Regarding Future Website Redesign Plans

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Dr. Derpface, J.D.
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Re: Regarding Future Website Redesign Plans

Post by Dr. Derpface, J.D. » Sat May 16, 2015 8:21 pm

Pwolf wrote:I completely agree but, in my honest opinion, it wouldn't have mattered because we've never had anyone, except maybe David, who was really motivated to make something. Good leadership doesn't make a product if the people doing the actual work aren't motivated or skilled.
But when the leadership alienates those who are, that makes others less likely to step-up, because they don't want to get the same treatment. Good leadership also means giving people the means to do a task, rather than "Work your magic, but you have no actual say in anything and we're not letting you touch the assets/resources you need to do what we want." That's a great way to kill motivation, which leads to fewer motivated people wanting to help.
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Re: Regarding Future Website Redesign Plans

Post by MaboroshiStudio » Sat May 16, 2015 8:26 pm

Fire_Starter wrote:Scott, I see what you're saying, and I'm inclined to agree to a point. But a lot of it still (IMO) boils down to a complete lack of clear leadership that's willing to actually have people participate. If the administration isn't willing to actually drive changes, then all the good intentions in the world are for naught. They have to want it to work and actually be a rallying point rather than a roadblock.
Leadership? What does that have to do with finding generous talented highly skilled / technical people willing donating their time when they could be making $100-200 an hour doing work... and we would need a team of 3-6 people.

My one freelance client which I finally tapped out as I was burned out are having a company build a new community for them / migrate everything. When I spoke to them I asked what the sticker price was? I said $300-500k and they said $200-250k... to which I said project creep with have you over $300k easily.
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Re: Regarding Future Website Redesign Plans

Post by Shin-AMV » Sat May 16, 2015 8:36 pm

GloryQuestor wrote: But we've had transparency for the past how many years and how many times it's been started, and where has that gotten us? Back with the same problem. I turned it over to a small team of community members that I'm trusting to take another look at it, some of whom actually have been around a very long time, and still do care about the future of the website.
This just reminds me of
GloryQuestor wrote: The project is being worked on by our staff in their free time, however, so we also ask for patience in its completion.
from: http://www.animemusicvideos.org/forum/v ... 4&t=101794

Honestly, I dunno how transparent the whole process has been for years now. Everytime I hear about a rework and who's been working on it, its usually 2nd hand information and there are 2 general stories I end up hearing. The first one is that changes and updates are blocked by someone with authority, whoever that may be, saying no to updates and that x and y changes don't need to be made and that things are fine. Then when those working on the rework can make no progress because of the stonewalling or obstinate philosophies they end up quitting and the work gets handed over to others where the process repeats itself.

The second story involves the people involved in the rework not being able to do what needs to be done because of real life obligations or lacking certain technical know-how to make things happen without investing either substantial time or money into the endeavor and upon this realization the project is once again passed onto another group of people where once again the cycle repeats.

I don't know whats the truth or which scenario is more accurate, but frankly either way the result ends up being the same in that the public statement about updates and the future is that the site is old and requires an entire rework which is just a restatement of the problem and not an actual plan on how to deal with it or start an actual rework/update and that the update is now in the hands of capable members with a wait and see sentiment about the whole thing. Its hard to ask for continued patience when stuff just feels like a cyclical process of stagnation, regardless of who/what is to blame.

At this point I would completely be fine with a partial update and the site effectively be in a beta state as it gets updated cause as it is right now it barely functions as anything worthwhile and is fairly irrelevant aside from maybe the Contest forum. If the site wants to become relevant again it desperately needs to update to be more community centric and accomadate things like youtube and other social media sites sharing videos across platforms and bringing these diverse groups together and being an effective hub for it all, which I should at least give props to changing the current vision of the website to recognize that, instead of clinging to an outmoded idea of the catalog or whatever. The hobby isn't dying, there are lots of editors out there, they just don't see any value in the org cause we literally offer nothing that they can't get elsewhere. Hell, I think a tumblr page showcasing AMVs on it with nothing more than a submission link and a forum link would be more relevant and appealing to people then the mess we have now.

TL;DR: Things are static, we want tacos :taco:
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Re: Regarding Future Website Redesign Plans

Post by Pwolf » Sat May 16, 2015 8:39 pm

MaboroshiStudio wrote:At my day job we are doing something similar... you know what the timeline is for a major corporation? 2 years...
And this is usually with a larger team who are getting paid good money not 5 people who have day jobs/school and are volunteering their free time for little to no compensation of any kind (maybe a "thanks").
Fire_Starter wrote:
Pwolf wrote:I completely agree but, in my honest opinion, it wouldn't have mattered because we've never had anyone, except maybe David, who was really motivated to make something. Good leadership doesn't make a product if the people doing the actual work aren't motivated or skilled.
But when the leadership alienates those who are, that makes others less likely to step-up, because they don't want to get the same treatment. Good leadership also means giving people the means to do a task, rather than "Work your magic, but you have no actual say in anything and we're not letting you touch the assets/resources you need to do what we want." That's a great way to kill motivation, which leads to fewer motivated people wanting to help.
That's cool and all but a lot of this redesign could been done without the org administration's assistance. If you want to do it "right" sure, you would want the existing code and database to work from but this site isn't that complicated. I could, and have to an extent (twice), redesigned the database scheme from scratch without looking at the original schema. At worst, when all is said and done, all the administration could do is say "no" and you'd be left with a full, working site you could setup on a server and start you're own org. People have been talking about doing it this way for years. We have tried doing this and it doesn't work.

You are right, leadership is important. I can probably be blamed for a lot of the failures of the past projects I've worked on due to my lack of leadership skills but there's only so much you can do to motivate people who aren't being compensated for their time and energy. If I had the means, and I've really thought about this, I would pay people to work on a redesign.

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Re: Regarding Future Website Redesign Plans

Post by Pwolf » Sat May 16, 2015 8:41 pm

Pwolf wrote:If I had the means, and I've really thought about this, I would pay people to work on a redesign.
I may be able to compensate with tacos tho... :taco:

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Re: Regarding Future Website Redesign Plans

Post by Shin-AMV » Sat May 16, 2015 8:44 pm

:taco: TACOS :taco:
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Pwolf
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Re: Regarding Future Website Redesign Plans

Post by Pwolf » Sat May 16, 2015 8:46 pm

First thing I'd like to be redesigned... edit button |:>

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Re: Regarding Future Website Redesign Plans

Post by BasharOfTheAges » Sat May 16, 2015 8:50 pm

Pwolf wrote:
Pwolf wrote:If I had the means, and I've really thought about this, I would pay people to work on a redesign.
I may be able to compensate with tacos tho... :taco:
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HI! I HEARD YOU'RE LOOKING FOR DEWELOPERS!

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Re: Regarding Future Website Redesign Plans

Post by CrazyDreamer » Sat May 16, 2015 8:53 pm

Complaints about having tried to do things before and failed without a solid plan for doing things better are not constructive and may be disregarded. Similarly, complaints about the people involved when we don't know who they are are not constructive and may be disregarded. On the other hand, I do think that the demands for transparency indicate that something in that direction could be done to keep the community happier, and this site is about community, not just indexing, yes?

Things like identification of problems (with code or function), solutions, and a roadmap with milestones are necessary part of project development and management. If those things are being produced anyway, they can be posted, along with updates on progress when milestones are reached. Heck, you could even post any custom code to GitHub; the non-programmers might not understand any of it, but it will let people see progress being made and the computer scientists and information scientists who hang out here might have constructive suggestions, especially if there's a troublesome bug that needs more eyes. (This also makes it easier to have new people take over parts of the project if necessary.)

That being said, given the level of vitriol in this thread thus far, I can see the benefit of keeping the dev team isolated from potential harassment; you'll lower your burnout factor this way. Having a community manager posting announcements and skimming the threads to check for any constructive comments (and firewall the rest of the team from the rest of the comments) is a reasonable way of achieving transparency on the process without subjecting the team to unnecessary stress. This is a common method in environments like MMO development, which seems to have similar community reactions to any announcements of design changes.

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Re: Regarding Future Website Redesign Plans

Post by CrackTheSky » Sat May 16, 2015 8:57 pm

Pwolf wrote:Any sort of redesign at this point requires a complete refocus, as GQ stated. Personally, I'd like to see the catalog and video uploads go away. Focus the site on the forum, contests, and social events. Removing video uploads would remove the need for donations and open more options for the site, as far as where it could go without running into legal trouble (advertising at cons?).
I would hate to see this. Pretty much the only thing this place is useful for (to me) is the catalog and the ability to search for and find videos based on almost any criteria I would want. I still download videos and keep them on my HDD, so I'm probably in the minority as I know most people watch videos via streaming these days, but I love love love that I have unlimited access to over 100,000 individual AMVs that I can search for and find with relative ease, versus trying to find specific videos on YouTube which can be maddening. This website's greatest asset is the fact that there are so many videos on here available for download, a huge portion of which are not available anywhere else. Old videos whose editors have moved on to other things and who never bothered to upload to YouTube can be found on here, and although it may take accidentally stumbling across them to find them at all, the fact that thy're here means that there's some record of them which would be lost if the catalog and uploads were to go away. This, in my opinion, would massively suck.

The community is great too, and I do use this website for that as well, but let's face it, it's practically dead (until a topic like this is brought up, it would seem).

All that said, I'm curious to know the maintenance costs (assuming no failures or issues like we had earlier this year) per year, and how much money we have in reserve. In other words, if nothing were to change, how much longer could the .org survive before it could no longer be maintained financially? I understand if that's information you don't want to or can't share, but it's something I've always wondered about.

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Re: Regarding Future Website Redesign Plans

Post by Pwolf » Sat May 16, 2015 9:05 pm

CrackTheSky wrote:
Pwolf wrote:Any sort of redesign at this point requires a complete refocus, as GQ stated. Personally, I'd like to see the catalog and video uploads go away. Focus the site on the forum, contests, and social events. Removing video uploads would remove the need for donations and open more options for the site, as far as where it could go without running into legal trouble (advertising at cons?).
I would hate to see this.
let me rephrase that:

Personally, I'd like to see the catalog as it is now and video uploads go away.

I think it can be simplified and would love to see integration for video streaming services in lieu of getting rid of video uploads. There are a lot of services out there and youtube is by far the most popular. We should harness that resource rather then push it away.

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Re: Regarding Future Website Redesign Plans

Post by Farlo » Sat May 16, 2015 9:14 pm

the video catalog and golden donut is the soul of the site, the community is the heart. Without the 2 there is no real point.

I love this site, back to the days of the Phorum. But the community just isn't what it used to be. As crackthesky said, its practically dead now days. If it can't be revived, upgrading the site and database will be for nothing.

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Re: Regarding Future Website Redesign Plans

Post by Sephirothskr » Sat May 16, 2015 9:15 pm

-eats popcorn- some of yall need to chill out.

-resumes eating popcorn-

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Re: Regarding Future Website Redesign Plans

Post by Pwolf » Sat May 16, 2015 9:24 pm

Farlo wrote:the video catalog and golden donut is the soul of the site, the community is the heart. Without the 2 there is no real point.

I love this site, back to the days of the Phorum. But the community just isn't what it used to be. As crackthesky said, its practically dead now days. If it can't be revived, upgrading the site and database will be for nothing.
Personally I would consider the community the soul. The community was alive and thriving way before the donut was introduced. We just had to do things the old fashioned way... you know buy your own damn hosting you damn youngin's!!! *shakes cane* We also burned CD/DVD's and handed them out at cons. Was a lot more sociable back then.

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Re: Regarding Future Website Redesign Plans

Post by BasharOfTheAges » Sat May 16, 2015 9:32 pm

Farlo wrote:the video catalog and golden donut is the soul of the site, the community is the heart. Without the 2 there is no real point.
Well put.

I've yet to be convinced that the tech being old has anything to do people being here or not. The forums are the way they are because young people don't like forums. No matter what's done to the main site, you're not going to all of a sudden see a sustained spike in forum activity, so everything will seem just as dead. If that's the only metric of perceived success, then I'm sorry, but we're doomed to failure already.

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