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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Is this forum dying? (Read 49138 times)
GMTonyKosten
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #86 - 06/29/17 at 11:05:51
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Keano wrote on 06/28/17 at 23:57:52:
I respectfully disagree Tony.


Wow, very polite for a Forum!

Keano wrote on 06/28/17 at 23:57:52:
Finding older messages is a piece of cake with google site search - by the way this was previously integrated into the forum search engine but seems to not be anymore now.


Yes, the Google search is obviously very good, and indeed, it was integrated it into the Forum search before, and worked really well. I can't remember why it stopped, maybe I forgot to change something when I upgraded the Forum software, I'll check it out ...
  
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GMTonyKosten
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #85 - 06/29/17 at 10:58:28
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IsaVulpes wrote on 06/28/17 at 13:11:10:
I don't think it would hurt to delete some of the truly dead subforums (say, the Tango one, or perhaps the French Exchange doesn't need one, and maybe the Pirc/Modern subforums should get fused, ..), but the base subforums I'd call rather useful - I pair the Nimzo with the Ragozin, I don't want to open the Nimzo Forum every time there is a new post about the 70767A7275727B72724202/Benoni/Bogo (and while I don't think it would hurt to delete the Tango subforum, I also still don't know why this would magically increase traffic).


Yes, I agree and I'm happy to do this, although I don't think it would change anything either.
  
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Keano
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #84 - 06/28/17 at 23:57:52
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 06/28/17 at 08:17:07:
There is absolutely no data to support this assertion, as far as I can see. There was no drop-off in visits after the changes, and the Forum activity is currently very high for the time of year (Forum visits hit their peak around December time, and are much less in the Summer months.)
Removing the sub-sections is very unlikely to change the frequentation, and will just take us back to a time when it was difficult to find older messages.


I respectfully disagree Tony.

Finding older messages is a piece of cake with google site search - by the way this was previously integrated into the forum search engine but seems to not be anymore now.

As regards data, it could be that the change just introduced gradual annoyance, which eventually took effect. I have no evidence for this apart from the fact that this is what seems to have happened with me, and some other posters seem to have similar thoughts.


  
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IsaVulpes
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #83 - 06/28/17 at 23:41:20
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katar wrote on 06/28/17 at 15:05:11:
2. Use any search engine to search the forum:
site:chesspub.com *
(replace * with any search string, like "dilworth" for example)
http://www.bing.com/search?q=site%3Achesspub.com%20dilworth
I will mention that searches are not as necessary due to the subforum organization.

While this works to a certain extend,
1) It really illustrates how bad the forum search truly is, when one is told to search on Google instead
2) It is missing features of a normal forum search, such as only looking into certain subfora, or only searching for posts by a certain user - both of which exist on the forum, but due to the strange limitation of 15 results maximum, it's barely functional - similarly, one can find "Recent Posts" by certain user without a search string (which doesn't work in the normal search) via their profile, but again.. it's limited to the 25 most recent ones, which makes it considerably less useful than it could be.
  
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Jupp53
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #82 - 06/28/17 at 23:18:31
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Here is someone who really likes the new sub-forums.

I didn't participate much in opening discussions. Now I post less since some years for health reasons. I need a good day to even read here what's going on.
  

Medical textbooks say I should be dead since April 2002.
Dum spiro spero. Smiley
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Stigma
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #81 - 06/28/17 at 21:23:24
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From chesspub.com I tend to go straight for the "most recent posts" menu without thinking. Usually I can understand what most of the posts/threads are about by connecting the dots with what I've seen previously.

But the value of this way of doing it depends on how often you check the forum. Arguably too often in my case, to the point that I'm slightly annoyed when I realize there have been more than 25 posts since my last visit!

I really should spend some more time on hard chess training instead.

ErictheRed wrote on 06/28/17 at 16:26:07:
Also, I still think that it's difficult to find old threads.  The only way that I've really been able to with any consistency is to just use Google, with the site:chesspub.com modifier.

I agree with everybody here that the built-in forum search is virtually useless. How about just adding a button/function for Google site search? But this might cost money; I'm not sure how it works.
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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ErictheRed
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #80 - 06/28/17 at 16:26:07
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I've been trying the "most recent posts" links, and I must say that I'm not a fan  Undecided.  I hope that I don't sound like a Luddite, but seeing a list of 10 or 25 posts without context just seems like a bunch of random comments.  It doesn't feel like a discussion.  And sometimes, the particular thread might be interesting, but the most recent post or two are off-topic or tongue-in-cheek, etc., and therefore they don't draw me in to want to look at the whole thread.

Back in the "old days," I would ask myself: "What are people talking about in the King's Indian?"  And I'd click on one link to enter the King's Indian forum, and I'd see, all on one screen, what have been the topics of interest lately.  I could read through the threads I wanted, and in that format they seemed more like coherent discussions, not just random posts. 

I also agree with Taljechin that I became tired of reading the same questions over and over and over...

Also, I still think that it's difficult to find old threads.  The only way that I've really been able to with any consistency is to just use Google, with the site:chesspub.com modifier.

I don't know that I would actually post more if the sub-forums were removed, but I do think that it would make for a more enjoyable browsing/reading/interacting experience. 

  
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katar
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #79 - 06/28/17 at 15:05:11
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Two suggestions:
1. Agree with the suggestion to bookmark the link to recent topics:
http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?action=recenttopics;display=25

2. Use any search engine to search the forum:
site:chesspub.com *
(replace * with any search string, like "dilworth" for example)
http://www.bing.com/search?q=site%3Achesspub.com%20dilworth
I will mention that searches are not as necessary due to the subforum organization.

I think nowadays folks rely on opening repertoire books/videos which are increasing in both quality and frequency of production.  There is no longer any need to ask forum members about move orders in the Scheveningen.  Instead, questions refer to some recent Scheveningen book/video by another vendor.  I have noticed that, it seems, most of the threads/comments here refer to an outside opening repertoire product rather than a self-contained question or discussion: the forum is becoming a website of book/dvd reviews.  I would like chesspublishing to curate "repertoires" by packaging critical games for a given opening system and selling the packages in some manner or another - perhaps with a subscription/update term.  I suspect every subscriber already does this work, manually.

Finally, big thanks go to Grandmaster Tony Kosten.  I find it humbling and amusing that a famous grandmaster and author cares so much about catering to chess peons like me. Smiley Smiley
  

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IsaVulpes
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #78 - 06/28/17 at 13:11:10
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Keano wrote on 06/27/17 at 23:22:41:
But lets be honest, 99% of us are not going into RSS  or whatever else.

You don't need to use RSS.
What's the issue with http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?action=recenttopics;display=25 this link (or even simpler, just this one: http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?action=recent )?
Easy to scroll through any sort of news.

I don't know how the Forum looked in "the good old days", but I like the general layout as it is currently.
I don't think it would hurt to delete some of the truly dead subforums (say, the Tango one, or perhaps the French Exchange doesn't need one, and maybe the Pirc/Modern subforums should get fused, ..), but the base subforums I'd call rather useful - I pair the Nimzo with the Ragozin, I don't want to open the Nimzo Forum every time there is a new post about the QID/Benoni/Bogo (and while I don't think it would hurt to delete the Tango subforum, I also still don't know why this would magically increase traffic).

#####

IMO, if traffic is to be improved, there are a lot of ideas that can be thrown around, such as:
- Getting some Plugin for the Search / Changing Forum Software to WBB/XenForo/Something. The search function is REALLY bad, and that in one of the few forums out there where it's actually very useful to be able to check out 5 year old posts.. just feels extremely off.
- Broadening the Forum from an Opening Monograph into a general chess forum, with "Game Analysis", "Chess Improvement Diaries", "Coaching", "Live Tournament Ticker" or whatever type subforums
- Forum Events (which one advertises in other places?), such as eg a Correspondence Tournament, or perhaps even something like a Team Tournament, where you play Correspondence, but rather than using an engine, you debate moves with the rest of your team in a thread, something something
- Free subs for stellar Forum Contributors (judged by X), to encourage people to post more quality things?
- etc

Of course, for each of these it's a question to what extend this is even desired.
For example, a Game Analysis subforum might attract new users, but at the same time it's likely that they're going to be users like me - random patzers who can't play chess and just "leech" info while asking a question once in a blue moon; which would increase traffic, but perhaps not in a way that the established userbase likes (or in general, that is useful for the forum in any way).

Ultimately, high tier theory discussion is not something that interests too big a part of the population; and in combination with Engines telling every answer in 0.2 seconds and the recent onslaught of quality books for concrete reference, it just naturally creates a small niche forum - if then also several old active posters drop out, activity quickly grinds to a halt.

I doubt there is much to do about that without broadening the scope of the forum and getting a new, bigger niche (eg "general high quality discussion on all things chess"; which is currently quite difficult to find - the most active talking places for chess are reddit/r/chess and chesscom forums, both of which are impossible to navigate and mostly filled by people copypasting Wikipedia articles) - deleting subforums may make a few of the old posters happier (whyever), but will also make a few of the current posters unhappier, so I doubt it would change much; and I certainly can't see it attract new people.
  
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TalJechin
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #77 - 06/28/17 at 10:00:26
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Here's my 50 cents on the matter, as a former frequent poster:

I think I gradually lost interest due to 1) deja vu all over again, the same kind of topics would be brought up again and again - the longer you been here the more you recognise from before... 2) lack of response when I posted or replied 3) the new subfora making it harder to see what's new. The most recent post in each section got hidden while the old and odd were listed in plenty, giving the impression that nothing was happening...

Perhaps the forum needs to adjust to the times - nowadays players are reluctant to give away analysis/ideas since they want to use it first and if it works why draw attention to it... Which results in more newbie question and stuff like "this weird move wins" posts.

I haven't been following the debate regularly for a couple of years, but before that I got the impression that the most prolific and interesting threads were about chess history, new rules, cheating scandals, FIDE, World Championship Matches, and the theory debates that took off were usually part of a recent book thread or about openings one wouldn't expect to face on a tournament level - the latter gave rise to a lot of amazing creativity!
  
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GMTonyKosten
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #76 - 06/28/17 at 08:24:57
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Keano wrote on 06/27/17 at 23:22:41:
I never really understood the change


The Forum activity had been steadily going downhill and there were lots of complaints about it being difficult to find older messages so many members kept starting new topics about subjects that had already been covered.

Keano wrote on 06/27/17 at 23:22:41:
there is the old saying " if it aint broke dont fix it"


Yes, and people generally don't like change. I can reveal that I paid a lot of money to get a new WordPress version of the main site created, with all the modern 'flags and whistles'. It looks very pretty, but I was then advised that I may lose upwards of 30% of the subscribers had I replaced the current site, many of them would find it too annoying doing things differently, so it has been left in mothballs on a server somewhere.
  
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GMTonyKosten
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #75 - 06/28/17 at 08:17:07
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Keano wrote on 06/27/17 at 23:22:41:
If we need to get back on track those sub-forums need to go.


There is absolutely no data to support this assertion, as far as I can see. There was no drop-off in visits after the changes, and the Forum activity is currently very high for the time of year (Forum visits hit their peak around December time, and are much less in the Summer months.)
Removing the sub-sections is very unlikely to change the frequentation, and will just take us back to a time when it was difficult to find older messages.
  
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GMTonyKosten
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #74 - 06/28/17 at 08:06:51
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Keano wrote on 06/27/17 at 23:22:41:
What I get from this is that there are some expert forum trackers who have their methods.

But lets be honest, 99% of us are not going into RSS  or whatever else.


I'm not sure if this is tongue-in-cheek, but I will assume not. It's just as simple to add the latest ten posts page to our favourites as it is to add the Forum's main page, but I suppose there are maybe 1% of the Forum members who refuse to do this (and don't want to use the blue circles to see which sub-sections have new posts).
  
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Keano
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #73 - 06/27/17 at 23:22:41
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What I get from this is that there are some expert forum trackers who have their methods.

But lets be honest, 99% of us are not going into RSS  or whatever else. If we need to get back on track those sub-forums need to go.

I never really understood the change - there is the old saying " if it aint broke dont fix it"
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #72 - 06/23/17 at 12:33:09
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@ErictheRed, perhaps you should try feedly or anything similar, set up to feed any new post.
I do that and I get to read the new posts only.
  

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