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Author Topic: Popularity of PEEL today from a Futurama perspective  (Read 2382 times)
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PEE Poll: Did you think PEEL would be more popular today from a Futurama perspective?
Yes   -3 (21.4%)
No   -2 (14.3%)
I'm surprised PEEL still exists at all   -9 (64.3%)
Total Voters: 14

Otis P Jivefunk

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« on: 04-03-2019 23:52 »

I don't go on PEEL very often at all these days, but I'm a bit surprised by how dead it's becoming (until a load of silent voters appear perhaps?...)

From a Futurama perspective I know that the show has ended and no new episodes means less new blood, but even still I always thought that repeats and syndication would have given PEEL a continual influx of new posters. That mixed with the cult popularity of the show made me think it would remain healthy and PEEL would die before it become dead.

Cast your mind back, did you think that the Futurama forum of PEEL by today would be more or less popular?


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winna

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« Reply #1 on: 04-04-2019 06:21 »

We stopped getting new blood because registration was suspended, not because Futurama became less popular.  That's why it's so dead around.

Nice to see you still working on your voodoo guy comic though. big grin
Svip

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« Reply #2 on: 04-04-2019 07:34 »

Is the suspended registration going to remain in effect forever?  Like what if someone wanted to take over with moderation?  Or is an old forum software like SMF too time consuming to manage in an age of spambots?
DannyJC13

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« Reply #3 on: 04-04-2019 19:32 »

We stopped getting new blood because registration was suspended, not because Futurama became less popular.  That's why it's so dead around.

This. I have no doubt that we would see little spikes of activity in ontopic fairly often if new users could still sign-up.
Otis P Jivefunk

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« Reply #4 on: 04-04-2019 23:16 »

Pardon my ignorance, but I honestly didn't know about registration being suspended. I've just looked at when the last new user registered and I see it was in 2015. No news to you guys, but news to me. No wonder it's so quiet around here. Is there any plans to let new users register again?
Farnsworth38

Professor
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« Reply #5 on: 04-05-2019 00:03 »

No idea, but there are usually quite a few 'guests' shown as being online. Some will be registered users not logged in, and probably some bots, but the number could include a few casual visitors who would join if they were able.
Gorky

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« Reply #6 on: 04-05-2019 00:05 »
« Last Edit on: 04-05-2019 00:09 »

Eh, even if registration were reopened, I doubt we'd see a big uptick in activity here. There's definitely still a ton of interest in Futurama--its Subreddit proves that--but people are no longer coming to places like PEEL to satisfy that nerdy itch. Message boards like this one were pretty much fucked by the ascendancy of Reddit and social media more generally, along with the shift from people accessing the internet primarily on a laptop/desktop to doing so on a phone, tablet, or similar doohickey. That's why I think a PEEL app (which would make it much easier to browse and post on a mobile device) would be our best shot at renewing interest in the site from long-lost PEELers--but, alas, I don't see that happening.

Which is a real shame, because there's something about PEEL that places like Reddit or Facebook will never be able to emulate. Like, part of PEEL's appeal has always been its relatively tight-knit feel--there are nearly 13,000 registered users, sure, but even in its heyday there were never more than a couple hundred super-duper active PEELers at any given time--and you just don't get that on an enormous platform like Reddit. I mean, the Futurama Subreddit is basically one giant on-topic forum--which is fine if you just want to talk about Futurama, but that's not always what the mood calls for. PEEL, meanwhile, is a one-stop shop for conversation on any conceivable topic under the sun, with a self-selected, quasi-curated list of conversationalists who all have one major thing in common (i.e., their Futurama fandom)--which just makes the whole endeavor that much more rewarding, satisfying, what-have-you.

But I digress. I guess I never thought the board's fortunes were inextricably tied to the show's...and, with that in mind, I suppose I would have expected PEEL to be far more alive-'n'-kickin' than it currently is.
winna

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« Reply #7 on: 04-05-2019 06:08 »

Is the suspended registration going to remain in effect forever?  Like what if someone wanted to take over with moderation?  Or is an old forum software like SMF too time consuming to manage in an age of spambots?

As far as I recall, that was the purpose for suspending registration.  I've tried discussing the topic multiple times, but obviously I don't own the board.  I think [-mArc-] and slimmy are still get ahold able of, but I'm still unsure about their feelings on the matter.
My best guess is that if someone were moderating against the spambots, it would be quite a rigorous and vigilant action to undertake.

Pardon my ignorance, but I honestly didn't know about registration being suspended. I've just looked at when the last new user registered and I see it was in 2015. No news to you guys, but news to me. No wonder it's so quiet around here. Is there any plans to let new users register again?

As far as I was aware, most people were not aware of the fact... I found out at some point because reasons.  I figured you might like to know--nice thread btw, I bet you get 20+ votes. wink

Eh, even if registration were reopened, I doubt we'd see a big uptick in activity here. There's definitely still a ton of interest in Futurama--its Subreddit proves that--but people are no longer coming to places like PEEL to satisfy that nerdy itch. Message boards like this one were pretty much fucked by the ascendancy of Reddit and social media more generally, along with the shift from people accessing the internet primarily on a laptop/desktop to doing so on a phone, tablet, or similar doohickey. That's why I think a PEEL app (which would make it much easier to browse and post on a mobile device) would be our best shot at renewing interest in the site from long-lost PEELers--but, alas, I don't see that happening.

Which is a real shame, because there's something about PEEL that places like Reddit or Facebook will never be able to emulate. Like, part of PEEL's appeal has always been its relatively tight-knit feel--there are nearly 13,000 registered users, sure, but even in its heyday there were never more than a couple hundred super-duper active PEELers at any given time--and you just don't get that on an enormous platform like Reddit. I mean, the Futurama Subreddit is basically one giant on-topic forum--which is fine if you just want to talk about Futurama, but that's not always what the mood calls for. PEEL, meanwhile, is a one-stop shop for conversation on any conceivable topic under the sun, with a self-selected, quasi-curated list of conversationalists who all have one major thing in common (i.e., their Futurama fandom)--which just makes the whole endeavor that much more rewarding, satisfying, what-have-you.

But I digress. I guess I never thought the board's fortunes were inextricably tied to the show's...and, with that in mind, I suppose I would have expected PEEL to be far more alive-'n'-kickin' than it currently is.

Peel app isn't something [-mArc-] has seemed much enthusiastic about in the past; Gopher was building something akin to that before mobile phones were as ubiquitous as they are today, but was asked by someone to discontinue his project.

I think the fact that peel is difficult to emulate, because of its layout and general composition, makes it quite a good candidate for existing long term, if given the opportunity.  Members come and go, but with the general norms that peel has traditionally kept to, by its members, I think it could have decent longevity if given the chance, but that that requires inclusiveness.  Whether that inclusiveness is worth the hassle or not is debatable though--I was asking for moderation powers a few years ago with the intent of having registration open, but I work a lot, and I don't know if I want to cull away illegitimate traffic a couple hours most days now; I don't necessarily want or need moderation powers, and would be quite content if others wanted to try the task.  Those are just my thoughts though.
Svip

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« Reply #8 on: 04-05-2019 10:57 »

I already host The Infosphere on my webserver.  Put another way, I already host a dedicated webserver, and I'd be willing to take over maintenance of PEEL, if [-mArc-] was willing to relinquish it.  Initially I wouldn't change much, but I'd probably upgrade SMF.  We are still using a 2006 version, but SMF's newest version is from 2017, 2.0.15.

I do believe, though, that PEEL could benefit for reopening registrations again.  But we ought to do so in a controlled fashion.  And if I was running PEEL, I would only re-open registrations until I was certain we were protected against spambots.  The Infosphere requires all users to be approved before they can edit.

But even The Infosphere is not seeing much use.  Although, I will confess, there have been some issues with it lately due to a PHP upgrade.  But I believe they should have been solved.
winna

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« Reply #9 on: 04-05-2019 21:23 »

Captcha has come a long way, and that might be usefully employed with registration.  I'm supportive of you, or anyone else, interested in taking some of those responsibilities, and to some degree I wouldn't mind helping out myself.
Otis P Jivefunk

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« Reply #10 on: 04-07-2019 23:30 »

I definitely think it would benefit from opening up registration again. A place like this needs fresh opinions and thoughts and that would help create conversation for older members too.

With other new shows like Disenchantment too, even more people could stumble upon this place.
DannyJC13

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« Reply #11 on: 04-10-2019 22:30 »

I wholeheartedly agree with Otis! It would be nice to see a spark of life return to this place. I miss discussing Futurama in depth.
Svip

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« Reply #12 on: 04-10-2019 22:44 »

I too am of that sentiment, but SMF is an old piece of software, and it doesn't have decent protection against spambots.  Allowing for new registration would require more active maintenance of PEEL than what is currently happening.  In fact, PEEL is left to witter, as no one really maintains the server it is run on, nor is there any real moderation going on.

You can get away with avoiding that by turning off registration.  To turn it back on, the old administrators and moderators would need to come back and be active again, or as I am proposing, hand it over to someone else, like myself and winna.
Tachyon

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« Reply #13 on: 04-11-2019 04:23 »

Personally, I adamantly oppose granting anyone else access to PMs on PEEL, beyond the select few who currently have that privilege.

winna

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« Reply #14 on: 04-11-2019 06:03 »

That's a pretty weird thing to come up with, but it's not a totally unwarranted position to state.
I've had access to various portions of peel over the years, and I also feel as though svip is professional enough to maintain the server if given the chance.
It's even possible, if the entire forum were updated, that pms could be encrypted to prevent whatever your concern is.
Tachyon

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« Reply #15 on: 04-11-2019 06:16 »

I don't distrust svip, or anyone else, in particular. My concern is with additional people having the ability to read deeply personal, private communications that PEELers have sent one another over the years. Mine included.

Svip

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« Reply #16 on: 04-11-2019 07:44 »

I understand your concern, Tachyon.  But if I'm also understanding you correctly, you oppose the scheme winna and I are proposing, because it would involve granting more people (specifically winna and me) access to the entirety of the PEEL database?

My point being, are you suggesting that you are OK with the status quo to avoid that change in privilege?  I'm definitely ambivalent to do anything (or propose anything) for PEEL that doesn't have broad support.  And considering you being one of the most active members here, I'd argue your support is a requirement.
Tachyon

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« Reply #17 on: 04-11-2019 08:42 »

I am but one person. And of course have no wish whatsoever to foment dissent. So speaking for myself only, I'd be fine with transferring operation, so long as the PMs are somehow sequestered, or securely deleted.

Svip

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« Reply #18 on: 04-11-2019 09:17 »

What about people who wish to maintain their PMs on PEEL?  To avoid accidental looking, any eventual sequestering or deletion would have to be done indiscriminately, which may harm those who did not wish to have their PM history deleted.

Speaking for myself, it's a loss I can live with, although it would bother me.  Although I do consider your concerns to outweigh my mild complaints.  You could, of course, also delete them manually.  I doubt SMF somehow preserves them.  However, that would only delete those on your end, not those in other people's inboxes you've sent.
winna

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« Reply #19 on: 04-11-2019 22:26 »

PMs have been used on at least one occasion to moderate individuals for behavior toward other members that I am aware of.
There also has to exist some level of trust between the members of peel and the owners of the board to do what is generally best; there won't exist a perfect system, but I think peel has done pretty good.
I'm not actually interested in having mod or admin capacities, and especially not looking through people's pms. 
What I want, is for peel to be working as best as possible to promote semi-intelligible discourse in a manner that is displayed cleanly and easy to read/access.  I think other than registration being closed, peel achieves that.
If svip suggests updating the forum's software is doable to help facilitate opening registration, I trust his professional proficiency to make that call, and achieve it if given the chance.  I also trust his unbiased and caring professionalism from having talked to him if he were given that opportunity.
Lastly, peel is not Facebook.  Arguably there is little need to pass around secret personal information via pms through peel... Certainly not credit card data, as there are many other better avenues to share sensitive data.
I think it was beneficial to bring up that concern, but if registration were ever opened, and if Marc and slimmy decided to delegate duties of board maintenance, I would generally trust their judgement in such manner as I have in the past, with or without my input.
Those are just my thoughts though.
Svip

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« Reply #20 on: 04-11-2019 22:52 »

If we do re-open registrations, we will need moderators.  Only Tweek seems to be a somewhat active moderator, but he won't be enough.  I am not seeking moderation nor administration power, but if I am to maintain the board, it will probably be a necessity, but I will also do my part in moderating content.

While I am convinced that upgrading the forum software is doable, I have little estimation of what it entails, particularly to ensure a preservation of PEEL's quirks.  Like any forum software, upgrading is part of the process, and so too would SMF have such functionality.  That still won't mean it'll be painless.

I will know a lot more if I have access to the software and server, or at least a copy of it, itself.  My process would the standard process; first attempt to upgrade a copy, and see what issues I run into, for testing purposes.  And keep repeating that until I am satisfied with a low amount of downtime, and the results being satisfactory, before we do it on the actual live site.

Then once we've run a few days with the new forum software, and we've all confirmed that we haven't found any quirks lying about, we can start opening for registrations.  At this point, we should also have established a team of moderators.  I think, winna, you and I might want to consider doing a task force to gather a list of names, we would want to be moderators.

Some new members will arrive, that will prove quite worthy of the task itself.  I just wish to avoid flooding PEEL with members, and the essence of what makes PEEL PEEL is lost.  But at the same time, PEEL cannot survive without new blood.

But we need to get in contact with [-mArc-] and Slimmy about this.  CGEF and PEEL are still hosted on the same machine, and CGEF does get some updates, I see.  While I'll confess I am not interested in CGEF, if it makes the whole project easier to bring that along (along with WikiPEELia), then I am very OK with that.
Gorky

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« Reply #21 on: 04-12-2019 13:27 »

Not to incessantly beat this particular drum, but I think opening registration will only yield the results we want if the new software has drastically improved mobile accessibility (if not a dedicated app). Like, for example, I would not be opposed to taking on mod responsibilities in theory, but in practice I would need to do much of that moderating on my iPhone because I just don't have desktop access for most of the day.

Whether you all want me as a mod is a separate question, of course tongue...but I do think in general PEEL will generate more traffic if folks can easily read, post, etc. on a mobile device.
coffeeBot

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« Reply #22 on: 04-23-2019 20:40 »

I do think in general PEEL will generate more traffic if folks can easily read, post, etc. on a mobile device.

I agree. :/
winna

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« Reply #23 on: 04-25-2019 10:06 »
« Last Edit on: 04-25-2019 10:08 »

I see no personal problem with making one.
Though, from my perspective, PEEL is one of the easier to use websites for me to use on mobile.  
I usually double tap -> drag the grey columns to zoom in/out with one hand.
Clicking on the links on the right is a bit of a pain though.  I end up accidentally clicking the "mark all posts as read" link more often when trying to get to my pm box.
Edit: I use Chrome on an Android phone if that changes things in some significant manner; I'm not especially familiar with the IOS environment.
futurefreak

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« Reply #24 on: 04-28-2019 09:54 »

Wait why was registration suspended? confused

I do think in general PEEL will generate more traffic if folks can easily read, post, etc. on a mobile device.

I agree. :/


But, that's all I do! I don't even have a working computer at home. I pay $30 a month for the unlimited data text typical package, I'm good not shelling out more money for internet. Tachy knows how expertly equipped my thumbs are flirt

Honestly I came back today to post because of that thing fishyjeff posted in the PEEL group on facebook. Made me all nostalgic. *sniff*

It's difficult to get a new crowd of people when the show has long since ended, even if registration were open. Unless it were Firefly, now that masterpiece is timeless. love
coffeeBot

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« Reply #25 on: 05-01-2019 18:49 »

Wait why was registration suspended? confused

Sounds like the issue was spambots.
Monster_Robot_Maniac

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« Reply #26 on: 05-02-2019 23:39 »

It really is too bad that forums are going away these days - there's such a cool charm to being able to read back on reactions as they happened, looking back on your own posts, etc. You can't really do that with reddit, facebook, twiter, etc - it's just too clunky.

The nice thing about forums disappearing, though, is that niche communities like this just become more niche. It's cool to have been part of this community while it was still somewhat active.

I'm personally not huge on chatrooms, but you guys might be interested in making a Discord to keep the Peel spirit alive. It's basically the modern day equivalent of IRC or Skype, just a bit more intuitive.
Tachyon

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« Reply #27 on: 05-03-2019 00:21 »
« Last Edit on: 05-03-2019 00:43 »

We made a discord*, and it was pretty popular for about four or five days. Now it's mostly dead, and will remain so until Google kills Hangouts and the handful of people in the PEEL hangout migrate to the discord permanently.

I PM'd you a link to the Discord, rather than post it here and invite spambots. It should be good for a day or two.


* Or rather, Joshtheater made it smile

[edit]

The Discord admin is fine with posting a permalink here:

https://discord.gg/FjFycuW

Monster_Robot_Maniac

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« Reply #28 on: 05-06-2019 04:11 »

Thanks! Just joined the server.
slimmyCGEF

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« Reply #29 on: 08-13-2019 21:13 »

I only read about this topic now. Do we really think that opening registration would get new users to the forum? Perhaps we could set up a secondary system of registering users and we create the users manually after a verification process?

It sounds like a hacky quick fix, but then we'd be able to get new users on board.
Tachyon

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« Reply #30 on: 08-13-2019 22:19 »

I don't know what the volume would have been...a few people or a score of them. But for sure people have shown an interest and wanted to register. Would it make a difference at this juncture, given the sporadic posting here? Who knows?

[-mArc-]

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« Reply #31 on: 08-24-2019 19:31 »

Hey there,

I don't think the registration suspension was on purpose... My hunch is that one of the proxy/spam RDNS protection services that I had custom added to SMF years back shut down and set every IP to "that's a spammer" to force people off of their service. 

That said, I do feel a little uncomfortable reopening registration without moderation. Happy to consider more moderators and maybe get a more active admin added. Neither of those two can read PMs of others IIRC (will check before looking at admin additions).

I'm going to be busy with a few other things for a week or two but will look into the registration and connect with slimmy on mods/admins after.
winna

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« Reply #32 on: 08-31-2019 07:43 »

That sounds pretty cool!  Especially considering Futurama will be old enough to drink next year!
Cheers. big grin
Svip

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« Reply #33 on: 08-31-2019 21:38 »

Very interesting, [-mArc-].  I am confidence there are few still active around, who would volunteer to moderate.  I used to moderate on GTAForums.com about a decade ago.  Must be a lot more hectic now, but even back then should be less than what we can expect on PEEL.
NewPoppler

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« Reply #34 on: 09-04-2019 23:13 »

Registration is working again.
Svip

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« Reply #35 on: 09-04-2019 23:32 »

Oh my... excellent!  I am looking forward to some new blood.
Tweek

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« Reply #36 on: 09-05-2019 12:54 »

That is good news smile
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