Points about making the main site more intuitive for viewers has its merits, but I'll focus on the forum part right now:
See, I don't really perceive how 'making the forum friendlier for viewers' would really change much integrally. What sort of threads would they actually be starting or participating in?
My gut impulse is telling me that if it has to do with AMVs, like the site purpose, that goes where? General AMV - the very forum we're in right now is set aside for the discussion of the hobby itself. I see no indication that this part of the forum is meant for editing discussions and editing discussions only
, because even at its most restrictive (editing theory, which is also covered by areas in the Video section) this is counter-balanced by the other threads that pop up here pertaining to reviewing videos or other audience-centric things. It's already here. If viewers want to talk about Anime or Music, those sections already exist too.
Basically, the thing about 'making the forum better for viewers' seems more like 'let's make the whole forum off-topic' or scuttle the hobby-centric areas down to the bottom of the page to give the impression we're not here to talk about the hobby, or insert alternate new forums into the mix with no real vision of where they'll go in the grand schemata. What sense does that even make?
The Beginner's area is one thing I think could be a legitimate response to my first question. But beyond that, where does the line get drawn between projecting a kindler, softer Org and completely losing the point that a rather significant portion of the sub-forums are here for pure editing discussion, and that you sort of expect
that from a site intended as a hub for a specific subculture of fans. Look at Doom9 - there's a grand total of 0 areas for casual discussion there (save maybe the Linux and OS X area, which is still meant for stuff on said topics tangentially related to the rest of site's purpose), but it's still a prominent board with lots of traffic.
And I was actually under the impression that the old OT area was killed because it was getting consumed by flame wars and that was spilling out into other parts of the forum and driving a wedge between members that couldn't leave the dirty laundry there, not the extrapolated 'they don't want us making friends' train of thought. I started using the forum in what I understand was the immediate wake of the old OT forum being removed (which if memory serves, was sometime in mid-late 2003?) - I remember that the atmosphere at the time was quite bristly, although that could have just been because everyone was upset that it was removed. I think the Donator's Forum was a good compromise to that end, and haven't seen the objections coming about it that came from the older OT.
In terms of donations received, how much of an impact has the Donator's Forum proven to be in boosting funds? If it hasn't changed the amount received, then there would be no funding detriment to make a General OT come back, but if it actually is a major draw to donate over, I'd prefer to see it continue to be that way, or at least add something else of equal perceived value to balance the loss of donations that dropping the Donator's Forum and bringing back a General OT would cause.
Pwolf wrote:I think we can satisfy the original intent of the org as being a catalog while also making it more editor and viewer friendly, the original goal doesn't need to be ignored. It just isn't and can't be the all encompassing catalog it used to be.
Agreed. The all encompassing catalog idea bit the dust the instant the AMV viewing community fractured with YouTube and the other big sites focused on it now. The catalog is only as good and only as comprehensive as the members who enter their videos into it make it. If the community is fractured, it being a catalog of every AMV ever made becomes even more lofty than it was 10 years ago.
But that still doesn't mean the purpose of the catalog or the focus on it is at all a bad thing or that it's not still an extremely important and integral part of the site.