New Forums-- thoughts?

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New Forums-- thoughts?

Postby Juliet » Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:16 pm

Hello beautiful people. I spent a little time finding the section I thought this thread best fit, and I hope I'm in the right spot. Anywho-- I realize the days of multiple lively doll forums are over. I'm super happy Glam is still a lively place! But I'm wondering what you all think of new forums...

My RL sister and I have played with the idea of starting a dolling/digital art forum for some time, and our focus would be firstly on getting events and contests going. I'm not sure if it's a good idea anymore. So my first questions is: 1) Is it worth it? Would anyone really join in and not just lurk? I don't think it would necessarily ever compete with something like Glam but another place to go for some other types of contests might be fun, too.

Secondly, let's say it is worth it. 2) What makes a forum/community worth it for you? What features would you want?

Thanks y'all :mrgreen:
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Re: New Forums-- thoughts?

Postby Shixam » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:11 pm

For me, what makes a forum worth it is if it's active enough. If there's no activity, than it's not worth sticking around, really. And I personally think each forum has a better chance of gaining that activity when it's got something unique to offer. Like Glam is kinda of the traditional doll forum, and Catwalk has another spin on it where it's based around starting your own fashion line. If every forum only offered the exact same thing, same topics/sections and events, as everywhere else, then it's all going to get stale eventually. So I would definitely find something to make your forum stand out that no other forum could offer.

I've actually also been playing with the idea of creating a forum too :D So it's good to here I'm not the only one. It'd be great to get back to the days where there was more than just one or two. I'm thinking mine will be amusement park themed, and have been considering adding in some more social network-ish features after a previous topic here on Glam gave me the idea. I actually might start posting around for staff soon. I just need talk to someone really quick to talk about it some more, and then I think I'll post the topic. Might even be tonight, if it's quick enough.

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Re: New Forums-- thoughts?

Postby Lazzi » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:21 pm

You know, I've been thinking a lot about forums and forum activity, and I keep coming back to the chicken & egg scenario: does forum activity generate active members or do active members generate forum activity? Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of super active dollers out there at the moment, so you may have a tough row to hoe. However, a breath of fresh air may well work. I think getting a good-sized, enthusiastic membership right off the bat is probably the key. That's how Glam got its start . . . there were forums that were failing/closing (CC, EE and others I can't remember), then Glam started up, and everyone flocked here (the fact that a lot of well-known & well-loved dollers joined certainly helped).

I think like most risks, it's worth taking . . . but do be prepared to work hard to get people back in the hang of dolling & using dolling forums on a regular basis again.

And that's my two cents! :mrgreen:
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Re: New Forums-- thoughts?

Postby Juliet » Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:03 pm

Shixam wrote:... when it's got something unique to offer. Like Glam is kinda of the traditional doll forum, and Catwalk has another spin on it where it's based around starting your own fashion line. ...
I've actually also been playing with the idea of creating a forum too :D


Thanks so much for the ideas! I agree. Even back in the day, each forum had a "quirk" now that I'm remembering. I have some ideas, but certainly if you have any send them my way!!

Also-- AWESOME! I'd definitely be first in line to sign up. Forums are so fun. And now I'm on summer vacay-- I can actually be active consistently :mrgreen:

And thanks, Lazzi!! I agree-- it's a risk that will involve some work upfront that may or may not show results. But it's probably a risk worth taking! I'll be talking to my sister more to see when we can get rolling on this project <3
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Re: New Forums-- thoughts?

Postby Dragyn » Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:31 pm

I think back in the day, we had a huuuuuge community. And the themes worked because they made each forum different. But I worry that a bunch of forums will cause either a. a decrease in activity across the board (like when an independent candidate accidentally takes votes from a main party) or b. people will get annoyed with seeing the same stuff everywhere. Just a little while ago when we had Dollstalgia and GLAM and Catwalk and I think Limelight still, people got annoyed that some people kept posting the same things to each forum and it was like OKAY WE GET IT SHUT UP. In the old days, I think you posted your fantasy dolls on EE and your darker dolls on CC and your more generic dolls on Fairytopia because that was the environments and the crowds. I think new forums get a burst of high interest and then it fades out.

I won't lie. GLAM is a lot more work than people think it is. And I'm sure Artzy and Zappy can attest that the Catwalk is too. Back when I came back as in Admin in September, GLAM felt like it was close to flatlining. My whole thing with the Fall Spectacular was literally to get people into dolling again. I threw as many different types of events that I could at them so there was something that grabbed /everyone's/ attention. As far the Chicken & the Egg thing, I think you need activity or the people don't matter so much, you know? Every time we host an event or a pageant opens or some recluse doller that's been gone for years reappears, viola, people!

Take Catwalk for example. When it opened, it was like YAY! I LOVED THIS BACK IN THE DAY! And then everyone realized, well fuck this is a lot of work. (Damn if I'm not still trying to finish my first freaking line ;-;) But their one event, Carnival, got me so excited I finished my damn models finally and my book up so I could in fact, enter their contest. I'm still, slowly, chugging along on my line, but now I'm stoked for their new event. It's kitschy and I love it. That forum is strongly fashion based and their events are fashion based and it makes it unique and fun. I could never put a contest like their current one on GLAM and have it make sense. But Catwalk holding a Base Race would be equally silly. (Mostly cause, fuck their main concept is like marathon dolling anyway ;-; Time. I really wish I had more time. I love the idea of it so. <3)

So, yeah. I think the key thing to forums are events. And when events are interactive, not just like, Hey, make something Hollywood themed! People get more invested. We had the mascot contest for Gina (and got Samson, too) and I think Pixel Princess once did the same type of thing. The make-a-base event from the Fall Events transitioned into our current Base Race.

I think at this point, to successfully run a forum, you need something that makes you stand out. You mentioned digital art I think, not just dolling, and that could help you reach a broader audience. Digital painters, pixel artists, vector-ists?, typographers. There's a world of different ones. But if you go for a more dolling/Pyro-Parker style dolling digital art (they're dolls are tiny paintings half the time damnit) then you need a solid theme that stands out.

Glam is actually pretty generic. It's "Hollywood" themed, but Em is classic and can range from a Pin-up to a Rockabilly to a Glamour Girl. She's got just enough vagueness that it works. But forums that are too specific in their themes tend to go... sideways, I guess. Corrupted Carousel (tbh I don't remember why they closed... twice I think) was an amazing idea and so beautifully done, but it was took dark for the majority. Sunblight was a zombie themed forum that was short-lived. Candyland was super kid friendly (ran by a 16 year old whose mother and younger sister also dolled...) but never had a huge amount of people. There were so many awesome forums and I just can't think of them all.

Essentially, you need something that will be help you come up with fun events and random things (like the defunct Hotel Glam) and we had our Doll Ems for a long time (been meaning to get those running again). But you don't want to alienate anyone either. Events are really the life blood of forums. Even if you have twenty people posting dolls on the regular, if they're not "great dollers", to be perfectly honest, it's not going to draw a lot of attention. Things need to be constantly drawing people back.

We had a huge resurgence with the Fall Spectacular. And MDF filled Glam with lots of returning dollers and their WIPs. And Base Race has so many more people dolling than I ever expected. The key is to try and make it special and try to mix it up.

I'm more of a behind the scenes type of person, so I lurk on forums mostly, but I would love to see some events that I couldn't necessarily do here (like the Catwalk ones <3). If you ever want to bounce ideas or get some feedback, you can always PM me. I think a new forum could be good if done right and ran correctly by the right people. ^_^ I'm sure Artzy would be willing to give you some advice, too ;D *volunteers people*
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Re: New Forums-- thoughts?

Postby Juliet » Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:18 pm

Wow, thanks for your awesome response! I absolutely believe how much work it is to run and maintain a forum. Coming up with ideas, moderating... everything, jesus. I would definitely not be able to do much on my own, which is another reason why I'm really not sure about it. I'd need my sister's sincere effort and help, and others' help too.

And I like that you brought up Hotel Glam because it's something I was thinking about. While Hotel Glam is by all purposes currently "defunct" I think that as an event when it was happening was hugely successful and A LOT of damn fun :D So I agree a forum needs some solid, interactive, fun events. Even if they don't last forever. Definitely still worthwhile and still bring in activity from members.

Thanks :D I will be PMing you... <3
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Re: New Forums-- thoughts?

Postby mokia » Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:05 pm

Eeeeeeeveeeeeents. That was my favorite part of being admin.
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Re: New Forums-- thoughts?

Postby Artzygrrl » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:57 pm

Yeah, I can't really add much to what other people are saying, except, you kind of have to "stick it out." A forum that comes around for a year & doesn't get the "results/membership" it wants is not making the right approach. You have to be willing to stay around & keep offering things to people in the hopes that at some point, their free time will align with your inspiring ideas, et voila -> people hang around :)

Since I remembered the Catwalk being kind of sleepy back in the day (lots of events...meh participation), I was surprised that so many people remembered it from then & wanted it to start up again. I feel like we did pretty well getting people back to it, but now there's the "hump" of getting some material, and not everybody is into dolling multiple dolls like I am :3 ANYWAY....all that to say, any of us who have a forum or have had one will gladly give you any advice. The other thought you might consider is that Shix is starting a forum & looking for people, and there might be some other positions open at existing forums you could fill to help motivate people into dolling more :)
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Re: New Forums-- thoughts?

Postby aerieyena » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:49 pm

I don't have a lot to add that hasn't already been said.

I really don't see the demand for another dolling forum. Our community has gotten a lot smaller and what's left of us are strewn out across different forums; Glam, Pixel Princess, the Catwalk... I'm not sure there are still any other active ones.
While it's nice to have options, it spreads our small community thin since people tend to favor one forum over another. That leaves us with different small groups that don't really interact with each other except for over DA.

Personally, I wouldn't join a new forum. I might set up an account just to gain access to exclusive bases, but I wouldn't be an active member. I don't have the time or energy to devote to memberships on multiple forums.
The only thing that might possibly get me interested in joining would be an active RP community (which we tried to do on Sunblight and it didn't help much with membership).

I think the best thing you could do if you want a forum with a large, active membership is to open it up to the anime tracing community. It's large, it's active, and they call it dolling. But that's controversial... if you can really call it that, since our communities are so far apart.
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Re: New Forums-- thoughts?

Postby Gwen » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:40 am

Totally agree with Aerie. I'm digging the new RP idea cause all the ones I knew and loved are long gone. And I'm having some serious nostalgia for it. And some of my dearest closest friends I gained through that. Or maybe I just miss that specifically. Who knows. But Glam's my site. While I occasionally pop in on the Catwalk, I have zero interest in other pixel forums. I was constantly inactive on PIxel Princess, and the previous forums I was on closed. That's my personal feeling though. ;) I don't have anything more to add than has already been said too
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Re: New Forums-- thoughts?

Postby Pinstripe » Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:07 am

I also agree with what Aerie said about there not being enough market for another doll forum right now. If events and contests are what you're really interested in, maybe there would be a way to host those outside of a forum, such as a DA group? That way you wouldn't have to worry about activity being thin on the social and art posting sections of the site. I'm kind of thinking of Secret Panda. They're just an exchange, but they seem to have been pretty successful. And I do think there is some market for events (maybe not at this moment, since we've got the base race here and pageants going on, but nevertheless). I know I'm old school, but I always love base-of-the-month and palette challenges, and these aren't things that glam offers regularly.

I think if you're going to hold contests or challenges, though, being dependable is really important. I've entered a lot of contests over the years that have fizzled due to lack of interest. It's not that I enter contests just for awards, but at least there's some closure when a contest ends. I think if it's more of a participation challenge like the actor's challenges here, that's totally fine but the format should be stated upfront.

(Also count me down as also interested in RP, although I've never RP'd forum-style before. >>)
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Re: New Forums-- thoughts?

Postby Shixam » Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:59 am

I still think that creating some new forums couldn't hurt. I really don't think Glam in general is good measure of the dolling community as a whole, especially since there were quite a few dollars in the past who left because of issues they had specifically with the forum. So the population of Glam isn't necessarily the population of the overall community.

I also think opening up the forums to the traced fillers a good idea. I think if we interact with them more in a relaxed and social way outside of dA then we'll probably find that we actually can get along, and maybe open each other up to the other side of dolling. I'm actually planning to include them all the forum I hope to open eventually, with separate areas for dolls on traced and original based, and better moderated than dA is.

We can't really say right now what will happen with any new forums that open up, though. Juliet and I could open our forums and they'll either be successes or failures. But we won't really know what the results will be until we try. And I think more forums will help dolling grow if we stick with them long enough. It will give us an outlet other than Glam that could possibly attract new dollers. There's more chance someone coming across three forums than there is of someone coming across, you know?

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Re: New Forums-- thoughts?

Postby Pinstripe » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:26 pm

Shixam wrote:We can't really say right now what will happen with any new forums that open up, though. Juliet and I could open our forums and they'll either be successes or failures. But we won't really know what the results will be until we try.

While I think this is true in theory, my opinion comes mainly from the fact that both Pixel Princess and Dollstalgia closed down due to lack of activity. I don't know how viable a new forum would be unless it's radically different from Glam. Welcoming traced anime base users definitely would be a radical change. It would be a logical step, but I don't know how much the two groups would interact with each other. On DA, we tend to avoid each other, and I don't know that a forum in and of itself would bridge the gap.

I'm not trying to be overly negative, but that's my opinion. I would definitely join both of your forums and give them a try.
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Re: New Forums-- thoughts?

Postby Shixam » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:40 pm

Dollstalgia actually did pretty good, though, until they created the "no CC" rule. Up until that point it actually seemed to have a chance, but too many people just disagreed with that move and jumped ship afterwards. I really think they shot themselves in the foot on that one, and that they could have stuck around for quite a while and become a great forum if they hadn't done that.

I think the only reason traced and original dollers don't interact much on dA is partly because it's such a huge site, and partly because there's already a status quo there. It's known, probably by both sides, that there's been drama between traced and original dollers before, and the traced dollers probably know they aren't approved of by many original dollers (and dA members in general), so I wouldn't be surprised if they choose to keep to themselves because of that. My hope is that a fresh start on a smaller site that's based purely around a shared interest will have a different effect.

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Re: New Forums-- thoughts?

Postby Phoenigette » Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:05 pm

Pinstripe wrote:I know I'm old school, but I always love base-of-the-month and palette challenges, and these aren't things that glam offers regularly.


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Re: New Forums-- thoughts?

Postby Pinstripe » Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:13 pm

Phoenigette wrote:Orly pinstripe? That's the way to your heart? That may be possible

Ooh, yes! That would definitely get me to come out of my burrow once in a while. :B
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Re: New Forums-- thoughts?

Postby Consonanta » Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:20 pm

I second the idea of holding such monthly challenges, since they tethered me to Pixel Princess until its closure. :C

I myself would likely join a new forum if one were to open, but consistent levels of activity are difficult to sustain. I found myself at the Catwalk when it reopened, and it had been gloriously active for a time, but activity seemed to diminish quickly.

Essentially, I would be glad to join a forum that held regular events.
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Re: New Forums-- thoughts?

Postby Gwen » Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:35 am

Pinstripe wrote:I know I'm old school, but I always love base-of-the-month and palette challenges, and these aren't things that glam offers regularly.


I really like that idea too actually. I liked the base-of-the-month and palette challenges, and in theory they're not that hard to maintain either. You've given us a good idea ;)
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