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Nanaki

The future of these forums

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Posted (edited)

FIRST OFF: Thanks everyone for their support and contributions over the last couple of years! It was all very much appreciated and why this decision is so hard.

With the previous methods to seed activity to the forums no longer available and some marketing efforts not able to help revive the community, it's currently planned to close the forums in the near future. Even though the forums aren't taken down right away, do note that they're not actively supported at this time.

Unfortunately in this day and age of social networks (especially Reddit) and thanks to the previous owner shutting down the very active FFE forums over a decade ago, building up a forum from scratch is incredibly challenging as a lot of previous members have moved on to other options.

So, is the community gone?

While the forums themselves will be shutting down, certain social features like the news comments section will be replaced with a new one that has the standard upvoting and threaded reply functionality that people expect. All existing news comments will be migrated to this new system.

User accounts will be retained and new password requests will sent out when the migration is complete. Closing the forums is more about not having a graveyard on display and to refocus resources on more impactful areas of the site.

What about the contest/giveaway!?

As per a listed rule, if we could not get enough participation in the event, the prize pool was subject to change. With that said, the initial 5 prizes has been reduced to 3. To award effort during this event, we'll be giving the 3 prizes to the top three posters shown on this giveaway leaderboard only: https://ffextreme.com/giveaway.php

This giveaway was a big push that ultimately had little impact. From hundreds of dollars in marketing to the big attractive prizes, people just don't seem interested in forums any more and anyone that is, already has a forum that they post at.

What about the existing content?

I'm going to build an export tool to allow logged in users to save their data if they'd like, that'll stay available even after the forums are closed. I may even make a static version of the forum for archival purposes, but it will still be closed to new content. The content that will eventually be available for download are:

  • (Private) Messages
  • Status Updates
  • Posts
  • Topics

If there's anything else you'd like to retrieve, let me know.

Will the forums ever return?

If enough traffic and community is built up in the future, launching a forum-like community feature would then be appropriate to do. However, over time the site has received less and less traffic due to the decade-long drought of content and the irrelevancy of fan sites over the years.

With music downloads removed, the site now receives 100-200 visits per day, which is a depressing drop from the 5,000-10,000 back in 2007 and the 500-700 in 2016.

To existing staff

All your help has been very much appreciated and I'd love to keep you aboard if you're interested. As said, while the forums will be shutting down, the comments feature will be revamped and serve as a better (more active) replacement. FFExtreme isn't going anywhere and I hope to better support contributors with more tailored functionality (and future compensation options).

Edited by Nanaki
The June 22nd date came and past. There's more work to decouple them from the main site.

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It's a shame that this didn't take off. These forums are way more user-friendly than most I've been on, especially ones that just use a generic layout. I'd argue that Discord likely has the most impact on smaller forums, as it seems like most of them use it instead.

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Ahh that’s too bad I really like the forums, but understand where you’re coming from, Forums were the rage not too long ago maybe one day! 
 

Either way I’ll be around posting news and whatnot! Let me know how else I can help! 

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19 minutes ago, Wuzimu said:

Ahh that’s too bad I really like the forums, but understand where you’re coming from, Forums were the rage not too long ago maybe one day! 
 

Either way I’ll be around posting news and whatnot! Let me know how else I can help! 

Yeah, I mean it's a tough call since there was work done already for them and they're definitely a personal favorite feature of mine. Just without regular activity, it feels more discouraging than meaningful/useful. I'll still keep the work done on this forum in the event a revival is sooner than I would otherwise think!

In some way, the improved news comments will be a good balance of what a forum would provide but offer a lower barrier of entry to participate in with topics readily available. It also seems that surviving fan sites these days rely mostly on news and comments, very few with surviving forums. Which is a shame, since forums offer a very personalized community experience.

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How does one even go about promoting forums now adays. I know maybe of one that’s still active, a KH fansite, but other than that I can’t think of much. It speaks volumes that FFE is still up and running, given how many other fansites have shut down or just linger for the sake of nostalgic purposes! 
 

It’s these damn discord communities too they’ve taken the place of the forums, and I’m sure one day something else will take discord’s place. Vicious cycle man! 
 

Excited to see the new comment system for sure! 

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Yeah, Discord for gaming chat communities and Reddit for everyone else. You generally need a lot of active posters and then market the forum a LOT to get even more joining in. Something much easier in the older days, but a struggle these days, yeah. The method used to get some active posters when I rereleased these forums in 2018 isn't available anymore, which doesn't help things.

And yeah, a lot of fan sites are either gone or became generic blogs. I may might invest more in blogging in the future but the game sections are important too. So, I'll just have to see how things go, but for now, it's just the forums and news commenting that are changing.

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