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This place is getting deserted, and we have to do something about it

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Users without an adblocker wont stay simple as that

@rol regarding point 3.2 i left those due to them being nothing different from the old ssj12, leo-j and hus thread. 



 "I think people should define the word crap" - Kirby007

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RolStoppable said:
There are a few important things to note.

1. IIRC, the notable decline started around August 2017 according to Alexa.com traffic numbers for VGC. While it has been mentioned by a few people in this thread that a new console generation will bring in more activity due to things being shaken up, Switch is already happening and has ended the streak of PS4 domination in the weekly hardware charts a long time ago. In 2018 the PS4 was merely winning, now in 2019 Switch is on top. But none of that has generated more traffic.

2. Apparently the site's stability/functionality on mobile devices is still very questionable. On the same note, what happened concurrently to the beginning of the decline was a lot of work on this website that repeatedly led to the site being inaccessible for several hours and at times even longer. Those days are a thing of a past, but how the site runs on mobile devices is something that needs to be looked into and worked on. People aren't going to visit a site regularly when it is a pain to browse the site in question.

3.1. Problematic users create traffic via controversy, so the traffic itself can be interpreted as something positive for the site. However, the negative side is very hard to quantify, because you can't count what isn't visible. Allowing controversy of ridiculous levels usually has the side effect that people who could contribute something of value refrain from posting, because their posts would get buried by the controversial drivel.

3.2. A contributing factor that has not been mentioned yet is that there are a few Discord servers where dozens of VGC users are members. While that isn't a problem at all when the users in question are active on VGC and in Discord, there's a good amount of users who have used Discord to replace VGC. They more or less actively avoid most, if not all, of VGC for what they want to talk about. Partly because the people they want to talk to are also on Discord, partly because of 3.1.

3.3. Of course the direction of moderation matters in this bigger point. When it goes in a direction where, for example, people heavily utilize the official VGC Discord server to say what they think about quickrick because they know that they would be moderated on VGC for merely stating how it is, then something's going wrong. That's the kind of situation where a mod team can drive users off the site. Another example, a more general one, is the direction that there's virtually no limit to how stupid someone's posts can be, so people can behave deliberately obtuse to troll, because a giant exploit is just lying there and waiting for them to be used; meanwhile, there's a bigger risk to get moderated for calling out such behavior. That creates an environment where people who could contribute something of value ask themselves why they should even bother, and subsequently either become inactive or never become an active member in the first place when they are lurkers.

4. Sales numbers going missing is also important. The decision to stop with the software tracking was reasonably explained and I agree that it is fine for two reasons. For one, the rising digital share of software sales lessens the importance of physical software tracking by default, and two, the software estimates have been consistently doubted by an evergrowing part of the community. However, what has been done with the hardware tracking is not good. I have yet to find a place on this site where I can select weekly lists of hardware numbers, like it was done until the end of 2018 where I can select any week of my choice from a dropdown menu. Likewise, I haven't come across any place where I can view cumulative hardware sales for the year of 2019. The "Hardware by Date" tool is just about the only place where hardware numbers from recent months can be browsed, but there should be more than that.

...

While most of the above points are things that can be worked on, I doubt that the best case scenario goes beyond stabilizing at about the current level of activity. Many of the heavily discussed topics from a good decade ago won't generate much traffic anymore. For example, it has widely settled in on all sides that AAA third party support is not dependent on sales and processing power, because those publishers' behavior over the years has made it clear enough what they'll do. A decade ago there was fear/hope that good Nintendo hardware sales can change where games are going, but nowadays virtually everybody knows which way the wind blows and that that isn't going to change.

Another big example is PlayStation vs. Xbox sales where it has also been clearly established that Xbox is not a brand for global success, so you'll have a hard time finding any Xbox fans who believe that Microsoft can win a console generation. About the only major things that are left are which sales records either Sony or Nintendo can break, or who wins in the USA because the historically high occurence of multiconsole ownership makes things interesting, but otherwise most controversy must be created artificially by making up some arbitrary rules.

Since VGC was and is a site that is built on sales, it's about business, and business is stale once it's understood. Wii succeeding against all odds shook things up in the forum landscape, but Switch succeeding against all odds isn't that special anymore, because Nintendo has done it before. That's the big stuff that this site's staff can't do anything about, so going forward it will be first and foremost about making this website a good place for the people who are still here, because getting VGC back to its previous peak or close to it would be a very unrealistic goal to have.

I don't necessarily agree with everything you said, but thanks for this post. We need this sort of insightful and meaningful discussion. I think you're kinda reaching with some of the parallels you try to create between past and present sales situations and how those create less interest nowadays, but you make good points, especially about the status of moderation here, which I think was kinda spot on. People often get away with ignorance but no one gets away with calling out ignorance, and that's definitely a problem. That said, there still isn't a lot of ignorance here.



I would like to see something like a post ban instead of an account ban.

Edit that would mean you would get banned for posting when saying something percieved as a bannable offence but it would allow you to use the other features



 "I think people should define the word crap" - Kirby007

Join the Prediction League http://www.vgchartz.com/predictions

kirby007 said:
I would like to see something like a post ban instead of an account ban.

Yeah, that's sorta what I was suggesting with that post a little earlier.

To be honest, this whole thread is kinda making me want to become a mod, and that's a really strange thought.



I left for a while because I was personally just really busy and also there wasn't a lot of news I wanted to discuss at the time. None of those are the sites fault but I think once the next consoles are close to coming out you'll see a lot more activity.



 

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TheRig said:
alternine said:
There's a plethora of reasons why the site is getting stale and old but I would probably be banned for telling it like it is. I guess that's part of it though. This site is too heavy on the enforcing. I know if I was new and saw what you can and can't say on VGC I wouldn't wanna sign up either. I'd imagine a lot of current users feel the same way which explains the dip. Just my opinion of course.

You wont get the upvote on your profile but i want you to known i liked it! 



 "I think people should define the word crap" - Kirby007

Join the Prediction League http://www.vgchartz.com/predictions

mZuzek said:

I don't necessarily agree with everything you said, but thanks for this post. We need this sort of insightful and meaningful discussion. I think you're kinda reaching with some of the parallels you try to create between past and present sales situations and how those create less interest nowadays, but you make good points, especially about the status of moderation here, which I think was kinda spot on. People often get away with ignorance but no one gets away with calling out ignorance, and that's definitely a problem. That said, there still isn't a lot of ignorance here.

It makes a huge difference whether something happens for the first time or the second or third time. When something happens for the first time, it opens up lots of possibilities and therefore many speculation threads that a lot of people are interested in. It's the kind of stuff where people who weren't there wonder a decade later why and how such stuff was ever discussed as serious possibilities, because the knowledge of ten years later is on another level. What was perceived as normal a decade ago is perceived as outlandish nowadays.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club

mZuzek said:

Yeah, I'm a little bit torn on the whole mod situation showing up here in this thread. We can dismiss them and pretend it's a non-issue all we want, but there has been a number of people coming here to express their distaste for the situation and ignoring that is ignoring a real thing that's going on. I can't speak for them, because I haven't been moderated in years (though a mod did approach me via PM recently), but I do sometimes feel almost... privileged. Like for some reason it doesn't really matter what I say, as long as I'm not being blatantly offensive I can get away with things other users don't seem to. Maybe that's just me, though.

No matter the mod team, mods and users will clash on 'what to do'. Even looking at the totality of this post, on one hand, you say the mods need to make changes, while also acknowledging the users that drive themselves to get moderated (being blatantly offensive puts yourself out there, but mods can't be everywhere at once and many people do not like to report). The answer to that is basically what it has always been — that no matter what changes are implemented, people will disagree with the authoritative side of things. That's not saying nothing can change/evolve/shift, but the clashing will happen.

I know the mods are likely to dismiss these concerns as just moaning from toxic members, and they may or may not be right, but I think there's a certain stubborness, maybe even arrogance, about the team at the moment. They're not really wrong to do what they do, after all the place does have rules. I've always been thankful to the work the mods put in on VGC, because it's what kept the place full of sensible and constructive people, but maybe now, with the reduced activity around and fewer new users, it could be the time to start reviewing those concepts and try to take a more lenient approach to moderations. It's clear that many members have been scared away by the nature of bans here, and funny enough, looking back at some of our oldest users still around, many of them haven't always had the most enviable behavior.

Some of this here also conflicts with itself. You say there's potentially an arrogance to the mods, but then don't really fault them for it. You also thank them for the work, but say they need to be more lenient. For my part, since joining the mods (and relative to my join date in August 2008), I feel we let a lot more go on than past teams would have (discussions like these ~ where the mods were put under microscopes ~ wouldn't have lasted, for example). They just didn't put up with stuff. Back talk? Forget about it. You saw very little in the early years.

On the flipside, we do hone in on things like 'fanboy' or 'troll' (something teams of the past would have let slide — particularly prior to the big site change of 2010).

In the same breath, while we can always improve, without naming names, some of the site's most toxic users (by community/mod feedback), have been removed by this mod team. Of course we are far from perfect, but we are trying to correct issues (as a whole, not just from this particular team).

Maybe we could introduce new ways of moderation? Something that drives people to be more constructive and less toxic, without driving them away? For example, say instead of there being warnings and bans, there's something in between, like a half-ban or something, where the person isn't allowed to do certain actions for a while but can still come around and discuss the matters of their moderation or whatever.

Although I can't speak for what went on before I got on the team, when I joined, I pushed for PMs before Warnings. I'm not sure if it has been a major success, but I believe it has done some good. We're still working on a few universal tools to better assist with moderating, but this suggestion helps keep ideas going. There are a few past mods that I aim to take pointers from while I'm here (makingmusic, Miguel, Smeags, Torillian, and twesterm as the main ones).

All-in-all, thank you for your cordial approach to this, regardless of what I agree/disagree with. 

My take.

Last edited by CGI-Quality - on 04 May 2019

                                                                                                                                            

I've always been a lurker, coming in multiple times a day and now I'll stop by maybe once a week.
There used to be some really good users posting interesting threads. One by one they got banned and the regulars that stepped up to replace them weren't able to make the same fun posts. It's too much fear of offending anyone and everyone being to easy to offend.



Well I hate to tell you but this is not 2010 this is not PlayStation 3 this is not the Xbox 360 Wars and from what I can tell it was a foregone conclusion about PlayStation 4 so there's nothing to debate I guess you could say.

I started turning away in 2013 I believe but I date back to 2008, really this gen there's nothing to talk about, it was done after the PlayStation 4 announcement I guess you can say everybody knew what was coming.

In short there's no console war, and there never will be again, I think that's part of the issue, I'm sure all the old heads just come here to check the numbers aside from trollstoppable (Rolstoppable), also known is the greatest troll to ever live, and no one made threads better than him.

There's no controversy I guess in a sense there isn't any big news aside from in my opinion Dreams the PlayStation 4 exclusive, and of course all the info on the PlayStation 5.

Whatever you guys come up with it'll be interesting but I'll never be that active again.