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(OBSOLETE) Maybe it's time to reset Sanctuary...

Should we do a reset?

  • Yes.

    Votes: 1 14.3%
  • No.

    Votes: 6 85.7%

  • Total voters
    7
  • Poll closed .

Arnox

Veteran
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I'm not bringing this suggestion up lightly.

I've been up for a bit trying to think of any way to get more people to sign up. The big problem is that we need more people to get people to sign up. More activity. More topics. More posts. But we simply cannot provide that. I cannot provide that... I've tried my damnest to get people to come here, and though my methods could probably use some improvement, I feel nobody outside cares or will care. And now I feel like I need to face a big nasty truth. In our current state, if we continue like this, we will probably never get anyone new to come here. Even if we have a front-page scoring post on another community site, people are probably still not going to come. There's just not enough here to keep people. Or at least, this is my thinking anyway.

So what is this reset? It means that Sanctuary will temporarily be put in read-only mode for all but voluntary staff members. Once this is done, I and the staff members are going to manually look for people on other sites who are interested in joining us. Once a minimum amount of people willing to sign up is reached, we will reopen for all. But until that happens, Sanctuary will have to be closed down. I hate that I'm putting this suggestion out, but at this point, I really don't know what else to do. We're just too damn fucking small. :(

The good news is that I actually have a lot of confidence in this method. This method is, after all, originally how we all came here from the Escapist. I don't see why it wouldn't work again. But it will take time. It will be slow. And it may be months before we finally sign up enough people to open the site again. For the poll, you may change your vote at any time, but the poll will close in seven days time. I'm not going to do this unless there is a majority in favor of it. Also, if you would like to sign up as a staff member, just PM me or make a post here about it. Although staff members will still be able to post here, it's not gonna be fun and games. It's gonna be recruiting talk and nothing but.

Again, I hate that this seems like the only option available to us. I detest having to close Sanctuary down, even if just temporarily for ANY reason. But if closing it down temporarily means finally seeing this place flourish and begin to truly grow, I think it would be worth it.
 

Kaleion

Devotee
Sanctuary legend
Messages
198
I don't know how to run a site so I have no idea if it will work, so I'l leave it up to everyone else, besides I'm rarely even here anyway, which is not unusual since at the Escapist I was barely even there.
 

Arnox

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I don't know how to run a site so I have no idea if it will work, so I'l leave it up to everyone else, besides I'm rarely even here anyway, which is not unusual since at the Escapist I was barely even there.
Honestly, the fact that you're here at all is awesome. I truly appreciate every single person that chooses to come here, even if what we offer isn't really enough.
 

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
538
So what is this reset? It means that Sanctuary will temporarily be put in read-only mode for all but voluntary staff members. Once this is done, I and the staff members are going to manually look for people on other sites who are interested in joining us. Once a minimum amount of people willing to sign up is reached, we will reopen for all.
So you're just going to keep all the posts as is, but freeze them, and then start inviting people? Or are you going to wipe everything, then freeze it, then recruit?

If it's the first option, couldn't you go do recruitment without putting the site into read-only mode? What's the benefit of read-only mode?

The good news is that I actually have a lot of confidence in this method. This method is, after all, originally how we all came here from the Escapist.
The site being in "read-only" mode had no influence in my decision start posting here. Unless I'm missing something, this is like having "lucky underwear" that you never wash and put on again because "I was wearing it when X happened", as if it was related to the success of the first event.

Again, I hate that this seems like the only option available to us. I detest having to close Sanctuary down, even if just temporarily for ANY reason. But if closing it down temporarily means finally seeing this place flourish and begin to truly grow, I think it would be worth it.
Only option? I thought we weren't on full-blast recruiting mode yet because we needed to pick the site's theme, focus, etc. That's why you didn't want to do those reddit ads, right? My offer for paying for those still stands.

So there's an option: We try paid advertisements.
 

Vendor-Lazarus

Disciple
Sanctuary legend
Messages
461
I'm still thinking that you are being very rushed in your decisions for some reason.
We won't ever get LOADS of folk joining at the same time...
People will naturally trickle in, if they know we are here.
All we can do in the mean-time is frequent places where people discontent with the current moratorium on Free Speech is implemented and keep Sanctuary fresh in peoples minds.

People definitely won't join if there is no option to post, and they won't wait for some future glorious state of community.
Lets just keep on keeping, and post and do our thing. If you post at other places, mention this one now and then.
Those places would for example be Reddit, Voat, Youtube, Bitchute, Facebook, Minds, etc..
 

Arnox

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If it's the first option, couldn't you go do recruitment without putting the site into read-only mode? What's the benefit of read-only mode?
Let me tell you what's going to happen about 90% of the time if we don't put the site in read-only mode and continue as we are.

Arnox: "Hey, wanna join our cool site?"
Rando: "Sure, I'd love to join your cool site!"
*rando looks at Sanctuary, then proceeds to never actually join the site ever*

I've actually already seen this happen a couple times already.

When you joined, you joined with the natural assumption that there would be a bunch of other people joining. Yes, I know you do believe in Sanctuary, but tell me the truth here. If only one other person besides me had signed up, would you still be here? I wouldn't blame you in the slightest if you wouldn't. Sanctuary is its community. And while we do have a community, I very much believe it's just not big enough to attract newcomers.

Only option? I thought we weren't on full-blast recruiting mode yet because we needed to pick the site's theme, focus, etc. That's why you didn't want to do those reddit ads, right? My offer for paying for those still stands.

So there's an option: We try paid advertisements.
Once again, I'm incredibly flattered that you are offering to pay for this, but I also don't want you to waste your money. Consider this. The videos we've been posting have given us as much exposure as some ads probably would. And we still haven't gotten a single new member. Not one.

Not me, no. I came here because a friend from Oregon posted in one of your submissions on Reddit. He said he was going to sign up, but I don't think he is here.

Whatever. I don't care either way.
That's actually kinda cool, but... You're an anomaly. The member statistics show this. The last member we actually got (that didn't come from Sanctuary v1.0) was Gauche way back in November.
 

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
538
Let me tell you what's going to happen about 90% of the time if we don't put the site in read-only mode and continue as we are.

Arnox: "Hey, wanna join our cool site?"
Rando: "Sure, I'd love to join your cool site!"
*rando looks at Sanctuary, then proceeds to never actually join the site ever*
How would putting the site into read-only mode would change this user's decision? I'm not seeing the train of thought here.


When you joined, you joined with the natural assumption that there would be a bunch of other people joining. Yes, I know you do believe in Sanctuary, but tell me the truth here. If only one other person besides me had signed up, would you still be here? I wouldn't blame you in the slightest if you wouldn't. Sanctuary is its community. And while we do have a community, I very much believe it's just not big enough to attract newcomers.
My memory is a bit fuzzy on this detail. When did I join? Where there other users present and posting when I joined? When I signed up, was the site in read-only mode? I honestly don't remember.

But your hypothetical is misleading to the extent of being fallacious. I have to infer that your logic is invalid somewhere. "If only one other person besides me had signed up" is not be equivalent to the experience a new user would have if they joined today. Answering this question shouldn't give you data that would be useful in determine whether or not to reset the site. The only way my answer would give you meaningful data is if this scenario is expected to be recreated. I fail to see how this hypothetical is relevant, as it doesn't describe the future of either option.

But to answer your question, just in case I'm wrong: That would depend on the growth from those hypothetically desolate beginnings until now. If nobody else posted in the months that I've been here, I might have stopped checking in. If, though, people did, I would have reason to stay.

Once again, I'm incredibly flattered that you are offering to pay for this, but I also don't want you to waste your money. Consider this. The videos we've been posting have given us as much exposure as some ads probably would. And we still haven't gotten a single new member. Not one.
Okay, but don't be saying that "this is the only option!", because there are options that you haven't tried, and this is one of them.

If I may get personal and theorize for a moment here, I think this is just a way for you to "take a break". The site can be on hold, you can take a breather for an unspecified amount of time, without anyone getting on your case about the site's growth, and then when you're ready, you can start it up again. Worst case scenario is that you don't, and it never comes back up, and then we all forget about it and move on to other things.

I've seen this happen before. I've done this before. It's a graceful way of quitting. You don't go in with the intention to quit, you just find an excuse to put it on hold, and then you get busy with other stuff and then you gradually forget about it.

This doesn't happen when things are going well, when growth is on the rise, when you see measurable progress, and when you aren't blocked by obstacles. It only happens when projects stall. This project is stalling. Perhaps motivation is waning. The temptation to quit take a break is high.

But I'm just projecting, because I've done/seen this so many times before. That's not what I really think you're doing.
That's what I hope you're not doing.

But I believe in you.
 

Arnox

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How would putting the site into read-only mode would change this user's decision? I'm not seeing the train of thought here.
The site itself in read-only mode won't change it. Looking forward to a lot of people they can talk to will. If people want to see the site, they can, but the real point is that they don't have to post on a incredibly slow site and wait for a someday where a bunch of people will come. Resetting Sanctuary and putting it in read-only mode while making sure we have a minimum number of interested parties before we reopen ensures that when they actaully do post on the site, they'll be with a lot more people, which will keep them here. Yes, not everyone on the list is going to be interested after a while, but if we put enough members on the list, it shouldn't matter.

My memory is a bit fuzzy on this detail. When did I join? Where there other users present and posting when I joined? When I signed up, was the site in read-only mode? I honestly don't remember.
I made a thread on the Escapist asking if anyone would be interested in joining/migrating to Sanctuary. We got a fair few people interested, and so we opened. Or should I say, Sanctuary was reopened.

Okay, but don't be saying that "this is the only option!", because there are options that you haven't tried, and this is one of them.

If I may get personal and theorize for a moment here, I think this is just a way for you to "take a break". The site can be on hold, you can take a breather for an unspecified amount of time, without anyone getting on your case about the site's growth, and then when you're ready, you can start it up again. Worst case scenario is that you don't, and it never comes back up, and then we all forget about it and move on to other things.

I've seen this happen before. I've done this before. It's a graceful way of quitting. You don't go in with the intention to quit, you just find an excuse to put it on hold, and then you get busy with other stuff and then you gradually forget about it.

This doesn't happen when things are going well, when growth is on the rise, when you see measurable progress, and when you aren't blocked by obstacles. It only happens when projects stall. This project is stalling. Perhaps motivation is waning. The temptation to quit take a break is high.

But I'm just projecting, because I've done/seen this so many times before. That's not what I really think you're doing.
That's what I hope you're not doing.

But I believe in you.
Let me rephrase. I think this is the only VIABLE option. But as to taking a break, well... I'd be lying if I said you were wrong about me wanting a break from it all, but I thought I made it very clear that I hate to shut down Sanctuary even temporarily for any reason. I am sad and disheartened but I said a long time ago that Sanctuary would not die. That there would be no TTFN. Those were not idle words. I meant that. I know what this site can be. I used to post on a site just like this one with more members. It was glorious, and I know why it was. I still believe in that.

But... totse flourished because there was no other site like it. By the time totse2 was a thing, Wikipedia was barely getting into its own. Everything was just scattered blogs and miscellaneous forums. We still had a place, even if the ground was shrinking beneath our feet and we didn't know it. Now, we're in a really bad spot trying to start a site like this. Habits are engrained. Site monopolies are established. Information on everything you ever wanted can be found everywhere now.

Information and culture was the draw for &T, but it isn't entirely what made it all so enjoyable. Now, such a site isn't needed for information, but for the community it lent itself so well to. But WE DON'T HAVE THAT COMMUNITY. Our activity is incredibly slow. Even for a small forum.

So having said all that, you say there are viable alternatives that I am not looking at. I would be happy to hear them. Unless you truly think paid advertising is the way to go.
 

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
538
The site itself in read-only mode won't change it. Looking forward to a lot of people they can talk to will. If people want to see the site, they can, but the real point is that they don't have to post on a incredibly slow site and wait for a someday where a bunch of people will come. Resetting Sanctuary and putting it in read-only mode while making sure we have a minimum number of interested parties before we reopen ensures that when they actaully do post on the site, they'll be with a lot more people, which will keep them here. Yes, not everyone on the list is going to be interested after a while, but if we put enough members on the list, it shouldn't matter.
Okay, I can see your logic now, and I have a few questions:

Is this similar to "wave based recruiting"? If so, how do you answer to the objections raised back then?

How likely do you think it is that a user will forget about the site during the read-only period, and then end up never joining and posting when the site is finally re-opened?

Isn't this a negative that only exists if you close down the site? Why risk this detriment? Why is this option better than keeping the site open. I only see negatives and I don't see any positives. You'll need to sell this to me. I'm not understanding why you think this is a good idea. Communicate that.

In the meantime, let me try to understand some more: Do you think this site is dead? Do you think that a new user joining the site, today, won't have anyone to talk to? Because if so, that would explain why you would think that this is a good idea. But, IMO, that's not the case. There's plenty of people here every day that can engage with a new user. Putting the site into read-only mode would only be a benefit if you think that a new user would quickly leave due to lack of activity. So is that what you think would happen?

So having said all that, you say there are viable alternatives that I am not looking at. I would be happy to hear them. Unless you truly think paid advertising is the way to go.
Nah, paid advertisements was my only idea.
 

gaijinkaiju

Disciple
Sanctuary legend
Game server maintainer
Messages
292
So having said all that, you say there are viable alternatives that I am not looking at. I would be happy to hear them. Unless you truly think paid advertising is the way to go.
Why don't we setup a steam group? we could use it to host community game nights, if people see that we play X games at X times, then they might choose to check it out. we could turn it into a curators group as well.
I'm tempted to suggest a review group over on MyAnimeList, but I'm not sure how many others here watch anime, but its still an option.

Let me tell you what's going to happen about 90% of the time if we don't put the site in read-only mode and continue as we are.

Arnox: "Hey, wanna join our cool site?"
Rando: "Sure, I'd love to join your cool site!"
*rando looks at Sanctuary, then proceeds to never actually join the site ever*

I've actually already seen this happen a couple times already.
I feel like that would happen even in read-only mode.
If I visit a site where I couldn't immediately start posting, I'd bookmark it, then immediately forget about it. I mean even if it wasn't, I'd likely lurk for a little bit, before signing up, at-least I think that's what i did here.
 

Monoochrom

Disciple
Sanctuary legend
Messages
275
As one of said staff, I'd ask you to put this idea on hold until next week around Wednesday, I have alternative thoughts, but like I already told you, I'm really busy this week.
 

Arnox

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How likely do you think it is that a user will forget about the site during the read-only period, and then end up never joining and posting when the site is finally re-opened?
I guess this is the main question here. If people have to wait to post, won't they lose interest? I don't think so. Or at least not a significant number. Once the time comes, we just notify everyone on the list that the site is open. Probably via email. They don't need to remember themselves.

In the meantime, let me try to understand some more: Do you think this site is dead? Do you think that a new user joining the site, today, won't have anyone to talk to? Because if so, that would explain why you would think that this is a good idea. But, IMO, that's not the case. There's plenty of people here every day that can engage with a new user. Putting the site into read-only mode would only be a benefit if you think that a new user would quickly leave due to lack of activity. So is that what you think would happen?
I don't think it's "dead", but I do think that someone who would join today wouldn't really be engaged enough to stay. I mean, look at this post. Look how long it took to get the replies it did. And this is a very important thread! I mean, c'mon. That should tell you something.

Why don't we setup a steam group? we could use it to host community game nights, if people see that we play X games at X times, then they might choose to check it out. we could turn it into a curators group as well.
This would require regularity in these game nights. Which we don't have.

As one of said staff, I'd ask you to put this idea on hold until next week around Wednesday, I have alternative thoughts, but like I already told you, I'm really busy this week.
I'll keep the poll up, but I'll give you some time.
 

Monoochrom

Disciple
Sanctuary legend
Messages
275
I'll give a super short version.

Restarting this place - Yes

Restarting literally from scratch by closing down completely - No

There's a lot that needs to be done, but nobody really gains anything by getting rid of what we have now.
 

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
538
I'll give a super short version.

Restarting this place - Yes

Restarting literally from scratch by closing down completely - No

There's a lot that needs to be done, but nobody really gains anything by getting rid of what we have now.
Let's be sure that we're all on the same page here, what does @Arnox mean by "reset"? This isn't completely clear to me to the point that it seems like Arnox is using the word in the wrong way. Unless history will be deleted, it doesn't seem like what is proposed will be actually be a reset. It seems like Arnox is proposing that the site be put into read-only mode, doing some recruiting, and then opening the site up later.

To me, a "Reset" would include wiping the site, or at least moving everything into the "history" quarantine.

To avoid being ambiguous, don't say "reset" if you aren't planning to wipe/move anything. Pick a different word.
 

Monoochrom

Disciple
Sanctuary legend
Messages
275
Note that used the Term "restart". I did so in part because I don't think a Reset would necessarily be a good way to go, but in truth, I don't know, we haven't been able to talk this over because I've been busy for roughly the last 2 Weeks.

All I can say is that I personally never liked it when my posts disappeared into the ether whilst the site still existed and I've never seen anyone that did like it. So, that wouldn't be a good idea unless it's really necessary.
 

Arnox

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Posts, site themes, accounts, and etc. will NOT be deleted. As said before, site will be locked down temporarily for all but staff members, then reopened for posting once we get enough people interested.
 

Elijin

Outlander
Messages
10
Everyone knows the best solution to getting around people not signing up to a site which is too inactive, is to lock all activity and get them to sign up to the idea of eventually signing up to some future version of the site, if some theoretical number is filled in the waiting list.

If people are forgetting you exist, suspending your own existence wont suddenly spur them to remember and anticipate the day you exist again.


The Escapist exodus was a fluke situation where something looked like it was facing imminent shutdown without warning, and people jumped to a lifeboat on the notion that it was one of the few ways to co-ordinate if the site they were already on just stopped existing the next morning. If anything, your idea of putting this site into lockdown might spur activity towards other sites, as the few here look for another place where they can continue to interact.


Ultimately the revival of this site was born on the crisis of another site. A crisis which resolved without incident. The biggest problem you've encountered is the fixation that the brief resurgence around here was based on your 'unique outlook and ideals of freedom' instead of the reality that you were a lifeboat for a sinking ship, which has patched over a leak or two and soldiered on for the time being.


If you choose to try and move forward by suspending the website, know that you're actually just giving up on it. Anyone interested will move on, not wait around for some day enough people have built up in some waiting list, eagerly awating the gates re-opening :rolleyes:
 

Arnox

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Everyone knows the best solution to getting around people not signing up to a site which is too inactive, is to lock all activity and get them to sign up to the idea of eventually signing up to some future version of the site, if some theoretical number is filled in the waiting list.

If people are forgetting you exist, suspending your own existence wont suddenly spur them to remember and anticipate the day you exist again.


The Escapist exodus was a fluke situation where something looked like it was facing imminent shutdown without warning, and people jumped to a lifeboat on the notion that it was one of the few ways to co-ordinate if the site they were already on just stopped existing the next morning. If anything, your idea of putting this site into lockdown might spur activity towards other sites, as the few here look for another place where they can continue to interact.


Ultimately the revival of this site was born on the crisis of another site. A crisis which resolved without incident. The biggest problem you've encountered is the fixation that the brief resurgence around here was based on your 'unique outlook and ideals of freedom' instead of the reality that you were a lifeboat for a sinking ship, which has patched over a leak or two and soldiered on for the time being.


If you choose to try and move forward by suspending the website, know that you're actually just giving up on it. Anyone interested will move on, not wait around for some day enough people have built up in some waiting list, eagerly awating the gates re-opening :rolleyes:
Why are you even here? Every time I see you post, it's more bitching and no actual solutions whatsoever. Most of the time when the debate gets real interesting, you just conveniently vanish. It's not enough that we're having an incredibly hard time. No, you gotta stomp on the body some more first. And I thought I was the cynical bitch around here. Tell me, what have you even tried to create or contribute in your life? I hope it's something substantial to make up for your assholery.

Let me hit you with a little fact. The Escapist is, in a way, in the exact same boat we are. A majority of users still go there for Zero Punctuation, but even that's slipping, and their other content isn't pulling in more people at all. I may even say that were it not for Yahtzee, people would have just steadily left the site. And we didn't have an established userbase at all that the Escapist had the huge luxury of. I alone paid for the software, the hosting, and set it all up by my fucking self with absolutely no ad revenue or team to help me.

I'm not telling you this to get pity. Stuff happens and things sometimes, for whatever reason, don't work out. Ok. But for you to come in here and shit all over soemone's creation and community like this just for existing... It begs the question of what you even do with your life besides be a worthless drag on society.
 

Elijin

Outlander
Messages
10
Hah.


I have a look every now and then to see if anything came of this.

When I do, if I see something that warrants it, I give critical feedback. An outsiders voice on your situation. Which is important, because you're trying to attract the attention of outsiders. I've never stayed because neither the content or userbase has managed to trigger that thought so far.

Times like now. Where for all practical purposes, you have too much on your plate and are shuttering the site. But through some weird reason (Pride? Stubborness? Idealism? Optimism?) you're trying to present the shuttering as a temporary measure which will lead to a resurgence of the site instead of being straight with people.

I'd say dont take your shit out on me because I pop in to be a critical voice every now and then but I dont really care about your petty personal attacks, so let them stand for themselves as to the success of the community and your ability to grow and foster such a thing.
 

Arnox

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Hah.


I have a look every now and then to see if anything came of this.

When I do, if I see something that warrants it, I give critical feedback. An outsiders voice on your situation. Which is important, because you're trying to attract the attention of outsiders. I've never stayed because neither the content or userbase has managed to trigger that thought so far.

Times like now. Where for all practical purposes, you have too much on your plate and are shuttering the site. But through some weird reason (Pride? Stubborness? Idealism? Optimism?) you're trying to present the shuttering as a temporary measure which will lead to a resurgence of the site instead of being straight with people.

I'd say dont take your shit out on me because I pop in to be a critical voice every now and then but I dont really care about your petty personal attacks, so let them stand for themselves as to the success of the community and your ability to grow and foster such a thing.
I don't care about critical voices. There's been a fair bit of criticism already by other members here. But that's all you do, quite literally. And it's not even good criticism. Just crap I and everybody else already know, whenever it's not flat out wrong that is.

If I wanted to shut the site down, I'd just shut it down instead of this long slow... Whatever this is. Alternatively, I could give the site over to someone else. Regardless, I wouldn't do it by pretending to temporarily close the site.
 

Signa

Libertarian Contrarian
Sanctuary legend
Messages
684
I just don't understand how read only mode is anything other than a complete negative to the health of the website. Why would anyone sign up for a community they can't participate in? If you're convinced that not going to read only mode is a slow death, then I say go for the slow death. Better than the instant death that no posting allowed will deal.
 

Arnox

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Have a good idea. Talking it over with Mono (as soon as he gets back). I'm gonna close the poll a little early though. I think it's clear at this point what everyone wants.
 
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