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April 12, 2024 - @530.66 (what is this?)
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Author Topic: MelonLand in 2024  (Read 601 times)
Melooon
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« on: March 01, 2024 @834.11 »

:unite: 2024  :unite:

Hello, I thought it was time perhaps for a review and a think about this forum and the wider artwork of the MelonLand community (don't worry there's nothing ominous here).

This won't be an announcement, it's more me sharing my thoughts and plans, plus an invite for you to talk about what you'd like to see over the coming year.

SO the forum was opened in late 2021 and remained mostly unused for a lot of 2022. Things started to pick up here in late 2022, and 2023 was a really big year!

This time last year there was a VAST amount of work adding features and polishing the forum, and while there is still plenty of work to do and lots of feature requests still pending on my list; I think that forum features have mostly settled down now.

Over the last few months, there has also been a shift that I felt in the community. For most of 2023, we had pretty low numbers of people joining but a very high activity and post count - now the numbers joining are high, and the depth of posts I think has also gone up, but the number of posts is less.

For me, I now have over 2300 posts here.. and to be honest I feel like Iv said everything I have to say about homepage crafting, so I don't have so much to add and I wonder if perhaps most of the important topics related to homepages have now been covered - we have built an amazing archive and collection of opinions, feelings and views on homepage creation that I think will be of value many years from now.

So a question for you! What threads have been most valuable to you? What really spoke to you as being different about this place? - I know I have my own answers to that - I love the threads where I discover something unexpected or new, and I love the more obscurer discussions like people's idea of home.

  • So for 2024 I'd like to think about encouraging those kinds of discovery threads.

I also thought the Half Moon Art Club had some lovely moments, along with the recent Surf E-Zine!

  • We will be doing more E-Zines this year!
  • The Art Club I think needs to change its format this year, but I'd like to continue it in some way.
  • Id like to start a new project that showcases peoples web-based artworks - this may be our big project this year.

The wiki has been a bit slow to grow, but I think it's proven a useful aid and will continue to do so! Some projects like the Mastodon server were not so successful and I think in terms of moderation of new projects, I'm starting to find my limits. That said we did get a bunch of mods over the last year, and they added a lot of good ideas to the mix.

The landscape is changing though! The pandemic is a memory, there are many more forums now than when this started and I think the idea of homepage creation has started to take root widely beyond the web revival. It's a wonderful time for homepages, but maybe it's also a good time to look beyond homepages and start exploring the crossover of indie games, stories and the web - I think that's a really exciting area that would be meaningful to many people and I'd like to lean into more.

I feel like I should add more! But I'll leave off here and maybe add an extra post later on  :grin:

How are you doing? What's floating around in the noggin of yours?  :ha:
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Melvian
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2024 @956.49 »

I personally find it very difficult to maintain my presence on a forum when the topic is too specific, because while I will be initially interested and participate a little bit, I eventually just leave because I've gotten everything I wanted out of it; the discussions seem to just repeat themselves.

I'm a fan of the idea of venturing beyond homepage creation; as you seem to hint at, one can only say so much about it. Perhaps encouraging some form of curiosity may help, like the discovery threads. It might also just be as simple as being a hub for people to talk about the creative works, and the act of creation, which they put on their websites, rather than the websites themselves.

I realize I didn't really answer any of your questions and to be honest I don't have any good answers. But I appreciate this shift.
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bingus_baby
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2024 @191.24 »

What really spoke to you as being different about this place?
At the moment I can't quite remember what my favorite threads were. (Probably ones discussing computer hardware, gadgets, etc.)  But why I kept coming back was because I feel like the forum wasn't just for web development, but for retro tech and disconnecting from the main web. (For lack of a better term?) If I found a weird gadget at the thrift store, it's the kind of place that'll admire it rather than calling me a hoarder like my dad lmao. But also the forum discusses web and alternative culture. It feels broad and niche simultaneously, which is why it's so successful, at least to me!

As for less posts, I think that results from the general quality over quantity mindset of the community. People would be less likely to hit post if what they were saying isn't adding much to the thread. This isn't bad, but it is something to remember when I come online and see not much has happened since I last checked. But that's also good, since it isn't always good to see new posts all the time. We wouldn't want to be more like Twitter, right? Slower news cycle around here, but you'll generally get good posts that take longer to marinate. But I wasn't around in the early days, so I'm not sure what else could cause it. Perhaps we're all getting older and busier? Tbh the reason I post most of the time is procrastination ;v; I have 3D models to go make, but... I don't wanna ;_;
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Yaya
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2024 @210.24 »

I really appreciate having a space to reflect and review our experiences here!

One of the main reasons I come here is that find this forum to be an incredibly kind and accepting place in an ever-increasing aggressive and corporate internet. It's also super fun and just a great community of smart and supportive people.

Even more specifically, whenever I finish my time on the forum I leave feeling good, as opposed to feeling bad, which is what happens with other forums of social media. TMI but my therapist is having me lean in to those feelings as a way to check if something I'm doing aligns with me and is the best path for me. So this forum, yes, but twitter, no. And of course all in moderation.

I came to the web revival via the yesterweb initially and through a focus on disconnecting from social media and the wider internet to find an alternative path forward that was an updated 2024 take on what the web can begin to look like; even if only in our little corner. I eventually made my own neocities site and dove deep into the independent web and learning about others, their ideas and manifestos, their love of what made the early web so special, and the desire to bring it in an updated way into 2024.

My favorite threads are the ones that specifically touch on these larger philosophical concepts along with practical steps. For example so many sites will tell you how social media is killing you and how you need to leave now, but here there is like a 10 page forum topic where people are sharing lived experiences, alternatives they use to support themselves, changes they've noticed, why they do what they do, etc... I also love the threads where people share things like music, photos of old media, etc...as well as threads for deep discussions and ones that are just pure fun.

Honestly I like the feeling that you can kind of post anything as long as it's high quality and within reason, and if someone wants to engage in discussion they can and it can possibly expand.

So I'm not entirely sure my thoughts, as the others said, but I agree with the earlier posters that said that this forum somehow feels broad and niche at the same time, though I'm not sure why, and hits on alternative culture both on and off line.
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tertiaryapocalypse
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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2024 @334.68 »

what i really like about melonland (in my relatively short time here, admittedly, though i did lurk quite a bit beforehand!) is the focus on what i'd call 'hobbies'? let me explain better.

a lot of the threads i've enjoyed reading have been about people's personal tech opinions or the kinds of things they like collecting or the music they listen to and how. i've been meaning to check out the threads about creative projects, too, but i havent had the time yet  :sad: . i think melonland is a nice way to see into the things that people enjoy beyond the broader strokes of 'sports' or 'tv & movies' or 'music'. honestly, it's just really refreshing to see people talking in-depth about things they're passionate about online!

the only thing really tying these together is that it's something folks do in their freetime, i guess, but alas
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2024 @135.28 »

I’m not as active here as I used to be, and it feels like everyone I knew from when I first started have moved onto other things in life, but I’m still here, kicking. Still love the place, but so many unfamiliar faces. Who are all you people?! :ohdear:

Also I just don’t have much to post about any more. My interests lately have been too niche for even this forum. (Such as the PC-FX GA, the Bandai Pippin and HD-DVD Authoring)

It is great to see this place really thrive and really happy to see forums in general grow again, including ones specific to niche game series such as Klonoa and Gex! I spend almost as much time on forums as I do Discord!

I want to eventually get to the point where I can still socialise with people without using anything centralised or proprietary like Discord is, and it seems things are going in the right direction for that, even if it’s slow.
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Melooon
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2024 @627.89 »

Who are all you people?
I'm Melon, Iv always been here :tnt:
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