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Simple question; Is LucasForums dead in all but name?


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he reason I emphasis the importance of such a web site to act as a front is because with enough content, it tends to attract people looking for information about Star Wars games from random places. They find the site, they see the forum, they join in on the discussions and the forums grow.

 

That's how I got here. Since the main site(starwarsknights) has been offline for months, that's no longer a gateway. I'd be be OK with archiving the whole thing and having a directory pointing to the relevant modding threads. Streamline and reboot.

 

Wish I could help but RL has monopolized my time and unfortunately probably what led to LFs decline as people grew up, started families and dealt with work responsibilities. It was a good run but old timers aren't what will keep this place going. We're just not in that mindset anymore.

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I have, as well, contacted all of the admins about helping. No response yet, but I am serious about wanting to help. I just don't know what else I can do as just a regular user.

 

It has been received and brought up in the staff forum. Just remains to see if there are enough people still around to discuss it and have an opinion. Might take a little while. :)

 

Generally speaking, if there are people with time and motivation to do something and skills within something like server system administration (linux, bsd), html/css/js web design, vBulletin template creation, PHP programming/MySQL databases or willingness to run and maintain game fansites, I'm sure you would be appreciated and hopefully not go ignored.

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Generally speaking, if there are people with time and motivation to do something and skills within something like server system administration (linux, bsd), html/css/js web design, vBulletin template creation, PHP programming/MySQL databases or willingness to run and maintain game fansites, I'm sure you would be appreciated and hopefully not go ignored.

 

Well I do suck with linux currently, but I am more than adept at html/css/js/PHP/SQL so I can at least provide that :thmbup1:

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Thank you for your input stoffe' date=' but what about those of us without said skills? Is there anything that we can do?[/quote']

 

Depends what you can do I guess. Those were just off the top of my head things that could be useful to maintain and further develop this place and revive the defunct LFNetwork. Things I used to be doing before I got burned by this place. By no means a complete list. :)

 

Well I do suck with linux currently, but I am more than adept at html/css/js/PHP/SQL so I can at least provide that :thmbup1:

 

While it's not up to me to decide, it might be handy for the powers that be (if there still be any) if you would do a design mockup, outline sketch or conceptual demo of how you would envision a new more modern design and layout for lucasforums. Just a thought. At least I'd be curious to see. :)

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@ Adavardes: You make it sound as if web forums are dead and buried... they're not. There are a lot of forums around the net that still exist and still thrive. The big difference between those forums and LF is that their subject matter continued to be relevant and people stayed on topic with the subject matter.

 

And as I've described before, when people stay on subject matter and have a lot to talk about, they don't notice any of the restrictions because no one is fussed about going on some bull**** quest for their right to free speech. Why? Because all anyone really wanted to talk about was Star Wars games instead of freedom of speech.

 

It's only when the discussions start to disappear, that's when we start to have people thinking about other things. Sure, there have been drama's in LF for quite a while, since the start even. But they were all washed away quickly because people got back to talking about what was truly important in this place... video games.

 

And don't take this the wrong way either, I'm not against free speech. Many of you never realised it, but I had actually quit being a member of staff because I had a major disagreement with certain people in the moderation staff in LF about the way they were conducting themselves by deleting peoples posts and doing all manner of things I didn't agree with.

 

I didn't just exile myself, I had the admins take away my permissions and reduce me back down to a member. This lasted for over a year, but after that I returned because I didn't want to see this place die a slow death. When I came back after a year, I tried to do the best I could to get life back into this place, but I ultimately failed at doing that due to the lack of support. One person can't reinvigorate this place, it needs to be a group who is dedicated to the task.

 

And again, I've gone over ALL of this in my previous posts.

 

As for social networks... you talk about it as if it has lots of upsides but no downsides. There are MANY downsides to social networks and it's one of the big reasons why web forums still exist today. Web forums are closed, they're restrictive both in the topics that members talk about and in the way members are expected to conduct themselves.

 

However, you are wrong about the moderators in a web forum being a negative and that it makes things too restrictive. Think of it this way, in many social media platforms that have more freedoms for their users, there are a lot more trolls and a lot more people who are free to act like asshats and prey on normal folk. This is a common occurrence and it often results in things like cyber-bullying which greatly affects the lives of younger people on the Internet. I should know a lot about this since I'm an Information Technology teacher at a high school and I have to go through this with all of my students during years 7 through to 9.

 

However, that's not the only issue. The OTHER issue is that since there aren't any formal moderators for social networking sites, it then falls to actual law enforcement agencies to police them. There have been many cases where actual charges have been brought up against people for things they've said and done on social media that have led to fines and even prison time.

 

You say you should be able to say "**** the system" sure, I agree with that. But at least recognise why the system for older style web forums exist. We have people volunteering to moderate this place so that we can take care of our business ourselves and not have the many cases of social media asshattery happening with rampant trolling and government/law enforcement involvement.

 

The moderators exist to funnel discussion in a certain direction, and no, this isn't a bad thing. When a web forum works, when people talk about the topic, they're too busy talking about the common interests of that forum to start anything that lasts for more than a few days. At most, you'll have people get angry at each other about how long Yoda's ears should be.

 

So sure, you can spout your "row row fight tha powah!" all you want, but when this place did work, no one cared anything about their right to freedom of speech, cause the thing they wanted to talk freely about was simple: video games.

 

Not all forums are dead, this is very true. But forums as a social medium are not the go-to answer that they were when the internet was a younger place. Keeping a community like this alive takes more than a relevant topic. It takes the need for a community within that topic. In other words, it takes the need for cooperation and communication, not just for news and information about a given topic. Modding forums still exist because people like asking other modders about tips and tricks for doing certain things with mods. The same goes for hobby forums. Many current event/discussion forums still exist because you need a group together to get different opinions for a discussion.

 

Even if this community had a relevant topic that people are interested in today, it would still need a reason for people to talk to each other about it. Otherwise the conversations would be as fleeting and pointless as a facebook post, and I might as well use facebook for that, right?

 

And you may be right. When things are moving and shaking, nobody really cares about censors or rules. But when a forum is in its final hours, clinging to life, rules are like the nail in the coffin. It drives people away who want the freedom to say what they feel. If the world's ending and everybody is dead, do you still keep the prison running just in case someone breaks the law?

 

Look, I know you're frustrated at how so many forums have gone the way of the dodo, but I'm basing my points on simple fact, from my own experiences and the experiences of others: forums failed because they stopped being appealing next to larger social media. On facebook or tumblr, I control what I see or don't see, who says what on my page, I get to see many different people sharing jokes and opinions in a primarily open discussion. The information is easy to get and the crowd is as large or small as you want to make it.

 

A lot of your argument comes from the idea that forums are a more focused medium. In some ways this is true, but honestly, it's all in how you use social media. Facebook has fan pages. Tumblr has blogs.

 

And as for your cyber bullying argument: to be honest, that's not my problem. Parents have the responsibility to control their child and what information they consume until they're old enough to handle a few petty insults and threats on the internet. It's not anyone's responsibility to keep a child's feelings from getting hurt. He came here, it's the internet, that's the reality of it. If you want to create a safe place for children, then really, you should create a forum just for children and children only. If you want adults and children interacting, then there's no way for it to work but with the kids getting used to the pain.

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While it's not up to me to decide, it might be handy for the powers that be (if there still be any) if you would do a design mockup, outline sketch or conceptual demo of how you would envision a new more modern design and layout for lucasforums. Just a thought. At least I'd be curious to see. :)

 

I'd love to. I could use some help though from anyone who knows their way around photoshop with some graphics and stuff. I can get by, but really photoshop isn't my strongest ability anymore. If anyone wants to help me out with some graphics, shoot me a PM. It would be cool to get some of the modding community's skinners involved.

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I still think that if you wanted to restructure this site to have a more modern appeal, you'd have to drastically change the size and scope of both the format and staff. There doesn't need to be more than three admins at any given time, and at most you should only need 4-5 supermoderators to keep the place civil and directed. The rules should be trimmed to remove censorship and anything that restricts self-expression of any sort. Flaming of course should still be punished, but only if it goes beyond the point where it is not capable of resolving itself.

 

This is just my opinion, but beyond keeping posts neat and orderly and making sure topics stay on topic, moderators should maintain a hands-off policy as often as possible. Do their best to use their authority invisibly and sparingly, but still be active as users and participate in conversations. If you have that kind of attitude, and a group of administrators that are actively engaged in maintaining and improving the software of the site, this place could find its feet.

 

Maintaining interest is the really hard part. We have new Star Wars movies coming out and a new Battlefront hitting shelves any day now. Additionally, The Old Republic is still up and running. We should work on drawing in those crowds and move from there. Maybe have a forum dedicated to the films, a forum dedicated to the newer games, and two forums dedicated to the old school stuff, one for star wars and one for other stuff?

 

Just spitballing here.

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That's well and good, but my statement stands. The rules should be relaxed, and heavily so. The staff is way too large as it is an should shrink drastically. And moderators, if they were unobtrusive and infrequent with their work before, should keep that policy up.

 

I think the one thing that really needs to be discussed is: can this place survive if we limit ourselves to gaming as a topic, or should we just become a general lucas/star wars forum? With the movies coming out, that's a large audience we miss by keeping ourselves in the realm of video gaming alone.

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I, for one, am here to stay for the long haul, provided I don't meet with a tragic demise or something similarly unforeseen before the forums start jumping again.

 

I can definitely support this motion and exemplify this stance.

 

This and Deadly Stream are really the only sites I've been involved in. :) I got into LF and KotOR 2 back when I was 15 (KotOR 1 back when I was 12) and honestly, here is where I learned to be social (well, more social than I was, still not that social in-person...) and computers. Hell, tk102 is the only reason why I learned to code and write programs...

 

I think I'll try PMing the staff again. I wanted to be a moderator for the KotOR section and PM'ed Darth 333 once, but she's often busy with work (since she has to travel a lot). This time I'll try to contact a lot of the staff, or at least have one of them add the rest to the PM if possible.

 

I can program, and code, and debug and test, but I'm always ready to learn more.

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You guys don't know me terribly well, but I love forums. I met my wife on a forum. I met one of my very best friends, who actually happens to be an older member on this forum, on a different forum. I've operated a few, watched a great many fail, and I've seen what the successful ones do today to stay afloat.

 

If you'll have my help, I offer it. I'm pessimistic and critical about pretty much everything, but I like to think I'm fair and honest in a constructive way, and I know a tiny bit about bringing traffic into a website.

 

In all honesty, if the scarce few of us are going to be hopping into staff positions and taking the reigns, we need to have a plan and a direction first. Just being staff isn't enough, and just complicates things even further, because it diminishes new members to see all the active people as staff. They tend to feel left out or isolated and people don't like that when seeking to be part of a community.

 

What we need are people who know more than just how to run a forum. We need people who can carry conversations and offer advice. Modders, talented gamers, walkthroughs, etc.

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@ Taak Farst, Ser'eck and anyone else who is interesting in helping: Not everyone has to be crash hot at web design or purely technical stuff. To gather a good team, we'd need people who can do a variety of things. Managing web sites is one thing, moderating and keeping the community active is another, and content creation is also something that is important.

 

There are several important roles that people can fill, people who can seek out all that Star Wars related news to post up on the site, people who can write articles, reviews, editorials, create walkthroughs and guides, manage fan work submissions, etc, etc. Content is key and the more people we have to make content, the better... also, the more people to have more ideas the better too. Perhaps there are things that we're not thinking of that could be useful to have.

 

Also, at this point, I'm not picky about how much activity you've had on the forum. If you think you can do good for this place, put yourself out there, contact the admin list, make yourself known.

 

Just because you become staff, that doesn't mean every single person is going to get the passwords to the forum database or anything like that... even I don't have that. What I'm saying is that if you put yourself out there and want to help this place get back on its feet, you'll get a chance to be involved, add content and make the decisions about what goes on around here. You'll be given the appropriate access for your position and more if you decide to take more responsibility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

@ Canderis: I've been over this with Jeff and some others about two years back in one of my earlier attempts to get this place up and running again. I think the ideal solution we came up with was to archive the forum and start fresh, just transfer over the member list. The old forums will be archived, so no new posts, but the important threads from the old forum, such as modding threads and fan works threads, etc, would be transferred to the new sections so that people can continue with their projects.

 

We'd also consolidate things considerably. I've already drawn up a plan, but if things start rolling I'll consult with everyone involved and lay everything out on the table for people to see so that it can be reviewed and refined.

 

 

 

 

 

 

@ Adavardes: Indeed... and we DID have that sense of community, cooperation and communication for a very long time. This place was absolutely THRIVING for almost a decade before you joined in 2008. This place has had such a great history with billions of great stories to tell about the people who inhabited this place.

 

There is a really good reason why I'm still here, fighting as best I can to keep this place around despite my time being spent mostly on teaching these days. I still think this place can give other people what it gave me, and I want to try to help it get back on its feet so that other people can call this place their home on the Internet, just like I still do today.

 

As for the relevancy of forums. Forums still have a place, forums are still relevant, and they're relevant because of the same reasons they were relevant in the late 90s/early 2000s. Yes, forums ARE a focused medium. Web forums are for enthusiasts, they're gated communities for people who really LOVE a certain subject matter, such as Star Wars video games and Star Wars in general.

 

There are still MANY enthusiast forums around, everything from video game forums, audio/visual forums, forums that talk about art, literature, anime, etc, etc. They still exist, they still thrive and they're for people who really love a specific subject matter.

 

While Facebook and other social networking platforms are generalist, we're specialists. We specialise in the discussion of which Darth Revan is more relevant, the male version or the female version. We specialise in debates whether Han Solo is cooler than Indiana Jones. We specialise in determining whether the TIE Fighters in Battlefront have the correct colour paint and the use of modding tools to fix those issues with the PC version of that game.

 

And sure, a lot of these games are old... SUPER old now, but there are still MANY fans of those games who would spend many hours talking about those games even now. Hell, if a forum like Macross World can still exist and thrive, a place where people talk about an old anime that was released in 1982 and its sequels that isn't all that popular in the anime realm, then this place can exist and thrive too. The only real difference is that Macross World still has people driving that community forward and keeps adding more content and spurring along more discussions about an anime that is over 30 years old.

 

You talk as if we're one of the few forums that still exist and that all others seemed to have died off, leaving only social networks. That's simply not that case, I lurk around a large number of different forums on the net that are still very active and are going strong. Social media has its place, but so do web forums.

 

As for the cyber-bullying issue... and this is where the relevancy of web forums comes into play the most. Sure, it's not your problem... but it is MY problem. And no, I'm not saying that because I'm a teacher, I'm saying that because I'm an administrator of a web forum. A web forum is a place where people can feel safe talking about the thing they're most enthusiastic about.

 

This is why we have rules, this is why we have moderators, this is why some level of censorship occurs. And yes, I do agree that in the past, some moderators went too far, which is why I quit being a member of staff for over a year, but I also think that some level of moderation is needed.

 

I get that you don't agree that that's how things should be run, but I'd rather that us Star Wars geeks, people who may have a whole range of issues happening in their real life, whether it's bullying, online or offline, issues with their parents or relatives or friends, or whatever else, have a place where they can come and enjoy talking about Star Wars.

 

You have your views, about how parents should parent their child and how children/teenagers/young adults should be aware of the dangers of the Internet... and I wholeheartedly agree with you on those points. HOWEVER, in a web forum, where we're meant to be creating a safe place for people to talk about a subject they're enthusiastic about talking, a place where they don't feel like they're being judged for what they like, there needs to be a set of rules to govern that safe place. You can't get around that.

 

As for having adults and children in the same forum... it can work... because it worked for at least a decade before LF decline right here in these very forums. How old was I when I joined the RogueSquadron.net forums two years before LucasForums was created that united all the fan site forums? *thinks* I think I was 15 at the time, and I was a pretty immature kid.

 

There were lots of teens in those forums interacting with a lot of adults in that forum... even more when we consolidated all those forums into LucasForums and started interacting with people from places like JediKnight.net, etc. I spent half my teen years and all of my adult years in this place and saw more teenagers join over the years. Hell, without this place, some of those kids back in the olden days wouldn't have had that opportunities they do now. I know of one person who wouldn't have the career he has now if he hadn't joined LucasForums as a teenager.

 

In saying that, part of my plan was to revamp the way the moderation staff conducts themselves in the forums. Keeping things more transparent so that people actually know what is going on, why someone got banned or reprimanded instead of just random events that seemed to have occurred. But I'm not going to throw all the rules out the window and have this survival of the fittest, dog-eat-dog world you envision.

 

To put it bluntly, your views on freedom of speech mean **** all to me than having a forum where people are comfortable talking about Star Wars games without someone calling them a nerd and picking on them for whatever reason. I'd rather protect those who are more unsure about themselves than protect people who are confident with who they are.

 

And saying all that........ I still think you'd have a lot to offer as a new generation of staff for LFN and would want you aboard if you really are motivated in keeping this place alive and kicking.

 

As for having a plan. I've been on my mission to save this place for many years now, and I do have a lot of plans that I would like to share with everyone... I'm pretty sure I have in the past in other threads actually. If you're thinking that we're totally direction-less, we're not. It's also not going to be a case of getting people and then changing everything right away. Before anything is done, we need to lay out all these plans on the table, see what we can do with all of it, get new ideas and find ways of moving forward with them step by step.

 

It'll require a lot of effort on all our parts and will need to be a team effort. Of course, before all that, we first need to get the attention of all those admins on that list so that they recognise that people are stepping up and that they should be paying more attention to what is going on around here.

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- Too much talk, no action

Funny, I thought that talking is action, on a forum.

 

EDIT2: mattig89ch, are those people who are rediscovering the old games coming HERE though?

I know I did. Found a lonely copy of KotOR Collection from a local store couple of years ago, bought it, started playing it, found out that TSL was broken, and ended up here.

 

Not that I would be much of a help, considering my postcount... I need to feel comfortable to be able to talk much and, no offence, but LF is not where I feel very comfortable right now.

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I don't know if it is possible but I had an idea.

 

* Make the layout to something similar like gamebanshee.

 

* All threads for older games are done away with except for modding and troubleshooting threads.

 

* Have actual pages for every older game laid out as game guides. With reference pictures and screenshots.

 

* Have news articles about up coming content from Lucasfilms LTD. (Movies, games, books, comics, toys, etc.)

 

* Have an actual forums for discussion about new content.

 

I feel like if we did this we could keep the older games still some what active but more like in an archived state. New players could still come here for the game guides and modding threads. It would also make plenty of room for new content, at least I hope.

 

Just a thought.

 

 

As for contributing as a possible staff member, I enjoy Star Wars lore, reading and researching all things from a galaxy far far away. I would be willing to write articles about lore topics if given the chance. I also like to keep updated with the latest movie spoilers as well.

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I have to agree with Lynk on the rule thing. When I look at any forum that has the kind of relaxed rules that some of you are talking about, it does not seem like a pleasant place to visit.

 

Case in point, I've been lurking around MAL for a time now and honestly the level of outright hatin' for the sake of hatin', flaming, name-calling and hypocrisy displayed by some very active members is what keeps me on the unregistered users side of the fence, rather than joining in on the discussion. Just go visit this subforum and take a look at a few topics to see what I'm talking about.

 

Continuing on with this example, also take a look at the posts themselves. I have never seen a larger amount of quote trees in reply posts in my entire life. Have people really become that lazy that they can't be bothered to spend a few seconds to delete the unneeded parts of the text from the posts they are quoting. Whatever it is, it makes things a lot less readable than they should be.

 

All in all, my point is that both rules dealing with member behavior and those dealing with how and what to post are there for a reason. Lynk explained that part pretty nicely, so I won't go into it further.

Still, before you continue asking for a "no rules" environment, I would suggest to go and re-read the rules for this forum. I think you'll find that they aren't that restrictive and are basically common sense and common decency put into written form.

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I would like to volunteer my services to help change the forum look and feel in a meaningful way, but this is my last semester of school. I have 2 very difficult classes, and one difficult class to pass with a C or better.

 

The way math is shaping up, that's going to be an uphill battle right there.

 

So, I don't really have the time to help whip this place into shape.

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Lynk, it's fine if you disagree with me. If there's one thing I've learned about running not just forums, but ANYTHING successfully as a group, it's that agreeing with each other all the time is not just implausible, it's not even constructive. Disagreements and discourse is the way to progress. If you guys chose to have me on, and if the majority disagreed with my views, that's fine. I'd follow the rules and execute my job to help the community. That would never stop me from voicing my opinion in the different direction though, if only to staff, and I would still perform my duties in as closely a manner as fits my personal preferences, while still working within the boundaries of the rules. I will always be continuously and loudly opposed to what I think is the wrong direction, that's just who I am; but I would respect and follow what the majority of staff wants, I promise you that.

 

As for whether or not I'm motivated, I have a lot of reasons to want to see this forum survive. As I said, I love forums as a medium. I disagree with you and think they are a medium losing relevance every day, but I love them and want them to succeed. This isn't my first forum; heck, it isn't even one of the first, and my contributions to this forum and its community are not as deep an impact as I had elsewhere so many years ago. But this is the only one that I think has a snowball's chance of making it back on its feet and finding a new audience. The people I've seen in this thread love this place and want to revive the spirit and culture of the community they grew up with. Not only do I respect that sentiment, I sympathise strongly with it.

 

When I was part of web forums, I was an idiot kid. I abused power as badly as the next guy, and had no idea what I was doing. I didn't know how to be a team player. Now, I'm 24 years old. The world and my place in it is very different to me now. I sit on my Condominium Association Board, which is a very active group that makes a lot of decisions for the community. I feel I have the maturity, experience, and mistakes under my belt to really help this community grow. More than that, my situation has evolved in recent months to allow me the spare time to give to a place like this. I got a better job that I can work part-time and still make as much as working full-time, leaving me free time for the first time in a while.

 

I guess what I'm saying is, if you want to keep a Star Wars forum alive and kicking, that's been around for over a decade? That's something I can 100% get behind. I'd love to hear your ideas and offer some of my own, and serve in any capacity that fits best for my skills to make those plans successful.

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@ Adavardes: Don't get me wrong, I think debate is necessary too and not everyone should agree. Differing views are needed so that there's some kind of balance, however, if you didn't notice, I did inform you of the compromises that would be made in the moderation staff in my post to you. Adding transparency and a more official procedure to reprimands and banning members so that people know what happened instead of it being behind closed doors.

 

I think the moderation team needs some reform too, I've thought this for a long time. But neither of us can have exactly what we want, we need to compromise and come up with the best solution that fits everyone, not the ideal solution that fits only one type of person.

 

Also, if I really didn't want to consider your points, I would have just brushed you off completely instead of replying to you directly.

 

 

 

@ Everyone who has PMed the admins so far: Have any of you gotten a reply back? One admin did post up a thread in the admin forum about the PMs when he got two of them from different members. However, aside from a reply post from stoffe and myself, that thread has gone silent.

 

If we're going to get anywhere with this, we need to put pressure on them to reply. Doesn't matter if they're busy with real life, everyone needs to make them understand that they need to spend at least 5 minutes writing a post to reply so that you guys actually know what they think instead of being silent.

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@ Everyone who has PMed the admins so far: Have any of you gotten a reply back? One admin did post up a thread in the admin forum about the PMs when he got two of them from different members. However, aside from a reply post from stoffe and myself, that thread has gone silent.

 

If we're going to get anywhere with this, we need to put pressure on them to reply. Doesn't matter if they're busy with real life, everyone needs to make them understand that they need to spend at least 5 minutes writing a post to reply so that you guys actually know what they think instead of being silent.

 

The only response I got was in this thread from stoffe.

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PM every admin on the list, especially the ones who haven't logged in in a while. You should start from the bottom and work your way up.

 

And don't send one PM, if none have responded to you in a couple of days, you should send another PM, reiterating that you'd like to help save this place and take advantage of the new Star Wars revival.

 

Annoy the hell out of them if that's what it takes.

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