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Site Review

Demon_Skeith

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Below are reviews for the site:

Pumpkin Queen said:
Gaming Latest
Review by Pumpkin Queen/Teg

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First Impressions
Hi there, Demon_skeith! I just want to say that I really enjoyed going through your forum. It's easy to navigate, easy on the eyes, and well designed! As a gamer, I feel I might be slightly more biased than I initially thought. Though, I'm pretty sure my criticism will include something constructive. The very first thing that stands out to me about the forum is the colors and layout. I love both of those two things in combination with each other!

Excellent


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Design Quality
Honestly, the design of your forum is my favorite thing about it. As a fan of dark colored themes, I really enjoy the design of your forum. The dark gray and black colors fit so nicely with the blue hues. The white; gray; and blue text, match the theme great as well. Even the logo seems flawless to me. I love how simple it is with the colors and how it stands out just enough to make the rest of the design flourish around it. The only thing that I could suggest, as far as changes to the design--since it's coming close to a holiday--is to add something unique to the logo/header related to Halloween. It would make your forum stand out and would allow your members and potential members to see that you guys care enough to recognize events such as Holidays.

The icons for the gaming related boards and the categories are a nice touch. They stand out and let the users--both members and visitors--know what is what. Aside from the overall theme, that's probably my other favorite thing about the forum.

Excellent


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Site Statistics
Honestly, this was the only negative thing I found on the forum. Your site has been around since 2007. It's almost 2016. Adding to that your member count is over 1600. However, that being said, I feel like your forum should have way more posts and threads than it currently has. But, I do realize that, at times, forum activity may go down and then be revived. Even then, for as long as you've been online, you should have more posts and such. As for your staff posting, I think they're doing an excellent job. The only persons activity feed I cannot see is TooCool74.

Good


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Originality
As far as originality goes, I think you hit the nail on the head there. Honestly, most gaming forums are consistent with one specific game. It's actually annoying to see forums like that. At least for me. I've only seen a handful of General Gaming discussions that allow for the chatting of all types of gaming consoles, games, etc. So that, in itself, is original. Kudos. Another thing I like, about your particular site--that I don't see other places--is that all of your main discussion boards are towards the top of the forum with the information stuff at the bottom. I don't see that on many sites and I think it works nicely on yours.

Another thing that makes me feel as though your forum is original is the information area at the bottom that links to different things and has a small "About Us" section. It's nifty, and I absolutely love that.
Excellent


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Site Structure
Structure wise, I think your forum is sound. As I stated above, I like how the main forums are at the top and the support area, feedback, and announcements areas at the bottom. Your forum is pretty easy to navigate. I didn't notice the "Help Area" at first until I went looking for it. I think it might be a great idea to change the font color of that link so that it stands out like the "Recent Posts" link in the nav. In addition to that, maybe make the "Rules" as a link on the nav instead of having them on the Help Area page because some people might not think to look there. That page itself is appealing, and I appreciate the fact that it's done in a database style--alphabetically.

Good


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Spelling & Professionalism
Spelling and Grammar could be better. However, honestly, it's a lot better than on other forums I've viewed and done reviews on. With this being a "fun" gaming forum, I understand that things might not be perfect or too toned off so as to not give the wrong impression to your visitors. However, it's still important to use correct spelling and grammar, especially when posting announcements or answering to support and feedback related areas. It's important to remain professional as well.

Possibly till the end of the month I'll be making various changes to the forum daily, in the posts below are all the changes. Full detailed explanations will come later on.

The above quote is from the very top post in your announcements board. When posting an announcement, you should always use the full version of words. You should not use slang. The first sentence reads weird to me and sounds strange when reading aloud. Since I'm looking at the staff's professionalism, spelling, and grammar, I'd suggest the following change: "Possibly, until the end of the month, I'll be making various changes to the forum on a daily basis. In the posts below, you will find them. In the future, full--detailed--explanations for each change will be given."

I'm not going to go all spelling, punctuation, and grammar Nazi on you because that's not what I do. I just wanted you to be aware that it's important to make sure that those areas remain professional at all times.

I think your staff is doing an excellent job. They all seem to be handling themselves well and acting professional at all times unless professionalism is not required.

Average


Final Remarks
Overall, I love your forum. Granted, I said that at the beginning. Please keep in mind that any suggestions that I've made are my personal preferences. That excludes grammar, spelling, punctuation, and professionalism advice. I wish you the best of luck with your forum, and I'll be sure to hang around there for a bit.​

Biggest like about the website?: The design itself is what draws me to the site. I don't remember this theme being there when I joined.
Biggest dislike about the website?: The rules page not being out in the open to stand out from the rest of the content.
What could I do to make you (the Reviewer) join my website?: I'm already a member. :p


Your Score
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J-RAY

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worked for me. The dude seemed ok with the place. I suppose that's a good thing.
 

WitchAssassin

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I liked all the things that they pointed out in the review. I find reviews helpful and beneficial when they point out the things that they think may need work on (after all, that is the whole point in the review).
 

VirusZero

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Their review was ok... except for one bit which kind of bothered me. And it's a section of every review from FP that I've ever seen. (And it's something I argued against when asked for comments regarding reviews.)

The ratios/statistics section is by and large a useless (and somewhat arbitrary) section in a review. Most admins have a pretty good idea what their site's stats are. (And in most cases they have tools available to them that can give them more in-depth info than a reviewer could. To the point that some software will break down how many posts were made on a monthly, weekly or daily basis for a period of time of the admin's choosing. And if they have any extra mods they might even be able to tell which sections are getting how much activity.) So this section likely doesn't really offer them any new or useful information.

So having a reviewer take time reiterating stats to them is both a needless waste of the reviewer's time (and the person getting the review done) while also serving to pad the length of reviews.

Plus as a side issue, it only really ever seems to drag a site's score down. Typically punishing those getting a review because most sites seem to get low scores here. (Typically enough to drop them out of the higher level scores to warrant featuring. )

Furthermore, it can come off as a deliberate slap to the site being review for an area they really don't always have control over. (I mean that admins and staff can post, but in many cases activity also depends on other users too. And there are days when some users may not post much or even sign on due to being busy with real life stuff. So this is really a difficult category to judge a site on in a review.)

Honestly, this was the only negative thing I found on the forum. Your site has been around since 2007. It's almost 2016. Adding to that your member count is over 1600. However, that being said, I feel like your forum should have way more posts and threads than it currently has. But, I do realize that, at times, forum activity may go down and then be revived. Even then, for as long as you've been online, you should have more posts and such. As for your staff posting, I think they're doing an excellent job.

Basically they threw out that GL is not active/large enough. But how large is large enough? How big should GL be? They never stated explicitly and even if they did it wouldn't make their comment comes off any less insulting really. Plus, as an aside, who cares if the site is 8 years old and has 24,000 topics with 155,000 posts (rounded of course)? I mean most sites don't even last a year, let alone 8. Especially ones from users on FP... they seem to shrivel up and die off in like 4-5 months.
 

VirusZero

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Honestly I don't think post count should ever be a measure of success for a site. It's an arbitrary number. You can build/use a bot to create hundreds of topics a day (they'd all be junk, but that's not the point) if post count mattered that much and was any real measure of success. But since that's obviously not the case... It's the quality of the posts that matters more.

Besides, truthfully over 150,000 posts is nothing to sneeze at. Again, most sites don't get that large. They die off fairly early.
 

Demon_Skeith

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Honestly I don't think post count should ever be a measure of success for a site. It's an arbitrary number. You can build/use a bot to create hundreds of topics a day (they'd all be junk, but that's not the point) if post count mattered that much and was any real measure of success. But since that's obviously not the case... It's the quality of the posts that matters more.

Besides, truthfully over 150,000 posts is nothing to sneeze at. Again, most sites don't get that large. They die off fairly early.

I would support staff active count, because staff should be active and contribute a lot. But that be about it.
 

VirusZero

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A few possible ways. Either the bot could be programmed to just insert random words selected from a preloaded dictionary or entire pre-composed posts that you program in. It wouldn't be able to spontaneously create coherent topics to talk about specific games and what they're like... (At least not without a serious boost in the complexity. Mimicking intelligent human speech/thought patterns is difficult to say the least.)

At best you'd have either posts like: "random fidget purple drop while" or loads of exact copies of specific posts like "What is your favourite colour?". (Spambots are the most commonly encountered version of the second type. They have a few precomposed posts that they just drop wherever they can.)

I suppose a bot could crawl other forums to gather posts to then repost... But again that comes with the caveat that the complexity to create it increases drastically. (Because it has to first find an appropriate forum, locate a topic, copy the contents into it's own database, analyze post based on keywords to know where to put the topic, locate the target forum, insert topic into correct location.) It likely wouldn't be as tough as creating a bot that could create it's own topics that made sense... but it wouldn't exactly be easy either.
 

Demon_Skeith

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I saw those bots, really make a forum looks bad.

I know when I was really getting GF underway with @Spiritwarrior as my co-admin we set up a bunch of RSS feeds that brought in a ton of posts, but sadly that was making up most of the content and really turning our post count into a junky one since the feeds just gave one line of text and then a link to the rest.
 

WitchAssassin

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The fact that you've been around since 2007 and the site is still going strong....that says a lot about you and the forum. I wouldn't worry about that too much. I think you've been doing a good job with that so far because you seem dedicated to your site.
 
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