DarkeSword

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On 1/20/2020 at 8:54 AM, bluelighter said:

Signatures was the best way to help artists to promote their work. I don't understand this decision.

Anyway, I've had curiosity today to read the guideline : https://ocremix.org/info/Forum_Rules_and_Posting_Policy

The paragraph about signatures still appears here. Maybe it can be deleted.

Yeah. I've been silent on this issue until now, but I really want the signatures back.  Doesn't feel right like this.  And the self-promotion threads/subsections at OCR and on the Discord (actually can't speak for Discord since I rarely use OCR discord, but I'm gonna take a gander and say: not much better :D).  Maybe we should do a poll....

Edited by HoboKa

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On 1/1/2020 at 4:23 AM, Dyne said:

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.

It was already like that before this change. Back in October, I stumbled across something in my profile and I was able to upload my Halloween signature there in the signature option (it used the same "choose files" setup that you see on each post you make). The file was then hosted on OCR, which is how people were able to see that image for a couple of months before the signature option was pulled.

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If anyone had any doubts about the intentions of this or whether this thread was in good faith keep in mind this thread's being silently censored. I made a post that apparently cut way too close to home when I brought up elitist postmodernist designers treating users as a monetizable resource to be farmed and managed rather than respected and listened to.

Let's be honest, this was never going to be a conversation. Feedback was never actually wanted, this was just an attempt at trying to placate users by pretending they had any voice at all. OCR's staff haven't been willing to listen to their users since they deleted unmod.

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On 1/22/2020 at 5:27 PM, Shadowe said:

I made a post that apparently cut way too close to home when I brought up elitist postmodernist designers treating users as a monetizable resource to be farmed and managed rather than respected and listened to.

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 started shredding documents & eliminating any hard evidence of my "post-modernist" UX/UI plot to monetize OCR by getting rid of forum signatures. No one can ever know... My entire business model is in shambles because I was banking on getting rid of forum signatures leading directly to the vast, untold riches that have thus far eluded me in twenty years of running this non-profit community. This was it, this was the moment, and now it's been shamefully exposed...

Ahem... at any rate, in my experience you get respect when you give respect. Making relatively outlandish, bad faith accusations is not giving respect, nor is calling anyone elitist, nor is assuming that because you're not being agreed with, you're not being heard...

As @Ramaniscence alluded to, the paradigm of the online forum itself has eroded a bit, and while I've never felt pressured to follow every last design fad, I also feel like we - along with everyone else - are competing for the time & energy of human beings that are increasingly being bombarded with information. In the context of a thread, the additional secondary/tertiary, unstructured text & visual information provided in signatures is a bit distracting. Since we plan on leaning on the (streamlined) forums more in months to come, this is a preparatory step to make them not just more "modern" or "post-modern" but more focused, plain and simple. The purpose of this post was largely to explain the rationale & get ideas for equivalent functionality, and not to debate the decision, and we appreciated the good faith comments we received and will keep them in mind for profile enhancements or other ways of letting artists & contributors showcase their works, talents, & availability.

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NationStates simply has text that can link to images, the text sig can be 6 lines long. 

Example, my text sig has some hobbies of mine, my youtube channel, that I'm a member of OCR, the album I'm part of, and information about the sire itself (RPs)

We could maybe do something like this for the site. 

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Folks, we're not bringing back signatures. Not as they were originally implemented, not with us hosting images as opposed to linking offsite images, not as text-only.

This is a done deal. This thread is not to discuss whether or not we should bring back signatures. This thread is for people to suggest other ways we can provide avenues for self-promo.

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A thread stating that sigatures are gone, with people agreeing with and not agreeing with the action taken, and those people discussing it within said thread. Madness! :-P

 

As for options, you're pretty much looking at them already, DarkeSword. If sigs of any kind are gone forever, then that means posters here have posted-remixer pages with links to their Facebook, Youtube, etc., user profile pages (same links potentially available), or a forum to pimp their stuff (which we basically already have with the Workshop forums). Not sure what else someone's going to be given beyond that outside of a personalized OCR-user blog (which if I recall, was something that was being considered at one point).

Edited by The Coop

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8 hours ago, The Coop said:

Not sure what else someone's going to be given beyond that outside of a personalized OCR-user blog (which if I recall, was something that was being considered at one point).

As @Abadoss proposed, we do have the profile block/column with the avatar image where we can add some (not a ton) of additional info - I'm thinking specifically a star for featured artists, linking to artist profile on OCR, and then also icon links for the more common social media networks, i.e. Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube, Facebook. Blogs were nixed at the time because Invision's implementation didn't have, of all things, global categories, which were deemed relatively important. They're (finally) adding those in the next major point release, so it's time to reconsider how/whether we'd do that.

IPS *does* have a gallery module, as well, which we *could* enable - in addition to giving visual artists a place to show off their stuff, it could be used for WIP artwork for album projects, etc. Interested in your feedback on this @The Coop, mostly in terms of whether it'd be worth it & have some value?

To echo what @DarkeSword wrote, we're moving forward as-is, but we're also going to be making a host of other changes. Strong feelings will be had, I'm sure, but to me a lot of this is long overdue and we need to try what we can to leverage the forums & integrate them with the rest of the site, along with a redesign. When the dust settles and we see what's what, anything & everything could be back on the table, but the same design concerns would likely apply.

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10 hours ago, The Coop said:

A thread stating that sigatures are gone, with people agreeing with and not agreeing with the action taken, and those people discussing it within said thread. Madness! :-P

Sentiment concur'd. It's like, what, did you think that wasn't going to happen? What planet do you live on?

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd here comes that new warning point...

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1 hour ago, djpretzel said:

As @Abadoss proposed, we do have the profile block/column with the avatar image where we can add some (not a ton) of additional info - I'm thinking specifically a star for featured artists, linking to artist profile on OCR, and then also icon links for the more common social media networks, i.e. Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube, Facebook. Blogs were nixed at the time because Invision's implementation didn't have, of all things, global categories, which were deemed relatively important. They're (finally) adding those in the next major point release, so it's time to reconsider how/whether we'd do that.

IPS *does* have a gallery module, as well, which we *could* enable - in addition to giving visual artists a place to show off their stuff, it could be used for WIP artwork for album projects, etc. Interested in your feedback on this @The Coop, mostly in terms of whether it'd be worth it & have some value?

To echo what @DarkeSword wrote, we're moving forward as-is, but we're also going to be making a host of other changes. Strong feelings will be had, I'm sure, but to me a lot of this is long overdue and we need to try what we can to leverage the forums & integrate them with the rest of the site, along with a redesign. When the dust settles and we see what's what, anything & everything could be back on the table, but the same design concerns would likely apply.

Thanks for the clarification and your attitude towards suggested alternatives David!

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2 hours ago, Meteo Xavier said:

Sentiment concur'd. It's like, what, did you think that wasn't going to happen? What planet do you live on?

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd here comes that new warning point...

I'm not surprised that it happened. I'm just clarifying what this thread is for. People were getting off-track by debating the decision itself.

I live on this planet. I'm not clueless. I've been a member of these forums for a long time and I know how people are going to react to the decisions that we make. I'm a moderator and if I see the discussion veer off-topic, like it did here, I'm going to make a post to course-correct.

Your snark is neither warranted, appreciated, nor funny. If you don't have a useful suggestion, please refrain from posting in this thread. Thanks.

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On 12/30/2019 at 11:48 PM, Ramaniscence said:

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.

 

Rama is on the ball here.  Look, I'm one of the oldest members around here, been using the forums since they were a thing.  But things are changing, and just like physical letters, forums are very niche nowadays.  And even the forums that are still up with a strong community, have streamlined things a long time ago, so forums themselves are a different beast than what they were a few years ago.   I'm hoping the admins can still find a way allow for personalization of their posts, or some way for people to show their art that fits better with a modern design.  

Even though forums are largely dead, I still appreciate that we have them here still, and I appreciate also any attempt at streamlining/modernizing them.

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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 internet chat rooms, where it's incredibly difficult to find old comments or discuss more than a handful of topics at the same time.  I for one appreciate the old format.

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1 hour ago, MindWanderer said:

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 internet chat rooms, where it's incredibly difficult to find old comments or discuss more than a handful of topics at the same time.  I for one appreciate the old format.

I would say things like Discourse or Reddit are more productive to discussions in a conversational format, as every conversation and reply is nested, whereas in a forum format, someone might reply to something you said like 2 pages ago in the middle of a conversation between 3 other people, not to mention the posts filled with quotes and whatnot.

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I've noticed the forum's lack of engagement with no small amount of sadness, OCR is one of the first online communities I found as a teenager. But, yeah, things have moved away from forums. When I mention I was talking in forum to friends, the give me cocked looks, wondering where the heck that's even a thing anymore. Besides Discord and Reddit, I think Twitter was the beginning of the end.

The Cane and Rinse forum is still alive and kicking, if anyone is interested in still active video game forums, apart from this one. I spend a lot of time over there as well.
https://caneandrinse.com/forum/

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Forums as they have existed in the last decade and more are not on their way out. KVR, GBATemp and even Gamefaqs are still very, very active and I hardly think that is the issue for OCR's lack of engagement. The lack of engagement is here because:

1. Most of the really engaged talent from OCR's history has discovered they don't have to do music for free to get somewhere with their music anymore and thusly don't bother visiting the forums because their friends have moved on as well.

2. The engaged talent that still visits are all old, have kids, diseases and other shit that entropy takes from us all eventually.

3. The other "old guard" still here is less engaged simply because they've been here for 15+ years and no entity would have that same engagement to them for that long.

4. Combining 2 and 3 means that the lifeblood of OCR is moving slower than ever. Remixes, judging, projects and even updates are slower than ever because the only people that have the ins and competence to handle them are 40 years old and have two or three kids and a mortgage on top of a job as well.

5. Youtube and other stuff like it have proven that remixes do not need wait times and judging to get music published and get watches and fans. Even some shitty soundfont "remaster" of video game music can get as many views as the newest remix posted here every other day or so. The "badge" of being of Ocremixer doesn't carry the weight it used to, which is it's own fault because it did such a great job of making others want to become video game music remixers in the first place. It's almost "Seinfeld is Unfunny" from Tvtropes in play here.

It's a symptom of the wider problems going on with game music in general on the internet - more stuff becomes available to more people, so the talent pool becomes diluted and spread out. Supply grew exponentially, but not demand. The subject and the nature of the subject itself has fallen behind.

And while this was all going on, OCR's answer to it has been very Nintendoan - announcing things like "We're moving X in this direction" when all the entities getting engagement has done that 5-7 years ago. And what did all that incredibly delayed pronouncing get us? Uhhh... removing signatures? Ok? I want to compare it to the Gamecube as if the Gamecube came out and only had two players instead of four and not using memory cards so gamers would have to go back to using passwords for things.

I think if OCR wanted to really jump into the 2020 decade, it would probably drop music altogether and rebrand itself as an eSports and game streaming entity of sorts. Game music in general isn't what it was 20 years ago, OCR is definitely affected by that.

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On 1/26/2020 at 8:01 PM, djpretzel said:

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 started shredding documents & eliminating any hard evidence of my "post-modernist" UX/UI plot to monetize OCR by getting rid of forum signatures. No one can ever know... My entire business model is in shambles because I was banking on getting rid of forum signatures leading directly to the vast, untold riches that have thus far eluded me in twenty years of running this non-profit community. This was it, this was the moment, and now it's been shamefully exposed...

Ahem... at any rate, in my experience you get respect when you give respect. Making relatively outlandish, bad faith accusations is not giving respect, nor is calling anyone elitist, nor is assuming that because you're not being agreed with, you're not being heard...

As @Ramaniscence alluded to, the paradigm of the online forum itself has eroded a bit, and while I've never felt pressured to follow every last design fad, I also feel like we - along with everyone else - are competing for the time & energy of human beings that are increasingly being bombarded with information. In the context of a thread, the additional secondary/tertiary, unstructured text & visual information provided in signatures is a bit distracting. Since we plan on leaning on the (streamlined) forums more in months to come, this is a preparatory step to make them not just more "modern" or "post-modern" but more focused, plain and simple. The purpose of this post was largely to explain the rationale & get ideas for equivalent functionality, and not to debate the decision, and we appreciated the good faith comments we received and will keep them in mind for profile enhancements or other ways of letting artists & contributors showcase their works, talents, & availability.

So what do you want to call the attitude that a particular idea of what a UsEr ExPeRiEnCe should be is so important and valuable that the actual forum users and what they want simply don't figure into it? What is that if not elitism?

It's true that OCR's forums aren't doing well but that's not because forums in general are dying. I'm part of some very active forums elsewhere that are even actively growing, and as Meteo Xavier said there are plenty more out there. The "paradigm" is fine, what's changed is that today people have almost limitless connectivity and the other forum I'm on thrives precisely because of that connectivity. Leadership there have made it a point to treat the forum first and foremost as a community. Give people a stake in something, make them feel like they have a say, and a sense of belonging and investment in that places' success will follow.

Do the opposite, and the opposite happens. OCR's been dying a slow death going all the way back to unmod getting deleted, and your response pretty much proves why. When you tell people that the only thing you'll consider "good faith" is telling you what you want to hear after you do something your forum's users don't like you can't be surprised at the inevitable decline of your community. Tell people "my way or the highway" and they're going to wind up choosing the highway. Don't blame the "erosion of the paradigm", own your leadership's results.

 

Edited by Shadowe

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On 1/27/2020 at 9:38 AM, djpretzel said:

As @Abadoss proposed, we do have the profile block/column with the avatar image where we can add some (not a ton) of additional info - I'm thinking specifically a star for featured artists, linking to artist profile on OCR, and then also icon links for the more common social media networks, i.e. Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube, Facebook. Blogs were nixed at the time because Invision's implementation didn't have, of all things, global categories, which were deemed relatively important. They're (finally) adding those in the next major point release, so it's time to reconsider how/whether we'd do that.

IPS *does* have a gallery module, as well, which we *could* enable - in addition to giving visual artists a place to show off their stuff, it could be used for WIP artwork for album projects, etc. Interested in your feedback on this @The Coop, mostly in terms of whether it'd be worth it & have some value?

To echo what @DarkeSword wrote, we're moving forward as-is, but we're also going to be making a host of other changes. Strong feelings will be had, I'm sure, but to me a lot of this is long overdue and we need to try what we can to leverage the forums & integrate them with the rest of the site, along with a redesign. When the dust settles and we see what's what, anything & everything could be back on the table, but the same design concerns would likely apply.

The thing to keep in mind with the blogs is that, to me, there'll need to be something that points to them. If they're going to be added, then perhaps a line under a user's screen name that points to their profile/blog so that it's not quite so tucked away behind needing to scroll your mouse over someones avatar to make it appear. It wouldn't need to be big or flashy, just something like "Profile and Blog" bolded under their screen name as a link that can be clicked. I mean, we live in a world where if it's out of sight, it's out of mind. So if it's implemented, making it visible would be a good thing IMO.

As for the gallery mode, it falls into the same category. if it gets added, I'd suggest making it so its existance can be seen when a person posts. Again, not flashy, just there. As for the idea itself? For the visual artists, especially those who've done work for OCR albums and such, it would be a nice way to let visitors see their work (be it for and outside of OCR). File size limits and such would need to be put in place, as would some filters so that you don't end up with someone using goatse as someone's album art and then slapping it on their profile here. But it would be a nice way to give someone's aural and visual art a place to be checked out, especially if you're talking art and music done for OCR projects. It again goes back to my comments about the visual side of OCR that's always been there, and how it can be given some lime light too. Plus, it might even get a bit of exposure for that artist, which could lead to getting paid work. I mean, the remixes hosted here have done that for some musicians, right? Soooo...

Edited by The Coop

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23 hours ago, Meteo Xavier said:

It's a symptom of the wider problems going on with game music in general on the internet - more stuff becomes available to more people, so the talent pool becomes diluted and spread out.

Lots of truth in your post - some of it arguably inevitable & out of our control, some of it a result of our consciously choosing not to pivot to something commercial, some of it related to the core members of the site getting older and having a host of competing priorities. What I'm most concerned about, this year, is the stuff I *can* control, making long overdue changes for the better, and seeing where that gets us.

Incidentally, this entire time we've been releasing what I think are some fantastic albums, and regularly posting mixes. It's a dead horse, but I can't over-emphasize how frustrating it is simultaneously trying to improve a ship while also making sure it's afloat. Improvements & evolution have been disappointingly slow, but in the meantime, the actual music we've published has been fantastic, and I'm extremely proud of that.

23 hours ago, Meteo Xavier said:

And while this was all going on, OCR's answer to it has been very Nintendoan - announcing things like "We're moving X in this direction" when all the entities getting engagement has done that 5-7 years ago. And what did all that incredibly delayed pronouncing get us? Uhhh... removing signatures? Ok?

I don't necessarily MIND being compared to Nintendo, but I get that in this sense it's pejorative :) See above, mostly - enhancement has been the victim of maintenance. I've been involved in every single album release, and when you add that to posting mixes every 2-3 days, there hasn't been the type of time I hoped/anticipated would be available. However, it's a bit weird to me that this is coming out as a result of removing forum signatures - we're not pitching "signature removal!!!" as a huge new feature, it's just communicating the change, which we hope will streamline the forums a bit, which we hope to leverage more...

22 hours ago, Shadowe said:

It's true that OCR's forums aren't doing well but that's not because forums in general are dying.

It's hard to know, per se. You're certainly not wrong that some larger forums are still thriving. Many, many more smaller forums are gone. Most of the big & active ones, from what I've seen - incidentally - don't have forum signatures. Not that we expect a small tweak like that to solve everything...

22 hours ago, Shadowe said:

OCR's been dying a slow death going all the way back to unmod getting deleted

This comment makes it harder to take the rest of your criticisms seriously, at least for me. It suggests an animus/grudge; I'll concur that a number of factors have slowed us down, but that's been a considerably more recent development. Having kids & starting families and what not is rather huge. The deletion of the Unmoderated forum was poorly handled, and I've acknowledged that & taken responsibility a couple different times, but I am.... extremely skeptical... that it was a catalyst of any kind for the trends you're talking about. I also believe it was a relatively inevitable change.

22 hours ago, Shadowe said:

Don't blame the "erosion of the paradigm", own your leadership's results.

@Ramaniscence mentioned the decline of forums first, and I do think there's something to it.... I would never claim that it was the sole explanation, nor would I claim that my leadership has been perfect. I'm still here, though, and I'm still working, and I still want to make the site better & continue releasing albums and mixes, as we've been doing for two decades.

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31 minutes ago, djpretzel said:

This comment makes it harder to take the rest of your criticisms seriously, at least for me. It suggests an animus/grudge;

Not necessarily. Shadowe may have meant it how you're taking it, but here's my long-winded take on that part of his comments.

It's been some 13 years since UnMod was deleted and eventually replaced with Off Topic. If I recall, around that same time, Community had some stricter rules put in place on the kinds of threads that were and weren't allowed (ones considered overdone or pointless). Between Off Topic and Community, threads that seemed harmless (random discussions, "What's your favorite _____?", picture threads, etc.) still got locked or deleted, which irked some people. Then add in how that by that time, quite a few people had been around for five years or more, which lead to them slowly drifting away from the site because of real life, loss of interest, etc. And onto that, add in those who left because of the UnMod/Sidebar/new rules drama/frustration. What you end up with is a kind of perfect little storm that saw the forums begin to slow down. Then you could factor in how new people didn't always come along to fill the gaps that were left behind by those who were more active on the forums when they split, how people started running out of different ways to say the same things on a given topic, outside factors like how forums weren't the main way for people to communicate online anymore... it all contributed. Hell, one could even argue that the slow down was added to as the proverbial old guard left over time; how the "characters" that made things entertaining went away, which caused others to leave after a while. That idea might sound silly to some, but we all showed up and got to know each other within a given time period. We stuck around for years and basically made this place our playground of sorts (oh the many OCR-centric memes... some of which wouldn't fly today). New faces came around and saw/read our antics throughout the site and stuck around to take part. As those familiar faces left, other familiar faces didn't post as much. The antics died down, and the process slowly continued as new people showed up.

None of this was abrupt by any means, mind you. It all happened gradually. But in the end, the forums have been slowing down since around that time. Not because UnMod went bye-byes, but because of the changes with and within the site, the changes in the WWW around it, and the changes with the people who visit to it.

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A few points worth noting:

  • The site's UVP is the incredible game music arrangements. The community has been valuable for many of us, but it is secondary. The vast majority of the users on the site never even touch the forums. I'd imagine most of the people who still use the forums have for years. Those that have left, as others have mentioned, probably just got too old/busy.
  • With that said, most major music sites don't even have forums. Maybe they have a subreddit, but not a forum. YouTube and Soundcloud killed OCR's community momentum, not the changes to the site. Gone are the days of finding MP3s on P2P networks. You don't have to have your own web hosting or submit to VGMix/OCR/whatever to share your music on the internet. 
  • The internet is social. A lot of people don't like it, but a huge portion of the internet does. This is where blogs/pages/whatever would need to come into play. If you want to build a large internet community, it has to be a pseudo-social network. The vocal minority will hate it. The top sites on the internet right now are either social media (instagram, reddit, facebook, twitter, linkedin), "video sites", YouTube, which is a mash-up video and social site, and then Amazon, Wikipedia, and search engines.
  • Forum activity has dropped, but Discord activity is booming. "Booming" may be a bit of a stretch, but it's far more active than IRC was when it died. That's because Discord is used by a lot of people and the age range is like "13" to 40. It's just most accessible. 

And if you want talk about user experience, I can take this a bit further:

The web is dead. Web traffics across the board has dropped drastically in favor of mobile apps. This is partly also why social communities and focus'd web/mobile apps have become popular. People do not sit and traverse large chunks of content anymore. People consume content in short bursts, "micro-breaks", on commutes, in shopping lines, on the toilet. It's not true for everyone, but it is for the vast majority of the planet. There's no room for noise and visual clutter. Anything that keep that comes between a user and the content their looking for is noise. Noise makes users go elsewhere.

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Reading along for a while made me think that it's maybe worthwhile to start a "how to keep OCR hip" threat in order to generally discuss what it is that the community wants and what they're hoping to see on this platform. I'm personally not much of a forum gal, but I do still love the whole video game remix exchange/discussion/whatever thingy that people have going on here on multiple different levels and in many different ways. However, I do also feel that it might be worthwhile to up the game on social media and such and get more involved with whatever the youngsters are doing these days. It actually took me a few days to find out that my own remix got posted a few days ago, since I'm not on the forum so much, and it simply didn't show up on my Facebook feed or on Instagram and such, even though I follow OCR on all these platforms. These are the places people are on nowadays, and I think that that's the place to hook people into the OCR life and keep them coming back.

On the other hand, this might not be what OCR is going for in general, as this would also imply a shift in focus from traditional "foruming" to a more involved and generally bigger and different kind of OCR medium. I remember the discussion on the decline of reviews on remixes from a few years ago where people were already discussing the influence from Youtube and such and how this was influencing the decline of people making reviews on the forum. This might be a bit unrelated to the disabling of signatures, but reading all the suggestions and discussions above gave me the feeling that different people have a different idea of what OCR is and what it's going to be and what it's supposed to be and how to get there and why to get there and all that, and discussing this very important (and in my opinion also urgent) question among the community could be a good idea, seeing how this topic and issue keeps popping up in varying specific threads. I think it's time to start looking at the bigger picture. 

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1 hour ago, Ramaniscence said:

YouTube and Soundcloud killed OCR's community momentum, not the changes to the site.

My intent wasn't to suggest that what I wrote were the sole reasons why the forums are slow, but they were a factor in it IMO. So I guess we disagree on whether or not changes to the site, its rules, etc., played a role in it all over the years.

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32 minutes ago, The Coop said:

My intent wasn't to suggest that what I wrote were the sole reasons why the forums are slow, but they were a factor in it IMO. So I guess we disagree on whether or not changes to the site, its rules, etc., played a role in it all over the years.

@The Coop I appreciate what you wrote, because it shows me the diversity of perspectives on the topic; I do happen to disagree, in terms of the timeline, though. Unmod was deleted significantly prior to Balance & Ruin and many other events that to me represent some of the apexes of community activity & engagement. I know Unmod sticks out in some minds as a milestone & harbinger, but my ear is fairly close to the ground on this, and I believe the trend is more recent, and the association is one of conflation.

@Ramaniscence As the admin of a site facing similar challenges & the steward of Jake's old site, I feel like we're in this together, no? :) Door's always open if you want to chat... and/or join forces against.... let's see... the trajectory of the Internet & Capitalism as we know it... and, apparently, removal of forum signatures.

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