We now have a Google+ page. Will it be useful and fun, or simply a redundant, annoying, and possibly intrusive waste of time? I guess we’ll find out. At least it isn’t in the gated community of Facebook!
Update: In the comments, Doc Pop, who had his account shut down by Google for using the pseudonym everyone calls him, argues that Google+ is more of a gated community than facebook. Dammit, Doc, can’t we just agree to hate them both?
The Cartoonist Conspiracy message board had never been all that active, but in recent years it has become a real ghost town. With other forms of communications being popularized, message boards in general have become less active parts of the conversation on the internet. I think this is unfortunate… more and more conversation on the internet is going into corporate-controlled “gated-communities” like facebook, where one can only see and participate in the conversation if one chooses to be a member.
So, I’m attempting something that hopefully may make our board a little livelier.
Our message board has always suffered from “topic bloat.” When I first put it up, I figured that it made sense to organize the conversation into different conversational buckets… I now think this was an error. While in theory this made sense for browsing what you are interested in, in reality it just fragmented the conversation so you had to dig for what interested you.
The community button on the site now links directly into the new section of the message board for community driven-discussion. This is the first area people will see when they go to look at the message board. You can post on any topic you wish to there.
You can still access all the old topics and content here… and all of our cells still have their own sections there… but now the conversation on the board will hopefully be driven by users rather than topic buckets.
In addition to the recent addition of numerous useful site feeds you can subscribe to on the site, I’ve recently made a number of other major improvements.
- I switched the Cartoonist Conspiracy Events and Conspire! Cartooning Gig Deadline feeds to be Google Calendars, which are intuitive and easy to use. They are in the sidebar of the blog, as well on their own pages at the previous links.
- I upgraded the message board to the latest version and got some help from conspirator Jeff Faust to hopefully fend off the spam robots. Thanks Jeff! Hopefully we will no longer be a good resource for links to porn, pharmaceuticals and malware.
- I split many of the feeds in the side nav of the blog out to their own pages (they are still in the side nav as well) to make them easier to browse. I mentioned the events and cartooning gig pages… there is also a news page that puts the Conspiracy News, Conspirators and Comics News feeds in one place.
- I altered and simplified the header to the site.
- I added tags to a number of the old blog posts from before we had a tagging system.
I also wanted to note some cool opportunites for conspirators to promote themselves and their local cell:
1) Any conspirator with an RSS feed can be added to the Conspire! Conspirators feed… just contact me with the feed info and I’ll get you added.
2) If you are helping manage a cell or starting a new cell, I can get you set up to add events to our calendar, and to blog on our Conspire! group blog (i.e. what you are reading right now). Again, contact me and I’ll get you added.