Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Considering Black Library books, products and events.

Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby Mauthos » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:55 am

I must say I have only just managed to come back, strangely because I had to leave as mainly my time on here was during working hours and my then job blocked this site. New job, less stringent security protocols means I found my way back and was a little saddened to witness the decline of this great forum.

That said, I am glad that steps are being taken to hopefully boost it back up again and I will definitely help in any way I can.

Good to be back.
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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby Squiggle » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:53 pm

All - thanks for taking the time so far to comment on this thread and give us your views on why you still visit here and what you get out of it.

There is so much we can do to make this a busy and thriving place, but obviously it requires participation, so fingers crossed with some more effort from us we can get back to where we were before.

Which would be good, as there is plenty to discuss!!
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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby Kentigern » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:16 pm

Hi everyone

Good to this discussion - if nothing else it made me come back to the forum for the first time in ages! For me life just got in the way, but I wonder whether competitions and small scale prompts would be a good way to get people like me back involved - being frank I am out of the way of writing now, so need an easy way back in. On the flip side maybe lazy people like me are not the answer to getting the forums going again! ;)
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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby Kentigern » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:17 pm

I do want to be to involved though, so let's get the energy going again, this place was fantastic before :)
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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:50 am

Xisor wrote:One thing I'm curious about off of other sites, but haven't tried to investigate, is the code needed to have Spoiler tags become collapsible, rather than obsidian monoliths.


I've never run a phpbb forum, but considering it is php based it shouldn't be too difficult (searching for mods via phpbb seems harder work than with SMF which is what I am used to but the existing mods are bound to already exist, there may even be a thing to link the shoutbox to the forum in a more organic way than via a third party but again this is because I can do that with other forum platforms and I don't know what your hosting is like (though the forum requires a database so presumably all should be fine)).

I think there has long been an issue with us being just a BL fan forum or something more and we've often been sort of caught between things, then being a fansite for BL became hard because of how they were releasing information and even books and social media and stuff gets hard. I'm lazy and haven't really been in the head space to come here when so many of you now exist elsewhere on the internet for me but that is no excuse I'll try and do better (but I am sadly languishing on so many fronts of wanting to be more productive from trying to do a group worldbuilding thing again to just longforming more of my ideas so I am loathe to promise to much because letting you folks down who I like will scare me into paralysis the way my life is going).

On the podcast idea I don't know how much "what have we been reading" is a seller when there are multiple other book review and author interview fan podcasts about. However what I think the Bolthole has a decent number of is crazy theorists who can make compelling cases for fan theories and ideas and that may be a nicer way to sort out in both a "two people talking" and a larger "roundtable discussion" style podcast.

I think if we're trying to be creating and curating content via blogs, podcasts and writing competitions and the like it could work really well for fostering a community here again but it will require work. I am willing to be prodded into action but I will require prodding and goading, and I swear I won't hold it against you. I made the website for Convention Secundus, booked most of the guests, wrote the (albeit very wooly) schedule for it and was a nervous wreck about making it not a colossal failure but because no one is taking command and setting dates and venues for a next one I'm just milling around doing nothing, so please use me.

Edit: Also I put a thrice damned interrobang in my username here which means that whenever I have a new device there is a threshold for logging in that involves going to the interrobang wikipedia page that also contributes to my absence recently. Live by the sword be inconvenienced by poor choices made for reasons of dubious humour as the saying goes.

I have now resolved this on my laptop, just my phone to do and we'll be fine and dandy for me accessing this place again.
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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby Squiggle » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:10 pm

Schafe - good to have you back, assuming your dubious pact with the gods of the interrobang don't renege on the deal they have struck with you.

Yes, it will require work. But it is a group effort. I dont mind doing some organisation.
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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby Dennis the Hamster » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:54 am

I'd also love to see the Bolthole return to something of its pomp. The only other place there's really much BL discussion is B+C, and that's been limited to SM books, so...

Whenever I have contact from someone asking me to look at the their writing, after I politely decline I always point them here. I think the USP of this place is not only some of the most dedicated and knowledgeable fans, but also those of you with experience with writing, the subs process and so forth.

Most of the decline is concomitant to the general withdrawal of GW and BL from the community in previous years, which is obviously being reversed. I also think that between the Track of Words reviews and the return of Shadowhawk to the fold (hello AJ!) you could also be an unofficial hub for that kind of activity again. Maybe try to lure Kenny here with the Combat Phase podcast links.

If you'd like to write a guest blog about the Bolthole I'd happily put it up on my site - and always open to interviews, of course.

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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby Squiggle » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:04 pm

Hi Gav,

Thanks for taking the time and for the support. Guest blog sounds like a great idea. We'll be in touch :D
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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby ribbons69 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:30 am

I don't know why I stopped coming here regularly but a reread of the Gaunts Ghosts series and the new (old) series from Hatchette prompted me to log on this morning,only to be told that my last visit was March 31 2014!
I'm pleased the forum is still alive,although social media is very good for some forms of discussion and news for just about anything, I feel it's had a significant decline of message boards like this. I'm a regular contributor on the Bloodstock Forum (heavy metal festival) and that has gone from a thriving hub to a tumbleweed haunted derelict that sometimes has no posts at all over 24 hours.
I will try to not be a stranger in the forthcoming months.
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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby Xisor » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:29 pm

As ribbons69 notes - we're not alone in having a bit of a dearth of population. The ease of which fb, twitter, Instagram and, to a lesser extent, Snapchat are used has meant that a lot of the "instinctive posts" we might make are much more easily and centrally coordinated via other means. Even Warseer has fell prey to it - not just by it doing it's own Portent.net, but the sheer wastelands of forums is mostly plain to see.

As such, I'm thinking the forum is *excellent* for sustained/long-term discourse, but poorer for the more easy going 'social' chat - which I think steals a huge amount of the impetus we'd usually have to be social under our own steam.

So 'integration' with those other bits is 'vital' to keep a community feel and keep folk active.

---

I vaguely recall the specifics from the days of Anthologies - the discrepancy between a *group* and a *page* on FB. Could probably do with a real to confirm the specifics, but my thinking is:

"Black Library Boltholers" - currently the only fb presence, I'm thinking rename it to "The Bolthole", but otherwise leave it be. (Simple and easy. Possibly not ideal, long term)

And alternative is make a page called the Bolthole, and remake the above to "Boltholers" and make it a closed group for emergency use. (Faff, but more future proof.)

My inclination is the latter, but I'm open to arguments either way. :)
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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby Duke_Leto » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:16 pm

As someone who has categorically refuses to be part of the Facebook crowd I personally hope you don't start splitting content between different channels. I would favour of Twitter to make quick observations and announcements (and gain more followers) but would prefer content to be here. But that is just me!
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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:40 pm

I don't know if a page is actually relevant on FB, as it gives another thing to be advertising and getting attention when we're trying to sell the forum (and to a lesser extent the blog) when we have the group already to go.

Because the social media should be pointing people here to take part in the more hearty conversations we can have here rather than over there. This is about forum regeneration rather than displacing us to other platforms.

Which I suppose means a more thoughtful almost curation aspect where we are choosing the threads to invite people to see and participate in and I suppose that could mean more of a conscious fore planning about what we want to talk about and what not because trusting it to come organically may not give us enough things to be regularly shouting about how cool we are at talking about things especially when the community is in its current sluggish state.
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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby Duke_Leto » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:53 pm

I like the idea of trying to generate interest by focusing discussion around particular topics.

There are four reasons I read BL books:

1. I like dystopian science fiction/science fantasy.
2. I like a rip roaring romp/adventure to entertain me.
3. I love the grim dark setting and IP.
4. I love to see the lore expanded.

For that last one could we see whether there is any chance of getting any of the GW/BL loremasters to engage? People like Laurie Goulding (now ex employee)? With the (for 40k) seismic change for 8th edition there could be some interesting discussions around that?

Also, some folks on here look like they might be going to BL weekender. That provides an opportunity for some marketing and promotion? T Shirts worn by boltholers? Old fashioned marketing admittedly but hey, perfect target audience all gathered in one place!
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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:30 pm

Laurie is possibly still freelancing as an author for BL and we wouldn't want to time sink too many folks who are producing the goods too much.

I can knock up a new Boltholer T-shirt from myself with the old graphics, I probably still have them saved somewhere. So it is doable
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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby Xisor » Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:05 pm

Hmm, those aren't bad ideas at all. On that front, the interview on YouTube with Phil Kelly & Andy whosesurnameicantrememberstill was neat enough, but it's be fascinating to go deeper.

Similarly, Duke, yourself & LotN (O'Fehervari) ... a lot of aristocracy there... your discussions over on the Ask An Author are *fascinating*. Things like that are great for tweeting out about, I'd hope.
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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby Duke_Leto » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:50 pm

I am on Twitter as Dukeleto69 but need more followers (I am following thebolthole). We all need to follow each other and the the authors and then get seriously retweeting.

We need to catch the attention of the authors so that hopefully they start to retweet our posts (where we mention thebolthole a lot) and due to the followers the authors have we would hopefully grow thh audience for the bolthole by creating some curiosity.

Perhaps we can spark a debate about the need for BL to produce more content for more sophisticated/mature audiences? Perhaps we can create some momentum to get Peter Fehevari more commissions from BL?
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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby Rob P » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:13 pm

Twitter does seem the ideal platform for luring people here for longer discussions

Edit: Can we get the logo/banner at the top of the page? :D

Also i'm @robpettitt123 on twitter
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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby Athelassan » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:57 pm

Rob P wrote:Twitter does seem the ideal platform for luring people here for longer discussions

Edit: Can we get the logo/banner at the top of the page? :D

Also i'm @robpettitt123 on twitter

Wait wait wait wait

This isn't the Template Astrum forum?

I've been in the wrong place all this time!

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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby Shaggy » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:58 pm

Can't really add much to what has already been said... the decline in any kind of involvement from GW/BL, the general sidelining of forum sites by the likes of Facebook (which I'm on) and Twitter (which I'm not)... those and probably several other factors have not done this site any favours. Hopefully at least some of that will change. Getting actual recognised BL authors back and contributing would be a major help. Bringing back 'Read In A Rush'? Sounds like a good idea (not sure if I dare take part again! :lol: ). Meet-up at the BL Weekender? Definitely sounds like a plan.
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Re: Front and Centre - a forum regeneration

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:05 pm

With "Warmaster" out at the weekender is it worth for the blog pushing through reviews of the Ghost series to date before it comes out?

I have too many other things on my to read pile to commit to them all but I'll pick up a novel or two either for a review of it on my own or to have some sort of discussion review with other people.
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