My idea for the current (old) Armchair Arcade

Bill Loguidice's picture

If it hasn't been made clear before, I'd like to reiterate and open for discussion my thinking around the current (old) Armchair Arcade Website. I don't think it makes sense to convert any of the old stuff over to the new, save for some of the advertising/partnership stuff. Otherwise, we should leave the old stuff there with a link-back, somewhat similar to what is on Neo now up top. There are simply waaay too many links from countless external sources to specific pages on the old site that we'd immediately lose if it were shut down. When the new site is activated, the old site will be "frozen" from anything new on it, but will still have a persistent banner on top that will point to this new site. Maybe after x number of years we can do a full cut-over, but I'd HATE for us to waste any energy on converting old stuff over that is perfectly fine and stable as-is. We really need to work on kicking ass on the now, new and here.

As always, I'm open to discussions on this, as perhaps there's something I'm not seeing...

Comments

Matt Barton
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Domain Names

I agree with you 100%, Bill. My only question is, what are we going to do with the domain names? I would think we wouldn't want http://armchairarcade.com to resolve to the old site and require the /neo to come here. It'd probably make more since to resolve the old site to http://armchairarcade.com/classic or some such and have the old url resolve here.

I tried my best to keep down the hard-linking at the old site (relative links will still work even with the domain name change). Going forward, we should always think about this--for instance, if I wanted to link to a blog here, I would use node/5 as the URL rather than http://armchairarcade.com/neo/node/5. Both will work, but the first makes moving much, much easier.

I think we should look into "freezing" the old site and making it available as static HTML pages. I'll have to do more research to figure out how this could be done, but it should be possible.

Another option would be to port over the articles and leave the rest as-is. We can duplicate the games here. I haven't looked at the matrix yet.

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Mark Vergeer
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What about forum functionality and users?

So how will we go about letting the users know that the current forum will be phased out. People will have to re-register?
Perhaps many won't be pleased.

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Bill Loguidice
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We're still debating whether

We're still debating whether forums are necessary. I waiver myself. The idea is that everyone will have their blogs and the good ones get promoted to the front page. I'm not sure blogging can be a replacement for forums, but we can try to make it work. If not, it's easy enough to put forum functionality in.

As for people losing their old names and passwords, that's the price of this one-time upgrade. We don't have a choice really. We need to do this for the future of Armchair Arcade. The existing Website is broken. It looks good to the outside world, but for us, it's a nightmare. We need something that allows us to easily and quickly generate content, like we should have had in the first place. There are countless good reasons for doing this. On the plus side, there are only a handful of regular posters/forum goers, so it's not a major deal. Also, no one will be losing anything, they'll just be coming to a new place to do things with the same people. We're not doing a Shane and removing the old forums. They'll still be there, you just won't be able to post to them.
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Bill Loguidice - Armchair Arcade Co-Founder and Editor
www.billandchristina.com (includes Videogame and Computer Collection)
www.mythcore.com (creative development company)

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Mark Vergeer
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phasing out forums? Me thinks bad idea...

Forums form the basis of our 'AA' community, the forum is what AA is most of the time. Especially the last couple of months. Pulling a Shane is indeed what am afraid of. Forums are forming communities around many good websites out there and I think that is what people are used to and a forum is what we need on the side. Discontinue it and people might not be coming back so easily.
Isn't there a way for us to use Drupal software for the content side and keep the forum part the way it is with the old forum software? But cosmetically altered to fit within our new site? Or phase the old forum out when we devise a way to export/import/incorporate some good forum software in the new site?
The more I see of Drupal the more I see it as software very suitable for maintaining a blog and generating good solid website content but not maintaining a forum. Forum software is what we need on the side if we want a forum community next to our 'AA content' .

Perhaps I should delve into Drupal a bit more though.

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Bill Loguidice
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The idea is that with

The idea is that with comments to each blog post, it would solve the issue of needing forums, as that would act like a forum, just like it is now right here. It may not be a 1:1 replacement, however. Certainly one issue now that I see is how easy will it be to see a list of ALL new content. Certainly the "recent comments" seems insufficient to cover a flurry of new postings...
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Bill Loguidice - Armchair Arcade Co-Founder and Editor
www.billandchristina.com (includes Videogame and Computer Collection)
www.mythcore.com (creative development company)

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Matt Barton
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Replacing vs. Refactoring

Yes, I can see why it's smart to be anxious about this move. As Bill mentioned, this won't be a 1:1 replacement, and will involve moving into some unknown territory and picking up some unfamiliar tools.

It's probably also worth mentioning that the forums aren't really what AA is for. That's a great project that supports AA, but we're primarily concerned with articles and profesionally developed work. Indeed, the forums played such a tiny role when we started that I think we could've lived without them completely and just had comments on the articles. In a way, Shane's closing down his forums is what really brought people to ours. That turned out to be good for us, but it's not what we set out to do.

Since some of us started with the forums and then moved into administration, it's probably worth keeping that in mind as we refine our goals.

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Bill Loguidice
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I just want to add, that I

I just want to add, that I enjoy the idea of forums and just chatting with people, but there is a lot of good stuff that gets posted there that gets wasted. As much as I post on the forums - I think ultimately far more than anyone - I'd be the first to strongly insist we re-institute them if I see a need or deficiency. However, I think again, it's clear as we're using this now, blogs may be a good replacement and they'll be more easily parsable and redistributable, which is important. It's worth a shot. At the same time, we do need to address the "new items" listing. If we get 50 blog posts/comments, for instance, I know *I* would want to see all of them and be able to reply to each and every one of them. If we can mirror that functionality of "Show new posts", then I think there's no issue anyway.
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Bill Loguidice - Armchair Arcade Co-Founder and Editor
www.billandchristina.com (includes Videogame and Computer Collection)
www.mythcore.com (creative development company)

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Bill Loguidice
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I see "recent posts" on the

I see "recent posts" on the menu works quite well as a "show new" for both blogs and forum posts, so that solves that...
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Bill Loguidice - Armchair Arcade Co-Founder and Editor
www.billandchristina.com (includes Videogame and Computer Collection)
www.mythcore.com (creative development company)

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Mat Tschirgi
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Joined: 01/18/2006
Interesting thread...

Interesting thread...

I see your point about the blogs, Bill, but forums are important for the AA community as well. The blogs can be the "new version" of the News section, really-- or we can have a centralized News section and the blogs will supplant the need for issues as they are updated biweekly or whatever.

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Bill Loguidice
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The other thing we can do is

The other thing we can do is put forums up for the community and for stuff not appropriate for blogging. They'd be there, but we'd be focusing ourselves more on the blogs. I don't know. In any case, there is still a long way to go and we need to see how well we can implement the blogs before we decide on anything final. Drupal as we have it set up now is just about "out of the box", so it needs considerable configuration still.

Also, what about notifications? I like to receive e-mails when something new is posted that I flag. I hope there's a way to set that up in Drupal...
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Bill Loguidice - Armchair Arcade Co-Founder and Editor
www.billandchristina.com (includes Videogame and Computer Collection)
www.mythcore.com (creative development company)

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