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Thinking about Retiring the Discussion Board


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Hey all. 
I am currently leaning towards retiring the Invision |Discussion board for this site at the end of 2021. This is mostly a time thing rather than a money thing, though money might play a slight part. The Invision software is complicated and involves my paying help every time there is an update. It's also a renewal cost for a subscription cost, which, while minimal, is superflous.

My current idea is to keep the domain registration and convert the Top 100 lists, blurbs, and intros as well as the Ecumenical Jury lists and blurbs to stand-alone web pages so that they would still be accessible (and could even be expanded for further lists.)

I mention this for two reasons:

1) If there is content beyond that you might want to save, think about making whatever back up copies you can in the next final months. 
2) If there is some argument against retiring the board that I haven't thought of, speak up. I know some people like the idea of preserving the board posts as an archive, and traffic suggests there is some value to that, I just don't know how much people really investigate past threads. 
3) It's possible that the pandemic and paucity of new movies might have created a slow down, but it's looking like the reverse, actually. As parts of society in North America open back up a little people may be spending even less time glued to their computer screens. Of course this could change too after an initial rush to get back out in the world, but....

Anyway, just thinking out loud. Nothing imminent, but I'm putting that out there in case there are any obvious arguments I'm missing.

 

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I've not been active here in some time, and perhaps Andrew is right that others have moved on. In the least, Ken, if you close the board, definitely post the Top 100 lists, etc. on some kind of platform. They're absolutely worth saving and keeping online as a resource. 

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Ken, I appreciate all you contributed in both time and money to keep the A&F board going. I have enjoyed being part of the conversations over the years, but it does seem that almost all participants have moved to other, more public, platforms for publishing their reviews, gotten involved with other social media for discussion, etc. A&F may have served it purpose. I agree that the Top 100 (and 50) lists are worth preserving, and I'm willing to contribute to that if it would be helpful.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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I would be sad about this, but it's undeniable that there are a lot of empty chairs and empty tables around here lately. I haven't been posting much either, though I'm not a very prolific forum poster at the best of times. (And, FWIW, I'm only just now resuming pre-pandemic movie habits - two nights ago I went to see In the Heights, and that was the first time I'd been to a theater since February 2020.) Mind you, I think it's still very possible that the forum could take off again - but for that to happen would probably require an infusion of new blood and a mostly new group of participants. It wouldn't be the old community back again in any case.

A question about preserving the site: Is there an easy way to convert the board into a static site where old discussions could still be read? If so, the site could presumably be hosted at a much lower cost in time and money than an active forum. Perhaps InVision offers such a feature?

It's worth noting that Wayback Machine has a feature for saving specific pages (the "Save Page Now" form), so this is a way to ensure any given thread will be available in the future.

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14 hours ago, Rushmore said:

A question about preserving the site: Is there an easy way to convert the board into a static site where old discussions could still be read? If so, the site could presumably be hosted at a much lower cost in time and money than an active forum. Perhaps InVision offers such a feature?

I would assume there is since I found correspondence from a previous admin to a previous owner talking about making the board archives a "subreddit." That's a bit beyond my level of expertise, though if someone else wants to investigate alternatives and recommend a proposal, I am willing to consider. 

 

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Ken wrote:

Quote

I just don't know how much people really investigate past threads. 

Based on my limited experience, the main reason people investigate past threads is to review or gather information needed for nominating or voting on Top 100/Top 50 films. If those lists are to be archived--well, the 2020 Top 100 all link to A&F discussions of those pictures. Some of the older lists have only blurbs, or hit-or-miss links to the forum. FWIW.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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