Stefan (timewheeler) wrote in nbners,

An open letter to the forum

I'd say that most people have grown up and left the Neopets site, as well as this one, but I still see posts that are stupid for the sake of being stupid, seemingly posted to quench the poster's desire to see their name placed anticlimactically in the everlasting database that is the Internet. Therefore, it is only logical to say that this site's demand for maturity is only slightly higher than a site that believes a sugary cereal and a bland platformer will address their most key demographic.

But what can we do about it? The clearest solution would be to impose stricter requirements for post content and quality, perhaps by having a more active moderation team that would delete the excuses for posts we have today, (whether or not their uses of the words "muse", "spam", or "Gandalf" are used properly or not) and maybe even go so far as to punish the undesirables through temporary removal of privileges. (A board I frequent also uses the phpBB code, and "jails" its impolite posters by taking away their use of avatars, signatures, BBCode, and titles. These "jailings" can last from one day to forever, and seem to work as well as a punishment as a means of discouraging users from breaking the rules.)

However, this site's dwindling population and popularity would render the above solution futile. What nBn needs to do is make itself more accessible to the Neopets base again. How can this be done? I would suggest frequent advertisement on the site's message boards and notice boards. As a (key) benefactor to the Wharg?vivor games run by our dearest cueru,, I would say that I would not object to having a portion of that fund go towards a good advertisement. But to whom should we advertise?

To be brutally honest, I believe that this site is best represented by Decks, Izumi, WPPWAH, myself, and this newly matured cueru who has discovered a different side of intellectual society, with opera, romance languages, and intelligent situation comedies, not to mention Eyown and Megg, of course. This base of users, with no offence directed to the excluded, continually demonstrates what I would describe as a perfect blend of maturity, intelligence, and wit. (Importantly, knowing the difference between wit and grasping for chuckles.) So, using these gracious users as a template, I would suggest describing (the new) nBn as a forum for discussion on the namesaked site, of course, and the changing world around us. I miss the days when General Chat was filled with sharp debates on politics, popular culture, and other pressing issues. Unfortunately, it has fallen victim to many meaningless topics. (I myself am not guiltless of this, due to my recent jab at a flood of "Where/When did you..." topics in NeoChat, but I am also guiltless of not trying, as seen in a few topics towards the end of the first page.) A change in demographics would help, but so would a change to the forum itself.

First off, should this new recruiting spree put forth fruit, I would suggest considering the removal of the New Here! board. Its occupants very rarely make second visits, and their introductions generally do not leave us waiting on tenterhooks for their next post. Secondly, it is no mystery that we have a very talented base of roleplaying users here, nor should it be a surprise to see that our Roleplaying board has died. Linking back to my first argument, because the userbase here has outgrown Neopets, the restrictions put upon roleplay themes has put a stopper on the talent these creative persons can show. A laxer, broader genre of roleplaying would be a great draw to this community. Of course, restrictions are always necessary, but the greatest works of art were painted with many colours. Speaking of art, our NeoArtists' Gallery could use the same treatment. Continuing this cleanup of the forums, NeoDates and NeoHomes have been stagnating for a long while. I won't voice my opinion on the Forum Fun Zone, given my already stated opinion on the quality of posts in this forum. While not necessary, I think that HTML Help and Graphic Help could perhaps be combined into a Website Design Help board, while a general Computer Help board could be added. I'm sure that many of us here, together, could help to solve any problems presented.

The forum has been in a state of decline for months now, but obviously there is still a core of users who would like to see it relive its glory days. In short, the plan outlined above states: Get out there, get bigger, get smarter, relax, streamline, enjoy.

I have removed you from my favourites list.

That is all.
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