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Making the Homepage a Showcase of the Community

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by Quintillus, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    All right, so this is mostly a thread to spark discussion, ideas, and hopefully action. I know there are people a lot more in-tune with recent iterations of the series who are in a better position to help out with this than I am.

    (tl; dr: Let's make the homepage a showcase of the best of our community)

    I've posted occasionally before, but IMO the CFC homepage is not as good at telling new visitors why they should sign up as it once was. If I'm really getting into Civ, and find the Steam forums or the 2K forums unsatisfactory, and I visit CFC, what do I see on the main page? Right now, it's:

    News on the left:
    - Civ IV Hall of Fame Updated. This is good. I remember seeing posts about the Civ III Hall of Fame back around 2003 or 2004, and being really impressed that there was such a thing. Great novelty to draw people in!
    - Seven more posts, primarily about Civ-related podcasts, with one interview about the Civ Players League. These go all the way back to September 25th.

    So, what's the conclusion? There's a decently active podcasting community about Civ, and the Civ4 folks have this Hall of Fame thing... and that's about it.

    On the right:
    - A search bar. This appears to search news articles. I suppose this is okay, but if you're new to CFC, you may think this search bar covers all of CFC.
    - Shopping links to buy Civ VI and the Rise and Fall expansion. These appear to be commission-based ones that probably help fund CFC.
    - Recent Forum Posts. This appears to be pretty much exactly the most recent, regardless of forum. Most are from the Civ forums, but that may simply be good luck at the time I check.
    - Recent New Items. This is just the titles; the actual news items are on the left. The version on the right goes back two items further.
    - A "Meta" section including such things as login/register links, RSS feeds, and a link to Wordpress.com.

    How intriguing this section would be likely varies highly by the Recent Forum Posts.

    There are Civ version-specific dropdown links at the top, which link to a lot of information, and the Forums and Downloads links rightfully get the top two spots on the left... but that's the extent of the home page.

    So what would I expect to draw in more fans?

    - More news stories in general. Highlight what's in the community. Are interesting mods being made? Are there popular stories and tales? Are Games of the Month going on? Is the Civ V Hall of Fame being updated? Is there a Diplo Game or another noteworthy multiplayer game going on? You'd never know from the home page.
    - Instead of, or perhaps supplemental to, the Recent Posts, have sections for popular recent creations. As an example, Civ III used to have (and perhaps IV, V, or VI still have) monthly votes for Unit of the Month, PCX (graphic) of the Month, Leaderhead of the Month, etc. Greater publicity for these would both make CFC look more interesting to newcomers, and reward the creators with more traffic for their creations.

    Back in the day, many of these items were on the home page, but they have gradually disappeared over the course of the 2010s.

    How would we do this?

    - Have a few point people (maybe 1 or 2 per Civ version, and maybe a few more for the most active versions) who can post to the home page. Kind of like GOTM Staff, but Homepage News Staff. These should be trusted people who are fairly active.
    - For some of the Civ communities, there may be obvious candidates for news updates (GOTM, X of the Month, etc.). But for all of them, have a thread where people can nominate items to be featured, since the Homepage News Staff may not be aware of all items.
    - If someone is familiar with XenForo and/or PHP, they may be able to help with getting some sort of a "Featured Items" spotlight to put on the home page. We'd probably want some sort of agreement on how often to change this (e.g. a thread to organize it, a policy that each item gets X amount of days minimum, some way to balance the desires of each Civ version's fanbase to have their items on the featured list).

    Those are my ideas, but I'm sure others have valuable insight as well. And my motivation? I'd like to see CFC remain a viable site for the next decade. In the face of Steam forums, official 2K forums, social media, and the evolution of the Internet in general, this isn't a guaranteed thing. So far, despite challenges from some quarters (e.g. Steam workshop for Downloads), CFC has remained viable. But let's not assume it will be indefinitely, and instead maximize its chance for the future.

    (I should also note that I am definitely not in tune enough with Civ V/VI to assist for those, although I'm sure there are others who are well-qualified. I also lack familiarity with XenForo and PHP, and there are likely forum denizens better-qualified for any resulting opportunities there as well)

    Please comments with your thoughts, suggestions and ability to help CFC during its third decade!
     
  2. Thunderfall

    Thunderfall Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    Thanks for your suggestions, Quintillus.

    I do agree there are lots of room for improvement for the frontpage.

    As first step to make it better, we will need more news posters who are active on the forums and could help post various interesting news items on the frontpage.
    It doesn't matter the area.
    • We need people who follow the latest Civ game developments closely, to post about the latest news, mods, strategy articles, etc.
    • We need people who follow older games such as Civ5 or Civ4, or Civ2, and post any new interesting news related to them, whether it's new mods, strategy articles, or just interesting topics.
    Posting to the front page is easy, as it's WordPress, so you do not need any technical skill.

    If anyone is interested to help out, please do message me or post here about it and let me know which area you could help with.

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
  3. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    This would be great considering all the advances happening in the "old" games. It would be nice to be able to showcase some of this. Civ2 has been modded to the point where lua can be used for events, leading to significantly enhanced scenarios, for example.

    @Prof. Garfield and I are finishing up touches on a massive lua-based scenario and would love to be able to have a brief blurb about it when complete.

    Edit--I would be willing to be the guy who follows Civ2. I already post videos about new releases for it in the "what video games are you playing" section of the Off Topic forum.
     
  4. Thunderfall

    Thunderfall Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    JPetroski,
    That's great! Thanks for offering to help cover Civ2!
    Do you have an account on the main site? If not, please register an account there (the right side bar has a Meta section with the register link) and let me know.
    After that, I will add you to a user group that has news posting privilege.
     
  5. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    I have registered an account as JPetroski. Any ground rules I should be aware of? Thanks.
     
  6. Thunderfall

    Thunderfall Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    Thanks John. I have added you to the "Authors" group which lets you to publish and manage your own posts. :)
    Feel free to give it a try!

    Not really. :) Just use your common sense.
     
  7. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    Thanks, I gave it a shot and it's live. This is more or less what I would plan to do with new scenario releases going forward: Who released what, what it's about, where you can find it, and maybe a screen shot or YouTube link if there's a video about the project. If these need any tweaks, please let me know.
     
  8. Petek

    Petek Alpha Centaurian Administrator Supporter

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    Looks great! Thanks for your help. :thanx:
     
  9. Thunderfall

    Thunderfall Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    Awesome! :thumbsup:

    If anyone else want to help cover interesting developments for any Civ games, please do let us know. We need all the help!
     
  10. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Civ IV Emperor EQM Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    I cover the Civ IV Hall of Fame and post updates on the main page, @aafritz17 covers the Civ V Hall of Fame but not sure if he has publishing rights?
     
  11. WillowBrook

    WillowBrook Lurker

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    I've been posting official civ vi news - but that amounts to only a few posts about patches since the release of gathering storm almost a year ago. If further official Civ VI content is announced, I will continue to post about it.

    I'd be happy to post things like civ vi GOTMs if no one else wants to do it, but I need a PM or something to remind me each time there's something new as I don't pay attention much to the sub- forums.
     
    Noble Zarkon likes this.

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