Jump to content

2021 Updates and Improvements


Hayley
 Share

Recommended Posts

15 hours ago, Raven said:

(what I am saying is we've all got preconceived ideas about how a forum should work that other potential new members probably won't have - unless they too are used to other forum boards).

 

I personally think the biggest hurdle to attracting and retaining new members isn't how the forum itself is structured, or how and where people make posts, it is how quickly we can make new members feel a part of the forum without them feeling like they are intruding into a clique.

 

I think that statement which I stuck in bold hits the nail on the head. When BCF closed for a while I went looking for another forum but none of them ever stuck with me because I was so used to the layout here. They weren't better or worse, just different and that was enough to put me off. The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that I don't post a huge amount. I've been a member for 11 years and my post count is only about 2500 which works out to be 230ish post a year. I think part of this is due to the thing which links us all, which is books.

 

Reading is a slow process and although we all love books, we read different things so it takes time for our opinions to form. I read pretty much every new post on here (with the exception of the games forum) and although I would like to reply more often to people's book posts I don't because I haven't read the book. This isn't something that we can 'fix' as such and apart from somehow attracting more members to keep the topics posted moving it will be hard to improve. It is a sad fact that internet forums just aren't as popular as they used to be.

 

With regards to the personal blogs vs individual topics debate I can see the benefits of both. Even though I have always just posted in my blog in the past I think I'll start posting individual topics for books that I think merit further discussion as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 59
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

On 05/05/2021 at 7:34 PM, lunababymoonchild said:

We welcome new comers and tell them to post on any thread that they feel like because it does re-start the conversation. That has happened and it's been great.

When they post their introduction?

 

On 06/05/2021 at 12:02 AM, Raven said:

 

I personally think the biggest hurdle to attracting and retaining new members isn't how the forum itself is structured, or how and where people make posts, it is how quickly we can make new members feel a part of the forum without them feeling like they are intruding into a clique. 

 

I'm not sure how we go about addressing that...

Yes, I think I agree with that. We do get a lot of traffic from guests who don't end up staying. 

 

On 06/05/2021 at 12:02 AM, Raven said:

Were it possible, I suspect the most valuable feedback we could get would be from people who have joined, posted a few times, but subsequently decided the forum isn't for them.

I also agree with this but people might get scared if I start chasing them when they leave :giggle2:.

 

On 06/05/2021 at 12:02 AM, Raven said:

 

As an aside - a suggestion for when the forum has moved to Invision - would be to e-mail all former forum members to tell them about the upgrade and to invite them back - not sure how easy that is or what the likely take up would be...

... I have a funny story for you at a future date. And that's all I'm saying about that for now :lol:

 

On 06/05/2021 at 3:30 PM, Brian. said:

Reading is a slow process and although we all love books, we read different things so it takes time for our opinions to form. I read pretty much every new post on here (with the exception of the games forum) and although I would like to reply more often to people's book posts I don't because I haven't read the book. This isn't something that we can 'fix' as such and apart from somehow attracting more members to keep the topics posted moving it will be hard to improve. It is a sad fact that internet forums just aren't as popular as they used to be.

This is a very good point. I don't really have anything to add, but it's always worth remembering that some things are just the nature of a book forum (and forums at this moment in time).

 

On 06/05/2021 at 3:30 PM, Brian. said:

With regards to the personal blogs vs individual topics debate I can see the benefits of both. Even though I have always just posted in my blog in the past I think I'll start posting individual topics for books that I think merit further discussion as well.

I think it is in exactly this way that the mix of ideas would work. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hayley, I think one thing that may have previously put some people off staying (and it's something you DON’T do), is coming down very hard on new members who have posted in the wrong thread or broken some minor rule. I've always found you very welcoming and kindly courteous and that goes a long way towards making people want to hang around :hug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, on BGO we welcome newcomers wherever their first post might be, but direct them to the 'introductions' thread, and suggest that they post a little about themselves there.

Or maybe i ought to say "used to", as it's nearly the end of the road

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, poppy said:

Hayley, I think one thing that may have previously put some people off staying (and it's something you DON’T do), is coming down very hard on new members who have posted in the wrong thread or broken some minor rule. I've always found you very welcoming and kindly courteous and that goes a long way towards making people want to hang around :hug:

I'm pleased to hear that is no longer happening. 

Moving misplaced posts for newbies, or the confused, was one of the 'housekeeping' jobs that i kept an eye on over on the 'other 'board ;). It's hardly an onerous task, and keeps the board tidy without upsetting anyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, poppy said:

Hayley, I think one thing that may have previously put some people off staying (and it's something you DON’T do), is coming down very hard on new members who have posted in the wrong thread or broken some minor rule. I've always found you very welcoming and kindly courteous and that goes a long way towards making people want to hang around :hug:

Aww, thank you :hug:

 

4 hours ago, megustaleer said:

Well, on BGO we welcome newcomers wherever their first post might be, but direct them to the 'introductions' thread, and suggest that they post a little about themselves there.

Ok, so then in that first introduction you just sort of tell them 'feel free to revive old threads'?

 

4 hours ago, megustaleer said:

Or maybe i ought to say "used to", as it's nearly the end of the road

:( I know your situation is much different than ours was but if you think there's any chance that a moderator might be able to take over BGO I'd be happy to talk about what we had to do for that here. You probably already thought of this but maybe you could get your current admin to send you copy of the files and databases, so if one of you was in a position to run the forum in the future you could just restore the site as it is now? That way BGO wouldn't really be gone, it would always be there if someone could put it back online. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Thank you, Hayley, for that offer.

A small spark of hope has been ignited today. One of the admins who had been hoping we could avoid closure, has now said he is prepared to take over and keep it going, at least for another year, if there is enough interest. The outgoing admin has offered her support with the technicalities, so that has lifted the spirits of us hangers-on :)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, megustaleer said:

 Thank you, Hayley, for that offer.

A small spark of hope has been ignited today. One of the admins who had been hoping we could avoid closure, has now said he is prepared to take over and keep it going, at least for another year, if there is enough interest. The outgoing admin has offered her support with the technicalities, so that has lifted the spirits of us hangers-on :)

 

Yay! That's excellent news! I hope you'll still pop in to see us though :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/8/2021 at 7:44 PM, megustaleer said:

 

 Thank you, Hayley, for that offer.

A small spark of hope has been ignited today. One of the admins who had been hoping we could avoid closure, has now said he is prepared to take over and keep it going, at least for another year, if there is enough interest. The outgoing admin has offered her support with the technicalities, so that has lifted the spirits of us hangers-on :)

 

 

I honestly hope it works out for you all - I know what it is like to lose a forum you have invested a lot of time in and I don't envy anyone going through the same process.

 

Set up a Patreon account and get willing members to contribute! (if finances are the concern!).

 

But...

 

Do stick around here as well, if you feel so inclined! 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Raven said:

 

I honestly hope it works out for you all - I know what it is like to lose a forum you have invested a lot of time in and I don't envy anyone going through the same process.

 

Set up a Patreon account and get willing members to contribute! (if finances are the concern!).

 

But...

 

Do stick around here as well, if you feel so inclined! 

 


Thank you for that and I will still be here, I won't forget the warm welcome and the fact that you took me in when I had nowhere else to go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Chrissy said:

 

...especially his but! * :yes:

 

 

Easy...

 

3 hours ago, Chrissy said:

 

*(one 't', Raven before you pass comment!) 

 

 

Still went there...

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...
On 5/4/2021 at 12:15 AM, Hux said:

 

Essentially, if someone writes a book blog and loves a book which I happen to hate, posting on their blog feels a bit like going to their house and throwing excrement at their windows. But if the review is in a public place, I'm simply criticising the book... not them (which is what it would feel like). Which, in turn, would encourage me to post more. 

 

 

:lol: I do so enjoy your posts Hux. For the record if anyone wants to discuss or disagree on my reading blog they are most welcome :) 

 

On 5/4/2021 at 11:25 PM, megustaleer said:

I can appreciate that.

If you will indulge me,  I'd like to give a potted history, as I see it, of how BGO has come to such a sad end.

 BGO has had a number of trials and tribulations, including misunderstandings between the founder and the original hosts.These resulted in unannounced closures, loss or destruction of data, including many  book reviews and other posts, and a year's worth of membership details.  That was resolved when the founder (who had long moved on to other things) passed ownership to the members, and 'David' became administrator.

  He steered us through the move to invision (not without problems from our old hosts, so I feel Hayley's current pain), and things were looking much brighter. Sadly, within 6months, disaster struck again as 'David' was taken seriously ill, and died.

 

This was a crushing blow to all those who had stuck with BGO though the difficult times, and although we tried to continue the recovery David had started  none of us had his knowledge, commitment and people skills.  Over the last seven years more and more members have drifted away, and the quantity and quality of actual book discussion has diminished.  A handful of loyal members remain, and post regularly, but the spark has gone, and I think the moderating team have been too long in acknowledging that. 

 

This is a really sad story :( 

On 5/8/2021 at 7:44 PM, megustaleer said:

 Thank you, Hayley, for that offer.

A small spark of hope has been ignited today. One of the admins who had been hoping we could avoid closure, has now said he is prepared to take over and keep it going, at least for another year, if there is enough interest. The outgoing admin has offered her support with the technicalities, so that has lifted the spirits of us hangers-on :)

 

This is great news (I'm sorry I'm so behind the curve by the way - I really must up my game visiting and posting here) however as others have said, I hope you will all still come to visit/join in here too!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 26/01/2022 at 8:24 PM, ~Andrea~ said:

This is great news (I'm sorry I'm so behind the curve by the way - I really must up my game visiting and posting here) however as others have said, I hope you will all still come to visit/join in here too!

BGO is still struggling on, but there are still only a few remaining members posting with any sort of regularity.  The admin who attempted a rescue is still minded to continue, but how the situation can be improved is beyond me. I expect I will be one of the few who remain until the end.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/26/2022 at 8:24 PM, ~Andrea~ said:

 

:lol: I do so enjoy your posts Hux. For the record if anyone wants to discuss or disagree on my reading blog they are most welcome :) 

 

I did briefly mention on the other forum that a 'like' button could be useful. It allows you to show interest in someone's reviews/posts/etc but without the need for any writing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
On 03/05/2021 at 5:44 PM, Hayley said:

Teamwork 

It's really important to me that we develop the forum together. That's the only way we can continue to have a space that we all enjoy and can welcome new like-minded people to! So I want to know what your ideas are. What do you think would make the forum a better place for you, or help new people join in?

 

I know I am a newbie here, so I hope it's okay for me to post a few ideas and suggestions, both my own and in response to those already mentioned.

 

Just to give you a bit of background, not only was I a member here previously (from 2007 to 2013; although I think that was when I last logged in, I think I had stopped posting a year or two prior to this), but I have had a lot of experience on various other message boards over the years, both as a member and having also hosted one myself.

 

On 03/05/2021 at 6:50 PM, Raven said:

 The return of a semi-regular book group might not be be a bad idea, as well.

 

I've mentioned this over in my intro thread, but one of the things I have been searching for, and which I would really like to be a part of, is a book club.

 

I recently asked on Twitter (during a very brief experiment on social media) whether anyone could recommend a good, active book club and many of the ones suggested were Facebook groups - which is fine, if you are on Facebook, but as someone who does not use social media at all, they weren't an option.  The only one suggested that would have been a perfect fit for me had monthly Zoom discussions, and for someone who doesn't have a lot of confidence, not to mention hates even having her photograph taken, the thought of participating online in a streamed or recorded discussion terrified me and put me right off.

 

I know there are a number of celebrity book clubs - Richard & Judy, Reese's Book Club etc. - and I know there are numerous book clubs held by various booktubers and a huge selection over on Goodreads (which I'm not a fan of), but again you still need a smaller group of people you know to be able to discuss them with, otherwise all you are really doing is reading the books, but not participating in the actual 'club' part it.

 

There are so many possibilities when it comes to book clubs - genre specific, series, book to movie adaptations, classics - these are all ones which I would be interested in but of course you need at least a few people to participate to make it worthwhile.  But I do personally think that a book club or clubs would be a selling point for the board itself.  After all, we are called Book Club Forum and yet we don't have an actual proper book club and like I said there aren't that many out there, certainly that I could find anyway, unless it was social media/booktube related.  I think we are missing out on something here that could potentially bring in new members and make the board a bit more active.  Get the members here for the book club and they are likely to stay around and interact on the rest of the board.

 

Also, even from my brief time on Twitter, it seems like with social media being what it is right now, authors are more approachable and amenable to participating and being involved - is this something that we can also pursue for BCF.  We previously had authors visiting the board and participating and that was way before social media was as popular as it is now.

 

On 04/05/2021 at 9:17 AM, Chrissy said:

We also did a 'pass the book along' thing, with a "I have this great book that I really enjoyed, I'll post it to anyone who fancies a read" vibe, that was then forwarded on until the last person who had it returned it to the original poster. It could get long winded, and often was quite a small pass around. 

 

Oooh, yes, I remember these.  I participated in a couple of them and really enjoyed the books I was sent, but it was quite long winded and didn't necessarily result in any major discussions taking place.

 

On 04/05/2021 at 3:04 PM, Raven said:

I think an important point to make here is that people don't have to have a blog to post book reviews; members are free to post as they like and although most now choose to put their reviews in a blog - I suspect mainly to keep track of their reading history, as much as anything - people are still free to post individual reviews in the appropriate section.

 

When I was a member here previously, I never used the book blog section myself, but I am hoping to start one now.  I just haven't decided in what format yet - I really need to look at some of the others and get a general feel for them - but I think it is probably more likely to be as a way of just keeping track of what I have read, rather than for actual reviews as such.  Not sure, I really do need to have a think about it.

 

On 04/05/2021 at 11:43 PM, Hayley said:

I think this is probably one of the main differences with BCF. The way that we moderate the forum is partly based on the concept that a thread should always have the intention of generating discussion. The worry being that lots of posts nobody is going to respond to might lead to the forum feeling cluttered and potentially stop people from finding the more active threads..

 

This is one of the things I liked about the forum when I was here last.  I liked the fact that the rules stated that you had to post something that was going to move the conversation along, and not just a one word answer that didn't contribute anything.  Wasn't there also a rule about not double posting?  Or maybe that's something I remember from a different forum.

 

The one section of the board I really dislike - and it's a section that has appeared on many of the forums I have been a member of - is the Games board.  I've never understood the point of it and seems, to me, to be a waste of space and time, but that's just my opinion.

 

On 06/05/2021 at 12:02 AM, Raven said:

I personally think the biggest hurdle to attracting and retaining new members isn't how the forum itself is structured, or how and where people make posts, it is how quickly we can make new members feel a part of the forum without them feeling like they are intruding into a clique.

 

I agree, however you also have to give them a reason to register to begin with, and then you need to give them a reason to stick around.

 

On 06/05/2021 at 3:30 PM, Brian. said:

It is a sad fact that internet forums just aren't as popular as they used to be.

 

This is very true.  Back in the mid-2000's I spent a lot of my spare time on forums, this one included, and although I haven't been a member of one for a very long time, I have fond memories of when I was.  These days everything is geared towards social media - which I hate as it all feels so impersonal - forums are in my opinion, so much better!

 

On 08/05/2021 at 2:34 PM, Hayley said:

Ok, so then in that first introduction you just sort of tell them 'feel free to revive old threads'? 

 

Sometimes it can be daunting to post in old threads though, particularly if it is a thread that hasn't been posted on in a very long time.  You only need to look at some of the different sections on here; a lot of them only have a couple of recently active threads whilst the majority of them haven't been posted on in years!  Plus, I don't think posting in old threads (depending on the individual topic) is necessarily a good idea - it may not be relevant anymore, the original poster may not be around anymore, it may not add anything etc.

 

Sometimes a clear-out is in order - I'm not saying delete the threads but maybe some of the old threads can be moved to an archive section or something as a way of tidying up the board a bit.  Clearing out the clutter may encourage newer members to post newer, more relevant discussions.

 

On 13/05/2021 at 11:41 PM, Raven said:

Set up a Patreon account and get willing members to contribute! (if finances are the concern!)

 

I have no idea how much it costs to run a forum like this - the forum I used to run and many of the ones I was previously a member on, were hosted on a free provider, but I would be more than happy to contribute if it would help.  I would much prefer this, to having adverts on the board.  Of course, I would need to make sure I was going to be sticking around first, but certainly in the future I would be happy to contribute.

 

Apologies for my rather long ramble and I hope I haven't trodden on anyone's toes, or overstepped the mark!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Kudz said:

Apologies for my rather long ramble and I hope I haven't trodden on anyone's toes, or overstepped the mark!

First of all there's absolutely no need to apologise. You haven't overstepped at all! These are good ideas and you really aren't a newbie anyway, since you were an active member for years :).

 

On to the book club idea though: I do think this is a really good idea, as long as enough people are up for being part of it - we would definitely need to have a more focused discussion about how it would all work first though. The closest thing we have to a traditional book club is the 'group reads' section (we're currently doing a Lord of the Rings group read, for example) - how would a book club be different to the group reads? Or would it essentially mean that there is always a 'group read' active? The latter option, I think, is quite easily do-able.

 

10 hours ago, Kudz said:

This is one of the things I liked about the forum when I was here last.  I liked the fact that the rules stated that you had to post something that was going to move the conversation along, and not just a one word answer that didn't contribute anything.  Wasn't there also a rule about not double posting? 

Yes, these are both still rules :) 

 

10 hours ago, Kudz said:

Sometimes a clear-out is in order - I'm not saying delete the threads but maybe some of the old threads can be moved to an archive section or something as a way of tidying up the board a bit.  Clearing out the clutter may encourage newer members to post newer, more relevant discussions.

This is something we will be doing. We do archive past blogs but we can tidy other sections in a similar way.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Hayley said:

On to the book club idea though: I do think this is a really good idea, as long as enough people are up for being part of it - we would definitely need to have a more focused discussion about how it would all work first though. The closest thing we have to a traditional book club is the 'group reads' section (we're currently doing a Lord of the Rings group read, for example) - how would a book club be different to the group reads? Or would it essentially mean that there is always a 'group read' active? The latter option, I think, is quite easily do-able.

 

I’m not entirely sure how the Group Reads work but after having had a look at the threads for the current Lord of the Rings group read it looks similar but more of a sort of readalong/buddy read over a longer period, which probably suits books like Lord of the Rings which I’m assuming (and please excuse my ignorance as I haven’t read them myself) is a bit of a slog.  This is purely based on me having read The Hobbit several years ago which I really struggled with.

 

The idea of a book club would be, for example, picking a book to read on a semi regular basis (i.e. monthly) and having a set date that we would then discuss it by.  Obviously on a forum this may need to be tweaked slightly – do we discuss it as we read (which seems to be what happens with the Group Reads) or would we just discuss and post our thoughts once finished?  The latter is what I would probably do as I tend to read a book over the course of a day or two rather than a longer period, but others may take longer and would prefer to post their thoughts as they go.  In which case do we allow spoilers or use spoiler tags?  Who picks the books?  Do we mix up genres etc.?   These things would obviously need to be discussed amongst those members willing to take part.  It’s going to take time to iron out all the details, but I think it would be worth it in the long run.

 

I also think that once the details have all been ironed out it would be a good selling point for the board and although I don’t use social media it would be the perfect way to get the message out to try and draw in new members.  I’m sure there would be people interested as a lot of people have gotten back into reading over the last couple of years due to the pandemic.  It’s just going to take a bit of effort from members on here to get the word out to people.  I am happy to do my bit.


I do think that if we go ahead with the book club, we are probably going to have to pick more mainstream/popular books by popular authors, at least to begin with.  People are more likely to be interested if it’s a book they can easily get a hold of and that isn’t too obscure or hard to read.

 

I do personally like the idea of a classic book club too though and by classic, I mean Charles Dickens, Jane Austen etc.  I have always really struggled with classics and the only ‘classic’ I have ever read is Jane Eyre which I did really enjoy.  I have a fair few on my shelves but always avoid picking them up due to them being what I would call daunting to read.  I would be interested in reading them along with others as it would give me the motivation if I could discuss and read it at the same time as other members/readers.  Maybe these types of books would be more suited to a readalong/group read though?

 

I guess we need to differentiate between the two.  Do any other members have an opinion?
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 13/03/2022 at 4:00 PM, Kudz said:

I guess we need to differentiate between the two.  Do any other members have an opinion?

Yes, if anybody has thoughts on this just throw them in here!

 

On 13/03/2022 at 4:00 PM, Kudz said:

I do personally like the idea of a classic book club too though and by classic, I mean Charles Dickens, Jane Austen etc.  I have always really struggled with classics and the only ‘classic’ I have ever read is Jane Eyre which I did really enjoy.  I have a fair few on my shelves but always avoid picking them up due to them being what I would call daunting to read.  I would be interested in reading them along with others as it would give me the motivation if I could discuss and read it at the same time as other members/readers.  Maybe these types of books would be more suited to a readalong/group read though?

I would like to do that too! Whether in a book club or as a regular readalong, I'd definitely like to set something up for classics. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 06/05/2021 at 12:02 AM, Raven said:

Were it possible, I suspect the most valuable feedback we could get would be from people who have joined, posted a few times, but subsequently decided the forum isn't for them.

 

I’ve only been back on the forum a little over a week and my biggest take from my short time being here is just how quiet things are.  I’d say the biggest thing putting people off from returning is lack of interaction on the board. I have tried to visit most days – I think there has only been one or maybe two days at most that I haven’t visited – and there hasn’t been any more than about 6 new posts each time I visit, and this is on a good day, and usually a couple of these are in the game’s threads. There must be at least a dozen regular visitors though that I can see as being online, just not much posting from them.

 

On 14/03/2022 at 10:29 PM, Hayley said:

I would like to do that too! Whether in a book club or as a regular readalong, I'd definitely like to set something up for classics. 

 

Excellent, at least we have at least two members who are interested.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Kudz said:

 

I’ve only been back on the forum a little over a week and my biggest take from my short time being here is just how quiet things are.  I’d say the biggest thing putting people off from returning is lack of interaction on the board. I have tried to visit most days – I think there has only been one or maybe two days at most that I haven’t visited – and there hasn’t been any more than about 6 new posts each time I visit, and this is on a good day, and usually a couple of these are in the game’s threads. There must be at least a dozen regular visitors though that I can see as being online, just not much posting from them.


I know that I'd like to hear a suggestion on improving that. It's much quieter on BGO and I can't think of how to improve that

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...