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New BAR Admins - SuperReaderGirl & Nifty - Saying Hello

Peder

Well-Known Member
this might help with the "quiet" aspect, bringing back members who may have joined then forgotten about the forum. .
It would be great if people didn't drift away. So many friends have gone, diminishing the life of the forum for reasons we never know.
Very best of luck with your efforts.
Peder
PS I don't mind smilies.
:)
 

Karen C

Member
Well get posting then...
I can't speak for anyone else but as a newbie I sometimes find it quite intimidating joining a new forum. Regardless of how welcoming members are it's not always easy to just start posting.

We'll also be starting a newsletter to update members on what's new (new threads, book selections for Book of the Month, polls, etc.) - this might help with the "quiet" aspect, bringing back members who may have joined then forgotten about the forum.
I like the idea of a newsletter.

By the way, I have a question or more of an observation really. You have a section on the board which is a private part of the board and invite only - which is fair enough - however, are you aware that visitors/guests (i.e. anyone who is not logged in) can gain access to that section and read the threads? It's only when you log in that it disappears from view. I find it a bit strange that an invite only part of the board is accessible and readble by guests!
 

SuperReaderGirl

Forum Owner
Staff member
I can't speak for anyone else but as a newbie I sometimes find it quite intimidating joining a new forum. Regardless of how welcoming members are it's not always easy to just start posting.
I agree, Karen, it can be a bit intimidating posting to a new forum when you don't yet know the personalities or style of the existing members. I'm glad you've been taking part! :)

It looks like the private posts are not view-able to me when I logged out just now. Let me know if you're still seeing anything.
 

Azhria Lilu

Member
I'm not a huge poster here, but I do visit often. I don't post mainly because I find BAR to be a bit cluttered and haphazard with its layout, but this thread kinda drove me to log in and say something. I've noticed that the BAR seems pretty dead these days, not many new posts happening at all and never showing more than a couple of members online. When I saw the announcement of new owners, I thought maybe things were on the upturn, which would be great. But, I have to say, after watching for the last couple of months, for a new owner who claims to be "super eager" about the site, having plans for it and loving to interact with other "passionate" readers you're not showing much interest in the site, which is quite disappointing. In fact, the only thing you seemed interested in is the lack of smileys . . . .

I come here to read a lot and have noticed not only a drop in activity but that between Feb and April a few thousands posts actually disappeared from the site o_O whether that's just from general spam cleanup (which would be quite a large amount in itself or some kind of mess up from the purchase, I don't know.. either way it's a lot of posts). BAR had 8 posts in the last 24 hours, that's pretty sad considering how active BAR used to be. Has anything been actioned on the newsletter you said you were going to send out back in March (we're now in June and I haven't received a newsletter) or any of the ideas you said you had in mind for the site... or even those extra smilies which you appeared to be rather passionate about?

I'm sorry that my first post here in a while is so negative, but I hope you'll take it for what it is.
 

Peder

Well-Known Member
I'm not a huge poster here, but I do visit often. I don't post mainly because I find BAR to be a bit cluttered and haphazard with its layout, but this thread kinda drove me to log in and say something. I've noticed that the BAR seems pretty dead these days, not many new posts happening at all and never showing more than a couple of members online. When I saw the announcement of new owners, I thought maybe things were on the upturn, which would be great. But, I have to say, after watching for the last couple of months, for a new owner who claims to be "super eager" about the site, having plans for it and loving to interact with other "passionate" readers you're not showing much interest in the site, which is quite disappointing. In fact, the only thing you seemed interested in is the lack of smileys . . . .

I come here to read a lot and have noticed not only a drop in activity but that between Feb and April a few thousands posts actually disappeared from the site o_O whether that's just from general spam cleanup (which would be quite a large amount in itself or some kind of mess up from the purchase, I don't know.. either way it's a lot of posts). BAR had 8 posts in the last 24 hours, that's pretty sad considering how active BAR used to be. Has anything been actioned on the newsletter you said you were going to send out back in March (we're now in June and I haven't received a newsletter) or any of the ideas you said you had in mind for the site... or even those extra smilies which you appeared to be rather passionate about?

I'm sorry that my first post here in a while is so negative, but I hope you'll take it for what it is.

Azhria, One is always torn about whether or not to post critical comments about a forum that one likes, but I have to commend you for an unusually balanced and accurate appraisal of the way this site has seemed to be lately. Like you, some others of us who have been members for quite a while, hope patiently for an upturn in BAR's fortunes. Well said!
 

pontalba

Well-Known Member
I'm not a huge poster here, but I do visit often. I don't post mainly because I find BAR to be a bit cluttered and haphazard with its layout, but this thread kinda drove me to log in and say something. I've noticed that the BAR seems pretty dead these days, not many new posts happening at all and never showing more than a couple of members online. When I saw the announcement of new owners, I thought maybe things were on the upturn, which would be great. But, I have to say, after watching for the last couple of months, for a new owner who claims to be "super eager" about the site, having plans for it and loving to interact with other "passionate" readers you're not showing much interest in the site, which is quite disappointing. In fact, the only thing you seemed interested in is the lack of smileys . . . .

I come here to read a lot and have noticed not only a drop in activity but that between Feb and April a few thousands posts actually disappeared from the site o_O whether that's just from general spam cleanup (which would be quite a large amount in itself or some kind of mess up from the purchase, I don't know.. either way it's a lot of posts). BAR had 8 posts in the last 24 hours, that's pretty sad considering how active BAR used to be. Has anything been actioned on the newsletter you said you were going to send out back in March (we're now in June and I haven't received a newsletter) or any of the ideas you said you had in mind for the site... or even those extra smilies which you appeared to be rather passionate about?

I'm sorry that my first post here in a while is so negative, but I hope you'll take it for what it is.

If there was a "love" button to click, I'd do so.
Well said, Azhria Lilu!
 

Azhria Lilu

Member
Azhria, One is always torn about whether or not to post critical comments about a forum that one likes, but I have to commend you for an unusually balanced and accurate appraisal of the way this site has seemed to be lately. Like you, some others of us who have been members for quite a while, hope patiently for an upturn in BAR's fortunes. Well said!

If there was a "love" button to click, I'd do so.
Well said, Azhria Lilu!

Thanks guys. I did think about it for a day or so before I posted it as I wasn't sure how it would be received, since I'm not a hugely active poster. I run forums myself, and have done for a long long time, so I know how hard it can be to hear criticism come from what could be perceived as an outsider - both as a site owner and as a member. But, with that said, I've always used this as my go-to site in the past when I wanted to take a break from my own things and read what you lot have been talking about or reading. I don't really get a lot of time to post on forums not in my care - the majority of my online time attention goes to the growth of them, but it actually bothered me seeing how BAR has been starting to wane.

I hope my post spurs the new owners into action and they can bring back the glory days - god knows we need a great book forum! - but, three months in and nothing to show for it, I can't say I'm truly hopeful - otherwise I might have a start a book forum of my own :eek:
 

Peder

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys. I did think about it for a day or so before I posted it as I wasn't sure how it would be received, since I'm not a hugely active poster. I run forums myself, and have done for a long long time, so I know how hard it can be to hear criticism come from what could be perceived as an outsider - both as a site owner and as a member. But, with that said, I've always used this as my go-to site in the past when I wanted to take a break from my own things and read what you lot have been talking about or reading. I don't really get a lot of time to post on forums not in my care - the majority of my online time attention goes to the growth of them, but it actually bothered me seeing how BAR has been starting to wane.

I hope my post spurs the new owners into action and they can bring back the glory days - god knows we need a great book forum! - but, three months in and nothing to show for it, I can't say I'm truly hopeful - otherwise I might have a start a book forum of my own :eek:
Azhria,
I have taken the liberty of highlighting your post, because I that that it is worth mentioning again how treacherous the waters can be if or when one offers criticism of a site. Not all admins/mods are equally tolerant of critical or even constructive suggestions, and they do after all hold the power over one's participation on the site.
 

Azhria Lilu

Member
Azhria,
I have taken the liberty of highlighting your post, because I that that it is worth mentioning again how treacherous the waters can be if or when one offers criticism of a site. Not all admins/mods are equally tolerant of critical or even constructive suggestions, and they do after all hold the power over one's participation on the site.
Indeed they do. But I also firmly believe that the manner with which an admin/mod deals with criticism says a lot about their character ;)
 

Nifty

Administrator
Staff member
Azhria Lilu, thank you very much for your feedback. We're HUGE proponents of feedback and appreciate when people provide their thoughts and ideas with the goal of helping the community! So, no need to be sorry at all!

I think part of our issue is that Emily and I have had a lot of trepidation about making too many changes. We're not really familiar with the community yet and have been trying to get a feel for things. We thought that new peeps coming in and making a ton of changes would potentially cause more harm, discomfort, etc... so we've been kinda laying low.

We definitely want to find the balance and do whatever is best for the community, so we definitely would love to see as many comments and ideas as possible!

Regarding the layout being "a bit cluttered and haphazard": Please be more specific and post any ideas of how you'd suggest it be improved.

Regarding post-drop: We did do some cleanup of a hidden section where the previous owner had moved all spam that was on the forum into this hidden section. After a bit of discussion we didn't feel there was any value in keeping thousands of v1agra threads in a hidden forum, so we removed them. :)

Regarding the newsletter: Ya, we totally dropped the ball on that and I'll make sure SuperReaderGirl puts in the time to make that happen!

Again, thanks for your thoughts and feedback, we appreciate them and hope others will contribute with their thoughts and ideas!
 

Peder

Well-Known Member
Azhria Lilu, thank you very much for your feedback. We're HUGE proponents of feedback and appreciate when people provide their thoughts and ideas with the goal of helping the community! So, no need to be sorry at all!

I think part of our issue is that Emily and I have had a lot of trepidation about making too many changes. We're not really familiar with the community yet and have been trying to get a feel for things. We thought that new peeps coming in and making a ton of changes would potentially cause more harm, discomfort, etc... so we've been kinda laying low.

We definitely want to find the balance and do whatever is best for the community, so we definitely would love to see as many comments and ideas as possible!

Regarding the layout being "a bit cluttered and haphazard": Please be more specific and post any ideas of how you'd suggest it be improved.

Regarding post-drop: We did do some cleanup of a hidden section where the previous owner had moved all spam that was on the forum into this hidden section. After a bit of discussion we didn't feel there was any value in keeping thousands of v1agra threads in a hidden forum, so we removed them. :)

Regarding the newsletter: Ya, we totally dropped the ball on that and I'll make sure SuperReaderGirl puts in the time to make that happen!

Again, thanks for your thoughts and feedback, we appreciate them and hope others will contribute with their thoughts and ideas!

Hi Nifty, I will respond with general thoughts, even though I have no particularly urgent changes to request.

It seems to me that over the long term: 1) there has been a declining interest in reading and serious discussion of books among the current membership, to the point where the BOTM looks discussion moribund. There are very few active members from years back; they have lost interest and just plain gone over the hill long ago. Meadows' interest in reviving discussion in the BOTM met with a resounding thud, and even vociferous opposition, and things have not improved with her departure. That leaves us where we are now with June discussion not even yet opened; ii) at the same time, the number of non-book and game threads has grown; and iii) the actual interests membership have apparently changed. I don't think any of these are anyone's fault and I have no suggestion for changing these trends. Times change, people change, membership changes, and that's where we are.

If I might offer one comment where improvement might be had. It seems to me the forum has been becoming more abrasive lately, with discussions veering off topic and rapidly turning into chest bumping and exchanges of personal jabs and insults. I like to come to the forum for relaxed and friendly discussion among friendly people (mainly of books). I do not at all like to get up in the morning to gird myself for yet another round of fighting on the forum. I don't think fighting attracts people and I think moderators could have intervened with more of a moderating influence than they have for quite a while now. It seems to me the forum has been running hands off for quite a long time. But, hey, it is your-all's forum and you can have it any way you want it.

These are just my thoughts, and there is nothing that says the forum has to correspond with my preferences. It really is your forum, and your call.
At least IMO.
 
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SuperReaderGirl

Forum Owner
Staff member
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts so openly! We would also like to see this become a more vibrant community where people are able to discuss their opinions on books without fear of attack. We definitely do need to get a newsletter going to bring people back in and to garner more interest in the monthly book selections. I, personally, tend to mostly not participate in group reads, but like to choose my own thing. I'd like to join the BOTM discussions here at some point, though, so may change my reading habits. :) My reading goes in ebbs and flows - where sometimes I'm addicted and reading constantly, and sometimes I'm not reading, but just following some of the book/author/publishing news.

My favorite section here is the "Recommendations" area. I love searching for books people can't remember or recommending books I think someone else might enjoy.

I'd love to hear some suggestions for how we can make people feel more welcome and comfortable posting. I like the review/journal sections we've started because it seems people are able to freely express themselves there. I occasionally hesitate to share some of what I read because it's largely "Young Adult" rather than "classics" or other more acceptable adult fiction, but I suppose everyone has their own preferences and opinions and that's what keeps life interesting. :)

We definitely do not mind - and actually welcome - constructive criticism. I am new to the forum management domain and learning as I go, so please be patient, but Rob is assisting me greatly and we'll work to implement the things we think will help the most.
 
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pontalba

Well-Known Member
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts so openly! We would also like to see this become a more vibrant community where people are able to discuss their opinions on books without fear of attack. We definitely do need to get a newsletter going to bring people back in and to garner more interest in the monthly book selections. I, personally, tend to mostly not participate in group reads, but like to choose my own thing. I'd like to join the BOTM discussions here at some point, though, so may change my reading habits. :) My reading goes in ebbs and flows - where sometimes I'm addicted and reading constantly, and sometimes I'm not reading, but just following some of the book/author/publishing news.

My favorite section here is the "Recommendations" area. I love searching for books people can't remember or recommending books I think someone else might enjoy.

I'd love to hear some suggestions for how we can make people feel more welcome and comfortable posting. I like the review/journal sections we've started because it seems people are able to freely express themselves there. I occasionally hesitate to share some of what I read because it's largely "Young Adult" rather than "classics" or other more acceptable adult fiction, but I suppose everyone has their own preferences and opinions and that's what keeps life interesting. :)

We definitely do not mind - and actually welcome - constructive criticism. I am new to the forum management domain and learning as I go, so please be patient, but Rob is assisting me greatly and we'll work to implement the things we think will help the most.

Please do not hesitate to share your reading preferences in your blog/journal thread! I doubt anyone would "judge" another reader for their choices, that is deeply personal and we all have our reasons for what we read. And, frankly, if a poster does say something derogatory about any reader's choice of material that in itself would say more about that person/poster than the person they are judging. So, in essence, a pox on them! :D

Classic, smassic. Just because something is a "classic" doesn't automatically make it an interesting read, IMO. :p

I'd also be interested in seeing a newsletter from BAR.
 

Peder

Well-Known Member
Hi SRG
Thanks for coming around. Young Adults wasn't around when I was that age, so I have always been curious about how it has been evolving e.g. in bringing more mature reading, ahem, to younger reading levels (which is also going on at children's reading levels too). The world is growing up quicker these days. Also, you mention following the book/author/publishing pages. The book industry is certainly evolving quicker than it wants to, under the pressure of e-publishing/amazon and kindles. So, I suspect you regularly come across articles in both areas yhat would be of general interest here in our book world, and could post links to items that occasionally catch your eye. I'm interested in what is going on in the larger world of books -- exciting times, as they are called. :)
 

Conscious Bob

Well-Known Member
I hope my post spurs the new owners into action and they can bring back the glory days - god knows we need a great book forum! - but, three months in and nothing to show for it, I can't say I'm truly hopeful - otherwise I might have a start a book forum of my own :eek:

If they do will you increase your own level of participation?
 

Sparhawk

Active Member
Appoint a good moderator who is actively involved in the forum or get a lot more active yourselves - mostly get a LOT more active yourselves - the life of a forum is dependent on the involvement and active participation of the owners. There isn't a forum on the internet that survives the non-participation of the owners. Moderate the spam and step in and moderate arguments before they spiral whilst allowing freedom of expression.
 
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