I had a few ideas I would like to pass to you and here your opinion. Currently, we have hundreds of guests who come to our pages, and if many of you didn't know, our highest number of users on at one time was not back during the hustle and bustle of the peak plaza days, it was this year. That means that people are coming to the site, and not staying.
When I type in "lord of the rings forum" into google, we currently come up on page 1, 2nd only to lord of the rings online. This is a huge deal, as this is what is attracting all the people. When I type "lord of the rings" into google, we come up on page 3, which is still pretty impressive. When I click our link, the one thing that I notice more then anything else is dates. As many role players and forum users know, when you go to a page, and the dates for updates and posts are not recent, in their mind, they will label it a dead site.
Lets say, hypothetically, I am a newb visiting the plaza for the first time. On the main page, the first thing I see is the desolation of smaug sneak peek, which is good, however, the movie is now out and has been for a few days. The one thing that sticks out to me is what is in the middle, 28/Mar/2013. That was 10 months ago. To me, as an experienced role player, this triggers a warning in my head that visiting this site might be a waste of time. However, lets say I continue, the next thing I see is the Jan. 2013, which says in big bold letters "No one has posted here in almost a year." Then they might look around and see our newest posts are all from today, which is good. But its what is right in the middle of the page that sticks out the most.
Now, I might be intrigued at this point, so I click the forum, tis the main reason I am here. The forum page is good, plenty of topics, tons of posts and threads, most of the post dates are recent, which is good. But lets say, now that I've taken a peek the forums, I'd like to check out the member center. Ok, I create an account, and click on the member center and find that the page doesn't look like any of the others. The "How do I?" and "Whats the policy on?" links don't work. The "Take the quizzes now?" link does not work, and noobs have pointed this out, so I know its something that has been looked into, especially the faq links. I think the best course of action is to keep the main page updated with some sort of news, even if its thread, actor, anything related to Tolkien and his works.
I would also suggest we figure out something fun for our salary. I suggest something for our characters to use in game, similar to the items we use to be able to purchase. We could buy weapons, armor, horses, assorted items, rare items, we could even use ultra rare items to award people with. Then we can say in the opening of a thread if All Plaza Items Apply or something like that. Also, I wonder if there's something we could do to earn assorted rewards and have them posted on our profiles, like achievements with little icons posted to our profiles. for example, as a newb, make your first post, you earn the Seedling Award, and then you earn little reward icons the more you post, as well as you could reward someone with an achievement for participating in a thread, and the little icons can either be put inside a persons signature, or posted directly to their profile.
What do you guys think?
Here is a list of inactive links:
- Under Forum Actions, we could add an option to mark all threads as unread as well.
- Under Community, other then the members list, we could have Houses. Here, we could have sub-forums called Homely Houses. This is where families could post, people have a quiet place to just chat, get to know each other. Pass ideas back and forth for potential threads or threads they could join together. No, I don't think having the large amount of houses they had before, however, with threads, people could just chat and free post(with some restraint of course)
- Under Calendar, once we get a chance to create newer threads, we could update the calender with more then just birthdays. I'm not sure what we could add, maybe more plaza wide celebrations. Also, perhaps we could have double salary day twice a month, and label it on the calender, or keep it random, so no one knows then the day will come and will want to collect their salary more often. More salary collection, more visits to the site.
- Also, for advertisement, I noticed that Reddit has a Lord of the Rings Sub-forum. We could contact the moderator of that sub-forum and see if we can get our link on the list of recommended sites. This could be a chance to give those people a chance to do what we have been doing for years, being apart of Middle Earth.