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    Should We Rebrand The Site?

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    Post by SpeedyBlueDude October 22nd 2013, 1:41 am

    Zezima and I have been discussing this subject for the past few days, and we both agree it's time to get the opinions from other site members.



    The Situation

    The state of this forum is something Zezima and I have been constantly discussing the past few weeks. Let's not kid ourselves, the level of activity on this site is really low, and it doesn't seem to be improving anytime soon. Let's look at the site's activity the past few weeks.
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    There are boards on this site that haven't been posted in since August. Many date back to September, and a few are in October. Even the Random board on the site hasn't seen a post since September, a board that is usually one of the most active boards on Web Forums! The amount of users online at the time of posting this is a hefty one, me. The amount of members who have checked in on the site is a good five, non of which have an reason to post, because of how inactive this site is. Where's the fun in replying to Topics when no one else does? The entire purpose of a messaging board is to communicate with other users, without that, a message board serves no purpose.

    As it stands, this site doesn't seem to be improving on it's own, and Zezima and I have discussed a solution that we think might be able to spark some activity with the site.



    The Solution

    Zezima and I both think that re branding the site might be able to kindle the site some new life. This idea isn't new, in fact Zezima has showed me that we had a discussion like this more than a year ago, so in my opinion, it just shows that this idea is one that has some merit. As it stands, we are viewed as nothing more than a Sonic Fansite. We are a site dedicated to a franchise many on the Internet view as dead, and many associate with terrible fan fiction. People who aren't fans of the Sonic series are instantly turned off, they have no reason to be on this site. If we want the site to grow, I believe we should stay true to our communities interest, while also expanding our horizon. Let's make this site a General Gaming site. Our potential user-base just increased from the few millions of Sonic fans, to the tens of millions of gaming fans.



    The New Age

    Our new site, would need a new name. Thankfully, we've already had alias we refer to ourselves as... Tescia. Tescia would be the name of the site. We would keep the site as is, we wouldn't lose members, we wouldn't lose messages, we would simply change names, skins, and logos, and the URL. The new site, Tescia, would be exactly as this site is, just with a different approach than this site. We would no longer be a site for Sonic Fans trying to escape bigger sites like Sega of America, Sonic Stadium, Sonic Retro, etc. We would be a site for fans of all type of games to come together and talk. The way the forums are ordered, however, would change. I suggest we keep only 4 main boards open, News and Announcements, Random, Gaming, and The Sonic Series, as a little homage to our humble beginnings. If need be, we can have sub boards within the boards that relate. We can split Xbox discussions, Playstation discussions, and Nintendo discussions into sub boards in Gaming, for example. Although I'd prefer to keep everything organized in one board.

    Bringing Users To Tescia
    Just appealing to a bigger audience isn't enough to have people visit our site, we need to get our names out there. We could simply just go on other sites and get our names out there, or we could also take a different approach, exposing ourselves on the Internet. There are two ways I've found we can have Tescia get out there.

    First and foremost Tescia TV. Tescia TV is a simple one, we make a Youtube Channel and upload regular gaming videos, hopefully gaining a viewbase to watch our videos. Videos would start with a intro stating Tescia TV, and perhaps linking to the site. Videos would end with a outro advertising other videos, and definitely giving a link to the site. The channel would also have a link to the site, and every video we would put a link to the site as well.

    The content we would upload, is gaming content. We wouldn't just be another PewDiePie or GameGrumps, we won't do JUST Let's Play. In order to receive a decent amount of new viewers, we would upload a Bi-Daily Gaming News video, were we fill in viewers with the latest in gaming news. I also suggest we upload trailers for new games, while also making regular videos sure to draw in views. For example, a sneak peek trailer for a new Sonic Game just released, we show it, but not only that, we grab a few members from the site to examine it and discuss it. We'd also make more controversial videos, maybe discussing or arguing unpopular opinions, and maybe even releasing Top 10 videos. We also would upload Let's Plays, if users are willing to play together and lend their voices to be recorded and used in videos, to give viewers a feel for our userbase, and maybe enjoy the Let's Players enough to join the site. We could upload ANY content we feel would get views and attention to the site, or even just content we feel like making, Podcasts, Rants, Comedy shows, you name it!

    The second way is Tescia News. In my opinion is we should write and publish gaming news on the regular. We would have a team of writers who are up to date with the most recent gaming news, and we would publish articles on said news on our site. I suggest we have an entirely different section of the site dedicated to this, instead of putting it as a section on the forums, we make it an entirely different part of the site, if possible. Hopefully we attract users to come to our site for the latest updates in gaming news, and hopefully we eventually start getting linked by gamers on other sites as a source. I suggest we also have a homepage, where the first things seen are the newest news in gaming, and the hottest topics on the forums.

    Feedback

    Now, both Zezima and I wanted to make this a thread because we want your feedback. This site belongs to you guys just as much as it belongs to Zezima. If you guys don't want this transition, it won't happen.  I have not added a poll, because I don't want anyone to just skim the idea and vote yes or no. I want you guys to have enough intuitive to respond with your thoughts, ideas, and opinion. Show us you care. Tell us if you like this idea, hate it, and why. Maybe even pitch your own ideas, or suggest a better solution. So please give us feedback.

    Q&A


    Q - Wouldn't we lose our current users and lose all our posts? Why would we want this?
    A - No. We aren't changing host. We're sticking with forumotion. We would retain all stats, this is simply only a URL change.


    Last edited by SpeedyBlueDude on October 22nd 2013, 11:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Post by The Freedom Fighter October 22nd 2013, 2:40 am

    Well, if you wanted to, you could, but...what about the site address? Not to mention that requires a lot of new images, finding a lot of gaming news and keeping things up to date. Plus you'll have to do loads of advertising, although Zezima was good about that back in the old days, so that may not be a problem.


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    Post by SpeedyBlueDude October 22nd 2013, 2:47 am

    The Freedom Fighter wrote:Well, if you wanted to, you could, but...what about the site address? Not to mention that requires a lot of new images, finding a lot of gaming news and keeping things up to date. Plus you'll have to do loads of advertising, although Zezima was good about that back in the old days, so that may not be a problem.
    Zezima and I have already discussed the site address. According to Zezima, a URL change is simple and at worst, might cost him money for Tescia.forumotion.com. Tescia.com would definitely require payment, however.
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    Post by karkooshy October 22nd 2013, 3:03 am

    Pros:
    -More to talk about (more games, genres, official game reviewing system, playthroughs, Tescia TV... etc.)
    -More potential members
    -A lot of the topics discussed here are non-Sonic in nature anyway (a possible indicator that the already existing active members aren't interested in spending time discussing Sonic alone).
    -An opportunity to start over again on a non-Forumotion domain and start making money off the site.

    Cons:
    -Loss of focus (which often translates to loss of uniqueness, more on that below)
    -Much more competition, so it will take a lot of effort (and motivation; which there seems to be a lack thereof :P) to climb up the ranks.
    -The current user base signed up because TSC is a Sonic forum.
    -Starting over on a non-Forumotion domain means the forums lose their statistics (members, posts... etc.)
    -Starting over on a non-Forumotion domain requires commitment (security precautions, fees and experience in server management..etc.).

    From personal experience, focusing on a single topic to base a forum upon generally ended up giving better results than generalized forums (which is pretty counter intuitive xD). I'm not sure why the 'Loss of Focus' phenomena even works at all, since generalized forums logically have much more to talk about... maybe because it's much easier to gather people with deep passion for a specific topic than it is to gather them in a general forum... so the experience is better... *shrugs*
    I've seen for example, forums which started to bustle in activity when the Admins decided to base them on more specific topics like changing a Tech forum into a Computer Security forum, or a Board Game forum into a Trading Card Game forum. And out of the forums I personally helped administrate, the ones that were more specific were always the ones that were more successful (and vice versa).
    I'm not saying changing TSC to a general gaming forum is a bad idea, just saying it would be much more difficult to handle and compete with. Leave it to the members I guess. I personally don't mind green guy .


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    Post by SpeedyBlueDude October 22nd 2013, 11:40 pm

    karkooshy wrote:Pros:
    -More to talk about (more games, genres, official game reviewing system, playthroughs, Tescia TV... etc.)
    -More potential members
    -A lot of the topics discussed here are non-Sonic in nature anyway (a possible indicator that the already existing active members aren't interested in spending time discussing Sonic alone).
    -An opportunity to start over again on a non-Forumotion domain and start making money off the site.

    Cons:
    -Loss of focus (which often translates to loss of uniqueness, more on that below)
    -Much more competition, so it will take a lot of effort (and motivation; which there seems to be a lack thereof :P) to climb up the ranks.
    -The current user base signed up because TSC is a Sonic forum.
    -Starting over on a non-Forumotion domain means the forums lose their statistics (members, posts... etc.)
    -Starting over on a non-Forumotion domain requires commitment (security precautions, fees and experience in server management..etc.).

    From personal experience, focusing on a single topic to base a forum upon generally ended up giving better results than generalized forums (which is pretty counter intuitive xD). I'm not sure why the 'Loss of Focus' phenomena even works at all, since generalized forums logically have much more to talk about... maybe because it's much easier to gather people with deep passion for a specific topic than it is to gather them in a general forum... so the experience is better... *shrugs*
    I've seen for example, forums which started to bustle in activity when the Admins decided to base them on more specific topics like changing a Tech forum into a Computer Security forum, or a Board Game forum into a Trading Card Game forum. And out of the forums I personally helped administrate, the ones that were more specific were always the ones that were more successful (and vice versa).
    I'm not saying changing TSC to a general gaming forum is a bad idea, just saying it would be much more difficult to handle and compete with. Leave it to the members I guess. I personally don't mind green guy .
    Here's a response from Zezima.
    Zezima wrote:
    I agree with all of your pros & cons and the elaborations thereupon sans the following:

    · An opportunity to start over again on a non-Forumotion domain and start making money off the site.

    · Starting over on a non-Forumotion domain means the forums lose their statistics (members, posts, et cetera.)

    · Starting over on a non-Forumotion domain requires commitment (security precautions, fees, and experience in server management, et cetera.)

    You misunderstand. We're paying Forumotion for the removal of the ".forumotion" exension, not migrating hosts.
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    Post by Super Racer Z October 23rd 2013, 2:15 am

    I'm a bit hesitant on the general gaming idea, as the exact moment the first gaming fan forum I frequented fell was when it was forced to convert to a general gaming forum to try and cut their ties to a horrid disappointment of a game with incredibly disillusioned fans. This was a site which had a member count in the ten thousands range at its peak, and it ran into the ground very quickly with this change. I'm not entirely sure what causes the phenomenon, other than it almost certainly has something to do with that lack of focus and uniqueness, but it does seem like the trend for very general sites. Branching out could be beneficial, but going straight for all of gaming as a main theme seems like it just has too many pitfalls for a community of our size. While something like the proposed Tescia TV and Tescia News ideas might be able to overcome that in theory, I just don't see how any of those are possible with our current level of coordination and motivation, and last time we attempted it, it did not work.

    I'm not saying we can't reach that level one day, but we should really start out smaller and gradually work our way up. For our theme, we should probably aim for more of a subset of general gaming instead, like possibly platformers and misc games, or otherwise a genre or series of genres which isn't saturated with gaming forums, but is broad enough that it wouldn't alienate the type of people who are already here. For community content, things like straight playthroughs/walkthroughs, interesting gaming clips and moments, and otherwise fundamental things which don't require large amounts of commentary or tons of time consuming and coordinated editing to complete seem like a much better starting point. If you use relevant games, record interesting gameplay footage, and use effective search optimization, you can make videos capable of generating upwards of 15000 views in around 2 months with only an hour or so of commitment. That seems like a much more sustainable workload for anyone willing to contribute, while still providing a fairly good turnout.

    In short, I do think we need some change to reinvigorate TSC, but we should keep our sights on attainable goals and move forward with great care as to not self-destruct or overreach.


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    Post by Nnoitra Hushimo October 23rd 2013, 8:44 pm

    I honestly think it could work. I'm not going to lie, these days, Sonic is not what it used to be. It's lost it's popularity. It also has a terrible image, due mainly to the fans under the age of 12 and their horrendous art/fanfics.

    I guess what I'm trying to get here is this: If we change our style to a general gaming forum, we will, hopefully, keep our current members, along with more potential members that can contribute to the site. Of course, I think we should still have an area dedicated for Sonic discussion. Really, there is a whole new window of opportunity. Though this will take some hard work and dedication, I think the end results may pay off.

    tldr; I'm all for the idea, and hope it will bring fruitful results.
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    Post by Jmh December 18th 2013, 6:33 pm

    I don't know if it's the best idea to evolve into a general gaming forum just yet, because as karkooshy said, it would only add more competition, thereby making the forums less noticeable in a large sea of general gaming forums. So as Super Racer Z said, it might be better to start off small and work our way up.

    On the other hand, we're not that active as it is, so perhaps the risk wouldn't hurt us as much, since we don't have that much to lose. Also, for personal preference, I like the idea myself, as I've been losing interest in the Sonic franchise over the years, and the sheer ambition of the evolution is quite exciting.
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    Post by NeoMetalSonic December 19th 2013, 12:24 am

    I like to come to a site that isn't always call the Sonic Community. This place hasn't talk about Sonic in forever & hardly is worthy of the name now. You might as well pander to a different audience & see what works.
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    Post by kneeslappington@safe-mail December 19th 2013, 1:40 am

    NeoMetalSonic wrote:I like to come to a site that isn't always call the Sonic Community. This place hasn't talk about Sonic in forever & hardly is worthy of the name now. You might as well pander to a different audience & see what works.
    The Mly Community. 'Twould at least attract a crowd of noobs less idiotic and volatile.
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    Post by SonicFanPS2 January 15th 2014, 12:08 am

    It's a good idea to try out...we don't have much to lose. Am I too late to offer any input, though? I didn't mean to be gone this long...
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    Post by Shade January 25th 2014, 8:56 am

    Why not start over and make a new forum, dedicating the new forum to general gaming?

    Effectively doing a reboot. It might work

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