Suggestions, comments, criticisms for SFF Network/SFF Forum in 2017?

Aibohphobia

aka James
Original poster
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,956
4,717
I think 2017 will be a great year for the site, community, and SFF in general but do you all have any suggestions, comments, or criticisms for us going into the new year?

Here's some stuff that's been suggested already or we are planning to do:
  • Better forum search has been suggested and that's on the list to implement in the next month or two.
  • More guides/articles to supplement the reviews and news posts.
  • Video is something John (@confusis) is planning to do now that he has a camera that isn't a potato :p
  • SFF relevant ads on the news site is something we want to tackle this year.
  • Revamp SFF Wiki with a new backend that's easier for the community to add content to.
 

EdZ

Virtual Realist
Gold Supporter
May 11, 2015
1,578
2,107
Option to 'paste unformatted' without having to paste to an alternate plaintext box first (e.g. notepad) or jump back and forth between the BBcode and WYSIWYG editors.
 

Josh | NFC

Not From Concentrate
NFC Systems
Silver Supporter
Jun 12, 2015
1,866
4,431
www.nfc-systems.com
Um,

Amazon dumb links now change to affiliate links for this forum...

I think this is an awesome idea as I want to support this forum any way I can. I try to advertise for it, bring members on, buy swag, and send monthly payments. This forum is so good I don't even go anywhere else anymore.

But the Congressional level of dishonesty and hypocrisy over this issue is making my head spin...
 

EdZ

Virtual Realist
Gold Supporter
May 11, 2015
1,578
2,107
But the Congressional level of dishonesty and hypocrisy over this issue is making my head spin...
It was one of the options mooted in the discussion thread, and the only solution with a readily-available implementation:
After some discussion, while some of the other ideas floated are perhaps better from a fairness standpoint, the reality is that it would require lots of moderation to actually enforce.

As mentioned, the only solution that could be easily automated is simply overwriting all Amazon/Newegg/etc links with a SFF Network one. A bit heavy-handed, but it would ensure no one is posting links to inferior products simply to get the kickback (though to be clear we're not accusing anyone here of that) and it would help defray hosting costs at the same time.
No objections were raised at the time (5 months ago) but an announcement that it was going live would be nice.

::EDIT:: Just did a test, and it looks like this only affects freetyped (i.e. not in a URL BBcode tag) links, and to the US Amazon site only.
 
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Josh | NFC

Not From Concentrate
NFC Systems
Silver Supporter
Jun 12, 2015
1,866
4,431
www.nfc-systems.com
It was one of the options mooted in the discussion thread, and the only solution with a readily-available implementation:

No objections were raised at the time (5 months ago) but an announcement that it was going live would be nice.

::EDIT:: Just did a test, and it looks like this only affects freetyped (i.e. not in a URL BBcode tag) links, and to the US Amazon site only.

I don't oppose the implementation, in fact, I support it. I want the forum to not be a burden in any way to the fine people who run it. I can disagree with some of them over an issue and still love them. I'm just going to bury this horse.
 
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PlayfulPhoenix

Founder of SFF.N
SFFLAB
Chimera Industries
Moderator
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
1,049
1,960
Um,

Amazon dumb links now change to affiliate links for this forum...

I think this is an awesome idea as I want to support this forum any way I can. I try to advertise for it, bring members on, buy swag, and send monthly payments. This forum is so good I don't even go anywhere else anymore.

But the Congressional level of dishonesty and hypocrisy over this issue is making my head spin...

It was one of the options mooted in the discussion thread, and the only solution with a readily-available implementation:

No objections were raised at the time (5 months ago) but an announcement that it was going live would be nice.

Although @EdZ correctly points out that we discussed the implementation of auto-referral links publicly a while time ago, I think that @Josh | NFC 's perspective is entirely reasonable. We disagree on some things, but that doesn't mean we find the point of view unreasonable. At it's face, banning referral links and then using our own to enforce the ban sounds pretty darn hypocritical, at least to some. I can't - and won't - argue otherwise.

This has actually been a helpful reminder to revisit having made this change. We haven't really done that yet, given our efforts to backfill James, to be honest. Now that we've had a minute, though, I will say that there are a few things we should have done better:
  1. We should have been louder about the fact that we were implementing short-URL blocking and affiliate codes, when we did it.
  2. We should have posted notices about the implementation of these in a conspicuous place (use of affiliate codes is covered by our ethics policy, but this not necessarily an obvious place to look for it).
Given this, I've gone ahead and made a few updates. The first is a clarification on our Ethics statement about the role of affiliate links and the separation of editorial and moderation from our use of those (emphasis is what has changed):

ORIGINAL:
Our projects and sites may contain affiliate marketing links, which pay commissions on sales of those products or services we write about. Those links are generated independently of editorial, and our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships.

UPDATED:
Our projects and sites may contain affiliate marketing links, which pay commissions on sales of those products or services that we link to. Those links are generated independently of editorial or moderation, and our editorial content and moderation decisions are not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships.

The second is an update to the Rules, to call out our ban on shortened URL's (emphasis is what has changed):

ORIGINAL:
Rules
In addition to the Terms of Use here are some additional rules:
  • In general, use common sense and show courtesy to your fellow members
  • Don't post links that contain referral codes
  • Do post in English
  • Personal attacks will NOT be tolerated

UPDATED:
Rules
In addition to the Terms of Use here are some additional rules:
  • In general, use common sense and show courtesy to your fellow members
  • Don't post links that are shortened or contain referral codes
  • Do post in English
  • Personal attacks will NOT be tolerated

The last is the addition of a succinct, no-nonsence disclosure that we have implemented affiliate codes on SFF Forum:
Affiliate Links
SFF Forum automatically updates certain e-commerce links (such as Amazon links) across the forum to use a referral code. We do this to help enforce our ban on referral links (since we overwrite those posted by users), as well as to financially support the forum.

Hopefully these will do a good job of making this apparent, transparent, and honest. And as always, we want discussion of this, our policies, and anything else to be an ongoing concern, as it's important and actually does affect change in how we do things.
 

msystems

Airflow Optimizer
Apr 28, 2017
277
439
Perhaps some kind of area/subforum for SFF related B2B and recruitment for professional projects and team building/networking- probably accessible with elevated user privileges whether it be by subscription level or account age. Also, a permanent discord channel? Saw a thread on this a little while ago but could be cool.
 
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AleksandarK

/dev/null
May 14, 2017
703
773
Perhaps some kind of area/subforum for SFF related B2B and recruitment for professional projects and team building/networking- probably accessible with elevated user privileges whether it be by subscription level or account age. Also, a permanent discord channel? Saw a thread on this a little while ago but could be cool.
This would be AWESOME.
 
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confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
SFF Workshop
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Jun 19, 2015
3,473
5,989
sff.network
We have a permanent IRC channel, but that's a Gold sub perk. It's where I reside a lot of the time!

Regarding the B2B/recruitment, it is a giant kettle of fish that has been discussed but we are undecided as yet.
 
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Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
5,173
4,514
or the banning was related to it DUM DUM DUMMMMMM