Author Topic: ANNOUNCEMENT: Recent Activity Decline and How to Bring it Back Up?  (Read 73 times)

Asher Hurowitz

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 135
  • The Founder and Administrator of the Forum
    • View Profile
It seems that there is less and less activity on the forum recently. Do any of you have any ideas on how to ramp up activity?

Thanks,
Asher
Indeed it is certain that Chess Variants make me happy.

My Youtube Channel on Chess Variants
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb-lm6a8XZo0eqAhfR4QWOg

My Lecture at Yale University, aged 13
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smDO2Dpx5tg

My Youtube Channel on Rubik's Cube
Search"Polyhedral Paradise"

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter


HGMuller

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 122
    • View Profile
Having the possibility to include diagrams directly?

Asher Hurowitz

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 135
  • The Founder and Administrator of the Forum
    • View Profile
Having the possibility to include diagrams directly?

Where do I insert the code your provided?
Indeed it is certain that Chess Variants make me happy.

My Youtube Channel on Chess Variants
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb-lm6a8XZo0eqAhfR4QWOg

My Lecture at Yale University, aged 13
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smDO2Dpx5tg

My Youtube Channel on Rubik's Cube
Search"Polyhedral Paradise"

ebinola

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 77
  • Location: nowhere in particular
    • View Profile
First, lowered activity shouldn't discourage you. For what this site is, it's an excellent hub to discuss the different ways to play chess. You've managed to collect some of the great 'aficionados' of the chess variant world; if I hadn't joined this site, I don't think I would have ever gotten the opportunity to interact with the likes of Ed Trice, for instance.
However (and this has become apparent in the past couple of months) this site faces competition from chess.com, particularly the 960 forum. The forum is flooded with correspondence games that get the attention of people quickly. If we remove all connotations of spam, it's the greatest tool available to anyone to promote their variant, and get it out there to the main audience you're trying to appeal to, the chess players. Before, I ranted: Hang on. This is spam. You guys need to get out of here, this isn't what a forum is for. But now? Not a lot I can really say, other than this is the way the forum is now, another phase in its life-cycle.
So, one of the main attractions of this forum is beaten by the top dog. Really, it's a no contest - threads over here are hanging in the middle of games while games over on the 960 forum are updated hourly.
But I've noticed something that occurs on the 960 forums that I find really strange. The games are mostly contemporary variants, like bulldog; infinite chess; musketeer chess; event chess, the list goes on. You never hear a word about the 'traditional' variants, such as shatranj, or xiangqi, or shogi, or larger shogi variants, or makruk, or knighted variants... If users aren't as interested in traditional variants they'll scarcely talk about them, that's true. Likewise, if people don't want to play shogi via correspondence, they won't (although, the spread of shogi in Europe can hardly be compared to the spread of contemporary variants on the web).
What follows from that is while this site faces competition from the 960 forum in terms of correspondence games, it offers proper discussion of chess variants, whereas on the 960 forum, that's not possible because the threads are updated rapidly. Here threads are slower, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. This site can be offered as one where traditional variants and resources for those variants (books, videos, etc.) can be discussed and shared.
Try and gather people who would want to learn these traditional variants. Offer this place as a hub for discussion and to share resources. Ask about on sites that you frequent, get in touch with people like you've done already. I know a couple of places where I could ask people for interest in moving here.
Include diagrams, too. That would greatly increase the site's functionality.
Chess player, amateur writer and on the side shitposter extraordinaire.

GothicChessInventor

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 176
    • View Profile
First, lowered activity shouldn't discourage you.

I must wholeheartedly agree. Look at my own discussion board for the 4x4x4 and 5x5x5 (and now larger) Rubik's cubes:

http://cubesolvingprograms.freeforums.net/

There are 12 members, 307 posts, and the board has been up for over 2 years. I created that board because I used to post on SpeedSolving.com but I got banned. I wrote a 5x5x5 solver at a time when there were only two 4x4x4 solving programs, both of which were rather slow, so nobody thought it possible to solve the 5x5x5 from a random scramble. In proving them wrong, and telling all of the nay-sayers to go jump in a lake, I became an outcast. (A great many of my programming techniques posted there were deleted by the admin, so it was a huge waste of my time in sharing knowledge as well).

My board caters to programmers, and those with an interest in larger cubes, but I don't measure "success" by the number of members nor the frequency of posts. When someone makes a post there, it is usually of the "holy cow, check out this awesome, never before seen thing..." type of post. I would rather have that than clutter.


You've managed to collect some of the great 'aficionados' of the chess variant world; if I hadn't joined this site, I don't think I would have ever gotten the opportunity to interact with the likes of Ed Trice, for instance.

Not knowing what that means, I am just going to take that as a compliment and hope that was your intention.

However (and this has become apparent in the past couple of months) this site faces competition from chess.com

I'm not sure I would extend the logic in that direction, especially since they pre-existed this forum, and this forum had rapid growth early on. You'll never have faster growth than when you acquire your first member, since delta_g = (new member count - old member count)/old member count = (1-0)/0 = undefined, but relatively speaking, infinity.

chess.com has a whole host of activities going on, whereas this place is a depot for discussion of variants of any kind. So be it. There is no mutual exclusion. There is no "zero-sum" state space where one side loses when another joins the counterpart.

Include diagrams, too. That would greatly increase the site's functionality.

This is a key component I would like to see. The forum quickly exhausted its image hosting capacity, so a native way to show diagrams of various kinds is very important.

Asher Hurowitz

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 135
  • The Founder and Administrator of the Forum
    • View Profile
Thanks so much to everyone for the responses! I now realize the inherent stupidity of my statement. I am extremely thankful for the activity I have, it's a lot fora forum on chess variants!

 @GothicChessInventor, you were banned from the Speedsolving forums? :o  With that and the 13x13x13 I can see why you aren't a more active member of the cubing community.

Anyway, @ebinola remarked:
But I've noticed something that occurs on the 960 forums that I find really strange. The games are mostly contemporary variants, like bulldog; infinite chess; musketeer chess; event chess, the list goes on. You never hear a word about the 'traditional' variants, such as shatranj, or xiangqi, or shogi, or larger shogi variants, or makruk, or knighted variants...

I was hoping for this to be a place for any and all chess variants to be discussed, although when I created the forum I was unaware of the Chess960 forum on Chess.com and didn't know of the popularity of many recent "simple" variants (those in the category of Chess960, Bughouse etc, not requiring much more equipment) and therefore created it with traditional variants in mind. At the time I thought the only maybe five other people interested in these strange games and I'd again like to thank all of you for being so wonderful and contributing to the site. Things were rather stressful in my life recently on all fronts, and I really appreciate the enthusiasm you guys share with me on this wonderful hobby.

Thanks again,
Asher
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 02:33:20 pm by Asher Hurowitz »
Indeed it is certain that Chess Variants make me happy.

My Youtube Channel on Chess Variants
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb-lm6a8XZo0eqAhfR4QWOg

My Lecture at Yale University, aged 13
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smDO2Dpx5tg

My Youtube Channel on Rubik's Cube
Search"Polyhedral Paradise"

Martin0

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
The popularity on the chess960 forums on chess.com has exploded very recently. Over 30 forums with ongoing games right now. If it gets even more popular there I wonder how the chess.com team will react. Right now I want to encourage the activity there more than anything else though. It's quite a mess right now though since there is only one category for chess variants forums. Here we have a lot more freedom and things can be a lot more organized, even if it is a lot fewer people. I like it here and even if I am silent in most threads, I have read and followed quite a bit. Many awesome people here.

HGMuller

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 122
    • View Profile
Having the possibility to include diagrams directly?

Where do I insert the code your provided?

I did ask this on the 'support' forum of this hosting site: https://support.createaforum.com/8/adding-javascript-powered-features-to-forum-posts/

It seems you have an admin control panel, with a menu "admin -> style managers -> headers and footers", where you can insert HTML code (next to other text) in the headers and footers used with the forum pages. All that is needed is that you include the following line of HTML code in the footer:

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://hgm.nubati.net/variants/CVF.js"></script>

I cannot be anymore specific than that. I am not an admin on this board, so I cannot see the admin panel, and have no idea how it looks. If it is not clear, you either should ask more information from the webmaster in the mentioned support forum of how to use the admin panel, make me an admin, or post screenshots of the admin panel so I can see how it looks, and advice you how to proceed.

If the mentioned line is included in every forum page, the script it links to will be used to 'post-process' all forum pages on the machine where people display it. At the moment I put a very simple test script in that location, which does nothing else than scan all the forum postings for [diag]some text[/diag] tag pairs, and will color the text within those green. If that works, the plan is to allow a diagram description between the tags, and have the script replace it by an image of the described diagram.

In principle the script could scan the postings for any text we want, and then process that text in any way we want. We could use this to define our own tag pairs for including features, such as games you could step through, etc.

ebinola

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 77
  • Location: nowhere in particular
    • View Profile
(although, the spread of shogi in Europe can hardly be compared to the spread of contemporary variants on the web).

Actually, I wonder - we've got a forum for xiangqi, why not offer a place to discuss shogi? I don't think that'd be too much trouble.
Chess player, amateur writer and on the side shitposter extraordinaire.

Asher Hurowitz

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 135
  • The Founder and Administrator of the Forum
    • View Profile
(although, the spread of shogi in Europe can hardly be compared to the spread of contemporary variants on the web).

Actually, I wonder - we've got a forum for xiangqi, why not offer a place to discuss shogi? I don't think that'd be too much trouble.

Great idea! I will add it soon!
Indeed it is certain that Chess Variants make me happy.

My Youtube Channel on Chess Variants
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb-lm6a8XZo0eqAhfR4QWOg

My Lecture at Yale University, aged 13
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smDO2Dpx5tg

My Youtube Channel on Rubik's Cube
Search"Polyhedral Paradise"