What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Revitalizing JREF

Emoni

先輩
Joined
20 Sep 2003
Messages
1,767
Reaction score
65
JREF has had its ups and downs, just like with everything in the world. It provides information and a venue for some very good discussion even if sometimes there is quirks in the road at times.

However, the past year there seems to have been a serious drop in posting and energy on the forum. What happened?

I'm curious as to what ideas might exist as to why this is the case and if there is anything that might be done to rejuvenate the forums.
 

dreamer

Sempai
Joined
15 Aug 2003
Messages
2,037
Reaction score
24
People just come and go away...that's life ^^
Some probably lost their interest in Japan (Just like mine is rapidly dropping right now), others have found something better.

It's always hard when some of the most active members leave to find their happiness, but we should be glad for them !

Anyways, one solution would be to find active members?
 

Mikawa Ossan

気づいたらカッパだ
Joined
17 Sep 2005
Messages
4,924
Reaction score
227
Yes, posting thoughtful posts and creating new threads about Japan certianly helps a forum stay strong.

That's really the key in the end, I think. Strong participation to draw others into the conversation.

(He says as his own contribution to the forum has dwindled to a trickle...)
 

Aurura

Reaching out...
Joined
14 Nov 2008
Messages
366
Reaction score
6
Another big factor are the topics spoken of in the main Forum threads. Some of these lead to big arguements that can discourage folks from revisiting the site.

It would be great if specific groups were created for specific topics that, while they are important and do effect life everywhere in the world, do not directly reperesent Japanese language, geography, penpal service, travel info and things of that nature which JRef originally advertises and provides.
 

Pachipro

JREF Resident Alien
Rest in Peace
Joined
19 Jan 2005
Messages
1,831
Reaction score
225
I believe that the drops in posts/participation have been partly due to the disappearence of Maciamo as he had a knack of tweeking the nerve in many people making them post mainly because they disagreed with him. Granted, some of his posts were argumentative and I disagreed with his viewpoints often, but I enjoyed the debate. Also, even if he disagreed with me he often gave me "rep points" for my stance and viewpoints. That, to me, is a true and honest debator.

The point is he instilled thought in people that made them post whether they agreed with him or not. Just look at the number of replies on many of his threads and you will see what I mean.

Unfortunately, many people took his arguments/views to heart and thought him smug or stuck up or "holier than thou" and begged for his banishment even though he was an admin and a part owner of this site and, due to the overwhelming posts against him, he removed himself as an admin and a participant when he left Japan. This has left a hole in JREF that has not been filled as of yet and the participation has dwindled dramatically. I for one wish he would return as he had a knack of starting threads that I wish I had as they forced people to participate just to express their viewpoint whether they agreed with him or not and he often touched on points that many people have thought about, but never posted about.

The man mastered reading, writing, and speaking Japanese in, I believe, less than a year, was quite read and learned in Japanese culture and was not afraid to express his viewpoint knowing he would be disagreed with.

However, if you debated him, you better come armed and prepared as he would tear you to shreds if you were not up on Japan and the Japanese
culture. Many were not armed, taken to task, and called for his head when they got "hurt" and lostv the argument/debate. And, in the end, they won.

Also, to be fair, there were many who were armed, but could not present themselves articulately as were those who were armed, but got angry when they were presented with flaws in their argument. I was among those, but I did not call for his head. I just had to find a way to make myself more artiuculate and I did after much frustration. In the end, he forced participation on my part as he made me think before I posted.

Also, this a forum about Japan and, over time, many of the same questions get asked over and over and over again without the poster/thread starter even doing a search. Therefore, many of the long-termers like myself do not even bother answering as it does get tiresome and redundant after a while.

These days I only post when I feel I have something to offer as there are many experts here living in Japan long term that can offer much like Glenski, Mike Cash, Mikawa Ossan, Epigine, Dutch Baka, etc. to name among many others too numerous to mention like those that own their own business/school that they can offer far much than I can.

Therefore, we need thread starters that can incite participation in the
same vein as Maciamo when it comes to speaking about Japan. Sure, there are many who can start threads that invite participation in the fields of religion and science like Mycernius and Tsuyoiko, or Astroboy when it comes to economics and Japan or even myself with my conspiracy theories, but there are few who can invite such participation when it comes to Japan as Maciamo did.

Even though there were many like myself who can answer a thread and participate, there are few who can start a thread to invite mass participation.

This, I feel is what is lacking in JREF and I wish I had the knack Maciamo had for inviting participation and getting people to reply.
 

Glenski

Just me
Joined
20 Aug 2003
Messages
4,808
Reaction score
405
What we also need it to remove the French language from the menus and buttons. What's that all about anyway? Two mods have not answered my PM, and I can't see my general public post on this matter.
 

Uncle Frank

SECURITY
Admin
Joined
21 May 2003
Messages
11,512
Reaction score
1,400
By any chance ???

What we also need it to remove the French language from the menus and buttons. What's that all about anyway? Two mods have not answered my PM, and I can't see my general public post on this matter.

At the top left, under MY SETTINGS , is a thing with 4 flags for the language you want to use. Any chance you clicked on French by mistake?
That was the only way I could make any French appear on my screen.

Uncle Frank

 

Jericho Desu

七転八起
Joined
23 Feb 2008
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
28
Well I think one reason is that most interesting topics have been explored and exhausted, there just doesn't seem to be any 'freshness'. This leads to something Pachipro touched on, its the people who make Jref interesting, but there doesn't seem to be many 'wildcards' nowdays, except maybe Astroboy 😊
 

Emoni

先輩
Joined
20 Sep 2003
Messages
1,767
Reaction score
65
Some interesting replies so far. I do want to stress that I'm not trying to knock down JREF for not being as active again, and mostly looking to bring into discussion and more life into how things can rise back up.

Another big factor are the topics spoken of in the main Forum threads. Some of these lead to big arguements that can discourage folks from revisiting the site.
It would be great if specific groups were created for specific topics that, while they are important and do effect life everywhere in the world, do not directly reperesent Japanese language, geography, penpal service, travel info and things of that nature which JRef originally advertises and provides.

Not sure what topics you are talking about, but segregating the forum even further when it already has like a hundred sub forums and cracking down on posting (when it isn't needed at all) will certainly drive people away. It would me for sure. I'm not sure how this would bring more people to the forum at all unless I'm completely misunderstanding your point.

What we also need it to remove the French language from the menus and buttons. What's that all about anyway? Two mods have not answered my PM, and I can't see my general public post on this matter.

lol I couldn't help but laugh at the randomness of this problem. Didn't even know this was possible.

I believe that the drops in posts/participation have been partly due to the disappearence of Maciamo as he had a knack of tweeking the nerve in many people making them post mainly because they disagreed with him.

I do have to say, some of his posts made me wonder "what?!" on occasion. I don't remember seeing anything absolutely awful though. Often he started some very large threads, that lasted quite some time (and still are) I had taken a break from JRef during the time he "left" so all I heard were rumors that he "snapped." Never gave much thought to it really to be honest.

It would be nice to see some lively threads again. It seems half the new posters that show up lately are simply intent on trolling behavior in inventive forms, or general trouble making... that is when there ARE new posters.
 

Jean-Francois

Sempai
Joined
18 Jan 2004
Messages
288
Reaction score
9
Hello, I am back. I have been away for a long long time because I thought my computer was hacked... plus I was too busy preparing for my licensing exam. Anyway, since I found out it wasn't a hacker that went after me but GOD and I was laid off last week, now I have a lot of time to PARTY! So, what's new? Arggghh.... I want to buy the Red and White Singing Competition 2009 DVD so badly.

Does any of you know where to get it aside from YouTube? Domo Arigato in advance! By the way, I may not be able to reply in a timely manner because I haven't installed my internet back (I thought my computers were hacked, remember?).
 

Ashikaga

もちもちした食感
Joined
19 Feb 2008
Messages
2,195
Reaction score
81
I, for one, would hate to see people starting threads just for the sake of riling others up, thinking "He he he... THIS will surely get ppl talking!".

Then again, if that is the only way to make this forum "alive", debate/argue away by all means. Wouldn't that drive old timers away, though?
 

Jericho Desu

七転八起
Joined
23 Feb 2008
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
28
Ashikaga-san your right of course, having threads of quality is what is needed not threads of arguing. Usually forums are kept alive due to modern 'happenings', like in a games forum the latest games would be discussed or what people would hope would be in a game etc...
For this forum the news and 'latest stuff' sections are pretty quiet, but I know alot happens in Japan, maybe something can be done there?
 

Emoni

先輩
Joined
20 Sep 2003
Messages
1,767
Reaction score
65
I, for one, would hate to see people starting threads just for the sake of riling others up, thinking "He he he... THIS will surely get ppl talking!".
Then again, if that is the only way to make this forum "alive", debate/argue away by all means. Wouldn't that drive old timers away, though?

I'm not sure anyone is actually promoting trolling here. I think the point was that some people tended to get others talking one way or another, and there was a downside to running them off rather than finding a way to work together with them.
 

tada

変わってる
Joined
23 Jun 2008
Messages
582
Reaction score
3
I think I have stopped posting here for the most part, because when I read posts here, I get either scared (i.e. threads about the economy and job prospects), jealous (threads about the cool things about Japan), or depressed (pretty much the same threads that make me scared). So, I guess it's a natural reaction for me to stop posting here.
 

Tsuyoiko

DON'T PANIC!
Joined
11 Mar 2005
Messages
3,060
Reaction score
165
I think that a few members who have joined recently have injected some new life into the forum. And I also think that the forum is, on the whole, a better place without Maciamo 👍
 

Davey

Moderator
Moderator
Contributor
Joined
5 Feb 2005
Messages
7,540
Reaction score
587
@Emoni

Thank you for making this thread, it's interesting to see what everyone is thinking. The forum, and the website haven't been updated a lot; still the same logo, information that haven't been updated since 2005, etc. I have first moved all the French, German, and Italian posts, so that we can concentrate on English and Japanese.

One thing that always makes me post better and longer are reputation points, it makes me feel that people appreciate what I am writing. So I want people to stimulate to keep using that.

I will keep doing my best to improve my posts and other people their posting. Thanks for the thread Emoni.

(better without Maciamo? mmm maybe the forum, but not the whole website.)
 
Last edited:

Emoni

先輩
Joined
20 Sep 2003
Messages
1,767
Reaction score
65
2005 isn't THAT out of date really... I still wonder though why Maciamo turns off so many posters here. I wasn't here when he left, but I never saw that much of a negative aspect really to be honest. I guess I wasn't here during that time so I'll just let that be its own topic elsewhere.

I'm sure the forum will be fine.
 

senseiman

先輩
Joined
24 Jun 2003
Messages
628
Reaction score
46
I haven't been posting on here much recently either.

I've been a member long enough (can't believe it'll be 6 years this year) to know that my rate of posting goes through periods where I'll make a lot of posts for a few months and then go and post nothing for a few months. I think though that over the past couple of years my posting has been on a more long-term decline.

I think what has been said above is pretty accurate, particularly Pachipro. I liked Maciamo's posts and thought he was a very good contributor (though I had issues with his moderation).

On a personal level I think I just find a lot of the threads aren't to my interest. Like I'll click the "new posts" button and I'll get 25 threads about J-Pop, manga and a million other things I'm not interested in so I just lost interest. I'm certainly not saying thats a bad thing, its great that people like those things and post about them. I'm just saying that it isn't really my thing so I end up spending more time on other forums where the threads hold my interest a bit more. I'm not sure but I get the general feeling that there used to be more threads that interested me (history, politics, current events, Japanese life by long term residents, etc) a few years ago than there have been recently. I might be wrong (admittedly I haven't been checking in much lately) but thats the general feeling I get.
 

Mycernius

The Hairy Wookie
Joined
4 Feb 2005
Messages
4,511
Reaction score
196
One problem seems to be that the music crowd seem to post only in the music section now. There were a few who used to post outside the music forum, but they seem to have left or post count has dropped. I know that most of them are our youngest members, but maybe a way could be found to try and encourage them to post outside of that one section.
 

ArmandV

Eight Times To Japan
Contributor
Joined
18 Oct 2004
Messages
2,398
Reaction score
106
Perhaps people had other concerns that came first and put JREF on the back burner. I wasn't active here all that much last year as I concentrated on work/finding work and the campaign.
 

MadamePapillon

Fear my Niftyness
Joined
1 Jul 2007
Messages
506
Reaction score
31
I'm not sure about other people but personally, my reason for leaving the forum for almost a year was the strict posting regulations. This is not meant to criticize or bash the rules of the forum but there were several instances in which a thread was started and the topic was discussed and then (as conversations will) it started going off topic and sometimes there would be some light-hearted humorous off-topic discussions that I thought were really fun and harmless but I would look the next day and all the off topic posts had been deleted and the thread closed and there would be a warning in it's place.

Personally that was a huge turn off and posting here sort of lost some of it's fun because after a few occasions of that happening the discussions started feeling stilted and censored.

As well the vast number of people that had begun to bash new members for asking simple questions. Or someone would voice an opinion and there would be an outcry of 'prove it', 'where is your source material', 'do you have documented proof of what you say', 'do you have a PHd in the subject, no, well then keep you mouth shut'.

In short, posting here was no long enjoyable or fun as it seemed like asking even a simple question would turn into a furious debate and a bash-fest. It seems to have calmed down some since I've been gone, however, but I'd just say that sometimes people need to lighten up. :p
 

Aurura

Reaching out...
Joined
14 Nov 2008
Messages
366
Reaction score
6
I highly appreciate what you've written, MadamePapillon.
 

Emoni

先輩
Joined
20 Sep 2003
Messages
1,767
Reaction score
65
I'm not sure about other people but personally, my reason for leaving the forum for almost a year was the strict posting regulations.

Agreed. It turned me off quite a bit when there was a period almost a year ago of a turn towards extremely stiff regulations of being on-topic to an EXACT manner, and harsh oversight by certain individuals at one point. This seems to have faded away a while ago though. More openness to new members is needed, I agree there. However, when a new poster comes on the board to purposefully troll or incite trouble (which has happened recently in the past month) they deserve what they get in response.
 

Emoni

先輩
Joined
20 Sep 2003
Messages
1,767
Reaction score
65
I shivered to think I'd take that Wal-Mart sign more seriously than the common "faux-Homeless" near a stop light.
 
Top Bottom