 hours ago, Adam? said:

You really covered Reddit's main issues. Too impersonal to form a community, and the voting system encourages polarizing opinions. Instead of having an exchange of ideas, Some Faceless Redditor becomes the ephemeral representation of the "consensus" opinion for the topic.

Sal's drama was a necessary byproduct of having a dynamic community. You get both sides of the bell curve. I'll take drama over the radicalizing emotionless blob of Reddit any day. 

Yep, it's kinda crazy how on reddit everyone starts to sound the same. Not necessarily talking about opinions, but tone. Maybe giving them avatars and pixel art signatures could mask that a little, I dunno.

I guess there are some well-known people on reddit or certain subreddits, but unfortunately they're almost never people you'd care to know.

2 hours ago, Yuanrang said:

I think the lack of drama is what sells Reddit to me, simply because the drama was the worst part about this community. I could not tell you the name of a single reddit user, but at least I get my fill of opinions, news and knowledge. Better yet, I do not have to go feeling mentally drained just by visiting reddit, and relaxing.

 

I am sure forum drama might not sound as bad, but I would say that you did not have to be on the civil side of that drama. I can assure you, when you get frequent-enough death threats, you get stalked, and people you socialise with end up getting hate messages because of who you are, it crosses a line. Forums spawn emotions, but not all emotions are good emotions. I should know, this place partially made me ruthless, and to this day, I hate that.

I agree that the reddit scheme is far superior when it comes to rapidly getting information that is, usually, pretty useful and accurate (although if you've ever come across a reddit post on something that you have expertise on, it can be horrifying seeing how bad information can filter to the top). And IMO that's why Sal's stopped growing and eventually declined. If you wanted static, vetted information the Wiki was far superior to a fansite which curates information way more sluggishly. If you wanted dynamic, current or far more specialized information you could post on the RS subreddits and come back in a few hours with the answer you want already pre-filtered right up to the top of the stack.

I was never important enough to get death threats, and I usually only found out about the drama after the fact, so I may not be appreciating the darker side of things. I imaging moderating a decent sized subreddit might get you that too, if you have enough personal info floating around on your account. 

Edited by heb0

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2 hours ago, heb0 said:

I was never important enough to get death threats, and I usually only found out about the drama after the fact, so I may not be appreciating the darker side of things. I imaging moderating a decent sized subreddit might get you that too, if you have enough personal info floating around on your account. 

I think it is less about being important, and more commited to deal with the people traversing the Clan Section. Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy sums up that place rather well. :tongue:

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That would be it, then. :biggrin: I think I only ever visited the Clan section once or twice. 

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8 minutes ago, heb0 said:

That would be it, then. :biggrin: I think I only ever visited the Clan section once or twice. 

i went there for the white skillers opposition research

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