James

OtakuBoards: What Next?

61 posts in this topic

This question may be an exercise in nothing other than fantasy, but I thought I'd ask it anyway: do you guys (those of you who still browse and post) think that there's any chance of growing OB again?

 

I ask this question because even after all this time, it amazes me that there are still people who post and lurk here. In fact, I'm kind of amazed that OB is even still online. Considering the earliest version started circa-1998, that would make the community a whopping 16 years old!

 

That almost makes this place truly archaeological in Internet terms!

 

Clearly, we still have a huge history of great content on here (everything from Graphic Worm to our RPGs). It's great to preserve that, but is there anything we can do to build the site up again?

 

Bulletin boards seem to be a dying breed - or at least, that's what I first thought, except that there are still some great bulletin boards out there.

 

What do you guys think?

DouglasMr likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would truly love to see this place grow again but it's been seeming less and less likely over the years. I do think a resurgence of activity from old members might help but new members will really be the key and we simply aren't getting many these days. I think this was originally partially due to the ease with which people could communicate on theOtaku but now I'm not so sure.

I'm all for ideas though and would be happy to facilitate any of them to the best of my ability. The site is actually hosted on my server now so we have a bit more flexibility than we used to, if that helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, I would definitely sign up for a forum with all you awesome people that doesn't focus on anime and manga. Of course, OtakuBoards doesn't really focus on that either, but it doesn't really focus on anything enough to keep people interested or to draw people in in the first place, I think. It doesn't really help that the areas it does focus on tend to be kiddy, while most of the returning members are 18+. OtakuBoards would probably need an entire overhaul, pretending it's all fresh and new-ish, but even if you'd stick so much time in it, I think the real message boards days are over. 

 

I think OB's thing is that we all grew up and settled. After a while there was a steady crew and that was OK and mature enough, and the layout of the forums went from shiny anime faces, to bright colours, to less colours, to gray and serious business. The discussions in the Lounge started being more and more stuff that was only interesting to insiders, often nostalgia or inside jokes.

 

A lot of us sort of grew up together here, and maybe we should just close off this chapter in our lives together and make like an "OB, the Elderly edition". I don't see any of us rebooting this, putting a lot of time in re-designing it to fit the youth and otaku. So it could be an idea to archive as much as possible, redesign OB to cater to oldies being nostalgic and trying their hand at another RPG. Or OB should somehow hide its childlike original intentions and rally people all over the world who miss their old message boards, because basically all of them died. 

 

EDIT: But for true words on reviving OB, check [member=Saiyangohan2002] below.

 

I just think you guys are awesome <3~

Edited by Boo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I keep coming back here to check up on things, sometimes I can have a quick burst of activity but I never end up staying because the forums are so quiet now.  OB has sentimental value for me, as the first online community I ever signed up for, and I'm all for any ideas that'll jolt the senses and give OB a new lease of life.

So when I saw this thread adressing the issue,. I knew I had to try and remember my password and contribute a few ideas...

For your consideration.

 

Gear the forums toward fan art. :3

The Otaku community has been focused on fan art for a long time now, while the boards are now more centered around general discussion. I suggest taking a dual-media apporach encouraging the fan art community to both discuss the series and share their art works with the community. You could spin this as a way for artists to get noticed and get a wider audience. OB then benefits from the large fan art base on TheOtaku, streamlining the memembership so their existing TheO account also works here might, already have been done, but if it hasn't, my idea! :tongue:

 

Kill. The. Padded. Room. Party. >.>

 

Why? To encourage new threads and discussions on the topics that won't just fade as pages pass and other discussion vie for space. The lounge has not been the same since that thread opened, it's the all-encompassing behemoth that takes in almost all areas of discussion and it leaves no room for other discussions, why start a new thread when you can just PRP it?  It's exactly the same reason I have not discussed much anime series after the one-thread-per-anime thing came into being. Which segues perfectly into my next idea,

 

Opening separate anime forums again. ^_^

The goal of the move was a good one, cut down on maintenance, but in the end, I think, a lot of the more nuanced discussion about a particular series was lost to a general thread of 'I like it' and 'the latest episode was so cool.' Those examples are paraprhased but that was the general feeling I got. We lost those insane but enjoyably fun conspiracy threads and those threads on a specific topic that woudl spiral into a whole new arena of discussion and take on a new life of it's own, or maybe that was only the Digimon thread about the pink Power Ranger toy. This works well with the idea to incorporate fan art, as each series can then have it's own little hub. The art forum can then be used as a place for all non-specific art works, the graphics worms, the banner requests etc.

 

Bright large logo and logo competitions O_IO

This ties into the fan art focus idea. How about having a big logo at the top like we used to have, with the graphic links and intergrated anime characers? You could hold regular competitions to design them. There were some good logos that came out of those competitions, Syk3's was awesome and who knows? Perhaps something big bright and cheerful would be more inviting to some people as well. :)

 

These are things I believe can help stimulate the OB community and bring in the new membership base.

What are your thoughts?

Flash and Boo like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I'm a super n00b here, but I was looking for a community of people who share common interests. Despite living in a pretty large city, I still feel like a loner lol. I would like to think that message boards aren't dead. It sucks. Some of the most awesome people I've met were through communities with asynchronous communication. It's always something to look forward to when it's time to log on. 

 

As of right now, I am the only active member online here. I'd like to see a place like this grow. It seems a bit unorganized. I was looking for a thread where noobies introduce themselves. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, and welcome! ^_^

 

That thread does actually exist and can be found [url=http://www.otakuboards.com/index.php?/topic/44728-new-members-introduce-yourselves-here/]here[/url] but this works too.

 

I would definitely love to see this place pick up again. There are still a lot of great people that pop in from time to time so it's entirely possible and I think Saiyangohan2002 had some good points in that direction as well. Perhaps those of us who are still around should actively start discussing how to make it happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for the warm welcome and the link! I would love an active community and am really happy I found this place. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OB was the last forum-based internet community I was a part of, I think; since then, I've been involved with a small, close-knit game streaming community for several years now. And although there's something about message boards that I miss, an itch that remains unscratched, every time I find a new one that I think I might like to take part in, I'll sign up, browse the boards, look for a thread I might like to participate in, and... eh. I just kinda lose the motivation to participate. Is it because message boards used to be more or less the only way to be social online, and now that need is filled by a newer generation of shallower, more immediate social networking services? Is it because I found OB in my more vulnerable teenage years and I just don't need that kind of community in my life anymore? Is it because OB back in the day really was just a lot more lively and special than these other places I've tried out since then? I dunno.

 

Maybe we don't come back because observation has taught us that nostalgia is a siren song, and if we try to rebuild the special thing we once had we'll only find that we can't just reach into the ether, grab the spark of meaning that once imbued it, and shove it back in again. I'm different, you're different, the world's different, and they can't ever be the same again.

 

But that's just what observation has taught us, and sometimes observation is wrong. Like AmbyCakes referred to (excuse me, AmbyCakes. Almost forgot all the old post styling conventions!), the magic of forums is asynchronous communication. It's actually not a big deal for us to get back togetherâ??no commitment, no co-ordination, no planning. Just gotta hop on, make a post, and hop back off until someone else replies. We like to think that "life got in the way", but you know what? Most of us are probably twenty-somethings with ten or a hundred times better internet connections than we had back in the day, and desk jobs with plenty of hours to slack off during. And yeah, we've all changed, but guess what else: most of us have probably become way cooler and more interesting than we used to be. Because guys, I love you, but have you gone back through any old threads lately? A lot of that **** we posted back then was pretty cringe-worthy. I don't really want to be an anxious teenager talking about the Matrix again. I'd rather be an adult talking about the Matrix.

 

And I'd rather hear about the new things you guys are into, too, and the interesting lives you led when you were away from OB. Did you guys know Sara got married? Ok a lot of you probably did because of Facebook, but isn't that cool?! We should talk about stuff like that.

 

I think forums probably ended because they stopped being what we thought they had to be: our online homes. Maybe this one can live again as something else: our online neighborhood bar (yeah, you know what that is before you even click). A place that doesn't fill our deep emotional needs, it just greets us with warmth, familiar faces and good conversation whenever we feel like popping in.

 

And if, like Boo expressed, we wanted to do this somewhere without the ostensible focus on anime, maybe we could goad Tony into re-establishing Orange Lazarus; that was the real cool kids' club anyway.

Edited by John
Petie, Shy and Boo like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The (admittedly few) bulletin boards out there that remain successful have something that grounds them, generally. A specific fandom for which they are an established community. OB doesn't really have that, as we were always much more than an anime/gaming community. 

 

The reality is that I don't see any particular way to rehash those good old days. We were so disparate and general back then that few of us had much in common, outside of being folks who hung out on OB. Without that core subject or focus for a continuation of the community--something to attract new folks and keep old folks contributing regularly--there's nothing to lean on other than nostalgia. Nostalgia is a giant conversation killer, generally speaking.

 

The only thing I can think of that might work is a full rebrand and relaunch as a forward-focused, general-interest nerd community. Clean up existing threads that are designed to generate piddling conversation about the "golden age", and discourage new ones in that vein. Maybe pick four or five "events" per year that we can focus on to generate buzz, and launch a new theme around each one to keep the look variable. Thinking big game and book releases, TV premiers, etc. Push those things, while maintaining the minimum standard for post quality that we always used to strive for.

 

That said, we need an iconic-looking brand that can stand over the top of it all, something with more "pop" than the current banner logo. Something simple that'll stick in people's heads. Is there an OB Twitter? That would help, if you had someone savvy and dedicated enough to run it. In conjunction with a broader focus, branching into other forms of social media opens up your audience and attracts members. 

 

Another thing we could really lean on, if enough older members are still around and willing to drive it: Our old RPs. That stuff was well and truly magical, and play-by-post RPs are still fun and still have an audience. They would probably require some administrative direction to keep them churning, though. Not too much, but enough to ensure they stay creative, fair, and fun.

 

How many "core members" are still active? As in, how many people do y'all think still hang around regularly enough to sort of participate in a "active evolution" of the board? Because it'll need people like that around, if and when any changes are made.

 

It all sounds drastic when laid out like that, I guess. But I think that's the only way forward. Gives us older folks something to come home to and gives newer folks something they can enjoy and contribute to without having to go through some kind of history course on the random twistings and turnings of a bulletin forum they've never heard of before.

 

-Justin

 

Edit- I realized upon reading that over that it's sounds pretty gloomy, pretty difficult, and possibly a bit irreverent towards our history. I don't mean it to be that way. This place emphatically does have things worth saving (or reviving) to the extent that I'd love to see something done about it. I'm on the cusp of achieving my life-long dream as a full-time, professional author and a large, large portion of my early foundation was built right here, in play-by-post RPs. 

 

The value of that (to me, at least) is immeasurable. I'd love to see that return to (and exceed beyond) what it once was. I just think it's going to take some serious work to achieve.   

Edited by Justin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kill. The. Padded. Room. Party. >.>

 

Why? To encourage new threads and discussions on the topics that won't just fade as pages pass and other discussion vie for space. The lounge has not been the same since that thread opened, it's the all-encompassing behemoth that takes in almost all areas of discussion and it leaves no room for other discussions, why start a new thread when you can just PRP it?  It's exactly the same reason I have not discussed much anime series after the one-thread-per-anime thing came into being. Which segues perfectly into my next idea,

 

 

Please! I stopped coming here so often right around the time that thing took off, just because I had no interest in sorting through such a massive, directionless thing to find a conversation. I would love to come back to an active board and I think encouraging lots of new threads will help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Kill. The. Padded. Room. Party. >.>

 

Why? To encourage new threads and discussions on the topics that won't just fade as pages pass and other discussion vie for space. The lounge has not been the same since that thread opened, it's the all-encompassing behemoth that takes in almost all areas of discussion and it leaves no room for other discussions, why start a new thread when you can just PRP it?  It's exactly the same reason I have not discussed much anime series after the one-thread-per-anime thing came into being. Which segues perfectly into my next idea,

 

I have always been in favor of this course. These types of threads, pretty much without fail, tend to have a negative impact on a forum. I've seen it first hand too many times and removing them, after the riots discussions about doing so are over, usually has a positive effect.

 

Also, there are a lot of well written responses in this thread that I'd like to properly address at some point in the near future but for now, I think this is one of the more important points. Will it completely revive the forum? Absolutely not. But it can certainly get us moving in the right direction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have seen this opinion posted over and over and over again.  I have also yet to hear a rebuttal to it in quite some time.  In fact, I think the last rebuttal to it might have been mine, and if I recall correctly my opinion at the time was something along the lines of "...eh".  But every time the question of closing it comes up, we all collectively sit here and wait, and time passes, and we all forget, and then a few years later somebody says it again and we remember how we didn't want to be That Guy, I guess, and nothing ever happens.
 
However, I happen to have a reputation for being That Guy.  So, you know what?  Let's do this.

Petie, Des, I formally request that The Padded Room Party be closed.  It was fun when it was first started, but many tasty things spoil, and that thread is far past its expiration date.  The community at large believes it to detract from the boards overall.  I see no reason to leave it accessible if no one is around to stand up for it.
Edited by Allamorph

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my own personal experience, it can be hard to grow to like a place that already feels well-established. I've tried to become active on various forums and just couldn't find a way in because the posters seemed so tight knit already. It's already been mentioned that new members should be the focus for this comeback attempt. Perhaps we should see a consolidation of nostalgia threads, of which there are four or five in the midst of the General Discussion threads. It's always nice for veterans to have a place to reflect on old times, but I don't think there needs to be more than one thread for that kind of thing. Maybe one sticky? Maybe even none?

 

Of course there won't be any sort of activity by new folks if there aren't any new folks. I don't have many ideas for getting people over here, other than what's already been mentioned or things that just aren't possible for such a small forum to accomplish. There needs to be a big draw to the community, something people get here that they won't get elsewhere. I can't think of what that might be.

 

When I think of forums nowadays, I pretty much only think of reddit. It could be possible to advertise over there, especially on /r/anime or whatever, but it would have to be in a way that's not just "hey come to this forum we need blood." Maybe an event with a nice prize? Something to get people engaged, something with the promise of a good return. We used to have so many events here, from art and writing contests to general game threads and stuff like that. I was never good at running those, though, and who knows if the old gamemasters even have the time or patience anymore. Worth a shot? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create business cards with www.otakuboards.com on one side, and random anime characters printed on the other side. Go to a bookstore with a large manga section, and inconspicuously insert cards, one by one, into the center pages of the most popular books on the shelf....

 

Too devious? Well, it's worth a try.... :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For me it is interesting. I've lurked on theo since 1998 or so and signed up here in 2001. I forgot about this place till 2003 or so and that's when my participation really took off. I miss the deep anime discussions we had per episode as the anime came out.
After I graduated from high school my activity faltered. Not because I was off to better things but because I was distracted by online gaming. I still game now but not so much anymore due to lack of interest or lack of time. Charles pulled me back...now canz has.

I too would like to see more anime specific forums back. I also miss the nifty 50. Was the last one we had back in 2009?

EDIT: This may be shallow of me but I miss post count titles. Removing that kind of took the fun out of posting Edited by Japan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

EDIT: This may be shallow of me but I miss post count titles. Removing that kind of took the fun out of posting

 

They still exist. There just aren't quite so many of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They still exist. There just aren't quite so many of them.


True...but that's my point. We are all senior members at this point or something like it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, but there is still more above that! As it stands now, two more in your case. I'd definitely be open to adding more in to fill in the gaps though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not because I was off to better things but because I was distracted by online gaming. I still game now but not so much anymore due to lack of interest or lack of time. Charles pulled me back...now canz has.

I too would like to see more anime specific forums back.

I know how that is. Games are a huge part of my life, and one that I will never give up entirely, but I am glad that I reduced my gaming time so that I could do other stuff.

 

I have tried posting a few specific anime discussions, but the only thing that really gets posts is the "what are you watching/reading/playing" threads They are kind of like the padded rooms of those sections, so it makes sense why people are drawn to them. I don't know if many people really want in depth discussions anymore, but I enjoy them.

DouglasMr likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it might of be a bit late but I would of enjoyed episode by episode analysis threads of anime like Sword Art Online, Shingeki no Kyojin and Durarara, I would of enjoyed reading other theories about story plots and developments. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We haven't really done that since Tiger and Bunny! I would be interested in that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd really like to see separate anime forums back, and I seem to beat this drum every time I attempt a return, i'ts just that as I see it, there was a correlation between that and the decline in activity. OB realy was a melting pot of diverse fandoms and each fandom had it's own cozy little place, with a general lounge where you met up with the other ones. I found this place searching for all things 
Dragonball, I posted almost exclusively in that forum to begin with and I have no idea if I'd have stuck around for a nonspecific and very general 'Anime' forum. 

 

If you want to try and reboot this forum, then might I suggest at least giving it a try, putting some specific anime forums up and give it a year or so, until the Google spiders have grabbed it and folks looking for all things SwordArt Online have found our specific SwordArt Online forum. ;)

 

Kudos for offing the PRP. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I can see why some people like the seperation of things, but I feel like subtle divisions ultimately caused tension between the groups. Maybe it had more to do with the people that the situation, but I'd rather everyone be familiar with eachother.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now