AuthorTopic: Community updates  (Read 1967 times)

Offline Kiana

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Re: Community updates

Reply #10 on: August 11, 2018, 05:47:34 am
Pixelation has what, four active users? You don't need eight moderators to police four users. Especially ironic considering that the two latest mods have always been more active in the Discord than the Forum.
If I’m being honest, the main responsibility for moderators is handling things like spam and thread moving/deletion, which is a lot easier to handle if you have a few people in different timezones. Having to “police” users really isn’t what Elm and I are here for, and I won’t speak directly for anyone else, but I’m pretty laid back. I was actually asked by Crow to moderate the Discord but I didn’t think I could handle the time commitment and responsibility of moderating a chat on top of client work.

I did use to moderate several decently-sized forums during the “golden age” of forums so I knew this was something I could reasonably contribute to, though I figured I might be met with contempt from some regulars (being more of a lurker). I don’t blame anyone if this is the case, since I would probably have a similar reaction, but I hope people can understand that I do my best to be reasonable about things, and that I’m no stranger to pixel art as a medium. I will try to contribute knowledge to the site when I can, to whichever platform Pixelation decides to take, since I understand the importance of it.
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Offline Crow

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Re: Community updates

Reply #11 on: August 11, 2018, 06:28:22 am
I think the slack killed Pixelation by siphoning off the activity and losing the very precious momentum of good will and thoughtful time spent giving back to the community.

I think that assumption is wrong. Forums are just a dying medium, and I'm pretty sure that even without an active chat, activity would have dropped just as much. The lack of activities didn't exactly help, either.

Offline pistachio

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Re: Community updates

Reply #12 on: August 11, 2018, 10:13:42 am
Pretty high time for such a discussion to go down now. What the 4 guys here didn't step up to say.

Haven't looked into the tech side of this gizmowhatsit Mastodon so my suggestions now aren't specific. It looks workable but that's at a glance. Also because I don't know exactly what is going on behind the scenes here, which I'll respect.
But I will get behind two things mentioned: because botched transitions crippled two of my top two art resources for months--that we do not fuck up the software transition, and preferably that we archive (prevent the link rot of whatever's still up). Too much good stuff to lose. And improve the sorting of good reads and so on if that's viable. Too much good stuff not to be seen.

As an aside, you can correct me on this, but PX has been reborn a couple times, big time, a few epochs back.
Some folks remember Pixelopolis (I don't) and here we're moving on again.
Will I? Don't know. Let's see and discuss.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 10:32:50 am by pistachio »
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Offline ptoing

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Re: Community updates

Reply #13 on: August 11, 2018, 10:48:28 am
The database we are using IS the Pixelopolis one. :)

But yeah it was
-Blue Pixelation
-Pixelopolis with new database because hack and lack of proper backups
-Pixelation again with Pixelopolis Database
-Bunch of server moves to where we are now.
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Offline 0xDB

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Re: Community updates

Reply #14 on: August 11, 2018, 12:26:45 pm
Thought for the future and for restoring a bit of the lost past(images mainly):
Images should either be hosted by pixelation via an attachment mechanism upon posting or from within the posting mechanism they should be uploaded and link-rewritten to a unified and reliable external image hoster. Old posts (primarily in threads marked as valuable/highly readworthy) should be parsed for broken image links and the parsing should automatically check https://archive.org/web/ for existance of cached copies (under wayofthepixel.net as the URL to look for) of those lost images which are then to be re-hosted by a reliable external image hoster or pixelation itself and retroactively link-rewritten to repair the missing image links in the good-to-read-threads of the past.

The repair-old-threads task could also happen as time allows after archival of the boards content and after moving on to whatever new platform. The task to repair old threads could be done manually and spread over the shoulders of the community in a process much like the collabs were handled: Mod would give out a list of threads that need repairing. Community members claim a thread-to-repair and then wander off to find the missing images (on their own computer if they happen to have a saved copy of the thread or on archive.org/web skimming wayofthepixel.net snapshots on there) and report and deliver any found images back to the mod who can then re-host the images and re-link them in the thread-to-repair. If someone does not deliver anything after a few days of claiming, thread goes back up for grabs by someone else.

Thoughts on the future system to be used:
I think a forum still is the best way to exchange thoughts and ideas for a more long-term usability/readability. Chats are fleeting and chaotic, topics in chats are often interleaved with several different conversations going on in parallel in the same timeline so to speak, whereas a thread in a forum usually stays on the one topic it was opened with and can still be read well years later whereas a chat-log contains way too much noise and is harder to search/skim for any specific topic or thoughts exchange.

One thing that might be useful for art feedback in particular (and only in addition to a forum for discussing other topics not revolving around a specific piece of art) would be a real-time-checkout system where users could click "write a critique, make an edit, reply" next to an image and then others would see in real-time who's currently critiquing or editing(just as information though, it should not block them from also doing the same in parallel) or just replying. Then when they're done writing or editing, they would submit and the system would build up a tree-view where the critiques and edits are direct child nodes of the original image. This way different paths spawned from any given image are always clearly visualized and each critique-item and edit-item always has exactly one clearly identifiable source. When a users later posts an improved version of their images, it would be useful if they could, in addition to writing something along it, mark the critique-and-edit-items they found useful and which they tried to follow in their new version and the system would link those up in the tree-view as well (or just mark them in the old version), so that one can always see what items spawned the new version.

Perhaps it does not even need to be presented as a tree view but rather in collumns, perhaps like this:


So, it would basically, like in a forum, show "posts" but each post is a definite version of a piece along with author and words from author and then all the crits and edits and other comments for that specific version right next to it. When author makes a new version (and it should be visible in real-time for others that author is working on one, provided author was thoughtful enough to click some button to signal just that), it goes up stacked on top of the previous "post" and in the previous post, all crits and edits which were useful get marked by author (or maybe there could even be an additional open-for-all give-love button to indicate that anyone liked a particular crit or edit (the authors markings should alwaysbe uniquely identifiable though)). Upon new version from author, previous versions get locked (with the exception of still allowing marking of items as helpful but no new crits/edits/comments should be allowed anymore on old versions).

The crits, edits, and comments should probably better be collumns (was too lazy to erase and redo in the sketch above) next to the piece version and also marking something should be available anytime as clickables under the invidual items and not just appear for the author upon posting a new version.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 12:29:58 pm by 0xDB »

Offline Crow

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Re: Community updates

Reply #15 on: August 11, 2018, 08:22:24 pm
The repair-old-threads task could also happen as time allows after archival of the boards content and after moving on to whatever new platform. The task to repair old threads could be done manually and spread over the shoulders of the community in a process much like the collabs were handled: Mod would give out a list of threads that need repairing. Community members claim a thread-to-repair and then wander off to find the missing images (on their own computer if they happen to have a saved copy of the thread or on archive.org/web skimming wayofthepixel.net snapshots on there) and report and deliver any found images back to the mod who can then re-host the images and re-link them in the thread-to-repair. If someone does not deliver anything after a few days of claiming, thread goes back up for grabs by someone else.

Oh yea, uhh, about that.. I have a Python script somewhere that I wrote a while ago. You give it a thread id and it tries to find the latest archive.org snapshot of that thread and grabs all images it can out of it. Might help repairing threads. If anybody wants this, contact me.

Offline pistachio

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Re: Community updates

Reply #16 on: August 12, 2018, 03:42:51 am
@ptoing
yeh, that's gonna be something to learn from. Not on this scale tho!

@0xDB
Interfacing like this is gonna be enough work for a huge team. That's the huge team we don't have, and if we did, guys without time or resources. That said I'd still kill for a custom interface.
I've only got a vague idea if this customization is in the scope of Mastodon. So far it doesn't seem like it.
Tying this to your point #3 this customization is gonna be needed to jury-rig it into less of a fast paced chat and more of a slow paced critique forum. (I think Discourse, Vanilla etc. do that better. hell even old school ConceptArt.) So if you do this you're fighting against the medium tho the results could be interesting.

If we are gonna host a chat of some kind, I think one of the problems this time round was not enough cross-talk or cross-modding between the two, and the ease of access of the chat platform compared to the forums. So it kind of grew off and out of proportion. Compare that to our IRC way back, which was the low level sidekick compared to then shiny feature-rich forums. Ironically that got flipped on its head here. With a switch, who knows, we could change that.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 03:59:32 am by pistachio »
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Offline Jeremy

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Re: Community updates

Reply #17 on: August 12, 2018, 06:21:36 am
What is the point of Pixelation?

To me it's always been a place of thought leadership (for lack of a better term) for the medium. I regularly go back to re-read the likes of Ramblethread, and come here first for information on system restrictions and palettes. It's a living archive of the last X years of pixel practice.

Platforms like twitter or slack or discord are the opposite of this. They're ephemeral – it's hard to see what happened yesterday – and things invariably become either atomised or a wall of noise. I can't really see mastodon being any different. It feels like you're trying to recapture a lost community by hollowing out what attracted that community in the first place, with no guarantee that new people will want to engage with the new platform (as opposed to, say, just using twitter, which seems functionally pretty much identical but has a much bigger potential audience).

I guess my feelings are that it's unfortunate people decided to endorse offsite chat platforms (which always kill forum traffic and lead to drama), but this move seems like a lot of risk without much chance of reward  :(

To summarise, my question is this: what do you want Pixelation to be, and can a new platform even achieve it? I'm thinking of things that currently do drive traffic like the Secret Santa and other activities – could you run them effectively through mastodon?

Offline ptoing

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Re: Community updates

Reply #18 on: August 12, 2018, 11:22:36 am
I have my doubts about things like Secret Santa, Pixelator, or the Hexquisite Corpse Activities as well.
Even things like Commercial Critiques would be weird on something that is more like Twitter, imo.

We have to see what works best.
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Offline Reo

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Re: Community updates

Reply #19 on: August 12, 2018, 01:12:06 pm
I believe the popularity of Pixelation and its ability to attract new members i largely tied to interesting challenges and collaborations. At least I think that's a big part of it. I realize something like the hex collab is a massive undertaking but unique high-quality collabrations like that is something you can only get at Pixelation ( or Pixeljoint but the forum is difficult to find). The big collaborations drive in new and old people. You come back to see it unfold and while you are there you might as well weigh in on some WIP threads or chat a bit, but people need some spectacle other than the regular forum fare to be pulled in. Things like the old palette challenges, mockup frenzy and the Hex and ISO collab is a necessity. The interest in Pj's weekly challenges vary from week to week depending on the theme, but things like that Pixel-dailes where people can very quickly " get involved " and see their work next to more experienced artists is how to pull in members.