The future of the FFXIclopedia forums

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The future of the FFXIclopedia forums

Postby Haldarn on Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:31 pm

Really this is mainly relevant to Cemalidor, as the only user who makes regular use of this place. It seems to have become your personal blog to some degree! :)

I had a login issue, forgotten password, passed number of attempts, required entering a captcha that didn't appear. Registering a new user also didn't work because the mailer for the boards was broken and wasn't sending out validation links.

I don't know how many people that's frustrated over the last five years, but it certainly hasn't helped the FFXIclopedia community, which is now pretty tiny as it is.

Ran in to Tahn in-game the other week and he pointed me in the direction of Wikia Staff, who after a while got back to me. Bert@Wikia sorted my login issue and reactivated the facility for new users to join. However, he also mentioned that we, as a community, would have to think about the future of these forums, as they are non-standard. Anyhow, enough with the paraphrasing - here's the text of his e-mail in full:

Bert Hall wrote:Hi Haldarn,

Thanks for confirming the old email.
I have set the forum account's email address to haldarn@virginmedia.com

We were also able to restore the mailer function to the forum, so it should be possible for new members to create accounts there.

I am glad to hear that you're interested in talking about the future of the forum, since I have also been giving that some thought lately and doing a little investigation.

Regarding the current forum:
It's an installation of phpBB that Wikia began hosting when we acquired the wiki in the 2000's. At the time it was a bit unusual, I suppose. But in 2016 this is really the only example of such a case. We no longer host content that's not based on MediaWiki or other software that we've built and commonly use.
At some point in the future -- no specific date, but it will eventually happen -- we will stop hosting the phpBB forum.
So we should discuss what that means.

The options would be:
-Do nothing, and the forum (and its content) is simply gone when we stop hosting it
-You (or someone else that is not Wikia) could secure hosting elsewhere and we can help move the forum (and all its content) to that host. The domain structure, user list, etc, could remain the same as now. This would likely come at a cost to someone, just as Wikia incurs a cost to host the forum now. phpBB has some suggested hosts on their site.

Unfortunately it is not an option to migrate the forum's content onto Wikia itself. The Special:Forum feature is not set up to accept imported content, and we are planning on retiring that feature eventually as well.
The replacement for Special:Forum is a feature still in development, called Discussions. It works in conjunction with Wikia's mobile apps and his highly mobile compatible in web browsers (which is a deficiency of Special:Forum).
Discussions is in beta on a few communities, including the Final Fantasy Wiki. You can see it there: http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/d/f
and read more about the feature's current functions at http://community.wikia.com/wiki/Help:Discussions

Don't get too excited though, because while we will migrate content from all Special:Forums on Wikia to Discussions, before removing Special:Forum, it's not going to be possible for us to migrate the phpBB forum content to Discussions. So your options for that forum remain as outlined above.

Regarding http://ffxiclopedia.wikia.com/ and having conversations hosted there, with the same Wikia user accounts, etc:
Right now the best option would be to use Special:Forum. As I said, anything there will eventually be migrated to Discussions, after some further feature development.
We're not quite ready to offer Discussions to all wikis just yet, so if you wanted to "start fresh" with Discussions, you may need to wait a few more months.

Whew!

There is lots there, sorry for the wall of text, but I wanted you to have all of the information possible.
In summary, I see that there are two questions:
-What to do about the existing forum
-When (or if) to enable a Wikia-made conversation feature on ffxiclopedia, and if so, which one

How these choices are made is for you and your community to decide.
Please let me know if you have any questions at all, I am happy to help.

Best regards,

Bert Hall
Director, Wikia Community Support


Personally, I'm all for dropping this entirely and moving to Special:Forum (with a full migration to Discussions when that feature is ready) and Category:Blog Posts. I'd like the other forum and site users to weigh in on this this week, especially Cemalidor (I can fully understand that you don't want to lose 200x blog posts, but the format here may make it a reasonable small copy/paste/replace job to put them en-masse into a Special:Forum format).

The private member hosting phpBB is a debate of functionality+cost vs integration+persistence. I would ask that we get some kind of dump of these forums that can be made available to anyone who does want to keep a working zombie open for historical purposes.

----

My goal for all this is to rebuild an FFXI community here at FFXIclopedia for the twilight years of FFXI. Currently, communication between wiki users, editors and content creators is negligible and relegated to User Talk pages. I hope you all feel the same!
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Re: The future of the FFXIclopedia forums

Postby Cemalidor on Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:56 am

Kyoshin is the one with more technical background. Moving to another host would prolly next to impossible, so it's either waiting for the hammer to fall or have the platform switched.


Regarding the future... well, frankly all sites are kinda silent, the wiki still gets updated infrequently. BGWiki, one of the other active sites has more details on the newer content, but imho it's lacking in quality, most entries are quite fragmented. Recently some people came back to the game itself, but as it was said eloquently the traffic here at the forums îs rather slim.
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Re: The future of the FFXIclopedia forums

Postby Haldarn on Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:13 pm

I felt the wiki has been updated regularly with a decent amount of content since April. There were half a dozen users editing daily last time I checked.

However, a week ago I resigned from my RL job. The possibility of using up my spare time (and in fact a lot of my work time!) spearheading a revival of my favourite FFXI site have fallen to the wayside as 100% of my available time is focusing on my self-employment of game design and fiction writing. Living the dream...

I don't feel too bad about coming up short. No-one's contacted me on the wiki or on here until now. I guess no-one else really cares and the job itself was going to be too much for one person's free time.
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Re: The future of the FFXIclopedia forums

Postby IBHalliwell on Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:07 am

I know this thread is about the future of the FFXIclopdiea forums, but what about the MAIN SITE!

I posted in another thread about how the RSS Data isn't working and I guess I didn't make it clear but it REMOVES EVERY ANNOUNCEMENT!!

Who do I talk to to get this working again?!?!?!?!?!

Thank you.
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Re: The future of the FFXIclopedia forums

Postby Kyoshin on Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:09 pm

Hey there!

I haven't actually been active on these forums since January 2016 and in the past nine months there have been a grand total of 19 posts.

Considering that and the huge amount of data that would need to migrate over, I'm not entirely sure it'd be worth the effort and cost to save the forums. Granted--being able to host them and update them on our own terms would be SUPER helpful! The software version currently utilized by these forums is practically archaic and I'm surprised we've managed to continue being relatively spam/bug free. The big issue still remains in the activity rates as a whole. FFXI was always a fairly niche MMO to play, and now even moreso. The successful community sites are also supporting other MMOs in order to bolster their activity. While the wiki is modestly active I hear--I'm not wiki staff so I can only speak for the forums! :P

Forums themselves are also going out of style, in general. Modern communication in MMORPGs tend to favor social media and instant communication like Discord. Forums are often clunky and difficult to use, especially when they aren't rendered for mobile friendly--and goodness knows this site isn't. I miss the good old days when this place and forums in general were booming in popularity, but have begrudgingly come to accept that their demise is ultimately inevitable unless they are allowed to evolve beyond what most of us oldies care for.

EDIT: That all said, I'm downloading a backup of our SQL structure to tinker around with. If anything comes of it I'll update further.
I'll try my best to assist with anything regarding the forum software.
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Re: The future of the FFXIclopedia forums

Postby Cemalidor on Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:22 am

So far I wasn't contacted from wikia or another source, guess we still have to wait wait they decide to do since the page, wiki and forums are theirs.
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Re: The future of the FFXIclopedia forums

Postby Kyoshin on Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:20 pm

Aye. I went and tried to recreate the forums but the database is literally too huge and the software too old to process without a ton of hassle. :/
I'll try my best to assist with anything regarding the forum software.
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Re: The future of the FFXIclopedia forums

Postby Haldarn on Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:07 pm

Hi Kyoshin, nice to meet you!

I had to take a break from FFXI and ffxiclopedia because RL in July last year, but enough to say is that it's over and I'm hoping to become a lot more involved in ffxiclopedia again now.

The overriding issue with these forums is that the mailer no longer works to create a new user and if you've lost your login, the only recourse is to contact Wikia Admins directly and hope they have the time to resolve your lost password issue.

This, more than any other thing out there, is what has forestalled a ffxiclopedia community and so I think it's time we moved into Wikia Discussions so I can give growing the editing community a decent chance.

I do consider the information that's contained within this board valuable - there's data, theorycrafting and a lot of socialising that I think would be a travesty to lose outright. I've seen other forums that have been closed replaced by static text of their content, so that the content still exists in a Google-able form. Are you able to convert this forum over into something like that for posterity/nostalgia? A 'headstone' if you will.
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