Citizens of the Imperium

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77topaz November 7th, 2018 07:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timerover51 (Post 577042)
Thank you for the update, Aramis. We need to work harder at getting the new members to join in the posting.

Does anyone have any ideas on how we, as a forum, might to that?

Quote:

Originally Posted by timerover51 (Post 594056)
This is just a feeling that I have, but I was wondering if anyone else had the same feeling.

There seems to be more members visiting the Forum that have either never posted or who have posted very little. Not posting a lot I can understand, but being a member for several years and never posting puzzles me. Is there any way that we could encourage some of the long time members to join in the conversation, as I am positively certain that they would have valuable comments and information to impart"

I think that there's a valuable point here: this forum could really use some new users/posting users. But it's more specific than just that. So, long post that could perhaps even be its own thread ahead...

Namely, what is the average age of the actively posting users on this forum? It has to be at least 40, possibly even 50. Now, I'm not saying that having lots of older users is necessarily a bad thing, as they have a lot of experience they can share, but the flipside is that this forum (and the Traveller community in general) has a serious lack of younger users. I fear that, if we don't do something about this, this community, despite having existed for 40 years as a whole and 17 as a forum, could die out in a decade or two, not from too many users losing interest or being repelled, but from too many users just retiring or dying. The "Which edition was your first encounter with Traveller?" provides further evidence for this problem, as it shows over two-thirds of the forum's users first encountered Traveller during the CT era, showing how the later editions have relatively failed to bring in new people instead of just appealing to those already in the community.

I think my perspective could be valuable in this discussion, because I am a younger user. I'm 20 years old, and as far as I can tell every other user actively posting on this forum is at least 15 years older than me, which can be a bit jarring sometimes. I was only 13 when I joined this site back in 2012, but quickly realised nearly all other users were of my parents' generation or older, and thus decided not to mention my age as I feared I would not be taken seriously; but now I feel like it's an appropriate time to discuss this. When I first encountered Traveller at around 11 or 12 years of age, it wasn't even through the role-playing game side - it was because a cartography software website mentioned how their program could import data from Traveller Map, and when I looked at Traveller Map I discovered this incredibly vast and detailed science-fiction setting that I wanted to know more about and also to contribute to, which thanks to the nature of Traveller I was able to do without being relegated to the dreaded realm of "fanfiction" like I would with other established franchises (not that I dislike fanfiction, mind you, it's just that it tends to carry a negative connotation for non-fanfiction-writers and you certainly can't ever officially publish or earn money from it).

Anyway, I've heard not-young users on this forum, when discussing the lack of younger users, say things that essentially amount to "young people just don't like anything that isn't mainstream/popular" or "young people just want things served on a silver platter instead of things that require effort like Traveller" or "young people only want to use Facebook, not forums" - but, while these things may have some broad truth to them, I can personally testify that there are many exceptions. In particular, during my recent absence from this forum, I joined another site, which, like this forum, a) is a phpBB forum, b) is about a topic considered very "nerdy"/non-mainstream which c) was first created back in the 1970s, namely Conway's Game of Life. While that forum also has numerous older users who joined the CGoL community when it was originally created or through TML-like mailing lists in the 1990s, there is a major difference in the overall demographics of that forum and this one: namely, on the CGoL forum, at least half of the active users are younger than I am. And they're not just spammy noobs, either: some of those teenage users have done amazingly detailed or complicated or surprising work in CGoL, with a scope and energy similar to or even greater than the large amounts of sector data I created as a teenager. The CGoL forum is a thriving community that I do not think runs the risk of dramatically losing popularity in the near future, unlike this forum, and I think we (as in this forum) could learn from it, and benefit from having more such energetic young users.

In particular, I know at least a dozen young, nerdy people from that community who might be interested in the vast sci-fi universe of Traveller, and I've been thinking about introducing them to Traveller or even inviting them to this site/community. I feel like I want to know the opinion of the users of this forum before I do that, though.

Related to that is another lesson we could learn from the CGoL forum. Now, I know there used to be a Traveller IRC channel, but as far as I know it hasn't been active in over half a decade. Currently, the most popular IRC-like service appears to be Discord, and the CGoL phpBB forum has benefited from having an associated Discord server, which has brought in new users from other "nerdy" communities that also have Discord servers as well as related communities on Reddit. Hence, I have been considering created a Discord server for Traveller, while I feel could help bring energetic young users from those other communities to this community and this forum. What do others think about this?

TL;DR: This community has a shortage of young people. As a young person, I think I can help!

khadaji2002 November 7th, 2018 07:16 PM

77topaz, as an older user myself I find I'm in agreement with a lot of your ideas. If you were to invite the people you know from other forums here I believe they would find a good welcome. And I myself use Discord (actually have it up as I type this) and I agree that a Traveller server there would be a great way to introduce the younger generation to this wonderful game we play.

I for one would welcome young people such as yourself to this forum and into games I play. Having a mix of generations is a good thing for my face-to-face group and I believe the same will hold true here.

77topaz November 8th, 2018 04:34 AM

The Traveller Discord is live!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by khadaji2002 (Post 595253)
77topaz, as an older user myself I find I'm in agreement with a lot of your ideas. If you were to invite the people you know from other forums here I believe they would find a good welcome. And I myself use Discord (actually have it up as I type this) and I agree that a Traveller server there would be a great way to introduce the younger generation to this wonderful game we play.

I for one would welcome young people such as yourself to this forum and into games I play. Having a mix of generations is a good thing for my face-to-face group and I believe the same will hold true here.

Thank you for your kind reply! :) Based on your response, I have decided to go ahead and created a Discord server for Traveller. It can be found here: https://discord.gg/Pwm3ScC

Suggestions for channels or other ideas are welcome!

EDIT: Argh, I just found out that there already exists a Discord server for Traveller, which was only mentioned once over a year ago and no-one pointed this out when I mentioned creating a Discord server earlier. :o But I just invited a bunch of people on other Discord servers I frequent to my server, and they probably would be less likely to join the server if I didn't/don't market it as something created by me.

Should I keep my server or delete it? Or maybe just change its branding somewhat to differentiate it from the other server? It would feel a bit weird to just redirect people who I'd invited to a server I created to a different, older server. A lot of the people on the other server aren't people I recognise from this server, either.

BRJN November 8th, 2018 02:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 77topaz (Post 595251)
In particular, I know at least a dozen young, nerdy people from that community who might be interested in the vast sci-fi universe of Traveller, and I've been thinking about introducing them to Traveller or even inviting them to this site/community. I feel like I want to know the opinion of the users of this forum before I do that, though.

"Yes! Yes, oh very yes!" - the TV version of Shogun.

I've solo-played Traveller since the early 1980s, found CotI earlier this year. So I am both a new member and old player.

JimMarn November 8th, 2018 03:15 PM

I much prefer forums over other methods of talking about games.

77topaz November 8th, 2018 06:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BRJN (Post 595278)
"Yes! Yes, oh very yes!" - the TV version of Shogun.

I've solo-played Traveller since the early 1980s, found CotI earlier this year. So I am both a new member and old player.

Great! I've linked both my server (which I may delete if others think it's redundant) and the older Traveller server on a few other servers with related topics.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimMarn (Post 595282)
I much prefer forums over other methods of talking about games.

I understand that. It's just that I think that by broadening our scope to networks such as Discord, we stand to gain more users than we otherwise would, particularly younger users.

JimMarn November 9th, 2018 06:52 PM

Oh, I was under the impression you were inviting them here. Sorry !

77topaz November 10th, 2018 05:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimMarn (Post 595318)
Oh, I was under the impression you were inviting them here. Sorry !

Well, the point of my Discord server is at least partially to eventually bring people to these forums, and my server contains links to these forums and several other useful sites. But what I invited people to initially was the Discord server and not the forums, because I thought linking to the forums directly would be too big of a jump for people. Even the current invites haven't been as successful as I'd hoped so far - only one person from the Discord servers I added the invites to has joined the Traveller servers, and they haven't posted at all in the Traveller servers, and the invites have now gotten buried under new messages on the other servers.

mike wightman November 10th, 2018 08:54 AM

Could you explain to this old luddite what a discord is?

aramis November 10th, 2018 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mike wightman (Post 595332)
Could you explain to this old luddite what a discord is?

It is essentially a competitor for Skype, but one which is tailored for gamers. It is both a text chat (with post-pinning available) and a voice over IP chat, which handles multiple (4+) users as well as Google Hangouts does, if not better.

I used to run my sunday game via skype; I switched to discord for (1) lower bandwidth use and (2) better sound quality. It allows both VOX and PTT modes. It allows renaming people to show as their characters. It allows for various levels of access, as well; the default is GM and player groups, but one can add a lurker easily.


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