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What should HLP 2021 be?

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Modding, and FreeSpace modding in particular, relies very heavily on forums. Forums have declined in the past few years but we cannot pretend we can move HLP to a Facebook group or Twitter account, and get it to work the same way; the basic structures of release threads, stickied guidelines and so on are all a key factor for community projects.

However, we have to be cautious when people think the lack of activity on a board is a "bad thing". If discussions with fast Q&A lean towards Discord channels and/or other external platforms, said channels must be advertised more in order to prove that there's a lot of activity, except it's elsewhere.

My proposal is to add logos to the tiny boxes seen on the left column of the boards' list, and provide direct links to external sites. Mods with a Discord channel will get their boards to display the Discord logo, as well as a direct link. If a particular topic is discussed on Twitter, the Twitter logo leading to a specific hashtag and all related tweets ("freespace", "freespaceport", etc.) can be added, too. Does the mod or board have its own YouTube channel? Fine, add the logo and a direct link to the channel itself. And so on: visitors will have access to multiple platforms and choose the one they're willing to use in order to interact with the developers and/or the community, depending on the purpose of their request (a fast bug Q&A is better off discussed on Discord, a review is better off posted on the HLP forums, a promo message should go to Twitter, etc.).

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Androgeos Exeunt:
I've always viewed the HLP forums as a sort of "info dump" - good for getting lots of information in one place. It's somewhat clunky for actual, active conversation, however - it used to be the norm for us to edit our posts instead of double-posting, but the latter seems more prevalent these days, especially in really active discussions.

This view has a flaw: what's the Wiki for then? Does it share the same purpose as the forums? Is the sort of information there different from the information you can find on the forums? And given this community, it's definitely not the ideal place for any serious discussion.

For active conversations, we have the Discord. Between Matth, Nyc, and I, we've sorted out two double-edit embarrassments I've made on the Wiki over the past year, and it is they, not me, who took the initiative to contact me on Discord, rather than on the Wiki itself, about it. Granted, this may be because we use Discord heavily, but if two people from two different countries, cultures, etc. with two different issues chose the same option to settle their issues, it may be a rough indication that the Discord is a better place for more active conversation.

My only feedback here is going to be on a purely professional basis: No matter what you end up wanting to do with the website, DO NOT ever use WordPress. Just Google "WordPress hacked" if you want to know the reasons why. If you do so, don't forget that the Google search results have pagination links down at the bottom. ;)

Colonol Dekker:
I think a huge point of focus should be in publicity on social media.   Pimping knossos a d the standalone games would bring a lot of potential talent.   Just working out where to pimp stuff is the key.

Obvs 3d modeling pages / Sci fi pages etc.


--- Quote from: karajorma on October 30, 2020, 03:41:48 am ---
* Hiring more people to deal with the technical issues and community outreach that we require
* Talking to the individual projects heads to find out what they need from us
* Working on HLP's presence away from the boards. We have a Twitter, Facebook and Youtube channel. How are they used? How can we use them better?
* Looking at the main website. How can we change that into something that will attract new people?
--- End quote ---

I think that all sounds good, there's just 1 problem: I've suggested all of that before, but for a number of reasons nothing became out of it. Even though there has been much talking recently I'm wondering whether anybody will take action.


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