Jury Room changes are afoot

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Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby Michael Stailey » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:04 am

This is not a early April Fool's prank. So sharpen your pitchforks and light your torches because there are structural changes on the way.

In an effort to tie all five Verdict sites together and generate new conversational traffic, we'll be using the Jury Room as one common forum subdivided into six main sections: DVD Verdict, TV Verdict, Cinema Verdict, Pixel Verdict, Verdict Presents (Podcast), and the Off-Topic forum.

We had originally planned to create a brand new forum community offsite, leaving the Jury Room untouched in the corner of DVD Verdict. However, limited resources has made this move more viable.

How does this impact you guys? Not much. The DVD Verdict forum will remain your playground. I'll place the current General Discussion and Feedback folders within, leaving any further subdivision up to you. Just let me know if and how you want it to change.

Each of the other Verdict teams will be establishing their own folder structures to meet their individual needs.

In the long run, we hope expanding the neighborhood will make the Jury Room a livelier more engaging place for everyone.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby Dan Mancini » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:39 am

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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby mavrach » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:14 pm

I think all of the sites should definitely be linked as far as communities go, but the subdivisions might get confusing.

How would "DVD" differ from "TV" or "Cinema?" Just the fact that a medium might not actually be on DVD quite yet might be an awkward reason to sequester off a section of discussion. Movies hit DVD in a few months, and TV goes to DVD at the end of the season. And with TV, anything that's at least in its second season would already have it's prior seasons on DVD.

Just to keep that simple, I'd suggest all of the "motion pictures" discussions be linked. If you must, you might be able to section of TV because at least you can distinguish it from movies. It's just odd to make DVD it's own discussion forum because it's just a medium for viewing other art forms.

Video games might be worth a subforum, but there hasn't been huge amounts of discussion on the site anyway.


Just remember not to get too carried away with subdivisions. I come home from work now and see 9 new updated threads. There isn't a need to divide unless there are too many threads to read. If you were to divide those 9 threads amongst 5 forums, it would make it look like the site has no activity. Smush them up into one forum and suddenly the site looks like it's bursting at the seams.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby mkiker2089 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:22 pm

May I humbly make a suggestion? TV, movies, and DVD are all the same visual format. I think a seperate game forum is cool if enough people visit it (I will) but you don't really have to break the rest up. Is there a word for TV, in theatre movies, and DVDs? Entertainment Verdict? If you use that I'll sue by the way :)

Edit-

just call it TV & Movies perhaps. That would include DVDs because what else would be on one, a cook book? Not that we pay attention to subforums anyway. I'm anxiously awaiting the change so I can post everything exactly one forum down on the list from where they actually belong. It's much fun.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby Boba Fett » Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:40 pm

I'm fine with separate forums for TV, DVD, and Cinema (current movies in theaters). My problem with this change last time was the lack of the off-topic forum.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby Michael Stailey » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:28 pm

For some much needed perspective, here's the current JR traffic:

Registered Users: 1090
Avg Users per day: 2
Avg Topics per day: 4
Avg Posts per day: 64

Not exactly a thriving community.

By opening the JR up to folks who frequent the other sites, we're trying to change that.

Other forums with much greater traffic than ours successfully use a similar approach for DVD, TV, and Cinema segmentation.

If this proposed first step is so far off base, how would you go about growing the Jury Room? Folder positioning alone is not going to do much of anything.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby mavrach » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:49 pm

Michael Stailey wrote:Avg Users per day: 2


I don't understand how this is calculated?
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby SmokestackJones » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:56 pm

Doesn't bother me; you're adding not taking away. Just keep those stinking PC gamers away from me! And tell the to stay off my lawn!

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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby Michael Stailey » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:35 pm

mavrach wrote:I don't understand how this is calculated?

phpBB3 tracks user activity over a period of time. For us, the board installation dates back to 17 June 2007.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby Stubblecat » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:44 am

When I first joined, I was a proponent of dividing the forum up into sub-sections based on topic. There was little support, and I understood.

I don't really have a opinion on it now, because I've been really enjoying the site and the small group of intelligent people here. There's nothing worse that being a member of a forum that gets hundreds of new threads every day and has thousands of lunkheaded dudes flaming each other.

So I will only offer the caveat to Admin: Be careful what you wish for.
Otherwise, I hope it works out nicely and we get a better community of media-junkies.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby mavrach » Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:36 pm

Michael Stailey wrote:
mavrach wrote:I don't understand how this is calculated?

phpBB3 tracks user activity over a period of time. For us, the board installation dates back to 17 June 2007.


Something's wrong because I can't remember any day where only two people have been on the forum. Hell that wouldn't even add up to the three moderators that the board has. I check the site daily whether I post or not, and there has to be more than one other person posting. Just look at the Baker's Dozen thread, which by definition has 13 posters. That data is under-representing reality.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby mkiker2089 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:10 pm

Maybe it's tracking it from time when it wasn't available or something? Can you "reset" the clock and get new data?

Did it take into account the board change and how our stats were all reset?
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby Michael Stailey » Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:08 pm

The server likely considers "users" to be people who actively post, not just lurkers.

There are plenty of weekends where there is little or no posting activity at all, so these numbers aren't so surprising.

I'm more interested in hearing thoughts on how to grow the community.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby molly1216 » Sat Apr 04, 2009 3:03 pm

Boba Fett wrote:I'm fine with separate forums for TV, DVD, and Cinema (current movies in theaters). My problem with this change last time was the lack of the off-topic forum.


I however am not fine with separate forums for tv, dvd, and cinema.
since there are so many projects in various stages of evolution, these subjects can easily be all one and the same
it was a bad idea the 1st time and it still doesn't sound any better.
many sci fi franchises overlap to such a large degree i feel stupid itemizing them.
however after you create such a Cerebus, as long as there aren't any restrictions on who discusses what where
it may just shake itself out in the implementation thereof.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby J.M. Vargas » Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:32 pm

I agree with Joyce. The fun of the JR in its present form is that discussions about old, new and upcoming movies/TV shows can all be found in one place. We don't have to go look for stuff to talk about on other sub-forums that may or may not share the same pool of friendly old-timers and/or savvy newcomers. Why not link together all the 'Cinema' (i.e. movies coming or in theaters) and 'TV' (past and present television) ongoing threads into the Jury Room's General Discussion thread? You can go back to old JR threads and delete older/abandoned threads to make room for the 'Cinema' and 'TV' one's and have one big community of TV and movie lovers (with videogame players and 'off topic' getting their separate locations) that can sway back and forth between Fellini and Paul Walker, the oldest Kurosawa flicks and the latest "Dollhouse" episode, or between public domain movies from the 1930's and the latest 3D-equipped movie theater experiences. Movies, TV and cinema discussions belong together in one place where each topic/thread is the only subdivision separating one group from another.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby Eric Profancik » Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:43 pm

I'm with the Chief: It's time for change. The JR is stale, caters to a small base, and hasn't grown or evolved in years. While it's nice to have your own "Cheers," don't we want this to be a rich, thriving community? In its present form, you've had the chance to create that; but I don't think that has happened. I know the core group is happy with the status quo; but the Verdict would be better with a more robust and vibrant JR, filled with many more people covering a wider variety of topics. If one small piece of that is expanding the forums - as most other forums already do - I don't see a problem with that. Change is good. Carpe diem. Give peace a chance. And all that jazz.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby FrailtyCS » Wed May 06, 2009 12:04 am

You guys tried this exact same thing before with the Witness Box and it was a massive flop. Recreating the Witness Box while keeping the Jury Room name doesn't change that this is in fact Witness Box 2.0.

I agree that we need more people here (I hardly ever post anymore, to be honest). Somehow, though, I don't see how creating more subforums is going to lead to more members and more posts. How do those two even correlate?

If it were up to me, I'd recombine the Movies/TV/DVD/Blu-Ray sections into one (or at the very least, just have Movies and TV), put all of the podcast areas into one section, keep a separate video game section, and keep separate feedback and OT sections.

Less is more.

I'm all for opening up this community and getting some fresh blood, but I don't see how added clutter in the form of extra sections can possibly lead to more members or posts.

P.S. I know I'm a month late to this party and I know I only have "16 posts" but I had a lot more before the Jury Room/Witness Box wipeout (not that I was ever one of the most prolific posters by any means).
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby Dan Mancini » Wed May 06, 2009 4:28 am

FrailtyCS wrote:You guys tried this exact same thing before with the Witness Box and it was a massive flop. Recreating the Witness Box while keeping the Jury Room name doesn't change that this is in fact Witness Box 2.0.

The Witness Box flop was because of hissy fits over the idea that people should talk about movies at a movie web site as opposed to ranting about each other's politics, not because there were more subforums.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby Gabriel Girard » Wed May 06, 2009 5:35 am

Dan Mancini wrote:
FrailtyCS wrote:You guys tried this exact same thing before with the Witness Box and it was a massive flop. Recreating the Witness Box while keeping the Jury Room name doesn't change that this is in fact Witness Box 2.0.

The Witness Box flop was because of hissy fits over the idea that people should talk about movies at a movie web site as opposed to ranting about each other's politics, not because there were more subforums.


That and the fact that we wren't alerted to these changes or to the fact that the forums wouldn't be accessible for a while. I like this new format so far.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby Steve T Power » Wed May 06, 2009 6:12 am

Dan Mancini wrote:
FrailtyCS wrote:You guys tried this exact same thing before with the Witness Box and it was a massive flop. Recreating the Witness Box while keeping the Jury Room name doesn't change that this is in fact Witness Box 2.0.

The Witness Box flop was because of hissy fits over the idea that people should talk about movies at a movie web site as opposed to ranting about each other's politics, not because there were more subforums.


With me it was more about a stricter sense of "policy" that felt more like a corporate or commercial site rather than a place to go and rap about movies. Stricter moderation is never fun. I could see both sides of the argument; i'm sure stuff is said that can really cheese-off the reps that The Verdict proper has to deal with, and Mike had the best of intentions there for bettering the Verdict as a site, not as a chat forum. I'll never say the Witness Box was a bad idea, it just didn't vibe with me personally.

As for the new change - i actually like it - and it seems like the individual forums are getting a little more traffic (i'm seeing more new posts on average when i log in). I like having things broken down a little more as well - it makes everything feel like less of a crapshoot.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby cdouglas » Wed May 06, 2009 7:36 am

Count me in as someone who digs the new forums. Of course, I'm about as lacking in objectivity as Glorious Godfrey when it comes to such things, but I think they're working pretty well so far and it doesn't seem to be cramping anyone's style.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby thepegsdave » Wed May 06, 2009 8:44 am

I also like the new forums.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby Andrew Forbes » Wed May 06, 2009 8:54 am

I agree that the added divisions make navigation a pain, but I say let the traffic decide.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby Andrew Forbes » Wed May 06, 2009 9:03 am

Dan Mancini wrote:The Witness Box flop was because of hissy fits over the idea that people should talk about movies at a movie web site as opposed to ranting about each other's politics, not because there were more subforums.

Dan. Daniel. Dan. I like you, but your comments are so typical of the willfully ignorant far-right in your country. Bush and his GOP cronies wanted you to accept the changes to our forum. They liked the subforums, because they could track where your family spent most of its time browsing, all in the name of keeping your country safe. Katrina. Yes we can.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby Steve T Power » Wed May 06, 2009 11:39 am

Andrew Forbes wrote:
Dan Mancini wrote:The Witness Box flop was because of hissy fits over the idea that people should talk about movies at a movie web site as opposed to ranting about each other's politics, not because there were more subforums.

Dan. Daniel. Dan. I like you, but your comments are so typical of the willfully ignorant far-right in your country. Bush and his GOP cronies wanted you to accept the changes to our forum. They liked the subforums, because they could track where your family spent most of its time browsing, all in the name of keeping your country safe. Katrina. Yes we can.


god! Can't you say something original instead of spouting off that liberal commie BS?

You need some Fox News. A good dose of TRUTH!
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby mavrach » Wed May 06, 2009 8:37 pm

This was much better executed than the Witness Box was. That was done without announcement, then described like we were going to get banned if we didn't follow a list of workplace-like instructions and organize our thoughts into one of several new forums.

This is a little more heavily clutterred. I find myself going into less of the forums just because I don't feel like poking around in every single one. For me, it feels like all "motion pictures" (TV & Film) belong in the same place, and there really isn't a need to have separate places to discuss Battlestar Gallactica and Star Trek. The only reason to separate them seems to be for the sake of focusing on the seperate Verdict sites. You want to be careful not to seperate everything too much, otherwise it will make the place look like a ghost town.

Same with the DVD and Blu-Ray forums. I don't see a need to separate. Most new releases will be made on both formats simultaneously, so there would be no difference. Discussions about which media will triumph also equally fall into each forum. I'd rather see a Media or Tech forum for these purposes, which could also cover TV and Surround equipment as well. It's not like there are separate Verdict sites for these anyway. Mike what do you think of this?

Maybe merge the podcasts into a single forum? I don't think you'll see a lot of traffic on each individual one, but combined you can do things with them. I'd love to get regular "play along at home" threads for the Ambush Topics and such. That could also increase viewership in the podcasts because it was make us make more of an effort to stay current. The "Baker's Dozen" thread has been one of the most fun things I've seen here, and similar threads could be done too.

Would you want to set up a Video Games forum for Pixel Verdict? You have one currently for Blast Processing, but that's listed as a podcast. I say merge that into a Podcast forum, then create a Video Game forum.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby Michael Stailey » Wed May 06, 2009 9:26 pm

I appreciate the feedback. The driving force behind this change was increased visibility, not some subversive need for control.

We're going to let this play out for a while. It hasn't even been a week, and I still have to filter through all the old posts to get them into the current structure. The good news is that we are seeing an increase in traffic this week, so that's encouraging.

Our goal is to engage people from outside the Verdict bubble. Being able to see all content options on one page is important and that includes the individual podcast show folders. The breakout of DVD and Blu-ray was done for the benefit of our studio and agency partners, who have been asking for more delineation between the two. You'll start seeing more announcements and breaking news posted there shortly. As for the Video Game folder, since this is our newest venture, I want to wait and see how much activity the Blast Processing discussions generate. If it demands a folder of its own, we'll create one.

As for having to dig through multiple forums to find what's new, the easiest solution is using the "view new posts" option...

http://www.dvdverdict.com/juryroom/search.php?search_id=newposts

The old format was stagnating and we couldn't hope for significant change by keeping it the same. When it becomes apparent that certain folders aren't getting used, we'll fold them back in and try something else. In the meantime, let's try not to let the style dictate the substance. Ultimately, if these discussions are worth having, it really doesn't matter what form they're in.
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Re: Jury Room changes are afoot

Postby Steve T Power » Thu May 07, 2009 6:08 am

I'll just say, the blast processing section works fine as a "catch all" for the video game discussions, and I actually really like having DVD and Blu-Ray separate for some reason (damn elitist blu-ray owner!)
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