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As indicated in the announcement at the top of the forums, signatures have been disabled. This thread is for constructive feedback about what we can do to fill the void with regards to self-promotion.

Please be aware that djpretzel is working on revisions to the forum theme that will more clearly delineate where one person's post ends and another's begins. As always, OC ReMix is a WIP.

Thanks.

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I've mulled over this topic since it happened, and I just keep coming back to the same conclusion: forums are dead. Traditional forum software on the internet is few and far between now. Most communit

It's funny, forums seems to have died out but nothing really replaced them.  Reddit-style commenting makes it impossible to discuss things in a conversational format.  Discord is a throwback to old in

Yep, you really nailed it there. Way too close to home. When I read your post, I spat out my yerba mate and dropped my artisanal scone on the ground - "They're on to me!!!" I thought, as I frantically

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I'm going to miss the forum sigs. It's fun to see albums or compos live on through signatures. (I'm thinking of SZRC) Maybe make a special "OCR Sig Image Maker" or something so that the images in sigs are only from OCR? 

People could also just post their "signatures" after all of their posts, but that may drive people crazy.

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I'm a newcomer to this forum, but LONG time OCRemix fan, maybe since the beginning (??).  FWIW one of my favorites is Alex Kidd in Miracle World 'No One Can Do It Better'.  So chill.  

Anyway, I noticed we are using invision community software here!   If the reason for removing signatures was due to bad/unwanted external links or images, then it is probably possible to write a plugin to check the content of a signature before it can be saved, and not allow it to be saved if it contains a URL to an image that is externally hosted (while still allowing external links to artists websites, etc)

e.g. via regex matching against the content of the signature text area before it is posted.

If I can find the time I'd love to try my own hand at writing said plugin, though if what I described sounds like what is needed, there are many much more qualified developers available for hire over here:

https://invisioncommunity.com/third-party/providers/

Just a suggestion!

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3 hours ago, Pyros777 said:

I'm a newcomer to this forum, but LONG time OCRemix fan, maybe since the beginning (??).  FWIW one of my favorites is Alex Kidd in Miracle World 'No One Can Do It Better'.  So chill.  

Anyway, I noticed we are using invision community software here!   If the reason for removing signatures was due to bad/unwanted external links or images, then it is probably possible to write a plugin to check the content of a signature before it can be saved, and not allow it to be saved if it contains a URL to an image that is externally hosted (while still allowing external links to artists websites, etc

@Pyros777 Wow, blast from the past, thanks for the feedback on Alex Kidd!

Ultimately, while the SSL on images was annoying, this is more about streamlining the overall forum experience - we plan on leaning on the forum software a bit more, and feel that a more streamlined experience is not only cleaner & more usable, but more consistent with most modern forum experiences.

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5 hours ago, djpretzel said:

@Pyros777 Wow, blast from the past, thanks for the feedback on Alex Kidd!

Ultimately, while the SSL on images was annoying, this is more about streamlining the overall forum experience - we plan on leaning on the forum software a bit more, and feel that a more streamlined experience is not only cleaner & more usable, but more consistent with most modern forum experiences.

 

I've been around OCR since the logo was blue and I've got to be honest, I think you're being misled by the same UsErExPeRiEnCe clique that's behind most horrible UI decisions that actual users utterly despise. With social media and tech being the way it is today we're seeing more than ever an extreme gulf between what "experts" and self proclaimed thought leaders say customers and users want and the reality. You see this everywhere from phones to computers to pop culture, just compare the "critic" score to the user score on almost any major mainstream release on rotten tomatoes for the past decade.

Edited by Shadowe
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6 hours ago, Shadowe said:

 

I've been around OCR since the logo was blue and I've got to be honest, I think you're being misled by the same UsErExPeRiEnCe clique that's behind most horrible UI decisions that actual users utterly despise. With social media and tech being the way it is today we're seeing more than ever an extreme gulf between what "experts" and self proclaimed thought leaders say customers and users want and the reality. You see this everywhere from phones to computers to pop culture, just compare the "critic" score to the user score on almost any major mainstream release on rotten tomatoes for the past decade.

Wow.

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Maybe it's just me and my old school ways, but a forum that celebrates an art form, yet provides its users little in the way to use art on it, seems off. I get that the "clean" look is what some want. Lots of businesses do. But OCR isn't really a business in the typical sense of boardroom meetings and company-use-only forums. It's a site about video games, video game music, and the remixes of said music. It's a site that sets out to celebrate the personalities of the music that's used to help create the moods, moments and scenes we'll remember experiencing years from now. So why take such a large chunk away from the personality of the forums and its users?

I can understand limiting file sizes, image dimensions and what they might link to. Links to Pornhub, Pirate Bay or something isn't the best thing to have show up again and again whenever someone posts. Nor is a shrunken image of something questionable. But getting rid of them entirely just seems a bit much in my opinion.

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The Discord server was probably not the best place to ask this, since things move fast and get buried quickly, so apologies if you saw this question there and it’s redundant to you.

Could there be an option for text-only, character-limited forum sigs instead? Considering the rationale given, it should reduce clutter while bypassing the whole issue of non-SSL (and other problematic) images.

I ask because my sig contained an invitation to collaborate, which I’ve gotten a few replies to recently.

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Bear in mind I have no saying in this decision. However, I'd like to drop a few thoughts. First because it's an interesting subject. And second, but most importantly, The Coop has always been friendly and approachable. And I wish him the best!

  

16 hours ago, The Coop said:

getting rid of them entirely just seems a bit much in my opinion.

As someone like you who is known for using sigs as means of showcasing visual prowess, this change feels like cutting down a long time beloved tree, doesn't it? Still, you're very talented. And I do hope your involvement with DeviantArt and alikes has been filling the void OCR couldn't fill for you anymore.

 

17 hours ago, The Coop said:

So why take such a large chunk away from the personality of the forums and its users?

Unfortunately, it's been years since there was a present and consistent sig making community on these boards. All you could witness recently were a bunch of untouched "June is Boss Month" sigs and such, which honestly gives the forums a sense of lack of updates and abandonment. Sure, sigs used to be a huge thing in the past. But you can't say they've even been a thing in the past 6 years or so.

 

17 hours ago, The Coop said:

Maybe it's just me and my old school ways, but a forum that celebrates an art form, yet provides its users little in the way to use art on it, seems off.

You're aware that in the past, there was no such thing as custom avatars. Everyone had to choose one from a curated gaming/anime/TV-film collection. But now not only you can have your own custom avatar (which can be a closer artistic expression of yourself more than ever), but it can even be animated if you wish. By this perspective, don't you feel this is a fair trade-off?

 

17 hours ago, The Coop said:

I get that the "clean" look is what some want. Lots of businesses do. But OCR isn't really a business in the typical sense of boardroom meetings and company-use-only forums. It's a site about video games, video game music, and the remixes of said music.

But you do post in another forum where its community, which fostered sig culture like no other, grew older and don't use sigs anymore either. And that didn't stop you from being a part of it. In the end, our primary way of strengthening relationships and camaraderie is the exchange of thoughts. Although I admit making new friends here throught my own sig skills, this alone could not provide such strengthening.

 

17 hours ago, The Coop said:

It's a site that sets out to celebrate the personalities of the music that's used to help create the moods, moments and scenes we'll remember experiencing years from now.

You're right. This is a music site. And that's how you've been labelling it all the way. Which means it's not a sig site, nor a visual arts site. Sigs do, however, bring memories associated with its posters and to a certain period in time you've been here. With that in mind, newer posters won't be able to have the experience of shaping said memory like you or I. Yet, this is a completely new community now with these social media platforms (come join us in the OCR Discord server, Coop!) on the side. So OCR members might be shaping other kind of experiences lately and sigs haven't been a part of it. I'm as nostalgic as you, though. And I'd love to witness a new bunch of artists making neat looking sigs to new other regulars. It would give me warm goosebumps!

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15+ year lurker here. This comes across as unnecessarily overbroad, even destructive. If this change must absolutely happen, why not have sigs disabled by default, but still remain a customizable message board feature instead, and allow any user to re-enable it on their own end/device, if their priorities don't align with this "streamlined" notion of "modern forum experience"?

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Hey Txai. Been a while since I saw a post from you here. I'm so used to seeing you elsewhere, I almost forgot you were here too :smile:

 

7 hours ago, Txai said:

As someone like you who is known for using sigs as means of showcasing visual prowess, this change feels like cutting down a long time beloved tree, doesn't it? Still, you're very talented. And I do hope your involvement with DeviantArt and alikes has been filling the void OCR couldn't fill for you anymore.

Thanks for the compliment. But in truth, it wasn't about showing my visual prowess. It was about showing what I liked. I never made sigs until Teknobunny showed me how to post a sig. From there, I learned how to do sprite work so I could have a sig that I felt fit me better than a static image or just a straight-up sprite rip animation. I then used that skill to make sigs for others if they weren't able to do it themselves. If anyone liked what I made, that was just a bonus. I simply wanted to make what was in my head, and the OCR forums allowed me to use those ideas once they were done.

And to be honest, that's what the sigs were for most people; showcasing what they liked, be it a game, movie, project, or whatever.

 

7 hours ago, Txai said:

Unfortunately, it's been years since there was a present and consistent sig making community on these boards. All you could witness recently were a bunch of untouched "June is Boss Month" sigs and such, which honestly gives the forums a sense of lack of updates and abandonment. Sure, sigs used to be a huge thing in the past. But you can't say they've even been a thing in the past 6 years or so.

For me, the slow progression of conversations here give it more of a lack of updates or abandonment vibe... in my opinion of course. These forums aren't nearly as lively as they once were, but does that mean you get rid of them? Of course not. If those who used to post here don't anymore, that's fine. They made the choice to leave. But the forums are still here for those who do still visit, and those who will visit in the future. I feel it should be the same way with the sigs. If someone has a sig they want to use that meets the stated requirements, then they should have the ability to use it. Give people the choice to have them or not, just as they can come here to talk or not. In fact, forum software has given people the choice to turn on sigs, or leave them off, for years. Why not use that option, instead of ditching the idea of sigs entirely? It will literally let people choose how they want to view the site with the tick of a single box.

 

7 hours ago, Txai said:

You're aware that in the past, there was no such thing as custom avatars. Everyone had to choose one from a curated gaming/anime/TV-film collection. But now not only you can have your own custom avatar (which can be a closer artistic expression of yourself more than ever), but it can even be animated if you wish. By this perspective, don't you feel this is a fair trade-off?

To be frank, no, I don't. This... jtsnarl.gif.83f138eb1daf2fff79b2c7bbb0306339.thumb.gif.5fb3aba13e765e7aeda37582add4144c.gif.347e75c248368b650ad3fe94d4e8b064.gif ... isn't the same as this... d4o0f8o-cb2fe312-b91a-4843-b2ad-659bdb031794.gif.52d699969aead10414501c3526de03d5.gif

The former has a very limited file and dimension size, which means you can only do so much with it before you're SOL. The latter allows for a lot more creative expression to capture your interests, who you are, and whatnot. To me, it's like what Soundcloud tried to do recently when they announced they were going to go from 3 hours of music time for free accounts, to 3 hours or 15 tracks, whichever came first. It's a drastic cut that limits what you can do in a bad way. I know some may see it as a "then put all your effort into what you can" moment, but for me, it's just a cut that does away with too much. After all, if I used to have a bigger canvas to always work on, it's hard to see being stuck on a much, much smaller canvas as a good thing.

 

7 hours ago, Txai said:

But you do post in another forum where its community, which fostered sig culture like no other, grew older and don't use sigs anymore either. And that didn't stop you from being a part of it. In the end, our primary way of strengthening relationships and camaraderie is the exchange of thoughts. Although I admit making new friends here throught my own sig skills, this alone could not provide such strengthening.

True to a point, but Bad Posts isn't an art site. It has a forum for art, but it's not about that art, be it visual, music, or writing. It's a place for us old farts to hang out with each other and shoot the shit. OCR on the other hand, is about art. The art of those who made the game music, those who made the remixes of that music, the games the music is from, and yes, those who contributed visual art to the albums, the websites, and even the games. OCR may be more focused on music, but the visuals have always gone hand in hand with that.

 

7 hours ago, Txai said:

You're right. This is a music site. And that's how you've been labelling it all the way. Which means it's not a sig site, nor a visual arts site. Sigs do, however, bring memories associated with its posters and to a certain period in time you've been here. With that in mind, newer posters won't be able to have the experience of shaping said memory like you or I. Yet, this is a completely new community now with these social media platforms (come join us in the OCR Discord server, Coop!) on the side. So OCR members might be shaping other kind of experiences lately and sigs haven't been a part of it. I'm as nostalgic as you, though. And I'd love to witness a new bunch of artists making neat looking sigs to new other regulars. It would give me warm goosebumps!

But again, the visual art here is almost as present as the aural art. Album covers, banners, game mascots, the pre-chosen avatars a few years back... they were as much a part of this site as the music was and is. And with so many banners in signatures advertising those albums (both as the projects were happening, and once they were released), saying this site isn't a visual art site as well just doesn't ring true to me. Mix posts feature game art. Album posts feature user art. Hell, OCR has a host of mini sites filled with user-made art for each album. Sure, not every sig was about OCR, but quite a few were, be it links or visual art. And that users could use that sig art for themselves, the site, or both, was a good thing.

So really, as I said, cutting away sigs and the art they contained feels like it's too big of a removal on a number of levels. Hopefully my replies give a better understanding as to why :smile:

Edited by The Coop
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Staff probably knows the gist of what I have to say already, but for the sake of discussion:

 

There is too much white blank empty space. After every post, there's a bunch of white space, including an almost empty bar with Quote and Like features. And look at the quotes themselves. Large margins. Large, white (and gray), empty margins.

 

And short posts. The profile picture expands the post's height, leading to more white empty space between posts. Even after long posts, the space from one person's text to that of another is huge. I could 160+ pixels. Minimum height for a post is 250 pixels with that profile pic, so I can have a conversation of 4 posts on screen at any one time, at most.

 

So that's actually an argument FOR the removal of sigs. But if sigs are removed because there's to be a focus on content, why is the content so sparse? There's clean, and there's clinical. I don't mind minimalism when done well, but Invision's super-sparse look isn't.

 

To accentuate that, I'm using double line breaks here. To be funny, and to help make a point.

 

So I'm not as annoyed at the removal of sigs themselves, but by related issues. While sigs can be annoying, they can be turned off (or individual sig images adblocked away). I will miss the compo and album banners though. And occasional animated little stories about a wolf and a ball.

 

But we could do vertical equivalents under the profile pic. It's a BIG DUMB WHITE SPACE. So we might as well use it for something. Selectively. Adaptive. For long enough posts.

 

And since that probably requires screwing a bit with Invision's styles, maybe we can get a look that's more community and less fancy art gallery.

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Since I will never be able to say it as well as Coop does, I agree with Coop :) I think the sigs add to the personality and feeling of the overall site. There are more than enough emotionless social media-outlets. I don't think OCR should try to follow that trend, I think it should differentiate itself; allowing the personality/art aspect of sigs as The Coop described very well is a part of that in my opinion. Adding to that, I think a big part of the appeal of ReMixes of videogames is the nostalgia; why remove that sense of nostalgia from the rest of the site?

Edited by Pavos
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I just noticed real name and location aren't visible either. Dunno when that changed. It was cool to see that we're an international community. And when people randomly change their username, the real name remained useful in identifying whatever rando that posted before you. I think the forum experience has gone downhill (for a lot of reasons, and I think we discussed this in staff chat at some point), and I think the de-personalized forum appearance (avatars going from pixel art game characters to people's logos or default letters, sigs removal, location and real name removal) are part of that.

It's a related question, not exactly sigs removal, but worth taking into account. De-personalizing things in a community makes a crucial part of the community go away, and then the people in the community do too.

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set up a post minimum for sigs (really don't care about the exact number), so make it an added feature for the survivors/persistant ones in case they want that, and hammer it into them that if the sig is too "OMG BUYLOOK @MYSHIT (it's a grey area discussion, right?) that they can get bans for that.

uh, set it at a 1000 posts.  i mean the logistics of 'policing' that would probably be not humongous in effort, and maybe fun at parts cause the whole thing is a bit ridiculous.

the core problem/nuisance is understandable loud and clear. still, you can joke around with the grey grey gay areas of semi-somewhat-self-promotion.

ah yeah it needs its own judges panel for exactly that. i forgot.

 

 

Edited by Nase
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On 12/21/2019 at 2:41 AM, Rozovian said:

I just noticed real name and location aren't visible either. Dunno when that changed. It was cool to see that we're an international community. And when people randomly change their username, the real name remained useful in identifying whatever rando that posted before you. I think the forum experience has gone downhill (for a lot of reasons, and I think we discussed this in staff chat at some point), and I think the de-personalized forum appearance (avatars going from pixel art game characters to people's logos or default letters, sigs removal, location and real name removal) are part of that.

It's a related question, not exactly sigs removal, but worth taking into account. De-personalizing things in a community makes a crucial part of the community go away, and then the people in the community do too.

But User #63421, ninjawizardguruexperts who went to importantpomoartschool have informed us that this is Good Design(TM). They know what's best, not the users who actually use this forum. They assure us this decision will be a resounding success. After all when has a postmodernist hip attempt to strip features and control away from users ever gone over badly?

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I've mulled over this topic since it happened, and I just keep coming back to the same conclusion: forums are dead. Traditional forum software on the internet is few and far between now. Most communities have moved to "discussion"-style systems like Discourse (not to be confused with Discord) or Reddit. Not that every site should be reddit, but how ridiculous would reddit look if every person had an image signature? Or even a text one. Removing visual clutter makes it easier to quickly navigate the conversation. Images on the page, especially large ones, should be meaningful and representative. Watching 2-3 people discuss something in a conversation and seeing the same 3 images in different patterns is not particularly meaningful. It's excessive.

I do agree it's nice for users have more customization/personality/whatever, but I don't think it would come from forums signatures. It would come from a organized and utilized user profile. Custom avatars are good. Banner images are better. Invision does a pretty good job of supporting both of those, but it's really base-level. Heavy text, low imagery. Very data, no flavor. Do I expect that to change any time soon? Ehh. Do I think reactivating image signatures is the right move? Almost definitely not.

 

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Don't know if this helps anyone, but you could actually have a limit to how many times a month you can use your sig. Say I can use it 30 times this month. If I really want people to see my sig, I check a box in the reply UI somewhere, it's there, and my count goes down one. It would give people a chance to think about when and why they use it. Alternatively in that situation, there's going to be that one guy that uses their sig 30 times in the same thread, but then they're out of luck for the rest of the month. Maybe it could be 10. Just an out-of-the-box idea...

Edited by Abadoss
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Interesting debate here. It's sad to see signatures go, but I've seen all to often what happens when someone loses their web server space or their link is cut off because they ran out of bandwidth. If it wasn't so costly to host all of those signatures, I'd suggest a web server solution run by OCR itself as a storehouse for signatures. Again, that would be costly, and the goal isn't to make it harder for anyone to operate.

That said, I've an idea for posts. I decided to look at the code in Chrome's Developer tools. Took me a little bit to find the article tags that surround the posts here, but when I did, I toggled the border options that was available to me. It honestly doesn't look too bad if you add a simple border. It doesn't have to be black, or surround the entire post. Just enough, say one pixel, at the bottom of each post. I figured it would be the simplest idea to execute, barely any code at all. But that's not up to me. I'm just suggesting something.

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