Kinda been advocating for this since the switch but figure its a good a time as ever to bring it up again. After tearing through the old forums for an hour straight, I really think reverting to the old forum would stimulate activity around here.
So.... can we start discussing moving this site back to it's old forum/stle?
I can see why you would suggest this but how would we really benefit by doing so? I doubt the old users would come back just cause we got back to h2f. Someone correct me on this.
Complaints of site functionality and accessibility are pretty frequent from what I browse, most times when old members come back they comment on not even knowing where to post. In an ideal world? A revitalized COT.
And why wouldn't they? They aren't with how the site looks now anyway.
I think the notifications you get telling you someone has posted/replied in a thread you just posted in helped generate more users to come back too. So if we went back, those emails would come back and people would start replying more. I mean, it can't hurt the population anymore right? Can't get much lower than 0.
^There you are you little bugger, now where's that tage I've been eagerly awaiting?
As much as the community wants to revert back to the old THF system and layout, I feel as if it would be a massive insult and blow to Nv1ncible. Reason being he poured countless hours into creating and integrating this new forum board onto the site. The database tables alone must have been excruciatingly painful to adjust for the new board. There's so much work that he's done that is very unappreciated and undermined regarding the development and administrative actions. Don't get me wrong, at the moment, there is lots that can definitely be improved upon, but hey, it's still remotely functional. As a web developer(amateur) and site owner myself, I can partially understand that stripping your own work for other people's wants can feel absolutely horrible. So I ask that you at least keep that in mind if you want to be considerate towards the site owner of THF.
Here are some alternative options that I've been thinking about regarding this site‘s current build:
1) Revert back to the old THF forum board system, however, create a new theme/CSS stylesheet to make the design resemble this current theme. The forum would be running the old data from DB tables, which includes the old threads, members, posts, etc. The only problem with this is that now you would have to account for all the new members who weren't registered during the old THF forum board, which would inevitably cause a lot of database table hassles. Messy, but extremely possible to accomplish. And vBulletin is no exception. Ultimately, this hypothetical setup would function just like the old forum, but with the same aesthetics as the current theme.
2) Keep the current setup, however, as GinG stated above, those emails on new thread updates/posts are crucial to reinstate as a core functionality. That would undoubtedly give the activity a slight or even signficant boost. Now since a lot of the old threads are on the other forum board, it would be a good idea to merge the table data from both boards efficiently somehow. Nv1 would surely have to account for both UTF character data properties for this. This alone will be the most difficult task to perform, but it is possible. This part alone would be most ideal and efficient, but it's all dependent on whether the owner has the will to tackle this obstacle.
My own preference: Plan #1
Ultimately, in conclusion, Nv1 has the final say on what happens. If you strongly disagree with anything I said, please feel free to let me know, we as the community need to be honest with each other. I hope this provides some insight for those who took the time to read this.
Have a great day.
Reason being he poured countless hours into creating and integrating this new forum board onto the site. The database tables alone must have been excruciatingly painful to adjust for the new board.
Sadly, this just comes with the territory. The web coders/support teams for Halo-Pro.com, HaloGrid,com, High Impact Halo and many others undoubtedly put tons of time into their sites as well. Getting too attached to your work is a mistake in that line of work.
But the problem isn't the layout or design, the problem was that H2F/H3F/THF was always a social site at it's core, and as creaky and dated as VB was, it still had a large number of addons that promoted social interaction. I struggle to explain it but the best way I can put this is that members had a "presence" when they were logged on. Perhaps the most commonly clicked-on link (script call or w/e) was the "Whats new" or "Latest Posts" at the top of the old page. You could see who was logged on with ease. You could easily see (without digging) what the most recent posts were for any given user. Or when they were last logged on. Or even when their Birthday is, if they listed it.
It was the little things that made the old site last a decade, outliving every other non-Bungie, non-343 maintained Halo website excepting HBO, which will probably always be online for as long as Claude et al can scoot in front of a monitor. But the damage is already done, I doubt that going back to the old VB would really do anything, but sure, veteran members would love it I suppose.
When you break the core dynamics that are holding your population together, even if it has a slick, shiny new coat, your target audience will simply not be coming to your place any more. One example: Ebay's layout has been generally unchanged for almost two decades. It's simple, fast, you can find what you need quickly and post items for sale equally as so. People have gotten so used to Ebay's layout that using it is almost second nature, intuitive and automatic. Some of you can't remember a time in your life when Ebay didn't exist. Yet imagine if, tomorrow morning, we all wake up and discover that Ebay decided to radically go to a completely new layout, say something that is tile-based on it's landing pages and search results. The response would be horrendous. Sales would radically fall. Users would fall back to other retail venues that they are familiar with, places like Amazon or any number of regular store sites. Jimmy Fallon would crack jokes about the "new" Ebay on late night TV. CNN would do a story on the ensuing wreckage. And nothing good would come of the matter.
So, long story short; It doesn't matter, VB or this. There aren't enough people left to really call it a socially driven site any more, so there's no point in resurrecting VB.