Submitted by Rick on Fri, 20/04/2012 – 20:10
One of our most recent updates to the website has been our addition of forums for discussing all things Glorantha and Moon Design. Like all changes, they can be seen as a good thing by some, and a bad thing by others. I was recently asked about “why forums on your site” and here is how I responded. I only wish I had also remembered to thank Charles Corrigan personally for all of his help and hard work in launching our new forums.
When we set up the World of Glorantha yahoo group in 2007 a number of circumstances were very different than they are today. For one thing, glorantha.com was a website I had just inherited responsibility for and just keeping it limping along was all I could handle. Forums or similar on it were a “nice to have low priority” item. A lot has changed tech-wise since then, and Moon Design now has a much better website and tool-kit to draw upon. That said, our site is far from perfect, and we definitely see it as a work-in-progress, something that we hope will continue to improve and evolve as time and volunteers can make happen. Please note that we’ve never said “our site is way better than yahoo”, but it is definitely different, and something we can improve. Yahoo groups pretty much are as they are, and are unlikely to be much more than they are, which for some is great, for others less so. For me, I’ve never liked its lack of topic hierarchy, and all too often I find voluminous quotes of the last umpteen posts drowning out otherwise short replies. I also don’t like sifting and sorting through the dozen or so various glorantha/runequest related yahoo groups I am a member of. It’s no fun seeing a standard announcement for something like a convention, or submissions to the next issue of a fanzine appearing on many of them, but if you want the different readerships of all of them to see something you pretty much don’t have a choice. I can easily see the simplicity of “just getting the postings emailed” but I tire of just “page-downing” through many of the posts (once again lengthy because of the default over-quoting).
I also note that many of the glorantha/runequest related yahoo groups, not to mention many other stand-alone personal forums, are often low in traffic. I often only get a digest from many of them because somebody posted an announcement on all of them. Yes, they all get emailed to me with virtually no effort, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy what they send me any more than if they took effort to get them. As for “less effort” to see what’s happening on our forums, I believe that RSS feeds and some of the email notifications for replies to a topic that we offer can close that gap, if you feel there is one. Some people have posted here that our website fails because of the lack of it just emailing everything to someone, but to be fair, that doesn’t mean our forums fail in general, they have just been labelled as a failure for that particular user, based solely on what they personally prefer.
The Moon Design web team thought long and hard about how our website can help enhance, expand, and consolidate the discussions that are a vital part of the Gloranthan community that exists online. We see what we are doing as progress, and our efforts as strengthening the community, while also hopefully expanding it. We hope you’ll join us in making that happen.