I may as well chime in. I used to be quite active on here and got a lot out of it but have been quiet for a few years now.
What was gd like back then? As far as I remember it was vibrant and active with a lot going on online and with special events dotted about the place.
In reality there were only a handful of events, most of which were shindigs, and the forums only seemed more vibrant to me then rather than now because of how involved I chose to be at the time. What I’m trying to say is that it was great back then, but on paper it should be even better now.
So what is wrong with the site? Nothing really. Honestly. This site more than meets the needs of the community it tries to represent .
If there is any issue its one of expectation. We’re the Irish dev community, not the Canadians or the Scots or the English. There is a limited pool to draw from whether that be a pool of press releases, dev advice or even juicy gossip.
So what did we have then that we don’t have now? IMHO critical mass.
How do you build critical mass? Haven’t the foggiest. I doubt its by committee, and I doubt its achieved the same way twice.
Here’s my take on the factors:
People: Guessing by the number of posts by people I don’t know I’d say that active subscribers are up. What is missing as far as I can tell are authoritative voices, preferably a few of which that are active developers. Maybe power user is the right term, 3 years ago we had a few they still post occasionally post but not in the same way or volume. If the omens were right I’d ‘ora something so we could re-clad the site with a quick hannig… ok that joke isn’t working out I’ll move on.
Industry focal point: A forum is just some opinions floating in space, for identity we need to be grounded someplace. We’ve always bemoaned the lack of a AAA dev house. Years back we didn’t have one either but we had the IGDA chapter. Maybe you loved them, maybe you loathed them but they were a talking point and they did get a few things done. I’m guessing now we need something bigger, maybe nothing short of that AAA dev house will do the job. Maybe another association like TIGA can get us at each other’s throats again.
Perception: Reading back over some of my posts I realised that a lot of what makes this site great isn’t on the site. I haven’t been to a shindig in years but I feel that they were more frequent and that this community was almost exactly mirrored in its real world interactions. There’s no site upgrade that will tell make people realise how good things really are. Take a step back, look around, find something you care about and get involved. Above all just be involved.
Right that’s it for this crotchety old man. Maybe I’ll double my annual input later and explain why I stopped contributing myself.