End of the front page?

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Kalidor

Administrator
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
Hey everyone. I've been contemplating for a while to just ditch the front page completely and have the domain direct here to the forums. Specifically, it would direct to a "news" forum that would essentially replace the front page but be something that could be more widely interacted with here by the users. Wordpress sites are nice, and they serve a lot of different purposes depending on what they're for. But the only thing ours is used for, and has ever been used for, is basically a blog news site. There aren't many bells and whistles to begin with and it just feels superluous.

Even more so considering the fact that after 20 years many of you still pull the "YoU hAvE a fRoNTpAge??" crap.

So I wanted to drop this thread in for a bit of feedback before I made any abrupt unannounced changes to see what you guys think.

Let me know, please - any and all comments welcome. I promise I won't Elon you.
 

Superomegaprime

Wondering bot
Citizen
I hardly pay attention to the front page of this site unless something catches my eye, I tend to use TFW, TFromers & Sibertron to get the TF news, I just like hanging around on the forms here, thou I come in via the front page
 

ZakuConvoy

Well-known member
Citizen
I guess I always wondered if the TF Pulp archives would make a return via the front page-site? I don't know if that's even on the table. I think it'd be possible to cobble them back together using archive.org and various other collections around the web, to get some of those old translations back up. But, I'm not sure if there's much interest in doing that or not.
 

Sabrblade

Continuity Nutcase
Citizen
I guess I always wondered if the TF Pulp archives would make a return via the front page-site? I don't know if that's even on the table. I think it'd be possible to cobble them back together using archive.org and various other collections around the web, to get some of those old translations back up. But, I'm not sure if there's much interest in doing that or not.
A return of Hydra's TF Pulp content in any form could only be a good thing.
 
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Galvaplexia

Self-Appointed Nihilist
Citizen
I personally like the front page; it's a great way to skim all the latest and greatest things happening in the fandom. I think however instead of nixing it altogether it might need a revamp.

For example, one critique I have is: how it's organized currently is a little haphazard, IMO. I actually preferred how it was organized in its previous iteration back right before the server got compromised recently.

Also, I think engagement on the frontpage might be improved if the news was a little more up-to-date on a regular basis. For example, there have been many times tfw2005 broke the news on many things that I did not see in AllSpark's newsfeed until like up to a week later. I know you vet your sources more thoroughly and you are more objective in your reporting, but there have been many instances of y'all reporting on things that I've already learned about from another site well over a week prior. I used to rely on the AS frontpage as my primary source for TF news since you either break news stories the day before or the day of, but since the news response hasn't been as timely or as thorough, I've not really used the front page as much as I used to.

Also, I remember how you also used to write about different things our members do as part of the frontpage newsfeed, like showcasing fanart and customs. And this could be a false memory, but I also remembered how you all would hold contests and other types of activities to showcase and bolster engagement with members that were also showcased in the newsfeed that made the frontpage more appealing. Not saying you have to necessarily go back to those exact things persay, but diversifying features on the front page that encourage more member engagement might bolster its appeal.

My two cents anyway.
 

Dake

Well-known member
Citizen
I've honestly always had my bookmark set to the forum, so if the front page has become a nuisance to maintain I'd get it.
 

UndeadScottsman

Well-known member
Citizen
It you want people to visit the front page, you're going to need one of two things

-Rapid news turn around; if something hits the forums, it needs to be on the front page that day, if not that hour. Especially vital in a hobby as tightnit as this, as it doesn't take long for news to propagate.
-A steady pace of non-news content. Whether something simple and clickbaity like top ten lists or or easter egg breakdowns, or something more sophisticated like editorials and long-form reviews of shows and toys. Though at that point you're basically competing with Youtube with the enormous disadvantage of not being on Youtube.

Both of those things would take active work and I'm guessing nobody around here gets paid; so you'd need to find a volunteer force capable of providing one of those functions and that is a lot easier said than done.
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
To be clear, there would still be a front page with news, but something forum based.

I feel like even if we were 100% on the ball with news, if you're just here to hang out the current front page will always have the problem that there's no hanging out to do there. It's part of Allspark, but can feel like a separate part you just might not be here for in the first place.

My vision is something like the What's New feature this forum already has, but news based and curated. It would serve the front page's current purpose, being a news feed of sorts, but would also be a tool for quickly navigating the forum to find where the news is being discussed. And if it's forum based, everyone has the opportunity to get involved, and doing more 'Community Showcase' type content becomes incredibly easy.

Basically, instead of having the front page be a separate place from the forum, turn it into an enhancement for the forum.
 

Shadewing

Well-known member
Citizen
While I don't care about the front page really; at the same time I feel like it could be revamped into something interesting. Which is mostly in support of Undead's idea. Take full advantage of the blog-ish nature. Legit news, strong editorals, maybe some user reviews (we do have a few of them posted here), etc. Use the front page to its full potential to draw people in in this time of social media chaos. We'll never be able to match actual social media sites, but maybe we can attract a lot of the nerdy users out there by just being us. We're a transformers site, but our user base has always been a lot more then that. Its what makes us a strong community; and maybe our front page should reflect that.
 

Manoiki

aka TJMD
Citizen
For example, one critique I have is: how it's organized currently is a little haphazard, IMO. I actually preferred how it was organized in its previous iteration back right before the server got compromised
This. The current layout is jumbled to me. That’s one of the main reasons TFW has become my main spot for news, because the layout is traditional to me. Maybe its because I’m getting old.
 

Dake

Well-known member
Citizen
This. The current layout is jumbled to me. That’s one of the main reasons TFW has become my main spot for news, because the layout is traditional to me. Maybe its because I’m getting old.
Yeah. I know it's "old fashioned" now but the TFW/Hisstank/Toyark family of sites' front pages is still my favorite layout for a quick scroll. I usually see it first there and then come here to talk about it.

The 'Spark's front page reminds me of some other blog sites (for example the Gizmodo media blogs) that just have too much going on. With Gizmodo and Co's sites, I have my bookmarks set to the "Latest" tab which puts everything back in a more conventional top to bottom scroll as well. I've found this enables me to easily and quickly check to see what's new since I just scroll until I see something I know I've read already.

So I hate to say "be more like TFW", because nobody wants that :ROFLMAO: ;), but if the site software allows something a little closer to it (coupled with more quickly updated content), then go for it.

But, I recognize we also may no longer have the staffing (volunteers) we once did so it might be easier to let it go.
 

Zamuel

Pittied fools.
Citizen
I'm someone who does pull up the front page when I come to the Allspark and I know I'd miss things if it would go. I'm another vote for preferring the front page but being understanding if it can't be maintained. There are two concerns though:

-Sometimes the front page loads slow or gets stuck loading and I have to bypass it by manually typing in the forums. Not sure what causes that and if the suggestion to make the front page more like the old forums would help. I will note that my internet suck but the forum doesn't seem to have the problems of the front page.

-This very thread that's important to the whole of the Allspark was only posted in one forum instead of a universal sticky. It's pretty easy to miss if you were only checking one or two threads.
 

Haywire

Collecter of Gobots and Godzilla
Citizen
-Sometimes the front page loads slow or gets stuck loading and I have to bypass it by manually typing in the forums. Not sure what causes that and if the suggestion to make the front page more like the old forums would help. I will note that my internet suck but the forum doesn't seem to have the problems of the front page.

I will second this; the front page loads very poorly for me compared to the forum itself, even after I upgraded phones. Because of this, I go directly to the forums, and only go to the front page when someone links to it in a post.

Also, back when I used my wife's iPhone to read the Allspark, it decided to start automatically skipping the front page and just go to the forum directly. I guess I had a habit of browsing the news headings but then just jumping to the forum, and it decided to save a step?

Anyway, I would be good with a news section in the forum.
 

Sciflyer

Two arms and one smile
Citizen
I'm in the camp that still likes the idea of a homepage. I don't always read every single update on it, but I usually find enough to like on any given week.

I love the page layout from that '07 - '13 era as well. Clean, nice, easy to read, etc. Can we just emulate that? Or perhaps use it as a guidepost, keeping what makes sense and improving the rest? I know nothing about web design/upkeep, so sorry.
 

Kalidor

Administrator
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
I'm someone who does pull up the front page when I come to the Allspark and I know I'd miss things if it would go. I'm another vote for preferring the front page but being understanding if it can't be maintained. There are two concerns though:

-Sometimes the front page loads slow or gets stuck loading and I have to bypass it by manually typing in the forums. Not sure what causes that and if the suggestion to make the front page more like the old forums would help. I will note that my internet suck but the forum doesn't seem to have the problems of the front page.

-This very thread that's important to the whole of the Allspark was only posted in one forum instead of a universal sticky. It's pretty easy to miss if you were only checking one or two threads.
There are a few things about keeping the front page up to date because the core software and all the plug-ins have to be maintained. It's a real hassle that I just don't have time for.

I posted in here because this is the most viewed forum and I honestly didn't know what kind of response it would get
 
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