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This project right here is our best shot at getting new people fast. I've been slowly working out the details over the past few months.

Long story short, the goal is to merge another small/medium-sized site into GTX0. We have some experience with that; GTX0 originally was formed together from 4 different sites, then absorbed OGT later on. The scope of this project is a bit different because I want to import over accounts, avatars, posts, etc so we can do as many absorptions as possible.

Why would someone want to merge their site with GTX0?

The biggest draw is that their community gains GTX0 members. This is why we're doing it, but it goes both ways because the communities are merging together.

Another draw is the features. GTX0 has a lot of stuff that generic boards just don't have. It'll have even more when I really get things going here.

A similar point to this is that GTX0 has a programmer on board that can custom-make features for community needs. This is very rare, and we're specifically going to target communities that don't have one of those.

How the merger would actually work

The goal is to make the transition as smooth as possible.

  • GTX0 will support multiple post parsers. You'll be able to flip a switch in your User CP to switch between them, which will determine the way formatting is handled when you post. I want to build a new parser that has the best of all worlds at some point.

  • Accounts will be imported and smuggle links will be emailed out so those users can click a link in their email and be automatically logged in, where they can set their own passwords as needed. Alternately we can coordinate things individually if the board admin doesn't have access to emails or something.

  • Posts will be imported. Ideally the board admin will have access to some kind of database, which I'm really really good at manipulating into the dataset I want. If not though I have some scraping tools that I'll use to scrape their posts and stick them in our database that way.

  • GTX0 will have some kind of image attachment system because generic boards have that feature a lot (also we really really need one).

  • Avatars get stuck into one of the generic MyCard settings (The Champ or The Glorious, depending on the image size). Users will be encouraged to play around with the other MyCard settings.

    Forums

    Bear with me here. It gets a bit complicated past this point.

  • Ideally they have forums we don't and we just add them in.

  • Their forums operate under a kind of local moderation system like what we had here before; nothing site-rule-breaking because site rules make sense, but they can definitely set and enforce their own standards. Our mods can help out and vice-versa as needed.

  • Their admin manages that set of mods and he also gets an admin position here -- though I'll limit the tools a bit so they can really only affect their people.

  • Their staff and admin do get access to our staff and admin forums.

  • Over time I want to integrate them more and more into GTX0. I want them involved in our discussions, and I want us to be involved in their issues. I want our communities to merge, that's the goal here. Eventually when they're ready they can become GTX0 mods and GTX0 admins.

    If they have forums we also have

    The more we do this, the more likely this scenario is to happen. I think it'll probably universally happen with off-topic forums though.

  • Their posts get dumped into our database with a tag for the website they came from.

  • There will be a way of changing which archive you view -- if you're from GTX0 you'll see new posts and older GTX0 posts; if you're from another community you'll see new posts and your own older posts. You can also switch over to a mixed view if you want, but that'll become more obsolete as new topics start being created by both communities.

  • The new posts will be a mix between both communities and will enjoy all the benefits of activity that that brings.

  • Moderation compromises will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Same deal with cross-community disputes. This is likely going to be the roughest part of the transition, but we do at least have a LOT of experience in dealing with those kinds of issues.

    Plugins

    I'm going to introduce more GTX0 plugins that do various things members of other communities are used to:

  • Post signatures

  • Post pagination

    You guys can use them if you want. I'll point out to our newcomers that we do things a little differently here so their signatures/etc aren't necessarily going to be seen by our people, but there are other ways to advertise yourself (profiles for example).

    Themes

    It's going to be really really hard, but it's something I've wanted to do for a long time -- GTX0 will be able to support color / styling themes. This is almost definitely going to be essential for the absorption process.

    Users that come from some other board will be able to see GTX0 in the style that they're used to, with some minor differences they can adjust to easily. They can also switch themes around how they want to.

    Portals

    Each community we merge with will get a "portal". Something like this:
    http://gtx0.com/community/(name)
    Alternately, if they have a domain name they can point it at our server and that will work equally as well.

    Entering the site from the portal (this is where smuggle links get mailed out as well) will automatically set the theme.

    A portal will highlight the forums of that specific community, but all outbound links will go into GTX0 proper.

    Upcoming

    This isn't just theoretical, by the end of the year I have another small community I run on our server that I want to merge into GTX0, so we'll be able to experiment with it first hand without admin conflict consequences if there are issues.

  • settingsOptions
    There are 14 Replies

    This sounds very complicated, but let's see what happens.

    There's nothing holding us back.

    Posted September 22nd by Cruinn-Annuin

    I feel like we could absorb smaller communities with even less work than this, but a lot of the stuff on here is stuff that needs to happen anyway sooo

    Posted September 22nd by Xhin
    Xhin
    The planets are aligned

    I like this idea but it probably does need to be handled carefully. After all you are trying to merge with communities that probably can have a rather different "culture" and they may not all like what goes on here. Even if we're both small this can happen.

    Posted September 22nd by KnokkelMillennium

    Is there another site already picked out that will be merged with GTX0 iris this just a raid map for future mergers?

    Posted September 22nd by Q
    Q

    Both, but we're defintely going to merge with this one regardless because I don't like managing two separate communities:
    http:// conworlds.fun

    Posted September 22nd by Xhin
    Xhin
    The planets are aligned

    Will we be merging with other video game communities?

    Posted September 22nd by I killed Mufasa
    I killed Mufasa
    long live the king

    Yeah that's the real goal. The community above isn't video game oriented, but there's a decent possibility that they'll have some of our interests and we'll have some of their interests, and a good possibility they'll be able to use NIFE as well.

    Once I feel confident that the process works I'll start to reach out to other video game communities. You guys can join the advertising team and help too -- I want to be fairly exhaustive and merge as many times as possible, though it might be a good idea to take breaks between major mergers.

    Posted September 22nd by Xhin
    Xhin
    The planets are aligned

    It would be great if we could merge with a writing/roleplaying community as well.

    Posted September 22nd by I killed Mufasa
    I killed Mufasa
    long live the king

    Yeah not a bad idea either. We need writers and roleplayers for NIFE and mafia too.

    Posted September 22nd by Xhin
    Xhin
    The planets are aligned

    I was hoping to do some graphics for a redesign of this site soon...

    ...Is that on the back-burner while the main stuff gets figured out, because I have awesome ideas for parallax scrolling on the sides!

    Posted September 22nd by mariomguy

    I was hoping to do some graphics for a redesign of this site soon...

    I like the site's style. It definitely needs polish, but I'm not changing it.



    Edited September 22nd by Xhin
    Xhin
    The planets are aligned

    Before you close off the possibilities, just hear me out:

    Right now, nothing is happening on the sidebar. It's blank space, and very plain. When you scroll down the page you lose the identity of which forum you're on.

    If you want to do something simple, a grid background could work nicely, almost like the old days. Bonus points for parallax scrolling for a grid up front and another one behind. But to give the site more character and promote the individuality of each forum, I had the concept of using a mascot character in the sidebar, in a different costume or doing different things for each forum. For instance, he could be speaking at a podium for World, kicking a soccer ball for Sports, watching TV eating popcorn for Entertainment & Media, etc. Similar to how forums have iconic forum images, we should continue that iconography down the page. We can even have Easter eggs that are only visible on very long threads, encouraging users to post on other forums and seek them out. I've thought of plenty of concepts for parallax stuff like this: jumping through a portal, an old 8mm filmstrip gone wild, 3-point landing, etc.

    Polish suggestions: indent the logo from the absolute corner of the site, put a counter on People and New Alerts, and we should definitely have some sort of header graphic, not just two ads stacked on top of each other.

    Posted September 23rd by mariomguy

    Right now, nothing is happening on the sidebar. It's blank space, and very plain.

    Depends on your settings:
    http://gtx0.com/user/site_settings.php
    Also I do have a couple things planned for the background image:
    http://gtx0.com/read/merit-v2-notes http://gtx0.com/view.php?post=73208
    When you scroll down the page you lose the identity of which forum you're on.

    That's a good point.

    parallax

    I have mixed feelings about parallax images. On the one hand it's a really cool modern-feeling effect. On the other hand it's a gluttonous memory hog and slows the page way down which kind of goes against what GTX0 stands for.

    I had the concept of using a mascot character in the sidebar, in a different costume or doing different things for each forum.

    Would you be willing to make the graphics for the mascot character?

    put a counter on People and New Alerts

    Yeah that definitely needs to happen.

    and we should definitely have some sort of header graphic, not just two ads stacked on top of each other.

    Where would you put the ads? Honestly our header is pretty huge already.

    More generally though I appreciate the help and I'd like to get with you in a more official way whenever I clear out some of my backlog.

    Edited September 23rd by Xhin
    Xhin
    The planets are aligned

    Also I do have a couple things planned for the background image:

    Plans from 2013? The default sidebar should be a brighter version of the nostalgic theme at least. Plain blue just won't cut it here. It's almost half the page.

    Would you be willing to make the graphics for the mascot character?

    YES!

    I have mixed feelings about parallax images. On the one hand it's a really cool modern-feeling effect. On the other hand it's a gluttonous memory hog and slows the page way down which kind of goes against what GTX0 stands for.

    Is parallax really that gluttonous? I already know how to optimize graphics.

    More generally though I appreciate the help and I'd like to get with you in a more official way whenever I clear out some of my backlog.

    OK. I feel like the more basic things should be done right away. Spacers and margins are your friend.

    Posted September 23rd by mariomguy
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