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Discord community improvement discussion on Wednesday, 9/13/17

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  • Discord community improvement discussion on Wednesday, 9/13/17

    During and after an impromptu group flight on Wednesday evening EDT, a 3 or 4 hour conversation on the topic of community revitalization occurred. Actively contributing members included Gearhandle, Toto, 404Mike, Razor, Storm, Novawing, Edd, Splithorse, Robert Dunn, Lazerbolt, Cube and several others (in no particular order). Many aspects and proposals were discussed in detail and at length on this general topic of community vitality.

    Proposals and discussions included (again in no particular order):

    Enhanced Discord attendance by tenured members.
    Advertising
    Website restructure, cleanup and enhancement
    Multiplayer sim server improvement
    Community ban reputation and philosophy
    Group flight emphasis
    Discord verses TeamSpeak
    Google search enhancement (ie advertising)
    Many other topics related to community improvement

    May I encourage those who had valid suggestion in this conversation to share points and philosophies here in this thread.

    Pursuant to this conversation, I personally have decided to try to keep the FSX:SE North American sim server operational 24/7 but I will eliminate default TacPack implementation.
    Respects, Bob ...

  • #2
    Originally posted by ROBERT DUNN 2 View Post
    I personally have decided to try to keep the FSX:SE North American sim server operational 24/7
    Thanks Bob! I know how much of a daily task that is. Your efforts are not unnoticed.

    Comment


    • #3
      Eagerly watching this thread as i have voiced my opinions on voice comms and am waiting for others to comment before i write my reply.
      (not ignoring the post bob)
      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        Glad to see everyone else is so invested in improving the community. I'll add my 2 cents:

        I'll start this off by saying yes I have been out of for a number of months, but I feel that gives me a better perspective. Back when I was around it almost seemed personal when there were issues, but now that's not the case, and I feel like I can give a different perspective, and new input.

        Originally posted by ROBERT DUNN 2 View Post
        Enhanced Discord attendance by tenured members.
        We all understand that personal lives get's in the way of being around, but I also confidently can say many people will check the website, or look to see if anyone they want to talk to is on. If not they(read we) don't even bother connecting. However if a number of people started sitting on Discord while doing other things on the PC until friends showed up that would lead to more people showing up(imo).

        Originally posted by ROBERT DUNN 2 View Post
        Advertising
        I think this is something to be addressed a little down the line after making some aesthetic, and internal changes(like the one mentioned above).

        Originally posted by ROBERT DUNN 2 View Post
        Website restructure, cleanup and enhancement
        Honestly outside of more member participation I feel this could be one of the biggest improvements to the community. Re-vitalizing the website to look more like a more modern 2015+ site instead of an early 2010s site would improve the first impression of anyone that might find the site(via google or something else). The current site bombards the user with text, most of which is not important to a first time user, and honestly has a bit of a cluttered feel to it.

        Originally posted by ROBERT DUNN 2 View Post
        Multiplayer sim server improvement
        A solid Steam Server up time is important to improving the impressions of those looking for a enjoyable place to fly. If a server is down often, and not stable that doesn't show dedication to anyone that might be new.

        I also feel it would be beneficial to decrease the number of servers listed, and used. We have 9 servers listed on the homepage of the website, 2 of which do not even exist anymore(P3D, and Classic), and 2 do very similar things(JFS & SimLink), but JFS doesn't connect to all platforms.

        Those that where here when we where still on classic FSX will know I very much enjoy flying formation, BUT I would rather give up everyone else seeing me in the correct location, than having 8 servers to choose from to connect to. My suggestion is to remove the front page listings of JFS, FSX(entirely), and P3D, then leave SimLink(Advertised as a cross-platform server), and DCS as the only 2 servers listed. That doesn't mean individuals couldn't use FSX:SE, or JFS to fly with a couple of friends, but keeping group flights, and scheduled events to one server will help decrease confusion for new members. If JFS dose improve, and allow for XP connections a full time transition to JFS could be addressed(by the entire community) then, but right now it excludes some members(and potential members) of our community.

        Originally posted by ROBERT DUNN 2 View Post
        I personally have decided to try to keep the FSX:SE North American sim server operational 24/7 but I will eliminate default TacPack implementation.
        (Thanks Bob, we appreciate it!)

        Originally posted by ROBERT DUNN 2 View Post
        Community ban reputation and philosophy
        This seemed to be a bit of a touchy subject in Discord, but I still will make the point. Overall the reputation of MSF has become a bit of a sore subject in the Flight Sim community, the biggest complaint seems to be that MSF is too quick to ban people. Now please don't take this the wrong way, YES people do need to be banned, there are always going to be general trolls. However, the common practice(at least previously when new people where coming in often), is to quickly get upset at new people who don't know how to find details, and then later if they make any small mistake that borders on the community rules they are banned, because the staff doesn't want to deal with new people.

        Originally posted by ROBERT DUNN 2 View Post
        Group flight emphasis
        I'll make this one short: More quality group flights = more member/staff community participation

        Originally posted by ROBERT DUNN 2 View Post
        Discord verses TeamSpeak
        This was a pretty split discussion, so I feel that means it's even more important to talk about. Discord has many nice features, and is at times easier to use, however it requires registration, and that is an extra step that some newer people may not be willing to take(yes that decreases the amount of trolls, but also decreases the number of potentially quality members. Discord also slows down if you have a lot of processes running. So for example if I am painting an airplane, and have Photoshop, DXTBMP, FSX, etc... open, Discord's voice quality decreases, or completely stops working, and I am entirely unable to use the Push to Talk until the processes catch up. I also think that Discord decreases interest in the server, there where many people that left the community just because of it. Teamspeak is a much more well known, and commonly used platform, I think more people would be likely to participate if we used TS3 instead.

        Originally posted by ROBERT DUNN 2 View Post
        Google search enhancement (ie advertising)
        Mike could probably speak to this better, but I'll try my best. Essentially because of the way the website is worded, it does not show up well on Google(web) searches. Since we don't have a mission statement or anything on the site describing what we do, it doesn't come up in results for pages and pages.

        Originally posted by ROBERT DUNN 2 View Post
        Many other topics related to community improvement
        The only other thing I will add(since this post is starting to look like one Bob would make - Sorry Bob, we all know you can't help it) kind of goes back to the community participation. Last night a member that hosts many group flights said at one point they stopped hosting flights simply because there wasn't much participation. That to me says a lot about the current situation of the community.

        That's what I've got, look forward to hearing everyone else response.

        EDIT(7:30pm): Spelling, and added something I missed
        Last edited by Razor; September 16th, 2017, 12:35 AM.
        http://i.imgur.com/RrDpHEG.jpg
        www.fsxblueangels.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks, Razor. I share many of your opinions on the topics I listed and I'll post to those ideas this weekend. Tonight I have a group flight that I'm inadequately configured to participate in so I'm hurrying on that.

          Edd has presented me with a very simple website demo consisting of button links to install and operate our various facilities. Preliminary proof-of-concept consists of link-buttons for Install our server software, Visit the Forum, Visit our virtual airline, Upcoming group flights, Join our voice server and Report a server issue. Edd's post to me is in demonstration of new visitor task simplification, a hot topic in that aforementioned public Discord conversation.

          Edd, Please post what you deem important on whatever topic we discussed or that we should have discussed.

          I was getting the impression that voice conversations on the topic of community improvement and vitality was much more likely to succeed than posts in forum. My purpose in starting this thread was to document all your valuable contributions and opinions for those who are surely interested but weren't impromptu group flying at that particular Wednesday flight.

          As Razor has done such an excellent job of sharing his views in his post and Edd indicates a willingness to also post, I continue to encourage the further Discord discussion of this revitalization topic whenever appropriate and/or a fuller broader discussion here in thread for those of you who are amenable with textual dialogue.

          In advance, thank you all for your interest and comments.
          Respects, Bob ...

          Comment


          • #6
            As far as the website goes, I'll have vbulletin 5 setup pretty soon (they finally added the calendar functionality), it looks much more modern and has a nice layout, I think everyone will like it. They should have their next version out in a week or two, so I'm thinking to wait until it is released instead of launching then having to update to the new version soon after. I've spent many hours preparing for the move+upgrade (moving away from Bluehost) which is quite extensive, so it should go smoothly.

            A big reason we do not show up that much in google is because this website does not have a SSL, google prioritizes websites with SSLs. You might have noticed the password warning some browsers will give when you log into this website, that's because we don't have a SSL. I have purchased one so once the upgrade/move happens the new website will have one (url will be https instead of http).

            Agree with what others have said about participation, being on Discord when you have free time is the best way to help the community. Moving to Discord had very little impact on community participation imo, there was a lull before we moved. I quite like Discord and feel it would be a big downgrade having to use Teamspeak again. Besides all the feeatures Discord has over Teamspeak, having a login account and a free cell phone app is important to me. The login is nice because you don't have to juggle teamspeak identities between computers and don't have to worry about file backups. A free cell phone app is essential to me as well..most of the time I have Discord running on my cell phone to keep tabs on the server, and its nice having a quick/easy way to communicate with members when out (and having a private message log).

            Comment


            • #7
              Glad to hear the news on the website, look forward to the results.

              I have to disagree with you on Discord, yes there was a bit of a lull before switching, but after switching attendance dropped off a cliff. between people not liking the change in general, difference in layout, creating an account, security issues, push to talk issues, and the aforementioned processing problem we lost a number of members, and decreased interest(If people don't like the client they will only show up - at best - for group flights, or if they notice someone they really want to talk to). Discord has good features yes. The Identities one is probably one of the biggest, yes the $5 charge is a bit annoying for the app. IMO the advantages don't outweigh the negatives of Discord. What was the biggest issue we had with teamspeak anyway? Licensing issues(which I understand has been fixed), not typically free(but not incredibly expensive), and the Identities/mobile PM log you mentioned(Which "myTeamSpeak" now allows for you to store identities on the cloud and connect using any device), so that is not an issue.

              The other thing to keep in mind is if people are part of other flight simulator communities they almost all are on TS3 still(or returned), so it's an extra client needed to install, and run(Using extra resources, and a good bit at that). I am one of those people, and truthfully part of the reason i haven't been around over the last few months is exactly that, I have to close TS(or mute everything) in order to connect to Discord instead of just connecting in another tab.
              Last edited by Razor; September 16th, 2017, 07:20 AM.
              http://i.imgur.com/RrDpHEG.jpg
              www.fsxblueangels.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Building on what was said about discord,
                The drawback for me was the resources needed to run. When you add up FSX, ASN, Discord, JoinFS or Simlink with Vpilot, inflight movies, etc. Discord seems to be the first one to feel the strain, with signal loss and having to be reset or reconnected.

                I don't think that having to sign up is a problem. There are so many sites out there that if you want to participate...you must sign up. That seems to be a new normal. It also means that if you want to be part of something, you need to make at least a minimum commitment, take less than 5 minutes and give some basic information...like login name. It was no more difficult to sign up for discord as it was to sign up for a profile on the MSFlights website...in fact I found it easier.

                This is not meant to be a promotion of my desire to return to TS3 or remain with Discord. I will make the effort to get either functioning to be a part of our community.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It's more than likely far too late to go back to a platform like Teamspeak for MSFlights.Net, which is a sad state of affairs to be in. The damage has been done to this community when it comes to this. Switching comms now would have to be a universal decision, and efforts would have to be doubled to make this community better than it was before.

                  Those that are left now, are the ones who voted for this change, I don't expect any movement on that front.

                  Obviously all of you know where I stand on this.

                  Comment

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