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PostPosted: January 16th, 2011, 1:00 pm 
The A-U Matriarch
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Wouldn't it be easier (and cheaper) to just set up a new free forum somewhere, since it's really the forum (first and foremost) we're concerned about? Sure, there's the site too, but isn't the community itself the main thing here? Why not let TheOneRing.Net be that 'go to' site (that it already is) for all your Hobbit news and Tolkien info (in other words, let go of that responsibility) and just focus on creating the best forum we possibly can.

To be a member of a community shouldn't have to cost anything (no matter if you're a member, a mod or an admin) and the burden of paying a monthly fee shouldn't have to be placed on a few select souls. That burden is only going to divide the board in two (those who step up to the plate and those who can't/won't) and be the cause for so much drama and guilt-ridden feelings. A-U already has enough of that, do we really need to add this to the lot?

InvisionFree/ZetaBoards (or even ProBoards) is an excellent FREE and completely customizable forum server/host. Why not start afresh?

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PostPosted: January 16th, 2011, 1:24 pm 
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Thank you Tim and Ea for setting up the other threads for discussion. I want to apologize for being hasty yesterday and trying to move things more quickly than they should. This place has been my second home for a very long time and I just want to see it back on its feet again.

I want to be very clear in saying that I do not want to be in charge, the admin, etc. I'm an organizer, and for right now I'm the liaison for the tagger part of the community, but beyond that I don't want to be or have the ability to be put in charge of the website. This was an idea that Tim4x and I came up with together and that I put forth to Arweb, it just so happened that I got a reply quickly and decided to put it forth to the community. I apologize if it seems like anything more or different, that wasn't my intention.

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Wouldn't it be easier (and cheaper) to just set up a new free forum somewhere, since it's really the forum (first and foremost) we're concerned about?


A lot of forumers don't realize that there's an entire half of the community that don't have registered accounts here, that used to spend their time on the tag and the chat. Back when A-U was a fledgling LotR fan website and there was no forum to be had, people[including myself] made a home on the tagboard and that became as much of a family as this one. The tagboard on the main page is dead right now, but there have been countless 'back-up' websites with tagboards and cboxes made by A-Uers so that they can stay in contact with each other, not to mention facebook, where most of us now are friends and make up at least half of the two main groups. It unfair to them to reject that part of the website because it's not what's important to the people right here who have a voice. They ARE the community, just like you and I are.

That, and A-U is still a huge contender for LotR and Tolkien information and resources. I've never found a more extensive list of Elvish language adaptations or a gallery like the one we have here, and those are just two examples. This is a FAN website, and as such it has to stay, at least in some aspects, as an appeal to new fans.



I'll be posting ideas/suggestions in the other threads as I get them from people elsewhere on the website that I talk to. You guys can assume that my opinions are pretty much whatever Tim posts.


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PostPosted: January 16th, 2011, 7:33 pm 
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Wow! Well, this was really unexpected.. but it's great to have finally a clearer picture to what can be done for AU. :)

However eager I am to help and organise this thing, I really can't! Real life kind of claims me, I just don't have the time to effectively contribute to this. I think that most of my efforts are aimed on posting here regularly and not to disappear, so I will give my opinion on subjects whereever I can, and wish you the best of luck with reorganizing/ revamping AU. :) :hug:

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PostPosted: January 16th, 2011, 9:05 pm 
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Okay, I admit I was curious to see how this would go over, and since I'm lurking on the thread anyway, I figure I might as well say hi.

I realise this is sudden for everyone, and it's not something that was particularly easy for me to decide. But I hope that giving control over to people will let A-U live on in a way that I haven't been able to maintain for a while. I really wish I <i>could</i> continue, but I'm not going to have the time, nor, to be honest, the energy to do everything that needs to be done before Tolkien fandom starts heating up again.

I also want to apologise to everyone who's tried to contact me. As I said to Ammy, I didn't want to lie to people and say that I was certainly coming back and would start updating again, but nor did I want to be completely negative and crush any hope. I never seriously thought about passing the reins, but now it really does seem like the best option.

I can't do much to help you sort out some of the issues you'll face. I myself am not sure which moderators are at all active anymore. If you have questions that only I will be able to answer, facebook is probably the best way to get in touch with me, but I hope you can get most things sorted by yourselves. I have faith in you :)

Sorry for letting everyone down, if that's how it seems. You've all changed my life and I'll never forget that. It's not goodbye.

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PostPosted: January 16th, 2011, 9:12 pm 
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Good to see you in here, Arweb =) Even with the letter I posted, it's good to have a more...solid idea of where you stand on all of this, since it was kind of out of the blue.

So far it seems like we've got most things under control planning-wise and I'm in contact with Kitoky, who said she'll see what she can gather from the other mods when she has some spare time.

I don't think you've let us down at all! The opposite, actually, since you're the one that's given us this place in the first place. We wouldn't be having this discussion at all if A-U didn't mean a great deal to us, and you along with it. Not goodbye at all, just a new chapter. =)


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PostPosted: January 16th, 2011, 9:46 pm 
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ErulissëEnethNîn wrote:
Wouldn't it be easier (and cheaper) to just set up a new free forum somewhere, since it's really the forum (first and foremost) we're concerned about? Sure, there's the site too, but isn't the community itself the main thing here? Why not let TheOneRing.Net be that 'go to' site (that it already is) for all your Hobbit news and Tolkien info (in other words, let go of that responsibility) and just focus on creating the best forum we possibly can.

To be a member of a community shouldn't have to cost anything (no matter if you're a member, a mod or an admin) and the burden of paying a monthly fee shouldn't have to be placed on a few select souls. That burden is only going to divide the board in two (those who step up to the plate and those who can't/won't) and be the cause for so much drama and guilt-ridden feelings. A-U already has enough of that, do we really need to add this to the lot?

InvisionFree/ZetaBoards (or even ProBoards) is an excellent FREE and completely customizable forum server/host. Why not start afresh?



On it's own and if this were any other fansite and forum, I would say this was a good idea BUT, it's not. The main site is, from what I've seen, the main way we've gained new members. And are still gaining members. A 12 year old friend of mine that was finally allowed to watch LotR has become a Ringer and discovered the main site on accident... which may lead her to join the forum/chat/tag like what happened with me. This is also diregarding the taggers and chatters(and as far as I've seen there's more active taggers on the AU fb page than forumers).

Another thing is, coming from an rper's perspective, there are tons of long lasting rps, and honestly rps that I like to go back and read, that would be lost if such a thing were to happen. And the rpg base and characters would be lost unless given time to retrieve and such.

But most of all AU has become so much of a home that leaving and it moving on to some other forum just wouldn't seem right. And don't those free forums require their name in the url? it would make it harder to remember said url if we were to do that, if you understand my meaning.



On another note, I was totally surprised to see a post from you, Webmistress! It's wonderful to see you even if it is only to help smoothen the handover transition.

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PostPosted: January 16th, 2011, 10:54 pm 
The A-U Matriarch
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Eruraina wrote:
ErulissëEnethNîn wrote:
Wouldn't it be easier (and cheaper) to just set up a new free forum somewhere, since it's really the forum (first and foremost) we're concerned about? Sure, there's the site too, but isn't the community itself the main thing here? Why not let TheOneRing.Net be that 'go to' site (that it already is) for all your Hobbit news and Tolkien info (in other words, let go of that responsibility) and just focus on creating the best forum we possibly can.

To be a member of a community shouldn't have to cost anything (no matter if you're a member, a mod or an admin) and the burden of paying a monthly fee shouldn't have to be placed on a few select souls. That burden is only going to divide the board in two (those who step up to the plate and those who can't/won't) and be the cause for so much drama and guilt-ridden feelings. A-U already has enough of that, do we really need to add this to the lot?

InvisionFree/ZetaBoards (or even ProBoards) is an excellent FREE and completely customizable forum server/host. Why not start afresh?



On it's own and if this were any other fansite and forum, I would say this was a good idea BUT, it's not. The main site is, from what I've seen, the main way we've gained new members. And are still gaining members. A 12 year old friend of mine that was finally allowed to watch LotR has become a Ringer and discovered the main site on accident... which may lead her to join the forum/chat/tag like what happened with me. This is also diregarding the taggers and chatters(and as far as I've seen there's more active taggers on the AU fb page than forumers).

Another thing is, coming from an rper's perspective, there are tons of long lasting rps, and honestly rps that I like to go back and read, that would be lost if such a thing were to happen. And the rpg base and characters would be lost unless given time to retrieve and such.

But most of all AU has become so much of a home that leaving and it moving on to some other forum just wouldn't seem right. And don't those free forums require their name in the url? it would make it harder to remember said url if we were to do that, if you understand my meaning.

I can understand not wanting to lose old threads, your post history and all of that kind of stuff, but remember, we've already been through that once before and survived. A-U used to be on ProBoards and moved here in the summer of '05 (where we all had to re-register and build up the forum completely from scratch).

I'm not saying we have to make a new forum, but I am saying that it would save us all a whole lot of money. And seeing as it started out that way, we would only be going back to its roots.

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2011, 12:38 am 
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If it's only because of the financial aspect, I don't think it need be necissary because as someone has already said before me, that plenty of people have already offered to pay to keep this one up. And as for it being like going back to the roots... if anything it seems like it would be more like taking a step backward while trying to take a step forward. But then again this is just my opinion, nothing else.

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2011, 1:14 am 
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By the way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10rKiJTj76E

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2011, 2:10 am 
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^ Is that for real? :blink:

I agree with Eruraina. Completely starting from scratch is not really something I guess a lot of us are or were thinking of. There is a lot of history on this forum, be it old posts, or seeing old threads with members long gone. To up and move would lose all of this, and all trace of old friends. And I'm guessing the old AU forum was not around for almost 6 years before it was "re-born".

If people are decided that they will help pay (and it's not like teeth have had to pulled to get offers from people), I don't think it's a viable option.

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2011, 2:14 am 
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Oh yeah haha, one of my favourite bands. This thread title reminded me of the song. :p

And I agree about the decision not to start from scratch and to just pick up exactly where we are now. I'm really not interested in migrating from one forum to another after spending 5 years here (some of us have been here 6 years). This is our little corner of the web where we've made ourselves at home at comfortable. I guess it would be the best if we could just keep this as it is.

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2011, 2:06 pm 
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Question!
How is the handover going to take place - and when? Is there going to be an official ceremony in which Arwen hands over the golden key to the forum? :P

I assume Arwen has some passwords and stuff to the admin board and control panel (yes, I do realise it's not a space ship, but you know what I mean! :teehee:).
I mean before we can do anything about most of everything.. we need access to the backstage area. Which is also why it would be pleasant if some of the old moderators would like to get involved.

Also, this leads on to a more delicate question about general management and how we do it. Should A-U be a direct democracy? Have a smaller management team? Have various groups, say a layout group, a site content group, a finance group to be in charge of they own areas respectively? Or something else... :)

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2011, 3:30 pm 
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I don't speak for everyone, but...

I personally am in favor of a direct democracy - hold a vote with nominees (perhaps the older members from the old forum, '05, '06, and maybe '07) would be the best candidates since they've been around AU the longest? Not to say that there aren't newer members who are more capable though. :no:

Perhaps we could do the group thing as well? Like, appoint a "President" of a group and then fill in around that person? :erm: Does that make sense?

These are all just my 2 cents... you don't have to like my ideas but I just wanted to contribute ;).

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2011, 3:38 pm 
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I like the ideas of a direct democracy and the various groups, too. I think that members should nominate and elect members for the various management groups in order for everyone to have a say in who is in charge of what. Having everyone vote on every little decision around A-U could get a little tedious and could prevent things from happening.

The elected members of the various groups could make decisions, alert the other members as to what they are planning on doing, hear their input, and move on from there.

I hope this makes sense! :)

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2011, 3:39 pm 
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I like the idea of making a specific group of people to take care of and manage the specific thing needed to get done. Like have a group that just takes care of coding, and then another group that just takes care of updating the page, or moding the forum, ect. Only thing is, would a member be able to participate in more than one 'group' at a time? And have a 'president' of a group is a good idea because we don't want a bunch of people randomly updating and doing stuff without others' consent since the idea of this forum becoming a democracy seems to be growing(I'll just say that I'm neither with or against this idea, but thinks it would be interesting to see how it would work out).

I think the first thing that needs doing is picking out these people, and these teams, and who the power of the shiney mod buttons should go to, because without that, no matter how much planning we do on the other things, we won't be able to put them to action until we have the button power. *in which case the duscussion would be moved to the "Staff/administration" thread, I would imagine... Wow, every single one of these revive threads are dependent on each other, lol!

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2011, 3:43 pm 
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I think that you would have to let people be in more than one group as some things, such as graphics and coding, almost go hand in hand for some people. As long as no one is the "president" for more than group (could be very hectic for them), then I don't see a problem with a member doing more than one thing.

I think the main problem might be "too many cooks spoil the broth" as once things get going and get sorted a group might find they don't need 8 members anymore.... BUT by that time people may have less time anyway, or are happy to step down (especially if they are in more than one group).

EDIT: Communication is also going to be key. Will all the contributers, coders etc have access to the Mod forum so they can post things, discuss etc, or will they have their own shared forum? MSN'ing and PM'ing and Facebooking will be very complicated if each group has to vote, discuss and just generally work together on this.

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