UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
OnceFallen
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Future Developments

Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:27 pm

So I've been reading these forums for years, and recently I decided to sign up ... And I've still not posted, but now the time feels about right.

First of all I'd like to know what's going on? The forums are nowhere near as busy as they used to be there are hardly any posts and it seems that the staff to members ratio is way out of proportion, I've heard from a few of the forum staff that "there will be more in the summer" but it is the summer now and it appears to be more dead than ever and another thing has really startled me lately are the random and seemingly pointless changes and every time I enquire I get something along the lines of the following that was posted in the Shoutbox yesterday -

Thom wrote:
You could argue the 'ain't broke' point with anything but in reality there needs to be progression and innovation to keep things fresh...


I want to know how these changes are "keeping things fresh", first of all this -

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I'd like to know exactly where the freshness and innovation is there, changing a few letters to add capitals which is fine but it leaves me begging the question why? What's the point? Aren't there bigger issues?

Now for my biggest gripe, what the heck is going on with the ranks? -

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Why white, were the blue ones not sufficient? And if not why have they been replaced with these putrid ones?

Look guys, I'm not nit picking here, but I am seriously questioning some of the decisions here, it seems that you've got it stuck in your heads that you've got these big plans for change and all of these ideas when really you are just changing one or two things. It's ok to say well we are just experimenting but that's not good enough, not with a popular (or at least it used to be) site like this where people come expecting a certain amount of professionalism and not what looks like a child set up.

Apart from these issues the 'issues' that are out of your hands are more a cause for concern, there is no debate here any more. Threads are dying and there is just nothing to talk about even the spam topic is relatively quiet. This community has been killed and the few people left here seem to be the ones who were either upset with the former regime or wanted more i.e. a position on the team which seemed to be gold dust for many members.

Even the unbanning of certain members and the recruitment of "old friends" hasn't made much of a difference, yes it appears that you have a good and competent staff (though they've yet to prove themselves due to the lack of discussion!) and the owner is now around but there is nothing to moderate because there are no posts and nothing to do on here. Even the members who've said they are going to be 'big' members on here don't seem to post apart from the odd post in the Shoutbox.

From an outsiders point of view it really does appear that the site has been killed, I signed up because I thought it was about time to join in in some discussion but there just isn't any. You can't keep sitting around and waiting for it forever because it just won't happen like that. TowersTimes is still a recognised name and one that people love so can it be rescued? Well yes of course it can but can you?
Last edited by OnceFallen on Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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NastyPasty
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Re: Future Developments

Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:58 pm

This place is like a ghost town now.

Instead of pretending that they're being innovative and new, the team should just admit that the forum needs knocking down and rebuilding on a much smaller scale. The mass walkout has essentially killed all debating and discussion, and it's pretty futile to try and convince members otherwise.

Sorry :(
Keep on whistlin', folks.

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Adz
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Re: Future Developments

Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:18 pm

Oncefallen/.Will - I'm not entirely sure what you mean. Yes the forums have got a lot quieter but there is nothing we can immediately do about that. We can't magic up members out of nowhere. Although as it happens the forum is indeed getting busier.

What we are doing however, behind the scenes, is putting together the roadmap for the future of TowersTimes. You'll see us launch something in a day or so which will show things are indeed happening. I'm not sure people fully comprehend what a mammoth task it has been to sort out things after recent events.

I'm also not sure why you are attacking us for the small visible changes as they have taken literally seconds to implement. Small changes like those happened all the time before...
Last edited by Adz on Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tom G
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Re: Future Developments

Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:23 pm

There's nothing to engage in any more. The TowersStreet forums contain all of the people I have always enjoyed conversing/debating/joking with and my relentless debate over several pages continue on those boards.

So yes, the core community has been lost for me. These forums can survive as the popularity of the site SHOULD attract new members, but perhaps the old/classic TTF died when the team left. Perhaps a new one can rise, but who knows.
 
OnceFallen
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Re: Future Developments

Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:17 pm

It's all well and good telling us about this "mammoth" task they you're engaging upon but seriously what is the point, there isn't ever going to be a community here again like you said you can't magic up members from thin air so where is the discussion going to come from, so what is the purpose of the site? Advertising revenue?

Small changes have happened before but they have served some purpose in the past instead of being completely pointless in every way can you now see the issue? If you're going to implement something it might as well be worthwhile epically is you've got your mammoth task to be getting on with.

I'm disappointed that you had to bring my old account up too because I didn't want this to be another bashing thread, I really wanted an impartial opinion and I really wanted to know what was going to happen in the future, perhaps something to get excited about that's why I created this account but it's pointless now considering everybody knows it was me so thanks for that, a little below the belt.
 
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Thom
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Re: Future Developments

Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:37 pm

OnceFallen wrote:
and every time I enquire I get something along the lines of the following that was posted in the Shoutbox yesterday -

Thom wrote:
You could argue the 'ain't broke' point with anything but in reality there needs to be progression and innovation to keep things fresh...


I want to know how these changes are "keeping things fresh", first of all this -

Image


I'd like to know exactly where the freshness and innovation is there, changing a few letters to add capitals which is fine but it leaves me begging the question why? What's the point? Aren't there bigger issues?


My shoutbox comment wasn't specifically referring that the minor changes to the banner were 'innovative' in any way, I was talking about the general use of the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' argument, arguing generally that there's a lot of things in life that don't require any changes but do actually benefit from continual innovation.

Whilst the forum banner isn't a good example of this, TowersTimes as a website is. The current website does a satisfactory job of what sets out to do, it provides a lot of detailed information and content about the theme park and resort to people. Whilst it isn't 'broke' as such, it's very clear that it needs a more modern design and better updates, innovation the team will be bringing about in due course.

---

Regarding the points made, whilst the conversation has obviously reduced somewhat, I think it's unfair to judge the new team after only 2 weeks since we've been established. There's been a lot of stuff to sort out and individual members have been working really hard on some awesome stuff that you should be seeing hopefully pretty soon.

More forum members (and conversation) will come once there's more to talk about. It wont be long at all until significant SW7 construction starts and details for Scarefest 2012 are released. These two things alone will be a major draw for the forums over the coming months and SW7 theme, reveal and marketing will get us all through the closed season too and well into 2013. There's gonna be plenty of people coming onto the forums because of this, and hopefully they'll stay around and get involved in all the other discussion areas too.

So far it's been 2 weeks where the biggest thing has been talk of operational cutbacks, the next few months sees construction of Alton's biggest ride in a decade and a whole lot more...
 
Chris-TT

Re: Future Developments

Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:59 am

OnceFallen, we appreciate constructive criticism however you seem to be quite pessimistic and I’m getting the distinct impression you are just trying to stir things.

In the last two weeks we have put together a talented new site team with some very skilled designers, a professional SEO, content writers, and photographers. We have moved server which wasn’t an easy task to say the least, and created an action plan which is steaming ahead of schedule.

You have to understand there has been a big change and unsurprisingly it takes a lot more than a few weeks to recover from such an event, however it’s not the first time something like this has happened. Right now we are concentrating on the website side of TowersTimes. This is where our visitors begin their experience, unfortunately the way the current version is designed most visitors never make it onto the forum.

With the new version the social integration will be greatly enhanced, making it a lot easier for visitors to interact. This is when we expect the community to really grow.

TT version 3 isn’t going to arrive overnight, there are over 2000 pages of content in a variety of formats on the website, and even with the talented team we have at our disposal this is a project that is going to take several months, we do however have a strict timeline we are following on this. Past team members have put many thousands of hours into the website, and we need to make sure that we give the content created over the years an upto date home that both members, and everyone who has contributed since 2001 can be proud of.

The Forum will get a push when the time is right, this will likely happen before TT version 3 is ready, however we feel right now isn’t the time. Strong characters will step forward as they have in the past, and we will rebuild the social side. Again this isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight.

Most of the focus and time spent so far has been on the new version of the site, however you will very shortly see what the team are capable of after just a few day’s work.

I hope you start to see the glass as half full rather than half empty, however I get the feeling we are just going to hear more negativity from you. See if you can prove me wrong.
 
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Johno
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Re: Future Developments

Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:12 am

But negativity is much more fun.

Is the advertising at the top of the forum new?
 
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Adz
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Re: Future Developments

Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:27 am

The current advert is. In the past we've had google ads at the top but now we've got adverts directly with Alton Towers.

I think overall that's an improvement as it will benefit some of those without annual passes as its nearly always a discount offer.
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JaykeAT
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Re: Future Developments

Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:27 pm

Something else that's been getting on my nerves,all the team keep going on about is how much of a hard job this is,I know it might be but there's no need to go on about it,I ran a fourm by myself for 2 years,granted not quite as big as this but of a big size.
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OnceFallen
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Re: Future Developments

Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:46 pm

Chris-TT wrote:
OnceFallen, we appreciate constructive criticism however you seem to be quite pessimistic and I’m getting the distinct impression you are just trying to stir things.


Well first of all thank you for giving me the answer I was looking for and actually relating to the topic, but I'd just like to say that I'm not trying to "stir" any thing up, I'd hoped that it would express my genuine concern for the site and those associated.
 
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Rob
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Re: Future Developments

Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:28 pm

the son on the hole wrote:
Something else that's been getting on my nerves,all the team keep going on about is how much of a hard job this is,I know it might be but there's no need to go on about it,I ran a fourm by myself for 2 years,granted not quite as big as this but of a big size.


Please could you point out where this is happening. Staff are working very hard to bring TowersTimes to a new level of which you will see soon.
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Johno
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Re: Future Developments

Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:20 pm

Rob-TT wrote:
the son on the hole wrote:
Something else that's been getting on my nerves,all the team keep going on about is how much of a hard job this is,I know it might be but there's no need to go on about it,I ran a fourm by myself for 2 years,granted not quite as big as this but of a big size.


Please could you point out where this is happening. Staff are working very hard to bring TowersTimes to a new level of which you will see soon.


Oh and I thought all the wit had dried up...
 
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haydn!
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Re: Future Developments

Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:06 pm

Just to reiterate my comments in the shoutbox the other night, the new banner sucks. It looks amature and cheap. Why change things that aren't broken?
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PeteMadden

Re: Future Developments

Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:10 pm

I don't understand what's so bad about the site. I mean half the time its kind of dead, and your lucky to get a reply on a post within an hour of posting it, but aside from that I don't think TT is functioning bad at all.
 
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Rob
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Re: Future Developments

Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:29 pm

Haydn - We appreciate your comments and do take them on board. We also understand that not everyone will like the changes we make but in order for us to move forward and improve TowersTimes certain changes have to and will be made. Over the next few months more changes will be made and once complete we hope that you will like the overall look and feel of the site and it's content.

PeteMadden - Although things may seem a little quiet at the moment I believe that the site will soon get back to the way it was in regards to the amount of members posting ect.
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The Terminator
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Re: Future Developments

Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:49 pm

PeteMadden wrote:
I don't understand what's so bad about the site. I mean half the time its kind of dead, and your lucky to get a reply on a post within an hour of posting it, but aside from that I don't think TT is functioning bad at all.


It might take longer to get a reply but at least you don't get a load of abuse like you used to.
I WILL be back
 
PeteMadden

Re: Future Developments

Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:10 pm

The Terminator wrote:
PeteMadden wrote:
I don't understand what's so bad about the site. I mean half the time its kind of dead, and your lucky to get a reply on a post within an hour of posting it, but aside from that I don't think TT is functioning bad at all.


It might take longer to get a reply but at least you don't get a load of abuse like you used to.


That's true, at least the forums have a lot more mature debates now. I just wish that there would be more of them. But as Rob said, eventually that will most likely happen
 
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Boz
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Re: Future Developments

Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:03 pm

i will just add my support for the new team in here.
I recently had a conversation with Adz and have personally seen one of the ideas for the future of the site. And for all you members currently moaning about the apparant inactivity from the team, i can asure you a LOT is going on behind the scenes, and the re-design is going to really change the way the site integrates with all it's social add-ons.
i would like for my fellow members, to just show a little more patience at this time. Big things ARE coming, and discussion WILL pick up again, when news and developments (both TT and AT related) start coming in.
 
PeteMadden

Re: Future Developments

Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:01 pm

Boz wrote:
when news and developments (both TT and AT related) start coming in.


I'd also like to show my appreciation in case I came across like I was moaning earlier (I didn't intend to), now Nemesis Sub Terra and TH13TEEN have been released for a while, and SW7 and Scarefest are a long way away, there's not going to be much in the way of forum activity if there's no hot topic to discuss. Even if these new plans that Boz mentioned didn't come through, membership will automatically rise in a few months when Scarefest is underway and SW7 starts to form.

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