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SlickVic

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BlackListedB    86

Thanks Slick Vic, when we started we were putting feelers out to Rockstar to get some exclusive, I have LONG, long history with GTAForums as some know already, and in as far as gaming in my life, I've seen it all, like Trip Mills, we're both in our 40s, we saw all the iterations of gaming advancing into homes, whereas prior, you had to go out to an actual arcade. Some rich folks had pinball machines in their homes, but not us! My friend bought a number of them over the years, and coin ops, his dad helped build custom top end homes, so his family was Well To Do

Wish I was, I'll be honest, but I enjoyed always hanging with him because our interests run along very similar lines, he plays guitars and collects amps and effects as well as getting me into Home Theater more then I was already, and of course, gaming!!

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Chris    237

He was Harwood Butcher wasn't he?

Yeah that was his last username here.

I'm willing to give most people a second chance, but there are no third chances.

You, uh, sure about that?

Um... which part? I think the "most" qualifies the first part, if you meant that part about third chances... well... heavily dependent on the person and how I view them.

BTW was that the infamous MGilb or whatever his name is, that you're talking about. Posting pics of his cock and stuff. And what else was it just random porn and gore or shit like that? Heh... wonder what happened to him...

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BlackListedB    86

The thing those GTAF 'nutters' didn't get about me is I'm a mature gamer, qualified to play these games, I'm avid, I take part, there's an idea I have about forums, that if you don't agree, you don't go about reporting people or banning them, you learn to accept difference in views and opinions, It's the way of the World.

I conduct myself in a way I'm not really combative, rude, or picking flame war fights with people, I enjoyed harmless feuds at times, but the reality is I don't have one mean bone in my body, I wish everyone was as understanding. But over there, it was always something, as Niko would say

Chris, My opin is keep an open mind, remember if a member is asking to establish their account name status long term by acting as if they mean it, heart and soul... as I do, hopefully they won't let some childish event on their part undermine that.

I hope just the way that operates at GTAF could change for the future, they need to and not hand off pat excuses about how many members they manage, most members don't actually post, it's more like it is here and at smaller fan forums, it's a major core of members who have that active majority input. Anyway, many treat it like they should, and they should be found at all our various Rockstar supporting sites, it would flow nicely, I guarantee ya! (spammers and troublemakers not included of course)

To my knowledge managing our site, the type of spam you mentioned only happened during a short period for us, I recall the same happening at GTAForums, so it's like minded people who don't respect forums generally, across the board

Edited by BlackListedB

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I'm willing to give most people a second chance, but there are no third chances.

You, uh, sure about that?

Um... which part? I think the "most" qualifies the first part, if you meant that part about third chances... well... heavily dependent on the person and how I view them.

BTW was that the infamous MGilb or whatever his name is, that you're talking about. Posting pics of his cock and stuff. And what else was it just random porn and gore or shit like that? Heh... wonder what happened to him...

Well, you said NO third chances and I can name three off the top of my head. XD

And yes, that was Mgilb's very first appearance. It ALL started because he was posting shit in the GTA IV wishlist such as, "being able to hijack buses full of children and take them to the crusher", and "walking up to women pushing strollers and grabbing the baby and shaking it violently", as legitimate ideas. At first we voiced our distaste in the ideas, then went on to ask him politely to stop, then we got all stern about it, THEN we started issuing warnings. After that, we discussed it for a bit and we were like, "SUSPENDED!". It only kept escalating til the shit head got bored with it.

Ah, fun times. Up 'til 6:30am that night.

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Bustago    3

I left the forums sometime after IV came out and only re appeared a few months before the V trailer, it is good to see some old names again. It's hard to think that this forum is now made up of adults, am I the only one embarrassed by looking through their old posts?

I do have a theory as to why the activity dwindled, or as to why I stopped visiting at least, I got a car and got really into that and the assosciated forum (and carried on with subsequent cars), maybe everyone else got cars and dear I say it 'grew up'.

I'll take that back, upsized our toys.

Edited by Bustago

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BlackListedB    86

It seems there is a no third chances at GTAF regarding my 9 year tenure there, but a friend I made there back in 2003 was Demarest and as I understand it, I think he was allowed back more then three times due to his actively helping the forum in a constructive way from the earliest, but at the end, something went terribly awry, he's still around, but gave up on GTAF, much like we did butting heads with staff over their stubborn refusal to effectively perceive other people's perspectives. (had trouble putting that in words, actually) I certainly tried to be reasonable, they chalked it up to some ego trip, hardly! I take a stand for anyone treated unfairly. If they're truly at fault, that fault is their own, no ifs, ands, or buts.

I am serious in that regard, I don't offer excuses just to belittle staff of some forum, but fairness goes a long way!

In other news, I expected Rockstar's comment about a few weeks to equate to less then a few months, but technically speaking, it could go either way.

As for growing up on the forums, it's inevitable that happens, if you're online for 10 plus years as it stands for me, total. Growing up for me and Trip, for example, we had no internet but we DID have VIDEO games and those sorts of amusements. After I got my license to drive, I never gave up my bicycle, and this stands to how I feel about GTA and having those modes of transportation in the games, it also feels right to me as an adult gamer, in an adult gaming title to have the protagonist be the same....so, sorry you younger guys. I can't feel much for you because my age as a gamer never gave much thought to such things...given the time I mentioned, the era was certainly different

Edited by BlackListedB

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Gerard    64

So has anyone figured out a plan yet? What can we do to increase activity or bring the community back together? It's pretty clear a lot of us would like that.

If we turned this into a poll (obviously just out of interest, not a final decision), what would the options be?

  • Try super hard to make this site better and more interesting
  • Send out a mass email to every single member ever, asking them to come back
  • Reorganise the forum (in what way?) to make it appeal to new members
  • Bring back gangs and multiplayer gaming (even though it fell apart every time)
  • Do something completely new (like we did with San Andreas Stats)
  • Start afresh with a completely new forum (here)
  • Team up with Grand Theft Wiki or other related sites to make a new forum with a new focus
  • ???

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Jace    11

OH MY GAWD SKY GOT MARRIED!

On a little more on topic note: Hi guys. It's been a long time (GlaDOS voice). I too have gone to uni and can only dream of all the free time I used to have. I think I left around the time pretty much most of the active members left. Having long lost any real interest in GTA -apart from it just being a nice game- I kept coming here for the community. As the community started to fall apart (sort of), so did my reason to stay I suppose.

I actually blame Facebook and the likes. I'd much rather join a forum with people with the same interest who have constructive -and sometimes less constructive- discussions, than get active on the self-glorifying place that is Facebook that, to me, serves no real purpose. Sure, it has it pro's, but as far as my use goes that's all in closed groups, which isn't exactly the main attraction of social media as far as I know.

It has all long come and is probably here to stay. I seriously doubt if forums will ever be as important as they used to be. It's had it's heyday, I'm afraid.. A forum requires an investment. People obviously aren't willing to do that anymore. Blogging is 'old', microblogging is what most people do. Same goes for forums I suppose.

Another thing is that forums used to be every so slightly 'underground'. With gaming now completely open to everyone, the need to look for a specific place to share your enthusiasm for a product with has (probably) disappeared.

Hope I'm wrong though. I'd love people to realize the joy that can be had on forums with a good community.

By the way, sending an email to everyone seems like a reasonable idea. Or at least to everybody with 500+ posts or something. TGTAP isn't some regular SPAM sender, so probably nobody would mind.

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Gerard    64

How many people were active (ie posting regularly) in the gtaplace hey-day?

I always felt like it was tens of thousands, but now if I think about it now there may have only been only a few hundred.

Interesting question. I've had a look through the stats:

There have been odd days when we've had over 1,000 posts, in our heyday it was about 100-300 a day. In July 2007 we had 15,000 posts in one week!

The number of users registered isn't a good indicator, because that will include spammers and those that never post. To make that point, some of the highest numbers of registrations we've ever had have been in the past few weeks.

And the most members ever online in one day was 231 - but there are 59 on right now!

So yeah, it seems that only a couple of hundred users (at most) did the bulk of the posting here, but of course they couldn't have done that without the tens of thousands of less-frequent members that popped in occasionally or just a few times. Their questions, answers and discussions kept this forum going for the rest of us.

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Gerard    64

Double post. So ban me.

It has all long come and is probably here to stay. I seriously doubt if forums will ever be as important as they used to be. It's had it's heyday, I'm afraid.. A forum requires an investment. People obviously aren't willing to do that anymore. Blogging is 'old', microblogging is what most people do. Same goes for forums I suppose.

I think you hit the nail on the head really. Most people aren't willing to contribute huge walls of text or even get involved in big discussions. These days, the limit of most online users' involvement is a comment, or even just a Like. Thats all people need to do now to feel that they got their point across and have engaged, and this means they can now engage on anything anywhere, not just spending their life in on community about one topic.

Although, there are exceptions. My wiki has a lesser-known companion called GTA Answers. Here, people ask questions and (occasionally) others answer them. We have done ZERO promotion of this website, ever, and yet there have been 50,000 questions asked on there. It's not that much different to a forum, except that it's quick and easy and there's no real community around it at all, yet it's weirdly popular.

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BlackListedB    86

My best guess is that people come check out forums and Rockstar's links if they don't get Twitter or Facebook, just to keep an eye out on new info, I know I do, anywho.

I get emails from other forums just as reminders, that's a tactic that can anger people though.... For our site we played discussing the idea of giving away a PS3 to some lucky NEW member, no one on staff, obviously, We discussed radio or TV ads to trump other GTA fan sites in that regard, or t shirts and mugs, hats, anything, even bumper stickers!!! HELL YEAH

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SlickVic    8

Maybe we should take part in older GTA related things. Possibly star up SA-MP gangs, IV gang, etc. It appears they worked years prior to the dry spell. I'm trying to be around. How 'bout contests? Or videos? Or something more...I don't know, enticing. A re-design, something cool, flashy...spruce things up. Oh, and maybe people who forgot about the site would benefit from a mass e-mail being spread out. Worth a shot.

Edited by SlickVic

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Chris    237

Yeah I think sending out an email to 50000 people isn't really a good idea. Most people won't bother to read it, some will see it as spam. Probably end up doing more harm than good.

What Jace said is right. Forums in general are way less popular than they used to be. Internet culture has changed a lot in the past few years. I used to be active on quite a few forums years ago that were relevant to my interests at the time. Now, TGTAP is the only one I still visit (obviously) and actually care about. If I care enough to comment on something else that interests me I'll take it to Twitter and/or Facebook where I know I have friends who will comment or be interested in it themselves. I wouldn't even think to look for a forum to join on whatever subject it was about.

BlackListedB, we (and other GTA sites) have experimented with the idea of branded merchandise and apparel but too few people are interested in buying and using/wearing stuff to make it worthwhile, so no one really bothered with it. I think these days it would be even worse actually. People expect that kinda stuff to be given out for free since it so regularly is by internet companies, that's not really something we can afford to do.

SlickVic, first of all, we and other sites know from experience that re-designs never really do much to increase activity unless you bring in a load of new features to the site at the same time. The GTA related stuff you mentioned would be cool but it's a bit of a catch-22 because we would need enough members here in the first place to get it going so that other users would see it, and think to themselves that it's cool or whatever and wanna join in. When you do that kinda thing with just a few members, anyone observing is unlikely to be interested. Having said that, if you or anyone is genuinely interested in getting a 'gang' together to play those games then by all means go for it, there's nothing stopping you. If it's something that does begin to show signs of getting popular we can try and promote it around other parts of the forum so more members see it, or even on the main site as well.

Contests and stuff are always good. In fact we will be holding a competition for members to win a copy of GTA V. We're planning to start it when the release date is announced though so we can organise it within a specific time frame. Our intentions are to have a couple of winners from our Facebook and Twitter pages in addition to one (or maybe more, depending on my budget at the time) from the forums. If anyone has any ideas on what exactly the contest should be then let us know.

We know that activity is going to increase whenever more GTA V information and media comes forth, that's pretty much a given. The challenge is making the members want to stay even when interest dies down.

With the crews feature that will be in GTA V and presumably (and hopefully) massively improved multiplayer modes, I think we can definitely make the forums a place for crews to organise themselves and when they are gonna play together online, since the Social Club doesn't really have a way for people to adequately plan and discuss what they want to do.

This could also lead to an increased interest in legacy titles like SAMP and MTA with players who don't buy GTA V immediately. So we'll see how that goes.

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SlickVic    8

I'm here in the dry period of the forum. I am basically speaking out of my ass here, as I haven't ever led a forum as substantial as this before - and it is true that people are more occupied with social networking. However, I do have to disagree with you on one point. I don't really think a mass e-mail will cause harm at all. Most people just gloss over things they don't care about, therefore the people who click it probably are interested. It would also help people who previously joined the site remember the URL and visit more. I don't think it'll cause 'harm', even if it has a chance of being ineffective.

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BlackListedB    86

Well, how about print ads in game magazines? hahaha

For me, Gangs and online MP aren't a moving force for forum participation. Many people I wanted to contact offered up no PSN or XBL tags on said forum for their online exploits. I really have no idea why people are active there versus here, but from my friend Trip, he feels GTAF quality IS slipping and that echoes people I talked to who felt not just the lack of GTA conversation but clashes with staff and picking on members of the forum tends to do, alienate everyone from participation, if not leading to temp bans or perm bans

What I feel is being as good natured and welcoming is you possibly can, being a part of it, but also trying to relate on what people can agree on, rather then pick apart what makes everyone different. And we all are in some regard, so what's the point of making issues from that?

I had the most problem with disagreeable people in that regard, they always find something to complain about and not look for agreeing points

I actually don't reply to topics of little interest to me, some were saying I posted just for ego or for some post count record, complete bull. The fact most of us post is to have our voice and opinion matter, we're the consumers paying for the end product, Our views do play a part in the whole.

For the idea of T shirts or bumper stickers, it would have been a small test batch, and not a major investment, but I actually didn't suggest a TV ad for our site, but our Webmaster Mike did, I thought it an novel idea, but very costly I'm sure

Nothing beats word of mouth and being dedicated and fervent on doing it that way, keep that end up for sure! Rockstar and we, our own site, have a YouTube channel, that works great for passersby

Edited by BlackListedB

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Spider-Vice    21

Mass-emailing; I don't think that would work, as Mike said probably most people have different email addresses and sending an email to 50k members would be very resource tasking on the server, with a very unlikely chance of success. Reorganising could be a good idea, but we'd have to let everyone know somehow, and, as said, internet culture is changing and forums aren't what they used to be. GTAForums is bigger because it was one of the first, and it always had a lot of activity, don't take me wrong on this though, not trying to compare anything.

Reviving the multiplayer scene would be a good idea, problem is, hackers would probably come back and ruin the party, and there still would have to be some form of contact in-between missing members to let them know. Contests are definitely a good idea, Facebook and Twitter spreads are always good to let people know. Maybe we should use Twitter/Facebook more often to report news and let people know? I'm clueless, though, most posts already got the idea :P

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The problem I see with attempting to get our name back out there, is it's always such a slow process that the new members come and see pretty much an inactive forum, not really making them want to stay.... So unless we get activity, we can't really get activity. As such, my idea is to get activity and then maybe that will get activity?

What I'm saying is, we've locked the key inside the box, so we gotta unlock the box before we can unlock the box.

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