The tsumea forum

Well, the forum has certainly been a sore point of the site for quite some time now. It used to be one of the most active parts of tsumea for a good part of a decade, but a whole lot of factors have contributed to its slow decline. Forum fatigue and life priorities for our regulars (can you imagine constantly posting for 8 or 9 years?), the global financial crisis and massive studio closures which saw many of our regulars and local developers moving to other industries or overseas. And then there’s Facebook and Twitter, and now Discord, making it really easy for anyone to form communities for a whole lot of people already on that platform. This sort of convenience makes it really tough competition for our area on the internet! It’s certainly something that’s not unique to tsumea, and I’m sure you can find many, many specialised websites out there with forums or discussion areas that struggle with activity. The snowball effect of less and less forum activity is that less people are encouraged to contribute, and that’s where the forum stands today.

Over the years, I’ve pondered on what we could do to bring some activity to the forum, even contemplating on giving in and shifting it over to a tsumea Facebook or a Discord group, but I feel that would just reduce one potentially great purpose for visiting tsumea. It would also stifle what we could do in the future if we wanted to implement something more than what those platforms offer. Plus, on a personal level, I really don’t want yet another reason to be on Facebook every day.

So how do we change things here? I have an idea.

There’s got to be a reason for people to want to contribute to a forum, and there’s got to be value in visiting a forum. As it is, members can still post what ever topic they want for others respond to. I think a way to add value to the forum is to give it the additional purpose as an information resource. We already have sections on various fields (game design, art, programming etc), but I’ll be structuring it so that ideas and information are upfront and centre, and others can contribute to it or discuss the merits of them. A simple example is placing some good or common ideas, or design cheats, in the games design section for various game types (FPS, Platformers etc). Or business strategy for a Development section. Granted, a lot of these things I am not an expert on, but they can still be contributed to in many ways, although the primary source that I would get that from would be summaries from articles or conference sessions that I view.

Another important factor is you. The forum needs the participation of as much of our members as possible. If it ends up with just myself posting and rambling about my findings on games development, I’m fine with that, but I very much would love to have a whole lot more of you posting as well. I can guarantee that there are plenty of you who have the experience or knowledge to contribute to a topic or discussion.

In any case, this is not a quick fix and will probably require months or maybe even take years to build back up, but it’s worth a shot!

Comments

mgarcia's picture

I came to conclusion, social media (post modern platforms, facebook/twitter/insta etc etc) is bad for humanity as a whole, it's the drug of the 21st century, for my long rant about it, read here:
http://mgarcia.org/Blog/2019-01-15-What-am-I-doing-on-twitter

I have a script which auto posts my blog post to reddit and twitter, which looks like that's what you do also, getting the masses away from their hives!
I've recently added a Text to Speech feature which reads the page as a mp3 file (reading seems too hard these days, especially my long rants)... not sure how popular that is yet, but that can be turned into like "micro-podcasts".

I like youtube, not the fake social, narcissistic or gaming critic toxic side, but the talks and the archiving and finding genuine people too.
Your videos are good.. PS you last one was from 2011 ;)

"If it ends up with just myself posting and rambling about my findings on games development"
That's what I do... it's therapeutic for me, I have my own blog, but I see what your doing here is just as good.

Discord is great for communication.. like skype ... but socially the problem is like with twitter, it's too much and too fast and low quality.. forums and blogs IMO are great!
Quantity over Quality, is what's wrong with the web 2.0 :D

I think automated link integration of social media, you did steam, maybe also look at itch.io, nintendo/sony/MS/etc
Local content on news, jobs and events is what made this site great, I think it can again!
Add more local features, can I see who is in melbourne or brisbane , Australia even?
Maybe look at how meetup and IGDA are structured and borrow some ideas from there ;)
It's a lot of work maintaining sites, a passion job for sure... good work keeping it going Souri!
I see tsumea as what was the old mp3.com.au site, but of local game devs instead of muso's... and how I miss that site!

Not sure if that helps :/
Mike.