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Kelleytoons
Forum Admin



6396 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2017 :  3:49:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Elsewhere another thread reminded me that every year I debate over whether to close down this forum, and perhaps it's time to move that decision/discussion to a public one (rather than just a personal one :>).

First of all, I have made some great and good friends here, and I have learned FAR more than I have ever given back. When Wes and I first started this forum, it was more a response to the issues we had over at the official, Lost Marble forum, than it was an actual NEED for me to have my own forum. I just wanted to have a place where we could discuss Anime Studio/Moho issues openly without being censored. And for a long time it was just that, a great place where lots of fantastic discussions helped a lot of people (again, including myself).

The times have changed greatly -- I don't feel unwelcomed over at Lost Marble (true, I don't feel WELCOMED, but it's more a neutrality, which is fine). And Moho itself is either coming to an end or at least winding down.

We still get a trickle of new members here each week, but they almost never post, and I think they come mostly from the YouTube videos I have posted. Speaking of which -- now even Dropbox is eliminating all the public links I have to my stuff here and changing them will be a major PITA. So that means for those few who DO come here looking for that stuff they won't be able to get it.

And discussions have practically been nil -- either folks have moved on from Moho, or they know all they need to know, or they are getting it elsewhere (like Lost Marble).

I pay around $180 per year for this site, and if I switch (because I have to have SOME web presence) to a non-database mode I think I can save over $100. Not a HUGE deal, but something to consider if this is just acting as some kind of vanity ghost town. Heck, we could even have a Facebook page if we want just a tiny bit of discussion area.

I'm getting back into Moho in a big way, and do intend to animate a lot this year, so it isn't that my interest has left. And I am willing to spend the money if there is any kind of interest from others. But I also don't want to just have this hanging here if I'm the only one who visits and posts regularly <g>.

So -- what do you guys (and gals, if any) think? Worth even having another year? Or do we all move on and say it was a nice ride? I will not be offended either way.

"Look, I made a hat...
Where there never was a hat"


-Mike "ex-genius" Kelley

SynthSin75
Administrator



USA
4483 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2017 :  4:29:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit SynthSin75's Homepage  Reply with Quote
For the amount of posts, especially where many members also post on the LM forum, and as much as I'd like to, I can't really make a good argument for keeping the AF going (other than nostalgia and sentiment). Posters will always find a larger audience for their work and questions there, even if some posts may get lost in the shuffle. I post over there frequently, and I would hope that our members would just post over there more (including you, Mike), if we decide to end the AF.

Mike, you've been very generous to fund this forum for all these years, and I have greatly appreciated the community here.

Even though SM has had financial trouble in recent years, there's no indication that Moho itself is ending. But if development were to slow, it might help to have all the active scripters at the LM forum again.



-Wes
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hayasidist
Gold Member



United Kingdom
1265 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2017 :  5:57:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I can see the logic in stopping this forum. I can also see that there's a wealth of wisdom - accepting that some of it is time-expired - that, IMO, is worth preserving.

For me this is the forum that, because it is a smaller more focused community, mean questions get a few quality responses. But I also agree there are other options.

When is the renewal date?
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Kelleytoons
Forum Admin



6396 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2017 :  7:49:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My yearly contract ends in May, so there are at least two or three months before any decision has to be made. And it's not *urgent* I end it even then -- just a thought process I go through every year.

Perhaps I should start posting on the LM forum again and see how I find it. One of the things that both Wes and I used to hate is all the newbees that asked the same questions over and over again (or had answers that weren't appropriate for any serious animator). But maybe that's not the case anymore.

Anyway, nothing that needs to be determined right away, so any thoughts anyone else has can keep coming.

"Look, I made a hat...
Where there never was a hat"


-Mike "ex-genius" Kelley
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SynthSin75
Administrator



USA
4483 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2017 :  8:58:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit SynthSin75's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yeah, I'd suggest just checking the new posts occasionally. Just have to ignore those who want to be spoon-fed the manual. Like most forums, only those who seem to have already put in some effort are really worth helping...or you're just bored enough. There are also quite a few good posters who don't post here. Greenlaw, who uses Moho at Dreamworks, comes to mind, but I'm sure there are many more.

I don't know if the ratio of good/bad posts has changed over the years or I've just mellowed...which I doubt (I'm pretty high-strung).

-Wes
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hayasidist
Gold Member



United Kingdom
1265 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2017 :  05:08:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelleytoons

One of the things that both Wes and I used to hate is all the newbees that asked the same questions over and over again (or had answers that weren't appropriate for any serious animator). But maybe that's not the case anymore.


I think that's one difference between here and there - it's "more serious" here; but I also agree with Wes that there is a lack of contribution by some of the "power users".

To address the "I can't be bothered to RTFM" questions, I'm wondering if the logic behind that "50 post rule" could be applied in "reverse" (here or there) - you can read everything, but you only get WRITE access to a few areas (might need a new category of "beginner's questions") until you can prove you're asking sensible questions?

I'd really not welcome Facebook as an alternative - IMO it's a platform that exudes a sense of attracting trivia and there's an unofficial group over there already I think. But maybe LinkedIn? There's already an SM "Anime Studio" group there which I joined a while back. That, for me, is a differentiator between rank amateur (Facebook, Twitter ...) and "serious" users.
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Kelleytoons
Forum Admin



6396 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2017 :  08:48:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'll see if I have the interest to do anything over at Lost Marble -- of course, that's the other thing that happens is that the more experienced users (all of us on this thread so far) tend to have already had all their questions answered and don't really need to talk about it anymore (or much).

Without further Moho releases it becomes even more of an issue, because there are less and less new things to discuss. So there's also that. But, as I said, I'm not in a huge hurry, just considering my options.

"Look, I made a hat...
Where there never was a hat"


-Mike "ex-genius" Kelley
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jahnocli
Junior Member



United Kingdom
246 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2017 :  08:57:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I like coming over here -- I also like to think there IS an alternative to the official forum. But if I was paying $180 a year for the hosting I would be asking questions too. I don't post as often as I should either. I've always liked the American expression "A principle isn't a principle unless it costs you money"; to test people's resolve you could start a Patreon project and see what kind of pledges you get?
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Kelleytoons
Forum Admin



6396 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2017 :  1:23:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's an idea, although I have always resisted asking for any monetary help in any way. But thanks for the thoughts and let's keep the discussion going if we can.

"Look, I made a hat...
Where there never was a hat"


-Mike "ex-genius" Kelley
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SynthSin75
Administrator



USA
4483 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2017 :  2:04:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit SynthSin75's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Part of the problem is that we don't offer much of a competitive draw anymore. Aside from the VIP scripting area, the LM forum eventually added video embedding (which we had first), and our email notifications no longer work (which can slow down discussions or even allow inadvertently missing some posts...not to mention no chance for automated signup approval). We still do better at avoiding spam, but that doesn't seem to be an overwhelming problem on the LM forum. And even as a scripter, the LM forum offers a larger pool of new script testers, albeit, potentially quite a few newbies who probably shouldn't be messing with scripts yet.

I agree with Paul, I wouldn't be apt to join a Facebook group, since I generally despise Facebook. Now we do hold a unique position, in that we don't draw too many newbies and aren't expected to be any kind of official channel for complaints or customer support. I just don't know how to make the AF as vital as it use to be. I'd never ask members to refrain from posting elsewhere, even if I decided to. We've faced the problem of double-posting to both forums from the beginning, with the larger audience at the LM forum tending to win out.

I've also always liked the idea of an alternative forum, but frankly, the problem that really prompted Mike and I leaving that forum has long since gone away.

-Wes
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Kelleytoons
Forum Admin



6396 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2017 :  2:08:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Maybe just for fun I should try posting my Swiss Army Bones script over there and see what the response is (because that alone might tell me if I'd ever want to interact with them or not. As Wes notes, there are folks there who should never been messing with scripts and I'm not about to start supporting THAT crowd).

I could get email notifications working again -- just have been too lazy to try (and discussions here had dropped off before that was a problem). But perhaps I will as one last hurrah <g>.

"Look, I made a hat...
Where there never was a hat"


-Mike "ex-genius" Kelley
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thatonecow
New Member



USA
88 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2017 :  6:59:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I can say that this is the ONLY place I've ever posted a question seeking help with Anime Studio. Solutions were always timely and relevant. Everyone here has always been very friendly and helpful. I've never really needed to go anywhere else.

With that, I can't really justify myself keeping something going that doesn't fulfill the initial goal(s) it was created with. I have noticed the discussions have slowed significantly from when I first joined. And maybe it doesn't make sense financially to support a project that isn't providing as much usefulness as it used to.

All in all I've learned a lot since I first began my animation aspiration and I am grateful for the help I have gotten along the way. I know finances can be rough (especially these days) and every little bit counts. So, no matter what is eventually decided I thank graciously the Animators Forum for being exactly what it was. The best place you could go for serious help with Anime Studio.

-Michael
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SynthSin75
Administrator



USA
4483 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2017 :  7:24:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit SynthSin75's Homepage  Reply with Quote
With the announcement that even Mike Clifton has left Smith Micro, even with SM planning on building a new dev team, it seems that traffic is likely to eventually slow even for the LM forum.

-Wes
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hayasidist
Gold Member



United Kingdom
1265 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2017 :  8:41:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
With Mike's announcement, I could see this forum as being the place where we might give voice to serious alternative approaches if any emerge if / as / when the industry reacts. All of a sudden my "neutrality" on the subject now changes to one of "let's keep going". And, yes, if so required I will put my hand in my pocket...
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Kelleytoons
Forum Admin



6396 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2017 :  10:09:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's certainly an interesting idea.

Wes and I never did any active advertising. Most of the folks who came here did so because of my YouTube videos on my scripting. But I never even tried to solicit people and I suspect that could result in many. Whether it's actually worth the trouble is a good question.

As I said, we have months so we'll keep talking.

"Look, I made a hat...
Where there never was a hat"


-Mike "ex-genius" Kelley
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SynthSin75
Administrator



USA
4483 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2017 :  10:21:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit SynthSin75's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yeah, let's see how the mood on the other forum pans out.

-Wes
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